Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New New Orleans Art

Here are the two newest pieces in my New Orleans series. These two are completely finished. Except, of course, for names. I have now completed seven pieces. Another has been cut out and is pending my approval. I have a cutting frenzy, then I have to walk away. I will return, tomorrow probably, and check for color and balance. However, I have vowed not to work in the studio one more minute until I have names for all of my pieces. Perhaps I should be like so many other artists and just label everything "untitled". Can't do it.

I do not feel today is going to be a good day for naming these quilts. I am very upset with what happened in New Orleans yesterday, on Fat Tuesday. Seven people were shot immediately following a parade yesterday. In broad daylight. No one was killed, but that is SO not the point.

I am amazed that so many of the citizens of New Orleans have been able to rebuild their lives and houses in the city, despite incredible obstacles. There are new businesses, new restaurants, new homes. So much work, energy, and hope has been poured (I really couldn't think of a better word) into the city since Katrina.

Yes, increasingly, the city is not run by its officials. It is being run by gangs of teenagers with guns. Little is being done to stop these kids from shooting in the streets. Now, if these people with guns were here from Afganistan, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, or even Canada, we would call it war, or terrorism, and something would be done about it.

It is not only happening in New Orleans. It's happening in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Los Angeles, and every other major and minor city in this country. And our country spends far too much time laying blame than doing anything about it. Blame it on the NRA, blame it on guns, blame it on people who have guns, blame it on those who piss those people with guns off, blame it on mental illness, blame it on post traumtic stress disorder, blame it on deadbeat dads, blame it on welfare moms, blame it on drugs. Blame it on the lack of education. Blame it on racisim. My God, just laying the blame could take decades. Meanwhile, our country is experiencing urban warfare.

Just look at what we do when we think another country has weapons of mass destruction. Look at what we do when terrorists fly planes into our buildings.

And then look what we do when teenagers and young adults with guns attack our cities.

Shouldn't we wage war on ourselves? Naw, that would take time and money. And it might hurt somebody's feelings. We might just violate the rights of a handful of criminals. And someone who actually has the right to own a handgun might just be denied one by accident. Oh, the horror of that!

I really would like the right to walk down the street and not fear getting shot. Is that really too much to ask?

Sorry for the tirade. I didn't know I was going to go there. But now that I've been there, I'm going to leave it there for you to read.

I do have a great deal of hope for the next eight years, even though I may not show it.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


It was just there a minute ago. I was going to use it. I set it aside. Not too far aside, but closely aside.

Now I need it. It is gone. It is not on the floor. It is not under what I am working on. It is not next to what I am working on (it was a minute ago). It is not stuck to my fuzzy sweater. It did not get moved to worktable two or worktable three.

I have uttered words a sailor would blush at. That did not help.

Now I am having a cold, sugary coffee drink. That will help.

Afterward, I will go have another look. It will be unsuccessful. Then I will cut another piece of fabric, stamp it just like I did the lost piece. I will wait for it to dry. I will then use it. I will move two inches to locate the next piece of fabric to be cut. And there it will be.

I'm going to be angry when that happens.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Party's Over

. . . but remnants still remain. Red and yellow crepe paper streamers are everywhere. Balloons are drifting down from the ceiling. The dog keeps finding tasty bits under the furniture and rugs (rugs?).

Nine screaming little girls. Two overwhelmed adults. This year is the first that NONE of the other parents have stayed. We usually have the party in the late afternoon just in case some of the adults would like an adult beverage. We also had some adult snacks prepared and the coffee maker was set up. And the kids were quickly shoved into the house. Most of the parents, well, we just saw their backsides. My husband and I made the joke that next year, it will be a drive by party. The parents slow the car down a little, and the kid comes flying out. Even for those that walked, some just stood on the sidewalk and had the kid ring the doorbell. We still have plenty of those adult snacks left over.

Only two children bled. My daughter was one of them. I think the thumbnail is going to hang in there instead of turning black and falling off. Last night at 9:00, the mother of one of the kids called to inform me of her daughter's pinkeye. She let us know that it was contagious long before symptoms showed up. Oh, well. I'm going to hope for the best.

Other than that, things are swell.

Still trying to think of names for my new pieces. I pulled the Thesaurus out yesterday & I now have a long list of ideas.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Almost Seven

I spent too much time goofing off today to actually find a moment to post a photo here.

Well, is blogging necessarily goofing off? Probably.

Then there are the birthday party preparations to deal with. My daughter will be seven this weekend and tomorrow is the big day. The day looked forward to all year. Or at least since Christmas. So I had the goody bags to put together. And presents to wrap. And activities to think up for 9 little girls. This year's theme is "Chinese." My daughter's idea. Far better than yet ANOTHER princess party. We're going to make a dragon, eat Chinese food off of red plates, and play pin the nose on Mao. Just kidding about that last one.

And to top it off, I had to go out and buy Valentine cards. Darn those Hallmark holidays!

And, of course, I had to go get a milkshake for lunch.

And peruse the magazine stand.

I've completed a great deal of work the last week or so. For once. Four of the five New Orleans quilts are completed (completely completed), and number five is almost done.

All I have to do is name them. I'm still looking for ideas.

But time to turn the brain and ears off until after the party. Good God, the noise. There's going to be so much noise.

Happy Valentine's Day. The pressure is on. Go be romantic dammit.

Monday, February 9, 2009


The big one is finally finished, except for a name. Why does this seem to always be the hardest part? I would hate to saddle a piece that took so long to make with a lame name. All in this "series" represent New Orleans. I don't know if all will have the same name and then be given numbers, or should they all have different names?

Any help out there? I would really like to get these posted on my website as soon as possible. Perhaps if I broke the pieces down, I could come up with an idea.

Each of the pieces has some water imagery in it, representing rain, standing water, or hurricane. There are homes, restored and occupied or standing empty. Outlines of homes show that some are no longer there. There are representations of foliage, green and alive or brown and dead. Black figures on red represent the life of New Orleans -- its people. Pieces that are integrated into the artwork represent those who have returned to New Orleans. Pieces that have been sewn to the top after the artwork was quilted represent those who did not or cannot return.

When this piece was completed, I thought about the price I would like to receive for it. There aren't many artists out there who receive what they would like for a piece. I am one of them. I looked up a piece of equal size on my inventory list and was a bit surprised at the price. I do feel it is time for a change. So a change is going to come. I can't put so much time, energy, and emotion into a piece and not receive what I think is a fair price. So today, while my daughter is out of school sick and I am off of work sick as a result, I will go over my inventory list and work on prices. Some will remain the same -- the older ones and perhaps the smallest.

The television will be on for a bit today so I can visit the city through Google Maps. I do spend a good deal of time doing that each day. I can't tell if it makes me feel better, or if it only increases my longing for New Orleans. Whatever. It must be done. Today I'm going to visit the Riverbend section. And later I will force my daughter to take a nap so I can get at least an hour of work done. Away from the computer.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Brain Freeze

No. No photo today. I was going to post a photo of our "Steeler's" snow (yellow and black), but since SOMETHING is always falling out of the sky, the old snow is lightly covered by fresh snow.

It is not darn cold here. It is not bitter cold. It is angry cold. I get angry going out to walk the dog or go to the bus stop. I get angry just thinking about walking the dog or going to the bus stop. And when I arrive home after walking the dog or going to the bus stop, I'm angry that my toes and fingers are throbbing.

I am waiting for my studio to heat up so I can go do some work. As soon as I asked for "permission" to keep on designing, my ideas dried up and I felt the urge to sew things together. I went out Tuesday and purchased some backing fabric from our teeny tiny quilt and yarn shop. Of course they did not have what I wanted, so I had to settle for something I didn't want at twice the price of what I did want. Oh well. I am not going to that big box store!!!!

I'm not sure I'm liking the direction of the quilting for the first piece. I first thought of overlaying a New Orleans street map, but decided against that. I'll keep going with the next idea I had. I was impressed by the idea when I drew it out over the diagram, but now that I'm into it, I'm not so sure.

It is been quite a while since I have put something new on Etsy or Ebay. One of my secret goals for this year has been to build up my inventory on Ebay and Etsy and blog about it. And then sell it.

Right now it is too cold to think. I'm going to see if it is too cold to do some mindless sewing.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Just One More

This is going to be the last piece I lay out for a while. I have GOT to finish up these first before I do anything else. I'm sure most of you can guess what my favorite creative activities are. Putting colors and patterns together. The sewing part is just something that must be done. I wish I could warm up to sewing, but I just can't. I see so much beautiful stitch work by other fabric artists. I envy them their passion. Perhaps if I met these people in person, something would rub off on me.

But . . . how can I really complain. I'm sure farmers, coal miners, hookers, construction workers, bankers, etc., all have aspects of their jobs that they do not like. I am lucky.

I really, really, really, want to set a piece of foamboard over this and keep on cutting, painting, and stamping. Can I? Please? Please? Please?