Thursday, September 21, 2017

I Like #35

This was another super busy week, last Wednesday and Thursday I was in Washington DC to raise awareness on Capitol Hill for the importance of Vision Research and then on Friday my sister and her kids came up for a visit.

1.  I love crafting with the kids!  Alex and Anna are super fun, we took them to the state fair to see all the animals and then to Disney on Ice.  But in the afternoon when we got home we made sock puppets.  It was a blast going through my stash to find embellishments for them, and they spent the rest of the weekend running around "puppeting".  I love getting to hang out with them, they're so fun and enthusiastic!

2.  I liked seeing the day-to-day activities of congress.  We met with several of our Senators/Representatives/their staff while on Capitol Hill, and though I'm not sure how much good it did, it was interesting to see how things worked.  In the large House office buildings  each representative had a suite of offices.  Walking along the hallway it reminded me of nothing so much as a very fancy dorm hallway.  All started with the same large wooden doors, state and national flags, and state plaque, but then some representatives had tacked up posters, or put out guestbooks, and one even had a life-size Elvis cutout!  The icing on the looks-like-a-dorm cake was the office suite that had a toaster oven outside on the floor....

3.  I liked walking around on Capitol Hill.  I didn't get a chance to see much, the trip was super super short, but at least I got a few snaps.

4.  I loved getting to see the Library of Congress.  I'd never been there before, and it reminded me a great deal of the Chicago Public Library/Cultural Center building I recently got to visit.  All the mosaics were lovely and so was all the symbolism throughout.  I was lucky enough to get on a free tour, but I only had a very very short time there before I had to go catch my flight so I didn't get to see nearly all of the library or exhibits.

5. OMG Illuminated books!!!  I was so excited that the Library of Congress had its copy of the Gutenberg Bible on display.  Of course we couldn't turn the pages or anything, but it was so momentous just to get to see it.  I could have stared at it for quite a while, but unfortunately there were large crowds of people so it didn't seem fair to just stand there taking up space.  What an important book in the history of reading and literacy....

Mostly what I like right now is that I don't have to travel anywhere else until Thanksgiving.  I'm certainly not complaining,  it's a privilege to have traveled so much this year, but gosh I'm excited to get to stay home for a good long while....

Thanks as always to LeeAnna for keeping us going!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

I Like #34

I'm out of town for a couple of days this week for work, and then after that I'm staying home until Thanksgiving!  Hooray!  I love to travel, but lately it's been a lot.

Things I'm liking this week!
1.  Urban flora!  The first picture is some bromeliads (swoon) from the Lincoln Park Conservatory in Chicago, so I guess it's technically not regular city flowers, but they're beautiful anyway.  And the second pic is some gorgeous blooming yucca I spotted here in OKC while out at lunch the other day.  You'd never guess it but these are in a tiny corner of dirt in the middle of a whole row of businesses and very busy streets and concrete.  What fabulous flowers!  I love yuccas, they're the state flower of NM and of course I even did a quilt on them, and it was so fun to see them!

2.  I love illuminated manuscripts!  This may be a no brainer for anyone who's been following my liturgical quilt series, but its rare that I get to see them in person.  This Italian choir book from ~1270 (by Jacobellus of Salerno) was on display at the Art Institute of Chicago, and it was fabulous.

3.  I love the history of science and medicine.  While in Chicago we visited the Surgical History museum, which was quite interesting.  I think my favorite thing though was reading about this book.  Sadly the picture I took of the tag saying who wrote it and when was so out of focus I can't tell you that, but I remember reading a funny story that went with it.  Medical illustrators were quite important in the early modern and enlightenment period when accurate illustrations were the only way to share things like anatomical information (i.e. there were no photographs or anything).  This book was a collaboration between a famous anatomist and a talented medical illustrator.  Evidently, the illustrator didn't want to do just medical illustrations so he putting really strange non medical things in the background of his pictures (see the rhino here!!).  Apparently there was a lot of pushback from stuffy people who thought that was ridiculous but he and his anatomist were like too bad for you guys because our anatomy illustrations are the best so you have to just deal with whatever we put in the background (obviously not in those words).  I thought it was pretty funny and quite nifty!

 4. I like mosaics!  In addition to the ones in the Chicago cultural center which I shared last week, I saw several more while there, including this one which was one of about 5 outside a shop in downtown.

5. I love getting out my fall decorations.  It's always fun to pull them out; I like having a sign that fall is coming other than my steadily worsening allergies.  These are a few I put up at work; some paper bunting I made a few years ago, two tiny mini quilts and a piece of wool embroidery.  The weather is actually hotter this week than it has been the last couple, but that's ok, in my brain, fall is near!

I hope everyone is having a good week and thanks to LeeAnna for linking us up!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Annual SAQA Auction

The annual SAQA auction starts this Friday, and as always there is a fabulous selection of quilts.  For anyone who doesn't know, SAQA is Studio Art Quilt Associates, a group for fiber artists of all flavors.  The auction is their annual fundraiser, and members donate a 12x12 quilt to help raise money for the group.  This is my fifth year to donate one; it's always a fun opportunity to try something a bit different.  For anyone interested, it can often be a great way to get a piece of original art at a reasonable price, while supporting a great organization.  And even if you're not interested in bidding, I encourage you to click through to the auction page and just take a look at all the quilts, it's a virtually unparalleled opportunity to see hundreds of different examples of art quilts.

These are the two my mom and I made this year:

And then part of the fun is making up collections.  I usually do a couple of different collections, this year I made one with the central theme of "plains", in keeping with my piece this year.  The second collection is just my personal favorites, things that jumped out at me or made me swoon....  There really are some fabulous pieces.

Take a minute and check out the Auction!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

I Like #33

Another week of I Like!  I was privileged to get to go on a short vacation to Chicago (which I've never visited before) with a good friend of mine from graduate school (who I don't get to see often), so this week is full of traveling-associated I likes!

1.  I like surprises!  We had lots planned on our trip, including a stop to look at the Chicago Cultural Center (the old Chicago Library).  My friend had heard it had a great stained glass dome.  Well, that was the understatement of the year.  It was absolutely AMAZING, the whole thing was filled with the most beautiful shimmery opalescent Tiffany glass mosaics.  It's one of the most beautiful building interiors I've ever been in and was totally unexpected.  It was so wonderful, the stained glass domes felt almost like afterthoughts.  It was terribly hard to capture in pictures, but I encourage anyone who goes to Chicago to stop in.

2.  I like art museums!  We went to the Art Institute of Chicago which was really wonderful.  I didn't even have time to see it all, but many of my favorite pieces came from the American wing.  There were so many great things-way too many to show.  Again with the terrible pictures, but all these favorites were brand new to me.  So awesome!

Rainy Day, Frank Weston Benson

Spring Rain, Victor Higgins

Madame Paul Escuder, John Singer Sargent

The Last of New England-The Beginning of New Mexico, Marsden Hartley

3. I love architectural ornaments.  Chicago is a mecca for 20th century urban architecture and we went on a lovely architecture tour.  I love all the ornaments on buildings- quilt inspiration for sure!

4. I love seeing old friends!  It was really great to spend time with Kristin; I wish we lived closer together!  Hooray!

Thanks as always to LeeAnna for keeping us going with the positives!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

I Like #32

A lot going on this week, especially the tragic flooding in Houston, but here are a few things I'm liking all the same:

1. I like knowing that my friends in Houston are safe.  I'm lucky in that everyone I know who lives in Houston is safe, and though many have flood/damage to their homes, they are, in the end, ok.  Events like this make me grateful to just be able to keep going with my day-to-day drag.  It's a bit cliche, but true all the same.

2. I love my fun plants!  Not much is blooming now, but both of my plants I got at the farmers market earlier in the year are doing great.  One is growing these cool green leaves that almost glow because of how they're placed in the window.  The other, I think it's called mother of thousands, has it's happy little baby sprouts on the edge of the leaves as always, but just this week I noticed they're sprouting little roots so now the leaf looks furry!

3. I love school supplies and new pencils and markers.  It's always a challenge this time of year because it's so tempting to snatch up lots of fun colored folders and notepads and cool school supplies I don't really need.  This year I restrained myself to a single pack of regular number 2 yellow pencils. For anyone who is interested in pencils, I recommend the instagram account of CW Pencil Enterprise.  They're pencil connoisseurs and have all kinds of cool things.

4. I like quilting!  I got a lot of quilting done over this weekend, it was quite restful to have a whole day to work on things.  I love picking out thread colors for quilting and figuring out how I want to fill the space.

5. I like crossing things off of lists!  I've been fairly productive at work this week, largely because I'm going out of town tomorrow, and it's very satisfying to scratch things off as I do them.  Especially with my rainbow pens (see #3).  Of course there are a bunch of things I won't get to till I get back, but still....

I hope everyone is hanging in there this week, and thanks as always to LeeAnna for hooking us up!