Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fabric Postcard Raises $100 for Charity

Whoa!  I'm still new at blogging, so I see that I need to revert to the font I used in my first post, as last night's post looks so harsh once it was published.
And if you're reading this in progressive date order, you'll see a lonely link left languishing  (lots of alliteration!) at the end of yesterday's post.  I couldn't figure out how to delete it, so it's become today's topic.

At this year's Sisters (OR) Outdoor Quilt Show (ALWAYS the 2nd Sat. of July), a call went out for donations of fabric postcards.    

From those received, about 70 postcards were chosen for a silent auction, with all proceeds going to Wendy's Wish, a foundation that helps Central Ore. cancer patients.  The High Desert Gallery, in Sisters, donated the materials and labor for custom matting and framing the chosen postcards.  Wow!  I feel even better now about patronizing their gallery; what a contribution!

Yesterday I received a hand-written thank-you note from the foundation; it said my postcard raised $100 for Wendy's Wish!  Can you believe that?  $100 for a 4" x 6" piece of fabric art!!!  I'm glad it went to a good cause.

Here's the link to see the postcards that were chosen for the silent auction.  (Mine's in row 13, #4; also shown above.)

Okay, I promise this will be my last bit about Jackson Browne.  Check out this photo I found on Flickr (don't know who the guy is), but the statue is none other than J.B., and the location is Winslow, Arizona:

Do you know what song this relates to?  This is so easy!  (Even THAT's a hint!)  Did you know this landmark even existed?  The sign's pretty funny, too.  

Today's one of my last chances to work on the penguin quilt -- the shop sample that was due in July to "advertise" a class I'm teaching this Fall at Greenbaum's Quilted Forest in Salem.  

On Sept. 2, my daughter and I are off to Delaware for 10 days to visit family and friends and, I hope, catch some late-season beach time.  After Labor Day, the crowds will be gone, and the beaches are at their absolute best.  I can already anticipate the moods and feelings they'll evoke, and how it will feel to be there:  serene, meditative, renewing, reaffirming, expansive . . . and overall, uplifting and filled with the sense of creative possibilities.  I plan to come home with many of those creative possibilities outlined in my design journal on sandy, watercolored pages.

The forecast calls for JOY and sandy toes.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Jackson Browne + Art Quilts

Jackson Browne is one of my favorite singer-songwriters. I've been listening to his music since the early '70's ("Doctor My Eyes") and have seen him in concert 3-4 times. Most recently was his concert last Sat. evening, Aug. 22 at the Maryhill Winery in Wash. ( overlooking the Columbia River Gorge.

I'd won two tickets from my favorite radio station in Portland, KINK FM 101.9 ( -- if you're out of their listening area, you can still listen to their "live stream"!). So last Sat., I drove to our cabin in Camp Sherman (2 hrs away), singing all the way, then jumped into my friend's (and next-door neighbor) Dean's car, and he drove us another 3-1/2 hrs north through beautiful, rugged canyon and high desert country to the "mighty Columbia" (talking & singing all the way.)

The winery was just over the river, and we spread our blanket on the terraced grass, looking down on the stage and behind it, the rugged hills of the Gorge. It was a beautiful evening for an outdoor concert, warm and clear, with a sunset that painted the hills gold. After sundown, the HUGE windmills blinked red in unison, like little candles on the hillsides. (Actually, they're caution lights to prevent planes from flying into the windmill farms!)

The music was hugely satisfying, with a nice blend of his earliest songs up to more current ones ( 2008's Time the Conqueror CD). He included all-time favorites like "Rock Me on the Water," "The Pretender," "Running on Empty," "Barricades of Heaven," "Too Many Angels," and for the 2nd encore, "The Load Out/Stay." My only disappointment (and it was significant), was that he didn't perform "Sky Blue & Black." I LOVE that song, even though it's sad.

Maryhill is in the middle of nowhere (also noted by Jackson, who quipped "None of you live around here, do you?"), so the very few motels within a 1-hr radius were full, reserved by SMART concert-goers who didn't want to drive 100 miles back to Portland that night. I directed Dean ("I don't eat snacks") to a gas station/mini-mart where we stocked up on road food: Peanut M&M's, Good & Plenty, Boston baked beans, licorice, etc. We also shared a tiny can of 5-hr Energy Blast (no caffeine, mostly B vitamins, said the clerk), which did keep us awake for the drive without giving us the jitters. (Of course, we talked & sang the whole way back to Camp Sherman.)

So, anyway, what's the link between Jackson Browne and art quilts? Well, after the concert, I spent two hours googling info on him and his music, and found that he's been in a relationship for over 10 years with Dianna Cohen, an L.A.-based artist. ( Her medium? Plastic bags. Oh, and thread. She hand-sews the bags into flowing compositions (hence the link to art quilts) and shows her work internationally. Verrrrry interesting!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

First Day! August 5, 2009

While encouraging my friend Laura to start a blog while she's in Mexico, I thought I should first see how difficult it might be.

I've toyed with the idea of starting a blog for a long time, but didn't want to add another obligation to my already-overloaded list of personal expectations. But today I realized I don't have to keep up a blog to meet anyone else's expectations -- after all, my readership right this minute is zero! I can play around with blogging just for myself. To make it more interesting, I can use
Fiberexplorations as the blog's topic.

Fiberexplorations? I'm so glad you asked . . .

In May 2009, after a year's worth of thinking and procrastinating about it, I finally started up an art quilt/mixed media group. Six people attended the first meeting (including myself) of the
Fiberexplorations group. We've had 1-2 new members each month. For our 4th meeting, coming up on Mon., Aug 10th, I'm expecting our membership to be at 11. How exciting! I think we'll have to cut it off at 12 because my living room won't accommodate any more than that.

And with that introduction, I'll now stop and publish my first post. After all, I do have a business to run! New Leaf Pattern Distributors is my wholesale quilt pattern distributorship, purchased 3+ years ago. I have about 170 designers whose patterns I market and sell to quilt shops in the US and Canada. (Sorry, I don't sell retail!)

No time to include photos with this first post, though I did link my photos on Flickr to this page. If you click on it, you can see many of my photos, quilt-related and not.

I'll finish this up and email Laura to tell her how easy this was, and encourage her to start blogging about her trip to Mexico!