Monday, May 24, 2010

The Ants Coming Marching In

Ants decided to build their a condo in my telephone box. This is causing problems with both my phone and Internet. Frustrating. Tom cleaned out the dirt on our side. Now I need A.T. & T. to come and clean out their side. Sure hope this fixes things. It is forcing me to work. Fingers crossed this posts. It's my third attempt. Did I mention being frustrated? Interesting how much we depend on technology.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Buy a Book and Help Save a Quilt Group

Los hilos de la vida is a mostly Latina quilt group in Boonville, California. They published this wonderful (English and Spanish) 83 page book. I wrote the introduction (Yes, I know my name is misspelled. If this is the worse thing that happens to me, it's all good.) because of my involvement with the group and because I believe in what they are doing.--creating story quilts with meaning and changing the lives of the women and their families. I interviewed 35 Los hilos participants for Quilters' S.O.S. - Save Our Stories so if you want to more about the women and children involved in the project you can read their interviews and see the quilts (many are in the book).

Funding has been lost. Molly Johnson Martinez, their fearless leader, is an amazing woman. She has fundraised tirelessly for years. She even raised enough to buy the building where they meet. Unfortunately, funding for her salary has been lost so the future of the group is uncertain. If you purchase the book ($20) or book with DVD ($30) from my blog, I'll pay for the shipping. All the money goes to Los hilos. Thanks!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Good News and a Request

My quilt from the Alzheimer's: Forgetting Piece by Piece traveling exhibit is going to be included in a special exhibit on Quilters' S.O.S. - Save Our Stories at International Quilt Festival in Houston. I'm particularly beholding to the Shelburne Museum for agreeing to ship my quilt directly to IQA so that it could be included. I haven't seen my quilt in 3 years and for its travels to end in Houston is thrilling and for it to have another opportunity to be seen and hopefully educate is icing on the cake.

Now for my request-- The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative  is still needing  names of people who have/had Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia for the new traveling exhibit called "Alzheimer's Illustrated: From Heartbreak to Hope." We are hoping to have 10,000 names in remembrance.

So, if you have a family member or friend who has/had Alzheimer's or a related dementia and would like to have their name written on one of the Name Quilts that will travel the country as part of this national exhibit of quilts about Alzheimer's, either email me or leave the name(s) in the comment area and I'll make sure the names are included. This is a great way to honor a loved one or friend and make a difference. Thanks!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Martha Dominguez-Diaz

Martha is known as our "Embellishing Queen." She loves embellishing. There isn't a bead or charm that she does not love. She also loves handwork. She is also one of the most generous people in the group-- always willing to share her personal fabric and charms. One of my favorite parts of this quilt is the woman's green eye shadow. The flowers were made when we played with rubberstamps. Martha uses what she learns which makes her teacher so happy!

Remember that these quilts are the second quilts that these women created. The subject matter (the killing of women in Cuidad Juarez in northern Mexico) is not an easy subject matter and yet, they rose to the challenge. I could not be prouder of them.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Christina Carlos

On Saturday while I was at the National Museum of Mexican Art teaching, I took pictures (with permission and only of the quilt group member's work) of the quilts hanging in the Rastros y Cronicas: Women of Juarez exhibit. The exhibit will be up until July 4th. An artist  took her piece out early. Her decision caused this wonderful opportunity for the women in the quilt group (Las puntadas del alma/Stitches of the Soul). The gallery is dark so I did the best I could with the photography. I also didn't want to hang out in the gallery too long taking photos just in case others came to view it. I think Christina has a promising future in art. I also think the museum did a great job displaying the works. Of course, it's always better in person! Hope you get a chance to see it. It's an incredibly moving exhibit.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

More on My Mask Exhibition

I decided to do the signage differently than usual. I decided to include more information about me and if needed, the subject matter. This caused most of the signs to fill the 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper that I used. I was a little worried that people would not be willing to read so much and to my amazement, people who came to the opening read them all! This created great opportunities for dialogue and connection. One woman required all of the children with her to listen to her read about Kwan Yin mask. I thought I would share some of what I wrote with you this next week.

While traveling in Kyrgyzstan, I learned about the “female Buddha” which inspired this mask. While Kyrgyzstan is now a mostly Muslim country, at one time Buddhism was practiced. Kwan Yin is often referred to as the female Buddha. According to one legend, she was a beautiful Indian princess who forsook marriage and the good life to live in a convent in order to become a truly enlightened human being. By turning her back on a life of luxury and seeking spiritual enlightenment, her life story is similar to the historical Buddha, Prince Siddhartha Gautama.

After having achieved enlightenment and the right to enter Buddhist Heaven or Nirvana, legend has it that at Heaven's gates Kwan Yin heard the despairing cry of someone back on earth. Upon hearing that sad cry, she quickly returned to the earthly plane, and vowed to stay there to help all those who suffer achieve the same level of enlightenment that she had, so that they too could enter Nirvana. Kwan Yin's name means "The one who hears the cries of the world."

The fabric that I used for the face and the neck are the same fabric only the face is the back of the fabric and the neck the front. It is one of my favorite fabrics and one that I wished I had bought lots and lots when I had the chance. Such is life!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Gift from a Crow and Sacred Threads

I was working in my yard contemplating my quilt for Sacred Threads. I needed to get something to drink and as I was coming back into the yard, a crow put something in my basket. It was a bone! This crow and I have been hanging out together all week as I work in the yard. I thanked her for her gift and she flew away. It was a most interesting experience. Anyway if you don't know about Sacred Threads, you need to check it out.

Sacred Threads is an exhibition of quilts exploring the subject themes of spirituality, joy, inspiration, peace/brotherhood, grief and healing. This biennial exhibition was established to provide a safe venue for quilters who see their work as a connection to the sacred and/or as an expression of their spiritual journey.

It has moved from Columbus, Ohio to Herndon, Virginia about 30 miles outside of Washington, D.C. The exhibit will from June 22 - July 4, 2011. 

Time to get creating!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Observations from the Road

The drive down Route 30 in Indiana is flat and not terribly interesting. I listen to music and try to be as present as I can make myself. I wonder why some towns look so sad why others prosper. I'm particularly saddened by decaying barns. I wonder what the out of business store "Pebble" sold. Did they just have one and once it sold lost their purpose? I see a sign stating that Fairmont is the "birth place of cool." This puzzles me because I thought that James Dean was born in Marion. My mind jumps to wondering if the crack house behind the Marie Webster House is still there. It's kind of fun to not really focus and to see where my mind will take me. Anyway, I make a mental note look up James Dean (he was indeed born in Marion moved to California then to Fairmont then back to California with his beagle named Max.) People are usually surprised to discover that I am a Hoosier. I was born and raised in NW Indiana. My immediate family all still live int the state. I will stay with my parents while I'm in Fort Wayne. As for me, I left in 1977 and lived a gypsy life for a while. It will be 11 years, the longest I have ever lived anywhere as an adult, this June that I have lived in Naperville. Have I told you how good it is to be home?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Thoughts on Fort Wayne

I'm back and trying to play catch up. I thought I would start by sharing one of the high points of going to Fort Wayne to the Botanical Gardens and that was finally meeting Susan Gourley and her family at the opening. I interviewed Susan for The Alzheimer's:Forgetting Piece by Piece Q.S.O.S. Project. What a wonderful, upbeat person with such sweet daughters! I wish we had been able to spend more time together.