Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Point Lobos

Got to the hotel here yesterday and took a walk down to the Cliff House restaurant for dinner.
There was a lot of sun, so I shot these rather blindly -- but oh, my - how lovely the landscape just at the Pacific Ocean.

Shangri-la in the distance, and just look at nature's color combination.  If this were a painting I would think it was trite.

Dinner at the Cliff House was pretty divine, too.
Had a trek back up the long and steep hill, which I hope walked off a calorie or two -- but not sure.
This morning I have been luxuriating in the sun on the patio, catching up on some things I wanted to read.  Flight check-in pretty soon and then I might take a walk.  Tonight, giving a lecture at the San Francisco Quilt Guild and am looking forward to it.

Tomorrow, back to New Jersey to take care of all the STUFF waiting for me.  It's been a great trip!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

mangoneidas y diablitos

This afternoon, my friend Rachel and I took a walk around the Mission district -- a gritty neighborhood I loved when I was here last year.

We stopped in the Cut Loose clothing factory outlet and (either sadly or fortunately) nothing looked good on either of us.  But it was great stuff.  After that, we had pupusas at the indoor food market -- totally enjoyable.  Pupusas are a Salvadoran food  made of cornmeal,stuffed with cheese and your choice of whatever else: pumpkin, greens, pork, etc. and served with spicy cabbage slaw and hot sauce.  Yummy.  I think I need to find a recipe and make these when I get home.

As we walked, we passed a restaurant with what looked like thousands or people standing on line (or  in line if you are not from New York) and the line stretched around the corner.  I stopped and asked some guy what they were giving away and he said "nothing. This place has the best burritos in the world." 
 A few doors down,  we passed a sign congratulating La taqueria for being selected by Nate Silver as the world's best burrito.  We were not about to go back and join the line.  I stopped to take a picture of this sign because it tickled me. And Rachel and I continued on our way.
We saw a lot of teenagers eating what looked like frozen gazpacho and in another block we discovered what it was.  A guy with a stand on the next corner was pouring stuff into a cup, adding a biig scoop of snow cone ice, adding more stuff, and people were standing in line for that, too.
We recognized it as the frozen gazpacho -- good guess, but not quite.  It was mangoneidas y diablitos -- a concoction of mango, ice, mango syrup, tomato-y hot sauce, cayenne pepper, more mango, more hot sauce.
 People were also skipping the hot sauce and having the mango and ice with other stuff, like coconut syrup, frozen strawberries, and who knows what else. Too sweet to contemplate.  We opted to try
y diabliitos because the combination of sweet and spicy appealed to us.  Not knowing whether we would like it, we decided to buy one and share it. It was fabulous!  Here is Rachel with it.
And yrs truly, checking it out before I dug into it with my fork.  Yes - you eat it with a fork, not a spoon. Can't figure out why, unless he had run out of spoons before we got there.  And that thing that looks like a straw is a plastic thing covered with what Rachel said tasted like guava paste and cayenne.

You have to know I am going to try this one at home.  Seems to me it would make a great drink with some gin added:-).  I'll let you know.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

On the road again

At Portland airport in the United Club,  brunching (early lunching) on cheese & crackers, yogurt, coffee, and ice. On my way to San Francisco to stay with a friend in the city and then give a lecture. Heading home on Wednesday.                                                               

In the meantime, I finally have time to revisit more of the wonderful fabrics printed in class on day two.
As I look at the pix I took, I'll share them with you.  The big fun was printing with glue on a screen. We prepared the screens at the end of day one and they dried overnight.  Such cool designs!
Here are examples of how fabrics can be saved: just print over them with a glue screen:-)  and work in layers!

This was a deconstructed piece (green layer) that Joyce wasnt happy with.  She printed with a grid and was in the process off adding those 3-D looking circles when I snapped this.
After yesterday's class ended, Gerrie and I packed up, rested our feet, and then went out with Mr. C to a wonderfull Catalan restaurant.  I tell you, the food in Portland is universally interesting and terrific.        

on to the next city...

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Posting but Blogger is acting weird

Or maybe it's my wonderful keyboard.  Trip to the Apple store is on my radar screen.  Every time I hit the delete key on this keyboard, it turns off the computer. Argh.

Anyway, today was day one of Can this Fabric be Saved? and I would say that in most cases, the answer was "yes."  As usual, there was lots of variety in printing fabrics and I was happy to see the fun.
Here are a few results of layers added to masking tape resists.

And here is Gerrie, concentrating as she prints one of her pieces.

We had a very busy day and finished by preparing our screens with glue resists for tomorrow. Can't wait to see what happens!

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Do I need a catchy headline??

Nah.  I'm in Portland, OR -- that should be catchy enough.  Got in last night and Gerrie Congdon picked me up at the airport. Yippee - I have a day to deal with time zone issues and am spending it with Gerrie and the handsome Mr. C.

Today, I had the tour of downtown Portland.   First stop, Gerrie needed knitting needles. I wandered happily around, soaking up all the color. 

As if that weren't enough, we had to stop at the needlework store next door so Gerrie could get some embroidery thread.  Uh huh.
Basically, you could say we spent the day shpatziring (Yiddish for strolling around, shopping, going on an expedition without any particular goal) and it was wonderful.  We stopped at a lovely store called Canoe, where we saw lots of things we wanted to buy.  One of these minimalist home furnishings places with well-designed items that you see in the shelter magazine photos of other people's homes. Gerrie loved the Noguchi lamps (upper right).
I was tempted to treat myself to an elegant coffee thermos in orange or red or lime green. Fortunately, I don't have room in my suitcase.  But maybe when I get home...
Then we went for a fabulous lunch which we forgot to photograph because we were so hungry. But while we were waiting for our main meal, I snacked on a salad of tomato, celery, beet, pickled jalapeno and a mushroom.

We hit the Apple store, which was large and crowded but didn't have the new iPhones or watches (not that we were going to buy any of these, anyway), but still...

Finally, we had to visit a fab craft gallery called The Real Mother Goose.  I tried on a gorgeous, to-die-for silk top that fortunately, was too big -- so I couldn't buy it.  But Gerrie tried on a stunning jacket that looked wonderful on her and (of course, my fault - she had to buy it). So, Gerrie's day was a success because she bought stuff and mine was a success because I didn't:-).

We went back to Gerrie's elegant abode and crashed for the rest of the afternoon, communing with our iPads.  She made a yummy dinner and here I am, back at the hotel. I had better get to bed because I need to be up at the crack of dawn tomorrow so I can get to the guild meeting in time to set up for my talk.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

this is not a holiday weekend

But it feels like one. It is the last weekend that the pool at my condo is open, so it still seems like summer. (besides, it's hot and humid)  And I've just come home from a housewarming where I met some neighbors I hadn't met and reconnected with some I've known for years.

On the topic of quilts, if you are going to be in New York in the near future, the NY Times had a fabulous article on all the exhibits coming up.  Click on the link to get there.

In the meantime, I have spent the last couple of days frantically packing and even more frantically sorting pieces for my exhibit in October.  Thursday, the other artist and I schlepped our stuff to the gallery and along with the gallery director, selected and laid out the show.  What a lot of work!  We hang it at the end of this month and the work will be up for 3 months.  If you will be within driving distance of Montclair, NJ on October 10, I invite you to come to the opening.

Looking forward to seeing my friend Gerrie Congdon in Portland next week and then visiting with my friend Rachel in San Francisco before I come home and have to get organized for the upcoming events.  If I can blog from there, I will.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

a weekend of sewing

Seriously, Labor Day weekend was just that. With the exception of a walk in the park, I was in for three days sewing down facings and adding sleeves.  I am done.  They are all signed/sealed/ready to hang and none of them has a name.  At this point, too tired to care.

This last piece is one I made years ago but put away and forgot about. I unearthed it as I was looking for something else: not sure how I feel about it

Amazingly, I accomplished everything on the to-do list in my head: paid bills, went to the bank, bought blue glue for my class supply list, packed my teaching supplies and started to pack my clothes (all in one suitcase, I hope); did laundry and finished sewing the sleeve on the gray quilt.  Oh, and read a little bit. Not on my list, but done anyway, was finishing the ice cream in the freezer - LOL.  And you can guess what next on my list is...yawn.

The finger is coming along and the bandaid is off and on, depending.  I am hoping for a night of dreamless sleep so I will be lively enough tomorrow to tackle he rest of what I have to do.

Friday, August 29, 2014


The ice machine is fixed, the stitches are out of my finger, my house guests have left, and I have three quilts stitched that need the facings sewn down and sleeves on.  Too bad I am not a tv watcher.

It has been one exhausting week, with all the commotion and comings/goings of construction/destruction guys, plumbers, and the appliance man.  The demo guys will be back early in the morning to take away the fans, replace part of the floor, and put the ice maker back user the island -- with the water alarm attached!

While I was rummaging around in my sewing room tonight, I found a piece or cloth I had printed about 5 years ago. Ha-I wondered where it was and now I know.  I shall contemplate it for a few days before I decide what to do with it.

Enough activity for today -- or I should say yesterday.  It is already tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

mid-week update

The demolition derby arrived on Saturday to remove part of the ceiling and wall that were wet from the leaking ice machine.  (Tuesday)There is more, and they will be back tomorrow to measure the moisture levels, take out more sheet rock, and maybe remove the fans and dehumidifier that have been running for 

  nice grid, huh?

I won't bore you with the unnecessary demolition of the closet ceiling because plumber A was wrong about his diagnosis of the problem.  Enter Plumber B, who found the source of the leak (long story).
I am hoping FedEx will deliver the parts for the icemaker tomorrow.  Meantime, the plumber advised me to get a leak alarm, which he says Home Depot carries.  That is tomorrow morning's trek.  

Meanwhle, at 11:00 last night, my beloved brother arrived from Pittsburgh with my SIL and nephew. Nephew Jonah had to sleep on the couch with the fans and dehumidifier going, but he managed to sleep through it all as only a teenager can.  They all took off for New York this morning.  I love my brother and only wish he lived close by instead of 7 hours away. Waaah. I never get to spend enough time with him. He fills my life with laughter when we are together.

In the midst of all this chaos I have been revising my website, which is a slow process because of a new host, new software, and minimal time to get it the way I want it.  And I'm frantically working on a couple of new pieces for my exhibit in Oct.  

With all this aggro, the only thing to do was to take a mid-afternoon margarita break on the deck to decompress and pretend I am on vacation.  I am tempted to stay out here and read for a while and get back to sewing tonight.

Ha, good idea,Rayna.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Happy Friday

This is the pinky on my left hand.  It has four stitches in it and you do not want to know the gory details.  Suffice it to say that I am glad my neighbor was home and could put multiple bandaids on my finger.  Unfortunately, it was not enough.

I was hoping not to have to go to the urgent care place a few blocks away because I was expecting the service person to fix my leaking ice machine to arrive between 1 and 4 this afternoon and it was already after 1:00.  Alas, I had to go.  The good news is that my neighbor was able to let in the service guy, who then called me on my cell while I was waiting for the stitches.  By the time all was well and I got home, the service guy was long gone but I could not get into my driveway because the roofing people had parked in front of my driveway, blocking it.  Don't even ask about that.

My neighbor told me that the GE guy ordered 2 parts and will be back next Friday, but that he heard gurgling in the drain and I needed to call a plumber to check that out.  oh, joy.  THEN she said that my carpet in the basement was soaked, so down I went.  Indeed!
A little spot of water damage to the ceiling but the whole carpet wet.  Called the insurance company. I need the mold prevention guys with fans here.  Am waiting for a call from the adjuster. The plumber can wait till Monday, when my brother from Pittsburgh and his brood arrive to stay.  Uh - the downstairs guest room is soaked. Sigh...

Can't wait to see what the rest of the almost-over day brings.  I had planned to spend today working at home. So much for THAT!

I am left dominant, although there are some things I cannot do with my left and can only do with my right hand.  Using knife and scissors are the top two.  I also drink/dial the phone (or whatever you call it these days) and iron.  Go figure.  I am a crackerjack typist, at least 80 wpm -- but today, I am typing using my left index finger instead of my pinky, so there might be typos.  

Maybe I should order takeout tonight.  I was going to cook, but not while my finger is in pain and I can't get it wet.    I don't have anything I can even microwave -- so I might as well call Athena's Greek Kitchen and relax.

RELAX?? What is that?  I was planning to spend the day in the dye studio tomorrow - uh - nope. never a dull moment. I think I will read tonight and let the chips fall where they may, which they will do, anyway.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Midweek post

Technically, this should be Wordless Wednesday, but I'm making up for lost time.

This is tonight's dinner: leftover pizza from Sunday night.  Last night was leftover fabulous Moroccan lamb burger made on the grill  http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/moroccan-lamb-burgers-with-mint-yogurt-sauce from Monday night, accompanied by a horiatiki salad I took out from my favorite local Greek restaurant.

Tomorrow I am taking my grandsons Josh and Ben out to lunch and will hope to have some leftovers from that event, because I am not in the mood to cook.  At least, not for myself.  This is unusual (as you probably find unsurprising) so I have to assume there is a good reason for it and I should just go with the flow.  Friday, lunch with a friend - ditto.  If I can make it till Saturday night and dinner out, I'm home free.

The weather here in NJ has been drop-dead gorgeous: fall in the air -- no humidity.  Today, somewhat muggy but it has cooled down enough for me to take advantage of dining on the deck. I always feel as though I am on vacation when I eat out here and look at the woods.  Of course, "look at" does not mean "live in" -- I am a city girl who never lived in a city.  Go figure.

MInt, basil, oregano, and  look at that wonderful rosemary plant!  I guess I will have to take them to Florida with me in December.  Can't let them die -- I have wintered over the mint and the basil for a couple of years now.  I am also thinking of buying a curry leaf plant and taking that to Fla with me, where it should flourish and get a good start till it comes home to my skylight in the greenhouse - aka master bath, where there is both light and humidity.

Now that I have polished off the pizza and it is starting to get to the time of day when the mosquitos waltz over to my deck, it is time to go in and get back to work putting facings on a quilt that persists in changing measurements every time I get out the tape measure.  I give up -- I never was about perfection and just want to get the damn thing DONE.

Today's schedule...

9:30 am - waiting for the guy to come see if the bubble in my living room ceiling 
a)  is a leak in the roof or
b) is something I have to pay to repair.
Care to hazard a guess?

2) 11:30 am - meeting my art exhibit partner at the gallery and crawling around trying to figure out how we will hang our work next month for our October exhibit.

3) 12:45 pm - dealing with a leaking ice machine/ruined ceiling in the basement guest room and a call to the thank god-five year extended warantee people.  Don't ask.
3a) 1:30 pm - steaming the two silk scarves I printed yesterday.

4) 2:15 pm - a lovely visit from my my daughter Hilary, who had an hour between appointments and had to be in my neighborhood.

5)  5:00 pm - follow-up appointment with the eye doctor to check on the problem with my right eye. It's better but not perfect.

6) 6:30 pm - this is where I started, pizza in the oven.

Ah - I lead such a glamourous life:-).

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

a day in the studio -- at last!

For the first time in months and, I am afraid, the only time this week, the way things are shaping up. But it felt so good to spend six hours working.

I wrestled a quilt into shape, printed a few scarves which I was too tired to steam tonight.   A third is still not finished because I wasn't in the mood.

 then I went back to work on something I had taken apart/put aside and almost forgotten about.  It is, once again, sitting on my design wall.  But this time, in the studio instead of at home and I can see it better.  At this point I should just sew it together and be done with it.  I'm tired and sometimes you just have to move on.

The rest of my week is spoken for with mostly non-fiber related events.  The exception os tomorrow's meeting at the gallery with the other artist exhibiting with me.  We need to look at the space and figure out how many pieces will fit without crowding.  Not sure whether this piece will go into the October exhibit or not. IF I finish it.

A day on my feet and I am off to bed!  I think standing in the studio all day is the most exhausting thing in the world -- but worth it.