Friday, December 09, 2005

december 9

After a week of brutal cold, it is warming up here finally! The sound you just heard was a huge sigh of relief. It is 23 above right now, heading toward 39. The wind is fierce so it seems colder, there are always trade offs, eh? Extreme cold wears me out, although being out with Sam the golden wonder pup is entertaining. He takes great joy in snow and all the games he can play with it, running digging, rolling - you name it. He loves cold weather. but then he's a golden retriever, they love almost everything. He will be ecsatic this afternoon when the Center of the Universe gets home. Michael has been away for several days, is returning today with his brother who will stay with us a while. It has not yet been determined whether my office or the living room will be converted to a part time guest room.The whole situation is problematic. Everyone is going to require a lot of private space and this is a small house.
I've been delaying even thinking about it, choosing instead to spend all my time this week in studio. (more on that in a bit).
Today i have to seriously consider space, furniture, arrangements and patience; which is why i am getting caught up on computer work, another form of procrastination? big grin here.
In the studio: a monster piece, another in the nebula series, almost finished but not ready for prime time. My intention was to push temperature in color and it was difficult, even my yellows are cool. It is on hiatus while i figure out a few things concerning structure and assembly.The break gives me the opportunity to explore some new materials. Actually went back to the whole cloth/painting/thread image idea using a non-woven surface. The surfaces and texture are interesting but detail is getting lost. Maybe i'll put some images up later this weekend.
At some point it will be time to consider the holidays. yikes. Lots to do. is anyone feeling organized and on top of things?

Saturday, November 26, 2005

november 26

it's a gray day, not too cold and raining steadily. I've been cleaning, reorganizing in the studio as i consider what next in the new piece. My studio faces north with nice big windows looking out to the gardens. There's an ancient crab apple tree just off the patio. it's a great place for the bird feeders. Today we had two new visitors at the suet feeders: a white breasted nuthatch and a red squirrel. There aren't many squirrels in our neighborhood. This is the first time i've seen one in the yard.

Unfortunately my studio access has come to a screeching halt as i discovered a leak in a window frame. This means there's a leak in the roof. Not a good thing. M will have to take the trim off the window to begin tracing the leak. Until he's done with all that goes with this mission, i can't work out there. Frustration, annoyance and dismay are the prevailing moods. if the issue is not eaily resolved, i will move a work wall and my machine into the dining room. Meanwhile i can catch up on computer work and maybe even clean the office. ugh. It's adisaster. This room collects all sorts of overflow.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

a month later

It is cold here today, 14 degrees this morning when i ventured out for my haircut appointment, not much warmer at noon when i took a meal down to a neighbor's house. Well, it is mid-November and this is Montana, so no surprises here. The good thing about this time of year is being in studio. Over the years it seems to me that i get most productive as Fall draws to a close, the days get shorter and temperatures colder.
Right now i have two works in process: large pieces, based on the nebulas i've been playing with for the last while. I'm using a lot of Helene Davis's fabrics and working with the idea of "temperature" in color. Am trying to push myself toward hotter colors. It is amusing to see that even the hottest colors i choose are actually very cool tones. When i came home from Houston my intention had been to work whole cloth, using only the stitch to develop the imagery. Well, that bit the dust pretty fast. Maybe next piece.

Friday, October 14, 2005

october 14?

and it has been nearly two months since my last post. What a busy time! The joys of late Summer with camping and gardening, some travel, the catastrophes of the Gulf Coast storms (still going on of course) and all the usual studio challenges. Work shipped out to various shows; Phase 1 of the fundraiser for Hurricane Relief is almost done (still a few pieces to ship); I had my first Canadian Thanksgiving and a wonderful wekend in N. VA.
Right now i am in a hotel room, heading North in a bit for a weekend retreat. Am looking forward to seeing a new landscape and meeting new people. Next week i leave for Houston for ten days. Then i am HOME for a good long while and most of my external committments for the year will be in the past. Perhaps i can get caught up with the blog, with uploading images of new work and sharing the bits and pieces of news.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

august 16

two small pieces, ready to ship out tomorrow. they are monoprints on cotton with stitching, and other media. even though my camera angle is crooked, the pieces are not, and they are moounted on stretched canvas...
it is amazing how long the details take: selecting, documenting and presenting work that is to go out into the world. it is all part of the "job" of course, but wouldn't it benice if the elves showed up to handle these things?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

august 10

from the office: it's been busy and hectic and at times, overwhelming. sounds like real life, doesn't it? The computer has been recalcitrant. Apparently the anti-virus program ate something it didn't like and created some issues. That's all resolved now. The only casualty seems to be that i have lost access to the "Classic" operating system (this is a Mac) and along with that went my bookkeeping records from May 04 through today. Why that set of dates? it may have something to do with the "back-up folders". best case scenario: i take the machine back to the Tech, who may be able to recover the missing system stuff. Worst case: I re-enter all my numbers - an arduous bt not impossible task. [yes i have back-up but it's on paper, not inthe system and i really like being able to compare and project]

from the garden: now that the weather is cooling off a little, the plants are perking up. we still have raspberries and strawberries, are harvesting beans, carrots and cukes, the first red tomato came along earlier this week. There's nothing quite like the tastes of summer.
My perennials are doing well and the hibiscus will flower soon, as will the datura. There will be more color in another few weeks, once we are out of the real heat of summer and once the deadheaded plants get their next fush of bloom.

in the studio: both nebula II and shell game have been accepted to the Houston show and i have a few small pieces to ship off for consideration in NH. I have been focusing on digging out, reorganizing space, re-equipping myself and fiishing up odds and ends. It won't be long before I am ready to start a new piece.
i'm happy to be home for another 6 weeks or so and look forward to getting my hands in the stuff.

Friday, July 15, 2005

july 15

It's Friday night. Sarah and Bob are at rehearsal. Tomorrow is day two of the workshop, so I am having a quiet evening in, with the grandkitties. Today went very well. This group is great fun. Wonderful humor, good color sense, adventurous and responsive. And gift of all gifts: everyone knows their machines, every machine in class is well cared for and therefore, I get to do what I am there to do. Believe me, this makes a difference! Going into tomorrow (when we will be doing free motion work) I can be pretty confident that any technical problems can be easily addressed. I do have my new camera with me. If i remember I'll ask permission to photograph the work and post it here. [i do not usually think of documenting a class while in the middle of it, and will not post pix of students work without permission. so, two things to think about and remember]
Sarah , Bob and I are having a quiet and relaxed family visit in spare moments here and there. I'm here for almost a week and we all three have work to do, so there's not so much pressure to fit things into a tiny amount of time. After tomorrow's class session I'll be free to go to the rehearsals, will help with costume construction and alterations, some set building and general backstage support stuff. Tech theatre is not my forte' but I take instruction well and can follow directions, grin. Unfortunately I will not be here for the performances, but will see the show develop.
and now, a book, and an early bed time.
I've cruised through the ring and enjoyed catching up a little with people's blogs, have cruised through QA and avoided commenting on the current threads of "why blog" and "the list has changed".

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

july 12

...and flying South tomorrow. It will be in the triple digits here, not quite so hot where i am headed. The difference? Here, almost no humidity. South: "pea soup in a zip loc bag", as my daughter says. grin.
i am looking forward to seeing her and her sweetie. We'll have almost a week. I will do a two day workshop while there, help Sarah take down a show at the art center, watch multiple rehearsals for "Picasso at the Lapin Agile" and just relax. Tuesday is Sarah's birthday, Bob's is a week later.
yes, I am packed and almost ready. Leaving home is always difficult though. I really do not like to fly any more. The Bose noise cancellation headphones help a lot! but still.....

What is new here? not much. Have been working on UFOs, finding some satisfaction in picking up unfinished, unresolved work and doing something with it.

The gardens are maintaining; it's that hot in-between phase of the Summer;.
The paperwork has won and i am not quite, but almost ready to declare it the victor.

When i get back i begin another round of Hyalgan/Synvisc for the knee and really need to look at when i can fit in the next surgery. I don't want to!!! Down time is NOT on my list of things to do any time soon. This one will be lengthy.

onward. y'all be good. i'll check in from points South.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

format issues

Blogger has added a photo option. This saves a step but i do not have the formatting figured out yet. So, the text looks squeezed.
maybe i'll get better at this if i practice?

July 9

The last few days Michael has been out of town and Sam has stayed home with me, poor guy. (I'm boring. he has much more interesting adventures with Michael, the center of the Universe. I do take the dog to the river as early as possible. This morning we were out at 6. A light breeze kept the mosqitoes at bay. We saw deer on the far shore, pelikans upriver, herons and eagles scouting their breakfast.
The milkweed is blooming now, a feast for butterflies.

Since I'm not walking much these days we stayed at water's edge and worked on retrieves.

Someone has been rearranging the rocks.
I like the curve.

catching up

two weeks ago I drove down to Cody, WY for a benefit party. A woman in our extended circle had a serious head injury (she fell from a horse); the benefit was to raise money for her aftercare. She has no health insurance and needs constant care as she goes through a long rehabilitation. My friend, Mz. Vic, lives out on the South Fork about 22 miles from town and we stayed with her that night. Here are some views from Vic's house.

Mz. Vic has a passive solar house and a wonderful little garden. Since they put up a 6 foot fence to block the wind and keep the deer out, things are growing well. Here's a shot of Vic and Sam.
Later that evening we drove into town for the dance party. About 700 tickets were sold for the party; there were perhaps 300 people there when I left (9 ish, I turn into a pumpkin if I stay out too late ) It was a lot of fun and a major success. Great music, dancing, a benefit auction. Over $50,000 was raised for the cause. All the food, beverages and music were donated and folks were very generous with their donations and their purchases. The ability of community to come together to help is amazing.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


Originally uploaded by lauracw.
this was last seen"under the needle" a few months ago. it too is ready for the photographer tomorrow. There are a few other pieces to shoot as well, but i'm having trouble with my brain. I've been up since the wee dark hours (well, not really. 4:30 a.m., it's getting light here now.,) but i am tired and done for the day. perhaps tomorrow afternoon i'll get the other digitals uploaded.


Originally uploaded by lauracw.
the final version. it's ready for the slide shoot tomorrow.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

still the 18th

amazing, two posts in one day.
first, apologies? acknowledgements? to those readers who have posted comments here. I don't always respond. please forgive.
your interest is noted and appreciated.
my time is -shall we say, limited?- anyway, there are not enough hours in the day to keep up everywhere. YOU ARE GREAT!
thank you.

what i did today:
framed and packed two pieces to ship on Monday to a gallery far from here. After almost two years away from working with showing and galleries and juried shows etc. it is time to jump back in, i think. This invitation came out of the blue... we'll see how it goes.
In support of the above: found framing, assembled same, did the paperwork, purchased new mouse as the old one was being recalcitrant, tried the new camera.
blocked the new piece but have not bound it. need to do that tomorrow for slides Monday.
the day is GONE. and really, i do not feel there is much to show for it. sigh. everything takes such a long time to do. whine. moan. okay, back to work now.
more later.

June 18

Originally uploaded by lauracw.
Here's a detail of the work on the wall. today this piece wil be finished, it has to be. Monday is the slide shoot and then i'll be able to post a photo of the whole piece - i have trouble with keystoning when i take shots of large work.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

June 16

Well it happened again. i wrote a long post and did not save the thing before reviewing it. Where did it go? Can i get it back?
rhetorical questions.
The Rooted in Tradition Art Quilt Symposium sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum was incredible. I am pleased and honored to have participated and to have a piece in the collection. The weekend was great. A lot of organizations and many people worked together to create an event which ran smoothly and provided much food for thought. My brain is still tired. It will be a while before I process some of the provocative and interesting ideas.
Hospitality couldn't have been better (my hosts were wonderful and their other house guest was a person I had long admired.) Event details seemed carefully considered, from the shuttles between events and sites to the info and reminders about caring for oneself at high elevations. The primary speakers and panel discussions were well considered and very interesting. [the only drawback in my opinion was that there were concurrent sessions, making it necessary to choose. That's always a sacrifice of sorts.)
There were several wonderful exhibits on view in adition to the New RMQM Permanent Collection of Art Quilts (installed at at the Foothills Art Center). Lots of interesting work to see and think about. The RMQM exhibit is fantastic. It will travel, there are five venues booked already. The catalogue is beautifully designed, with good color, excellent writing and wonderful coverage of the art. [It is available through the RMQM. I'll try to remember to post details later.)
All in all, a fantastic time even though I stayed up too late, had too much fun, too many interesting conversations and am still trying to sort it all out. Meanwhile the paperwork is piling up (it multiplies when left alone), the studio is a wreck (work is getting done there= a good sign), the gardens are shaping up (i weed, deadhead and thin when a studio break is needed).
onward. enjoy the day.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

June 1

Ft. Collins, Colorado.
today was a driving day, quiet, uneventful, totally alone. It felt so luxurious to pack my own pillow, extra shoes and things i know i won't need. Generally when i travel, i am so limited in what i can pack and must give precedence to workshop and lecture materials. not this time! I have extra stuff! and my own pillow! and lots of handwork and books! such indulgence.

I left home at 9 am, and arrived here at 5:15. two stops on the way in friendly but windy Wyoming towns. The country is as lush as it ever gets with lovely greens, especially in the northern part of the state. Watching the land unfold is such drama. There's new snow in the Bighorn Mountains,the stark white is in high contrast to the cerulean blue skies and deep green grasses. shadowed areas are almost black. Lots of antelope out and about, a few deer. Too many dead racoons. The animals don't deal well with the highway.
Ft. Collins is home to Colorado State University, and even though classes are out, the university presence is distinct. i ate supper in Old Town, (it was close to 80 degrees! summer weather) sat outside and watched people for an hour. mostly 40 something couples, hand in hand, lots of student age folks, some young families. Now i'm in my hotel room for the night, have correspondence to catch up with, some hand work to do, or escapist reading now, there's a thought. Tomorrow i have a leisurely morning, then down to the Boulder area where i am spending the weekend in conjunction with the Art Quilt Symposium at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum.

One notable aspect of the drive: When i got close to Casper WY, i was able to pick up NPR again, and that station had BBC news. Now, those of you living in metropolitan areas are accustomed to this perhaps, but i do not get BBC in my local NPR programming (at least, not in the hours when i listen.) It was so refreshing to hear IN DEPTH discussion of newsworthjy events instead of just bits and bites. And also today, the end of an era for those of us of a certain age: "Deep Throat" is no longer anonymous, Who would have thought...

Thursday, May 26, 2005

may 26

Today is, unofficially, the beginning of a long weekend. At my house, this means that Michael and sam will head to our mountain acreage this afternoon, tomorrow morning or as soon as Michael is organized. This will be the first weekend up there since last Fall. It's still too early for me [i like to be warm at night. The place sits at 6200 feet elevation. Spring comes late in the high country.] I will have 3-4 days of uninterupted time.

Yesterday i finished planting the pots and containers, set the remaining seedlings out and put in sunflower seeds. Today the morning glories and nastursiums go in and that's all the planting until Fall. Still lots of grass to pull out of the flower beds, a few weeds here and there but it is shaping up. Well, I might need some new herbs... grin.
Beads, fabric, paper, threads, nice pens, plants, how many obsessions can one person have???
I have begun stitching on the new piece and will spend the morning in studio, then clean the house, ugh, and then the garden for a while. it's good to have a plan, we'll see what comes along.
enjoy your day, however you are spending it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

may 24

already??? i got home from Cedar Lakes Friday night. My luggage arrived Saturday. My brain is still in transit. Alas, no tracking number. If you want a quiet, affordable retreat, Cedar Lakes is great. They have a year round program with various offerings, everything from blacksmithing to felting to painting, quilting of course, and much more. It's a state owned facility, non-profit, in a lovely location. It was exactly what I needed last week. The people in my workshop were wonderful and did great work. No photographs though, either the camera got left in my room or I chose not to carry it due to the weather.
Since getting home I have been planting, weeding and slowly catching up. The remaining work from Dreaming the Garden shipped back to the artists Monday. Today I began selecting for the COLOR show I am curating for Mary McCrae's gallery. There's a piece in process on the work wall. It is at an awkward adolescent phase and isn't sure what it wants to be when it grows up.
Our snow on the 11th didn't do much damage. Some broken branches in the lilacs and that's about it. Michael has begun cutting those tall ancient bushes back by a third. It looks awful.
and that's all i can think of right now.
There's a new blog on the ring, I think the writer's name is Caitie and she lives down under. It is witty and intelligent writing. great fun.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

may 15

Cedar Lakes Retreat Center, West Virginia
This is such a quiet peaceful place. It is a lush landscape, very different from where I live. The trees are in full leaf but I think I missed the flowering dogwood and other early bloomers. These are old hills, soft, rounded. The country has a closed-in feeling. When I was in grad school in SE Ohio, not far from here, really, this closed-in feeling was bothersome. I never knew quite where I was on the planet. Having grown up on tidewater and then living in the open West [Big Sky!] for the past 30+ years, I am most at home in a landscape that has a wide view.
Today the isolation these hills create is welcome.
This will be a retreat week for me, even though I am here to work. There's no internet access in my room (this is a borrowed office, how much access i will have this week is not known), no studio needing to be cleaned and organized, no paperwork i can possibly get done.
My job is to be here, now, in this moment and only that. My workshop begins tomorrow. It will be good. It always is a treat to meet new people and share days of working with color and cloth, sharing ideas, tools and information. People are wonderful. My "off time" however, will be dedicated to personal restoration. [Sorta sounds like a building in need of repair, eh? not a bad metaphor. In this case, it's the foundation that needs repair.] This is almost a summer camp environment. Although i cannot control the menu, i can walk a lot, watch birds and weather, relearn this landscape, soak up whatever there is for me to learn here. It's going to be a great week.
Next week i will be back in my own studio and office. there will be photos to share and whatever insights gained as well.
have a great week.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

May 12

We did indeed have 6 inches of snow. It is still falling but is lighter and drier now. Today will be a good day for staying in and getting my "do list" handled. I am behind on a number of things, including writing, have come to a stalled point with the new piece on the work wall and must finish packing for the week at Cedar Lakes. I am looking forward to this trip.

enjoy the day.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

may 11

may 11
Originally uploaded by lauracw.
may 11, billings MT.
what else is there to say?


Originally uploaded by lauracw.

grape hyacinths

grape hyacinths
Originally uploaded by lauracw.

more lilacs

more lilacs
Originally uploaded by lauracw.


Originally uploaded by lauracw.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

may 10

It's a gray, drippy morning. I walked along the Yellowstone earlier with Sam, the golden wonder pup. The river is running high and muddy now. All the moisture in the high country two weeks ago, followed by a few warm days, has the Spring melt-off started. Yesterday we walked along the river a short ways then circled a pond. The yellowhead blackbirds are back and nesting. Redwings get here earlier. The two species share habitat. Each male stakes out his territory and prepares for nesting. The females show up later. Right now the air is full of song and territorial calls. The musical variety is amazing.
There were little yellow fluffball goslings and the adults, a few ducklings with parents, a large heron with its prehistoric caw.

Today we watched a family of geese cross the river. The adults bracket the clutch of young ones, keeping everyone together and I assume, navigating the currents. Sam is very interested in the waterfowl (he should be, it's his job) but he is well mannered and knows he's not to chase them, or deer. Squirrels are another story altogether. He can't help himself, they need to be chased. He knows which trees they hang out in and near. When we walk in squirrel neighborhoods, he's looking up into the trees; a dog just never knows and he has to watch. It's a hoot. Have you ever seen a 96 pound dog try to climb a tree? If you talk to him about "squirrels", instant whiplash, his head goes up and he's looking for them.
ah well, I'll take my humor where I find it.

Today is for clearing up loose ends and preparing for next week. i need to pack my class supplies and figure out a minimal wardrobe. I am looking forward to seeing mid-may in West Virginia. Much as I love it here in the West, I miss the lushness of Eastern Spring.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

may 7

This morning I have been catching up with correspondence (still a long way to go!) and working on an email newletter, "Idea to Image". It's a permission based set up, so if you are interested, sign up to the right.

Yesterday I planted the pots and containers that flank the steps and add color spots here and there. Also put in some replacement perennials (lungwort and pincushion flowers). Today it is raining softly, and cool, perfect for getting new plants off to a good start. After this is written and I update my website (the server is busy) it will be time to get into the studio. finally. There's a lot of work to do, spreading the energy around gets to be a trick.
enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

may 4

and the day has dissolved. Spent the morning at the clinic (more on that later), have been working on the new piece, now it's lunch break.
Our weather is warming up, clear and sunny and dry again. I will need to get water on the perennials before i leave for Cedar Lakes late next week. The tulips, daffodils, hyacinth, and vinca are still holding their flowers. Lilacs about to open. Crab apple blossoms dropping but the air is still fragrant. We didn't lose anything to the freezes last week, but did have some branches broken by the heavy snow.
the piece in process began as rock strata and is built of layers of hand dyes (from Helene Davis, she's wonderful) gelatin prints (moi, it's addictive), and patchwork pieced silk ties (a therapeutic process: cutting, sewing, cutting ad infintum). Today when i got home at noon, i wasn't happy with how the thing looked, turned it on its side and liked it more, especially after slicing it in thirds. i don't know what it is about how i work but this need to white out paint, cut up and rearrange sections of fabric add, subtract, add subtract seem essential to me. so on it goes.

as for the clinic, i have once again strained muscles and ligaments. This time it's a result of heavy luggage and too much lifting of same. (The first time it was a result of 8 weeks on crutches plus one week in an oversized wheel chair on carpeted floors). All my luggage piggy-back and has wheels and none of it is heavier than i can lift. However this last trip i had airports with trams to take the passenger to/from the rental car areas and those trams do not have ramps. Plus they have racks where the luggage is supposed to go = lifting of several bags all about 40 pounds, repeatedly. I'm not quite 5'2", travel alone and have this need to "do it myself". i'm gonna have to modify my behaviour.

I thought that muscle strain was the problem and wanted advice on how to treat it since this is going on three weeks now and it hurts to breathe. Off to the walk-in branch of our clinic. All my vitals were fine, my whole history is right there on the computer but since the pain is *chest pain* they have to rule out every nasty possibility. *My symptoms are/were very much like those of heart attack in women.*

Good news: i have a heart! it works very well. I am, as the PA said "disgustingly healthy". [i knew that] the blood work was clean, heart lungs, liver kidneys, all systems just fine. A very long history of low low blood pressure, low low cholesterol, reasonably active, reasonably fit.
Diagnoses: inflamation around the sternum. Prescription for serious anti-inflamatory, a pain med (i won't take it), rest, relax (HAH), *!ask for help!* with the heavy stuff. yeah right. Check with my primary care Doc before traveling again (next week).

So, why am i telling you all of this? It is way too much information. The thing is that symptoms of heart trouble in women are very different from symptoms of heart troubles in men, and many people do not know this. The PA told me this morning that they often see women over 50, with no risk factors and "feeling not quite right" symptoms who turn out to be either in the middle of an episode or recovering from a recent "silent" attack.

yes it's expensive and a nuisance to keep our medical care up to date and we don't want to be paranoid or hyperchondriacal, but we do need to be well informed. I felt very foolish having all those tests, but admit to a sense of reassurance that i am indeed as healthy as i like to think i am. grin.
I am also taking this as a wake-up call to be less of a super woman and learn to ask for help instead of taking on too much. wish me luck with that one. i have a long history of independence.
it's time to go back to work.
enjoy this lovely day!
p.s. a different sort of caution: there are several new computer virii/worms out there. Some of them spoof sender addresses, some look like they are coming from a real place, they might say "password attached" or "account information" or "here it is!" Be careful if you use Windows, make sure your virus definitions are up to date. Do not open these .zip attachments.

Friday, April 29, 2005

april 29

It is somewhat disconcerting how quickly this month has flown. Between the 10 days away, concerns for family members, and the yearning to be out in the gardens getting my hands dirty, I've felt distracted and somewhat at odds with myself. I have almost finished the nebula piece, it needs an edge of some sort and am working with the mono prints. nothing major but picking away. And every time I start feeling really at odds, I clean something! How's that for a coping device. Honestly, it's about the only time serious housework gets done around here -big grin.

Lately on the big mail list i read daily, there's been yet another discussion of the chasm between so called "art" and so called "traditional" in quilting. Having no background as a traditional quilter, it is not easy for me to understand the issues from that side. Having a long background in the so-called "fine arts" I really do not like the phrase "art quilt". It feels somewhat pretentious and silly to me. I never heard a painter say "oh, I'm not a traditional painter, I am an art painter".

I do remember when clay was in transition from always being considered "craft" (that is, a medium for utilitarian objects). Ceramicists stopped calling themselves "Potters" and began referring to their work as sculptural. These days there is little confusion about clay objects that are "craft" and those that are "art" whether they are functional or not.

When I was in graduate school, in Painting, we had a phrase: "Hardening of the categories causes art dis-ease." I think that all this arguing and posturing can serve as a defense mechanism and as a way to avoid looking deeply at one's work and making the hard assessments that we need to make in order to grow.

Ironically, the panel discussion I have been assigned to at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum Symposium in June is titled "What is the Art Quilt?". There are challenges ahead. more grins here. I'm on record as having said we need to lose the "quilt" word - For many of us, quilting is part of what we do to make our work but the work is not defined as the results of that stitch. I am also on record as a great admirer of the artfulness of many traditional quilts.
I do not think that the use of time honored pattern prevents something from being art. Neither do i think that "originality' equals art. There is a lot of very bad original work out there and i have made quite a bit myself. The fact that it is original doesn't save it or change its quality. Maybe the person who said "I don't know what art is, but i know it when i see it." had it spot on, eh?

ah well, this is what happens when i am avoiding the work wall. back to it.
enjoy the weekend!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

april 19

home again home again

got in late Sunday night from points East, totally wiped out. These trips where work life and personal life combine can be wearing. The workshops etc. went very well in the DC area; visits with friends were great. being in the Tidewater country was wonderful, it is home in important ways. Seeing extended family was satisfying, reminding me of deep connections.

It was warm here Sunday night when i got in. Last evening the rain began at about 7 pm. Sometime later it turned to heavy wet snow. The moisture is great but comes with side effects. We lost power at about 3 am. Since the trees and shrubs are leafing out, they hold all the snow and some can't handle the extra weight. I think that a lot of trees are weakened by the extended drought and this makes branches more susceptible to breakage.
It is raining again now and more snow predicted for tonight. If that happens, we will have a lot more branches and trees down and will likely lose power again as the falling limbs take out power lines.
I did enjoy the quiet today but must confess I like living with electricity [grin]. I cut cloth, did some hand work, a little cleaning and tidying up. In a way, i was sorry to have the power come back on.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

april 14

morning. groggy but slept much better last night. Breakfast with a sister this morning, then off to DC again.
it's another clear and lovely morning. Hoping to get some time on the river before heading to the other shore where traffic seems worse to me than in LA. That is saying quite a bit. Maybe the difference is infrastructure, Western cities being built around the automobile, Eastern cities having had to retrofit. Anyway, I have lived in the quiet states so long, i am no longer suited for all the bustle here. My filters don't work and i get over saturated so quickly. I need to build in some very very quiet time before the big family do Saturday afternoon. There will be 25 or so people (i am looking forward to seeing all of them), but it could get intense.
off for a walk. enjoy the day.

april 13

well, a day later than i thought i'd be but here we are. Am sitting in a hotel room, watching the sunset over the Choptank River. I am on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, heading back to DC tomorrow, then back down here Friday night, home to Montana late Sunday.
Elle was correct: The cherry blossoms were awesome. it seems they peaked Friday afternoon. DC is beautiful this time of year. so much color! And it is lovely here on the TIdewater. Everything is blooming except the magnolias, they are a few weeks away. The air is full of birdsong and the breezes off the river are wonderful. I love being here.

Pamdora asked about the book:" Inspiring Creativity". It will not be available through Amazon or mainstream distributors for another several months. If you want a copy, go to my website, ordering instructions are on my contact page. It's a great anthology on living creatively, IMO, there's something for everyone.

It is possible that i will go to the National Gallery tomorrow to see the Andy Goldsworthy installation, assuming i can find my way, and parking. First i have to leave the Shore at a reasonable hour. The traffic issues in this part of the world have changed a lot since i lived here. It's slightly intimidating.

The workshops went really well. What a great group of people. They were all fiber artists but most of them were weavers, spinners and not particulary quilters. The things they did in our time together were more 3 dimensional than i usually get to see and it was great. Off hours adventures the last few days have included a serious shopping trip to a Japanese Dollar Store in Northern VA; expeditions to major junk stores in the same neighborhood with a wizard "finder of great stuff"; antiquing and junk storing with my mother and a sister, both hunters and gatherers of the first order. I managed some good scores including vintage hats for the sister and an antique crazy quilt for my youngest brother's birthday. I thought about keeping it but when i saw the look on his face was happy i had gifted it to him.
and that's all i know right now.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

april 13

well, a day later than i thought i'd be but here we are. Am sitting in a hotel room, watching the sunset over the Choptank River. I am on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, heading back to DC tomorrow, then back down here Friday night, home to Montana late Sunday.
Elle was correct: The cherry blossoms were awesome. it seems they peaked Friday afternoon. DC is beautiful this time of year. so much color! And it is lovely here on the TIdewater. Everything is blooming except the magnolias, they are a few weeks away. The air is full of birdsong and the breezes off the river are wonderful. I love being here.

Pamdora asked about the book:" Inspiring Creativity". It will not be available through Amazon or mainstream distributors for another several months. If you want a copy, go to my website, ordering instructions are on my contact page. It's a great anthology on living creatively, IMO, there's something for everyone.

It is possible that i will go to the National Gallery tomorrow to see the Andy Goldsworthy installation, assuming i can find my way, and parking. First i have to leave the Shore at a reasonable hour. The traffic issues in this part of the world have changed a lot since i lived here. It's slightly intimidating.

The workshops went really well. What a great group of people. They were all fiber artists but most of them were weavers, spinners and not particulary quilters. The things they did in our time together were more 3 dimensional than i usually get to see and it was great. Off hours adventures the last few days have included a serious shopping trip to a Japanese Dollar Store in Northern VA; expeditions to major junk stores in the same neighborhood with a wizard "finder of great stuff"; antiquing and junk storing with my mother and a sister, both hunters and gatherers of the first order. I managed some good scores including vintage hats for the sister and an antique crazy quilt for my youngest brother's birthday. I thought about keeping it but when i saw the look on his face was happy i had gifted it to him.
and that's all i know right now.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

busy busy day

after all my avoidance techniques were exhausted, i finally finished the packing for my trip. Lots of workshop supplies of course, a sufficient wardrobe [i pared it way down.] reading and writing materials and all my electronic gear.
When i reviewed my notes and images for Saturday's lecture, i realized that i don't have slides of the newest work. That is a side effect of my self imposed moratorium on shows and galleries. Last January i severed my gallery contracts and resolved to take at least a full year without actively exhibiting. I felt that my work might be getting flabby as a result of having so many deadlines and always having to watch the calendar for gallery rotations etc. The only way to test this was to take time off. I did, and now need to decide if I will go back. Certainly i should enter a couple of the big shows this year, but i don't know about the gallery dance.
Anyway, i haven't needed slides and haven't had them made.
Therefore, am taking my digital projector with me instead of a carousel of slides. They are the same size and almost the same weight. It's the cords that add bulk and nuisance.

The other thing i did today was ship out the first round of books! My first box of "Inspiring Creativity" arrived today and i shipped all the orders to date. Michael will be glad HE doesn't have to deal with it The book looks great. It feels good to be a part of this project. Now i know what i'm reading on the planes tomorrow. grin.

It's lovely Spring here and Elle says that I'm hitting DC in time for wonderful cherry blossoms. Can't wait!
dont't know what my internet access will be between now and Tuesday, but i'll be back. Tuesday at the latest.
enjoy the weekend!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

april 5

It's a beautiful Spring day here, not too warm but green and blooming. We had a little rain last night and that has helped a lot.
I'm headed to DC and Maryland at the end of the week (Potomac Craftsmen workshop followed by a family visit). I'm sure the cherry trees will be lovely and I am really looking forward to being in Tidewater Country again.

Instead of dealing with all the last minute things, like packing clothes, I've been updating my website.
I have added a few new images, still need to update the front page and links [if you would like to trade links, go to the contact page on the website.]

*MSN has apparently been bouncing a lot of my mail! I hope we have it figured out, but if you have sent me a message and NOT gotten a personal response, please try again.

Sometimes it's really hard to pack up for an extended trip. I fly early Friday morning and still need to figure out wardrobe essentials. I keep thinking i need a "uniform". HAH. what i really need is a management team, people that make certain i am where i need to be, when i need to be there, with all the support materials i require. Then they would handle the transportation and lodging issues, make sure i always had cold drinking water and comfort food. This past Summer, i had two trips in a row where *someone* neglected to pack my shampoo.
It's possible that i am finally past the issue of thinking that if i only had the right luggage, life would be easier. I now have all the combinations that work for me for various types of trips. I can pack for two weeks including four different workshops and still handle the bags myself. That is very important (since the management team hasn't shown up yet.)
The next big challenge in the traveling life is to come up with an extra three days both the week before a trip and the week after.
okay, enough of this, it's time to put supper in the oven and get my correspondence caught up.

OH! helpful domestic tip for those who are in the market for such things:
My spouse and i have a newish routine and it is working very well. Three nights a week, he does dinner, three nights a week I do dinner. The other night, we usually "forage'. Whoever has dinner duty does it ALL: planning, shopping, preparing and cleaning up. [this allows for use of leftovers and also eating out - it is all up to the one whose turn it is.]
We established this routine at the Holidays and it has helped me immensely. Now if we could extend it to other household chores... sigh.


Originally uploaded by lauracw.
as far as i know, this little piece is on its way home from the Miniature Textiles Show in Ocean Park, NJ. it will be nice to see it again.

blue spiral

blue spiral
Originally uploaded by lauracw.
the embroidery was unearthed last nightwhile i was looking for something else. I finished it this morning. It was an experiment with stitching on sheers.

river rock

river rock
Originally uploaded by lauracw.
one of the new pieces. It might need some beads, or other embellishments but i like the textures in the print.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

springing forward

We need to remember to change the clocks. This is one of the few days in the year when the phrase "It's later than you think." has real meaning. Doesn't it feel self indulgent to have stayed in bed a whole hour longer than usual?
big grins on this end of the keyboard.
It's a bright sunshiney morning and promises to be a warm day. I have some business to tend to here at the computer and all the standard household issues to deal with and then am spending the day in studio. Yesterday i did manage to create lists and piles in preparation for packing for the trip east. Surely that is enough for a few days?
M promises to get the pump running so the perennial beds can get a drink. We have a well for the yard and gardens, but every Spring the pump seems to require a little help to get going for the season. It's too early to put vegetables or annuals in here in Montana. The garlic gets put in in late Summer and is doing well and onions and potatoes went in last week. Everything else has to wait until after the last frost.
The painted pieces i did last wekend have been rearranging themselves on the wall. A few seem almost complete as is; some want stitching; others want to go together in strips and blocks. So far there's nothing worth photographing.
enjoy the day!

Saturday, April 02, 2005

April 2

already??? how did this happen? they say time flies whether you are having fun or not. it's a true story.
Friday i fly away to points East. Teaching in DC, visits with friends, my mother's big birthday. Four out of six siblings will be there. I have a hotel panned for the most intense part of the visit.
okay. the luggage is out and being staged. supplies are being gathered. the necessary paprework assembled and i only need another month or so. the good news, i'll be seeing Rayna on Friday! hooray!
In the gardens: daffodils, crocus, hyacinths making buds, the first periwinkle (vinca), and i spotted buds on the bergenia. but it is dust dry. It's too early to tell what perennials i've lost to drought this year.
I will have the first box of "Inspiring Creativity" Thursday, so can ship out before leaving in the wee hours Friday. sigh of relief.
If you are interested, see my web site for ordering info.

what else? big messes in the studio . Cathy, your mess is minor (grin).
Still have not filed taxes, probably need to file an extension. New work in process though. i find it easier to come home if there's something on the wall that i am interested in, so i try to get a piece to a point where i know what has to happen next and can't wait to get to it. All the transitions of traveling need to be faked out sometimes.
back to the packing. enjoy the weekend.

Monday, March 28, 2005


All the snow is melted, the sun is out and the colors in the garden are starting to get really good. The forsythia and the first daffodils opened yesterday. One more snow??? we'll see.
Thursday we drove up to Chico Hot Springs (near Yellowstone Park). The morning drive was not good as the roads were slushy, lots of cars and four wheel drive vehicles in the ditch. Coming home the next afternoon was totally different.
Along the way i noticed the color coming up in the osiers along the river, and the first sandhill cranes are back!
Saturday in the studio was great. i felt focused for the first time in a while and really had a good time painting.
posted below are some results, interspersed with a few finished pieces.
It is all out of sequence, sorry. [i have a lot to learn about this blogging. For example, where should i respond to comments? in the comments section, privately, or here on the "front page' of the blog? what are the protocals i need to know? TIA for any helpful hints.]
enjoy this day!

under the needle

under the needle
Originally uploaded by lauracw.

after a good long time of painting, i went back to this nebula piece. Maybe i can get it finished this week. It's way out of my comfort zone in terms of color, contrast and so forth. Using the sheers and the angelina fibers in it was fun though.

the mess

the mess
Originally uploaded by lauracw.

sometimes it's worse.


Originally uploaded by lauracw.

stitching on a small piece of the painted fabric. i do not like wool batts.

on the wall2

on the wall2
Originally uploaded by lauracw.

and more of the same

on the wall

on the wall
Originally uploaded by lauracw.

Saturday was the best studio day i've had in a long time. Lots of paint on fabric, experimenting with different combinations of extender, medium and pigment in order to get a consistency that leaves the hand of the fabric soft.

river morning 2

river morning 2
Originally uploaded by lauracw.

Sunrise on the Yellowstone.


Originally uploaded by lauracw.

About this time last year... and again, a combination of things.

winter morn2

winter morn2
Originally uploaded by lauracw.

Made last Winter, this piece combines a number of approaches to image, surface and "stuff".

Thursday, March 24, 2005

"inspiring creativity"

inspiring creativity cover
Originally uploaded by lauracw.
The anthology is now at the printers! I'm hoping to have my copies before my trip East in April.

another view of the lambs

Originally uploaded by lauracw.
here they are in the studio, just before we sent them off into the world.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

it's official!

Wednesday afternoon and i think, i hope, i have the code worked out on the template for this adventure. Artful Quilters Web Ring info is where it should be and seems to work. Mary, Diane, thanks for the help! (and please let me know if i still need to fix things).
It is snowing here, a good thing as we have had so much dry dry weather. Still I want sunshine too. oh well. I'll take the moisture while i can. The flowers will be so much happier. The forsythia outside the studio door is just about to flower. When i was in grad school in SouthEast Ohio there was folk wisdom that said the forsythia bloomed a week before the last snow of the season. For as long as i have kept track, that prediction has held. I'll let you know.
Tonight is the final class in a series of three that i have been teaching locally. It will be interesting to see what everyone has done in the last month. I'll try to remeber to take the camera. Then it will be a good thing if i remember to take photos.
Back to work. I have prep and packing to do for tonight, my website is in desperate need of updating and there's a small mountain of paperwork i would just as soon ignore but will not.
enjoy the afternoon.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The view

The view
Originally uploaded by lauracw.
this is one of the views from our cabin site in the Crazy Mountains, Meagher County, Montana. It's at about 6200 feet elevation, the end of the road (road? what road?) and absolutely beautiful.

Colts and sam

Colts and sam
Originally uploaded by lauracw.

In 2003 I did a pair of colts for the Horse! of Course project. Sam was not amused.


the donation piece is finished, shipped. i wish it well. One of the difficult issues was working with fabrics chosen by another person. It was, for me, an unlikely color and pattern combination and challenging indeed.
Between the two projects, the lambs were the more arduous and obtrusive, the wall quilt the more difficult.
But they are both done! and now i can turn my attention to other things.
I am sewing my Spring travel clothes and finishing up a large nebula piece, begun months ago i think.


cc full
Originally uploaded by lauracw.
28.5"h x 42"w
made for the Pilgrim/Roy Challenge to benefit the MAQS

Originally uploaded by lauracw.
detail, crosscurrent

Monday, March 21, 2005


The first full day of Spring! It's a bright sunny morning. The birds are really active, doing their nesting dances and announcing to all the world that it's that time of year again . If it warms up enough, i'll clear more mulch from the perennial beds outside the studio window. The peonies are up! Last Fall i divided and trannsplanted an ancient peony that was not blooming well anymore due to change in shade patterns in the garden. I got five plantings from it, put it in a sunnier spot and have high hopes for the blooms this year.
This morning I am catching up on loose ends, paperwork and so forth. Will take the MAQS piece to FedEx after a bit and then, therapy sewing the rest of the morning. In process is a loose jacket from a Kayla Kennington pattern. Her modular pieces allow for fun combinations of fabrics and stitches (and beads!) The garments travel well and layer beautifully. I'll be in DC and Maryland this time next month; it will be fun to have something new to wear.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Originally uploaded by lauracw.
Sam and the lambs

flight path

flight path
Originally uploaded by lauracw.
an example of studio work from the past two years. This is Flight Path, currently touring with Bernina, and featured on the cover of Quilting Arts Magazine, Fall 2003


Saturday, and finally feeling a sense of relief. Major deadlines have been met or are about to. The lambs are out of here, finished, delivered, accepted. I have my studio space back! hoooray. This was my third project involving life size fiberglass animals. Two years ago it was a pair of colts for the Horse! of course project, the next year was one colt for Easter Seals in Sheridan WY. This year, a pair of lambs for Bighorn Magic. I think I'm done for a while.
I'm actually sewing a binding and sleeve on a wall piece for the 2006 Pilgrim/Roy MAQS Challenge ( an auction fundraiser for the MAQS, organized by Gerald Roy). i don't remember the last time i actually put a binding on a quilt - all the work has been very small the last months. It's time to start working large again I think.
Maybe I can figure out how to get photos on the blog in the next few days.
meanwhile, the recent colder weather hasn't hurt the early blooms in the gardens. still, i'd like some warm temperatures again soon.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

March 16

A blog. oh my. among the things i never anticipated choosing to do - and here we are .
It's a windy day but not cold. The crocus survived the snow that began Saturday . It never amounted to much, but the radical drop in temperatures might have caused damage to blossoms and leaves. That does not appear to have happened. The forsythia outside the studio door is making buds as is the ancient crabapple tree the woodpeckers nest in. The color when it shows will be so welcome!
The public art project is due to be delivered tomorrow and the MAQS donation piece is nearly done. A sigh of relief is in order. I am looking forward to getting back to my own work. Three more weeks in studio then a teaching trip to the DC area.