Thursday, May 31, 2007

Speak River

For Photo Thursday on Create a Connection, we're supposed to show summer water. Here is a photo from last summer, the small river that my husband played in while a child in Amherst,NY.

Also, for Poetry Thursday, the completely and totally optional prompt is: River, so here is a poem I wrote about rivers.

Speak River
By Julie Zaccone Stiller

To speak river,
one must
be able to:
burble unselfconsciously,
keep up with the flow of conversation effortlessly,
part ways around obstructions unceasingly,
move one's point forward tirelessly,
and merge with the other participants finally,
finally in the sea.

To listen river,
one must
be able to:
open up and listen with more than one's ears.

Treasure Found

I'm still sorting through my many boxes of mixed-up and jumbled fabrics. Two of the big trunk-sized containers are from my grandma's stash. Quite a bit of it is table linens. Don't know if I can take the step of using those (dyed vintage linens are so beautiful!) in anything. Maybe I'll just wash them and stick them in the china cabinet for when we have a really fancy dinner.
Besides the table linens there is a lot of silk and upholstery fabrics. She (and my Col. granfather and mom and aunt), lived in post-war Japan for a while, and there are a lot of treasures that I've been holding onto.

First up is this upholstery fabric, isn't it gorgeous? A nice heavy weight, and I just love how the "wrong" side looks. If those horizontal threads weren't kinda loose, I'd use that as a contrast look. I'm thinking there is enough for a cropped jacket. If not, pillows I suppose.

Here are several silks, one has stripes, but they all three go together quite well. I'm considering a rustly skirt. You know one of those skirts that you would hear your mom coming down the hall in, and then the babysitter would show up, and your parents would go out to a party.

Lastly, here is a very thick silk panel. I'm thinking of just arranging a hanging device and sticking it up on the wall. It is almost too beautiful to cut up or do anything with. I may have to cut it along that fold though, as it has been folded up for a very long time and may be permanent. If I use it for anything, I'll be sure to share it with you.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Infamous Proust

For Getting to Know You on Create a Connection,
paintergirl, has us answering:

The Infamous Proust Questionnaire

* Your most marked characteristic?

* The quality you most like in a man?

* The quality you most like in a woman?

* What do you most value in your friends?

* What is your principle defect?
Being forgetful :(

* What is your favorite occupation?
Making stuff

* What is your dream of happiness?
No pain anymore, freedom to travel in a grand style (ie a staff!) and good wine and chocolate.

* What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes?
To have my family perish all at once.

* What would you like to be?
A successful, prolific artist

* In what country would you like to live?
The United States

* What is your favorite color?
Really true purple

* What is your favorite flower?

* What is your favorite bird?
Polish Chicken

* Who are your favorite prose writers?
Barbara Kingsolver, Isabel Allende, Elizabeth Cunningham, Margaret Atwood, Kurt Vonnegut, Sherri Tepper, Neil Gaiman, Stephen King

* Who are your favorite poets?
ee cummings, Marge Piercy, Walt Whitman, William Carlos William

* Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

* Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?

* Who are your favorite composers?
Mozart, Aaron Copland, Handel

* Who are your favorite painters?
Frida Kahlo, Salvador Dali, Georgia O'Keeffe, Gustav Klimt

* Who are your heroes in real life?
That are people I know of: Jane Goodall, Kurt Vonnegut
That I know personally: My parents, some of my teachers, several teachers my kids have had over the years.

* Who are your favorite heroines of history?
Rachel Carson, Marie Curie, Molly Pitcher

* What are your favorite names?
Ruth, Rose, Lucy and Oliver, Gray, Vittorio

* What is it you most dislike?
Being misunderstood

* What historical figures do you most despise?

* What event in military history do you most admire?

* What reform do you most admire?
The establishment of the United Nations, not what it has become, but what it was intended to accomplish.

* What natural gift would you most like to possess?
Ability to Fly would be pretty damn cool.

* How would you like to die?
Packed for a trip I'm about to take, in my favorite chair, just like my grandma did. And not for a loooong time thankyouverymuch

* What is your present state of mind?
Tired of answering all these questions, but glad that I did!

* To what faults do you feel most indulgent?
Eating too much good chocolate

* What is your motto?
Currently it is: Do It Anyways

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Indoor Environment

For selfportrait challenge in June, we're to show ourselves interacting with the beginning of summer (or winter) environment. Here I am resting up, with windows and doors open. Letting the outside IN. I Love that about our new bedroom. Having two windows and the big french doors makes it a room of light which is just wonderful to hang out in.

A pillow, now covered

This was a wedge-shaped pillow that I recently covered. Just randomly sewing together squares and rectangles without measuring, squaring up, or trying to match seams or corners. I think it turned out pretty well, and I like how it looks current even though it is from 70's batik-y kinda fabric.
Maybe kristen will recognize it? Her mom gave me the fabrics a few years ago when we met up at the very first Chicago Quilt Fest. The squares were in some stash she was giving away when she was moving. They were wrapped up with some upholstery fabrics which I was perusing for an ottoman I'm in the process of recovering.

Those squares already cut out and too tempting when I ran across them while sorting my stash. I must have some OCD thing about sewing together squares that I run across.
Like it is a compulsion I can no longer control.
Squares, cut out, just waiting to be resewn into something new.
Just an easiness, no challenge, no pressure, and I like how it comes out in the end..

Friday, May 25, 2007

Do It Anyways

To remind me of my new motto is "Do It Anyways", I made myself this bracelet. It seems to be working pretty well to keep me going when I feel like giving up and taking a nap. I made this with silver memory wire and buri beads from FireMountain, the letter beads that you can find anywhere, and a couple of fiberoptic/cats' eye beads I had in my bead stash. This is the first time I've worked with the memory wire, and it is pretty cool stuff.

I don't know why, but I felt the need to show you my favorite pair of socks. Which I just re-located both of them at the same time, so the pair is reunited and happy on my feet. They are very high cotton content, stretchy enough at the top, smooth, soft and lightweight. And of course, the colors look great with my green Crocs. I wish I remembered the brand of these socks, I'd go buy more of them!

I found a good pattern for the bag fabric that I purchased to make a spring/summer bag. Only took me a month! At this rate it will be a summer/fall bag. Hopefully it will go together quickly enough. It is from The Sewing Workshop, the L2 bag. Oops, Oh my, I just looked at it in the pic on the website and it is way too big to carry around all the time, I'll have to resize it for my purposes... Fall/winter bag perhaps?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Having a Ball in Berkeley

To continue on my weekend trip report, here are pictures of the fun happenings in Berkeley, where brunch at Tacubaya with friends and of course some shopping happened.

Tacubaya is a great restaurant, here is the cool ceiling, and I loved all the different intense colours painted on the walls. Very vivid. Huevos divorciadas was my meal, yum, a red sauce on one side and a fresh green tomatillo sauce over the over easy eggs and yummy fresh made corn tortillas.

Don't kristen and Jaye look great against the pink wall? I didn't get a picture of kristen's adorable daughter or Jaye's adorable son who also joined us. They were too busy drawing and getting impromptu art lessons from Pamela.

Oh, look, I'm in the picture now. Thanks to W for taking this picture, good job~

And then here is Pamela. We all look good in pink! Pretty in Pink even....

At The Ark toystore we found a display of Fun Meals, and Pamela scooped up many boxes, hoping to find a lobster dinner. After frantically opening them and enjoying the sushi, desserts and other foods, no lobster love . These goodies are really going to look great on quilts Pamela!

The inside of the fabulous package reveals, a teeny tiny mexican dinner, complete with Corona Beer!

Then we crossed the street to the Crate & Barrel Outlet, where after some digging in the remnant bin I found some Marimekko scraps, as well as some cool cocktail napkins (look for them appearing in a quilt near you), and some placemats. I'm working out how to use the placemats in a sculpture, more on that later!

I bought these three fabrics at New Pieces, the one on the left is Japanese ikat in a strange orange and green combo.

At Black Cat Quilts I found these four fat quarters. The one on the right looks like a blurry city streetscape. I also found these cool triskele frog closures.

Phew, that was a lot of fun and a lot of shopping. I'm still recovering three days later!
It is so fun to get together with people you know well online, and continue the virtual conversations complete with body language, facial expressions, and voice tone. A whole 'nother level to communicating, that is for sure.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A Class, I Took A Class!

An online friend came to the area to teach and I was lucky enough to get into the class, "My Quilt, My Rules". Pamela Allen came all the way from Canada to Berkeley to teach at EBHQ this past weekend. I was so happy to finally get to meet her in person, as we've known each other for going on five years now. It was a lot of driving, but it was totally worth it.

If you get a chance to take a class from Pamela, don't hesitate, go for it! She is a wonderful teacher, who really knows art, and how to teach it in a fun but very intense way.

I got the base of my composition done quickly, and then had to fool around with the placement of the main character, Snake. She was very squirmy (made out of stretchy faux snakeskin), and let's just say, hard to pin down. haha.

Snake turned inwards, I didn't like this version at all.

That's a bit better, but it still changed when I finished the quilt as you can see further down.

A five minute exercise, use your scraps, and you must include a fish. I included three.

This was a sticker on the top of the garbage can, and it just made me laugh.

Here are our quilts at the end of the day, mine on the left and Jaye's on the right.

Here is Pamela with some of her students, documenting the class' work at the end of the day. It was a great set up with foamcore boards to pin our work to. Everything looks so different when it is hung up vertically!

Hey, that's good she's smiling when taking a photo of my quilt!

I hadn't taken a class in a very long time, I had forgotten how much fun they are. The camraderie, sharing, and students teaching students was very inspiring.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Seen While On the Road

A weekend of driving back and forth up and down, and taking pictures from the car. Probably not advisable, but at least I wasn't on my cell phone at the same time, or doing my makeup, or eating....

Isn't this a nice driveway? Painted concrete I assume. But I just liked the pattern and colours.

The Flinstones house on hwy 280, (which used to be white) is now a sickly orange. Were they going for terracotta perhaps? I think it stands out even more now, which one would have thought quite hard to accomplish!

The Port of Oakland. Taking this photo caused me to miss the sign for the freeway going to Berkeley, so I went partway to SanFrancisco over the Bay Bridge, turning around on Treasure Island, almost running out of gas, stopping to get gas, and being late for my class. Oops.

A motorcyclist's shirt that really caught my attention.

Some cool old cars got onto highway 85 as I was buzzing past on Sunday morning. There were about 6 or so, and it was fun to see them on the road.

Here's another one in the group. You sure don't see cars like these everyday.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Julie Needs...

I forget whose blog I saw this on (whoops), but go google the following "YourName needs" and then share the interesting results you'll get.

Here are my favorites when I googled "Julie Needs:"

Julie Needs:

- Your Help (oh isn't that the truth)

- to work on her parenting (continuous improvement is my goal, time to re-read EveryDay Blessings, the Inner Work of Mindful Parenting)

- a new pair of shoes (oh, that one is easy, how about two pair, they're on the way from gaiam as I write this)

- to get out in the fresh Eire (air, ok, Ireland here I come, well it is on my list of places to go).

- to have the spotlight shined on her (gulp, ok, I'm ready for my closeup Mr. DeMille)

- to bite the bullet and set up a new home at a site hosted under a domain she controls
(I suppose so, and then I'll have to figure out how to switch my website over, or maybe start over from scratch, and I really ought to learn html so I know what the heck I'm doing, oh sheesh, no wonder I've never gotten around to doing this! I talk myself out if it everytime I consider it. But the website fee comes due in July I think, so hmmmm.. any advice out there?)

- complete access (absolutely, I needs it, I wants it)

- to cut through her negative self talk (oh alright already sheesh, what am I stupid!?)

- a p.h.d. (I've always thought that, but in what subject?!)

- you! (see I told you so at the beginning!)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Photo Thursday

For Photo Thursday on Create a Connection, I'm sharing a photo of what I find that I absolutely love, that isn't necessarily loveable around my house. I couldn't narrow it down to one, so here is a two-fer.
I absolutely love my mp3 player. It has freed me up, so I can roam around inside and outside listening to NPR on the FM radio or random shuffled music from our newly digitized music collection. We now have 54 GB of music on our system, and I haven't even gotten to the record albums yet. That will be happening soon, as we are getting a USB turntable! I love music and I am having a ball rediscovering all the tunes we have but never get around to listening to. The randomness of shuffle delights me, yesterday I had Miles Davis, then Iggy Pop, then Sinead O'Connor, then David Benoit, then Talking Heads, then The Shins. How fun! I always wished for my own radio station, and now I have it, all to myself! K-Julie is on the air! At least if you are hooked up to my earphones that is.
I absolutely love my digital camera. I can't believe how much I use it, compared to the older versions. I download photos and movies almost every single day now. Part of that is spurred on by blogging, and wanting to show you the newest, most current pictures of what is happening or what I'm seeing. I always have wanted to share my view of the world, and this camera helps me accomplish that. I'm such a visual person and I love trying to capture what my vision is with this device.
Hooray for technology!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Another day on the street

Waiting, somewhat impatiently.
With bunny ears.
Which makes the waiting a bit more bearable.
Third for the month of street photography on self portrait challenge.
This one taken by son Alex, (who also supplied the bunny ears), while we hung out in Santa Cruz in front of a bike shop (Sprockets). Older son Zach and husband Marc were checking out bikes, Zach wants to convert his mountain bike to a beach cruiser....

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mother's Day at Camp Joy

Another beautiful sunny Mother's Day spent at Camp Joy, where they were having the yearly plant sale. Even though we are CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) customers, we still like to have a few vegies in our own garden.

Inside the redwood grove with flash
and without

The rose arbor absolutely groaning under the weight of the beautiful blossoms. I took a short movie to capture the hummmmmmm of the bees. Wish I had a scent-o-vision option on my camera.
This is what garlic looks like! Doesn't it look like a plant from another world?
Here are the plants we chose: 1 "Bride" eggplant, 3 tomatoes: Camp Joy cherry , Isis Candy cherry , Mortgage Lifter (supposed to be 1 to 2 pounds each!), and 3 peppers: Hidalgo, Jimmy Nardello and Sullivan's Italian.
An interesting seed pod.
And I think this was a peony?! It didn't smell like one, so perhaps not. Anyways it was beautiful.

I also took a movie of the baby goats which is hilarious, I shall endeavour to figure out the embedding of a youtube video on ye olde blog later on.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

ISO A certain Fabric for a Certain Friend

Friend Jaye was searching desperately for a Denyse Schmidt fabric "Flea Market Frenzy or some such name". Soooooo not feeling like staying at home yesterday after my chiropractic appointment, I set forth in search of this elusive fabric.
I started out closest to home, and had no luck at the first quilt shop I tried, and I didn't buy a thing, gasp! shock! amazement!
Next up was Cabrillo Sewing in Capitola. They had a lot of nice fabric, but I was good and didn't buy any. But I was taken in by this book, "Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space" and Threads magazines. Hey, I have to plan out my new quilt studio, I need some guidance!

Not done yet, so I headed back over the freeway to Beverly's, hey all cotton fabric on sale. uhoh. A skirt will be made out of the greenapple/floral, maybe with a flounce of the measuring tape. I cracked up the cutting clerk by saying I wasn't going to be using it as a waistband, oh no sireebob! And the kittys? Why did I buy that? I recognized them! That's why. I think this is a recycled print, or something, I swear I had something when I was a kid with these very same cats on it. A case of retro-deja-vu??
Anyways, my clothing aim or thoughts are swinging towards dressing more like a "grown-up, an artist, a creative and a put-together, capable person" instead of a "I'm exhausted, in pain, and I don't care, so don't make me think about what I'm wearing as long as it doesn't hurt person". I'm trying some cotton kirts first, instead of my dyed, worn-out, hand-dyed, very disreputable looking shorts.

And for some reason, I bought this dress pattern, guess I'm planning on attending some party this summer where I will show off my perfectly tanned and buffed out shoulders. Oh yeah, the housewarming party we are hoping to throw for ourselves, that must be it! This will be the first dress I've made with boning in it, but I figure, I won't need to wear any other "support garments", so it is a tradeoff, right? Will I find the fabric in my stash? Maybe....stay tuned....

Last but not least (I knew I should have gone here first!) was Hart's Fabric in Santa Cruz. Of course they had it! An entire rounder of Denyse Schmidt fabric, with a bit of the end goal fabric right there in front of me, I almost missed it. Isn't it cute? Or perhaps perky? Or just plain ol' pretty? Or naturally nice? I like it. Maybe she won't reaaaaalllly need it? maybe. Here it is, with a skull patch I had to have. Don't they look great together? Maybe for a new handbag???

And I again had to feed my clothing pattern addiction. Gawd. I had to have this McCall's pattern. Don't you love the necklines? And that tulip hem? I love that hemline, it makes you feel like you are dancing even when you are just walking.
Then, hanging oh so temptingly over the cutting station was an absolutely beautiful outfit, done up in natural linen, apple green and brown. With an overskirt, and a bolero jacket/shrug kinda thing. It looked so comfy and unique, and so I bought the pattern, it is a Burda, for "Young" (ahem). And no I won't be doing it up in prom type fabrics....I'm thinking of the hemp/silk noil I saw somewhere recently, was it Dharma Trading maybe?? Anyhoo, that would be a good fabric for this, especially if I dye it and do some discharge patterning...
Then I thought I'd try Goodwill in Santa Cruz, to see if they had any good vintage-y fabric goodness. Not really although I did buy these two pieces, one of which you will recognize if you have ever stayed at a major name hotel in Tahiti (didn't notice the printed on label in one corner, oops) for a grand total of $4.50! The weird brown one will become one of the aforementioned cotton skirts, and the black/white one will also, with the addition of some other black/white prints as it is on the smallish side (at least to make a skirt for me!).
Oh, and of course some books. ahem. 3 of which I have already read and wanted to share with my family and reread, and one which had been recommended to me , The Invention of Hugo Cabret.
Now, I'm totally pooped but it is 1:30 and by the time I get home, it will be time to go pick up Alex from school, so to kill a bit more time, I swung by my favorite garden store. And wandered around, choosing a new blueberry bush (to replace one of our now dead ones), a pineapple guava (feijoa), lemongrass, pineapple sage, and Her, she will go in the pot where I have my Kaffir Lime, and lemongrass
Pshew, I'm almost as tired out from telling you what I did yesterday, than I was after doing it!