Friday, April 17, 2015

Up-Close and Feline

This piece is by one of my piano students, McKinley Dirks. It's of her cat, Tucker.






Done in chalk. Amazing, huh?

Even more amazing -- she just turned 15.  
Happy Birthday,McKinley!

What Do You Think About Altered Quilts?

Barbara Brackman's got an interesting post today on "altered quilts:" 

Vintage pieces (and apparently mostly bits and pieces) that modern artists add lettering to, recut and stitch, collage, mix and so on.

Here's one example: Natalie Chanin's Aunt Mag's Chicken Recipe


Here are two more, from Gina Adams:



Exhibits are up at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art through May 10. (Kansas)

I've never been a big fan of "cut 'em and paste 'em" requilting -- partly because I had a good friend who would cut up perfectly good quilts and tops to make clothing (mostly jackets), which she then sold to upscale boutiques and such. We had many good-natured arguments on the subject, and I bought a piece now and then to save it from her overenthusiastic scissors.

BUT -- 

If the quilt is heavily damaged already, it doesn't seem that awful to preserve it in another way. Unfortunately, I'm not so sure that some of these artists have the quilt or the original quiltmaker in mind -- only their 'personal message' or  'artistic vision.' Kind of like trampling your grandmother, then justifying it because the old girl didn't have long to live. She would have been okay with it, anyways, because she always put your best interests first. (Or so you reason to yourself.)

I want to respond in horror all the time, for every piece...then I come across a totally lovely melding, like Mandy Patullo's Across the Wide Ocean...



...and I just can't.



Thursday, April 16, 2015

Bigfoot: Part of the Family?

If you've been hanging out here, you know I have a yen for Bigfoot stories. 

Now he may become part of the family, thanks to...




Daughter #1!  (She's on the left.)

Oh fine -- she's at the Denver "Mythical Creatures" exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Stop by for a good time.

The Chick Report...and Other Updates

We now have 13 new personalities peeping away in the library downstairs:




Let me introduce you to:
1 Black Australorp  (the same breed as the black hens we have now)
1 Mallorca (the tall black one in the back)
4 Rhode Island Reds  (we have two of those, too -- the third one got taken by a hawk/eagle/owl, and ended up in the neighbor's yard next block over))
7 'Cherry Eggers'

The 'Eggers,' according to the feedstore guy, and the girl I talked to, say that they're especially popular here locally. They can not only handle the cold...and lay eggs more consistently during the winter. And their eggs are brown ones, almost a dark red mahogany.

     OOH.  I'm a sucker for a good description. 


The chickies are in a clear plastic bin, topped with wire fencing. (They're already trying to fly out, the stinkers.) The heat lamp's on, and they've got a thick layer of shavings to dig in, poop in...and kick out their food crumbles into. Not to mention dragging them (shavings, poop, crumbles, etc.)  into the water, as well. These are not tidy individuals.

Not that the grownups care.


They're busy staying in the coop, because...

It's SNOWING. 

Yes, sirree. Welcome to Colorado.

We're supposed to get up to THREE FEET of the white stuff before it moves on late Friday. (We've got about 3" on the ground now, with more coming down.) My poor plants are covered up...hopefully they'll live. 
     This will leave quickly -- it always does -- but it's still a little unsettling. 

     Wonder what the chicks would do if they jumped into snow, with their dainty little feet?

In your dreams, Missy!
 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tax Day - Yuck

Yes, folks, that lovely day in April that we Americans all fear and loathe --
               April 15.

Tax Day.

While you're scribbling figures and muttering to yourself, remember that you don't have to go through this agony right now. You could get an extension until October. (Go here to do that, and draw a breath of relief.)

But if you have to pay tax, you might as well grit your teeth and get it over with.

Some businesses are offering freebies to help, from Lone Star Steakhouse to Bonefish Grill. Go here to find out more.

Personal favorites:  Sonic's offering half-price cheeseburgers all day.





And Boston Market is also doing a BOGO special, on a lot of different items -- like the plated meals shown here. Good for up to 3 per customer.



If you're feeling too poor even for a half-price meal out, try some of the Flat Broke dishes on the Holiday Goodies blog -- cheap and tasty, too.

That eases the sting some...I guess.


Monday, April 13, 2015

Monday Stuff on the Way to Other Stuff: Hustle Hustle

It's a brisk, warm Monday morning. The crabapples are starting to bloom. Daffodils are moving out, to make way for the tulips. Lots of greenery is popping up. So what's supposed to show up Wednesday night? Snow, of course. Welcome to Colorado.
     I have a boatload of work to do before leaving for the American Quilter Society show next week in Paducah, KY. Had better get to it. 

The biggest surprise in the 2016 Election universe:  Hillary Clinton just officially announced she's running for president.  Gee, what a huge unexpected event.

Want to mess with someone's mind? Send them glitter, poop -- or glitter-sprinkled poop. Yes, a company actually does this. While you're at it:

Ten quirky ways (including sending poop) to make income.  (From the Penny Hoarder)

A mom who apologizes for her kids' bratty behavior in the movies -- and makes it right.

A clock table from assorted bits and pieces. Yes, you could do it, too. (From Scavenger Chic)
If clocks aren't your forte, Knick of Time has a number of excellent vintage/antique signs to use, instead. Free to print out.




Remember the 21 amazing greenhouses -- ones you can build? (From A Piece of Rainbow) The DIY plans they've got for 10 living structures are very inspiring, too. Including this 'living chair:'



Celebration cakes gone bad. Really.

Acts of kindness -- caught in photos.

Katniss' hunting cowl from Hunger Games -- a version to sew. 
(From See Kate Sew) 
    Or knit. Or crochet. 

Here's the sewn version -- using a thrift shop sweater


Hawaiian shipwreck treasure recovered.

Eleven really strange stories. 


Have a great week.