Friday, February 19, 2010

It was a BIG fall....

One week after my last post (September), flush from finally learning to breathe AND swim, Dave and I decided to try to play a little tennis too. We dug out our rusty old racquets and headed for the Y. We tapped that little ball back and forth a few times, and then I turned to reach for a shot going past me, and --- next thing I knew, I was flat on my face on the concrete. I think my foot just got stuck, and when they scraped me off the cement and took me to the hospital I looked kinda like this:

So, not much happened this fall except wrist surgery, tooth surgery, nose surgery, PT, and another wrist surgery.

The good news is that it seemed like a terrific time to have some work done on my basement studio! New lights, new floor, fresh paint, new IKEA cabinets for storage, new ironing table built by Dave, new design walls (one black, one white), and last, a new Horn quilting table. It's just so wonderful, and I'd show you a photo of it but it's a mess now.

I can, however, show you the finished piece sold at the SAQA auction -- The Marvelous Miss Josephine Baker.
She looks a hellova lot better than me, huh?

Well, later in the fall, Dave and I took our first trip to Israel. We went with a Hopkins Alumni Tour, and took along several professors as we raced from Tel Aviv to our kibbutz hotel, to the Galilee, to Haifa, to Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, the Judean Desert, and then to Jordan and Petra. If these names don't mean anything to you, you've gotta go yourself. Each is an incredible experience, even if your tour is a whirlwind. When you go, be sure to plant a tree, drink wine from the Golan Heights, and take lots of pictures. It would also be useful to take along Dr. Ted Lewis, one of our professors, who illuminated our evenings with lecture topics such as, "So What Is God's Name?" and "So, What Does God Look Like?" I won't bore you further with our travels except to show you shots of two quilts I came across, one in a Druze home and the other in an Arab market in Jerusalem (below), and I'll finish with a joke told by Linda Gradstein of NPR, who gave us a fabulous lecture: "Is It Finally Time for a Peace Deal?"

Here's the joke: Three men suddenly die and go to heaven: Achmadinejad, Osama Bin Ladin, and Netanyahu. God grants each of them ONE wish. Bin Ladin says, "That's easy; get rid of all the Shiites." Achmadinejad's wish was "Get rid of all the Sunnis!" God then turns to Netanyahu and asks, "Nu, what is your wish?" "Well," he replies, "if he gets what he wants, and he gets what he wants....I'll just have a diet Coke."

Now I still wasn't able to do much with my bum hand, but I did manage to make a bunch of little fabric "fortune cookies" for friends, each different, and each filled with sincere and meaningful messages, such as:

"Follow your dreams...except for the one where you fly."

"The decline of western civilization seems to leave you strangely unmoved."

"You like cats, but don't try to eat a whole one by yourself."

"You've been invited to join the National Sarcasm Society. Like we need your support."

....just sweet little sayings such as these that I've collected over the years.

* * * * * * * *

My e-friend, Maria Shell from Alaska, asked if I would contribute a block to a group quilt, this time on the theme of racism, which sent me to my pile of "skin-colored fabrics." I cut a number of strips from this pile and wove them onto a wonder-under base to form a background. While I did so, I would think of all the beautiful people I've seen in different shades of skin, so in the photo below, you'll see that my "lady" has wild hair which spells out the message.

Another exciting group project is one I joined in a moment of madness. It's a challenge group of a dozen people from many different places on the globe, all committed to working together over the next two years! Every two months, one of us is responsible for describing a theme, and at the end of the period, on the same day, we post our quilts to our online site. Our first "reveal" was on Feb. 1st; the challenge topic was SANCTUARY.
Please google "twelve connected" and see all the different and interesting ways this theme was interpreted. Each artist posts photos and describes what the theme meant to them. I find it very moving. Here's my photo, but you'll have to go to our blog to read all about it..........

There are -- in my NEW studio -- a pile of OLD unfinished or unsatisfying quilts. I decided to tackle them before moving ahead. So far I've managed to complete two....both of which entailed some serious editing. Let's see if I can figure out how to post a Before and After of each. The first is one I've begun calling "Hello Kitty".... and here's the "before"

and.. here's the "after", although it's a crummy photo....

Just for fun, I bound a big hunk I cut off. I call it "Hi Kitty", and don't worry, I put her other eye back on!

Another one is my "Little Boy with a Tire"..... first, the large one, and then the finished, cropped one:

He's now in the Popcorn Gallery (don't you love that title?) at Glen Echo Park.

Finally, there was a rather "surgical" attack I made on a piece called "The Lovers"...still unfinished, but it's the next on the pile. It's based on a photo I took of two trees entwined around each other at the edge of a grove.

...........and then came the Blizzard of 2010. I think I'll write about that another day. We're both probably tired by now.