Sunday, July 26, 2009

Coming Home Soon

This incredible piece of art is by my friend Anne. She has followed the saga of Grace and St. Stephen's Episcopal Church here on my blog. A while back, she had a contest on her blog here, Anne's Blog and I won a piece of her art. Instead of sending one she had already done, she created a brand new piece for me. I was incredibly touch and overwhelmed by her thoughtful comments along the way and and the care which she used to make this piece for me. Here's the funny part and it also goes to show how clueless I am at times. I sent her or gave her access to some of the images she used for this piece and I had absolutely NO clue... Many grateful thanks, Anne. I am so glad we found each other.

Saint Thomas Denver Art Show and Sale

I will be at the show and sale with some of my small art quilts. Do stop by and visit with us. 30 artists will be represented in many medias. Then, stay for the catered Italian Dinner and Music.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

More Moleskine Madness from Ravelry

Now that I have had time to process my joy at the return of my Moleskine (pronounced Molskina), I will go into more detail about the Ravelry International Moleskine Exchange Round Robin and where this all started. My friend, Karen asked for more information. Moleskines have been a part of my life for over 10 years and I keep all necessary information in them along with anything else I need or might need in the way of sketches of knitwear, sizes and measurements for the Highland shirts I make, ideas for quilts, a hand-fast ceremony and so much more. Here is a picture of my current Moley, it has a knitting charm attached to the place mark ribbon.

Back in the fall, I signed up for a Journal Exchange on Ravelry. The rules for that were simple. Send in a questionnaire, get matched with a swap partner then put together a wee giftie of a Journal, writing prompt and some other goodies and send off to your swap partner. I got a lovely package back along with a Celtic journal in my exchange which I blogged about last year as well.

Whilst talking amongst ourselves in the journal exchange group, we realized that some of us would like to go further, than just sending a blank book. We also discovered that quite a few of us were fans of the Moleskine brand of notebook. Thus, the International Moleskine Exchange round robin group was born. Many of us immediately signed up to be involved in the long term art project. Some logistics needed to be ironed out, then we got our Moleys, wrote our introductions and off we were to the P.O.

I have just finished one exchange with a small book (3.5 x 5.5) that had no theme other than for each participant to tell me a little about themselves and add art in their particular media. There are 10-12 people in each group. We had some fall out due to life's circumstances and a VERY few Naughty Swappers, but for the most part this has been a very successful round robin. I have always enjoyed working with others on art, be it a quilt, a knitting project, a Headless Corpse or the books. Everyone is creative in some way. One of our members is more of a wordsmith, than an artist (so she claims, but I love her little sketch of a turnip in my book). Words done well is a talent I wish I was better at.

I also have another larger one, loose in the world right now. That one is a 5.5 x 13 inch one with quadrille (graph paper) pages. It does have a theme. It's theme is Ravens and Roses in honour of Poe's and Burns' 200th and 250th natal anniversaries. They are two of my favorite poets, so that theme seemed most appropriate for the round robin that started in 2009. I also blogged about it with pictures of the cover earlier this year.

The sketch is one of the many views of Pike's Peak that I get to enjoy except on those days when the clouds are lower than the mountain. This is the first bit of art in my Creative Collaborating Chicklets Group of IME Moley. We started out as Group C but ran away with it, thus the 3rd group became the 3Cs.

This is the last bit of art in my returned book. I had thought to send it back out in round 3, but my lovely and creative partners left only six blank pages in this wee book. So, I have an idea to finish it up with my thoughts about the IME experience and one or two more sketches and then enjoy it til the end of days.

Heartfelt thank yous again to Frewen, Baby, Loops, DMXOX, SleepyEyes, Kwesty, Grenouille, Celty and Stucky for enlivening my world and sharing part of yours. It has been a joy, privilege and incredible learning experience for me getting to know the marvelously talented, funny, irreverent, curmudgeonly, humorous, GIFTED women from Canada, the UK and the good ole US of A during this art experience. I would do it ALL OVER again in a heartbeat. In fact, I have signed on to do it again in a 3rd round starting next month, LOL.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Moleskine Happiness

Today after a eight month sojourn, my 3.5 x 5.5 inch Moleskine returned. I am overjoyed and overwhelmed at the talent, humour and thought that came home with it.

Here below is my very first impression...

Oh my, everyone! My Chicklet Moley is perfectly perfect in every way. I type this with tears running down my face.

I love the funny bits, the serious bits, the open heart bits, the art bits, my turnips with tatties, Grenoiulle, the knowing more about each of you, the pirate bag made by Kimi in my favorite shade of green that my Moleys will live in, I’m thinking. The wee blue bear (who from, BTW?), the wee quilt sketch from our Gina, the Celtic stickers from Heather, the drawings, yes, even yours, Frewen and someday we’ll share a glass of yer hand crafted wine together. The bit of music from Anna, Lini was feeling Japanese, somebody actually found and use E.A. Poe stamps and passed them along to me. The menus and wee watercolours from Deborah, and no, Hope it isn’t too cute.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Elizabeth Celtic Festival

A great time was had by all. The weather held out and it WASN'T 90 plus degrees like last year...

Carol and her children getting ready of a morning.

Curtis Judd, the Chief and two of the Wolves getting their lunch in the Pub.

Darla is gonna beat me with a stick for getting her with her mouth full, but here she is with her husband Mark.

Virg Hunter, our cook

Sam Dieter, one of the Wolves of Dunvagen

Yes, it seems that we do eat often. Bryan Hunt and Jackie Butterworth at lunch. Really, it was the only time I was taking pictures as I had my hands in the wool for most of the weekend.

PJ Roy enjoying the hospitality of the Clan.

Doc Evans and Aiden in the Pub.

Our newest member, from the Shetland Islands and the Royal Marines, Robert Hay.

Travis Butterworth, Michele Nobriga and Shannon Sorensen to lunch as well.

Many, many thanks to Darla, Spinner Extraordinaire, for getting me from here, a natural brown Shetland wool on the bobbin which I had started spinning at the Wyoming Celtic Festival in Gillette.

to here, the brown Shetland plied with a natural cream Shetland that I had spun on Saturday at the Elizabeth Celtic Festival. Pretty excited about my progress in the spinning. On to spinning the fiber for a wedding ring shawl. It needs to be a lace weight two-ply yarn that is gossamer thin. That is my ultimate goal in my spinning.


The two skeins of brown and cream Shetland and the remainder of the cream Shetland Navajo plied. On the wheel now being Navajo plied is a Louet brand merino fiber in the colour of Camouflage. More shall be revealed...

Oh, by the way, I was a Judge for the Bonny Knees Contest, Saturday evening. Raucous, fairly PG rated fun was had by all. The bribes, consisted of money, single malt, kisses, massages, but sadly, there was no chocolate... Here's a picture of my Judge's Ribbon.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Colorado Irish Festival - Colorado Storm 1 Gaelic Storm 1

I volunteered at the The Colorado Irish Festival in Littleton, CO over the weekend. It was a fun, WET and an entertaining couple of days. These pictures are from Friday night, when the heavens opened up one song into Gaelic Storm's set. The Killian's Pub during the downpour, Gaelic Storm brought a Colorado Storm of epic proportions!

200 of my closest new friends, trying to stay dry and upright. Rain, hail and wind, welcome to Colorado summer weather.

This is Patrick Murphy from Gaelic Storm and me after the storm.

Saturday, the sun came out but the landy was still not dry. Anyway, Screaming McSweenys, McPeake, the Elders, Gaelic Storm and Leahy performed on the big stage. I volunteered as a greeter at the VIP gate after managing the Killian's Bar the night before. We had a great view of the stage to hear and see all the acts that performed.

Crowd waiting for the music to start.
The Elders

Screaming McSweenys

More pictures to come. It was a great weekend of music, old friends, Yvonne, Wendy, Lisa, Linda, Pat McC, the Coffeys, the Holzmans, the Bubinskis, the Bolens, the Shiboas, The Sullivans and Lambuths and the new, hey there, Helen, Trish and Jacque, Connie, Joe, Gary and Kelly.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Seven Nations at Scruffy Murphy's

Seven Nations on the seventh day of the seventh month. It was an awesome show! Katte Beth and I and the rest of my friends were treated to one of 7Ns old school shows. They even played Under the Milky Way, which they haven't performed in concert in a very long time. Thanks, guys!

Vic and Will were on top of their game and Crisco kicked it on the drums, and in spite of being tired from the travel, Kirk and Strube sang and played even better than at Gillette.

Trish and Katte Beth

Gary, Jenny and Kristin


Of course, I worked on a sock whilst waiting for the band to start. Knitting in a pub leads to interesting conversations, ask me how I know...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Tour de Fleece

Tour De Fleece

The Tour de Fleece started yesterday as did the Tour de France. Fiber spinners will be spinning along with the bicycle people with the sore butts. I aim to spin every day, rest when the riders rest, spin all the day as they head up the mountain. My personal goal for this Tour is to relearn spinning on a drop spindle.

If I get the hang of the drop spindle before the end of the Tour, I will continue to spin. It will be on my Louet wheel though, as I still have a lot to learn about it.

How to Make a Scottish - American Quilt

In exchange for a hand tooled leather targe (pronounced targhee) with a thistle design made by Cliff and backed with a summer antelope hide given to me by Rickey Mumford of Estes Park. I have made a very large wall quilt with Clan Hunter symbols and symbols for Cliff's family associations.

To begin, I thought of who it was going to be for? What are the Hunter Clan symbols? What should the background look like? Where were they born? So on and so on. I did some googling trying to find the various elements I would need for the composition. Clan Hunter plant badge - The Sea Pink. She, born in Florida - that means Orange Blossoms. He, born in Colorado, thus Columbines. Hunter is a colour as well, so need to incorporate that somehow. Clan Animal, the Greyhound which is centered in the clan badge.

Sea Pinks

Of course, it must include the national symbol of Scotland - The Thistle.

The National Flower of Scotland is the Scottish Bluebell, just so you know. Many people are confused by that fact. Most people just assume it is the thistle as it is such a potent image of Scotland, when in fact, it is the bluebell (harebell).

Scottish Bluebell

Now what to do with all of that? First, I went to the wall and picked out the fabrics I thought I was going to use. I piled them up and let them stew for a while to see if I like where the colours and patterns were going. As I have been on a kick to use my only my stash as oppose to buying new fabrics for the last 5 years, I was really hoping not to buy any new fabrics to make this quilt. It was/is a challenge and a liberation of sorts to use the fabrics I have on hand. It often shows up the holes in the colour runs and the total lack of some colours when I shop my wall. It also re-introduces me to old friends in my stash. I took Heather Thomas' colour class a few years ago and she highly recommended that we shelve our fabrics by colour groups so we could go and pull them as needed, like a painter would squeeze out paint on a palette. Part of the exercise was to discover what is in abundance and what is missing from the stash. When I finally did it, I discovered some wonderful fabrics I had forgotten and that I had a lot of blues, purples and greens. I did discover that I didn't have all the greens I wanted. I did have to buy some of the green fabrics for this project as well as the threads I used to quilt it.

Most of the fabrics for this quilt are of a analogous colour run. I really like the calmness of analogous colours. They are so peaceful to the eye. The only really bright bits are the orange centers of the orange blossoms and the yellow bars, gold buckle and the centers of the columbines.

Here are my versions of sea pinks, orange blossoms, columbines and thistles.