Tuesday, November 27, 2012

"Strange" Friends

 I have a great friend who walks with me on a regular basis....well as regularly as I can make it happen with all the demands of caring for my parents!  This friend is also one whom I travel with to quilt seminars.  First time was last year and we discovered that we make great room mates, like to walk in the morning, like to keep working on our projects after class, and just generally, enjoyed the same things outside of the classroom.  We walked miles along the California beaches at Monterey and loved every minute of it.  (Except that her camera took better pictures than mine!)

Since getting home we've carried on walking in our local area.  We both have dogs so we walk for probably a couple of hours, rain or shine.  Her background is military and she is a lot of years younger than me, so sometimes it's a bit like going to boot camp when I walk with her!  Last summer we walked when it was really too warm to be exerting ourselves like that, and when we got back to her house, we sat on the back deck, drinking water and just visiting.

Something she said about one of her other friends struck me as odd and I looked at her and said "You have some really strange friends."  She looked at me and answered "Yes.  Yes I do Gladys!"  I laughed at that as I had asked for and deserved her quick retort!

But it didn't end there.  About two weeks later, she came to my house and we were about to go for a long walk on the beach with the dogs.  But before we left she presented me with a gift.  A small art quilt made in honour of that conversation.  It was so wonderful I had to go get Mum and Dad to see it as well. I was complimented by the fact that she used the technique in my book, Embellishing with Anything, C&T Publishing, to represent my hair.  She was pleased with herself for accurately depicting my unusual earring! And the best part.....the pattern she used to quilt it is called "Bananas."  

I was pleased quite touched that she thought to do that for me and it now hangs in a place of honour in my studio.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Mini Doll Exchange

These are the two I sent to the USA and the UK beside the two I received.
The theme I requested was "wild and crazy" woman!  

The group "Stargaze Tomers" on Yahoo is comprised of members all over the world.  I am lucky to be one. The leader of the group is Patti Culea.  I was lucky enough to take a class from her years ago and would do it again in a minute if given the chance.

The on-line group is a very creative bunch and every once in a while, a challenge or exchange is organized to get us active again.  This time it was a tiny doll to be included in one of the "tome pages" which are the patterns we all have and got us united to begin with.  The people who chose to take place were divided into groups of three.  I was lucky enough to be assigned to an exchange with Patti herself and with Sue Crook, whom I have done exchanges with in previous themes.

I received a beautiful doll with hand dyed silk from Sue Crook with wildly colored hair.  And her clothes are separate, not a part of the doll.  A work of tiny and very specific art.  The doll I received from Patti is made of painted silk and her clothes and hair are beaded.  They are both shown in the picture above.

Patti wanted hers to be a garden fairy.  Here is a picture of the back and front of the mini doll I sent to her.

She is about 5" tall, has jointed arms and legs is dressed in ribbons and lace and hand beaded. Her hair is mohair that has been dyed.  Some of the lace she is wearing is hand painted (not by me!).

Sue wanted one that reflected the area I lived in.  Here are photos of what I received and what I sent away to her.  The area I live in has so many things to choose from to represent it.....skiing, fishing, boating, hiking, camping, cities, country.....snow, soil and surf all within minutes of each other.  So I decided to go back to the beginning and chose to do a doll that represented the Haida who were First Peoples on the west Coast.

She is wearing a traditional button blanket cape, a cedar (silk strips) woven hat, and carrying a basket of shells (teeny tiny ones I found on the beach where I walk my dog.) Oops....I see she doesn't have the basket in hand in this photo, but Sue tells me she arrived intact.  I spoke to a friend about the political correctness of making a Haida doll when I am not of that descent and was told that it was ok as long as it was done with respect.  It was and here she is.