Saturday, March 28, 2009

Proving Myself

Friday we had our Taxes done and it was a harrowing experience.

I know, I know . . . everyone hates to do their taxes. Well, let me tell you that as a clergy household and with me working part-time teaching at University and part-time being an artist, and this year also being an author, this was the worst ever. A bunch of the expenses I was hoping to deduct didn't pan out and we ended up having to pay a pretty penny . . . money we had set aside to pay for our trip in May to Amsterdam.

What's more, I felt I had to justify myself. The preparer asked about my art quilts saying with a smile, "Are you sure you don't make blanket-type quilts?" Fortunately, I had my laptop with me and fired it up to showed her all my art I had recorded there. I showed her my Reluctant Accomplice quilt . . .
I showed her my presentation quilt . . . (to which she said, "that's -- interesting.")

I showed her two of my larger quilts (48"x72"), one a contest quilt in an international competition (finalist out of 900) . . .and the other, a commission . . .

and a published piece (Quilters Newsletter Magazine December 2004) . . .

and what was most lost on her was the direction my art is taking now -- art jewelry. Hopefully it will be better next year. In the meantime, I'm proud of my portfolio. My question for you is, "Have you ever had to justify yourself or your art?" Tell me about it, I want to know.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tiger-sized Dust-bunnies

Yesterday was very eventful and rewarding. My friend Rene (as in Irene) came up for a working visit. She's a highly organized, neat and tidy, clean queen. We opened up the french doors in the den to the backyard and took out all the "stuff" except the heavy furniture. She then sat me down on the deck to deal with all the papers -- piles and piles of it. I had to toss, shred or keep every little bit of it. Meanwhile, she was in the den tackling my tiger-sized dust-bunnies and cleaning like a fiend! We made so much progress.

When we came back from lunch and an errand, she sat me down at my newly uncovered Arts and Crafts Movement antique desk I purchased last year but didn't immediatley occupy. She brought in all my jewelry tools and supplies and I organized and made homes for them in the desk. Here are some pictures of them in the wild (at the consignment store) before it cam home with me. (By the way, does anyone know anything about the furniture manufacture "Stone's Patent"?) I must apologize for the quality of these photos.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


This weekend has been amazing. Friday I spent with my quilting friends, taking in the Dallas Quilt Celebration -- beautiful quilts and wonderful vendors. And of course, I spent too much money. Saturday, I was back in Dallas with three of my "art school" friends (that's not to say my quilting gals aren't artist, they truly are). Saturday I visited my alma mater to see the Etruscan Exhibit at SMU's Meadows Museum. Dallas is the only venue for this exquisite collection. There were objects from as far back as 900 BCE. The craftsman(women?)-ship in all of the piece, without exception, was breathtaking.

Speaking of breath-taking: that is exactly what happened as I approached the ancient gold-leaf diadem, above, in the glass case where is it displayed. You might have seen the laurel leaf crowns on ancient statues and frescoes. Well, I was looking at the real McCoy. The gold was so fine and thin, it looked as though it could blow way if a strong draft were to enter the vitrine. What a thrill it must have cause for the archeologist who unearthed it. There were a number of stunning gold pieces -- fibulae ("safety pins"), and many, many bronze pieces too. There was a whole room filled with terracotta pieces and stone statuarey as well. All in all, there are about 400 pieces on loan from four museums in Italy. The exhibit closes May 17th. One of my friends said it was, by far, the better exhibit when compared with the Tut exhibit also in town.

Not much is known about the Etruscans (people who lived in Tuscany between 900-100 BCE) except that they may have been immigrants from Turkey and that they were very religious people who believed in equality of the sexes, much to the horror of their Greek and Italian neighbors. Almost everything known about them comes from temple and tomb excavations.

In other news:
Richard Shilling, the English Land Artist I have mentioned before, has had a few very fortunate turns of event. Check out his blog to read the news and to see his new work. We have discussed some sort of collaboration for one section of the textbook I am writing for my college class. How exciting!
This is Spring Break in my neck of the woods and I hope to get a lot of writing done without interruption (Ha!).
Our May vacation in Amsterdam is taunting me and whispering to me to spend some time online checking out all the places to go and things to see (but I have to write, darn-it!).
By the way, my little counter says I've had just over 300 views of my blog -- I think a few of those are me checking in, but I'm glad to see the traffic. Thank you, especially, to my faithful "followers". Sorry I can't seem to post more often.
Questions for your comments:
Do you find inspiration alone or in collaboration. Do you find that being with others inspires you to create? I'd love to hear your thoughts, so comment below.