It’s Fall Festival Time!!!

Yes, it is Fall Festival time and that means NEW ART for the house!!!

One of our local autumn traditions is the Oconee Fall Festival. It is an amazing gathering of craftsmen and artisans from the area and an even more amazing gathering of people!! We always see someone that we haven’t seen recently…..this time it was one of our daughter’s friends from High School, and even a couple of quilter’s who have been absent!!

This year was especially wonderful as it was the first event that we have been able to attend since March.

The weather was glorious…..

And my “one-time-per year” Funnel Cake was fried to perfection, crisp and sugary…..

But the star of the day was the art that we purchased!!!

We love the art of Eugene Swain. His paintings are rustic and always have some three dimensional element. This was our pick this year……

We were immediately drawn to the light that comes out of the painting. The outhouse is actual pieces of wood and the door hinges are metal. All of his frames are rustic and the perfect way to showcase his rural scenes.

If we keep attending these shows every year, we will soon be able to put on a gallery show just from our home!!

We met a new artist this year…. Jim Hamilton works on wood in a way that we have never seen before. He first uses a wood-burner to place the design on the wood. Next he adds paint to accent the picture and then covers it with a thick coat of poly-urethane. This pelican called out our name……

“Surveying the Kingdom at dawn”

….and we welcomed him into our home.

Next we stopped by a woodworker’s booth and, sadly, I didn’t get his name. This bowl had so much character (top and bottom)…..

He told us that it was White Oak and that this particular, interestingly shaped piece was the first cut off of a fallen stump. We love it!!!

Finally, we had to visit the booth of our neighbor Kathie. She is a wonderful potter, making hand-worked pieces with many having a “pet” flair. In this case, Michael was out for something specific for his morning Espresso habit and he found a cute mug that is perfect for the cooler autumn weather…..

It was so sweet to walk hand-in-hand and enjoy the weather, the company of those surrounding us and this first “rite” of Fall!!

Common Objects…unusual art

We are fortunate to have a wonderful local art gallery located in the neighboring city.  The gallery offers a rotating series of exhibits.  One of the current exhibits focuses on using common objects in unusual ways.

While visiting the gallery I was drawn to this 9 piece series by Don Chambers.  He gave the group the name “Cryptomnesia (forgotten memories that appear new to the subject)” and created them from a collection of found photographs.

These faded colors reminded of the photos that I took back in the 1960’s and 1970’s…..

The backs of these photos with their notes and dates remind me of the photos that I found in the back of closets at my Mom’s house…….

And this brought back  memories of those crazy little corners that had stick-um on the back and you would lick them, stick them down and then TRY to get the photo to fit inside of them!!…..

But my favorite piece was this one……

My friend Diane had previously shown a photo and suggested that it would be a great quilt design.  Of course I agreed, but couldn’t tell from the photo exactly what made up the design.  I liked it even better when I saw that it was made from black and white photos with those “dirty white” edges around them.

I still think that it would be a brilliant quilt design….in black and white and maybe a pop of color here and there!!  I think that I will put that into the “SOMEDAY” pile!!!

Travel Log Quilt #3

For my 3rd Travel Log Quilt, we have to travel to gay Paree!! In July of 2004, Michael spent a month in Germany teaching at one of the universities. We decided that the kids (Brian age 19 and Jenny age 17) and I would meet up with him in Paris for a week of sightseeing.

The trip was a lot of fun as we viewed many of the art galleries, especially enjoying the smaller galleries like the Monet, Rodin and Picasso. Of course, the biggest pull for the trip was the magnificent Eiffel Tower.

While on top of the tower we took lots of photos of the Paris skyline, enjoying the slightly hazy views….

After we were back at ground level, I took this photo of Jenny viewing the tower…..

A couple of years later, I decided that I wanted to make a quilt that was a mixture of photographs and fabric collage. This was the resulting quilt……

Everything above the trees was done with photos printed on fabric but the trees and everything below is from fabric.

Now, I like the memory behind this quilt, but I did NOT do the portrait of Jenny correctly. Her body shape simply isn’t right.

A few years ago I tried to fix it…..

….but it still isn’t right.

The problem is that I LOVE her hair but everything below that just doesn’t work.

As I have written this post, I am wondering about cutting off the quilt at her shoulders….

What do you think????

Interesting video…..

This is an interesting video about the construction of a new tutu for The Met’s cast of Degas’s famous sculpture, “The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer”. The Met’s costume conservator Glenn Peterson discusses the history of the sculpture and the decisions made in the conservation of its tutu.

I found it fascinating….hope you enjoy it too!!

PBS Quilt Fever

I have been watching a lot of quilting videos while I am on cardio equipment at the gym….anything to not think about what I am doing!!!

Last week I found this Short Film from PBS called “Quilt Fever”. It is a fun look at the Paducah Quilt Show.

The only thing that I don’t like about it is that it only shows us older quilters. I really wish that they had focused on a few of our younger, exciting quilters!!


A rite of summer…..

There are several things that tell me that summer is here and one of those is making Pesto!!! For some reason, basil LOVES our herb bed and we always put at least 5 plants into the ground.

Today was the day to harvest the Basil and turn it into creamy Pesto. Michael compared it to hog-killing day on the farm!!!

So, here is the day in photos…..






We had fun working together to make these delights and will sure enjoy them in the middle of winter!!! It will be a sweet reminder of the warmth of summer!!

Thank you!!

I wanted to make something to send to Darlene, who had so graciously invited us into her home and family!! She and I had talked about an affinity for sunflowers so that made the idea a no-brainer!!

I first picked a background fabric and some 3 inch squares to play with…..

When I laid them out in the basic shape, I got excited about how it could look…..

I cut out the pieces and laid it out again before fusing……

Next I wanted to add a narrow border of some sort so auditioned several different possibilities….

….but none were that exciting.

Then I decided to pull out the color wheel and look for a color opposite to the background and found…..

Now that is an idea that I really like!!!

Then, I decided to only put it on two sides of the piece to balance it better.

Now it was time to add some oomph to the sunflower and I enjoyed enhancing it with machine embellishments and hand embroidery…..

The final touch was to quilt the background and add a binding…..

The red border is a little wonky (and for some reason it isn’t this noticeable in the actual piece) but, overall, I am happy with this quick and easy Thank you gift!!!

Happy 100th!!

Today would have been the 100th birthday for a wonderful man named Grover Edward Swinson. He was my father and he passed away almost 21 years ago…..I still miss him!!

I have the cancelled check that was written to pay the Doctor who brought him into the world…..

Yes, he was paid $25 for the privilege of giving my Dad his first spanking!!!

He met my mother (Lois Frances Langston) in 1938. When I was cleaning out the house I found this stone that my Dad had engraved….

They were married for almost 60 years.

He was a sports nut, especially when kids were involved.  He coached Pony League Baseball before I was born and had photos of all of his teams. Many of those boys grew up to be men who were leaders in the area. I think that my Dad helped to push each of them forward.

When I was a kid, there weren’t a lot of opportunities for girls to be involved in sports,  but he made sure that I knew how to catch and throw a softball and that I understood all of the rules to Football, Baseball and Basketball!!! 

He taught me how to drive and I spent many weekends going with him to our farm (30 miles away) just so that I could drive.  He laughingly said that he was going to enjoy the time while he could because he knew that I wouldn’t be going with him once I got my driver’s license.  I remembered those words and enjoyed that time with my kids as well.

He encouraged me to be involved and active. When I got joined the pep-squad, he was always there in the parents section yelling for the team too.  When I played in piano recitals he patiently sat and listened even though he would much rather have been listening to Porter Waggoner and Dolly Parton.

He insisted that we take vacations each summer and, although he said that I slept thru most of the car trips, I still have some wonderful memories of those times….


He ran a gas station on a prominent corner in Abilene, Texas and many of my friends and fellow students would go by and talk to him. Michael has always said that he could be a Crotchity old guy but he made Michael feel comfortable as a part of the family. Michael says that my Dad taught him how to be a good Father-In-Law!!

He was a handy-man deluxe and I spent many, many hours in the garage helping him with his various projects.  I think of him every time I  need to pry something apart (he had a wonderful lecture on using levers), spackle a hole in the wall, or fix a venetian blind.  Most of these projects were performed while listening to the Houston Astro’s on the radio. He used to quiz me about what could happen on the next play and wouldn’t be happy until I worked thru ALL of the possible options.

He loved his farm and especially his cows which were basically just pets……

He loved his Grandkids and was so proud of them.  He loved it when they got old enough to  start playing baseball and softball.  When Brian decided to switch to Soccer, Dad immediately started to watch it on TV and learn the rules to the game.  Unfortunately, he never got to see Brian play in person, although he did enjoy a few videos.

His health deteriorated and he was seldom able to play with the kids, but he loved to watch them when they were visiting.  He always talked about the day that he told Jenny to “choke up on the bat” and then she went out and hit a home run!!

Jenny continued to play Fastpitch and Dad’s service flag was hung at Warrior field during all of the home games of her Senior Year…..


She said that it felt like he was there too!! 

He was affectionately known as “Uncle Buddy” to all of my cousins and I remember the fun that we had at the funeral home remembering all of his antics….. 

…..that is what I am remembering now!!!