Wednesday, December 31, 2008
They didn't have a regular practice Monday; they had a team meeting. With counselors.
Saturday night, two of their teammates, Jessica and Destiny, were involved in a car accident. Both girls are in the hospital in critical condition with extremely serious injuries. This accident took the lives of Destiny's sister Alex and the driver, Cameron. My girls know all four of these kids. My husband was Jessica's first softball coach. Destiny and Alex were one of 5 sets of back-to-back siblings from Parkview School:
Whitley and Courtney
Ian and Evan
JR and Charnelle
Logan and Nick
Destiny and Alex
All Sophomores and Freshman this year
If you would like to read the local paper's coverage of this horrible accident:
Please pray for Destiny and Jessica. Cameron was laid to rest today. We will say goodbye to Alex on Saturday.
We will remember you:
Devon Hensley - Whitley's classmate who passed suddenly in April, age 15
Elena Veach - Courtney's soccer coach - left a husband and two very small children
Larry Salmon - JR's uncle - we missed you at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner
Henry Wong - Sarah's husband, Ashley and Alex's dad, our dear friend - I think of you every day
Bruce Hewetson - friend, customer at the store, all around nice guy
Charlie Boone - friend, customer, always wanted to shoot the breeze when he came in the store
Cameron Wright - too young
Alex Chastain - rest in peace, little sister
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
At Borders in Bloomington from 7:00 - 9:00pm this Friday, December 19. Sorry, it's just me, no Cheryl. Please come. I want my mom to have somebody to talk to. I will be giving away a little handmade gift with every copy of Mixed Mania purchased that evening.
We had a weather-related school cancellation today, so I spent some time shoe-shopping on the computer. I found a couple of pairs I liked, but didn't buy anything. After spending my whole life avoiding any kind of heel, I have the sudden urge to wear them. I have a couple of pairs of tall wedges that send my 5'8"+ frame perilously close to gianthood and I LOVE these:
Thursday, December 11, 2008
How does she paint so good?
She's so good cause she's been doin this for like 10 years.
Do you think she's a real artist?
Miss Crane is lucky cause she gets to do art all day.
They're so cute and sincere!
Friday, November 28, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
IF IF IF I decide to do another year-long project, it WILL be book-based. Whatever I do in 2009, I'm getting back to books. I want to become a one trick pony...but a really pretty one that does one perfectly executed, amazing trick. I am sure that books are my True Art Thing, but I got a little talked out of them. I have compromised here and there. Now, when I read OPB and look at the books they are making, it kills me. I should be making books, too. I have new book all sketched out. I was planning on making one Saturday, but I had throbbing headache and the girls had basketball about 2hrs away and Courtney needed to go shopping for some dress-up clothes, so the book got back-burnered. Maybe tomorrow evening...?
In the bad news department - the only place to buy any fabric in Bedford is the Dreaded Supercenter and THEY ARE CLOSING THE FABRIC DEPARTMENT AS OF JANUARY 18. To buy fabric after that, I will have to go south of the river or cross county lines. Good grief.
Put this on your I-pod - "Cath" by Death Cab for Cutie. Slick, slick, slick bass line.
I have a new hobby: checking amazon to see where we rank in our category. In addition to Mixed Media, we seem to be doing well in Decorating.
And I leave you with something read on a sign outside a furniture in Seymour, Indiana-
Corduroy pillows: They're making headlines.
Friday, November 07, 2008
I had never heard of them until yesterday. I was listening to an episode of Diva Craft Lounge with Lauri Mika on it and the other guests were talking about Blythe dolls.
They make me think of Dare Wright and The Lonely Doll.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Happy Halloween! Can you believe 2008 only has two months left in it? Wow! Update on Cross Country - the team finished 8th! Only the top 6 teams advanced to State. I took it pretty hard, but Cookie was okay. She is already looking forward to next year.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
To give you a link to a favorable review of a Certain Book?
Would two links be pushing it?
Great Big Thanks to Diane and Heather!
A bad photo of a cute witchy paper doll. My scanner is not working and I cannot figure out why, being a nontechnology person. It's not that I don't understand machines or that I fear they are taking over or that I worry about my carbon footprint - I just don't like the darn things. I much prefer Real Human People...and dolls.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Courtney's cross country team has advanced to the semi-state meet this Saturday, October 25 at 10:30 am. Only the top 6 teams from each semi will advance to the State Finals. Cookie is the first member of our families to advance to a semi-state in any sport. She is only a freshman and full of self-doubt. Her foot is bothering her, too. It gets numb during races. Sometimes after a mile, sometimes after two or three. It's a problem, running with a concrete block for a foot.
All the girls are nervous, but the coach - who is AWESOME - is optimistic. So, dear readers, I would be more than appreciative of any prayer or positive thought you could send our way:
- for courage and confidence
- for speed
- for Mr. Foot to stay awake
- for a safe, pain free race for all the girls
- no regrets, leaving it all on the course
- for STATE
I know some of you are moms and can relate to worrying about our kids and wanting SO BADLY for them to do well, so I thank you in advance.
The thing about the Companion is on the ME website. The publisher has fallen on hard times and is discontinuing the magazine. There goes one of my life goals. Oh well, there's still MARTHA.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Daily art seems a silly thing to me this week. Who cares? Not me. Not really.
Last Saturday we lost a very dear friend, Henry Wong. He was only 46. Henry was born in Hong Kong, came here when he was eleven and became American. Henry was a patriot; more so than many who are born here. He and his family embraced the freedoms and opportunities of this country. Henry was a chemical engineer for the Navy.
Kam Hung "Henry" Wong and Sai Hui "Sarah" Wong would have celebrated their 20th anniversary in February. Sarah spoke beautifully at the service. She told us how Henry had taught her English, taught her the restaurant business, bought her first car, brought her entire family here from China... she said they had spent nineteen years learning each other.
Henry and Sarah have two kids - Ashley who is Courtney's age and Alexander who is 11. That's how we met Henry - through our kids playing soccer. Years back, JR and Henry coached against each other, but lately, Henry has been JR's assistant. JR is the offensive specialist; Henry was the mastermind of the defense. We also know them from their restaurant - Empress Court.
It doesn't make any sense to me. Making little things seems futile.
At Henry's funeral, his brother Howard got up at the end and explained a couple of things to us about a Chinese funeral. As we passed by the casket, we were to each bow three times to show respect. On the way out, we were to take an envelope from a basket. Inside the envelope was a dime and a piece of candy. The family had suffered a terrible loss; to balance it, they had to give away money. The bitterness of the loss would be balanced by the sweet candy.
Lose Give Bitter Sweet
Friday, October 03, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Training started in August. Courtney's team was coached by Elena Veach, an high school English teacher and assistant coach of a very successful high school team. The girls on that team came from a wide range of soccer backgrounds - some had played since they were four years old; others were only at the beginning of their careers. What they lacked in skill and experience, they made up for in sweetness and fun. Emma, Lilly, Anna,Sarah, Mia, Hannah, Alex, Zoe, Willa, Asia, Olivia. And their parents - the fruit did not fall far from the tree - in a totally good way. The parents were so nice. Sometimes, people from Bloomingon make a big deal about people from Bedford - in a totally bad way.
The fall season for Elena's team was kind of ugly, but she was committed to getting them better, to making them a team and to getting the best out of everyone. She coached them like she meant it. No matter how bad they got slaughtered on Saturday, she worked them out like champs on Monday. Elena never lowered her expectations.
The spring season came, and the team started training and playing matches again. But this season was different. Elena's team was winning. Elena got it out of them. The team she created transcended their own limitations.
Elena Veach reinvented Courtney Crane. Elena made Coutney believe in herself. She instilled a will and desire to find the net into the little girl with braids. Tonight, Courtney Crane played her first high school varsity soccer match. Thank you, Elena.
Elena Veach died Saturday. I don't think she was thirty years old. She leaves behind a husband, a toddler and a newborn son.
Friday, August 08, 2008
Today is really the last day of summer vacation for me. I don't count Saturday and Sunday because we get those days off year round. This has to be one of the biggest perks of my job - 11 weeks off! The other big one - to me, anyway - is that we have clear, concrete beginnings and ends; built-in times to reflect, evaluate and set goals. I woke up today thinking about whether or not I had spent my summer wisely, whether or not I had accomplished anything.
I am not sure I got enough done. I am not sure I should worry about what I got done. When I go back on Monday, everybody will say, "Did you have a good summer?" and I will say yes and ask the same. I cleaned out my closet and got rid of a ton, so did the girls. I went to Arrowmont. Whitley did driver's ed. We got a new heating and cooling thing. I saw a proof of The Book. I wrote an article for Cloth Paper Scissors. I taught at Hummingbird Art Camp. The girls trained and went to a couple of camps. Whitley turned 16 and we enrolled both girls in high school. That's about it.
Sunday, August 03, 2008
It's my first foray into fondant. This is the second soccer ball cake I've made. I did one when Whit was 10, I think. Those hexagons! Yesterday when I was working on the ball was the only time I ever wished basketball was her #1 sport! Courtney wants either a running-themed cake or a guitar cake. Not for a few months, though.
Tomorrow is the first IHSAA official practice for cross country and soccer. Whit is playing soccer again. She is the returning varsity player with the most experience, so she should have a big year. Court is playing soccer and running cross country. There doesn't look to be too many conflicts. Both will be in high school!
I go back on the 11th; kids on the 12th. I think it's going to be a great year for all of us.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
1. Cheryl and I each received a proof of The Book to fine-tooth comb for things like the renegade e. It looks great and I truly hope you like it! There were some parts that made me laugh out loud.
2. After much deliberation, we have chosen an HVAC company to replace our old unit. We will have air conditioning by week's end. It hasn't been too too bad here, but the humidity is beginning to increase, as it does this time of year here. Funny side effect - the girls and I freeze when we go anyplace with AC. I need a sweater for Barnes and Noble.
3. Driver's Ed - 5 classes left - I am not in a panic anymore.
4. Gas prices are out of hand. A guy in line in front of me at Kroger was talking to the checker outer and made the Comment That I Hate - "Well, gas is $10 a gallon in Europe." Hey, dude, look at your driver's license. Look at your address. It don't say Europe. It says IN-DI-ANA.
5. If you are in a long line at Target or the Supercenter and a new check out is opened, the person who has been waiting the longest has the right to be first in the new line. That means the person who is closest to checking out, but still has all of her or his stuff in the cart. This is a friendly reminder for someone who probably doesn't read my blog. It is summer, people, and I'm only trying to save some toes in flip flops from being run over by that lady with all the Popsicles and clearance beach towels in her cart.
6. Next Sunday at this time, I will be in Jemez Springs, NM at the lovely Hummingbird Art Camp. Here is the project I am doing in my classes this year, whole thing and a detail:
Two more new books for you:
100 Artist Journal Pages
by Dawn Devries Sokol
True Vision: Authentic Art Journaling
by L.K. Ludwig
These two books about art journaling came out at pretty much the same time and cover the same topic, but, boy, are they different!
1000 Pages is like Pokey Bolton's 1000 ATC book - no commentary or explanation - just 1000 pages from actual peoples actual journals. In the ATC book, there are 10 or 12 pages of techniques, but in this book there are only two pages of prompts for how to get started. I did not see anything about materials or technique. There are more than a few monolithic girls with wings. I think it was a virus that went around a few years ago. I am curious to see what emerges next in our little community.
True Vision includes something less than 1000 journal pages, but Ludwig gives us information on kinds of books to use, how to use our materials to create art within the confines of a journal and words from the makers of the journals she features. This is my favorite part - reading the maker's own words about her journal. My favorite one is
Bee Shay's Rothko journal. She has taken a book of Rothko paintings and worked over and around them to create a journal. LOVE IT.
That being said, I am slightly uncomfortable looking at other peoples journals. I think it's none of my business. They offered them for publication, so I suppose it's okay with them if I look, huh? I wonder how the idea of maybe getting published changes the way we work? Writing the book changed me for sure. I don't make anything without thinking about how I could write instructions and choosing materials that I know are readily available for everybody.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
As you know from our last visit, I have more than a few hours on my hands while my darling firstborn is further ripped from my arms. I really want to use my time wisely and, possibly, help others. My blog readers came to mind. How could I use my waiting hours to benefit all four of us? I have time to browse and sip a Starbucks at Barnes and Noble, so I have time to do
I am not really a writer, much less a real book reviewer, but I can read. I will give you the unsugarcoated truth about new mixed media books. Let's start with Diane Maurer Mathison's new book, pictured at left: Collage, Assemblage and Altered Art: Creating Unique Images and Objects.
1. The Cover - I like it - it has that matte finish that looks a little upscale and the primary color scheme is always appealing to me.
2. The first image, even before any words or anything, is one of Dan Essig's Bridge Books. That says "Quality", right there.
3. In the first section of the book, devoted to collage, Mathison uses a lot of French words, which I also love. Words like - papier colle, grattage, brulage and fumage. It sounds classy.
4. There is a good recipe for paste flour to make paste papers. I have done it before and it's a lot messy fun, but I did not have a recipe.
5. The Assemblage section features work by people you might know - Michael Demeng and Carol Owens and by people you might not know, but should, like Greg and BJ Jordan. I have some earrings they made - love them.
6. The Altered Art section held a pleasant surprise - the mind-blowing genius of Julie Leonard and Dan Essig - two artists I seldom see in the ocean of mixed media. They swim in the deep end, baby. You haven't seen altered book like this anywhere else.
This book contains projects, techniques and lots of images I hadn't seen before - refreshing. It would be a nice addition to your art library.
Thursday, July 03, 2008
I graduated from Indiana University in 1989 and have since taken a few classes there. This summer Courtney is doing IU Track Club. It's for kids from 4 to 18 and they work out at the IU track - super nice just like I would expect from a Big Ten school - and get coaching on their events from IU athletes and area high school coaches. That's 4 nights a week for an hour and a half. I have been parking at the track and taking walks down Fee Lane and through the arboretum. Yesterday, after dropping Whit off, I decided to walk off some of my anxiety and take a full walking tour of my Alma mater. I put in about 5 miles on the landscaped paths shaded by hundred year old trees. That place is beautiful and quiet this time of year. I saw few people - the summer school students, high school kids on campus for some kind of camp, tiny shriveled professors carrying briefcases equal to their own weight. I crossed Indiana ave - going officially off campus to check out the store hours for Pygmalion's Art Supply - the only real art store in town. They don't open until 9:00. I 'll go back another day. It's a mom and pop joint with a cat or two sleeping on the counter and every kind of art thing you could ever want. Back on campus, I passed the Sample gates, the law school, geology, biology, music - all those places I knew in a former life. They still looked the same. The speed at which time moves is relative - very slowly for limestone buildings with Gothic arches and very quickly for daughters who can't possibly be old enough to drive a car.
I had to take Court back up for Track Club last night and put in a few more miles - about 10 total for the day. It's my new way to cope - exhaust myself.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
These flowers have always been some of my favorites to look at, but I have never had much luck keeping them alive. They seem very finicky about water - easily drowned, easily parched. They require too much babysitting for my taste; I need a sturdy, self-sufficient petunia or Gerber daisy. J.R., however, bought me two hanging basket of the Dreaded Begonias for Mothers Day. Why in the world would you buy THOSE for ME? I asked him. His answer: They're pretty. I was pretty sure they wouldn't be alive when I got home from my week at Arrowmont, but here is proof. They look great. I had a weird dream in which they turned from red to orange.
Here are four more of my daily art quilts. I recently had a "discussion" with a person who works in another medium about these quilts. He was sure they were too small to be real quilts. He thinks it won't be a quilt unless I sew them altogether. Is there a size requirement that nobody told me? My definition is three layers, stitched or fastened together in some fashion. The one that says 19 was made the week of our 19th anniversary. The lower right hand corner features a Sublimely Stitched poodle.
This was my sixth visit as a student to this heavenly place. Cheryl and I took another printmaking class, this time with Diane Fine.
For some reason, I did not take a single photo this time around, but Cheryl did, so scoot on over there to check out some images. One of the best thing about Arrowmont is getting to meet incredible artists from all over the place who are making amazing work with conviction and passion, but are not well-known in the mainstream of everyday culture. How is it that I know who Jessica Simpson is dating - BTW , what has Ashlee done to Pete Wentz? He used to be such a cute little punk. Now he looks like a housecat -and have never heard of Michael Mocho or Jennifer Angus?
Want to see a preview of a supergood book coming out this fall? Check this out and use the arrow at the top to flip thru a few pages. http://interweave.richfx.com/catalog_interweave/MixedMania/index.aspx
I made this purse yesterday. I saw some reverse applique on Rice's blog from the Alabama Stitch Book - I took a peek at the book on B&N on Sunday and it looks good, I may have to buy it - anyhoo, I wanted to give myself a little tutorial on reverse applique, so I made this. Why would I make something this big and involved with my beautiful Kaffe Fassett fabrics for a stinkin' self-imposed tutorial? I seem to have lost the concept of a rough draft. I want to use my precious studio to make real things, not to make practice things. Using fabric I love and don't have much of is also a great motivator to produce quality. I made a pattern, cut out the pieces, made the reverse applique panels, laundered them to get them deconstructing and them assembled the bag. It is quilted and fully lined. It has a magnetic closure.
Fabric keeps calling to me. I really love the design piece of making - having an idea, drafting a pattern, working thru all the steps in my head and on paper and then making turn out right, well-made, neat and strong. I needed to learn reverse applique for an upcoming project that my break a little ground for me. I am still in the thinking and drawing part of it, but I'll keep you posted.
The problem with having a successful day of making yesterday, is that I want to make something else today instead of clean my house. I was sweeping the patio this morning and discovered a dead bird.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
The new Quilting Arts was in my mailbox today! Look on page 74 for my True Colors challenge quilt.
I saw David Cook on Regis this morning. He went on a date with Kimberly Caldwell. Remember her from season two about a million years ago? Sorry, Cheryl, I think she's the president of Cougars for Cook.
I just read that Jessica Simpson is dating Jared Leto. ick.