buriedinscraps

Decide what to be and go be it.

Archive for the category “Photography”

Summertime…

…and the livin’ is easy. Or hectic. My summer has been hectic. Lots of fun…but hectic. Each year my “summers off” have become shorter and shorter. And I try to cram as much into my summer off as I can manage!

We went here:

more_presidents

and here:
crazy horse

and here…where we saw little peeks of snow on the ground in July:

deadwood

Then we went here:

GC1

and here:

rocks

We came and took MiniStitcher and MarioFan here:

Unknown

We were home for a few days and went here:

Progressive-Field-Home-of-the-Cleveland-Indians

and here:

roh

where we saw this:

couch

and this:

cub_scout

Two thoughts on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame–I loved seeing all of the “stuff”. But, I wonder, do we really need to see Jimi Hendrix’s family couch? Nothing better to display?

And even though I’m assuming that Jim Morrison wasn’t always the Lizard King, I could not wrap my brain around him being a Cub Scout.

I’m guessing you can see why the blog posts have been slim pickins lately. Not much sewing, quilting or stitching going on. But back to work now. I think I need a vacation from my vacation.

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Who thinks this stuff up?

How do you go from this

beforeto this?

rushmoreWho looks at a mountain and says, “I think I’d like to see George Washington’s face on that mountain.  And as long as I’m carving, why don’t I just add Tom and Teddy and Abe so George won’t be lonely.”  When I look at a mountain, I see rocks and not faces.  But Gutzon Borglum saw faces and went to work to be sure that we saw them also.  Some well placed explosives, drills, lots of time , blood, sweat and tears and there are four president’s faces looking back at you from the side of a mountain.

I get the thought process…the creative vision.  What I don’t get  is the actual process.  I don’t get how you look at this huge expanse of rock and say if I put X pounds of dynamite in this little, drilled hole and press the plunger, I’ll have Washington’s nose big enough to see it in Wyoming.  Well, maybe not Wyoming, but you get the idea.  Someone had the patience and vision to take a small sculpture and reproduce it on a grand scale.

Aren’t we quilters similar to Borglum?  Obviously, not on such a grand scale….although who wouldn’t want to see a quilt the scope of Mount Rushmore?  I think if I had time I could piece it and still have stash left over!  But we are very much like the sculptor.  We take a piece (or pieces) of fabric and we see a quilt.  And we all have our own vision.  I know that I could show a piece of fabric to ten different quilters and see ten different visions.  Some would see flowers, some would see faces, some would see landscapes and some would see abstract shapes.  We would all see something different…something uniquely “me”.  And we would create something that may be similar to something else; (I adhere to the theory that there is very little that’s new under the quilting sun.)  but at the same time, something that speaks to us alone.  And the best part is that we can do it without one stick of dynamite!  Unless we want to…….

Musings….

My creative muse disappeared.  She skyed up, walked out, took a hike, flew the coop.  Like Elvis, she left the building….and headed for parts unknown leaving me with piles and stacks of projects.  I tried looking for her but I couldn’t find her.  I think she was on that ill-fated cruise ship that had to be towed into Alabama where she had a case of the vapors and took to her bed.  But I think it’s time she came home.

I know I took her for granted–started project after project–finishing few of them.  No wonder she left!  I wore her out.  I picked through my mountain of projects in various stages of completion hoping one would talk to me.  But none appealed to me and I couldn’t start a new one without her.

So I picked up my camera and began to photograph anything and everything.  Everything except quilts. Here are some of those photos.

As much as I love photography–freezing that split second in time forever–I love quilts just as much.

So, I’ve been venturing downstairs once again, looking at the piles of projects and trying to decide in which order to finish them.  Maybe, then, without the distraction of unfinished business, my muse will return.

Wait a minute!  I hear someone at the door!

The devil made me do it…

I was wandering through Joann Fabrics the other day and I was drawn to the magazine rack.  In the past few months, I’ve put myself on a magazine diet.  I read them, can’t bear to part with them and they stack up.  I’ve probably killed a small forest over the years.  Having said that, you won’t see me on the next episode of “Hoarders”, but it is a habit I’d like to break.  I’ve been very selective in my magazine purchases of late.  So, when I passed by the rack, I tried to just skim over the rack and move on.

But, then….I saw this.  Ooooo….I like that quilt on the cover.  “Don’t pick it up”‘ that little angel on my shoulder said.   “Oh, just a little peek won’t hurt” the little devil said.  A little poke from his pitchfork and there it was…in my hot, little hands.  A closer look at the cover quilt.  I gotta make this!  Oh, yeah…I gotta make this.  The little angel said “You have a huge pile of “gotta makes” in various stages of completion.  Shouldn’t you finish those first?”  Yeah, but…  “No”, she said.  “Maybe another day.”  I sighed.  I returned the magazine to the rack.  I walked to the batting aisle and picked up the one thing I came to purchase.  I turned the corner.

“Pssst….hey, kid, over here!”  I turned.  I looked.  There was that little red devil,  perched on the corner of the magazine rack.  “C’mon….you know you want it.  Think how awesome that would look in reproduction fabrics.  Seriously, it’s only one magazine.  Just a tiny tree…a twig.  The stack isn’t up to the ceiling yet.  It’ll fit.  Besides, you know you love it….”

Darn devil!  Now the magazine is in my hands again and there’s no turning back.  So, here it is, in my house and I discover that the Installment 2 directions are in the next issue…and so it goes.  I only hope I can find it since I found this one by chance.

All joking aside, this is a beautiful publication.  It’s informative, wonderfully photographed and a very nice blend of quilting styles.  I was especially drawn to the article “Beneath the Southern Sky”.  It’s a traveling exhibit that shows the quilter’s interpretation and vision of the theme.  It makes me want to visit Australia.

I’ve always wanted to visit Australia.  Others want to go to Paris or Hawaii.  I want to go to Australia.  It just seems uniquely beautiful in a rugged sort of way.  But since there isn’t enough Xanax in the world to get me on an airplane, it appears to be the impossible dream.   I don’t even think the remote possibility of bumping into Russell Crowe in the corner store could get me on a plane.  And it would be a pretty long drive/swim.  So, I’ll just admire from afar.  And hope that maybe Russ will show up at our local 7/11. 😉

Off on a different tangent…why does Barbara Brackman hate me? 🙂  Another variation of the dreaded Amethyst block in Grandmother’s Choice!  One wasn’t enough.  She had to give us two!  She is one tough task master!  By the end of this quilt, we’ll all be doing Y-seams with our eyes closed!

If we were talking about Maple Leaf quilts, this photo would tie right in.  But we’re not.  And I love this shot, so I’m including it anyway!

Maybe we should all take some time out it think like a kid!  Might make us smile!

Road Trip!

I was able to spend a little time with the grandkids this weekend.  Saturday, we took a road trip to Springfield, Illinois.  MiniQuilter’s brother, MarioFan, has a fascination with Abraham Lincoln so we promised him a day trip to some of the Lincoln sites.  MiniQuilter is not really into history, but she went along for the party.  We had a beautiful day–beautiful hot warm sunshine.

 Our first stop was Lincoln’s Tomb.  It’s pretty impressive.  The design is symbolic in many ways and it has a very nice collection of Lincoln sculpture.  It was a very interesting visit.  You can take a virtual visit here.

After a quick stop to buy a stovepipe hat and beard for MarioFan, we were off to Lincoln’s home.  A slight problem when MarioFan bumped into a stacked display of Lincoln Logs—the tins rolled through the gift shop as my husband slinked out the door, leaving me with a cute little red-faced boy!  When we went outside to wait for the tour to begin, MarioFan announced his disappointment that the home was not a log cabin.  (This later led me to do a Google search for an Abraham Lincoln log cabin–another trip for another day.)  Once inside, I was very disappointed—not one quilt!  Not even in the servant’s room.  Lots of woven coverlets…no quilts.  I mean, seriously Mary Todd Lincoln…not one quilt?  MiniQuilter and I enjoyed the tour of the home…the furniture and all the “pretties”.  MarioFan on the other hand, was most impressed by the “little house out back”.  He had a hard time wrapping his head around that one.  Ah….eight year olds!

A pleasant surprise!  There was a Civil War encampment on the grounds of the Old State Capitol.  It was basically a medical encampment and there were displays of medical kits and such.  There was a surgical “demo” that the kids surprisingly enjoyed.  I’m just happy that medicine has come a long way, baby!  We walked past a tent that housed both Grant and Lee.  (Nice to see the boys getting along!)  These two men looked so much like the generals that it was uncanny!  These  re-enactors take this very seriously and stay in character at all times.  Throughout the entire camp, I only saw one quilt!  It was not an antique, but very pretty.

Inside the Old State Capitol building, ladies and gents in period costumes were dancing.  I always find these events fascinating.  I love to see the men in their uniforms and the women in the big dresses.  Although at 90 plus degrees, I was glad that it was them and not me in a wool jacket or a hoop skirt!

And, as always, with two eight year olds, I made several trips to the “necessary room”.  (Good thing for MarioFan that these were inside and flushed!) So, if you’ll ever be in Springfield,  give me a ring—I can tell you where all the bathrooms are!

I’ll leave you with a short slide show of our day.

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Thinking outside the box

As much as I wanted to sew last weekend, I didn’t.  Not because I didn’t want to…but because I had to catch up.

One of the things I had to catch up on was my photography class.  I realized that I had a class on Monday and nothing to show.  Got out the old camera and fired away with the shutter!  Then I had a plethora of photos to edit.  I’m a slow editor since I’m still not completely comfortable with the process.  I click the Preview button in Photoshop to see what impact my editing has had on the image.  It’s like having an eye test–which looks better…A..click or B..click.  So many decisions!  Here are two images that I played with and was happy with the result.

Since this is a quilting blog, I have a quilt related idea.  Uh oh!  Ideas can be dangerous!  I’m looking to step out of my comfort zone.  I never do pictorial quilts, but I think I  may like to try one.  I feel “drawn” to the tree image.  Here’s where the trouble begins!  I know enough about myself to know a couple of things for certain.

  • I’m no artist, so painting this image on fabric is a joke.  Unless I want a Picasso kind of look!  (Which I don’t )
  • I’m not much of an appliquer–so cutting little leaves is out of the question.

I’m thinking of transferring the image onto fabric through my printer.  I don’t have very much experience with this technique.  I’ve used the letter sized pre-treated fabric pieces.  I don’t like the stiffness of the fabric.  And I would be limited by the size.  I have a wide format printer so I could go larger than letter sized.  Has anyone had any experience with this technique?  I know I can Google it but I’m looking for someone who has actually done this and can hold my hand!  🙂

See…I can see this with fancy threads, maybe some couching, definitely some beading.  OK…I’m scaring myself!!

In my other life…

When I’m not working or quilting or “family-ing”, I love photography.  As much as quilting is my passion, my camera is a close second.  Having said that, you might think I was good at it.  Not so much.  I’m much better than I was but not at all as good as I hope to be someday.  My friend Debbi and I have been taking some photography classes from her DIL’s friend…a professional photographer.  That girl has definitely taken me out of my comfort zone.  The difference in my photos is amazing…even realizing how much farther I have to go!  Debbi and I began the classes to take better pictures of the grandkids.  I was tired of getting snapshots.  I wanted photos.  I wanted images!  And I have been able to achieve that with them.  Sure, I delete a lot of pictures.  But at least I usually get that one great shot!  I moved outside to our yard and snapped a few of the spring flowers in the back yard.  Thought I might share some of them with you.

My goal this weekend is to take MarioFan to the park and try to get some good shots of him.  Where MiniQuilter poses, he just gives me that cheesy eight year old smile.  God love ‘im!  He promised to cooperate because he’s helping me with my homework.

The real reason why I’m sharing these photos is that I don’t have anything quilty to show you.  I just ran out of time to work on anything this week.  However, I did get to the store and bought lots of batting so when I get time to quilt, I’m ready!!  One quilt did actually get pin-basted.  And Leah didn’t give us any homework this week.  There was nothing to motivate me!  Perhaps a cattle prod….

MiniQuilter wanted to work on her quilt so we sewed together one more row of blocks.  Her progress is slow.  She may have it completed before the fabrics go out of style.  🙂

And, to tie my camera and sewing together, I found this wonderful tutorial!  My camera bag has seen better days.  I looked around for a bag that had a little bit of style.   Guess you have to pay for style!  A lot.  I think I would really like to try to make this bag.  But I’m thinking that cotton fabric would probably not hold up.  What do you think about an upholstery fabric?

Takin’ a break

Ah…it’s Wednesday.  And if it’s Wednesday, I should have something to post for the FMQ Quilt-Along.  I’m hanging my head.  I got nothin’.  I started my applique quilt on Saturday and didn’t get very far…life got in the way.  And it got in the way again on Sunday and Monday … and I think you get the picture.  I’m hoping for time to finish this weekend but it’s not looking good.  The grandkids will be here and I just can’t concentrate with the X-box in the background and the pummeling of each other in the name of brotherly love.  🙂  But wait!  My granddaughter gave up fighting with her brother for Lent….except on Thursday.  So the weekend looks conflict-free!  Why Thursdays?  Beats me…guess we can only expect so much restraint from an eight year old with an eight year old brother.

Today I received the backing fabric for my Civil War tribute quilt.  So, once I finish sewing the blocks together, it can be quilted.  I’m really anxious to see it completed.  Saturday, my granddaughter and I are going to a program at the library.  A woman is bringing her collection of Civil War quilts for display.  Since Civil War quilts are my quilting passion,  I’m really excited to see them.  I tried to convince my husband to go but he expressed little interest so Stella asked to go along.  It’ll cost me lunch, but we should have a fun afternoon.

And, just to prove that I do occasionally finish something, here is my Stars Around the Garden finished this summer.   This picture reminds me that we’re one day closer to summer……………….

I’ve had two photography classes to date.  In each one of them the instructor recommended a 50mm lens.  I’ve wanted one for a while but could never really justify buying it.  But “Teacher said I needed it” so I ordered one.  It should be delivered on Friday and I’m expecting that it will revolutionize my photos.  I can’t decide if I want to be the next Ansel Adams or Anne Geddes.  All I truly want is to get good pictures of the grandkids.

Although I’m learning alot in these classes, I still know next to nothing.  The sweet thing is that my husband knows less than me.  So I can drop all kinds of terminology into the conversation and look pretty smart!  “I wanted the 1.2 but it was just too expensive so I ordered the 1.8”.   Sometimes it’s fun to pretend to be smart!

Quilt as you go…and a cool picture

Quilt as you go has never been one of my favorite techniques.  I’ve tried it in the past and wasn’t very happy with the results.  But I thought I’d give Leah’s tutorial a try.  Her way is much easier and neater than anything I’ve tried in the past.  Her tutorial is very clear and I’m glad I tried it….but I still don’t see myself doing much of it!  Sorry, Leah!  🙂

This week I began a beginner’s photography course.  Our homework was to shoot in aperture priority.  So, I went out into the drab, gray wasteland that is our backyard this time of year and tried to find something that was worth photographing…not an easy task at the dreary end of winter.  But I came across the fir tree that my son bought for a buck when he was about four and planted in the corner of the yard.  (If I had known it would actually grow to tower over the garage, I would have planted it in a more prominent spot!)  But I looked at the branch and saw the little water droplets and decided that was the shot I was looking for.  So, I’m sharing that with you today.   And from time to time, I may share others.  Enjoy!  One day closer to spring………

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