Friday, September 30, 2011

Bears, Great Students and a Beautiful Sunrise

This week has literally slipped away, we're painting the living room so everything is in an upheaval, I'm leaving for John Campbell this weekend and have company coming when I get back - whew! so I forgot about my blog....Booooo on me and I've been wanting to share more on my wonderful stay in New Bern, NC.  New Bern, NC is the sister city of Bern, Switzerland and their trademark is the bear. There are bears everywhere and I mean EVERYWHERE. They're wonderful, colorful, artistic and add so much to the city of New Bern.  Each bear has a sponsor and costs around $3,000. They are painted by local artists and a plaque sits besides each bear telling all pertinent information. They are such fun to see. 

There was even one in the hotel lobby.
And speaking of hotels, I had the best room with great views, got up early one morning to see this outside my balcony. Does it get any prettier than this?
And onto my workshops, first day we did a half day of Bobbin Magic and a half day of dimensional work (flowers, petals, leaves and off the edge). The students were wonderful.
And lucky for me, I had so many repeat students, making it more fun and personal.
The classroom space in the upstairs of a church was absolutely great, plenty of room to spread out, and even a "whiteboard".
So amongst all these lovely ladies, we also had a lovely man - Ed! Ed was great, the hubby of the program chairman and a great help to me.  Ed is also active with community theater and was involved in the production of Guys and Dolls which he gave me a ticket for and I used on friday night! What fun!
This is some of the samples that came out of our first half day workshop; we did dimensional work with wire, with interfacing and with machine lace and also off the edge applique pieces. All my gals (and guy) did great and wish I could show all of them.
Our other half day workshop was Bobbin Magic which included bobbin stippling, bobbin beading, bobbin stumpwork and bobbin curls. I was amazed that everyone was able to complete every exercise in our very short 3 hours.

It was a wonderful experience and I thank the Twin Rivers Quilters for their wonderful hospitality.
On another note, today I went to the Asheville Quilt Guild's quilt show and have lots to report so please visit me again real soon and enjoy this wonderful fall weather - I'm in Heaven!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New Bern, NC and the Twin Rivers Quilters

I just returned from teaching at the Twin Rivers Quilters Guild in New Bern, NC - the opposite side of the state from me, on the water. It's a wonderful guild and I'll be remembering this trip for a long time. I was treated royally. For starters, I was put up in this wonderful hotel with my own balcony  that had this amazing view!

This was another view from my balcony.
And I just love this post in the water, think it might make an interesting print.
The skies were glorious, both morning and night.

I loved this picture of a dock, so simple and a peaceful place to be.
Critters everywhere just knowing someone was going to feed them.
And interesting roots and trees.
And amazing buildings.

Some amazing big old homes.
There's a very old hardware store downtown that's been there forever. Their windows are amazing with every kind of old artifact you can imagine. Unfortunately I was there when it was closed, but heard it has everything!

There's more to come, some very clever and arty bears, great ladies/students and projects and some more beautiful skies, so please join me again.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Biltmore Exhibit

On Sunday, dear hubby and I visited the Biltmore Estate to see the Tiffany Exhibit along with the annual quilt exhibit held at the Deerpark restaurant. The Tiffany Exhibit was beautiful and featured many different styles of Tiffany lamps along with lanterns and reading lamps. To see that many Tiffanys together in the same place was chilling and very moving. The rooms were darkened and the lamps lit to get the full affect. No photographs allowed so hopefully if you're in the Asheville area, you'll be able to see for yourself. The quilt exhibit held at the Deerpark restaurant on the estate grounds featured quilts made in the stained glass technique or featured motifs often used in Tiffany lamps such as birds, flowers, dragonflies etc. Here are some of the very lovely pieces - enjoy the show.  The "Stained Glass Tree" by Barbara Swinea.
"Magnolia" by Janice Maddox...And you're not seeing out of focus, it's this very cool technique that Janice used to make this piece.

"Century Plant" by Kate Weston.
"Iris" by Judy Simmons.
"Waterbird" by Dort Lee.

There were also some wonderful paintings - this one "Rays of Summer" by Susan Stanton was lovely.
And on the way in, all the wonderful livestock.
And the beautiful flowers.
And there's no way we're leaving without a stop at the Creamery. My hubby has always maintained the philosophy "there's always room for ice cream" and he never turns down an opportunity to prove it!
Yummmmmm. Their ice cream is the best. On another note, I'm off on a teaching trip to the Twin Rivers Quilt Guild in New Bern, NC - a town right on the coast. I'm packed, ready to go and so looking forward to it. I'm staying in a hotel right on the water; I may never want to leave!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Photography Adventure Pt. 2

I've been having some fun working in photoshop with the wonderful photos from my day at Dort's home and property. I loved the look of this old log wall
which transferred into a really good line drawing. I've already been to an office supply place to make a lazer copy of this, which I need to make a silkscreen. That's on tomorrows "to-do" list.
And I also loved this logwall also made into a drawing.
All the greenery comes across as "noise" in the drawing and the initial image is not as clear as I would like.
Another fun thing that Kate, Cathy and I came across was an old fridge, got Kate to sit on top and pose for a picture. Notice how Kate's pants and shoes match the greenery....Exactly!
This was one of my favorite things to photograph. I love circles (and rust) and of course this tire did the trick for me.
And transferred so well into a line drawing which has already been lazer copied to be made into a silkscreen. I think it will be a great image when screened on fabric.
There were some wonderful old tools standing upright
perfect for a possible silkscreen.
And my other favorite - a tractor hidden in the grass. Last time I was at Dorts, I took tons of pictures of this tractor in full view, but Mother Nature has taken over and all you can see is just the front peeking out. I love the drawing of this but way too busy to be made into a silkscreen. The original full view is great though and will make into a good line drawing.

When you see this tractor from head on, it has a face and I think you'll agree when you see the photos. On another note, I woke up this morning to a mere 51 degrees - I was elated, I LOVE FALL!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Photography Adventure

Last week while at our PTA meeting, myself, Cathy and Kate grabbed the opportunity to go outside and take some pictures. Dort L, our hostess lives on 50 beautiful acres, filled with history, lots of little outbuildings, barns and other interesting things. I have a folder called my "Americana" file, filled with pictures of old time America - maybe a future quilt. I loved this little barn
which I turned into a black and white image in Photoshop Elements.
and then a line drawing for a possible silkscreen.
One of the neat things we found on this very short but fun adventure was this charming old tub surrounded by greenery. It looks as though they were planted there on purpose. They seem to "frame" the tub.
I loved the old faucets....
also turned into a line drawing for a possible screen.
And here's Cathy being a big ham and a good sport.
I love old chairs and this one was perfect. I have it in my head to do a quilt of old chairs someday.
The trees and plants on Dort's property are just wonderful; this crabapple caught my eye
enough to turn into a line drawing.
This wonderful old wooden flatbed -wonder what it was used for in it's "hayday"- maybe hay.
I think it will make an interesting screen as the image is very distinct.
And this old gate, I love it!
and a good line drawing also so it will probably become a screen.
There are many more images to share, so stay tuned for further adventures in photography at Dorts.