Saturday, May 30, 2009

June and the" Weaver Fever"

I have not much time this week to think about fabric and quilt patterns. In my spare time, I have been dreaming about report card comments or looking at some fabulous masterpieces in our local art gallery and at the Telus World of Science Center.

Weaver Fever is a pattern by Jackie Robinson. Teresa of Moon Valley Quilting has posted a photo of her grandson's Weaver Fever - it is a real beauty. I made my version of this quilt a few years ago, for my brother Gene and his wife Kris. I loved the color combination- the black highlights the other colors and I was very pleased with how this quilt worked out.
This quilt was made according to my color preferences and pattern choices, but they have enjoyed it and used it as a center piece for their room decor.

I love the rich greens and turquoise - these are two colors that I frequently choose to wear when picking colors for my clothing.


My sister in law Kris, is a very talented lady - she is a beautiful seamstress. Her house is always beautifully decorated. She is a consummate hostess. Kris is having a birthday this week - Happy Birthday dear lady- You are one special person and our lives are richer because of the many things that you bring to our family.

When I reflect back on this week- lots has happened. It has been a bit of a blur. Life at school is hectic- it is the nature of June- there are reports to write, assessments to complete and the general winding down of another busy school year. This is the 31 year that I have been teaching. I have enjoyed being an early childhood educator and think that it is the best job. My young children are so observant and fun to be around. They make us laugh (and cry occasionally). Each year I am grateful to be able to have the opportunity to do important and satisfying work.

This week has some bitter sweet things too. Some long time family friends are trying to deal with the grave prognosis regarding their only child- a daughter- She is in her 30's and has fought a valiant fight to overcome her cancer but it does not look good for this lovely young woman. There are no words to express our sadness and very little one can do to comfort or provide solace for them all.

Bruce and I have had two lovely dates this week- We enjoyed the Van Gogh Imax show. The film brought back memories of visiting the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam many years ago. The museum is such a beautiful facility and provided a wonderful setting to see his work up close. There is nothing like seeing the real thing when it comes to art. Imax films are stunning ways to view both nature and art. Photography is a wonderful medium and the technology is amazing but it still is not the same when it comes to looking at the original works.
Never the less, the Van Gogh film was pretty spectacular. I was reminded of pieces of his work that I had forgotten.

At the Science Center they also opened a visiting show about Da Vinci. Brilliant and genius, do not begin to describe this man's immense talent. One part of the exhibit had a Mona Lisa Gallery. It presented 25 facts they have discovered about the Mona Lisa. A French photographer used a camera that had 240,000,000 pixels to photograph her out of her glass enclosure and frame. The infrared camera was able show the differences between how she must have looked originally and the way that she looks now.
Did you know she was originally more pink skin tone or that the background was a lovely soft blue made from lapis lazuli paint? She also is wearing a fine veil on her hair and that she had some lace on th gusset of her dress. For the show they have made a facsimile of the original and provided exact details. When we saw her in Paris, I remember being disapointed at how small she was. The painting is actually quite a bit bigger than I remember though, she is quite small when she is compared to some of the other large canvases in the Louvre. Da Vinci took her with him to France where I think that he was living at the time of his death- hence why the French lay claim to her. The Mona Lisa has been stolen, had rocks thrown at her and been fought over- quite a history for a woman who is over 500 years old.

Equally as impressive were some other parts of the gallery where they displayed the many many inventions and ideas that Da Vinci recorded in his notes. Some of the things he never tried to build - just imagined. Did you know that he had come up with designs for a scuba diver's suit? a catapult? an emergency bridge? things to do with mirrors? anatomical sketches that are still used in medical textbooks today? musical instruments? a screw that is the basis for the whirly bird on a helicopter? It was an astonishing collection of ideas and objects that all came from one brilliant mind- WOW is all that I can say!!!

On date #2, Bruce and I went to see the opening of a new exhibit at the Art Gallery of Alberta. The show is printmaking of the Impressionists. There were 65 works from our National Gallery in Ottawa. I loved the Mary Cassatt prints - her children are gorgeous - she seems to capture the essence of the light that glows within people. The second gallery has some wonderful Canadian artists including a number of Group of Seven paintings and my favorite Canadian Painter- Emily Carr.

While I was in the Printmaking gallery, an older woman stopped and began to chat with me. She wanted to share her stories. The lady was in a wheelchair and had once led a cosmopolitan life. As she has aged , Her life circumstances had changed and she currently finds herself living with people with whom she does not make connections. As I listened to her tell me her stories, I found myself wondering what I could say to her that would help her feel better about life. Part of her story was about needing to feed one's creative spirit. Her life experiences had taken her to places like Montreal and New York City where the culture is rich with fine art experiences. There are more and more cultural events here in the West but it different.

What is it that gives us that sense of belonging and happy with your lot in life? How do you feed your creative spirit?

I am one lucky girl in so many ways. Some very nice quilters hosted some giveaways recently and I was the lucky winner of two of them - one from Yellowbird art Angela will be sending me two patterns and two fabrics WOW). The other is from
Christine from Once upon a Quilt. She is a lovely lady from Australia who was celebrating her 100th post. I am so excited to win 6 fat quarters of fabric from Australia.
Do go and check out these ladies blogs- you will see some really wonderful things.
Thank you ladies for your generosity.

If I get a chance in the next few weeks, I will continue to work on the Trip around the World quilts. I have the first one put together and the second one ready to sew the strips together. I do have some new works to share when I get the photos scanned into my computer.

Have a great week. I hope you find some time to feed your creative spirit.

Warmest regards,
Anna
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