Mail Art Show

Have you ever done mail art? This unique and wonderful art form was created in response, in protest to, juried art shows.  There are no rules except the No Rules.  No censorship, no judging.  The curator must  hang all pieces received.  I first learned of this no judgmental art form in 1982 (?) or thereabouts.  I saw an announcement about a show in Whittier curated by Leslie Caldera, a.k.a. Creative Thing.  The show was in the window of a Whittier Music store and I was entranced to read that anyone could enter.
I contacted Leslie, asked a lot of questions and arrived to see the show!  Very interesting....in the ensuing years, I did mail art, curated several shows of my own and taught kids how to send interesting and funny things through the USPS. Now, of course, mail art is much tamer, due to security restrictions, but in the 80s you could, and we did, send anything!
Well...why Mail Art now?  Because Leslie Caldera, a.k.a. Creative Thing has another mail art show and I entered and went to see it.   That's him to the right.

The gallery, is what I call a mushroom gallery.  Why mushroom? Because it was a very old warehouse that was filled with %$#@ for many years.  What do mushrooms grow in? %$#@ that's what!
So a large warehouse cleaned out and painted white on the inside, and filled with 4-6 mini-exhibits, one of which  is Leslie's show.  The theme is Critical Mass.

Mail Art is a world wide art form, so the exhibit space was anchored with maps on the floor, please remove shoes.   

It was an easy trip to Brazil.

If you are enchanted with the idea of "free art for the world" as I was, consider entering the next mail art show you hear about!  It is loads of fun to do the art and then, if geography allows, see all of the pieces enhibited. Check for Mail art websites...such as www.zyarts.com/zybooks/mailartpage.html

Here are some of the pieces I enjoyed.


International Quilter's Day

For the 14th year, Claudia Redfern of Laguna Beach, CA invited traditional and art quilters to share a meal, lots of laughter, and their completed and not-so-completed quilts. Many quilters traveled to Laguna Beach from such far flung places as Roseburg, Oregon and Fallbrook, Oceanside, Vista and El Segundo! There were women who do hand quilting. There were women who dye fabric. There were women who do EVERYTHING!
The day was gorgeous; sunshine and a fresh breeze. We ate great food, including a chicken "hot dish" made by Carolyn Winfield, made with raspberry sauce from Robert Rothschild Farm (www.robertrothschild.com) Carolyn works at Stephen Frank Garden and Home in Laguna Beach There are all kinds of fun items there for "foodies". See the goodies right here http://www.stephenfrank.com/store/sc/home.asp

 The dish Carolyn made is called Rasberry Salsa Torte. It was luscious! Claudia made baby red potatoes stuffed with artichoke hearts, potato, mayo and parmesian cheese as an appetizer and Eike Anderson made Berries on a Cloud for dessert. Maybe Eike will give us the recipe next year!
Each year we choose a project(or more than one) to complete before the third Saturday of March the following year! The quilters who chose the black and white blocks last year were strong finishers. See some of the quilts here. ( DRAT!  Lost the photos by clicking delete before I should have)
You would think a year would be enough time to allow ALL of us to complete our projects, but each of us who was supposed to finish our Lost Socks blocks, needed more time. I am in this slow but steady group. We will have them ready for trade at Camp Watch-A-Patcher (CWAP), right ladies?

This year there were a half-dozen projects proposed and we ended up with three. Some of us are doing stars with Bev Packard, some of us are doing Gwen Marston Houses, and some are doing a 4-patch scrappy quilt called Candy Stripe! Sounds yummy doesn't it? There is another group, the indies, doing Funky Baskets using pastel polka dots for the background, black & white strips only for the basket handle and bright flower for the baskets.
 I am doing the houses, having seen these at CWAP several years ago and longing to try them...looking forward to doing these in polka dots, stripes and checks a la Yvonne Porcella, a great inspiration.
Brights and odd wonderful details....
Speaking of Yvonne, check this out! http://jamiefingaldesigns.blogspot.com/
Go to the March 20th post!
Jamie Fingal and Leslie Tucker Jennison rounded up ( Leslie is a Texan) lots of quilters to do blocks for a quilt for Yvonne. Here it is in "living color"!  You can copy and paste!

 Yvonne was recently diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer and is "enjoying" chemo cocktails these days. Over 100 blocks were done in her style, bright and wild! If you missed the opportunity to do a block, send her an encouraging word! A note! A chocolate pie! Just kidding! I know that she would love to hear from you.
More color in the world!!!


Billy (NMI) Calvert 1927-2009

My father died of pneumonia on December 22, 2009. He was (just barely) 82 years old. He was a man who struggled with alcohol, the early loss of his own father and step-father, a man who loved to dance, loved sports. He taught me to play baseball and football, to be an inquisitive person, to read anything and everything, to enjoy life, to think on my feet and to question authority. He played the guitar in high school and college...music that sounded like Texas...Hank Williams, Chet Atkins, Sons of the Pioneers. He gave away his black and white guitar when we moved from Ohio back to CA.
He also taught me to choose with my heart, to assume that I could solve my own problems, to go after what I want and to never let anyone get the best of me.
He taught me to be a competitor, a leader and a challenger. I am afraid that he also taught me to set high standards, and to jettison those who do not measure up. His approval was difficult to achieve, although later in life he assured me that I was well loved.

He was a reader, argumentative, challenging, a discusser, talker, storyteller.

At various times of my life I loved him, feared him, resented him, worried about him, was angry with him, removed myself from his influence and wanted him to stop telling me what to do and how to do things.

I spent time with him in April, little dreaming that he would not live to see Christmas, a particularly tough time for our family and my father. While visiting him in Kentucky in April he gave my brother and I some old photos of my mom, my Aunt Ruth and some of him when he was a boy. I include one of my favorites here.

I do not know how you say good-bye to your father. The best I can do is to say thank you for giving what you could, I forgive you, and I love you. I will miss you.


Holidy Shopping that is FUN! Ongoing Show/Art Sale

On Sunday December 20, 2009 from Noon to 5:00pm there is a treat in store for you.
The Muckenthaler Cultural Center (AKA The Muck) in Fullerton is hosting a Fine Arts and Crafts Fair as part of their Annual Holiday Festival. Imagine that! There are two wonderful fiber exhibits showing, more info at http://www.themuck.org

There will be fine arts and crafts vendor booths, children's arts activites, music and dance performances and tours of the beautiful 1924 mansion which houses the center.
Some of the Cut Loose Quilters will be there selling art quilts, cards, quiltlets, fabric post cards, ornaments, pillows and more. I will be there as well as Cindy Cooksey, Jamie Fingal, Stacy Hurt and Terry Waldron!
Come and enjoy a great opportunity to find one-of-a-kind gifts at reasonable prices.
Please join us!


Muckenthaler Cultural Center, Fullerton CA

This is a lovely place....a vintage mansion, now concert venue, art galleries, lawns for craft fairs, car shows and two (!) beautiful Batchelder fireplaces. Currently, there are two exhibits. Downstairs, find "Natural Fibers", featuring fiber art including a very beautiful willow sculpture by Carol Shaw-Sutton, (a former teacher and always an inspiration) and wall installation pieces made from twined palm and canvas as well as Joseph Cornell like boxes filled with textures created by collections of seed pods, eggs, and mysterious natural forms.

Upstairs find "Contemporary Quilts", an exhibit of a range of textile work including friend Stacy Hurt's piece Children of Lir ,( the photo does not do it justice) several pieces by friend Cindy Cooksey and friend Jamie Fingal, all members of Cut Loose Quilters,
(see www.cutloosequilters.com/) as well as quilts by Rose Hughes, Carol Henke and others of Quilts on the Wall, a local art quilt group. For more of their work see www.quiltsonthewall.com/.

We enjoyed both shows, and then wandered to downtown Fullerton where we had lunch at a small cafe, enjoying chicke posole soup and tasty sandwiches and omlets, and then window shopped at Gilding the Lily which features vintage trim, hats, charms, buttons, game prize tokens, and a printer's chest full of what art quilters call "embellishments!"

Ever since I was the little girl who was allowed to choose her own hair ribbons at Sprouse Ritz, I have loved all kinds of ribbon...still do...just look what I found at Gilding the Lily....

A day well spent! Do check out the "Muck" as it is known to it's friends and supporters....lots of music, art and beauty right at Euclid and Malvern in Fullerton!


Down Home Antique Emporium Holds Fall Open House

Our favorite antique store in Old Towne Orange had a fall open house today! There were all things autumn...beautiful colored leaves, pumpkin pie and cookies, owls and things that go bump in the night! See some of the gorgeous pumpkins above. (I did not however see any hens in fall attire...dressed poultry...right!) I went with my friends Marva Hitchcock, and her daughters Amy and Janet and we ran into our friend Nancy Drew. Yes, that's right, Nancy Drew...no...not the teen sleuth, but a wonderful quilter and Orange resident.
Amy is pumpkin shopping! There were all sizes and shapes of pumpkins to be had, but the pumpkin farm address is a Halloween Secret! There were rats and bats and cats, oh my!
Is this a witch in disguise?
One of the antiquers did a wonderful job on this witch, and please note the for- real hornets nest and Lizzy Borden axes in the background...this is a VERY SCARY place!
Red wagons with pumpkins ready to be taken home and carved into jack-o-lanterns. I found my initial but opted to take home a Halloween Witch with a patchwork skirt instead!


Cow Chip Bingo???

Ok, at the Street Fair last weekend I bought 4 tickets for Cow Chip Bingo, a creative way for the El Modena High School Band to raise money. What, you don't know what Cow Chip Bingo is? Well....let me explain. Take one reasonably green field, this one on the south side of El Modena's campus. No, not the football field, that one is artificial turf....but the one just east of the stadium, mark it off in squares....LOTS of squares, 3,000 to be exact and, I assume, using a computer, number the squares....then sell lots of tickets! On September 19th, sometime around noon, three cows will start wandering around the field and as is usually the case, the cows will eventually do what cows (and other creatures) do after eating...and I do not mean Moo! At the first unloading of....weeeeell.....cow dung, the humans in charge will figure out who "bought" the square in which the cow pattie landed and that LUCKY person will win $250, the second time this organic cleansing occurs the square owner will win $500 and the third time, the lucky square owner will win $750. If band members sell all of the tickets, the take will be $15,000! Wow! The band splits the remainder (after expenses I assume, how much do cows rent for and how mcuh do they eat?) with the ASB and everybody goes home happy...right? What about the cows? Whose cows are they anyway?

Cow watching begins at noon at EMHS...I will be there, because this is too silly to miss! Besides, by chance two of the tickets I bought contain the number 68 (my graduation year) and 70 ( my brother's graduation year!) I, of course, will win with that lucky start. Come on cows!