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.