Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Chaos in the guise of improvement...

It's difficult to believe things could get more chaotic around here than they've been for the last few months, but this week we've managed to make it so. We've been having some major dry rot and termite repair work done to the front of the studio house, and the bamming and slamming and hideous noises of hammers, saws and power tools has been driving us, and the cats, bonkers. The smell of fresh paint and various other noxious sealing and anti-vermin potions has only added to our despair. Fortunately, the work will be finished by this evening, and, after cleaning up tomorrow morning, things should return to normal. The street view of the house will be freshly painted and far more presentable to the world (and the Neighborhood Association), even though the backside of the house will still look like a tenement. We'll take care of that later - no one can see it anyway, since it's far up the hill from the houses down below on the next street. The best thing about all of this confusion has been having a couple of shirtless, hunky guys running around the place all day...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Paphiopedilum lawrenceanum (Rchb. f.) Pfitzer 1888 SUBGENUS Sigmatopetalum SECTION Barbata SUBSECTION Barbata

What an overwhelming name for something so simple and lovely as a gentle orchid!

This is the second time it's bloomed for me, and I'm so delighted with it's grace and beauty! The Greenhouse in the Loo is incredibly blessed!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Back at the Auction... AGAIN...!

I'm in luck... tomorrow is the last day of the SAQA auction. That means I can start saving my money again! This is my most recent, and probably, final, purchase this year... "The Grass Beneath Thy Feet", by Judy Haas.

The stitching on this piece just blew me away - so wild and free - it rather reminds me of the beautiful, wild land at Sea Ranch - where I'd like to live more than any other place on this planet. A fun fantasy to have, but it'll never happen. Thankfully, I'm quite content right here on La Canyada Hill. The auction has been fun, and I'm absolutely delighted with my four purchases - all of which have a significant meaning to me in one way or another, and I'm enjoying looking at them every day, which is how art should make one feel. Biggest problem is to find a place to hang them - my studio is the best place, where they can inspire me on a daily basis, but wall space is getting scarce in there, especially since I added all of the new shelving. But, never fear... I'll figure something out!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Back at the Auction

I just can't stay away from the SAQA Auction! Today, I bought two pieces from the Week 2 collection. I missed out on the one piece I reallyreallyreallyreallyreally wanted. The bidding in my price range began at 11:00 this morning, and even though I was watching the clock like a hawk and got my bid in at 11:04, someone else was more on top of it, and got there first. Dang! This is worse than closing moments on eBay! I was heartbroken for a few minutes, but got a grip and did succeed in getting my second choice, and quickly found another to fall in love with. Here are my two treasures from today:

This is titled "Currents" and is by Sally Gould Wright. Much of Sally's work is quite whimsical and full of detail - the kind of quilts I just like to sit and stare at for minutes on end. The thing that really made me fall in love with this one is the embellishments. I'm an embellishment nut... but you knew that...!

This is "Remains of the Day" by Linda Witte Henke. Linda is a very spiritual person - something with which I can truly resonate. Much of her art is liturgical, and thanks to many years of making liturgical art myself, her work really speaks to me. Again, this piece has the detail I love... I doubt I'll ever tire of looking at it.

Week 3 bidding begins on Thursday. I'm hoping I can rein myself in this time around. But it's for such a good cause...!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Garden Oddballs

Mother Nature has a wonderful sense of humor, and I enjoy weird looking, out-of-the-ordinary plants.

Society Garlic... A pretty, delicate, fragile little plant that sways seductively with every breeze, and emits a pungent blast of "garlic breath" that practically knocks you off your feet when you get within 3 feet of it - especially on a hot day!
Shrimp Plant... It doesn't smell like shrimp, and, though I haven't tried it, I seriously doubt it tastes anything like shrimp, but it certainly LOOKS like a shrimp.

Chinese Lantern... Doesn't look like any Chinese lantern I remember from San Francisco's China Town parades, but I'll give horticulturalists the benefit of the doubt!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Art Quilt Auction

Studio Art Quilt Associates, an art quilting group of which I've been a member for nearly ten years, holds an annual online auction, selling works by members to raise money to support SAQA's exhibitions, catalogs and outreach programs. This year, 234 12" square art quilts, in an awesome variety of subjects, colors and techniques, are being offered in a "reverse auction", in which prices begin at $750, and decrease every day for six days until they bottom out at $75. If you really, really want something, bid early and high, or else it's gone! I got wiped by a hugely generous lady (bless her!) who swept through the first day and bought three of the four quilts I'd oogled during the previews. I had to wait a few days before the prices dropped into my comfort zone, when I was able to bid on and nab the fourth, a spectacular piece by Anne Parker. It'll soon be hanging in my studio gallery... I can hardly wait!
Here it is:

Sunday, September 13, 2009

YAY!!! 28 years!!

9/13/1981 - Northbrae Community Church, Berkeley CA
Our comrades in the 16-voice professional choir of the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption, San Francisco...
Good friend Alan Blasdale - The Best Organist in the Bay Area...
150 balloons...
9 wedding cakes - chocolate fudge, carrot, tutti-frutti, orange, peppermint, champagne, bourbon, a chocolate cheesecake for the bride and groom, and a pint-sized traditional white with white frosting, which we saved for the 1st anniversary party. (All 9 were cheaper than the cheapest boring wedding cake the bakery offered)...
Entertainment by the stupendous Wesla Whitfield, pianists Alan Thomas and Dick Clark, and polkas by Deane Merrill on his trusty accordian...

It was a "dry" church, so things wrapped up quickly and about 20 of us repaired to Casa Maria for the real celebration.