Friday, September 19, 2014

On a personal note

I love dogs--big, long-haired, floppy dogs.  I'm not a fan of cats.  I've just never been able to make much of a connection with them.  But dogs are so easy to love.  They don't judge you, they're always glad to see you, and they love you even when you don't deserve it.

I've always had dogs in my life, but most of them primarily belonged to someone else.  Sometimes that was the choice of the person and sometimes it was the choice of the dog.  I remember we had a beautiful cocker spaniel once that we took in because its owners could no longer keep it.  I thought that dog was amazing and I wanted it to choose me as its person.  Instead, it trailed around after my mother, who didn't care for it at all.  It would cry when she left for work in the morning and bring her his toy to play with when she came home in the evening.  She was way too busy taking care of a family to have time for a dog.  I had lots of time and I tried and tried to make a connection with him, but he had given his heart to my mother and that was that.

When I was 11 years old, we got a border collie puppy.  Her name was Princess and she was beautiful.  Best of all, she chose me, and she was my best friend until she died when I was 18.  After that, I got busy being a grownup and, like my mother, I didn't have time to spend with a dog.  My husband had several Brittany Spaniels over the years, but he was their person.  I was busy with work and children.

When we moved to the country in 1997, we had a miniature poodle.  I had purchased him to keep my husband company after he retired and I was still working.  He was our first indoor dog and I loved him, but he was pretty high maintenance and my idea of a great dog was one who lived outside and didn't need to be taken to a groomer every couple of months.

Then, one morning Sasha came into our lives.  My husband discovered her on the doorstep, scared and alone.  It was love at first sight.  The vet estimated she was about 8 weeks old and she was the most adorable puppy I'd ever seen.  She looked like a little teddy bear and I almost named her Bear, but decided that she deserved a more sophisticated name.

We could tell by the feet that she was going to be a big girl.  She was so soft and cuddly with a curled up tail.  Who could have resisted that face?

Well, she absolutely took over our lives and seemed to love both of us equally, though, I think she always really cared more for my husband.  I was the one who nursed her through a cracked pelvis that she got when she ran into a tree while chasing a squirrel, a snake bite that, luckily, was not severe, though it was delivered by a copperhead, and a severe cut to her head, which we never did figure out how that happened. 

She was adventurous and very protective of us.  She hated snakes, squirrels, cats, and armadillos.  She was afraid of thunder and never liked loud noises.  One of us would usually sit with her during a thunderstorm.  She loved cold weather and snow made her deliriously happy.

Sasha died last night.  She was almost 14 years old.  She devoted her whole life to loving and taking care of us.  We will miss her terribly.  Wherever she is, I hope it's snowing.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


I haven't posted in a while.  I don't know why, but every time I come to the computer with the intention of writing something, I find a million excuses not to.  Where has my Motivation gone?  It has been a stressful Spring and Summer personally and I have come up with every possible excuse not to blog.  Similarly, I have produced little fiber art over the past couple of months.  I need a swift kick in the rear, so hopefully, this post is a start.

The trip to ArtFields that I wrote about in my last post was definitely the highlight of the year.  It was incredibly stimulating, but somehow that energy faded much too fast.

The piece I created for our regional SAQA exhibit at the Savannah Quilt Show, "Downtown", was my entry into the Columbus Artists Guild Member Show in July.  It was awarded a blue ribbon, which was a real surprise.  I'm the only fiber artist (art quilter) in the guild and I'm never quite sure how the other members view my work--is it art, or is it craft?  Everyone is very nice, but I don't go to many meetings, since they're held in the evenings and it's a 100 mile roundtrip.  So, it's a nice validation of my work when I receive recognition in that show.  There are some very, very talented people (almost all painters in one medium or another) who display their work every year.

I hate pictures of myself, but when they include my work with an award attached, I can deal with it.

I attended a 3 day class in Atlanta last month, taught by Esterita Austin.  If you're not familiar with her, check her out on google--she has a website.   There were about 15 of us in the class--all part of the GA/SC regional SAQA group.  It was a great experience.  We all had to bring large, close-up photos of ourselves to do a self-portrait.  It was really hard to look at that 11 x 17 view of just my face, but the class was very interesting and definitely took me outside my usual comfort zone. 

We were given a yard of multi-color, hand-dyed fabric (think purple, blue, orange, yellow) and told to use that to complete our portrait.  It was an exercise in looking at value and not color.  If you go to Esterita's website and look at the portrait section, you'll get the idea.  It was amazing that they all ended up looking like the person.  We did rely on fabric paint to do the eyes and highlight some areas and blend others.  I'm still working on mine.  We are supposed to finish our pieces by the first of February and put together an exhibit.

My 3 entries in the Fine Art Show at the GA Nat'l Fair were delivered to Perry last week.  They include "Downtown" (shown above), "End of Day", and "Simple Pleasures", which is my latest big project.

"End of Day"

"Simple Pleasures"

    I have a trunk show coming up October 28th, with the Spirited Quilters Guild in Duluth, GA.  I'm looking forward to that--it's always a fun time, and I'm looking forward to finding my Motivation.  I'm sure it's around here somewhere.