Turtle Trax Diary for November 2, 1998. Page #15
by Lucky Magnolia (Susan Shie)
Here Comes Marigold! In the Autumn Splendor!!!
Today is Day of the Dead, El Dia de los Muertas, in Mexico. It follows our Halloween and All Saints' Day (St. Quilta's favorite holiday!) which is also the Celtic New Year, Nov. 1. (I enjoy learning about the pre-Christian holy days, with my We'Moon book calendar!) So, even more than usual, a lot's been shakin' out there in the vapors, eh? But here in the diningroom, where I sit at my computer, Waltzing Matilda, a very large Power Mac, I am smelling the fresh bouquets of marigolds that I just picked out in the garden, and am wondering where that sweet little birthday present, Marigold, the long haired wondercat, has gotten to. Must be asleep, but if I make some more coffee, she'll come waddling and meowing, wanting her share of the cream! Jimmy says it's not good to let her have so much half and half, but then he gives it to her, too. She is a good politician, being so darling and all.
Marigold was my 48th birthday present from Jane Bates, my tiger birthday sister, who was considerate and asked me ahead of time, if I really wanted a replacement cat, to take Maggie's 19 year spot in our five cat flock. I had solemnly sworn that our cat herd would get smaller now, but when Jane said she had been looking for an image of a cat like Maggie, to give me for our birthday present, and then her cousin Juanita said she had just found a stray kitten at her house, a calico female, and they couldn't keep it. Well......
Above right: Jimmy feeds four of our five cats, including Marigold, who's on his lap, white Rita, black and white Tulip, and yellow Willy Pendejo.
Marigold has endeared herself nicely to the adult cats, who range from one to ten years old. She was neither afraid of them nor leaping at them in attack, so they have taken her in, and each one gives her baths. Maybe they are trying to fix her face, which has a distinct line of division down the middle: dark on one side and light on the other. Marigold and her evil twin Skippy!
At left you can see how faded Ruth Stout, the scarecrow, had become by late September. But my, the garden was so beautiful then! Except of course, for the problem of having zero pumpkin vines, which normally skirt the whole perimeter of the patch! Rotten bunnies ate all those vines for the second year in a row, and I think I've whined here about it before, but you shoulda seen the wonderful pumpkins we used to grow! Well, we'll try anti-rabbit tactics next spring, now that we've figured out that the culprits were not the groundhogs, at least not for the pumpkin damage! In the photo above, Hattie symbolically carries her stuffed Baby Bunny in her mouth. Now its little head has been ripped off!
Hey, you should see the garden now! Of course the tomatoes are shot, and so are the basil, zinnias, four o'clocks, nasturtiums, etc, since we had a light frost about two weeks ago, and it's been fairly cold ever since. But the marigolds and borage, the blue stuff in the top right corner of the photo, are gorgeous and doing fairly well in the gently cold weather. I was even still gathering four o'clock seeds yesterday. I just adore the sights and smells of a mature garden.
The falling leaves are about half down, and we discovered a new tree, which the birds must have gifted us with, this year. We now have a Redbud, whose leaves turn lime green in the Fall. Oh, and the ravine is so beautiful, where a creek used to run, before the Age of Civil Engineering destroyed it in the 60's. (That's when they put a storm sewer in and routed the creek into it. Brilliant!)
Most of the ravine's trees are yellow and orange now, and I mean glowing, and the fallen leaves make the ground glow, too. Oh, if it could just linger in this breathtaking stage a while longer!
This is my birthday present from Jimmy: a leather box, which he had me design a drawing of St. Quilta and all our cats for. Jimmy tooled the drawing into the leather and built the case with his usual hand sewing that looks so perfect, you think it's machine sewn.
He used the molds he made for his fly fishing cases, which usually have cork strips inside, to pin the hand tied flies to. My box is empty inside, except for a purple suede lining. He is making more and more of these little boxes for women now! All custom orders. Want one? Mine holds special secret stuff!
Here are Marigold and me with my friend Kathy Gibbons, celebrating my birthday with the Oasis women's affirmation group. My friend Mady got the spider web cake and put dinosaur candles on it. No doubt, some sort of secret women's symbology going on here!
Actually, Kathy is Nurse Skillet and I am the Skillet Doctor, and we are the founders of WIMMINS: Women's International Mega Medicinal Institute of Neurological Skilletology. We have a very special healing treatment for women who are being abused. Ultimately though, the treatment should be used by the woman on her abuser, for final healing. Think about it. And it all started here in little old Wooster!
So, after my birthday, our pal Elizabeth Cherry Owen came to visit, from Baton Rouge, and we all hung out for a day, playing with Marigold and the other cats and Hattie, and reading Tarot cards and doing astrology charts. Then we drove down to Columbus, to the Fall meeting of Art Quilt Network, aka AQN. On the way, we spent some time at Lunn Fabrics, seeing what our friends Debra and Michael were up to! Above you can see how slap happy they had become, from dyeing all the wonderful fabrics you see on the wall, and many, many more! Prep was under way for the Houston Quilt Festival, and more building rennovation was in progress. Never a dull moment at Lunn's!!!! If you want to stop in, don't forget it's by appointment only! Well worth a little planning!
AQN meets at the Pontifical College Josephinum, same place where Q/SDS meets. We have 60 active members, and a huge waiting list. For this meeting, October 8-11, 52 members showed up! Yikes, were we ever intimate! We are used to around 30 participants at a meeting. Dorothy Caldwell, a mixed media artist, who lives in Canada, was our guest presenter this time, and also took part in the whole four day retreat.
Above are Ginny Gaz, Father Larry Nolan above the head of Linda Scholten, Anita Corum, Donna Stader, Jeanne Weinberg, Jan Smiley, Sandy Shelenberger, and a part of Linda Fowler.
Our facilitators for this weekend were Jane Burch Cochran, of Rabbit Hash, KY, at right with her Quilt National piece, and Patty Hawkins, of Lyons, CO. They organized and gave us a wonderful and well-planned meeting. Jane was the school marm, who had to make us all shut up, when someone was trying to talk, and also kept the program moving along. Someone always has to do it, and Jane had grace and style! Patty led a sock dyeing workshop on Saturday, but I was having a 24-hour flu, so I didn't partake or even photo that frollicking event! Luckily, I make my own tie dyed socks already! So I didn't have to jump out the window over missing out on the fun. It was really fun, too! Those girls went wild dyeing! They were really goin' to town!
Oh, Jimmy doesn't do that kind of stuff, in case you're wondering. He ducks out of a lot of the meetings and goes to do Man Things, like shopping for leather or fly fishing books, or hiking around, or just not being in a meeting. Me? I sew a lot in meetings and am happy as a clam!
One really cool thing we do at AQN meetings is have every artist present a five minute talk about their work, which we hang on the walls of the meeting room. Here is Elizabeth Owen, of Baton Rouge, LA, telling the group about her "Nekked Ladies" quilt, really called "Pierre Doesn't," which is in progress. It's a lot bigger than what you see here. She has stamped a lot of nudies onto vintage fabrics, as part of the surface.
Anita Corum hadn't been sure whether she'd be coming from Sacramento for this Fall's meeting, due to her visual problems getting worse. But she made it, and you can see from this photo of her, that Anita was having a great time. She modelled for us a purple crown she had made for a party, which we all agreed suited her Queenliness quite well! Though Anita's sight is very bad, she is actively getting about, via the city buses now. She has just completed the very first finished quilt for my Dishtowel Quilt Project! Check it out!
AQN is preparing for its third suitcase show, "Signatures in Fabric III," which Linda Scholten and Carol Serio are curating. It will probably debut its tour in San Antonio next Spring, at the Southwest School of Arts and Crafts, when AQN meets down there, May 6-10, I think. (Julie Roseberry is organizing a wonderful meeting week for San Antonio!) Although Jimmy and I won't be able to go, our piece, shown here, will be there to represent us. It is "Pincushion Tea #2," 18" x 18". It was really inspiring to see everyone's suitcase show quiltlets hanging on the walls together the last morning of the Fall meeting. The largest they could be was 21" x 24," I think. Quite diverse, a good sampling of the group's work.
Anyone interested in subscribing to the AQN newsletter and/or being put on the waiting list for membership, either of which costs #15 a year, should call Linda Scholten at 513-523-4608. Upon becoming a member, everyone must attend at least one meeting their first year, and one every two years after that, or be bumped out of the active group.
Back home from the art quilt stuff, Jimmy and I had a lot of catching up to do. Jimmy has wanted for years to straighten up the huge barn stones that separate our patio from the garden. The chipmunks have caved in the dirt behind these big boulders, and for some reason, this really bugged Jimmy! So he got what he calls a spud bar, and, with Floyd's help, he pulled the mammouths out, and they shovelled a whole dumptruck load of topsoil in behind around 11 gigantic rocks, on the top row alone. Best news: No one was killed!
In the photo above, you can see Happy Jimmy fine-tuning the soil, after planting about 30 daylilies, from the across-the-street neighbors, Jim and Dee Perley. They dug up and thinned their beautiful stash of special Wooster daylilies, and we were some of the lucky recipients! The varieties were developed at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster, so they are pretty unique flowers. Some of our lilies ended up in other places, too, like around my medicine wheel.
I also replanted my five little lavender plants in the Fab New Wall Garden, in order to give them more sun. In their semi-shady spot this first year, they never flowered, so I have high hopes for next year. And meanwhile, I bought my dried lavender at the Wooster Food Co-op. Lavender makes great natural sachets to keep moths out of wool.
Since Jimmy worked so very hard, he was rewarded with a brand new Weber grill. He had nursed his old gas grill through seven years of barbecues, by fixing it over and over, but it was finally deemed deader than a doornail! He is so happy with the Weber, that at AQN, when we all told what was the best thing that had happened to us all year, he said, "I got a Weber!!!!!" He has a chimney thing that he starts with newspapers as kindling, so you don't have to use any lighter fluid on the charcoal. Less pollution pleases me! Master Chef Acord is in Weber Heaven, and the food really is better! Yummy!
Here is the latest development in "Issie's Trailer Court," the quilt being made for Elizabeth Owen. All the figures are "built" and labelled with paper labels, for now. There are about 20 people and five cats, including some angels. Remember that the big idea for this piece is that Issie and her nieces, Colleen and Caroline, can unbutton all the objects and play with them. This quilt has a long way to go, but is on hold til April, after two other quilts get made for show obligations!!!!! Ratz!
The figures are all pinned up with their coolest fabric sides to the back. Most of those are Lunn Fabrics' Ripples, but you can't see them from here. The fronts will get all painted and embroidered and beaded, but the backs will stay the beautiful way they are. A lot of writing and buttons will still go on the base quilt. I think the piece is about half done, but then, there's all that yard art to make for it, too! Flamingos and all.
Gretchen and Mike were home for a week in October,and we had a really good time! It was just when the weather was turning cold and the leaves were getting very pretty here. Cincinnati, where they live, is a few weeks behind us in going into cold weather. It was good to have Gretchen and Mike here to see Marigold in her baby kitty stage. I was so happy that they liked her. They have one cat, named Isis, who is the same age as our cat Rita. They are both four. Rita is white and Isis is black, and they look so sweet together, when Isis comes to visit! My empty nest syndrome over Gretchen has never let up!
While they were home, we discovered a Fifties store together, full of old kitchen dinette sets in great shape, Melmac plastic dish sets in hip shapes and colors, and groovy old lamps and chairs. I am pleased that the younguns appreciate such a blast from the past! Oh, and then we all saw our first episode of South Park together. Jimmy's jury is out, but the rest of us loved it. We all watch very little TV, so it was a real event for all of us! It was the one about the Cow Festival. Kenny was gored by a rodeo bull..... It's just pretend.
Back to pleasant thoughts!!!! Here is a picture of a custom ordered St. Quilta painting. It has imagery in it that is specific to the buyer, including the old quilt, the color scheme, and the bowl of cherries. Please keep my paintings in mind, when you want a gift for a loved one or for yourself! I can make the blessing very specific to your intentions. This painting is on unstretched twill fabric, and is suitable to either hang on the wall as is, put into a shadowbox frame, or sew into a fabric art piece of your own.
OK. The cat is now out of the bag. After all the hard work many, many people put into making their Quilt National entries, we all have finally heard the jury results. Our quilt "The Teapot/High Priestess (Card #2 of The Kitchen Tarot.)" was accepted into Quilt National '99. We are really happy, but also have a lot of respect for the people who didn't get their quilts accepted. The show is always based on the choices of three jurors, and doesn't mean some people's work is worthy and others' isn't. Here's a toast to all the entrants, who gave it our very best efforts, who worked late into the night, month after month, pushing for our own very best work!
In last month's Turtle Trax, I showed a whole bunch of detail shots of this piece. One of our friends took the time to work in Photoshop and sent us a mock version of the overall piece, by putting together all the details! There were a few holes, but it was pretty accurate! But now you can see the whole thing for yourself.
This quilt, "The Teapot/High Priestess," is really the third card quilt in The Kitchen Tarot Project. #0 is "The Colander/Fool" and #1 is "The Salt and Pepper/Magician." There is a laminated card for sale, of each piece, in The Kitchen Tarot page. There are only 75 more quilts to make, and then, I can see about getting a real deck printed!!!!!!! Don't hold your breath, but do keep the faith! The next quilt in the series, "The Stove/Empress" is in the works, and "The Refrigerator/Emporer" is bumping around in my mind a little.....
Gearing up for the December 2-8 Turtle Art Camp, and the one January 6-12. Both have openings for campers, so let us know if you want to come for a Winter Camp by the fire! Jimmy loves to tend the fireplace, and we can sew AND watch South Park on Wednesday and Saturday nights, and THEN watch Sat Nite Live, and fall asleep while Showtime at the Apollo is half over! We can watch Jimmy try to make the hand-me-down lawn tractor cooperate with the hand-me-down snow blade, which he plans to replace shovelling with, this year! We'll just go take little peeks, as breaks from our work in the nice, warm studios!
Here is the brand new "St. Quilta Blesses 1999" painting and saintcard. There are actually nine of the paintings, all of which are shown in the catalog. Order your painting or cards now!
Willy and Tulip have the right idea. You just snuggle up to your favorite fuzzy warm body and you hang loose. Take time to relax and listen to the inner voices. Remember to breathe deeply and laugh at yourself and count your blessings, which we all have more of than we usually remember!
Until next time, blessings for all your greatest joys! -Lucky Magnolia
Turtle Moon Studios
Susan Shie and James Acord
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