Turtle Trax Diary for July 11, 1998. Page #12
by Lucky Magnolia (Susan Shie)
It's been a wild month of thunderstorms and heat waves, Jimmy being away for a week with the fly fishheads, and a month of celebrations (We had Gretchen's half birthday, Father's Day, our wedding anniversary June 30, and the Fourth of July.) It was a month of weeding, little watering (with all the rain) and lots of making art! We leave tomorrow, July 12, for a week of teaching at CraftSummer, at Miami U in Oxford, Ohio, where we expect a totally delightful pack of students! That class is called Funky Quilts, so you have to be pretty strange to even sign up, I figure!
We'll be home, having Turtle Art Camps, after CraftSummer, and after three camps, head out again in late August, to teach at Peters Valley, a wonderful craft center in NW New Jersey, in the Deleware Water Gap forest. Such a peaceful and earthy place.
All the students we get are wild and bohemian. Maybe they weren't always that way, but by the time they sign up for us, they have thrown in the Establishment towel and are determined to enjoy life! So we are in for some great fun and excitement!
One somber note is that Dad entered the nursing home June 28. He's where Mom is now, about ten minutes' drive away from us. West View Manor is a fantastic place, full of loving staff people. But still, it's a real adjustment for him, and he can use your prayers! Better yet, go see him! Set on down and watch the Indians' baseball game with Richard, or play him some old tunes on the piano! Ask him to tell ya the one about the cannibal who passed his brother in the woods........
My friend Carolyn Robinson is home, in between Hawaii, Hong Kong, and her trip to Paris. So it was only fitting that I introduce her to the wonderful world of Fiesta Ware, which we visited last month, while Jimmy was off in Michigan fishing. The Homer Laughlin China Company of Newell, W VA is the only place on Earth that ever has or ever will make Fiesta Ware !!!! It is two hours from my house. It is Heaven on Earth!
The best thing just got better, in the three years since I had been to Homi's. They replaced the several piddly shelves of seconds with AN ENTIRE HUGE ROOM OF SECONDS!!!! Like a dream for freaky Fiesta folks, like me! Piles and piles of plates, cups, saucers, teapots, bowls, lids, salt and peppers....oy!
AND they are still making the orangy Persimmon color of three years ago, and have added LIME aka CHARTREUSE, for you high roller word types! Scads of lime plates and gravy bowls and flower vases, in that inimitable Fiesta style. Be still, my heart!
Now three years ago, they were discontinuing purple, which they had made for one year, supposedly for Bloomingdales. As they closed it out, they had it dirt cheap in seconds: Like you could get a plate or a butter dish or whatever purple thing, for one dollar. NOW THAT PURPLE PLATE, A SECOND, IS NINE DOLLARS! So, you get the drift about these special colors. Even as seconds, they go way up, once no longer offered.
The persimmon was the next Bloomie's color, I thought, but there it still is. And the lime? Will it become extra valuable, too!? Donno, but it is so wonderful, I got a bunch, just in case! I took this picture of my HAUL, so you could see it, and so Gretchen, my daughter, could make her selections, before I put the Christmas presents away!
Meanwhile, Jimmy drove up to Grayling, MI, to the annual Trout Bums Picnic, a questionable, but nevertheless, very elite gathering of smitten fish boys from all over the place. Most of them are bamboo rodmakers, a really snotty pack of hoy paloy! Jimmy was invited by his friend Doug Hall, a really good rodmaker.
They had mega man fun, sitting around watching tornadoes rip through the northern Michigan campground, and eating lots of man food. The rodmakers made rods and Jimmy schmoozed, showing them all his leather fly fishing cases. I think he made lots of wonderful new friends, like he always does, and enjoyed being surrounded by men. With the usually all women classes we teach, Jimmy needs the balance. But he has always had zillions of man pals, and always will. He seems to have a Peter Pan effect on men. No, they don't wear tights. They hang out very tribally. I hope I am Tinkerbell, rather than that wimp Wendy. Except I might be eaten by a trout.
Gretchen came home just as Jimmy was getting back from Grayling. She brought along her friend Christie, and we had a lot of fun! Hard to believe she hadn't been home since Christmas. So we had to do it all: Matsos' Greek Restaurant, WalMart, and the Valvoline Oil Change place! We walked Hattie together, and got caught in a downpour. Hattie was thrilled to run at full tilt with us, and to get soaked! We sat on the patio, under the awning, with the patio owl lights on, waiting to dry off, but ended up having to change or freeze to death! After all the heat, it felt pretty good to be chilled, for just a bit!
Here is the completed quilt for The Kitchen Tarot, of the second major arcana card, The Magician, which I have made The Salt and Pepper. It is a whole cloth painting, with all hand sewing and embellishment, and is 36"h x 22"w. It goes with the first card quilt, The Fool, or in this case, The Colander. The Salt and Pepper will go to Diana Leone's "Flowers of the Mainau" exhibit in Mainau, Lake Constance, Germany, and that is how come I put all the roses around the salt and pepper shakere!
I am into Multi Tasking the quilts we make now! Since there will be 22 major card quilts, and somehow we need to make 56 minor card images, I need to make all the quilts requested for all purposes, in the next ten or more years, be also Kitchen Tarot quilts! Yep, the Quilt National entry will be the next card, The High Priestess, which I think will be The Teapot. Maybe not. Stick around! Gotta work a lot harder on Issie's Trailer Court quilt, which is a St. Quilta quilt, first!
Sooner or later, everyone I know will have to hear the story of the Water Skiing Sofa. So now it's your turn! And you get the longest version yet! For the Fourth of July, we visited my brother Jim and wife Lyn, at their new campsite at a local family campground, on lakes which were gravel quaries in their past lives. It's kind of a redneck, white trashy kind of funky place, if I may be so politically incorrect, but we really like it. We decided later that it reminds us of the amusement parks of our ancient youth, when life was innocent and safe, and a little corny.
First thing we saw is a golf cart full of teenage boys, hollering at us, as we entered the campground. It was 13 year old Jacob, our nephew, and his hooligan pack of Babe Watchers, with their own set of wheels for a change! And we realized all at once we wereen't gonna see much of Jake that day! First things first!
While hanging out with Jim and Lyn and the kids, we started watching a local bunch of adventurers, driving a boat and waterskiiers past the campsite's shore edge. Not an organized show, like Sea World. Just some folks. After while, here the boat comes, straining kinda hard. And it's towing a couch, sitting frontways, on some kind of floatation device (raft.) Four yeahoos are sitting on the sofa, waving their arms and legs, and just boppin' along!
Back and forth they ski, back and forth, and then.... they sink.
Not to be defeated, they cruise by again, skiing with a banana shaped inflatable boat thing. Waving and yelling. Back and forth. Then it's the HUMAN PYRAMID. Then this one skiier on a boingy thing, like a pogo stick, but he's sitting on a bike seat sortta thing. He can squish down and make it leap into the air and flip and land right side up. I start waiting for that water skiing squirrel...
Mind you, this entertainment is all free. Do not try this at home, tho, chilluns!
So THEN!!!...They come by on the sofa again! How they got it up again, I don't know, since we saw it sink! We are all really happy to see it again! It is a real sign of victory!!! I find this long story important, as it is my new symbol of hope in things getting better! I hope you, too, will be able to think of the magic couch, when you are down, and remember that THE SOFA SHALL RISE AGAIN!
That's it, re the sofa. Oh, to round out the celehration of the Fourth, we stayed at the campground and listened to a country western band, which we NEVER DO! Something about all this wholesome redneck fun was sucking us weird artists in. A guy who used to live in our commune in the seventies, was the lead guitarist for SMOKIN' BOOTS. I'm not making this up now! Jake even put aside the babe watch to come and hear Rick Cicconetti, who is also Jake's guitar teacher. Jimmy even danced with me, FOUR slow dances, which has to be a new record, after I sulked a bunch and said something like "Doug dances with Cindy. But then, he loves her." (oh yes, I can be very low, when you take me to live music and then you don't dance with me!!!)
There we were, swingin' and swaying, with the bills of our redneck ball caps getting in our way! What an all american image for the Fourth of July. Two old hippies dancin' in the Prairie Lane Campground, amidst friends we hadn't seen for years and years, and leaving, sharing the best Lemon Shake-up we ever had.
Ah, cheap thrills. I really love that boy! Only he wasn't nearly as thrilled as I was, over the water skiing sofa. He just said we need to replace our patio owl lights with new sets. I guess all those newer ones at the campground shamed him, huh? They had Japanese lanterns, too. But I didn't see any red pepper lights. I want those.
I've been working very hard, to get a ton of St. Quilta paintings made, before we leave for CraftSummer. There are now seven new "St. Quilta the Comforter Brings You Her Chicken Soup" paintings, which you can select as the original art, a quilt made from it, or a Saint Card.
These have a lot of glitter and glow in the dark paint on them. The thing in the top left corner is a hot water bottle, and the goblet of wine is just for more relaxation! These paintings are 14"h x 9"w.
Also I made thirty smaller portraits of St. Quilta!!! I'd love to say they will all sell at CraftSummer! If they actually do tho, I'll faint! The ones that don't sell will be available in the catalog, or you can always order what you want painted or quilted, as a custom order!
These all have a bunch of glow in the dark outlines and the word "Blessings" written in glow in the dark, on their muu-muus. These paintings are 7.5"h x 5"w.
Well, that's it for now! Enjoy your weeding and artmaking! Keep your plants wet and your powder dry! Thanks for reading this stuff! See you next month!
Turtle Moon Studios
Susan Shie and James Acord
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