Turtle Trax Diary for January 21, 2001. Page #30
One Cure for Cabin Fever: Read this! It'll take a while! Pretty soon, it's Spring!
by Lucky Magnolia (Susan Shie)
Topics in this diary: Jimmy's birthday, Vikki and Joe's wedding pillow, class at the Riffe Gallery, our nieces and great-nephews, Jimmy's shotgun shell case, Gretchen and Mike's wedding quilt, December Turtle Art Camp, Christmas, January Turtle Art Camp, St. Q Blesses 2001, and trying to get with Dubya's program.....!
Right before the last diary got put online, Jimmy had his 47th birthday, on November 26, but since we don't use a digital camera, the pix weren't available for the diary yet then. So here he is, in all his raging glory, with his darling wifey-admirer and his fave chocloate cake!
He's still gushing about his favorite present, the fancy Angler's Image Fly Fishing Knife I got him. It's stainless steel and has very specific gadgets on it for fly fishing guys. He plans to get it engraved, even! I truly scored big, and now the heat is on, to outdo it for next year!
Here are Vikki and Joe Reinhard, our dear friends from Loudonville, with the wedding present I finally got done for them, eight months after their wedding! We were at Oak Park Tavern near Mansfield, celebrating Vikki and Jimmy's birthdays. Gave them a little book I made up that day, too, which I called something like: Wedding Tips for a Perfect Marriage. I sewed up the blank pages, then took markers and drew and wrote little smartypants comments! It came out well, but I can't remember how it went. Maybe I'll make it up a second time, as one of my Lucky Little Books one of these days! I also want to do one called My Own Private Wooster. That's been sitting on the back burner so long, I really should shut up and make it! Since I'll print it at Staples, I can say whatever I want to about my town, and nobody can gripe! I will highlight the places I love and make fun of whatever I want to! But since I really do love Wooster, nobody will get mad!
Anyways, Vikki and Joe are happily married almost a year, coming up March 30! Vikki owns Creative Outlet, a wonderful store with a native american slant to it, on Main St. in Loudonville, OH, if you're ever that way! And Joe manages the Kroger in Mount Vernon, so go there, too! Buy lots of Joe food!
We taught a class to almost 30 students at The Ohio Arts Council's Riffe Gallery on December 3, in Columbus. It was in the gallery, surrounded by a third of the art from Quilt National '99, on tour there. (Guess what! They wouldn't let us do airbrush in front of all those art quilts. Have no idea why. I am only kidding! ) Because it was just a one afternoon class, we taught the itsy bitsy quiltlet way with only hand sewing. Above are Julie Otten, Education Coordinator, and Mary Gray, Director of the gallery, working away on their art projects! They did tons of work to facilitate the class, too, but we made 'em make art! It was good for them! See how happy they are?
One night in December we watched Omari, so Aimee could go see a movie. She thought he would stay asleep the whole time, but I just had to get him outta that baby seat and get his winter coat off. When he woke up, he was all smiles and glee. He stayed awake the whole time she was gone, and we had great fun playing with him! At nine months, he sits up and plays with his reflection in the mirror, chugs down the hall, crawling, and coos little cute Omari words! His smile reminds me of Pokemon! Looks like Jimmy has the same smile here, doesn't it? He's busy sizing up what length of fly rod Omari will need by Summer!
It's really nice that Omari can wear the deerskin baby booties that Jimmy made for him now. They finally fit! Jimmy commented that he's never seen a baby wearing the booties he made for it, but that's partlly because they are too big for a newborn! Omari is ten months old now, and the booties won't fit much longer!
Here we all are at West View Manor just before Christmas, with Mom. My niece Sharon, who used to work there, took her three sons, Julian (the small one she's holding), Donovan, and Devante (in the red shirt). Aimee took Omari, and the boys colored more Christmas cards to add to the ones they'd made to give to Mom and the other residents. I took my big old box of markers, the same box, slowly replenished over the years, that the kids have used since they were small, too. And I took a big stack of my junkmail paper, the stuff that's blank on one side. It reminded me of all the times Aimee and sibs Julie and Jacob spent drawing in my studio over the years. Kids and markers or crayons and endless supplies of paper! Make 'em put those lids on good and tight, or they can't draw! Rules are rules!
One of Jimmy's Christmas orders was more unusual than most of the fly fishing equipment cases he's been making. Like in his old days, when people would do custom orders for things he'd never made before, this time Judy Goolsby of Austin, TX, ordered a shotgun shell case for her husband. She supplied photos of their black lab Luke. Here Jimmy has the tooled image of Luke masked off, so it won't get dye on it, and he's ready to dye the various parts of the case. There are tooled oak leaves that he'd drawn first, around the front of the case's flap, but they will be dyed, so they're not masked off.
Here's the finished shotgun shell case, complete with portrait of Luke, tooled and painted by hand. It's about 13"w x 9"h x 9"d. It also has a shoulder strap. Jimmy created a pattern, when he made this, so if you need a case this size, let him know. An inch taller, and it'd be perfect for file folders!!!! You can see this case on the front page of his site.
This is the quilt we made for Gretchen and Mike, about their wedding. It just waasn't done until Christmas! In fact, I added more to it on Jan. 1 and rephotoed it, after this picture was taken. I'd forgotten to put on the thimble and scissors I've been adding to all the quilts lately, so they came later!
It's only 18"h x 9.5"w, but this little piece has a lot of handsewn details that took a long time. In the middle section, with the purple background, I hand embroidered some words from the Beatles' song "I Will." They used Beatles' songs in the wedding and reception, and I thought this one really is sweet for wedding vows.
I had some antique glass 3-D rose buttons that I used for Gretchen's bouquet, and added some new glass leaf beads from Embellishment Café. Oh, and there's a little cat face bead from there, too, above Mike's raised hand, but you can't see it.
Dec 15, which is my brother Jimmy Shie's 53rd birthday, was the start of our December Turtle Art Camp. We don't normally schedule camps this close to Christmas, but Susan Martens of Champaign, IL, and Bob (Jason, Jethro) Jones of Dallas, TX, asked us to have it then. They had decided to come here, instead of going to Mexico. I mean, hey, how much colder could Ohio be than Mexico in December anyway??? Ha!
Above, Bob tried his first doubtful efforts at hand sewing with our big crewel needles and six strands of embroidery floss. Pretty soon he was a stitchin' fool! Then he forgot all his art here, and we had to mail it to him, and was he ever happy to see it again!!!!!!
Susan wasn't sure if she would want to airbrush. Then she did this mysterious lady we all called The Blue Nun right away and loved! After we did the tee shirts (see below), Susan worked really hard on shirts for herself and her grandsons. But this Blue Nun was the hit of the camp. She even had a glow-in-the-dark marker that she embellished her lady with!
OK, find the Blue Nun! This is the front of one of our shirts. We pinned them all up on the workwall in the airbrush room, and I started them, by painting the outline of my telephone, based on the little piece I was making (at the top of this diary). Then we each took turns adding airbrushed images to the whole edition. The fronts have: telephone, purple Willy cat, blue nun, green howling coyote, etc. Oh, and the rosary around the neckline, that Susan threw in, following her Nun theme!
So here are the backs of the t shirts. Hot peppers for Texas and Mexico, my patio owl lights, cacti for the desert around Dallas...is there desert there? The Trooper for Jimmy, all our cats and Hattie is up on the sleeve, big hot lips from eating hot peppers...a yellow rose for Texas...etc. We were swingin'!!!! These are some of the nicest t shirts out of this studio in a while! Wooooooooo!
Meanwhile, back in the main studio, the students are experimenting with Deka Permanent Fabric Paint. We had an exhaust fan going, and because the furnace was running, the fumes were evaporating fast, so we were able to keep painting and not have to wear respirators. But everyone always has to wear that joyous gadget when we heatset the brush and airbrush paints. Both Deka and Createx should always be heatset, with an exhaust fan and a respirator!!!!! With the fabric face down or witth a press cloth over it. And with a dry iron, set on high. And with the ironing board between you and the fan set on high exhaust. And you're wearing that respirator and thinking about how nice it is to not get brain tumors from these fumes! You are so good!
These two St. Quilta Bakes her magic Christmas Cookies paintings were my airbrush and brush paint demo pieces. The one on the left started out on top, and as the paint of brushing on Deka seeped through the fabric, it made the start of the painting on the right, which I enhanced later, especially with airbrush. Now I'm working fast to try to get the one on the left made into a quilt in time for Colorado Card to use it next year for the holidays. I'm running out of time, and this is one big piece!!!! But I'm really going to try to get it done in time for their Feb. deadline!
And this is what made Bob Jones forget to pack his art! I've been doing this thing where at the end of camp, I have everyone arrange all the art from this week's camp on the workwall. They have to agree on how to turn all of it into one large piece, as if they were going to make a real large conglomerate quilt out of it all. I demo how to sew it all together on the wall, and they each take a turn or two, sewing a little section vertically and also horizontally. It's a great way to learn how to join small pieces, and to see how you may need to make shims to fill in gaps, as you sew it all up.
From top left and clockwise, the art is: Bob's portrait of Susan; Susan's Blue Nun; Bob's matador; Susan's blue hand (for a blue nun?); my telephone; Bob's portrait of another friend; then a piece by Jane Burch Cochran, that she sent me for my birthday...a hand. Sorry, but we needed it to fit! .... and let's see, there's more: my Garlic Queen (as seen on the front page), my St. Q cookies quilt, and my Tomato Demon, brought in from the garden when we had the big frost. (Remember, she was made in the July Tarot Camp, and I had hung her on Doris, the scarecrow, who wants to have a baby.)
So then Bob ran around in circles, finishing up packing, and didn't get his art off this wall, tho we were using a wall in his room! And that's how come we had to mail it to him last week! He thought Susan packed it for him. Silly!
So then it was almost Christmas when camp let out, and we ran around in circles doing last minute shopping and putting up the tree, and then Gretchen and Mike came home on Dec. 23. They brought their cat Isis, so she could stay with us til Jan. 2, when they'd be heading back home to Cincinnati. Their friends Matt and Michelle got married Dec. 30, and they stayed in northern Ohio, between our place, Mike's folks', and his brother Brina's, all that time. I got pretty attached to little Isis, who hadn't stayed with us for a year, since Evil Tulip, one of our cats, has it in for Isis. So she had to stay in Gretchen and Mike's bedroom here, and our cats tried every trick in the book to get in there with her, to eat her food and use her box, but I was firm with them! And Isis talked me into letting her watch some TV, though I don't know how she can stand that guy on Animal Planet!
Anyhow, above are Mike and Gretchen on Christmas morning, after he gave her diamond earrings! And she gave him a hand carved chess board from Poland!
I got a big snuggle from Jimmy, who gave me a beautiful sky blue topaz to be made into a ring! I'm holding the Pentel markers Gretchen gave me. I LOVE Pentel markers! She also crochetted me an afghan I snuggle up in on the couch near bedtime, when we watch Conan O'Brien or Politically Incorrect!
The best thing I got Jimmy was the breathable waders! He got a look like a little kid who just unwrapped his first bike! I keep tellin' ya, girls, it's tools and equipment for their sports and hobbies! That gets you good backrubs with coconut oil!
I didn't put up a picture of this year's Christmas tree, but Jimmy put Dad's stuffed dead squirrel up into the top branches again. Guess it's a ritual thing now. That squirrel probably got killed by Dad in 1961 or 62. So it's 40 years old. It looks better than a lot of people I know who are that age or younger! Except it has one ear chewed off by Mom and Dad's cat Meow Meow...a long time ago. And I'm not paying for some squirrel to have an ear replacement!
Well, here's the BOTTOM of the tree anyhow, with Rita, our huge six toed cat, who's lying there, keeping an eye on her present, a rabbit fur mousie. The five cats got five mice, and these were added to the dozens of fake mice around the house, mostly under the stove, where the cats bat them to. Behind Sweet Rita is a little bit of one of Hattie's Baby Bunnies, which she got a new yellow one of for Christmas. But she still loves this pink one. Always has to grab a Baby Bunny, when she goes out to pee!
OK, so Christmas was overwith, New Year's came in, starting our millennium one more time, and then pretty soon it was time for the first Turtle Art Camp of the New Millennium: January 10 - 16. Gayle and Dick Glover of Cincinnati were our guests and students for this one, and we all had a great time! Here they are with Jimmy, in my studio.
Dick hadn't painted or drawn since junior high, and was very unsure of what would happen. But after he made one little sketch in his camp journal, for what to paint, he launched into making a beautiful landscape with mountains, lake, trees, and sunset. We all loved it, and told him it looked like he'd been painting all along. He'd quit as a teen, when his efforts didn't come out realisitc enough to suit him. That's usually what happens, if a person makes it that far in doing art! Teenagers really want to be able to make art as well as adults, and will quit, due to frustrations. Campers here are encouraged to be patient with themselves and pick up wherever they left off!
These are my airbrushed paintings of what I ended up calling my "Psychic Colanders." I was having a real orange colander week! I had stitched an appliqued sampler of one colander to start the class, and now these four pieces were begun as four layers of fabric I'd brush painted with Deka Permanent Fabric Paint. Each layer was more faint than the one above it, until I airbrushed them all, side by side. When their images were all done, I wrote different stuff on each one, but all were questions for the psychic colander, about the edibility of various leftovers. Well, you had to be there! I've begun to quilt one of these, but God knows when that will get finished, lost among my growing heaps of class demo pieces! I really love these though!
Here is Gayl airbrushing. She and Dick were really good about wearing their respirators, which means a lot to me. I sure don't want students leaving here with a bad habit of not protecting their lungs when airbrushing or heatsetting! Everyone looks so nice in a fashion statement respirator! Gayl's piece's idea is a bird singing the stars into the universe! I think that's a beautiful notion! And I suppose I'll remember it each time I gaze at the stars at night.
I don't have this on the Saintcards page in the Stuff to Buy section of the site yet, because I'm leaving for a month long residency, but SOOOOONNNNN you'll be able to order "St. Quilta Blesses 2001" saintcards. Stay tuned! This piece is one of four paintings I started in our Dec, 00 camp. I have spent a lot of time stitching it, and have so far resisted the temptation to bead it! OK, it has beads for the heads of the pins in the pincushion. But in general, I'm trying to bead less, stitch less, and paint more! This is hard! I think I have some built in need to dazzle with embellishment, but it's shooting myself in the foot, too, since it keeps me from making a lot of paintings I want to make. It's a New Year's Resolution, to try hard to paint more!
Here's Jimmy with his Siamese Twin Willy. They appear to be attached at the hip! This cat just LOVES Jimmy, and actually is very interested in most men. Last night he let Omari pat him pretty roughly on the head quite a bit, just because he was so curious about Omari and longed to be with him! Willy is very manly!
Well, that's it, I guess. Come back next time, March 28, and I'll have more yarns to spin for you.
Meantime, watch your card stores for our new greeting cards from coloradocard.com! They have a Valentine of ours now, and soon will have six general greeting cards, all based on our art. The first three Kitchen Tarot cards are greeting cards now! I'm so excited about this! If it works out well, I hope to start painting the card images on heavy paper, and maybe I'll get this deck of 78 tarot cards done in one lifetime, after all! If you call Colorado Card at 1-800-789-6221, they can tell you where the cards are sold nearest to you. Thanks!
If you email us before Feb. 17, allow a few days to hear back, as my email acess will be kinda limited. Wish us luck, working with puppet making and quilted backdrops, for a project about the birds in the art room and how they view the world around them in a grade school! We may throw in song and story writing, too. You can bet we'll have pix of this in the March 28 diary!!!!
Adios, y'all! (That's Dubya talk for "bye now." We's unitin'! Yesterday he got crowned, so now Dubya and I are ONE. Right!)
Turtle Moon Studios
Susan Shie and James Acord
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