Turtle Trax Diary. Page 46

November 30, 2004

Big changes in our lives...

by Susan Shie

At left are Gretchen, my sweet daughter, and her new daughter, sweet little Eva, born October 22, 2004. What a miracle is life!

Topics in this diary: Q/SDS, other classes and Turtle Art Camps, Gretchen and Mike have their baby, Eva! What else matters????? Oh, and Kerry loses the election....Have an Embarrassmint!

After our class at Arrowmont in April, we knew that Gretchen and Michael were due to have a baby around November 23, and we made plans accordingly. The whole rest of the year we did things to prepare for the baby's birth, and yes, we found out on July 6 that a baby girl was coming. I decided to take a break from my teaching in November, and become this baby's nanny, and I announced this at Q/SDS in June, where I taught two classes. I put on my front web page that I would be taking this teaching hiatus, and then worked hard the rest of the Summer and Fall, teaching a LOT of classes! They were all great and the students were always eager to be caught up on Gretchen's maternity progress.
Father Larry at QSDS.İSusan Shie 2004.At Q/SDS in Columbus, June 18 - 26...

At left we find Father Larry Nolan, beloved photographer of all the Quilt Surface Design Symposia, starting in 1990! Fr. Larry is also the chaplain of a nursing home in Columbus, as well as an art quilter, sculptor/welder, and glass artist. At each gathering of Art Quilt Network, he moves and inspires us with his spiritual and beautiful slide program/sermons. Fr. Larry was one of three holy peoople who performed Jimmy and my wedding in 1990, and we both feel so honored and blessed to know him. He makes Q/SDS glow with love.








Students at Q/SDS.İSusan Shie 2004.At left is the whole gang at my five day, second full session class at Q/SDS this year. You know who you are! OK, this many months later, I admit that I can't name about two or three of you. But can you name them all???? Yikes! What a neat pack of artists, as was the two day class!

I taught two classes there this year, the last two sessions. My students were wonderful, and I got to spend some time with Becky Hancock and her pals from St. Theresa's, and was surprised by getting to hang out with Columbus' resident genius artist and friend of mine, Aminah Robinson, who stopped by the Tuesday night bazaar. Linda and Tracy are doing a fantastic job with Q/SDS, and I hope to teach there again soon. I'll sneak out of nannydom to teach there anytime! Let them know if you want to study with me there. It's too late for 2005, but I could do 2006. I think I have a substitute nanny if I want to teach in the Summer!

Jimmy and my fourteenth wedding anniversary, June 30, for which we exchanged new wedding bands at our friends Pat and Floyd's house... I don't have the pix handy from this wonderful little occasion, but will stick a photo in later. Since we lived together for 14 years before we got married, this anniversary is a special one!
Students watching JİSusan Shie 2004.immy airbrush.July 7 - 13 was a Turtle Art Camp with Janet Sola Manukas of Hamden, CT (GiGi, who brought her husband Rev. George!), Holly Hudson of Richmond, VA, and Sharon Krawchuk of Daytona, FL.

In this photo, the girls are intensely watching Jimmy demonstrate airbrush.





George and GiGi.İSusan Shie 2004.George didn't come to be a student at our camp, but he and GiGi were traveling on a family vacation, which this camp was part of for GiGi. Not at all a clunker of a houseguest, George interacted well with the group, and entertained us with some songs on his guitar. Jimmy got him downstairs for an airbrush lesson during the week, too. I am trying to hook George up with my friend Paul, as they are both preachers and guitar playing singers. Paul, if you read this, please get a hold of me. I've lost contact with you ! And you and George need to knwo each other.

Sharon Krawchuk at Turtle Art Camp, July 04.İSusan Shie 2004.At left is Sharon focusing on her painting. She didn't tell anyone during camp, but at the very end, I got it out of her that she had graduated from the prestigious five year BFA program of The Cleveland Institute of Art, in textiles. I had known all along that she was not telling us about her formal training, since as soon as she began to draw and paint in our class, amazing things came out of her! She made and began to quilt several wonderful paintings on fabric during the camp, and I really hope she can stay reconnected to her art now. Sharon's professional work has been in child education and social work.




Kitchen Hoodoo.İSusan Shie 2004.This is a triptych of paintings I made during the July camp, called "Kitchen Hoodoo," which was purchased by GiGi and George. I didn't get time to do more than photo them before they left, but am glad to know that St. Q's radical Democrat kitchen politics found a happy home!


Our cat Rita.İPatty Hieb 2004.Our dear cat Rita died on July 14, at age ten...

Here's a picture of her from earlier this year. Rita was ten years old and had always been a very sweet cat. She loved Maggie and Meeper and the catnip mice. She was our biggest and our gentlest cat. We loved her dearly.








Lois Flynn and her daughter Sara.İSusan Shie 2004.Class at Mansfield Art Center. Mansfield, OH. July 22 - 23...

Here is Lois Flynn, the Education Director of the Mansfield Art Center, with whom Jimmy and I have done many teaching projects, and this time she got to take the class, along with her daughter Sara, who came down from Cleveland! Yea!

It was a hearty group of adventurous students in that class, and we had four airpens going at once and people fighting over them! I will miss teaching airpen, which is the coolest thing I use these days, but I hope some of my students will soon start teaching it. Look for a lot of really detailed painted, drawn, and written on art quilts in the next wave of what art quilts can be! Hurray for telling stories!

Students and Jimmy at August camp.İSusan Shie 2004.Camp here August 4 - 10...

Jimmy shows the students his modified freemotion machine sewing technique.

This was a special camp, planned for well over a year, of five friends who know each other through their professional art doll making work. Kathy Kenney of Kent, OH; Ann Maullin of Broke, NSW, Australia; Carol Keller of Harmonsburg, PA; Ruth Prest of Meadville, PA; and Annie Hesse of Daphne, AL.

When they arrived, this pack of wild dollmakers gifted me with a beautiful hand made fabric book they'd put together just for me! Then they started pulling out other gifts for me! I was and remain stunned at their generosity.

By the way Carol Keller runs a very well known Doll Camp. So if you're interested, look it up, as I believe it's at the top of that field.

August camp students painting.İSusan Shie 2004.Here are most of the August students, hurrying to finish the group project, which was five airpen and brush painted almost identical paintings on fabric. We each did the same thing to our piece that we would do to all the other pieces at the same place in the composition, so we all got many turns on all the works, and they all are basically the same, but hand done. No tracing, etc.

This is like the old tee shirt project we used to do at camps, but now it's with airpen and brushes, and is a panel that each person can decide what to do with. Ruth, Ann, Kathy, and Carol are flailing away! I think Annie and I were worn out by this point, or maybe she was flailing away on another piece!


August camp fake quilt as a doll.İSusan Shie 2004.This is the most amazing fake quilt project result I've ever seen at one of our camps, or at anywhere I've taught! Keeping in mind that these women are all dollmakers and teachers in their own field, see what they did? This quilt is a giant doll, AND she's totally made of not just the artwork we did that week in class, but also of lots of diary images they added. Such as my Big Kitchen Shoes on the feet, which I had pulled out to show them, when I was explaining my quilt "St Q's Kitchen Shoes." The breasts are pot pie pans, scavenged from a meal we'd had. The left hand is holding up a toast with one of our real margarita glasses, reminding us of the nice margarita party Jimmy did for us!

They even made an artists' statement about this quilt! No one has done that for their camp's fake quilt before. I was/am stunned and thrilled with this piece! Oh, then it all went apart and to its various new homes! Here is the artists' statement for "Pimus":

Turtle Doll Camp Artists' Statement ­ Abridged Version 8-9-04

Pimus stopped to visit 2612 Armstrong Drive in Wooster one afternoon in August 2004. Woo Hoo, she exclaimed. This is a groovy place. The stars and the moon ascended in all the right houses, and the alignment of the planets was so auspicious, that she decided to stay for a while.

Hattie and Willy, Evil Tulip and Marigold hid for quite a while. But eventually they came forward to join in the fun. Strolling over the work tables, sniffing at the paint, licking ice cream fingers, and begging for 'Hugs", they won over the 5 snoring dollmakers.

Susan and Jimmy taught each day from morning to night. Floyd meandered in from his 'office' at the corner. Meeper remained closeted in the Master Suite.

Wooster provided vittles, but nothing compared to the 4PM gins. No, that wasn't the card game. The 5 snoring doll makers, poured themselves great glasses of creativity, and Pimus was pleased.

Pimus, by the way, is the spirit, the soul, the dreams of the five snoring dollmakers..Kathy Kenney, Ruth Prest, Ann Maullin, Carol Keller, and Annie Hesse, inspired by stellar leadership of Susan Shie and Jimmy Acord.

August camp students.İSusan Shie 2004.See how proud of themselves they are? As well as they should be! Many thanks to Ruth, Ann, Kathy, Annie, and Carol for such a great week with them this August!






Quilts for Change 2004 in Cincinnati, sponsored by the Zonta Club, Aug 11-15...

In which I was gifted with the help of my dear friend and peer in our careers, Suzanne Fisher of Cincinnati, as she assisted me in both my classes. Suzanne is a very gifted mixed media artist, specializing in mosaic commissions currently, but also a very talented encaustic painter and sculptor. We go all the way back to our residencies at PS#1 in NYC in 1988. Here are Suzanne and me in our Art Chick scrubs, which we bought so the students could tell who the teachers were.

Quilts for Change was an extremely moving experience, considering that it was the first time the Zonta Club of Cincinnati ever did a national quilt symposium and that the money raised all went to help stop abuse of women and children. I was honored to be one of the jurors of the national show competition, along with Carolyn Mazloomi and to teach two classes. The other teachers were Caryl Fallert, Sherri Whetstone-McCall, Hollis Chatelaine, and Donna McDade. Exhibitors and students came from all over the world. We all were blown away by the keynote speech by Faith Ringgold, which I felt was an historic event.\


Poster for Quilts for Change 2004.İSusan Shie 2004.'Zonta did wonderful things with the image I made them for this year's Quilts for Change symposium, including making tee shirts, tote bags, enameled pins, postcards, and posters. Each of the exhibiting artists received one of each item, as well. They had a gorgeous opening night gala and a super vendor mall. Here's to their next effort in August, 2006! Eternal thanks and praise to Lynn Harden and the other Zonta women, who gave their all to make this event such a perfect way to help women!

At left is the painting I made for QFC 2004, airbrush and brush painted on cotton. It's 22"h x 16"w.












Gretchen in her office.İSusan Shie 2004.Cleveland Museum of Art talk and class, August 25-27, also my apartment search...

Here's Gretchen working in her office. My first time to see it, though she'd been there two and a half years. She's the Associate Registrar of Loans for the museum's permanent collection.

She was 27 weeks pregnant then, and she only got to just over 35 weeks by the time Eva was born! By October 22, Gretchen was just starting to wonder whether she'd be able to keep closing her winter coat til the baby was born.




Sharon who was my TAA liason.İSusan Shie 2004.Jimmy drove me to Sharon Markovic's house, and she took me to see the Textile Arts Alliance's show "Focus Fiber" at the Artists Archives of the Western Reserve in University Circle. Then we drove my workshop stuff to the museum and got to go tour the Gee's Bend exhibition, which was breathtaking! It was also the reason TAA had asked me to come work at the museum.

I gave a slide presentation on August 25 and a class to a big group from the Textile Arts Alliance the next day, and I'm very proud to have finally done something in connection with this incredibly fine museum. My big dream is to have a solo retrospective exhibition there someday, and have The College of Wooster share it with them. Who knows? Ya gotta have dreams!

On the evening of the 26th, Gretchen went with me, and we found the apartment I rented for November 1. The next day I looked at more apartments, but went back to that first one and signed up for it. Then Gretchen, Kristi, and I drove back home to Wooster to get ready for Gretchen's baby shower here at our house.

Rene worked so hard to make the gardens beautiful for the shower! İSusan Shie 2004.Gretchen's baby shower here, August 28...

First my dear friend Rene came over and worked a whole week, getting our flowerbeds into lovely shape for the shower! Jimmy and I worked some, but Rene kept at it and made the place look perfectly stunning!

Thanks big time to Rene, and also to Pat Cornelius, who lent us a ton of folding chairs, so we had somewhere to put all those guests! And to Gretchen's sister-in-law Kristi Lambert, who helped us a lot with final prep and food, and with recording gifts, besides giving Gretchen the Cleveland shower at her house the next month!!!! Many thanks to my sister Debi, who was the Mistress of Ceremonies and treated us to a wonderful afternoon of fun and conversation. She worked really hard to orchestrate the whole event, and everyone enjoyed it! Thanks to Gretchen's former step-mom Ann Pilarczyk for taking care of all the wrapping papers and ribbons. (She was almost late getting here, finishing up sewing a beautiful fleece bunting for the baby!)

Shower Hats!İSusan Shie 2004.The shower was August 28, and there were about 25 women here to help Gretchen celebrate her pregnancy! It was one of the few really hot days this Summer, so we all piled into the livingroom and hid in the AC! My favorite of the games Debi figured out for us was when she gave each guest a paper plate and a crayon. We had two minutes to draw a baby on the plate, only we had to hold the plate on top of our heads, while we were drawing. Some of my fondest pix from this shower are of everyone holding up that plate and drawing on it. Looks like they've got flat white hats on, and there's a big wind ready to blow the hats away! It was great!

OK, I found a good picture I'd taken of this game. From left are Laura Saeger, Ann Pilarczyk, and Kristi Lambert!

Gretchen with her shower cake.İSusan Shie 2004.Everyone gave Gretchen such wonderful gifts, including many thing that were lovingly hand made just for this baby! Knowing how busy everyone is these days, this was so nice!

Here's Gretchen with her cake.











Jimmy, Gretchen, and me after the shower.İSusan Shie 2004.When everyone went home, Jimmy gave Gretchen her first baby booties, a pair of the deerskin booties he's been making for many years, but finally for his own granddaughter!

He modified his bootie pattern, so that these will really fit a fairly small baby. Before the booties had to wait til around when Baby was one year old to fit. Hmmm, I wonder how soon Eva can wear hers now!






Polymer clay party on the patio.İSusan Shie 2004.Sept 1 - 7 Turtle Art Camp here...

with Jennifer Beaven of Acton, MA, Caitlin Hyde of Corning, NY; Katy Fisher of Traverse City, MI; and Casey Collier of Cincinnati, OH.

This camp started a few days after the shower, so you can see what a lively year this has been!

Sitting on the patio to enjoy a nice, summery September day, the students and I were doing both polymer clay and shrink art. We'd worked hard in the basement studio all week, and this felt really good. Hattie was happy to be out with the girls, too!


Sept camp students.İSusan Shie 2004.Every camp has its own personality and things I remember best about it. This one had the Hula Girls fabric! I found it at JoAnn's, when we took a nice shopping break, and I think there were only five yards of it left. So I gave each student a yard, and the challenge was to wear it when we went out to eat!

Everyone was a good sport, and we chose Matsos Greek Restaurant as our fashion show victim. Spiro Matsos never said a word about our get-ups, but we knew he was highly impressed!

From left, front: Casey, Katy, and Hattie (with no Hula Girls fabric). Back row: Me, Caitlin, and Jennifer. You can see some of the fake quilt behind us, the one each camp makes of the work done all week, as a conceptual pinned-up quilt composition. Excellent painters in this group!




Gretchen as a baby. İSusan Shie 2004.Sept 10 - 15: Digitizing Gretchen's baby slides ...

In September I took on a big project of turning old slides of Gretchen's earliest years into digital images. We never had photos of these images, so it was a real joy to go through them and categorize them, especially since we were anticipating Eva's birth at this time.

Here is Gretchen, at three or four months old, lying next to the first toy I made her (while I was pregnant with her). It's her Kitty Owl, and when Gretchen was born, she was exactly the same size as Kitty Owl.




Rasta Rita in my Lowell class in Sept.İSusan Shie 2004.Lowell trip to teach at Friends Fabric Art Sept 16 - 20...right after Maxine got hit by a car, so she couldn't be in the class, but we did get to spend a lot of time together anyhow. I can't show you pix of her from then, since she was in pain and pretty beat up. Happily she's all better now.

I actually taught two classes at Friends in Lowell this year, because when I told them in April that I was going to quit teaching for a while, they decided I needed to come back once more before the hiatus began. At left is Rita Robinson doing her show and tell about her piece in progress. This is a quilted painting, and I'm not sure if she started it with Rub-a-Dub laundry marker or airpen, because they could do either. I think it's the marker, judging from how far she got with it in the two day class. Airpen work came second, so few airpen pieces actually got this resolved in the class. Rita is quite an amazing story teller and a retired school teacher.

The Shelby Gang, minus a few.İSusan Shie 2004.Holliday Turtle Art Camp here Sept 22 - 28...

Frances Holliday Alford said for years that she would come back to Turtle Art Camp in Wooster and bring her sisters. She did have Jimmy and me down to teach at her house in Austin, TX, for her art quilt group a few years ago, but the Ohio return camp just wasn't happening. But when Frances heard that the camps were stopping for a while, she went into high action gear.

She brought her family to camp as our second September, 04 camp, September 22 - 28, and we all had a blast. Because the rental van had a license plate from Shelby County, TN, we made ourselves for the week into The Shelby Gang, and everyone got a Shelby name. From left we have: Shelby Lynn (Ann's daughter Marcy Weeks of Portland, ME); Shelby Mae (Frances' sister Ann Abbott of Portland, ME); Shelby Loo (Frances' sister Sallie Holliday of Union, ME); Shelby Faye (Frances Alford of Austin, TX); and Shelby Bob (Jimmy. OK, we gave him that name. He did NOT choose it!) Missing from the great Shelby Gang photo are Shelby Jo (Frances' cousin Julia Tryk of Shaker Heights, OH); Shelby Sue (me, even though I hate the name Sue!), and Frances' cousin Diana Barr, from Columbus... Shelby Dee? I have to work on remembering her name, sorry! She was only with us one night.

We had great fun with the Shelby Gang, and still managed to crank out a lot of art! Like the round robin paintings we all worked on after our amazing day at Woosterfest!

Frances and me with our BD cake.İSusan Shie 2004.The last day of the Shelby Gang Camp was my 54th birthday, September 28, and since Frances' BD is October 1, we celebrated together at camp.

Whoopeee! Jimmy not only got us a yummy cake, but we got a big bouquet of roses!

I have to say, Frances Holliday Alford is the classiest Libra dame I know! I am honored to share theLibraness with her!

Other really hot Libra chick artists are Jane Burch Cochran and Robin Schwalb. And Penny McMorris, the quilt art historian and owner of Electric Quilt Company, has the same exact BD as me! Yea!





Camp students and fake quilt. İSusan Shie 2004.October 6 - 12 Turtle Art Camp with Cousin Candy...This one really surprised me! My favorite cousin Candy Watson of Winchester, VA decided to come to camp, when she heard that I was temporarily retiring the camp scene here! And she brought her friend Louisa Monfort of Rensselear, IN . And we had Nim Sidhe from Kent, OH, and my sister Debi joined us one day when we went to The Parlor for breakfast, and the five of us had a great time together, running all over town, looking for more of the evil sound black cats that Debi had given me one of for my birthday. You can see from the top of the fake quilt, that Debi came through and brought us more of the evil cats, after our crazed search had failed. Louise set them all off, when they were done making the fake quilt and ready to show it to me. That's a sound you don't want to hear! In the photo are me, Candy, Louise, and Nim.


Louisa painting.İSusan Shie 2004.At left is Louisa (aka Mata Hari) painting on her powerful goddess from the cosmos piece. I think this was her first painting in many years, though you'd never guess that. This is often true of my students. They quit painting long ago, and then, when they start up again, they blast off into orbit! I hope Louisa is hooked, because her work is great!








Elise Neuman cuts out her jacket.İSusan Shie 2004.TA-TA (TAA) happenings at St. Bonaventure University in Olean, NY Oct 14 - 17...Here's my new friend Weaser, (ok, everybody else calls her Elise Neuman), enjoying the afternoon at Claire's House at St. Bonaventure University, where Sonja Tugend (who's moved to my town Wooster this year), Weaser, and I went up a couple of days earlier than the other Textile Arts Alliance women, for our "Focus Fiber" exhibition at the college. Elise is cutting out her jacket, using my mother's tried and true coffee-cups-for-pins method. (We were very short on straight pins.) Claire's House is a campus guest house, and we were quite comfortable there.

Ruta Marino, another TAA member from Cleveland (they're mostly from Cleveland), is the exhibitons curator at St. Bonaventure and got us this touring gig for the show. And after Sonja, Ruta, Weaser, and I were there a couple of days, about 20 more TAA members came up and we had the opening.




Sonja knitting for her granddaughters.İSusan Shie 2004.Here's Sonja knitting a poncho for one of her three granddaughters. I got a lot of sewing done that week, while the three of us hung out in Claire House.

I was also on a panel at St Bonaventure that week, about Art and Disabilities, along with the founder of Dancing Wheels, a troope of mostly wheelchair-bound dancers from Cleveland. We were all treated to seeing them perform the night of our show opening, as well. St Bonaventure U is next to Olean, NY, where CutCo Knives are made, so one of Weaser, Sonja, and my adventures was a knife buying trip. We also invaded several restaurants and JoAnn Fabrics and were unwilling participants in the local Homecoming hijinx in the Claire's House parking lot! I really enjoyed getting to know the TAA women better and having my "Peace Cupboard" art quilt in their show.






Gretchen and Eva Oct 22.İSusan Shie 2004.Eva was born totally unexpectedly, emergency c-section, October 22, and everything else I forget!... At left is one of the first pictures I took of Eva and Gretchen, when Jimmy and I made it up to the hospital in Lakewood in the afternoon on October 22. They both looked great, and we'll be forever grateful to the doctors and nurses there for rescuing our two girls after the placenta started to tear away from Gretchen's uterus. Thank goodness Michael was still at home when things started to go wrong, and could drive G to the hospital. This was over a month before Gretchen's due date, so it all felt pretty unreal that day, that week!



Eva and her new parents.İSusan Shie 2004.This was the first picture I took of the happy new family, safe and sound.

What I really loved about Lakewood Hospital was the very friendly, accomodating staff, and how Michael was allowed to stay there in their birthing room the whole time, til they went home. We would go in to visit them, hold Eva, chat with other visitors like Bud and Eileen, Mike's parents, and never be restricted by rules. Mike had his guitar there, and the three of them just hung out til they came home.

Eva was born at 8:11 AM on Friday, October 22, 2004 in Lakewood, Ohio, for all you astrology lovers. Her Sun is on her Ascendant, as the real Sun was just coming up when she was born. 3º Scorpio rising. Midheaven 9º Leo. Sun 29º Libra, end of twelfth house. Moon 20º Aquarius, fourth house. Mercury 10º Scorpio, first house. Venus 22º Virgo, eleventh house. Mars 17º Libra, twelfth house, Jupiter 6º Libra, eleventh house. Saturn 27º Cancer, tenth house. Uranus 3º Pisces retro, fourth house. Neptune 12º Aquarius, fourth house. Pluto 20º Sag, second house. Dragon's Head 2º Taurus, end of sixth house. So there you have it: a real little darling, aglow with that Sun sitting on her Ascendant, shining away.


Eva and her Jimmy GrandDaddy.İSusan Shie 2004.Guess who's been crying around for a grandchild for about six years or more? Yes, our darling Jimmy. For so long I've had to cope with him making goo-goo eyes at small children and babies in restaurants, to the point where I worry that their parents will think he's weird. Once Gretchen told him to stop his asking for a grandchild, because she was not a baby factory! My theory is that, since he never had a baby of his own, being Gretchen's step-father, he still needed this experience of enjoying a baby.

So now we've got one, and Jimmy gets squirmy every time he's not the one holding Eva, and especially if it looks like we have to go home and he may not even get to hold her. So he takes her and reverently cuddles her, and watches her like a hawk.

This picture is from Eva's second day "out," October 23.





Michael charming Eva.İSusan Shie 2004.Jimmy is second fiddle in the man department though, since when Michael takes Eva in his arms, he starts smiling, cooing, singing songs he's making up, and playing instruments one-handed for her. He's been singing and playing music for her ever since she was conceived, so she knows his voice extremely well. Michael can put her into a contented trance with his Eva tunes. He has Gretchen singing them, too, so music is in the air at their house!

This picture is from November 2.





And then there are us Grannies, Eileen and me...

Me holding Eva.İGretchen Miller 2004.Eileen holding Eva. İSusan Shie 2004.

The Eva on the left is with me on November 2, after I voted. Eva is too young to vote yet. The Eva on the right is with Eileen on Thanksgiving. Eva is too young to eat turkey dinner. She has a lot to look forward to.

My students and me at The Fred.İSusan Shie 2004.My coolest class, at The Fred in Indianapolis, Oct 24 - 29...when I had to be gone from Gretchen, Mike, Eva, and Jimmy, since I had planned these classes to be before Eva was to be born...

I had a great time at The Fred, aka The Frederick-Talbott Inn, aka The Midwest Quilt Retreat Center. I had nine wonderful students, and since we got to pretending that we were at a group home for Women Art Supply Kleptomaniacs (WASK), I'll include our home nicknames here: Front row: Kim Gilligan (Mocha) of Watertown, WI; Elizabeth King (Scrubs) of Kalamazoo, MI; me; Mary Richling (Sable) of Omaha, NE. Back row: Sharon Bowman (Ramona) of Muncie, IN; Annie O'Brien-Gonzales (Cherry Garcia) of Cedaredge, CO; Merrilee Hansen (Slash) of Springfield, NE; Sharie Renee (Trubble) of Brecksville, OH; Heather Taylor (Radish) of Cedar Falls, IA; and Fran Morison (Speedy) of Pittsburgh, PA. We had incredible fun making tons of art in my class called "The Painting and the Quilt", in which we first made acrylic paintings on stretched canvas and then made art quilts on painted Kona cotton, using airpens and fabric paints. We also tore around the northeastern suburbs of Indy a lot, shopping and eating.

Sharon using the airpen.İSusan Shie 2004.At left is Sharon Bowman working away on one of her many paintings made in class at The Fred. She's doing something it takes a lot of patience to achieve: using the airpen over already painted fabric. It's tricky enough to make the airpen work well for you at the beginning, but she's got it making excellent lines over fibers that don't want to absorb any more paint. I'm glad she likes it, because she has an airpen at home that she hadn't used before. Now she knows what to do with it! I can't wait to start seeing her zrtwork out in the world! Come on, Sharon! And that goes for the rest of you girls, too! You all did really powerful work, so let's see a lot more of it!!!

Thanks to our hosts Susan Muller and Peggy at The Fred, who made our time there so comfortable and peaceful. A perfect place for a bunch of wild, crazy women artists to get together and do their stuff!





My apartnent building on Edanola Ave.İSusan Shie 2004.The move starts to granny pad on Edanola Avenue in Lakewood on Nov 1...

This is the view of my building as I walk back to it from Gretchen and Mike's house, two and a half blocks away. I have a small place on the first floor, with what I call a "great room", meaning a bedroom and living room combined, and a tiny dining room, a bitty kitchen, a small bath, and some honkin' big closets! My "computer center" is the former murphy bed closet, equipt now with some cool shelving Jimmy put together for me, and for the first time I have cable connection to the internet. I have to get this for our computer at home, as it makes using this 56k phone modem drive me nuts! Jimmy will love the speed of the cable, too.

While Gretchen is still home from work on maternity leave, I can come and go, and am in Wooster about as much as I'm in Lakewood. But she goes back to work on January 22, and then I'll be at her house most of each day, at the granny pad weeknights, and home in Wooster on weekends. Jimmy and I and my friends Rene and Early worked hard to get things moved up to the apartment, and I think I'm pretty set now. I hope to mostly use it for an office and studio, and hope I have the energy to get my art made a lot now!!!!! I'll have to switch to first shift, which I have done well every time I've taught workshops, but this is serious, sustained first shift! Will Eva let me do some sewing during the day??? I hope so! And I'll be burning some second shift energy on the painting and paperwork, you can bet!

Mints.İWhoever made the mint tin. 2004.Kerry loses the election, Nov 2...

I don't know. Seems to me most people voted for Kerry, so how come those clever computer voting machines said Bush won??

Our friend and former student Sherry stopped in at our class at The Fred and offered us some of these National Embarrassmints. Thought you might like to have a little something to sweeten this bitter predicament we're in, for another four years.







My donation for Art Quilt Tahoe auction.İSusan Shie 2004.Art Quilt Tahoe, my last and other coolest class, November 7 - 12...My last class for awhile was at Lake Tahoe's Resort at Squaw Creek, with Judy Bernard's amazing symposium.

At left is the new painting I donated to the AQT auction, "Studio Blessings Party." I don't knwo yet who bought it, but am very curious.

Everyone at AQT was super nice to me, and I loved the 16 students I had in my class! It was only for four days, but I felt we could go on and on together, and truly become a little tribe. I guess I usually feel that way about a class I teach. But knowing this was my last class, I was getting extra squishy about these girls.




Students at breakfast.İSusan Shie 2004.Cornelia and Rose.İSusan Shie 2004.








Above are: Marina Salume, Enid Silvestry, Terry Dixon, Darlene Swenson, Cornelia Bayley, and Rose McLarty, some of my AQT students. Below is most of the group:My Tahoe students.İSusan Shie 2004.

Front on the floor Charlene Hearst from Toronto, CA; Front row: Mari Linfesty of Santa Monica, CA; Enid Silvestry of Santa Barbara, CA, me, Sallie Baldwin of Greenwich, CT. Back row: Susan Cherry of Marysville, CA; Pam McCosker of Mill Valley, CA; Dalonna Cooper of Fairbanks, AK; Marina Salume of Half Moon Bay, CA; Christi Bonds of Reno, NV, Darlene Swenson of Los Angeles, CA; and Terry Dixon of Manhattan Beach, CA.

Missing from this wild pack of women wolves are Linda Hawes of Tampa,FL; Sharon Koslosky of Grass Valley, CA; Michelle Joanou of La Canada, CA; Cornelia Bayley of Nevada City, CA; and Rose McLarty of Grass Valley, CA. It was after the Walk About after all nine classes were done, and I think these truant girlies had hit the bar early! I must have driven them to it! ;)

Michae, Gretchen, and Eva.İSusan Shie 2004.Getting used to Eva, to my daughter being a mother and my son-in-law being a father, and my new parttime apartment, and not teaching...

They are such sweet new parents! I wish every child could get the loving care and attention to their needs that Gretchen and Michael are giving to Eva.

Every time I look at these three, I know I did the right thing, taking this break from teaching. Once I catch my stride with the changes, I know I'll be making lots of art again, and getting it into the new work galleries on this site! Give us all a chance to adjust!

This photo was taken November 20.






Gretchen and Kristi cooking T Day dinner.İSusan Shie 2004.Thanksgiving Nov 25 was a great family time with a feast at Gretchen and Mike's house... Many, many thanks to Gretchen and Mike and to Kristi for once again hosting the whole combined family! Eight years' worth now???

Somebody else must be holding Eva, because Gretchen's pretty content to be in her kitchen cooking!






Miller brothers at T Day dinner.İSusan Shie 2004.Eileen, Bud, and Jimmy at T Day dinner.İSusan Shie 2004.






Everyone enjoyed Thanksgiving very much! A toast from the Miller Brothers: Frank, Brian, and Mike, and some contented anticipation from the parents: Eileen, Bud, and Jimmy.

Gretchen and Eva at Thanksgiving Dinner.İSusan Shie 2004.And the Mother and Child Reunion is only a moment away! Eva's first Thanksgiving, her first holiday, and the first time for Gretchen to be a mother at a holiday.

Blessings to us all, to my family and to yours, for the coming year, and let us all give great thanks for the joys of our lives. May we all work harder for the safety and protection of all the children in the world, who all deserve the comforts of a good home and family.

May all families be blessed with love and honor and security. May we bring World Peace into all lives this year. May we all treat others as our own family and live in trust and tolerance.







Jimmy's birthday.İSusan Shie 2004.Jimmy's 51st birthday was Nov 26, 2004. Instead of being born at this time (due Nov 23), Eva was five weeks old!...

Jimmy and I spent the day at home working, and then had cake and ice cream together. We'll continue to celebrate with friends and family as we see them in the next few weeks, since as you get older, birthdays get to last longer! Hattie wants that cake!

I'm getting used to my new camera and new computer...Hoping to get some artwork finished that's been piling up this year. Maybe I'll get caught up over the winter???? I didn't put much of my art on the diary this time, but a lot got made, since I always make at least a lot of new starts during classes! I plan to start more actively putting paintings and quilts into the site's galleries again soon, so watch for that!

With that time slot reserved for art catch-up and getting used to Nanny Patrol, I hope to have the next diary up by March 30, but as you know, don't count on it! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Peace Now! Susan

Turtle Moon Studios
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