Eva in her sunglasses.©Susan Shie 2005.Turtle Trax Diary. Page 48

July 10, 2005

Hot flashes from this Spring....

by Susan Shie

Above is Eva in June, getting ready for Summer!

Topics in this diary: YaYas living wills; a custom made Gemini painting; playing Bowling Owlies with Karlie at Mama Wanda's birthday party; at The Parlor with Carolyn and my brothers; girls' weekend during the snowstorm; tArts meeting; starting the garden; a new fly case by Jimmy; The Lazy Susan/Wheel of Fortune; Acord family picture; Gretchen, Mike, and Eva; Cookbook Print Quilt #13; Quilt National '05, along with my piece in QN: Peace Mama Pie and Susanne Gregg's iSurprise Pot Pie; the E-wards at QN; Robin visits us in Wooster and Lakewood; The Belmont Stakes Family Party and New Baby Olivia; Jimmy's Pheasant Flask; Jimmy packs for Grayling; Really cute Eva pix from her eighth month; NEO Buddha again; Fourth of July visit with Pat and Floyd; Jimmy's cousin Diane's death and other deaths and births; House of Peace paintings on wood; Eva in a dressy; Sally Green's piece.

Note about sales: Almost all the artwork I show in my diary is for sale. The price formulas for my work are on my front page, so multiply the length by the width and by the price per square inch. Or call or email me for a price. And I take payments.

YaYas signing living wills.©James Acord 2005.Here are Pat and Rita and me, signing living will paperwork that Pat prepared for us from some fancy little software she got. We made a special time to gather and witness each other's living wills. Now we have to find good places to store them. Jimmy's and mine are in a heap behind the computer here, so far, but will soon be in my little lock box, along with our marriage license and passports, etc. The Appletinis seemed to help us wade through all the hoy paloy of the lawyer-speak in the wills, and we decided that Pat missed her calling, as she would be an excellent lawyer chick.



Gemini Blessings.©Susan Shie 2005.This is a special, custom designed Gemini painting on unstretched fabric, which I made this Spring for one of my students.

If you're interested in having me make you a custom piece for yourself, for a gift, for a wedding or anniversary, etc, check out my price formulas. Note that I have a design fee which I add when I'm making something to order.

I've always enjoyed very much working with people to make them a custom piece in my style, with the colors and some stories and images










The mean bowling owly.©Susan Shie 2005.Karlie and the Owlies.©Susan Shie 2005.Here you see the continuing story of the Bowling Owlies, yes, the busted patio owl lights that our nieces Karlie (shown here) and Tazia both keep being spellbound by.

Tazia moved to Columbus, so Karlie had to play Bowling Owlies without her this time.

The green owl is the mean one You have to be extra careful around it. It bites. The pink owl is the wimpy one, and the two blue owls, well... they both used to be nice, but now the green owl got one of them to be mean, and we can't tell which one of the blue owls the meany is! The little tiger bean bag toy is the Bowling Ball.


Bowling Owlies ready to play!©Susan Shie 2005.Karlie and me and owlies.©Susan Shie 2005.You set up the owlies on the upside down salad bowls, I mean on their pedestals. The object is to knock them down with the tiger... the bowling ball. If you aim sideways, you might be able to take out more than one owly at once! If you knock them down too easily, you have to stand back farther, so it's harder. Karlie is pretty good at it, but then, she's almost six years old now.

Karlie asked me to bring the Bowling Owlies game stuff to her birthday party at the end of this month. Apparently, there is nowhere else on this earth where you can find Bowling Owlies game equipment. Wonder why. I plan to introduce Eva to Bowling Owlies, when she's ready, and I hope Karlie and Tazia will come over and show her how it's done right!

Mama Wanda's 76th birthday party with her kids and Karlie.©Susan Shie 2005.That particular Bowling Owlies game was held after Mama Wanda's 75th birthday party, here at our house, where we had a fine Jimmy barbecue to celebrate.

Here's Queen Mama Wanda on her Rubbermaid chair throne, surrounded by her darling children and granddaughter. Top row: Freddie, Gary, and Jimmy. Bottom row: Karlie, Wanda, and Karen. Karlie is Freddie and Jackie's daughter, and she likes birthday cakes, Bowling Owlies, and piñatas.







My brothers and me.©Carolyn Robinson 2005.Carolyn and me.©James Acord 2005.One weekend when I was home in Wooster, off duty as a nanny and back to being just an artist, my friend Carolyn was also home from the Middle East, where she trains news teams. We went to The Parlor, our favorite place for breakfast, and lo and behold! My two brothers, Larry and Jimmy showed up to see each other. So there we all were, and it was time for another Shie photo op! Larry is above Jimmy and me. Larry is five years older than me and drives a semi around the country. Jimmy is three years older than me and works at the food co-op.

Oh, I think Jimmy, the other Jimmy - my husband - took the picture of Carolyn and me in our kitchen at home, not at The Parlor.

Me and my girlies and Kristi too.©James Acord 2005.The first weekend in April, Gretchen, Eva, and Kristi (Gretchen's sister-in-law and Eva's aunty) were on their way to Cincinnati for their friend Heather's baby shower, when a gigantic blizzard happened. They ended up waylaid at our house, instead of going to Cinci, and we had a wonderful weekend together. It was totally unexpected! Who would think you'd have a major blizzard on April 2??? And this blizzard affected the major highways all the way from Cleveland to Cincinnati, and made driving around our little towns even treacherous. We snuggled in and enjoyed having the girls with us!



tArts meeting.©Susan Shie 2005.tArts meeting.©Susan Shie 2005.Here are some pictures from meetings of the West End Textile tArts, aka The tArts. We meet once a month, and there are six of us. On the left here Jill is showing us some of her psychedelic Alice in Wonderland quilt collages she was making for a show she was in over on the East Side, at the Pentagon Gallery. I'm holding up a piece I started in 2001.... I have a lot of things like this, still unfinished, and once in a while, I pick one up and finish it or try to! I started so many pieces as demos when I was teaching so fast and furiously in the last few years! I could keep busy for a long, long time, just finishing all those starts!

tArts meeting.©Susan Shie 2005.tArts meeting. ©Susan Shie 2005.At left, Paet brought her angel figure to show us at a tArts meeting, after it got into print in the newest issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors Magazine. The piece has exquisite hand embroidery and beading on it.

Tina, who hosts most of our meetings at her home, looks on as Iselin shows us some of her beautiful hand knit creations. Everyone in the tArts group has interesting things to show the others, and we always end up having to end the meetings with lots more to be said. We just started the group this winter, and each meeting gets better!



Jimmy tills the garden.©Susan Shie 2005.Jimmy got a flower seedbed tilled for me early in May, using our favorite little Mantis tiller, Hennie Pogo. Now this bed is loaded with flowers I really need to transplant, mostly started from seeds I saved from last year. You can see the Sweet Woodruff blooming with white flowers in the background. Betwen then and now, much of my large garden efforts have been weed control, when I'm home on weekends. I find the Canada Thistles to be this year's biggest persistent weeds. I just keep on yanking them up by the roots, but they keep coming back, up through mulch and newspapers even! Too bad you can't eat them.



Custom fly case by Jimmy Acord. ©James Acord 2005.This is one of Jimmy's new fly cases, made for a customer this Spring. I just love the Salmon Fly on this one! His custom order waiting list extends into next year now, which upsets him, since he can't take more Christmas orders, but I think it's good. I'm really happy that people want his work so much and appreciate that he's the only artist in the world making these cases, and that he's still doing all the work himself. It's vey slow work, but it's got such beauty and quality, along with its uniqueness. Each customer tells him what fly or fish or other nature scene to hand carve and paint onto their piece. And I help a little by designing the sets of three initials that he tools into the backs. Check him out! And now he's making his deerskin baby booties in a smaller size that fits new babies now, besides the bigger size he's always done. You gotta see these!

Lazy Susan.©Susan Shie 2005.When Eva sleeps or is especially contented to let me do something besides hold her, I am able to get a little hand sewing done. And she likes to watch me sew and thread needles, too. For a little while at a time!

I was able to finish this piece in time for the exhibition "Pushing the Surface", held for the fourth time at the Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum in Coshocton, OH. It's my fourth time to be included in this biennial invitational show, and it's always a very fine exhibit of international art quilts.

This is "The Lazy Susan / Wheel of Fortune - Card #10 in The Kitchen Tarot." I started it in 2002, and finished it almost three years to the day later! I think it's 48"h x 25"w or so. I had added a lot of airpen writing to it last year, and this year I did a lot more hand sewing to it than I thought I'd have time to. So much more sewing that it shrunk more than I'd expected it to.

The idea of Lazy Susan is that this spinning wheel of fortune (which is the regular Tarot card motif) is an astrology wheel, and I had to decide what kitchen objects would represent each astrology sign. Our cat Evil Tulip is sitting there, watching the wheel go round. I also wrote a lot of personal and political stuff on this one, giving it lots of peace symbols, natch. It became one of my favorite pieces, and I hope to get to work on the next Kitchen Tarot piece started in 2002 soon. That's the Food Scales / Justice.



Detail of Lazy Susan.©Susan Shie 2005.I thought if I put in a couple of detail shots of Lazy Susan, you could see some of the stitching and maybe read a little of the diary on it.










Detail of Lazy Susan.©Susan Shie 2005.This is the Libra House in the wheel, the Seventh House. I used my mother's sugar dispenser from the 50s as the Libra kitchen object. We have it in our kitchen in Wooster. You tip it over like a diner's sugar dispenser.









Wanda and all us kids, late April, 2005.©Susan Shie 2005.Here's our Acord family April, from left: Gary (Jimmy's brother); Darrell (Karen's husband); Karen (Jimmy's sister); Karlie (Freddie's daughter); Freddie (Jimmy's brother); Wanda (Jimmy's mother); Jackie (Freddie's wife); me and Jimmy. I think the light reflection of the camera's flash up in the window can stand for Jimmy's dad, Bill, who passed away in 1992. He's watching over Wanda.


Gretchen, Mike, and Eva.©Susan Shie 2005.Just wanted to stick a picture in here of Gretchen, Mike, and Eva in May.







Detail of Print Quilt #13 in progress.©Susan Shie 2005.Back to my Island Press / Washington University Cookbook Print Quilt project! Lest you thought it had fizzled! Nope! Here are details from the printed, drawn, and written on cloth panels for Print Quilt #13: Dutch Apple Pie, just before I sent them to Roxanne, Amanda, and Jessie, the three women in St Louis who are hand quilting, beading, and sewing together the eleven panels of each of the 19 quilts we'll eventually have made! The detail above is from the huge center panel of the 75" x 48" finished piece.







Detail of Print Quilt #13 in progress.©Susan Shie 2005.










The image above is actually merged from two jpegs I took of the bottom panel, which is really wide. So they don't quite line up in the middle. Just think! This is the 13th time for me to draw the outlines and write the new diary over the printed surfaces of this image!!! And then the print quilters are now working on hand stitching and beading this same image for the 13th time, and we all have six more times to do it all on the six remaining print quilts in the edition. Man! You can check out earlier diary stories on The Cookbook Print Quilt Project on my earlier diaries, as I've now marked them on my diary index page. I think this project with Island Press is going to be one of the most important things in my career, and I'm so grateful to the women working with me, and to Maryanne Simmons, who was the Master Printer at Island Press who invited me to do this unique project and who really made it happen.

I plan to make one of my little books to go with the Cookbook Print Quilt Project, with a page for each quilt's recipe. And what I'd really like is to wait to show any of these quilts in a gallery until they're all done. Imagine showing all 19 together in one large gallery space. Each has the basic understructure of the printed panels, but each is unique with its own recipe, diary, and drawing over the printed and painted images. Each piece is hand stitched a little differently and hand beaded uniquely, also. This ain't no normal edition of prints!!!! Oh, and did I point out that they are huge???

I think it'll make a really good big, fat coffeetable book for some company to put together. But I sure don't have the time to write it!

Robin Schwalb receives the Quilts Japan prize at QN.©Susan Shie 2005.OK, now let's go to Quilt National '05 in Athens, Ohio, at The Dairy Barn Southeastern Ohio Cultural Arts Center. Yippeee! First thing we did was watch my buddy Robin Schwalb receive the coveted Quilts Japan Prize! She was so thrilled, and I can't think of anyone who deserves it as much as Robin, who's made many quilts using Japanese imagery. She loved her trip to Japan in the 90s and is so psyched to go back. She's learned some Japanese in the meantime, so she'll finally get to use that! Hurray!

The QN jurors this year were Miriam Nathan-Roberts, Joan Lintault, and Mark Richard Leach. It's a very, very good exhibition that they put together! Hilary Fletcher is still the hard working director of Quilt National, having held this position for 22 years now! I hope you get a chance to see this amazing show, either at The Dairy Barn, where it's at until Sept 5, or as it goes around the country on tour for two and a half years. And don't forget to buy the wonderful book/catalog published by Lark Books.

Angela Moll and her piece at QN.©Susan Shie 2005.Angela Moll stands proudly with her "Secret Diary #15: What Are You Doing???" This is Angela's second QN to exhibit in. I was so happy to see her and her husband Thorsten, whom I stayed with in Nov, 2003, when I taught in Santa Barbara. They were the most gracious hosts, and I loved staying with them. I'm also proud to say that Angela is one of my students. I am so honored that I was able to influence her a little, as I think her work is extremely strong and interesting, as well as a totally new look in the art quilt world. This is something I consider very rare anymore.





Sandy Shelenberger and her piece at QN.©Susan Shie 2005.Andi Stern at QN.©Susan Shie 2005.At left is Sandy Shelenberger of Conneaut, Ohio, at her first QN. Her quilt "Black and Blue #3: Process" won the Juror's Award of Merit. She's been working hard on a very unique body of work, using airbrush and has a solo show up at the same time as this exhibition! Pretty snazzy!

And Andi Stern, at right, has a piece in QN this year, called "Love Bird." Andi took classes from me, but has studied with many artists, and has an art degree. She's just about finished her MA in Art History as well, although she's not currently enrolled in her program. Another unique artist with lots and lots of talent, inspiration, and perseverence!





Dinah Sargeant and my pieces at QN.©Susan Shie 2005.My piece is on the right here, next to Dinah Sargeant's quilt, "Mandalas," which I love. Every time I see work by Dinah, I know it's hers from across the room, and it sucks me in like a magnet, to its vivid colors and offbeat brushwork. Again, someone working in a very special way of her own. A real delight!

I first saw her painted quilts at a FAVA show about six years ago. Just blew me away, and I would love to see a big solo show of her work! Wow!







Peace Mama Pie.©Susan Shie 2005."Peace Mama Pie" is my Quilt National '05 piece. It's 42"h x 22"w. Finished just in time to take the slides and get the entry forms in on time, which is how I like to do a QN entry experience, complete with talking to other artists in the same boat of frantic dithers of last minute comopression, this piece is about Peace. How we, as women and mothers, need to instill the values of world peace in our families and friends, in our food and shelter, and in our politics and how we vote.

It is not a protest piece about hating those who are war mongers. But rather it's a prayer for those world leaders who think war is the answer to have a change of heart; to soften and become peace seeking. But it suggests that we, as individuals, can only affect our own surroundings, so we must be peace making within our own families. We must send out peace and love, in order to get that ripple effect going in the world. It's a biggie!

















Detail of Peace Mama Pie.©Susan Shie 2005.This is a detail of near the bottom of "Peace Mama Pie", and here you can read it better and see the sewing a little bit better.

I see eyes as symbols of our true nature, our souls communicating, and I think that we are all peace loving in our souls. I use pies as images of nurturing and loving, giving comfort. I like to use kitchen images in my work, to remind us all that having a base of love and comfort in our lives gives us the tools to go out and give those gifts to the rest of the world. I think kitchen work is very important and powerful work. Not that I'm not a feminist, coz I am, but we need to keep that baby when we pitch the bath water. Love and caring are not to be disgarded in the quest for equality. We just need to always encourage our men to learn to do this nurturing, kitcheny love stuff, too. Everybody wins!

Susanne's iSurprise Pot Pie.©Susan Shie 2005.Speaking of pies... and of Pot Pies in particular, I thought I'd throw this picture and story in here now: Susanne Gregg, my friend in Cleveland who's a like-spirited artist, came down to Wooster to give me a ride to Cleveland one Sunday, and told us she was bringing a surprise supper.

She pulled up in her little Mini Cooper named Emma, and brought in towel-draped bundles of food, smiling all the while. She stuffed her surprise into the oven, and we had to wait to see what it was.

What it was was a giant chicken pot pie, the yummiest one you ever, ever ate! She made it from scratch, and although the images are very hard to see here, trust me: She used hearts, eyes, peace symbols, etc, from my art iconography, as pie crust embellishments. It was not only visually stunning and artsy, but super yummy! Best pot pie we ever ate!!!!!!

She also made us cookies for dessert, made in old fashioned cooky cutter presses that had antique lithography images of women doing "women's work" on the cookies! Wow! It was such an amazing surprise! Thank you again, Susanne!

Now, back at Quilt National. You know, they have the big private opening on the Friday night of the festivities. Then you go to the banquet. Then you hang out and get kinda crazy with friends you haven't seen for a long time, later that night, going around to each other's rooms at the University Inn. Next morning you all go to the Dairy Barn again and really get to look at the art better, maybe get to talk with Hilary Fletcher, the director, a little, get folks to sign your catalog, if you didn't have time the night before, because you never have enough time there. Then you go eat somewhere in Athens. Saturday afternoon, we went to a special art group's showing of their own work, and Andi Stern had things in that show, so we went and enjoyed it.

Then, Saturday night is super special. That's when Hilary and Marvin Fletcher invite all the artists to their home for a party. It's gotten so huge, this year they had to kinda split it up, with the artists who came for the Studio Art Quilts Associates conference coming at one time, and the QN artists coming at another, and still the joint was packed, packed, packed, even in the big tent in the back yard! After supper, for many years, Robin Schwalb took this party as the opportunity to announce and present our GREEN QUILTS awards. But we closed that project after 15 years, last year, and we didn't think we were going to do any awards now...

Planning the E-wards.©Susan Shie 2005.Receiving an E-ward.©James Acord 2005.Giving the E-wards.©James Acord 2005.







Only then I met Katherine Allen, whose beautiful monoprinted quilt "Nocturne" is in the show, and we got to discussing how Janet Lipkin's quilt would be perfect for a Cheesy Award, because it's got a bunch of holes in it, like Swiss Cheese... and suddenly we went down a rabbit hole together, and then we drug Dinah Sargeant and Jane Burch Cochran down there with us, and we were going through the QN catalog, finding quilts which lent themselves well to E-wards, using adjectives with E-sound endings that describe the quilts well .... And then we gave ourselves E-Wards, too, since that would be nice of us!

Above left: Katherine, Dinah, and Jane look through the catalog at the Rio Grande Restaurante in Athens on the Saturday afternoon of the QN weekend, doing a scholarly search for the perfect E-wards quilts. In the center shot, Amy Robertson receives her E-Ward, and at right, the E-Wards committee announces the E-Wards in the tent at Hilary's that night.

We gave a lot of E-Wards, something like 16 of them all together, plus two honoraries! I hand wrote them on little foam plates with a marker, so the recipients would have a trophy to take home and admire. (OK, it is a come-down after I made real art to give out as GREEN QUILTS awards, but I am older and more exhausted now!)

Here's the E-Wards list:

1. The Cheese-E-Ward. Janet Lipkin of Richmond, VA, for "In Search of Nothing" p 46 in the QN 05 book.

2. The Egg-E-Ward. Jane Burch Cochran of Rabbit Hash, KY, for "Devilled and Angel" p 69.

3. The Dirt-E-Ward. Katherine Knauer of NY, NY, for "Flying Goose" p 60.

4. The Space-E-Ward. Dinah Sargeant of Newhall, CA, for "Mandalas" p 27.

5. The Scribble-E-Ward. Angela Moll of Santa Barbara, CA, for "Secret Diary #15: What Are You Doing?" p 56.

6. The Night-E-Ward. Katherine Allen of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, for "Nocturne" p 35.

7. The Stink-E-Ward. Susan Shie of Wooster, OH, for "Peace Mama Pie" p 54.

8. The Thorn-E-Ward. Jane Sassaman of Chicago, IL, for "Forgotten Garden" p 41.

9. The Mold-E-Ward. Linda McCurry of Gilbert, AZ, for "High Fiber Quilt" p 70.

10. The Guilt-E-Ward. Linda McDonald of Willits, CA, for "Migration of the California Red-Legged Frog" p 66.

11. The Stripe-E-Ward. Amy Robertson of Cohasset, MA, for "Reservoir #5" p 72.

12. The Nut-E-Ward. June Underwood of Portland, OR, for "Consider the Horse Chestnut" p 82.

12.5 The Edge-E-Ward. Sue Benner of Dallas, TX, for "Figure XI" p94.

13. The Veg-E-Ward: Goes to three artists who all used veggies strongly and healthily in their artwork:

13-A. Elia Woods of Oklahoma City, OK, for "A Salad Ballad" p 83.

13-B. Jeanne Benson of Columbia, MD, for "Arrangement for Mixed Greens with Edible Flower" p 88.

13-C. Kit Vincent of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, for "Lancaster Series: Witness" p 91.

Honorary: The Hubb-E-Ward: Jimmy Acord of Wooster, OH, and Randy Cochran of Rabbit Hash, KY, for being present at our E-Wards main planning session at the Rio Grande Restaurante in Athens, OH.

I have to add that many Quilt Nationals ago, Jane Burch Cochran and I created and presented the first and only Golden Scissors Awards (aks the Cutter Quilt Awards...) at the swimming pool at the University Inn, at 11 PM on the Saturday night of the QN opening, maybe for QN 91 or 89??? Like the E-Wards, the Golden Scissors Awards had absolutely nothing profound about them, but were a blast to put together and to present. And all three of these types of awards: Golden Scissors, GREEN QUILTS, and E-Wards share the rule that you had to actually be present to receive your coveted award, as we just love handing out coveted awards!

So whoever makes it back to QN in 07 may or may not do another E-Wards Ceremony, or perhaps someone will conjure up yet another ad hoc, renegade awards event. Oh yes, that's another thing they all had in common: They are not part of the official Quilt National awards listed in the catalog or on the labels as the show tours. But we know!!!!!

Jimmy and me at QN.©Marty Stern 2005.Here are Jimmy and me in front of my piece at QN. We really had a good time together that weekend, though Jimmy was often off with the guys. Still, since he collaborated with me for so many years on the quilts and in teaching, Jimmy knows a lot of the artists and enjoys talking with them, too. He wouldn/t miss a Quilt National opening!






Miriam, Peter, Debra, and Robin at Lunn Fabrics.©Susan Shie 2005.Hattie and the Forget Me Nots.©Susan Shie 2005.







On our way back to Wooster from QN, with Robin taken hostage for a few days with us, we stopped to see our pals Debra Lunn and Michael Mrowka at Lunn Fabrics, and Miriam and Peter Nathan-Roberts stopped in, too. Above left are Miriam, Peter, Debra, and Robin. Hattie's in the garden at right above, waiting for us to return to Wooster and love her up!

Debra and Michael are busy shutting down most of Lunn Fabrics' store and catalog operations, as they are deeply commited now to working in Java with the batik artists there, designing for Timeless Treasures. The only part of their online business they'll soon have left is for selling PFD fabrics. Wow! It's so wonderful to see them throwing their hugely creative and talented minds and bodies into this new stage of their careers! The new Lunn Fabrics batik designs are out in stores now, under the Timeless Treasuers label, with tons more to come!

Mama Gretchen and Eva.©Susan Shie 2005.OK, back to Lakewood, after Robin spent a night with us in Wooster. Normally she'd stay for several days each Spring, and we'd work in the gardens together and just bop around Wooster, but the Nanny Gig calleth, and we must respond!

So Jimmy took us up to Lakewood, where Aunt Robin and Eva finally met. Here's Mommy Gretchen with Eva that morning.





Daddy-O Mike and Eva.©Susan Shie 2005.Aunt Robin and Eva.©Susan Shie 2005.And here's Daddy-O Mike playing piano with Eva that evening.

And here's Aunty Robin holding Eva on the porch. We were being entertained by the endless Sloane Street Project, which had lined up its forces to put the pavement on the street smack-dab in fromt of the house that very day! See, Robin! New York is not the only city of great thrills and excitement. Admit it! The street construction just made it very hard to get a cab to take Robin to the airport, but it all worked out, and now she's back in NYC, picketting a theater with an inflatable rat. OK, maybe New York trumps us with that rat stuff! I want one!



Women at the Belmont Party.©Susan Shie 2005.The big Belmont Stakes Family Blow Out Party! Saturday, June 11. Yippeee!

Here are my sister Debi, holding her brand new granddaughter, Olivia; Mama Wanda; Eva (studying Olivia); and Gretchen, all set to watch the Belmont Stakes horserace at our house in June. Debi and I had realized this year that we share a love of watching the Kentucky Derby. During the whole Triple Crown period, we kept tabs on who chose what horse and whose horse won, etc. And by the time the Belmont rolled around, we decided to make it a party together, so there we were. Actually, I think the big deal about the party was really that Matt and Amber were coming with their new baby, and we all wanted to see it!

Matt, Amber, and Olivia.©Susan Shie 2005.Here they are now! Matt is Debi and John's son, so my nephew. He and Amber started dating back when they were 14 years old, and got married on the 10th anniversary of their first date. They live close to Debi and John, which means they get to see each other often.

Olivia Anne was born on May 31, so she was less than two weeks old here! Look how tiny!





Grandpa John and Olivia.©Susan Shie 2005.Grandma Debi and Olivia.©Susan Shie 2005.John and Debi are clearly devoted grandparents. Matt is their only child, like Gretchen is for us, so this baby will get lots and lots of love and support from these two!

John was so busy admiring Olivia, he barely noticed the race, and his horse winning it! He and Jimmy had both chosen Afleet Alex for each race, and he won both the Preakness and the Belmont. (His win at the Preakness was especially amazing, since another horse tripped him, and he almost fell. It was stunning!) Debi's horse Giacomo (sp?) had won the Kentucky Derby. And my horse, Pickle Dish, didn't win anything, as usual. He's my invisibe racehorse, in case you think you don't remember his name in the list of horses. I know that.

Great Grandma Wanda and Eva.©Susan Shie 2005.Eva had a good time at the Belmont party. Her horse, Andromeda's Something... can't remember...took second place, I think. Next year she'll have a Derby hat!

She liked having Grandmama Wanda hold her, but she was especially interested in Olivia, once she noticed her. As second cousins, they're less than a year apart in age, so hopefully they'll always get to see each other and play together.







Pheasant flask made by Jimmy Acord.©James Acord 2005.Here's a new leather flask that Jimmy made without it being a custom order. That's really rare for him to do, since he's got a big waiting list of orders that are made for specific customers, with their initials carved into the backs, and with whatever images they want carved and painted onto them. (Yes, I know flasks are not fly fishing equipment cases, like most of his creations are, but he gets a lot of orders for flasks anyhow.) Usually he sculpts and paints fish or salmon flies on them, but this one was special, because Jimmy's going to be featured on a TV show that gets watched by a lot of pheasant hunters. He made this flask to show during the taping of the interview with him in his studio/workshop. As of right now, this flask is still for sale, but I know it'll get snatched up by someone wanting a Christmas gift, who can't get something made in time for Christmas, since his waiting list goes past then already. I'm just gonna sit here and watch what happens!

The TV show is called Pheasants Forever, but it may also be aired on another show called Backroads with Ron and Raven. Both programs are on the Outdoor Life channel, one of the ESPN stations, and will air sometime in August, September, or October.



Jimmy packs for Grayling.©Susan Shie 2005.Jimmy was packing the car for his trip to Grayling in mid June, and he had to leave room for my stuff to take up to Cleveland to my granny pad. So he had to be even more cagey than usual in planning his packing. But this man takes tons of firewood, along with all his fishing and cmaping gear. Yes, you see a Smokey Joe Weber grill up there in the car carrier on top! He got a little sore at me for taking pictures of him packing, but it is fascinating. He's very thorough at it.




Jimmy holding Eva.©Susan Shie 2005.Eva standing in her playpen.©Susan Shie 2005.Jimmy is more and more captivated by Eva. He's just thrilled whenever Gretchen and Mike make it down to Wooster and he gets to enjoy her in our house. The picture here was the weekend of the Belmont Stakes, I think.

And Eva in her playpen is kind of a set up picture, as I can't really leave her alone like that, coz she'll fall down or bang her chin on the playpen. I had pillows behind her for this shot, and only stayed out of arm's reach for a little bit, but I know it won't be long til she can do this unattended. We just didn't start working on it much earlier.




Eva rolling over.©Susan Shie 2005.Rolling over has become a fun way for Eva to get around. You've just got to make sure she doesn't bang her head on anything, so you put pillows and giant stuffed toys against all the hard edges, and you can't leave her alone. Those days of being able to put the baby down and expect her to be there when you come back are gone, gone, gone, which is how it should be! Just look at that happy smile! OH, those are wonderful moments!




Just wanted to throw in a big picture (below) of "NEO Buddha" again. You can read about it on my last diary. I thought when I made this piece that I would be making a lot more big quilted paintings like it soon. But life got in the way, along with my exhaustion from losing too much sleep, so I have had to cool it on the second shift work for now! I'm still working on art, but not this intensely. I see this as my serious work style for a while to come though, and I really look forward to making more and more pieces which have the drawing, painting, and writing as the important aspects of the work, and which have very minimal sewing. In this case, it's simply wide grid machine sewing, no hand work. This is my favorite piece now, and I hope to make at least two new ones to follow it this year yet.

"NEO Buddha" is 56"h x 57"w, a whole cloth quilted painting, made with airpen, brush painting, and machine sewing. It's about living in Wooster and Lakewood, Ohio, going back and forth between Jimmy and Eva (and Gretchen and Mike). It's about how much I love all of them and want us all to live together in one neighborhood. So I can be really home each night and yet see my kids and help with Eva each day. This is a prayer of mine!

This piece is being purchased by Jack Walsh for his art quilt collection. I am deeply honored. To know that he has seen many of my very elaborately hand sewn and beaded art quilts, and yet he chose this very, very minimally machine sewn piece, truly verifies my belief that this is my strongest work and the direction I need to take. Many thanks to his collection advisor and consultant Penny McMorris, and to Jack.

NEO Buddha.©Susan Shie 2005.



















Pat, Jimmy, and Floyd lounging. ©Susan Shie 2005.Over the Fourth of July weekend, we managed some free time to go visit our pals Pat and Floyd in Medina. They've done a lot of work on remodelling and landscaping their home lately, and we all enjoyed a perfect cool and dry evening outside together. Their dog Maize is in this picture, but their little black lab, Xena, is around somewhere, too. We wished we'd taken Hattie Spooler along, as she really loves hanging out with her country cousins, too!





Penny, Aunt Mary, Diane.©Susan Shie 2005.Back in April, Jimmy's cousins Diane and Penny arranged a surprise 75th birthday party for their mother, Mary McKibben, Jimmy's dad's older sister. (In this photo, they are from left: Penny, Mary, and Diane.) The event was a wonderful gathering of family and friends, and I took a lot of pictures of many aunts, uncles, and cousins Jimmy hadn't seen for a long time. He really enjoyed spending time with his cousin Diane, who was one of his favorites and clearly the family holder-togetherer. Very sadly, this June Diane died unexpectedly, to everyone's shock. We attended her viewing in Ohio, before the family took her to Fairfield, IL for burial in the family cemetery. Diane was 53 and is so sadly missed by everyone. She had been taking care of her husband and her mother both.

This year has seen deaths of several other people we loved: Stewart Simonds, a wonderful photographer and artist in Wooster; Jenny Moffett, my friend Luanne's mother; and Francis Miller, Michael's grandfather. The sadness of losing those we love is balanced by the joy of so many little babies being born this year, too. Besides my sister's new granddaughter Olivia, Gretchen has several friends who've had or are expecting babies, and our niece Nancy is now overdue for her second baby.

Watching Eva grow, seeing her at her great grandfather's funeral, makes me think of the ebb and flow of life. I think of those who die each day in the wars around the world, and those who are wounded. We all need to be very attentive and attuned to those we love each day. Life is good, but life is also precious.

House of Peace #1.©Susan Shie 2005.I've been making some paintings on wood this year again. Here is "House of Peace #1" from the second set of "House of Peace" paintings I did in June. There are four in this set, all a little different, but the same images drawn freehand and written off the top of my head, so each is very unique.

This piece is 16"h x 12"w roughly, acrylic paint on plywood. If you're interested in buying this piece or seeing the others, send me an email. I just don't have time right now to work on my gallery pages. Sorry!













Eva on June 27.©Gretchen Miller 2005.Since I've been on a working vacation this week in Wooster, not up in Lakewood and not doing the nanny thing, I missed Eva's first crawling forward. But that's OK. It's way better that Gretchen and Mike were both home to see her first slide off into the great unknown under her own arm and leg power on The Fourth of July!

This photo is one Gretchen took of her on June 27, back when she still could only crawl in circles and backwards and roll over and over in both directions. Now that she is omni-directional, I know the world is her oyster!

I was lucky to have a week at home unexpectedly, thanks to Gretchen and Mike both taking vacation from their jobs, so I got this diary made. But I expect that the next diary will be harder to find time for. I'd like to make it and get it online by the end of November, so we'll see. I really shouldn't promise now, since my new health plan includes prioritizing rest much more than it has for a long time.

Everybody get to bed at a decent time tonight, or at least get enough sleep, no matter how late you stay up! Rest is when we heal. Sleep is the best rest. So get comfy every night and get restored and whole again! Dr. Shie has spoken.

Love, Susan...Lucky


Turtle Moon Studios
Susan Shie and James Acord

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