Turtle Trax Diary. Page 52,
January 31, 2007
We Finally Got Winter!
by Susan Shie
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Above is a detail from the incredibly elaborate marriage license of my grandparents, Orville and Ellen Snyder, who got married the bride's family home in the Snyder Community near Plainview, TX, on September 29, 1910. My mother had the art nouveau license rolled up in newspaper in the bottom of her blanket chest, which I think was her mother's hope chest. My friend Rene framed it for me, for my last birthday. My cousin Bonnie Snyder Smith has put it onto her Snyder Community website, celebrating the centennial of the colony there near Plainview, which was started by our great grandfather, Peter B Snyder, in 1907. Bonnie has been doing a lot of intensive research, interviewing the elders of the family, getting old photos identified, gathering both more photos and stories, in celebration of this centennial.
Topics in this diary: Page 1: Eva plays piano; Snyder grandparents' marriage license; Eva's second birthday; Jimmy's dog flask; "The Punchbowl / Star" quilt; Art Quilt Tahoe; "Dems Win Big"; Thanksgiving Dinner; "Sisters"; Page 2: our Christmas card; Linda at Smuckers; Snyder Christmas family photo; "Aunt Nellie"; "Stay in the LInes?" (WAGE show) and my solo show; Gayle Pritchard's book signing in Westlake / tArts meeting; Jessica and family visit; Snyder relatives visit my solo show; "House of Love"; Jimmy's three-case ensemble for the Mason-Griffith Founders Raffle; and smoe more goodies to come soon! This diary is in progress!!
Gretchen sent us this picture on October 12, last Fall, and I was struck with how Eva is growing into a little girl, much faster than I'd realized. I remember all the times I'd freak out, trying to keep her from falling off the piano bench or banging her head into the piano! Because Mike plays the piano all the time, it makes sense that Eva feels this at home with it! I also remember a sweet image of Mike sitting at the piano and playing with one hand, while he held the sleeping three month old Eva in the other arm. Gretchen and I had ducked out to the store, and left him with a crying baby, when we took off an hour earlier. Eva is very used to piano playing!
Here's the full view of the marriage license I told you about, at the top of this diary. It's 20"h x 16"w, now preserved in an archival frame. Before that, when I showed it to the family elders at a meeting last October, it started to tear. Yikes! By the way, none of them remembered it, and all were surprised at how fancy it was, for a Mennonite Community marriage license. Rene thinks it was the only license they were offered, when they filed their marriage. Could be! To read a lot about the Snyder Community, see this article by my mother's first cousin Jim Snyder.
Above Mike and Gretchen teach Eva how to blow for the first time, as she blows out her candles on the cake her mommy made for her second birthday.
This is the start of the little book I made for Eva, about getting big, to celebrate her second birthday.
Here's a flask Jimmy made last Fall, with a specific hunting dog on it. He's diversifying now, getting into the birding sport cases and artwork, besides his fly fishing pieces. Check out Jimmy's site to see his custom made, heirloom quality leather cases. Please note that his wait list now extends to late Fall, 2007.
I started my "Punchbowl / Star: Card #17 in the Kitchen Tarot" piece by making a big airbrush painting. I first drew the images with paint markers on this one, although often I use airbrush for the black lines, too. Then I colored all the surface colors with airbrush, before switching to airpen for the smaller writing.
I'm busy writing on my painting for the Punchbowl / Star piece here, using my airpen and black fabric paint to tell my stories. All the writing, except where I'm writing now, is already dry, but the paint takes about a half hour to dry, before you can touch it. I work in little stints usually, unless I have a very pressing deadline, and then I carefully move the fabric, so that I don't smear the wet paint. The airpen makes a much more rich and deep line than a marker would, but it's a lot more trouble to use. You can see that I'm willing to take that trouble. I don't have to hand embroider over airepn lines, like I used to with markers. I write a LOT more on my work now!
"The Punchbowl / Star" is shown above as a finished piece. It's 84"h x 63"w and was completed on Nov 1, 2006. You can see a larger image of it, its statement in full, and a very large detail shot in my 2006 Gallery. This piece is in the Feb 5 - Mar 4: "Give and Take" exhibition at the Interntational Quilt Study Center at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. This show will then travel to the Ohio Arts Council's Riffe Gallery in Columbus, Ohio, May 3 to July 8, also this year. "Give and Take" is an exhibition of one work each by some of us teachers from Quilt Surface Design Symposium (QSDS) and one invited student from each of us. My student who's exhibiting there is Elizabeth Cherry Owen.
I taught at Art Quilt Tahoe Nov 4 - 11 this year, and this is my little class, from left: Terry, Darlene, Leslie, Vicky, and Denissa. I teach what I do in my own work, so the students worked with fabric paints and brushes, as well as airpen, on fabric. If someone didn't want to use the airpen, they used paint markers and Rub-a-Dub laundry markers. I was amazed at the work these women produced. We did some of my crazy-grid machine quilting, but mostly they drew, painted, and wrote.
If you're looking for a wonderful and inspiring place to take a class, consider Art Quilt Tahoe, offered each November by Judy and Walter Bernard. There are 8 - 10 classes going at once, for the actual four day session, and all events take place in the Resort at Squaw Creek, in Olympic Valley, CA. The landscape is amazing and the resort is very comfortable. The AQT staff is super friendly and helpful, and the teachers and students form a wonderful community.
I'll be teaching there again this Nov 12 - 17.
At left is "Dems Win Big," a piece I made in my Art Quilt Tahoe class, finishing it Nov 14. It's 31"h x 14"w.
I was the only person at the AQT synposium who lives in Ohio, and we were there over Election Day, Nov 7. I'd brought my laptop along, and was VERY newshungry that day! I started this as a painting in the early afternoon, as an affirmation of what I hoped would happen, but I honestly didn't think it was going to happen. I thought the Republican leaders would rig the elections, especially in Ohio, like they did the last time. You know, when they SAID Bush won Ohio!!!!
I wrote on the quilt all through the weird and wonderous developments that came to me via rumors told to me, news broadcasts I could pick up at my room at night, phone calls with Jimmy at home, and surfing the internet. OH, and by emails sent to me by other Democrats who were equally amazed. Favorite rumor that turned out to be true was Rummie's resignation the next morning, after elections. Still stunned over that one. Still hasn't got us out of Iraq though.
Ohio has a Democratic governor now, and one Democratic Senator. Watching the US Congress tip to the Dems was another miracle we watched together in Tahoe, those of us who met at night, unable to fairly discuss the Turning Tide in class! Way to go, Ohio - in a GOOD way this time!!!!!
This is the label for "Dems Win Big." It's a little shrink art piece, about three inches wide, with a long, hand written statement on its back. You can flip the label up to read that. I started making shrink art labels about three years ago, and always label my art that way now.
We had Thanksgiving Dinner at our house this year, with GEM (Gretchen, Eva, and Mike) and Mike's folks, Bud and Eileen, as our guests. Here Gretchen's telling me how to rub the herbal concoction on the turkey, like how Kristi does it. You're never too old to learn, I say!
I started "Sisters" with paint markers and airbrush. and actually began it before Thanksgiving, on Nov 20, and got it done on Dec 18. I decided to take a break from my Kitchen Tarot series and make this piece about my only sister and me, as a special story.
I wanted to make a piece about my sister Debi and me, and it ended up putting us within the context of the whole family, including a little family background from both the Shie and Snyder sides (in the little houses at the bottom sides.) "Sisters" is 63"h x 55"w, and you can read all about it and see larger images in the gallery.
OK, here we are! This is my little sister Debi, on her side of "Sisters," and me on my side. Ta da!
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Turtle Moon Studios
Susan Shie and James Acord
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