Thursday, June 26, 2008

A new leaf

I've hand sewn a leaf together - one three for my very first hand appliqué project started in Gabrielle Swain's workshop. The raw edges and ink marks are because it hasn't been appliquéd to the background fabric yet.

For expediency, I used a photo of an autumn leaf from Sierra magazine to make a pattern. I could have found an actual leaf or with a little research drawn my own leaf pattern – if I were more prepared or together. But I wasn't and I'm not.

The northern red oak grows mainly in the northeastern states and is not common in California. The leaf points and undulating edge make it a great shape. I was determined to finish at least one to test the technique and process even if I never do it again.

Hallelujah! I like hand appliqué. I'm not tied to the sewing machine and can take it just about anywhere without a lot of paraphernalia. It's relaxing repetitive work I can indulge in for a few minutes here and there. A Slow Quilt Movement?

All the recent talk on copyright issues on quiltart instilled a healthy respect for artists' rights. I wrote to the photographer identified in the magazine, Christopher Griffith. His book really captured the glory of autumn leaves. You can view it on his website. I requested permission and offered him credit on the label. Waiting for a reply before proceeding further with this leaf.

And if he does not reply? Or grant permission? I really like this leaf. Am I prepared to start again with another leaf?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Movie night

I am not a regular movie go-er. These days most movies seem to display pumped up testosterone more than anything else. Not something on which I'd want to spend a couple of hours and $10. Especially when movies show up on dvd in what seems like just weeks later. Not that I'd rent them then either.

When Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was released, I made a point to see it. I've seen every previous Indiana Jones movies and always like watching Harrison Ford. So last Saturday – we had a hot spell and the house was an oven – I caught a late afternoon showing at the air-conditioned theater. Ah, relief from the heat!

Though I enjoyed it, I found some characters more like caricatures – the evil Nazis, the primitive natives, the greedy double crossing friend. I also winced at the HUMONGOUS footprint the movie made. In the chase through the Amazon, they plowed through a lot of vegetation. And imagine the cultural loss if all those native warriors were actually killed. I am always amazed by the wonton destruction of people and property in any movie. And the survival skills of certain characters.

Yeah, it's fiction – just a movie. That's not to say the destruction did not happen. How big a footprint does making an action flick like this actually leave?

A movie action does not make. I'd just like to see less action and more character or plot development. More thought. More balance. More shades of gray. Not just invincible heroes and ultimate villains.

Am I among only a few who wants this from movies?