Saturday, March 31, 2012

Falling in love

valentino demetra leather lace bag Valentino Demetra Leather Lace Bag
I fell in love at Neiman Marcus.

With this purse.

Neiman Marcus opened a store in San Francisco a number of years ago. But I've never crossed their threshold.

Then earlier this month, they opened in the shopping mecca of Walnut Creek. I was in town for sewing machine accessories, so why not indulge in window shopping heaven.

The lace front is so not me. The color wasn't this understated taupe, but RED. So not me. I didn't notice the name - Valentino - until I was infatuated. Designer names are so not me. 

Why do I love this purse? I love how it is so feminine yet tailored, well crafted without extraneous hardware, the perfect size and well-thought out compartments.

A good purse is so hard to find.

Nevertheless, I can't even imagine paying as much for a purse as the sales tax would be on this one. So I'm sticking with my plain old black leather bag.

Now that is so me.

Friday, March 30, 2012

March madness

Life in March has been ricocheting about like the unpredictable weather. But no whining about all that boring stuff, let's talk about art and quilts in two noteworthy events. For eye candy, be sure to click on the links. Better and more comprehensive views than I can provide.

First, EBHQ - my local quilt guild - had it's biannual show, Voices in Cloth. I helped with set up and take down, but spent an afternoon enjoying the show. Even though it's non-juried, there was a fabulous variety of quilts from traditional patchwork to contemporary techniques, from realistic to abstract. Beautifully created garments and vendors too. For this new venue, we got the weather to cooperate with a break from the rain. With excellent lighting through the windows and skylights our visitors were dazzled. See the quilts and garments here.

I also caught the travelling exhibit of Quilt National ' the San Jose Museum of Quilt and Textiles. Not every quilt that was at the Dairy Barn, but - wow! - quilts aplenty for inspiration. Going with two artists added a lot to the experience too. The museum website has two videos of the museum curator leading a tour of the show. Don't miss the highlight in part 2: Bonnie Smith talks about her creative process. Good pictures in their newsletter too.

Next post: art in an unexpected place.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Ready or not

I used up a lot of fabric at the Potpourri workshop. So when I stopped at Fabric Depot in Portland, Oregon,  I replenished. Of course!

These eleven new fabrics are now studio-ready. But the studio is not. What if I have two sets of everything: one set in the studio and another to go. Save on disruptions. But it'd be twice as much to maintain. Oh well  - just a thought.

Nevertheless, another great workshop week. Even though Nancy was juggling two workshops (Improvisations and Potpourri) and independent study students too, I've never seen her so relaxed and happy! That doesn't mean she eased up on exercises! Four for the week. Here's what I made:

Exercise 1: b+w configuration

Exercise 2: double configurations based on b+w, with limited palette
I have this one (above) up on the design wall. Might want to adjust and refine before sandwiching. Then I will have another project to quilt. 

Exercise 3: unfinished
I didn't do exercise 4. Instead I continued with exercise 3. Still has a long way to go.

Though the exercises were challenging, the week cemented what I've learned so far. I feel more confident about my goals: to finish tops from other workshops; to independently redo exercises; and to continue my own explorations. Plus I plan on completing more quilts and do some dyeing too. All in one year? Hmmm, how much can I accomplish in the nine months left?