Friday, May 02, 2008

So, anyway.....

....a few years ago, I got to thinking about how so much of my childhood was in black & white & shades of grey. Not only television and newspapers but family photos, as well.
Since then, I've been scanning and playing with photographs of myself, from that era. Some of the images have found their way into paintings but many (such as this one) remain digital.
Part of the process involves distancing myself from whatever memories I might have attached to a particular image or event and approaching the photograph with greater objectivity.
This particular one - entitled "Toothless" - shows me on the concrete pad of our breezeway and dressed in tunic and turned-up dungarees.
Squinting into the always!
That balletic motif tunic was rose-pink with black figures. The awful bangs were my mother's idea.
(What the hell was she thinking?)
Today happens to be a fairly important date on my calendar. A day set aside for me to think about my life and to celebrate it.
The black & white parts...half-tones...the faded sepia bits... the scary Kodachrome & Polaroid...the 3-color... the full Pantone range.....
...all of it.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

A May Basket

Flowers courtesy of my mother.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Happy Birthday!!!!

And here's our Guest of Honour!

Monday, April 28, 2008

A Little Vintage ReVamp

I love doing crochet and this project melds bits from two periods of my crocheting history.
The base for this clutch is a placemat project that I did in 1977. I had planned on making a set but only ever made the one and used it under centerpieces or on the dressing table. The work was damaged during a particularly dreadful move, during which the movers used my collection of handwork and vintage linens to wrap a closet full of corrosive chemicals.

I've been thinking of using this particular piece to make a clutch for some time and finally pulled things together last week.

The clutch is lined with unbleached cotton and the Irish Crochet flowers were worked during my stay in Chicago, during the spring of 2006.

(In case you're wondering, the Battenberg Lace in the background is a small photo album that I decorated with odd bits of ribbon and things about 15 years ago. The vintage train case in the picture was mine when I was a little girl and I carried it on train trips between North Carolina and Minnesota.)

The Boyz

The pride that I take in my short stint at the helm of a live-music club ( back in the mid-80s) is partly due to a band called The Pressure Boys.

When the house lights went down at Rhythm Alley and the stage lights came up, no band got the people moving on the dance floor - or kept them dancing longer - than the Boys did.

The band broke up twenty years ago but, this upcoming weekend, the Pressure Boys will reunite to play a benefit for the fight against cystic fibrosis.

The details about the fund-raiser can be found on their website . Plenty more about the band can be found via the website of author Peter Cashwell , including a link to some photos of band members, past and present.

And, if you've got an ounce of sense, you'll be there - with your dancing shoes on.

I sure will.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

So, anyway.....

.....I had an interesting day at the Spring writing conference on Saturday. Interesting less for the two workshops that I participated in than for the fact that it was such a lovely day to be in Greensboro.

The conference was held on the campus of the University which (if all goes well!) will be granting my Master's in another year.

Now, the nature of my program is such that I am not required to set foot on campus.


And don't get me wrong - I wouldn't change that for the world! I love the fact that I can go anywhere and work on my own daily schedule. But the fact is that I enjoy visiting the campus, from time to time. Not only does it help me to feel connected to the institution but - thanks to some massive renovation - it's turning into quite an attractive place.

Outside the student union, there's a prettily landscaped area with a few benches, a swing and a verdigris statue of Minerva. I've walked past the spot a number of times and it has always looked like an inviting place to slam down a coffee and a veggie sub between classes. It's one of those spots that beckon to you through the window and makes it hard to think about anything but the upcoming lunch break.

And, on a sunny April morning, when the fringe trees and lilacs and azaleas are in bloom and you can hardly hear yourself think for dogwoods, there's really no sense at all in being indoors.

Between the morning and afternoon workshops, I sat at the feet of Minerva, drinking coffee and working crosswords. I sat in the sun for two hours and thought about absolutely nothing. There was a light breeze that carried the the sound of chimes, together with mingled fragrances of flowers, old buildings and library books. Rather than look for a clock, I listened instead for the chiming of the carillon. Synchronizing myself to campus time.

The afternoon workshop was dedicated to memoirs and the personal essay.

Outside the window, I was still able to make out Minerva, standing in a garden of fringe trees and lilacs - a place where being an artist and a student and a writer and myself could all weave together.

At least for a couple of hours, marked on the quarters by a carillon.