Sep 26, 2005

All Hail! O Washington!

Dave and I took time before the football game on Saturday to wander across the campus of our alma mater, the University of Washington. Some folks think Husky grads are a bit snobby about our school, but really, 4 years in these spectacularly beautiful surroundings will do that to anyone. This is Rainier Vista. In the distance you can see Drumheller Fountain, otherwise known as Frosh Pond. On a clear day, if you turn the other direction, Mt. Rainier is perfectly framed in the middle of this long tree-lined avenue. Unfortunately the mountain was being shy on Saturday so I couldn't get a picture. This lawn is the site of many a spring quarter whiffleball game. It's also a photo stop on city bus tours so there are lots of folks in Japan who have pictures of Dave and company playing whiffleball. Posted by Picasa

This is for Dave who insisted I take a picture of this metal igloo outside the new law school. I didn't have time to find out who the artist was...I'll have to look that up. Posted by Picasa

Looking across Red Square at Suzallo Library Posted by Picasa

The Varsity Theater on University Way (The Ave), site of my first movie date with Dave. We saw U2's Rattle and Hum. Posted by Picasa

Husky Stadium is literally on the shore of Lake Washington and many fans come to the games by boat. I took this picture from inside the stadium, looking east. To the west you can see the campus, the city and on a clear day, the Olympic Mountains. So even if the football is bad, you can always enjoy the lovely view... Posted by Picasa

Sep 23, 2005

We love our magazines

At the beginning of the week Diane, our ringmom, asked what magazines we subscribe to. We do love magazines here in the Gamon/Rey's not just me! So here's the list, I'll let you guess who reads what:

Quilting Arts
Cloth Paper Scissors
Better Homes and Gardens
Rolling Stone
Teen People

Those are the subscriptions. I also buy Somerset Studio and sometimes Family Circle, BeadUnique, Expression, Artist's Sketchbook, Quilter's Newsletter or Belle Armoire.

Dave has to have every football preview magazine known to man. Those team rosters are very important for typing all the player's names in for each of the 300+ (?) teams on Xbox NCAA 2005. And this is a task that must be done.

And sometimes Ash picks up a random teenybopper magazine.

OK, so it's mostly me...

Sep 20, 2005

Welcome to the world Eric Michael and Krista Jo Jenn!

Our friends Brian and Toni had their babies by c-section last night. A few weeks earlier than we hoped for, but both babies are well over 4 pounds, quite healthy, and the doctors are very optimistic that they will be just fine. They are in NICU at the moment so we have to wait a bit to see them darnit.

So welcome to the world Eric and Krista, we are SO happy you're here!!

Last night I overcame my hibernation inertia long enough to quilt a couple of postcards. These will go to Houston for the American Cancer Society fundraiser. Posted by Picasa

Postcard made with painted wonder under, foil, hand and machine stitching. Posted by Picasa

Sep 17, 2005

Ahh, the joys of small town life! Actually, this is about five miles out of Cheney, on our way to Lewiston for Ash's soccer game this morning. This herd of cows was being...well...herded down the road. The cowpokes waved us forward. The cows will move out of the way if you get close enough. It's times like this when my camera-carrying habit pays off. Ooh, I just noticed the reflection shot in the side view mirror! Posted by Picasa

Sep 15, 2005

Why create?

I started reading the responses to Gabrielle's "what is your motivation to create?" post last night and boy, they really got the brain buzzing.

At first I thought "geez, I have no idea" so I started with a slightly different question: when and how did all this creating get started? My trip down memory lane was quite productive. Thank you to Gabrielle for posing such a provocative question!

It seems weird now that creating is such an integral part of my life, but I didn't start making stuff until I was 23ish. I SUCKED at every art project I ever had to do in school. Really, ask my mom, she still has some of my pitiful attempts. I was REALLY good at most of the other subjects though, so I figured art just wasn't my thing. Also, my mom is an extremely talented seamstress and I was a bit intimidated by that. I didn't get the part about how you have to make a lot of stuff before you are any good at making stuff. I figured there was no way I could measure up to her amazing work, so why bother? I'll spend my time doing something I'm good at.

OK, I just realized that it's kinda funny how much of a role my sister-in-law Kasey plays in this story. Anyway, she got pregnant and I was going to have a nephew (Dave and I weren't married yet, but we were well on our way). For some reason that is lost to me now, I wanted to make a baby blanket for the nephew. Specifically, I wanted to crochet. I checked out an old 70's Sunset book from the library that had left-handed instructions and with some help from mom on the tension issue, I figured out how to crochet and I made a baby blanket for Tyler. And thus my first obsession was born.

So I bought a lot of yarn and some books and I made more baby blankets and some afgans and some rugs and I pretty much crocheted whenever I wasn't going to school or doing household or family stuff. Somewhere in there I started doing cross-stitch and I bought a lot of embroidery thread and some books and I did either cross-stitch or crochet whenever I wasn't going to school or doing household or family stuff.

In the fall of 1994, one of my beloved grandmas died and I spent about 6 weeks in bed. Not really in bed, but I was in a fog and I just wanted to sleep all the time and I wasn't making any stuff. After a while, Dave got sick of me and very kindly told me that it was time for me to start crocheting again. There was a new cousin on the way and he suggested that it would be good for me to start making a baby blanket. So I bought some yarn and I made a baby blanket and I discovered that creating something with my hands was tremendously comforting, but also, it was tremendously life-affirming. It made me feel good and happy and purposeful.

Here's where Kasey comes in again. She started making quilts. I had never been interested in quilts, but I looked at the little pieces of fabric she cut and at the patterns she created with those pieces of fabric and I was fascinated. Inevitably, I bought fabric and some books and I started making quilts.

But wait! There was something different about making quilts. With crochet and cross-stitch, I was happy just following patterns, but after the first couple of quilts I wasn't interested in following a pattern. I wanted to make up my own ideas. So I'd pick a traditional quilt block and play with it and come up with my own pattern. And I discovered that the designing part was really fun, in fact, it was the best part of the whole process. Around the same time, I got on the internet and, since I was into quilts, I typed "quilt" into search engines and I discovered this whole amazing world of quilting. And I was completely fascinated and spent most of my free time looking at quilts and thinking about quilts and making quilts. And slowly pushing my own personal envelope, moving toward art quilting.

Looking back now, it seems sort of like an evolution, a process of finding myself, a process that is definitely still going on.

Why do I create? Because it makes me happy. Like so many others on the ring, I create because I have to, I get cranky and irritable if I don't. I create because I get a major charge out of making something. I still show everything I make to Dave and say "Look! I made this! Isn't it cool?!?" I get the same thrill when I see something I've planted poke its head out of the ground in the spring. I made that happen! It's almost a form of graffiti: I was here and this exists because of me. Creating is exciting to me.

Why fiber? Because it's what works for me. It's the first medium I found that I could successfully manipulate to create something that looks good to me, that makes me excited, that makes me say "Look! I made this! Isn't it cool?!?" I'm endlessly fascinated by all the amazing things people do with fiber. It's me, it's what I dig, it's who I am.

Sep 13, 2005

Just do it

I need to adopt this as my motto this week. Something, anything to break out of this slump of no sewing, no blogging, no cooking. The weather has taken a turn and I just want to hibernate and watch football, but it's getting a bit ridiculous. Yesterday I forced myself to do some hand sewing at lunch just to break the inertia of not sewing. Last night Dave, king of the bologna sandwich, said he wanted something halfway nutritious for dinner. Yikes.

There are ideas brewing, but I feel a strange paralysis about starting something new. I think I'm moving toward a change in my work, but I'm still missing a couple of pieces from the puzzle. I know I want to incorporate more hand stitching and use embroidery to build texture. I also know that I'm spending enough money on rubber stamps these days that my new obsession with stamping and surface design is here to stay. What I'm not sure of is how to integrate these two things. I did buy a new journal so I could start taking notes about things I like and about the ideas and themes that pop into my head. Now I just have to start writing in it. See notes on inertia above.

OK, I'm blogging, that's a good start for today. Further goals for today are: cook something for dinner, write something in the new journal, do some more embroidery at lunch. Now if I only had time for a nap before work...

Sep 7, 2005

It's football season! Here's Ash and me decked out in all our purple and gold for the first Husky game of the season at Qwest Field in Seattle. We followed up our day of football with a full day of school shopping and dinner at Red Robin to polish off summer in style. Posted by Picasa

Window sticker on the car parked next to ours at Qwest Field. Check out the excellent reflection shot! Posted by Picasa

Sep 6, 2005

No words

I haven't felt much like blogging for the past week as I've struggled to comprehend the enormous scope of the damage done by Hurricane Katrina.

I am proud and not at all surprised by the tremendous outpouring of generousity my countrymen have shown in responding to this tragedy.

I am shamed and not at all surprised by the failure to prepare for the effect such a predictable disaster would have on our most vulnerable citizens.

We Americans are wonderfully bighearted people in times of great need, but we are all about instant gratification the rest of the time. Here in Washington state, we have folks trying their damnedest to repeal a 5 cent/gallon gas tax levied for the purpose of repairing the Alaskan Way Viaduct in Seattle so that when (when NOT if) a major earthquake strikes, it won't collapse and potentially kill thousands of commuters.

As I pray for hope and help and comfort and courage and strength for those left in the wake of Katrina, I also pray that we, as a people, will be reminded of the value of planning ahead and investing in our common good.