Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A belated thank you to EdaMommy

I owe a very belated thank you to EdaMommy over at Unravelations for a great mention last spring. She found my blog through Dan's blog and we discovered that we have many similar interests--crafts, knitting, and vegan cooking to name a few. Click over and check out her latest post about becoming a fan of one of my favorite blogs, Attic24. Thanks again, EdaMommy!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Phone Ripley! She's back in the studio.

For the first time in recent memory, I've actually spent most of the day in Safety Pin Studio. After fixing the hem on a pair of Jim's pants, I did a quick straightening up and went to work making more bento box blocks for the black, white, and yellow quilt that will be a Christmas present.

I love finding the light and dark fabric combinations to make these blocks. And I find it so satisfying to use so many scrap fabrics that I've had around for years and years.

I'm hoping to get this one ready to sandwich and pin baste by the end of the weekend. Next weekend will have to be devoted to pink and blue blocks so I can get two baby quilt tops ready for Make a Difference Day (MaDD). At our October Piedmont Quilters' Guild meeting, we are going to do some prep work for MaDD so that all the various stations (sewing, ironing, basting, binding, sandwiching, machine quilting) will have work at the beginning of the day.

In the benchmark area, this is my 200th post!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Influences series: Grandma Warner

My Grandmother Warner was not a needlewoman to my knowledge, but she loved reading and books and greatly valued learning. She taught in a one-room schoolhouse before her children were born and always asked us about "our studies" when we came to visit. She was a very quiet person, probably because she wore a hearing aid, but she was a very active listener which was good for the motor-mouthed little kid I was! Her barrister's bookcase in the front parlor was the place I always made a beeline for when we visited. It now sits in my studio. You can see a picture of it in this post. The photo above is from spring 1959, probably Easter Sunday.

Grandma Warner was also the kindest person I've ever known. I never heard her raise her voice or say an unkind thing about anyone. She made fantastic oven-fried chicken with white gravy and fried mush (not together--those were just my favorites). She was a very good Gin Rummy player who often threw the game so the grandchildren could win.

This photo is of Grandma and Grandpa at my dad's 1949 Purdue graduation. Mostly I remember Grandma wearing house dresses, but she obviously liked to get all dressed up, too. She and Grandpa were so proud of their children's accomplishments.

This is another church picture. Grandpa sold cars at one point in my Dad's youth and was always very proud of his car. Consequently, lots of the pictures I have of them show their cars. Dad says this is probably from 1950 because he knows what year the car was!

My Grandma was a strong character model as well as sharing with me her love of reading and books. She would love the fact that I am a librarian and a teacher.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Banned Books Week

My dear old friend, Penny, heads up a public library in a small upstate New York town and recently posted this link on her FB page to a blog that was new to me. This post is a fantastic letter to a patron who wanted a children's book called Uncle Bobby's Wedding "reconsidered" (read banned). The author of the blog and the letter is Jamie LaRue, the head of the Douglas County Public Library in Colorado. It is a remarkable letter in all respects and should be held up as a model for civil discourse. He respects the patron's concerns, but beautifully argues for this book's place in his library.

The American Library Association's Banned Books Week is September 26 through October 3. Each year, the ALA spotlights the most frequently challenged books in libraries around the country and encourages people to read a banned book during that time. Here's a list of the classics.

Thanks, Penny. I'm off to buy a copy of Uncle Bobby's Wedding by Susan S. Brannen.

Images courtesy of the ALA.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Putting "Gulf View Drive" to bed

Tonight is our final performance of Gulf View Drive at the Broach Theatre. I will really miss my theatrical family when this ends, but I must say, I will be thrilled to get my evenings back and not be so tired. Above is a photo of my favorite scene to perform in the play. This was my first show with Susan L. Jones and it's been a delight to get to know her and work with her on stage.

Laurel Ullman plays my daughter, May, as she did in See Rock City. She is just a wonderful actress with a great career ahead of her. It was a joy to work with her again. Tom Barker took over the part of Raleigh for this production and he has been fantastic to work with, too. I play his mother-in-law, but the characters have a very loving relationship. This was also the first time I worked with Tom.

This is my favorite costume from the show. Thank you, Goodwill for that great pink suit!

Betsy Brown was again Mrs. Brummett and manages to get all the humor and pathos imaginable out of this sourball of a character. It's always fun to work with Betsy.

We had a great set by David Bell, wonderful direction by Stephen Gee, and all performances were made possible by that stage manager to the rock stars, Jerome McCoy. Break a leg, tonight, my friends. I love you and will miss you all.

All Photography by Susan L. Jones and Jerome McCoy

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Enjoying the new camera

As I posted earlier, my son Dan is using an image of my quilt "Kundun" as the header for his blog. He'd used an old image and the colors aren't true, so he'd asked me to photograph it again and send him a clearer picture. Since it's gorgeous and sunny and clear here today, I pinned the quilt to the screened porch and took some photos with the new camera. I love this new camera (Nikon Coolpix L100). I had decided to get the next step up, but after handling both this and the next step up in the store, I decided on the L100.

I'm particularly happy with the close-ups. The details of the quilting and the seams are really textural and clear.

We have a matinee of "Gulf View Drive" today and then a day off. (YEAH!!!) We've had really small audiences, but they have been very warm and responsive.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Opening Night!

Gulf View Drive opens tonight. If you are in the Piedmont Triad area, I hope you will consider supporting the local arts by attending a performance. More information is available at the Broach Theatre site. This is a wonderful group of actors and I have really enjoyed being back on stage again.