Saturday, March 29, 2014

Sneak Peek...

....of what you'll find at the opening of the JCC Pottery Guild Show this Sunday 1-4pm in Boca Raton.
Sculpture and functional pottery by the instructors and class members of the ceramics classes. New class sessions begin next week and run through May 22nd. New students can join classes at any time.

Come enjoy the show!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Reveal Day at Tangled Textiles

Our theme was 'artistic license' so after reading many definitions of the expression I decided to use my artistic license to depict the Monarch caterpillar, a Monarch egg and a milkweed leaf, the only food a Monarch caterpillar eats. I'd read so much about the Monarch's migration between Mexico and Canada being endangered that I've been in my garden daily monitoring my milkweed and the Monarchs, both the butterflies and the caterpillars but mostly concerned about the caterpillar because it is the caterpillar that is not surviving due to human actions such as the use of pesticides which of course kills the caterpillar. I had that experience myself when a large number of caterpillars had eaten all my milkweed and were going to starve if I didn't get more soon so I rushed to the closest nursery, told them my dilemma and luckily (I thought) thay had a large supple of beautiful milkweed. I bought two large plants, put them in the garden, transferred the remaining caterpillars over to the new plants. Within a few days most if not all of the caterpillars had died. It suddenly struck me that the reason the plants looked so beautiful was because they had pesticide on them! I called the nursery to inquire and sure enough they used Organicide on them. I was told it would lose its effect in a couple weeks. Well, the caterpillars only live as caterpillars for two weeks so they were gone. Fortunately more eggs were laid on the leaves after the Organicide had worn off and I now have many more caterpillars in the yard. Today I enjoyed watching two butterflies fly about in what appeared a very happy flight about the yard. If you made this far, thank you! Here's the story of my quilt now.....
I started looking closely at the plants in our yard, then searched the internet for close-up photos of the milkweed leaf. Then I did a rustic sketch of my idea and did a color version on my Asus tablet. 
I found the perfect piece of hand dyed green fabric in my stash which I used for the leaf. I laid out what I thought would be the body of my quilt. 
I did a few sample pieces of painting in yellow veins but opted to keep it simple and clean, choosing the 'less is more' idea. I did some simple machine quilting and finished the egg with some gold metallic thread to represent the importance of this single egg and the life of the Monarch Butterfly it represents. We need to stop and consider what we are doing to our environment and the other animals when we create and use chemicals in the name of making farming easier, food nicer looking, more abundant and whatever reasons are given for spraying our food fields and yards with pesticides. 

I hope you'll add some milkweed to your yard and help provide a breeding place for the beautiful Monarch.

Check out the other Tangled Textiles "Artistic License" quilts here

To read more about the Monarch and how it is being threatened and what we can do, check out these sites and others:  
               David Suzuki Foundation                                  Monarch Watch

Saturday, March 15, 2014

ART 2014 still time to see the show

 ART 2014 is a great mix of  media from acrylic and oils to clay, fiber and mixed media.

 Georgeta Fondos "Sleep, Pedestal Piece".

 Above, fabulous pot by John McCoy.

 When I first walked into the show and saw this gorgeous pillow by Darlene Davis below my quilts I thought it was fabric. Wrong, it is clay and you can guess that it is one of my favorite pieces in the show.

Another piece that drew me in by it's fiber appeal by Stephen Shooster.

 This is a fun piece!

 Close-ups of another piece done with folded paper.

 A fun colorful painting by Jan Leichtung.

 Jeremy Feingold received an honorable mention with his "Terratomal" (stoneware clay, glaze, oil pastel, copper pipe)

 Above Sid Walesh's "Phoenix Rising" and below "Sea Spirits" both in clay.

 Sara Baskin's "Watch Out For The Dog" made me smile!

This is just a sampling from the show. It is at the JCC in Boca Raton through Wednesday.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Giant Swallowtail

 When I can catch a photo of the giant swallowtail butterfly I don't mind the thorny wild lime tree in our wild flower garden. The wild lime is the only larval host we have in the yard so without it I wouldn't get to see this gorgeous guy (girl?) flit about.

.....a few mugs waiting for the next bisque load .... which one is 'grande'? At Starbucks it would be the one on the left? Update on Starbuck sizes: No wonder I was confused at Starbucks. I thought grande was their small size but it is indeed their large size so it is the one on the right. Thanks for the Starbuck sizes Mila!