Thursday, September 14, 2017

I Like #34

I'm out of town for a couple of days this week for work, and then after that I'm staying home until Thanksgiving!  Hooray!  I love to travel, but lately it's been a lot.

Things I'm liking this week!
1.  Urban flora!  The first picture is some bromeliads (swoon) from the Lincoln Park Conservatory in Chicago, so I guess it's technically not regular city flowers, but they're beautiful anyway.  And the second pic is some gorgeous blooming yucca I spotted here in OKC while out at lunch the other day.  You'd never guess it but these are in a tiny corner of dirt in the middle of a whole row of businesses and very busy streets and concrete.  What fabulous flowers!  I love yuccas, they're the state flower of NM and of course I even did a quilt on them, and it was so fun to see them!

2.  I love illuminated manuscripts!  This may be a no brainer for anyone who's been following my liturgical quilt series, but its rare that I get to see them in person.  This Italian choir book from ~1270 (by Jacobellus of Salerno) was on display at the Art Institute of Chicago, and it was fabulous.

3.  I love the history of science and medicine.  While in Chicago we visited the Surgical History museum, which was quite interesting.  I think my favorite thing though was reading about this book.  Sadly the picture I took of the tag saying who wrote it and when was so out of focus I can't tell you that, but I remember reading a funny story that went with it.  Medical illustrators were quite important in the early modern and enlightenment period when accurate illustrations were the only way to share things like anatomical information (i.e. there were no photographs or anything).  This book was a collaboration between a famous anatomist and a talented medical illustrator.  Evidently, the illustrator didn't want to do just medical illustrations so he putting really strange non medical things in the background of his pictures (see the rhino here!!).  Apparently there was a lot of pushback from stuffy people who thought that was ridiculous but he and his anatomist were like too bad for you guys because our anatomy illustrations are the best so you have to just deal with whatever we put in the background (obviously not in those words).  I thought it was pretty funny and quite nifty!

 4. I like mosaics!  In addition to the ones in the Chicago cultural center which I shared last week, I saw several more while there, including this one which was one of about 5 outside a shop in downtown.

5. I love getting out my fall decorations.  It's always fun to pull them out; I like having a sign that fall is coming other than my steadily worsening allergies.  These are a few I put up at work; some paper bunting I made a few years ago, two tiny mini quilts and a piece of wool embroidery.  The weather is actually hotter this week than it has been the last couple, but that's ok, in my brain, fall is near!

I hope everyone is having a good week and thanks to LeeAnna for linking us up!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Annual SAQA Auction

The annual SAQA auction starts this Friday, and as always there is a fabulous selection of quilts.  For anyone who doesn't know, SAQA is Studio Art Quilt Associates, a group for fiber artists of all flavors.  The auction is their annual fundraiser, and members donate a 12x12 quilt to help raise money for the group.  This is my fifth year to donate one; it's always a fun opportunity to try something a bit different.  For anyone interested, it can often be a great way to get a piece of original art at a reasonable price, while supporting a great organization.  And even if you're not interested in bidding, I encourage you to click through to the auction page and just take a look at all the quilts, it's a virtually unparalleled opportunity to see hundreds of different examples of art quilts.

These are the two my mom and I made this year:

And then part of the fun is making up collections.  I usually do a couple of different collections, this year I made one with the central theme of "plains", in keeping with my piece this year.  The second collection is just my personal favorites, things that jumped out at me or made me swoon....  There really are some fabulous pieces.

Take a minute and check out the Auction!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

I Like #33

Another week of I Like!  I was privileged to get to go on a short vacation to Chicago (which I've never visited before) with a good friend of mine from graduate school (who I don't get to see often), so this week is full of traveling-associated I likes!

1.  I like surprises!  We had lots planned on our trip, including a stop to look at the Chicago Cultural Center (the old Chicago Library).  My friend had heard it had a great stained glass dome.  Well, that was the understatement of the year.  It was absolutely AMAZING, the whole thing was filled with the most beautiful shimmery opalescent Tiffany glass mosaics.  It's one of the most beautiful building interiors I've ever been in and was totally unexpected.  It was so wonderful, the stained glass domes felt almost like afterthoughts.  It was terribly hard to capture in pictures, but I encourage anyone who goes to Chicago to stop in.

2.  I like art museums!  We went to the Art Institute of Chicago which was really wonderful.  I didn't even have time to see it all, but many of my favorite pieces came from the American wing.  There were so many great things-way too many to show.  Again with the terrible pictures, but all these favorites were brand new to me.  So awesome!

Rainy Day, Frank Weston Benson

Spring Rain, Victor Higgins

Madame Paul Escuder, John Singer Sargent

The Last of New England-The Beginning of New Mexico, Marsden Hartley

3. I love architectural ornaments.  Chicago is a mecca for 20th century urban architecture and we went on a lovely architecture tour.  I love all the ornaments on buildings- quilt inspiration for sure!

4. I love seeing old friends!  It was really great to spend time with Kristin; I wish we lived closer together!  Hooray!

Thanks as always to LeeAnna for keeping us going with the positives!