twist and shout


"I washed a sock. Then I put it in the dryer.  When I took it out, it was gone."  -- Ron Schmidt

Allez-y piane-piane.  Go gently.  Easy does it.  Piane-piane is the word of the day on Kristin Espinasse's blog.  Summer has arrived.  I may be two months behind schedule, but these days I am breathing in and expanding out.  I LOVE VACATION!! 

Saturday I visited a lovely arts and crafts fair in neighboring Oak Park (home of Frank Lloyd Wright and Ernest Hemingway).  Rain did not deter me from some serious shopping.  I purchased a linoleum cut print of poppies by Alice Jaeger-Ashland and some very nifty wooden tongs made by Gary Weber.  I wish they had websites.  British artist Kirsty Hall has recently been writing in her blog about the benefits for an artist in developing a website or blog.  I couldn't concur more.  (Hint:  Check out Kirsty's Diary Project.)  After some shopping I headed over to the local fromagerie to purchase some Stilton and a lovely local cheese rolled in cocoa powder.  Chocolate and cheese combined?  Divine!

Yesterday was another rain filled day.  Instead of heading out, I headed down to my studio (which is located in the basement).   I painted for a few hours and then began piecing together a quilt I started 2 years ago.  It's not a fancy art quilt, but a humble domestic one which will soon grace my bed.  It is made from assorted chintz fabrics collected from my days as a "sample girl" at Colefax & Fowler in London. One of the fringe benefits was being given remnants of fabric that had been incorrectly printed.  Combine these with samples from discontinued lines and I have one elegant, but humble, quilt in the making.

Don't you love the phrase "sample girl?"  The puns to be made are endless.   My job as "sample girl" was to send out the meter length samples of fabrics requested by interior designers.  As a textile artist straight out of college, I was in heaven.  Figuring out how to properly spell the names of certain towns was a different story.  During my first few weeks on the job, packages were frequently returned as I had a decidedly American slant to phonetic spelling.  Fortunately, I also had a very patient boss who was much amused by my various spelling attempts.  She finally handed me a map book of the United Kingdom.  No more spelling mistakes. 

The sock animals I've been making with the children are becoming another source of inspiration.  Don't you love the beagles?  They were made by two young girls, each aged 7.  I thought they did an incredible job.  The boys too.  We had "Super Slug" and "Snazzy Snail"  as well as "Rabbi Elephant" complete with a felt Torah.  Children love to sew.  It is immediate gratification and yet it takes time.  Sewing is slow work.  It provides them with a much needed respite from their already hectic lives.       

It's still raining.  A few errands will be followed by more time on the quilt.  But for now, it is time for a fresh cup of Earl Grey tea.



Woww your students made some amazing work ! I loved to sew when i was that age, yes ... i made cushions for my dolls ... but after a while i switched to bows and arrows ... that's why I'm such a lousy seamstress ! But I can make cool bows from hazelnut branches ! Glad you're enjoying your vacation !

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