Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Albuquerque's Fiber Fiesta

I attended Fiber Fiesta in Albuquerque this year with my good friend, Shayne. The Fiesta is organized by the Albuquerque Fiber Arts Council. This is a juried show and exhibition with many vendors, held at EXPO New Mexico in the Manuel Lujan Complex. Two large convention-like spaces were filled with quilts, weaving, knit and crochet items, felted art and more. It was a feast for the eyes. We both were very inspired by many of the pieces. Here's a small sample of some of the art we saw:

"Elsie" quilt. I LOVE Elsie
Knit Hand-Warmers
The Felted World
Woven Wall Hangings
Woven Dish Towel, too pretty to use!
The obligatory New Mexico church Quilt
Hand-made leather shoes and sandals
Whimsical Critters

Felted Hats

Latvian Design Knit Mittens. Blue Ribbon Prize!

Our Lady of Guadalupe Crocheted Shawl. A very CREATIVE crochet artist!
There were so many vendors! Many booths offered hand-spun and hand-dyed yarn. I managed to restrain myself and only purchase one beautiful skein of Sandia fingering sock weight merino and nylon blend yarn from ZiaWoolz. This particular skein's colorway is called "Bee Keeper in Love," dyed by Dagmar, pictured below.
Dagmar from ZiaWoolz

I have other skeins in similar tones that I may combine into some fabulous project!
I am SO making a throw like this, using leftover sock yarn and the corner-to-corner stitch. Seen at the ZiaWoolz Booth

My L.A. friend, Shayne has lived in Albuquerque for ten years, so we ran into a few of her friends. It was a delightful afternoon of yarnyness and inspiration!

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Soft and Hard Art

Last Saturday we made the trek out to Highland Park for the North East L.A. art walk. We met up with our friends Suzette and Mark for dinner at the Good Girl Dinette and then wandered across the street to Future Studio.
Good Girl Dinette, Highland Park
Chicken Boy, the Statue of Liberty of Los Angeles, lives on the roof of Future Studio

We ALWAYS visit Future Studio, since this is the gallery our friends, Amy and Stuart own. An added plus is that Chicken Boy lives here. This month, the quilts of Ruby Nishio were on view. We saw Ruby's first solo show at Future in 2010. I must say, Ruby's work has only gotten better over the past seven years!
Ruby Nishio in 2010

Larry Blends Right In. This was my MOST favorite quilt!

Close-Up of Favorite Quilt

Quilted Potholders by Ruby Nishio

Tom, talking to Claire at Future Studio

Ruby often uses Japanese-inspired fabrics in her quilt designs. She also uses floral patterned fabrics that speak to her love of gardening. All the quilts are pieced together meticulously into intricate patterns and are then hand-quilted. It was an inspiring show! I recently found out that Ruby is in her 90s!
Mona, Jeff and Larry
Tom and Barbara

Heather and Gallery Owner, Amy

Larry and Ellen

We saw many friends at the opening and had a wonderful time.
Next stop on the Gallery Tour was Avenue 50 Studio, right next to the Metro Line train tracks. There are five rambling gallery rooms in this complex. Each room had a different show. I'd heard a piece on NPR Radio during the day about the show in the first gallery, curated by artist, Eric Almanza. The show is called "Art as Resistance: Paintings in Protest to a Trump Presidency." All five rooms and the sidewalks outside were packed! The painting that took my attention in the first gallery was "A Banquet Without Consequences" by Alex Schaefer. Read about it here. I was immediately attracted to Schaefer's depiction of Warren Buffet in the center, playing the ukulele. This reminded me of the phrase "Nero fiddled while Rome burned."
"A Banquet Without Consequences" by Alex Schaefer, Oil on Canvas, 48 x 44

In addition to other paintings and sculptures in Gallery One, there was a Trump piƱata stuffed with post-it notes from protesters to his administration. Later in the evening, the Trumpster was dethroned.
Protests come spilling out along with candy!
We spent a lot of time in the subsequent galleries, including the following shows: "Animating the Archives: The Women's Building," "Herencia (Inheritance)" and the Arroyo Arts Collective Space. I spied actress, Dakota Johnson in one of the galleries. I kinneared a photo of her.
Dakota Johnson in the Women's Building Gallery at Avenue 50 Studio

It was an exhausting, but rewarding evening!

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

iHeart Hearts

We always need more heart in this world! I know it's corny and cliche', but I really like things with hearts on them. I like to wear a little heart around my neck almost every day. When I turned 18 my boyfriend at the time gave me a small, diamond-ringed heart on a slender chain. I still have that heart and wear it once in awhile. I forgot to photograph it this morning, but here are some of the hearts that I wear currently:

When the cartoon, "Cathy" started showing up in my daily newspaper in 1976 (written by Cathy Guisewhite), I immediately identified with the character. Cathy always wore a shirt with a heart on it.  I wanted to be just like Cathy.
"Cathy" by Cathy Guisewhite

My heart obsession has carried over to my crochet and knit projects. I've made dishcloths, potholders, hats, doilies, hats and more with hearts on them.
Heart Dishcloth
Baby Fez with Heart
Fair Isle Hearts
Heart Doily
I've recently added to my jewelry heart collection with a lovely 3-D heart pendant, designed by my Ravelry and Instagram friend, Betty. Betty is very talented. She knits, sews and designs jewelry. I love my new polished nickel 3-D heart!
My new 3-D Heart Pendant

The ULTIMATE knit heart design, for me, is the "May You Find Peace In Your Heart" design by Susan Mrenna. One of these days I will knit this into a sweater.
"May You Find Peace In Your Heart" knit chart by Susan Mrenna

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Friday, May 12, 2017

Splendid Dot

Madeline Tosh Vintage Yarn, "Spectrum"

There's this free triangle shawl pattern on the Lion Brand site called "Splendid Shawl." I've knit this shawl three times. My first time, I noticed that after the K2tog row, the stitches stood up like little dots. I call this shawl the "Splendid Dot Shawl." 
My first Splendid Dot was made from a highly variegated soy, silk ribbon tape with lots of drape. The shawl turned out nicely, but the variegation is rather confusing with ANY pattern.
Southwest Trading Company, Soy Silk Tape 

My second Splendid Dot was made from Aslan Natural Luxury Yarns, worsted weight. I do believe this yarn has been discontinued, that's why I found it in abundant quantity at the Tuesday Morning Store!
Aslan Natural Luxury Yarn, Wool

I really like knitting this pattern. It's easy, but varied enough to keep my interest. Any pattern with a bit of texture is usually rewarding.
The BEST yarn I've used for this pattern is Madeline Tosh Vintage, color is "Spectrum." I'm not a yarn snob, but I must say that using this higher-end yarn really makes a difference in the end result.
My co-worker, Nicole, modeled the shawl for me. The drape of the shawl is wonderful, the pattern shows up beautifully and I LOVE this color!
Nicole needs to be a professional knit model!

From now on, I really must follow the yarny rule so many of my sisters-in-yarn live by, "Use the Best Yarn First!"
I bought the yarn because it matches my specs!

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Colorful and Cute!

Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock

On the recommendation of our friends, Tammy and Daniel, we visited Leanna Lin's Wonderland shop in Eagle Rock last Sunday to view a tribute art show to Mary Blair. I've loved Mary Blair's art since I was a youngster, skipping through Disneyland by her beautiful murals and of course Blair's design for the ride, "It's a Small World."  Sorry to give you that ear-worm.

Mary Blair is known for her cheerful and colorful artwork. I love the vibrant colors and simple abstract design. She specialized in depicting children and their lives. The Wonderland shop is small, but most of the artwork is small too. I was happy to see that most of the original artwork was sold. There were prints for sale though of some of the pieces.

"Ukulele" by Joel and Ashley Selby

"Wonderland Map" by Luke Flowers

"Milkshakes and Small Worlds" by Misha Lulu

"L.A. - It's a Small World" by Cathy Zhang

"A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes" by Nan Lawson

In addition to the art there are many Blair-inspired decor items from the 1960s.
I covet that daisy plate!

Owls are SO 60's!

I think I have this mosaic plate!

If you're looking for an overdose of cuteness, color and fun, visit Leanna Lin's Wonderland in Eagle Rock!
Artist, Mary Blair with Walt Disney and model of "It's a Small World"

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