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Monday, November 19, 2007
Back from Tahoe
Yes, I am back and nearly caught up on sleep. Sorry I did not post anything from Tahoe but, to be quite honest, I was too exhausted every night to do so and WAYYYYY too busy to do so during the day.

The class with Sue Benner was absolutely fantastic! I made so much progress with my work that I am astonished. Sue really helped me see where I needed to go and how to make progress on the road I discovered when I was at Fabrications with Laura Cater-Woods. To say that these two women have been instrumental in forwarding my career in art would be a gross understatement. I have 7 pieces to finish from this retreat. Now I have to wait until the family goes home on the 24th to do anything!! AARRRGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Anyway, I have no pictures of fantastic food/desserts because, to be honest, there was nothing outstanding about the food at AQT this year. Only one dessert was great but it was a repeat of last year (chocolate cup with mousse in it covered by berries) and the rest were very average (cherry pie that was still frozen, banana's Foster that was not flamed and was way too juicy), boring apple pie. Yes, I was disappointed in the food, especially breakfast. Last year they had these beautiful, huge berries (blueberries, red raspberries, etc) every day and those on top of Musli with plain yogurt were my daily treat. This year the berries did not make an appearance until Thursday and I had to ask for the yogurt (as always, the staff was very accommodating).

We did have great weather; thankfully the snow held off as I did not have chains and did not want to pay $50 to rent some. It was actually quite warm...

I did go to lunch at Sunnyside (on the lake) this year and the view was worth it. So was the dessert. Best one all week.

So, on to some pictures (most of which, unfortunately, are on my laptop which is currently with my son. Will transfer them over tonight).

Multiple abstracted pieces. First we did a little exercise. We each took 5 fabrics and cut them to 8 X 8" and put fusible on them. Then we stood in a circle. You got to choose one fabric from the person on your right and one from the person on your left. Then Sue gave each of us a picture cut from a magazine and we had to make our version of that picture using only the 5 fabrics. Oh, and we only had 20 minutes to do it in. Now, that may not sound too difficult but, let me tell you, it wasn't easy. Ironically, Sue gave me a picture of a "tall ship" stuck in ice. I say ironically because: a) I live in Nova Scotia in the summer and we have the tall ships that come in for a festival plus the Blue Nose II is a raving schooner based in Lunenburg right down the coast from me. I am fascinated with the sea and sailing, especially the tall ships. Ok, the result of this exercise is the pice with the yellow "sky." I actually thought it turned out pretty good.

Next we had to do paper collages of one of the personal images we brought. Paper collage is not something I am good at. This one was tough since I wasn't ready to totally dispense with "realism" (one of my biggest problems) and I had trouble finding blue for the sky so it ended up really choppy. Oh, and the boats were not even close to being a good size. But hey, it gets better.

Next exercise was to take our image and abstract it using 5 different techniques. We worked on 8.5 x 8.5 "canvases" and were supposed to limit our fabrics to 5-7. Again, I had difficulty due to my inability to totally let go of what was in front of me. I started out with a photo from Race Week in Chester (Nova Scotia) and made multiple abstractions of that using different techniques. I got better as I went along and loosened up.

By the time I got done with 4 of the 5 abstractions I needed a new image to work on so I used a photo of a beautiful museum in Australia that I cut out some time ago. I really had fun with this one and would like to do it again in a larger format. I did discover that making the smaller "practice" pieces was great; it not only gave me an opportunity to explore the image but to see where changes could be made to improve the final piece. I am not much of a sketcher so this process was a wonderful discovery for me.

Lastly, I had told Sue that I wanted to be able to make pieces that conveyed a feeling and I ended up going back to the sail boats with the idea of "ominous" that popped into my mind when I pulled a piece of hand-painted fabric from Desi Vaughn out of my scrap bag. I think it was very successful considering I did it in under 5 minutes with only 5 fabrics.

Yes, all in all, it was a VERY successful trip and class. No, I won't be going back in 2008. First of all, there just isn't an easy way to get there and back from here (Michigan). It's an all day "adventure" even tho I was able to deal my way out of going through LAX (I'll tell you how later). And, even thought my roommate was from Sacramento (hi Anna) and was so much fun and such a big help (she's an art prof) and she invited me to come out a couple of days early to visit and drive up with her, I just need a year off. Besides, Sue's class for next year is already full and it was the only one I really wanted to take. There is also the fact that AQT was cut from 2 weeks to one and they kept it the later of the 2 weeks. That makes it a real tight squeeze with Thanksgiving and my family comes here to celebrate. Which means I need to get my butt in gear and go fold laundry and clear off the "stuff" on the dining room table.........

posted by Teri Springer @ 10:42 AM   2 comments
Monday, November 12, 2007
Missing in Action
No, not me....the pictures of the felted sweaters and the fuzzy one. Blogger is a PITA when it comes to posting pictures and keeping them there. I tried to delete the code for the pics last night and reupload but Blogger wouldn't let me. I am getting ready to run out the door so no time now. I will have to fix it when I get back.

Watch for pictures of AQT and the famous desserts here (Blogger willing)! I have to fill in for Gerrie since she decided to forgo this year's trip. Going to miss her an awful lot!!!


posted by Teri Springer @ 7:18 AM   1 comments
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Off To Lake Tahoe- A Rant about Travel by Air
Yep, that's right. Tomorrow morning I am off to make the very convoluted trip to Lake Tahoe. You know, every one wonders why the air lines have raised ticket prices and cut services. Of course, it's because their overhead has gone up. I wonder why (heavy sarcasm). Let's see...all flights MUST go through a hub for the airline. Thus, to get from Nova Scotia to Rochester, NY one option was to fly from Halifax to DETROIT then Rochester. Hmmmmm. Just a tad out of the way. If you are lucky enough to get a flight that doesn't take you 100s of miles PAST your destination, you still have to deal with all the delays brought on by overbooking flights, flights getting in late making it necessary to then bring in a new flight crew because the one that was scheduled to fly your plane is now over their max allotted hours, thus further delaying your trip and costing the airline more $$ because the only crew available to fly you from Newark to Grand Rapids, MI is in Chicago (much closer to GR than Newark, I can assure you). Then, when THAT crew finally arrives the equipment (airline euphamism for the plane) is no longer available because the airline used it for another flight! And we wonder why the airlines now have set new records for delays and lost luggage.

Just a suggestion. One that is very logical and, therefore seems to have flown under the radar (pardon the pun) of the FAA and the airlines......GET RID OF THE DAMNED HUB REQUIREMENT!!!!!

I have been flying commercially for 49.5 years (yes, I had my first trip at 6 months old- my family has been heavily involved in the commercial airline industry for years). It was not necessary to go from Chicago to Orlando by stopping in Atlanta. We could even fly from Chicago to Honolulu NONSTOP! HELLO! Take offs and landings waste time and fuel. Flying two hours PAST your eventual destination to change planes makes no sense!! Lowering the number of flights in and out of airports with delay problems (like LaGuardia, Kennedy, Philly and Newark to name the four worst) makes TOTAL sense. Which is, of course, why it isn't happening.

Why the rant?? Because I fail to see why I need to fly from Kalamazoo, Michigan to Sacramento, CA via Chicago AND LAX! Ok, I understand Chicago- the planes coming out of AZO are small so we change to a 737 at ORD (didn't know you were going to get a lesson in airport abbreviations did you??). But why in the heck do I have to fly to SOUTHERN FRIGGING California to get to Sacramento? Hello! My trip back makes more sense- SMF to Denver (the best one- DEN) to ORD to AZO.

Ok, off rant. On to other things. First, my birthday. Thank you to everyone who left a nice message. It was a nice birthday; quiet, uneventful. I had ordered myself flowers to make sure I had some. I ordered orange tulips from 1-800-FLOWERS (they were on special and I love tulips). They are about spent.....

Then the roses arrived from my dad and step mom....

Oh, but that's not even half! They wouldn't all fit in one vase so the first 20 went in this pretty blue vase.....

The other 30 went in the crystal vase! Only one bad thing....since I am leaving for a week at AQT I won't see the roses fully open.......

Ok- some creative content....After reading about Melody's attempts at felting slippers, and seeing Emily's thrift store sweaters to felt for bags, I just couldn't resist a stop at one of the Goodwill Stores in my area. Several years ago I made patchwork throws out of felted sweaters for family. So, hey, why not make some more and open my own Etsy shop?? So, here are my thrift finds.....

And the one sweater that didn't work out (ok, there were actually 2- the other one was 100% merino and wouldn't felt at all):

The band of intarsia felted but the rest of the sweater just shed and shed and shed. I guess I could have used it but I didn't want it to continue to deteriorate so I just cut out the part that did felt and tossed the rest in the dog's kennel- he loves fuzzy things to sleep on.

I am off to watch the Packers and pack!

posted by Teri Springer @ 12:04 PM   0 comments
Monday, November 05, 2007
Birthday Reflections
Tomorrow (Tuesday, Nov. 6th) I will be 50 years old. I am still caught by surprise from time to time when I see myself in the mirror and wonder who the woman is.....I am a twenty-something in a 50 year-old body. No, I don't want to BE 20-something again. It's just the way I feel.

I decided that, on this auspicious occasion I needed to do something auspicious. I have made some lists (I am really good at lists).

First list- Places to visit in the next 10 years:

1) Ireland: the home of my ancestors. I would like to take a month, fly over, rent a car and just wander; me and my camera and laptop.
2) New Zealand: just because it has always fascinated me. Even more so after my favourite aunt and uncle visited there many years ago. This would be at least a 6 week trip. If I have to sit on a plane that long I'm making it worth my while. Again- the camera and laptop will come along.
3) The Galapagos Islands- this would also fall into my next category: things to do as I want to do some "ecotourism."
4) The Arctic Circle in Canada: I want to experience the area while I still can; not before I am too old but before the damage to the ice becomes more widespread than it already is. I want to spend many evenings enjoying the Northern Lights and I want to spend time in an Inuit village learning about the culture.
5) The Pacific Northwest: from Oregon to British Columbia- especially the many islands.

Second- Things to do:

1) Eco-tourism: I can do this in the Galapagos, the Arctic circle, also I would like to visit South America to go bird watching.
2) Try snow-boarding. I know my close friends will think I'm nuts to want to do this with my bad knees but Joey's orthopedic surgeon told me that snow-boarding is much easier on the knees than skiing. I may get around to this next spring break when I take Joey and two of his friends to Squaw Valley.
3) Learn to kayak and buy my own kayak. That's on the list for summer 2008. I have an instructor who lives just around the corner from me.
4) Take some photography classes: I tried to do this when I was staying in Florida when my mom was ill. Unfortunately the digital photography class I signed up for at FAU through the continuing ed department quickly morphed into a Photoshop Elements class. Now, that does interest me however, I took the class (based upon the description in the catalog) to learn how to better use my first digital camera. When I want to learn Photoshop I will do so in a class on Photoshop. Having said that, I just signed up for a class on photographing artwork with a digital camera. The class includes using Photoshop to tweak the photos but FIRST we take the photos! I never once got to work on one of my own photos in the FAU class nor did the instructor tell me a thing about using a digital camera.
5) Spend less time traveling to take classes and more time in my home studio(s) making work to be followed by:
6) Entering more work in shows. To date I have only entered one show. I plan to change that. Which takes me to the next list:

Third- Things to accomplish:

1) Have a piece accepted into Quilt National or Visions
2) Have a piece accepted into an ART show in either Detroit, Chicago, Montreal, Toronto or Halifax

That's as far as I have gotten but I plan to print this out and keep a copy of it so I can cross off things as I do them and add to the list as I find other things and places that interest me......

Oh, and how about some quilt content??

Shibori Fabric

I wish I could take credit for the fabric- I fell in love with it at QSDS. It is by Kevin Womack. I hung it on my design wall and very quickly decided that I could NOT cut it. So, I am hand quilting it and will, perhaps, add some Swarovski crystals. It will then be stretched on a frame and hung in my living room over looking the Front Harbor in Chester. (if you click on the photo for the larger image you will be able to see the quilting. I haven't hand quilted in years but my lessons with the Miller girls in Shipshewana, IN have never failed me. I can still do some mighty small stitches even using a #9 sharp; I bend the smaller needles too easily).

Ok- and some flowers:


Our unusual fall weather tricked some of my plants into blooming off season. I still had iris trying to bloom on November 1st.

Oh, and would whoever from Halifax is reading my blog PLEASE say hi!
posted by Teri Springer @ 1:17 PM   9 comments
About Me

Name: Teri Springer
Home: Chester, Nova Scotia, Canada
About Me: Studio Art Quilt Associates for the Atlantic Canada Region (New Brunswick, Newfoundland/Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island). Quote:Apples and Wine: Women are like apples on trees. The best ones are at the top of the tree. Most men don't want to reach for the good ones because they are afraid of falling and getting hurt. Instead, they sometimes take the apples from the ground that aren't as good, but easy. The apples at the top think something is wrong with them, when in reality, they're amazing. They just have to wait for the right man to come along, the one who is brave enough & smart enough to climb all the way to the top of the tree. Now Men... Men are like a fine wine. They begin as grapes, and it's up to women to stomp the hell out of them until they turn into something acceptable to have dinner with.
See my complete profile

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