Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Merry Christmas to one and all!

Friday, December 25th, 2015

Happy Solstice, Christmas, Boxing Day, Kwaanza, New Year’s, Winter and just plain old happy day to one and all!   Just a quick note to say hello, as I will be otherwise happily busy with family, cooking, family, and more family on Christmas day.  I thought I’d share the year in pictures–the page of photos I share in our annual Christmas Newsletter that I send out to friends from long ago and far away.

Some of the photos are ones I have taken during my yearlong workshop with Ricky Tims. I've worked hard to make the most of the class and am thrilled with how much I have learned. If you're interested, put Foto Friday or Ricky Tims in the search box to see related blogposts. But wait until Christmas is over! Enjoy family and whatever you are doing today. Life is short, so remember to enjoy your blessings and the beauty of the day.

Some of the photos are ones I have taken during my yearlong workshop with Ricky Tims. I’ve worked hard to make the most of the class and am thrilled with how much I have learned. If you’re interested, put Foto Friday or Ricky Tims in the search box to see related blogposts. But wait until Christmas is over! Enjoy family and whatever you are doing today. Life is short, so remember to enjoy your blessings and the beauty of the day. (You can click the photo to see it a bit larger if you’d like.)

40th Reunion–San Domenico School

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind!  We took Eli on an official (NCAA) visit to his top choice for college.  He spent a good part of the weekend with the wrestling team, while Paul and I got to have dinner with two dear friends from college (who married each other) and moved to a retirement home 20 miles north of the town where Eli hopes to attend college.  We’ve seen them just the once since about 1981, so it was so wonderful to visit in person.

About 1/3 of the San Domenico School Class of 1975--at a class supper at the Dominican University Campus

About 1/3 of the San Domenico School Class of 1975–at a class supper at the Dominican University Campus–I think it was Monica’s husband who took this photo–thank you!  (I’m in the back row to the right of center, in green)

Then 2 days after getting home from that trip, I headed to California for a San Domenico School Alumni Council Reunion (I’m on it) and my 40th High School Reunion.   When picking the category for this post, I chose Family because that is really what we are.  I was so, So, SOOO incredibly lucky to attend San Domenico School in San Anselmo, California. The school (finally!) turned co-ed in high school this year, admitting boys to 9th grade, as well as Lower School, and that change has revitalized the school and interest in it.  It is both day and boarding, so if you are looking for a superior school I can recommend it without reservation.  Cecily Stock graduated two years after I did; she is now head of school and *my* what an impressive woman she has become.  She is the leader and focal point for a team that is saving one of the best schools in the country.   THANK YOU!

There are two other phenomenal women who were at the Reunion and Dinner, and who had a profound and lasting impact on my life.  I love them both dearly.  The gifts they have given to the school and to the children who attended the school cannot be overstated.  Sister Gervaise is on the left, Sr. Patricia on the right.  Along with the late Sister Maurice who is a towering figure of importance to the school, Sr. Gervaise’s far-thinking mind, gentle spirit and intelligence give us a legacy that is ever-giving.  She has lived on campus and dedicated her life to SD and her students for 50 years.  One of her most cherished possessions is a photo of her when she met the Dalai Lama:  that tells you what amazing, independent, strong, compassionate, tolerant, loving, open-minded women are our Dominican sisters.  Sr. Patricia was our class sponsor/moderator.  She was our “grown up in charge of the Class of ’75.”  Except she was only 23 when we started high school!  We thought she was so old and grown up, and she was so young.  She is ours and we are hers.  Period.  And before I seriously need a kleenex, I’ll just post the picture and say THANK YOU!

Sr. Gervaise and Sr. Patricia announce the Distinguished Alumna for 2015: Hoonae Kim, Class of '75, who has dedicated her life to improving lives in the third world, working for the InterAmerican Development Bank, World Bank and UN. Hoonae ROCKS!

Sr. Gervaise and Sr. Patricia announce the Distinguished Alumna for 2015: Hoonae Kim, Class of ’75, who has dedicated her life to improving lives in the third world, working for the InterAmerican Development Bank, World Bank and UN. Hoonae ROCKS!

Final words:  The Class of ’75 is (in my highly biased opinion) probably the best in the history of the school, and in a biased but well-informed opinion, San Domenico is one of the best private schools in the country.  Thank you Mother for making sure I got in and working to pay my tuition.  I got the best education of my life there:  they taught us to love learning, how to learn, and to love.  It doesn’t get any better. Here’s to getting even more of the Class of ’75 on campus for our 50th!

A day off, sort of….

Saturday, July 18th, 2015
I think that the Coastal Quilters challenge has gotten a bit big for it's wallspace...literally.   My closet/design wall is 20 feet long.  It was not long enough--there is another 6 foot panel!  SHEESH!  BUT, the Coastal Quilter TOTALLY ROCK!

I think that the Coastal Quilters challenge has gotten a bit big for it’s wallspace…literally. My closet/design wall is 20 feet long. It was not long enough–there is another 6 foot panel! SHEESH! BUT, the Coastal Quilters TOTALLY ROCK!

Today began with finishing up chores:

1.  So yesterday I packed up my quilts and teaching supplies and whatnot for teaching at Maine Quilts this coming week (speaking of which, there are still some spots in my classes:  Birch Pond Seasons, Decorative Stitch Applique and Intro to Machine Quilting–go to MaineQuilts.org for more info!). Sent pdf’s to Staples for the handouts, which I’ll pick up Monday.

2.  Started prepping The  Coastal Quilters (my local chapter of the Pine Tree Quilt Guild) Chapter Challenge yesterday.

  • Today I prepared the signage and finished pinning all 23 or 24 quilts,
  • got the signage pin,
  • lint-rollered the black drapes/panels for the bazillionth time (we have every color of cat and pug hair there is and it ALL floats–closed doors are not a barrier that work),
  • folded and padded and packed them up.

This takes HOURS.   HOURS.   Every year I swear I will NOT do it again.  And every year I do.  Thank heavens next year’s challenge the quilts are all to be 16″ square, cuz I’m not doing this with multiple sizes.  Ever.  Again.  Never.  (Don’t quote me on that in a couple years.  Sigh.)

3.  Prepared my quilts (entry and teacher quilt) for delivery on Wednesday.

4.  Found the quilt I entered in Houston and that got accepted.  (More in a future post.  Yes, I’m evil.  You have to wait.) Need to pack it up Monday and ship.

5.  Made more chocolate chip cookies for the child.  OK, so we could both eat batter, plus bake some cookies.  Slurp.

6.  Watched a video or two for my new online sketching class.

7.  Didn’t start the lesson for my photo class.  At least I have an idea or two.  Of course I’m leaving it to the last day, as usual.  Sigh.  But I love the class.  Anyway….I digress (what else is new?).

So I decided to reward myself by working on a small Hawaiian Block/quiltlet that will finish 26 1/2 square.  Yep, the size of a Euro Square pillow sham.   Number 1 of the pair was done in time to teach Hawaiian Applique in Florida this past March.

Nourish the Body, Nourish the Soul, (my pattern) Taro block

Nourish the Body, Nourish the Soul, (my pattern) Taro block–first of two matching pillow shams.

I was marking it to square up after quilting when Paul called me up to dinner.  These two will replace hand appliqued, hand quilted Hawiian style pillow shams (pattern by Elizabeth Root) that were the first hand applique I ever did.  I made them during the FIRST Gulf War.   They are now largely “formerly quilted” as most of the threads have broken and worked out, but the applique is still intact.  A few tears from critter claws, threadbare or tufting on the piping due to wear.   Those things, I realized tonight, are 25 YEARS OLD–yes, quarter century old pillow shams.  Yes indeedee, I think it is time to REPLACE THEM.  Still like them, but they look like they have (and they have) literally been around the world.  I’ll share more when done!

That’s it for tonight!  That’s all, Folks!

Kimonos in Texas–memories of Mother

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

Tomorrow, two new exhibits open at the Texas Quilt Museum:  a solo show of work by Judith Content and a companion exhibit Kimono Quilts and Kimonos.  Judith’s artwork often takes the stylized form of a kimono on display–I so wish a trip all the way to Texas was affordable.   I am honored that a quilt I made as an 80th birthday gift to my mother is on display in the companion exhibit.  It is especially rewarding since I made this quilt long before I became a quilting professional, so I am thrilled my work meets the high standards of the museum.

Happy 80th Birthday, Mama. Exhibited in the first year of the "I Remember Mama" exhibit at International Quilt Festival Houston, in honor of her mother, who had recently passed. Published in Karey Bresenhan's  book of the same name which featured quilts from the three years of this special exhibit.

Happy 80th Birthday, Mama. Exhibited in the first year of the “I Remember Mama” exhibit at International Quilt Festival Houston, in honor of her mother, who had recently passed. Published in Karey Bresenhan’s book of the same name which featured quilts from the three years of this special exhibit.  PS:  my photo editing skills weren’t so great when I processed this photo–the black binding really is even in real life!

To read about the exhibit, which runs from July 2 through September 27, 2015, please visit this page.  I am honored to be included with such famous artists and quilters, and know Mother would be so pleased and proud!

Detail of my kimono shaped quilt.

Detail of my kimono shaped quilt.

I chose the kimono shape and Japanese-inspired fabric because Japan was so important to Mother.  She grew up during the Depression and World War II, and always wanted to travel.  I expect *her* mother was terrified when my mom went to serve in Japan with the Occupation Army in 1946 and -47.  Those two years were formative in her life; she developed and abiding love the the people and nation of Japan and, lucky me!, she took me on a trip there in 1996.  The quilt features photos-on-fabric of three generations:  mother and her parents/siblings, my parents and me, then at the bottom me, Paul and our boys (with a photo of Eli on his way home from the hospital–he was still a baby when this was made!).

Today marks the fourth anniversary of her passing.  As Maya Angelou said, no matter what your relationship with your mother, you will miss her after she is gone.  Some years mother was my best friend; other years were more difficult.  But in the end she finally allowed herself to show that she was proud of me and cared for me.

The last photo of us together, on Mother's Day 2011.

The last photo of us together, on Mother’s Day 2011.

My last photo of mother, taken a week before she died, and the last time I saw her sitting up.  Mama, I hope you are with Daddy, Charlie and Tom J., comfortable, memory intact and happy.   I'll see you all one of these years (but I hope not TOO soon--I still have my sons and husband).

My last photo of mother, taken a week before she died, and the last time I saw her sitting up. Mama, I hope you are with Daddy, Charlie and Tom J., comfortable, memory intact and happy. I’ll see you all one of these years (but I hope not TOO soon–I still have my sons and husband).

If anyone actually gets to the Texas Quilt Museum and can take pictures of the gallery space with my quilt and those around it shown, I’d love to see it!

 

Insalata, a Food for Thought Quilt

Friday, April 17th, 2015

A short while ago I shared with you a first peek at my new quilt, Insalata:

Insalata, (c) 2014  Sarah Ann Smith.  Premieres April 10, 2015, at the Food for Thought exhibit at the National Quilt Museum, Paducah, Kentucky, USA.

Insalata, (c) 2014 Sarah Ann Smith. Premiered April 10, 2015, at the Food for Thought exhibit at the National Quilt Museum, Paducah, Kentucky, USA.  Size:  40 x 42.5 inches.  For sale.

When I made the tomato quilts that were the featured project in my workshop DVD for Quilting Arts, From Photo to Threadwork, including fabric collage and machine quilting (see here for the DVD or here for download), I knew I had one more tomato quilt in me.

I grew up in a town called San Anselmo, California, and mom lived there until she moved to Maine in 2008.  She and two friends would go out for lunch once a month, and often went to a restaurant called Insalata.   So she took me there, too, when I visited.  I LOVED the Chicken Fattoush salad, inspired by Lebanese and eastern Mediterranean cuisine!  I also loved the artwork.  The restaurant is in a building that, when I was a kid, was the Crocker National Bank.  If you were alive in the 60s you remember those banks with the really high (like 2-story) ceilings!  What to do to decorate the place?  She painted the ceiling a dark brown, used something warm colored on the walls (don’t remember what) and had some over-sized paintings made including some of persimmons that were each larger than a beachball.  The canvas wasn’t stretched, but hung from gromments/hooks on the wall; these pieces were easily 4-5 feet tall and over 12 feet wide.

Detail of raffia "roots" on the shallots. Insalata by Sarah Ann Smith. (c) 2014

Detail of raffia “roots” on the shallots. Insalata by Sarah Ann Smith. (c) 2014  Click for larger view.

Detail photo 2, Insalata, by Sarah Ann Smith (c) 2014.  Click for larger image.

Detail photo 2, Insalata, by Sarah Ann Smith (c) 2014. Click for larger image.

Each of the tomatoes is about the diameter of a beach ball!   So now I think I’ve finished with tomatoes.  For the time being.  Hope you enjoy!  And if you like this one, please be sure to visit the slideshow on the SAQA website of the entire Food for Thought exhibit, here.

The new Food for Thought catalog from Studio Art Quilt Associates.  Available to order here.

The new Food for Thought catalog from Studio Art Quilt Associates. Available to order here.

My pages in the catalog.  Great layout and design on the pages--love the enormous detail photo on the left.  The booklet is about 8.5 inches square.

My pages in the catalog. Great layout and design on the pages–love the enormous detail photo on the left. The booklet is about 8.5 inches square.