Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Heavenly State Fair

My good friend Linda and I finally found a day we could both get away and catch up with each other. I had not had a chance to see her since my trip to Australia and her trip to China and we had much to talk about. But where to go to get away where we could spend the day chatting...we decided the place to be was the Oregon State Fair in Salem, OR where we both could take in the art and fiber exhibits and see a hypnotist in action!

Well, we got a lot of talking in while we waited patiently in line to park...about an hour's worth to be exact. Seems everyone else wanted to take advantage of the sunny comfortable weather to catch the fair. After we parked, we treated ourselves to a pedi-cab ride into the fairgrounds and entered into the"quilted forest".

Quilted banners hanging from the ceiling and drifting and swaying in the breeze did look like a colorful forest of trees minus their foliage. Each banner was created by a different artist and each was unique.

This last banner even incorporated pieces of driftwood into its design. I wish my ceilings were high enough to create one or two for my house. They were beautiful.
Then we were off to the exhibits where we played hand-carved Indian flutes, chatted with local book authors and ooh'ed and aah'ed over the baby chicks in the incubator (can you believe they are only two days old!)
And the quilts....they speak for themselves....creatively put together, they almost sang with the harmony of their colors and unique design. These were some of my favorites.

We toured an amazing exhibit of calligraphy, as well as the fine art pavilion, but were told strictly not to take a single photograph in the building and, sadly, I complied, although it would have been a pleasure to share the beautiful art that we saw. So we headed on down to the artist pavilion where the Salem Art Guild was offering the opportunity to glazed a bit of pottery created by one of their artists and have it Raku fired. With four glazes to choose from, it was hard to decide what to do, but we were both pretty happy with our pieces.
In one booth we found these amazing goggles made from old optics, camera parts and watches, framed in leather looking very dashing. You could almost see someone climbing into their biplane or into a tin lizzie and going for a bit of an expedition. Created by Mac McGowan, you can take a peak at more of his creations on
Of course the fair would not be complete without a tractor and engine display all done in shiny red.
Then it was on to the hypnosis show where Las Vegas entertainer, Marc Sevard, entertained us all by hypnotising willing members of the audience. See what a deep sleep he had them in.

But not so deep that they couldn't play their imaginary instruments in the orchestra...

or participate in the world championship lollipop licking contest...

or show off their macho for the upcoming World Wide Wrestling championship. It was a great show and well-worth seeing and what a bunch of good sports were the volunteers who knew they were about to do things they would never dream of doing on their own while the world watched.
After having a delicious dinner of barbecued pulled pork (I actually managed to make it through the fair without eating any fried or sugary food and stayed on my diet!), we wandered on to see the poultry exhibit.
This ring-necked dove sat so quietly amidst all of the noise and bustle of visitors....

but not so much this handsome rooster who only stopped a moment to pose for this photo before he began his incessant crowing again....

and this mean boy never stopped looking at his neighboring rooster and literally growled at him, non-stop. He sounded like a terrier guarding his brand new bone!!!

And who could pass up on looking at the livestock. This lady was so tired, she curled up like a pretzel in a pose more suited to a cat than a cow...

and here is a name that fits the horse....this draft horse was all dressed up for exhibition. Even his tail was done up in a bow....not sure what his take on that was.....

and these two ewes were having a conversation while they waited for the show to begin...

while these newly shorn boys are chowing down on the feed and looking a little self conscious without their fleece...
And here's a puzzled ewe who couldn't figure out the strange human being who put her camera on the floor and shot upwards at her...but after awhile she did make a move to see if the camera was some kind of new ewe food...

And as we made ready to go, this small pony greeted us at the door...a baby now, but will only grow six more inches as an adult and be the size of a Great Dane. I just wanted to take him home.
Sadly, the day was at an end and it was time to head home. But at the end of the day, I had to say that the the best part of the fairy was having the opportunity to spend time catching up with an old and valued friend.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Books in an Exhibition

I was excited to have two of my handmade books juried into the show at Washington State excited I almost forgot to post about it! The show will continue through August 20 and you can read more about it here.

The book above is etched copper. The sun face was riveted onto the base cover with copper nails. The gate was etched and cut out with a jeweler's saw. I soldered the bezels and brass hinges onto the book and set the bezels with turquoise. The pages are bound with a coptic stitch and each signature has a cover sheet made from marbled paper a friend brought me from France.

This book started with a 1/4" pine plank cut in two. I carved the bird into the cover with a flexshaft and wood carving bits.and colored the cover with liquid acrylic rubbed into the wood. I used scrimshaw to carve the piece of bone. The mica window and centipede stitch I learned in class with Daniel Essig. The pages are bound with a one needle coptic stitch.
Making books is an act of meditation for me. And when they are done I rarely write in them. The book speaks its own story of creation.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I Went to a Garden Party...

It's hard to believe that my friend, Cindi, and I have known each other for almost 15 years. Not even the 425 miles now between us has changed that. So when she emailed me and invited me to attend her art party, I knew nothing could keep me from attending. Cindi's a fabulous artist who creates Christmas greeting cards with her husband, Lee, geared for sale to construction industries and in her spare time, creates with paint and clay.

And what a conception....a party for artists....not just fine artists, but culinary artists and musicians and poets, as well!! A party where we displayed our passion for creating, shared our art with others, and traded thoughts on what creativity lives within each of our hearts and minds.

Painters, photographers, quilters, collage artist and more displayed their art throughout the back yard.
Mosaic stepping stones led the way through the beautiful herb gardens filled with blooms

Bee balm in delicate lavender

Lavender blooms covered with small honey bees.

Pink Bee Balm catching the last rays of the sun

and sea holly bristling above them all.

A small birdbath Cindi created complete with diving platform.

Molly getting in on the fun!

Cindi's painting of her husband and Molly enjoying a quiet moment in a canoe.

The culinary artists did not disappoint. Who could choose just one of these gorgeous desserts!

A summertime quilt waving softly in the evening breeze.

Dinner was amazing and delicious with everyone bringing a bit of their favorite foods for everyone to share.

Everyone brought a chair, good conversation, a sense of humor and room for seconds and dessert. After cleaning our plates, it was time to settle in to listen to the music.

Lee on his saxophone.

The crowd relaxes and tap their feet with the beat.

Jack Stom singing and Lori Stom on the guitar.

Cindy Compton played the Irish fiddle.

Debra Purcell led us in song.

Nancy Sopwith treated us to her poetry.

Cindy and Lee enjoying a moment of calm.

Jerry Grusell singing along to his guitar.

Greg Kelsey on sax, Frank Palmer on percussion and Lori Stom on keyboard creating some mean jazz.

But like all good things, the evening came to a close. But not before the candles were lit and we all sang songs of America together, running the gamut of America the Beautiful to the Star Spangled Banner to This Land is My Land. Although not vocally, we certainly ended the evening in a harmony of spirit and heart. Already looking forward to next year, Cindi!! Thanks for the gift of bringing our creative spirits together!!!