Saturday, July 29, 2006

Yellow & Purple All Over

These are Yellow & Purple CubbieHole blocks for a QuiltMavericks swamp. These aren't made by me, they're just the ones I've received so far from the other more organized and diligent Mavs. The blocks are up on my design wall to inspire, cajole and guilt me into making up mine to send out this week. Isn't this a lovely color combo? One of my all time favorites I think. It makes me think happy, intelligent and good food. I'm thinking this will end up being on our bed, maybe with a border of star blocks (or log cabin?hmmm?)in the same colors.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Hot Kitchen in the Summertime

Inspired by my poem of a couple days ago, here is "Hot Kitchen", about 10x 10". Made in a second story studio with no lights on, the fan running and the temp at "only" 80F. Quilted with the same obnoxious orange thread as the spiral quilt below.

Spiral Recycles 3

Another in a series, using the scraps on my worktable.
This is called Spiral Recycles 3 and is about 21h x 20". It is very textury with raw edges showing and unadorned batting too. The spiral pieces are mainly the cuts made off the edges of finished quilts before binding, ie quilted top fabric,batting and backing fabric.
It is quilted with bright orange thread which a bit more apparent in person, or when you click on the photo to make it larger.

I worked up quite a sweat making this, not because it was hard, but because my son had left his fan on and it warmed up the upstairs quite unreasonably. Usually I bleed on my quilts, but this one definitely got some sweat on it.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Poetry Thursday

For Poetry Thursday this week, the emphasis is on food, poems about food, poems as food, whatever. The heat has addled my brain! Aieeee.

This feels a little like a potluck, this idea of everyone sharing food poems. Who will bring the Waldorf jello mold, shrimp aspic or candied yams? Will we have a good mix of food, or all dessert (not a tragedy in my book).


Here's my contribution to the PT table:

Celebratory Pizza

By Julie Zaccone Stiller

At Nine PM

Sun is down for good

Today, Hurrah! our

Inside Temperature

only reached eighty short degrees

No baking, steaming

or true cooking

has occured indoors

for, honestly

weeks now. (salads don't count do they?)

All blamed on the ready and believable excuse

"Too hot to cook."

It is all relative

though, this matter

of temperature

So to celebrate the

fog's welcome

return to our corner

of the sky.

Celebratory Pizza is in order tonight.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Media Summer

This summer, while trying to ignore how danged hot it is, I've been reading a lot, listening to a bunch of new music and seeing old and new movies.
Between Georgia, Joshilyn Jackson - Read it in one sitting til' 3am. Perfect summer read, I was really sorry when it was over.

Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut Not sure why this is a comfort read for me, such a dark book, but still, I read it over and over again. Reassuring myself that this war thing isn't just our generations' particular screw-up.

The Princess Bride - William Goldman Highly recommended, this version is what the excellent movie is based upon. Very funny and romantic too.

Good Omens - Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett Hilarious, of course given the two authors! An almost apocalyptic tale, humanity saved kinda sorta by accident through no effort of their own.

Absurdistan - Gary Shteyngart Wow, what a great book in the Russian tradition of absurdist fiction, but updated and oh so current with world events. Summed up in one word: LOGCAP.

American Theocracy - Kevin Phillips I'm only halfway through this, but it is a very well-written analysis of the interplay of oil, religion and debt as the basis for the US troubles. By a staunch cloth-coat Nixonian Republican too (he also wrote Bush Dynasty).

The Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldiers Jack White from the White Stripes and friends, rock out with bluesy new music. Steady As She Goes is my summer theme song as well as one of the funniest videos I've seen.

Wolfmother The new Led Zeppelin??? maybe so. But I definitely like the funkified sound.

Franz Ferdinand - We backtracked and got their first cd, it may even be better than #2

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium, double cd, the peppers are still hot

O Brother Where Art Thou? Soundtrack - I'm such a sucker for sountracks, but I loved this movie, and the music is wonderful. I sing along with it at top volume as I'm machine quilting. You'd have to ask my family if they enjoy it or not?!

Radiohead = I have all of their cd's, and have been listening to them in order of release ever since I heard Thom Yorke interviewed on Fresh AIr on NPR, about his solo release, The Eraser. OH And guess who did the movie music for A Scanner Darkly? Yup, Radiohead, guess I'll be buying yet another movie soundtrack cd!
The Vines - Vision Valley The Vines continue to surprise, they showed a lot of growth from their last cd. Very enjoyable.
Madness = Greatest Hits Trying to introduce the boys to all types of good music from the 80's, not just the synth pop stuff.
Zingaia = Soles on Earth Another great world music/Goddess inspired/dancetrance cd.


Out at the theatre:
A Scanner Darkly-Another great movie based on a Philip K. Dick story (Highly recommend his books!). Robert Downey Jr. steals the show along with Woody Harrelson with several paranoid druggie scenes that were gut busters. Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder are also great in this claustrophobic paranoid animated over real film. Animation is so well done you almost forget you aren't watching live action.

Pirates of the Caribbean 2 - better than the first, and be sure to stay for the end of the titles! The swamp witchy woman was great, I loved her house. But ouch, now we have to wait for #3 to find out what happens...

Superman Returns - better than the C.Reeves version, and Kevin Spacey rocks as Lex Luthor, he needed a better "doll" sidekick though.

At Home on the Xbox360 (a way better DVD player than our old one!):
Spider - A very strange movie, but beautifully acted by Ralph Fiennes

Solaris - Mind twisting movie, kind of slow, but many scenes including George Clooney and his amazingly beautiful behind.

39 Steps- The original 1935 Alfred Hitchcock, as good as I'd remembered it!

The WIld Parrots of Telegraph Hill - Lovely movie, sweet surprise at the end. Next time we visit San Francisco, I want to go looking for the flock.

Mysterious Island An awful made for tv miniseries, with Patrick Stewart as Nemo. Don't waste your time on this one.

Wizard of Oz - Zachary, my oldest son was in a production of WoOz this summer, so we had to watch it for research. Still a good movie and I still really really want to be Glinda for Halloween some year.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Poetry Thursday

This week the CATO (Completely And Totally Optional) Poetry Thursday prompt is to post a poem about s.e.x.

I immediately went to Rumi of course. The Sufi poet, much translated, much admired. Here is one of my faves out of "The Love Poems of Rumi" edited by Deepak Chopra

by Jalal al-Din Rumi
I desire you
more than food
or drink
My body
my senses
my mind
hunger for your taste
I can sense your presence
in my heart
although you belong
to all the world
I wait
with silent passion
for one gesture
one glance
from you

I'll illustrate this post with a photo of a quilt I did years ago called: "Passion's Leaves".

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Hot Like Everywhere Else

Just how hot is it at your house? Or in your house?
We've been over 90F everyday for weeks now. I have to say that it is getting a little old. I'd love to have a nice 76F day. But that is how hot it is in my house now at 11:30 am. The top temp inside has been 85F, outside 104F.
Makes it a little hard to face going upstairs into the studio and making stuff, since I almost always need to use my iron, which really heats up my little room.

But I do need to finish up one Bag of Stuff quilt and start another.
I also have to sew on the hanging sleeve for the finally finished chuppah for my sister-in-law and brother-in-law. This will involve having the 66"square quilt on my lap, ugh. But I gotta do it this week!
I need to work on my cubbiehole blocks for a QuiltMavs swamp, in yellow and purple.

In the past two weeks I've:
1) delivered a banner/flag for my mom's church

2) presented a collaborative project quilt for my women's spirituality group founder (Sisterhood of the Silver Branch) that I'd been working on for 1.5 years, pshew, it turned out great, and was received with great joy and appreciation.

3) attended the opening for the Santa Cruz Art League 2nd Annual Fiber show (I have a piece in the show, "Corpus")

4) Started, finished and delivered a piece for the California Fiber Artist's "Rhythm & Blues" show.

5) Started in on one bag of stuff quilt. Usually that is the hardest part for me with these, using someone elses' stuff is really hard!

So, all in all, Not Bad for me when it is this hot, usually I get absolutely stopped in my tracks. Here I thought I was being a non-productive very sweaty lump, so it is helpful to write this down and check my progress. Go me!

Funny Picture above is from Evergreen Theatre.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Something Done this way comes

Don't look now, something is Finished! Yes! Finished with a capital F!
Can it be?
Am I actually back in the production groove?
I don't wanna jinx it, but I'm really happy with how this one turned out.
Last time you saw it, it was not quilted at all. This morning I put on some tunes and did the quilting, and over stitched the irregular edge. It did not look right when I rectangularized it.
It is named "Internal Rhythm".

It will be going off, today, to a show with the California Fiber Artists at Gallery One in Petaluma, California (July 24 - Sept 3).

Detail shot, see, I'm using the circle stitch on my machine.

Lots and Lots 'o stitchin' on this one.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Poetry Thursday

For Poetry Thursday today, I'm making an attempt at humour, a laff-riot, well maybe not quite that funny, droll or wry is what I'm going for here.

Chasing Tail

by Julie Zaccone Stiller

Anything moving

can excite the

tiny hunters' instinct

The rhythmic swish indicates

ready to play

-----Define "play"-----

One pounce and they are

engaged in deadly battle

All body parts fair game

especially nose and ankle

If I had a tail I'd

-----entice him

-----tease him

-----draw him close

-----then turn tail


My nails will never rival

claws nor his needle teeth

My hunting instinct dulled

by easy air-conditioned grocery aisles

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

El Palomar Details

A face holding up the ceiling in the entryway to El Palomar in downtown Santa Cruz.

A cool tile design in the same hallway.

Waiting for a table. We had a fight and left before we were seated. Something about a game called "Bloody Knuckles" that got out of hand a bit. Oh well, at least I got to take pictures.

Friday, July 07, 2006

First Audio Attempt

If you'd like to try this out, you can hear me read my Poetry Thursday poem "Emergency"
this is an audio post - click to play

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Letter H

Time for the letter H. in the Wordplay saunter through the alphabet.
The letter H image is from here .
H is for:

Hungry It is time for lunch, I'm hungry. I am so much better at asking myself if I am really truly hungry, or if I am eating for other reasons. I am also much better at listening to myself when I am obviously hungry for something in particular. Why have a PBJ when you really want Tuna Salad right?

Hopeful With all of my obsessing about the state of the world, I really am a hopeful person. I believe in the humanity that almost all of us collectively share being a force for good overwhelming the small number of those who are humanity-deficient.

Helpful I get called this a lot. I try to be helpful when I can. These days I'm not much help physically, but I can give a lot of spiritual or emotional support. I'm also good at researching stuff, so I can help someone out with finding information.

Hurt I hate it when I get hurt physically or emotionally. I hate it when those I love experience the same. The mama bear in me comes out and does the protection routine.

House I love our little house. I wish it had one more bedroom though. I have always wanted a two story house (having been raised in the land of ranchhomes), and now I have one. But I still need that bay window so I can make a comfy reading spot. Someday, tralala.

Housewife Part of me really bristles at this term. I am most assuredly and enthusiastically my husband's wife, but I am not the wife of our house. Together we are responsible for the household, the physical structure and the people within. But since I am one, according to the rest of the world's definitions, and society says that isn't good enough, especially for a college educated woman who coulda been somebody. It is good enough for me, most days anyways, unless my alumni magazine has hit the mailbox recently. Some people would say they envy me. But then they haven't walked a step in my Crocs. But they can buy the Housewive's Tarot which I find hilarious!

Horrendous, Horrible, Hilarious words I use a lot.

Hives I'm very susceptible to getting these, especially after working outside in the gardens, or being really stressed.

Herbs, Horseradish, Hyacinth, Hydrangea, Hollyhock H Flowers and plants that I grow.

Hot Dog, Horseradish, Hoisin Beef, Hard Candy H Foods that I love to eat.

Poetry Thursday

This week for Poetry Thursday, the emphasis is on dealing with intense personal experiences. Here is my offering for the week:

by Julie Zaccone Stiller

I bring you to the high bed

harried nurses provide scant sympathies

the needles cords and monitors

my terror at your helpless condition

the reason for all this drama

at the silence of your bleeding

of blessings received in disguise

A week ago, Tuesday, my son Alex fainted and fell on his face at summer camp. We ended up spending the day in the emergency room. That is what this poem is about.
He is fine now, except for the shiner that he has on one eye, now a fine lime/mulberry color.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Better stop at one

Got this one from Laume, who got it from Kristen. It was missing a number 11, so I made one up.

Try it.
You get one word to answer each.

1. Yourself: dizzy
2. Your partner: home!
3. Your hair: auburn
4. Your Mother: fabulous
5. Your Father: wonderful
6. Your Favorite Item: camera
7. Your dream last night: flying
8. Your Favorite Drink: lemonade
9. Your Dream Home: treehouse
10. The Room You Are In: manic
11. Your pleasure: scent
12. Your fear: scorpions
13. Where you Want to be in Ten Years? California
14. Who you hung out with last night? family
15. What You're Not? balanced
16. Your Best Friends?Far
17. One of Your Wish List Items: thermofax
18. Your Gender: Queenish
19. The Last Thing You Did: read
20. What You Are Wearing: scrunchy
21. Your favorite weather: cool
22. Your Favorite Book? current
23.Last thing you ate? guacamole
24. Your Life: scattered
25. Your mood: mellow
26. The last person you talked to on the phone: husband
27. Who are you thinking about right now? husband

Latest work habits

Thought I'd show some in process pictures of how I've been working lately. I needed to get a piece ready for a California Fiber Artist's show entitled "Rhythm & Blues" that I'm participating in this month (ack it is July!). It will be at Gallery One in Petaluma, California from 7/24-9/3.

Blue Decisions

Second idea, happy with "background" but need that vaguely leaf shape elsewhere...

Third try, too much "pointing" attention to nowhere in this composition. Also the big block of light gingham is too much.

Adding in Buddha element as start of a focal point.

Final composition, focal point created, pointing at Buddha (hey notice me!).
Now to quilt it... luckily it isn't too big, just 24"w x 34"h.