January 31, 2013

Sneaky Art

My son, along with every other senior in his high school, is required to complete a "Senior Project," in order to graduate from high school.  The students are required to "research a topic of (his) choosing which will be developed into a research paper."  After multiple attempts to get his first idea approved and multiple rejections, he has thrown in the towel and is back to square one.  He wanted to learn the ropes in terms of becoming a professional musician from real pros, put together a jazz band and get a gig.  I have a wonderful friend who is a professional musician that talked trumpet players/recording artists Wayne Bergeron and David Washburn into agreeing to help mentor my son on his project.  It's now so late in the term that it just can't be done within the time constraints imposed, so he's starting over and very worried.  He needs to find a project for which he can write a lengthy research paper, conduct a minimum of 15 hours of field work, all of which must represent a learning stretch.

They want a stretch?  Here's a stretch.  Take an 18 year old boy that plays the trumpet and is obsessed with online computer games and teach him how to quilt.  He can make a quilt for donation to a service organization like Project Linus or The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) Raising Awareness & Funding Research Through Art.  I'm thinking, "Momma's going to get some art done and have company doing it!"  We'll have tandem sewing machines (I get the Bernina!).  He actually has another (unrelated) project idea that he hopes will be approved (creating and implementing an emergency preparedness plan since we live in an earthquake/wild fire zone).  Personally, I hope the quilting one is approved ;-)  It would do him good to learn to sew, to break out and do something completely foreign and even contribute to a wonderful cause.  He cringes every time I remind him how much he begged me to let him sew when he was little.  He can make a mean bean bag and whatever that blob of fabric scraps stitched together was supposed to be.  He had so much fun.

About 1999 or so, before renovation of my dining room and before having a real studio.  I had one happy little boy on my hands, making bean bags from fabric scraps on my old machine.

Maybe I'll get some to sneak in some creative time while Kevin is working on a quilt in my studio.  What is more fun that creating art with someone else?  Even if we aren't working on the same project, working side-by-side would be a lovely way to spend time with him.

January 28, 2013

The Road to Inspiration

This weekend, my husband and I attended the Road to California quilt show.  The mood of the attendees was contagious, starting all the way back in the parking lot.  There is something about this group, this hobby, that is so unique and wonderful.  I saw total strangers striking up conversations with each other about quilts, moving on to where they are from and tales of travel adventures just getting to the show.  At one point I heard a woman ask a group of ladies if she could tag along as they toured the show because they kept bumping into each other on every row and striking up conversations.  They all cheerfully welcomed her to their gang, introducing themselves to one another and just having fun.  I saw this over and over again.  I talked to quilter Vickie Lynn about her beautiful applique work, and she told us about how she did it while recovering from treatment for cancer (she is now cancer free!) and how therapeutic the process was in her recovery.  We were stunned to hear that she only made her first quilt in 2006, noting that she felt that her long history of garment and home sewing gave her a great foundation for quilting.  There is hope! :-)

Being surrounded by so many creative people at one time was such a joy and so inspiring.  My goal isn't to win a prize or entry into a show, but just to get going on creativity.  I found so many things to inspire me - awesome fabric, great books, and artists' stories of their creative inspirations.

My favourite vendor was there - Pamela from Treasure of the Gypsy - and it was a good thing, because I found out that she is not going to be at the International Quilt Show in Long Beach this summer.  I was able to add to my stash of her awesome fabrics for projects unknown and yet-to-be determined project.  If this kind of scene doesn't inspire, what could?

Today I will spend a little time working on my personal resolution for this year, an art journal, and look forward to making a mess.