Monday, April 21, 2014

Long May They Wave…


Hanging out these prayer flags made it feel fresh and spring-like here this Easter weekend, even though it was cool and overcast. The display is located in a grove of trees behind our garden and next to the horse paddock. I hung them while husband Jack was out there riding in order to introduce the colorful flags carefully and make sure they did not spook the horse. You just never know what a horse will take exception to! He was fine with them. Me, too. I just enjoy seeing them fluttering there, and plan to add some more.


I made a few of the flags, but others were given to me by friends or received in a swap I participated in at Creative Lenna’s site. This one is rusted fabric with stamping and embellishments sent by quilting friend Joanne. I added the lace topper and tied some handmade paper beads (also from a Creative Lenna swap) on the sides.


Joanne made this one, too. Some friends raise poultry and exotic birds, so I'd collected some feathers from their yard. Just had to add some to form the bird’s tail!


This Stitch and Sew flag contains pieces of leftover art cloth (donated by a number of people) on a crazy batik background, along with a trimmed off piece of embroidery I just could not throw away. I won the spool and scissor images in a blog giveaway. These prayer flags are so freeing to assemble and sew. And it gives a home (a rather pretty one I think) to those things that hide out in the sewing room just waiting for a use.


This one also gave me a chance to try free-motion writing. Somehow making prayer flags are like making cards- while I’m working on one, the next one is already formulating itself in my head. I have piles of pieces and fabrics that look like they just need to get together in a flag. So another creative session of assemblage is coming up!

My one concern is that we have a coyote in our neighborhood. He steals our newspaper from time to time and shreds it up in the field next door. I hope he leaves these flags intact. Otherwise, they are out there on their own. We’ll see how colorfast and storm proof they are. Let the deterioration begin!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Rest of the Chihuly Exhibit…


Here are a few additional photos from the Chihuly in the Desert exhibition at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix. What the artist can do with glass is truly astonishing. And then there is the placement of the pieces, which is an art in itself.


I didn’t get all of the glass sculpture names. My husband Jack was obligingly listing them as I took the photos. But quite often we got lost in the looking and did not jot them all down. This spectacular piece was almost hiding among the succulents in the Desert Loop Trail. Wouldn’t you love to have watched as these were being transported and installed? What a monumental task.


I found these Jade and Crimson Thorns oddly compelling, and the title sure says it all. That’s a dead Saguaro Cactus lying behind them. I’m not sure what you call that… a carcass? No, I don’t think that’s it. A skeleton? Yes, maybe that’s what they’re called.


As dusk fell, the sculptures were lit. This was taken when it was just getting toward dusk. Scarlet and Yellow Icicle Tower mimics the Saguaros in the background. There was also a line of colorful glass ascending the hill, but it was almost impossible to capture without blurring the shot.


We had to backtrack to view some of the glass after dark, and this Sonoran Boat was one I did not want to miss. Fiery and beautiful!


In looking back at the photos I took, I’m surprised at how many I was able to shoot without getting lots of the crowd in them. The exhibition was packed, as you might imagine.


And lest we forget.. not everything that took my breath away was man-made. Here are a couple of pictures from the Sedona Red Rock area. At every turn there is yet another magnificent landscape. I never tire of looking.


I’m going to get back to quilting, journal making, and paper crafting now, but I did want to share these photos. And I’m filled with inspiration and gratitude after soaking in all this beauty!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Chihuly in the Desert Exhibit…


We’re back from a trip to Arizona and, a highlight for me, a visit to the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. They were presenting an exhibition of glass work by Dale Chihuly. Swoon. There were installations placed at many points throughout the desert plants and walking trails. The installation above is titled “Sonoran Boat”. Just look at those colors and shapes. We arrived in the late afternoon so that we could see the glass in natural light, and then again when it was lit after sunset. Inspiring is only one of many words that come to mind in trying to describe this wonderful exhibit.


This work is titled “Neodymicin Reeds” and there were several other similar ones interspersed among the cactus. The changing shape and colors are just compelling to see.


“White Herons” are shown above, and “Red Reeds”, below. The Desert Botanical Garden is located in the Papago Park area of Phoenix and has operated since 1939. When I read up on the history of a place like this, I’m so impressed with the vision of those who developed and grew the gardens over the decades into such a fine facility. This display is on until May 18. You can certainly see from the vegetation in these photos why it’s said that “everything in Arizona will stick or sting you.” Those cacti are pretty lethal looking.



“Erbium Pink Fiori” and “White Tower” are lit in the gathering dusk. It’s nearly impossible to choose a favorite installation, but this was a contender on my favorites list. I’ve always been drawn to glass, and it’s the first display I look for in antique shops- often before the quilts even! So what a treat that our trip conincided with the Chihuly in the Desert display. Happily for me, this synchronicity was in play on a previous visit several years back when there were other works in exhibition. I’ll show you some more photos in my next post. I, for one, cannot get enough of Chihuly glass.