Sunday, January 31, 2010

Palisade Art Lovers 30th Annual Peach Blossom Show

For thirty years, the Palisade Art Lovers (PALS) have been displaying local artists' work at the Palisade, Colorado Memorial Building.
Palisade Art Lovers began in 1964 in the basement of the Christian Church in Palisade, Colorado by a group of Ladies who simply wanted to paint together. Eventually, they moved their meetings to the Palisade Community Center. Only a couple of original members are active in the group, but Palisade Art Lovers has grown to about 20-25 members. PALS members meet twice a month to paint together and critique each others paintings. A guest artist is invited each month to perform a demonstration using different media. The group's goal is to "Promote Art Locally". The group's major event is the Palisade Art Lovers Annual Peach Blossom Art Show in April.
You can access the 2010 Gallery of Art prepared by this group by clicking on this link.  The meeting schedule for the group may be found at this website.

Artwork for the 2010 show can be no larger than 40" in any direction; all media is accepted.  Deadline submission is March 31, 2010 and the show starts on April 15 and goes through April 18, 2010.  This link provides all necessary information for artistic submission.

Several years ago, I sold a large floral poppy painting in oils at this same show. This year, I'm preparing two florals for display, judging, and sale.

This is a picture of one of the mixed media pieces (watercolor and pastels), that I will be displaying at PALS:

  Hybrid Hibiscus
(27" x 32" framed in wood, double matted)

Come join us in Palisade, Colorado for a lovely show in mid April while promoting our local area artists. 20% of all sales goes to PALS.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Scrabble in Vancouver: Another Type of Olympics

Vancouver, BC, Canada is the site of the 2010 Winter Olympics, but did you also know it is the site of the
9th Annual Vancouver Scrabble Tournament?  The Scrabble tournament will be held the first week of March, so most of the tourism around the Olympics will be only a past memory.

My registration is set, hotel accommodations reserved, and extra studying for the games has commenced. The previous link will lead you to "Important Words to Increase Your Score".  Basic Scrabble Word Lists can be accessed here.

These are the sites my friend Darlene and I will be visiting while in Vancouver:

Butchart Gardens
Vancouver Art Gallery
Old Town
Gas Town
Chinatown and great cuisine

If time permits, I'd love to visit The HandMaiden Fine Yarn: they have several outlets in Vancouver.  One can never have too much fiber in their stash!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Kimono Shawl Sweater in Wool

It took one month of obsessive knitting to finish the Plymouth Encore worsted wool shawl sweater.  I used a bit heavier wool named "City Tweeds" (55% merino, 25% superfine alpaca, 20%  Donegal tweed) from KnitPicks:
“This yarn begins with alpaca and Merino fibers dyed two different colors and then blended together to make a subtly rich, lustrous heather. We chose neutral colored donegal tweed neps to incorporate into the 2-ply yarn. The high ratio of neps gives City Tweed a traditional appeal. The use of Merino and alpaca makes it soft and warm.
It took 11 skeins of yarn to knit the sweater and a couple of circular needles. Here is a video describing how the yarn was made, courtesy of Knit Picks:

And this is the finished sweater, knit in the Morning Glory colorway:

It is warm, easy to wear, and was well worth the effort that went into this project.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Updating Technology at Home

This month was tech update in our household.  From television to internet service provider packaging to the new iTouch and iTunes, our gadgets are now up to date (ha! ... so little I know).

Of course, updating was not without its hazards, as our internet connectivity suffered during the transition.  Why, sometimes, internet Scrabble was not available for play.  That was a serious situation!

Above is a screen shot capture of podcasts that I listen to while knitting, painting, cooking, walking, etc.

The program (free) that was used to capture the screen shot is Faststone Capture found here under downloads.  It was a free 30 day trial.  I will continue to look for the eternally complimentary program.  Meanwhile, the intuitive program is fun to learn. 

Friday, January 15, 2010

Art Submission to Heirlooms for Hospice

Taking color highlighting to heart, and working more on the Red Claret Day Lily painting taken from this snapshot I took a year ago at an Aukland, New Zealand arboretum... the artwork continues.

This is the piece (after highlighting and a few more brush strokes) I will be submitting to Hospice next week:

Next month, in conjunction with the Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau "Arts, Hearts & Tarts" program, Heirlooms for Hospice will be hosting an art sale to benefit Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado.  Anyone who donates art to Hospice will become a member of the Hospice Art Guild.

Again, art submissions will be released for future use in the creation of cards or other applications, always providing credit to the artist.  Artists have until January 29, 2010 to submit their art donations to Heirlooms for Hospice to be included in this year's February Arts, Hearts & Tarts program. (All art sales benefit our local Hospice.)  The Arts, Hearts & Tarts program will occur in February, 2010 in Grand Junction, CO.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Arts, Hearts & Tarts in Grand Junction

Instead of starting a new painting project at the beginning of the year, I decided to dust off some previous oil paintings and make improvements to them.

For instance, here is The Poinsettia (an original 16" x 20"oil which I supposedly finished in 2006) that hung over our fireplace last month during the Christmas holiday season:
 (before tweaking)

After spending most of the morning and all the afternoon painting with friend Shirley last week, and with her helpful critique, more highlighting in yellows and oranges was added to the leaves. The center stamen was also expanded.  IMHO, this tweaked painting has more life to it:

(after tweaking)

This honing, sharpening and refining of the painting process  has led me to believe that there are a few more oils finished in my oeuvre that I'll need to review for additional brush and color work.

Next month, in conjunction with the Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau "Arts, Hearts & Tarts" program, Heirlooms for Hospice will be hosting an art sale to benefit Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado.  Anyone who donates art to Hospice will become a member of the Hospice Art Guild.  Art submissions will be released for future use in the creation of cards or other applications, always providing credit to the artist.

Hmm...which piece should I choose, perhaps tweak, and then donate for the art sale?  Artists have until January 29, 2010 to submit their art donations to Heirlooms for Hospice to be included in this year's February  Arts, Hearts & Tarts program.  (All art sales benefit our local Hospice.)
Again, it is for a good cause, and it should be fun!  (I'll start this week on polishing up another oil work for Arts, Hearts & Tarts.)

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Mother Bear Project for Children who are Victims of HIV/AIDS

Several years ago, Betty Christianson, author of Knitting for Peace: Making the World Better One Stitch at a Time (2006) introduced the Mother Bear Project.  The project has thus far gathered over 47,700 hand made bears for African children who are the victims of HIV/AIDS.

Why send bears to children in Africa when we could perform a similar act of charity here at home?  One of the major reasons is the high prevalency of HIV/AIDS in Africa which devastates many thousands of babies and children there.

Not only have children lost their parents to the disease, but they are sometimes victims of rape by an HIV infected adult.  Some say this horrendous act of rape on girls is a myth; nonetheless, according to this site sponsored by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
"A lot of it has to do with the myth that a man will be cured of AIDS by having sex with a virgin, and how much more virginal can you get than a baby?" Hatfield asked. Rather than decreasing with AIDS education, the myth has taken hold in South Africa, which already has the world's highest incidence of rape. Police statistics reveal that 21,000 cases of child rape or assault were reported last year. Most of the crimes were committed by male relatives of the victims.
Three days before the 9-month-old was attacked last week, a 3-year-old was raped, allegedly by her grandfather. In the same week, a 14-month-old was assaulted by two uncles. With one South African in nine living with HIV/AIDS, such attacks are often a death sentence for the victims, said Glenys van Halter of South Africa Stop Child Abuse. She said that while the AIDS myth is driving the rapes, unemployment, poverty and alcoholism are also factors.

Hatfield said that in South Africa, whose constitution is billed as one of the world's most liberal, progressive laws are often at odds with reality. "South Africa has a history of violence, we communicate through violence, and it will be a long time before we move away from that," she said.
Here is where the Mother Bear Project comes in.  Children in Africa who have been orphaned due to the HIV/AIDS epidemic or who are ill with the disease often have nothing of their own.  A hand made crocheted or knitted bear, including a red heart sewn to its chest, is a small thing that each of us can make and give to one of these ill and/or orphaned children.
The Mother Bear Project is dedicated to providing comfort and hope to children affected by HIV/AIDS in emerging nations, by giving them a gift of love in the form of a hand-knit or crocheted bear.  The simple gift of a hand-knit bear with a tag signed by the knitter has touched children with the message that they are unconditionally loved. (from Mother Bear)
Directions for making a.Mother Bear can be accessed here free of charge. Use up leftover yarns and contribute a bear!

From Ravelry, Dr. Gemma of CogKNITive, one of my favorite podcasters who combines knitting with psychology, says:
:**Send completed bears with $3.00** to cover cost of postage for shipping to Africa to:
Mother Bear Project
P.O. Box 62188
Minneapolis, MN 55426
Volunteers will sew a red felt heart onto your bear's chest. If you did not buy a tag from them, volunteers will also fill out one for you, with your name or anyone's name you suggest on it, to be attached to your bear.

**These bears are meant to be personal, so each child will know the name of a person who loves them and is thinking of them!**

The above is the front page of the December, 2009 issue of Mother Bear.  Note that volunteer Diana Psota (CA) was intereviewed last month.  She has knitted over 100 bears since 2005 and donated them to the Mother Bear project.

Think about making one and sending it. For about the price of a cup of take-out gourmet coffee, and a bit of your time, it is a personally satisfying uplift sans caffeine.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

We Made it 20 Years!

Epiphany, January 6, the 12th Day of Christmas, is Gene's and my wedding anniversary. This year, 2010, makes it 20 years that we have been married.

Gene put together this video with pictures from good times over our two decades together.  It is sentimental, showing snapshots of our life when we were (mostly) smiling. If you have four minutes and care to look at it, click on the arrow.

(My favorite photos are ones of us at Dr. Sides' (my late mentor) Christmas parties in Denver and the one showing us dipping our feet into the River Jordan while on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.)

Happy Anniversary, Gene.  Thank you for the past 20 years together, through both the challenging and the better times.  A toast to you for putting up with me!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Free Images!

Let me share a cool website found here that allows you to create a free account where you can download pictures from the internet.  Some are free, and some you can purchase for a small fee.

Here is a picture of snow covered cotoneaster (a prickly plant in our front yard) that came from The Dreamstime Site.

Nice, eh?  And it is a better quality picture than I could take and publish, plus the added feature that I did not have to get out my snow boots and heavy jacket to go out and take that picture myself in our frigid Colorado weather (it is currently 7 degrees!). More snow is expected today.

Just spreading the word of how to access images at no cost without copyright infringement!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

SIL Jack sent this cool website.  Click and drag on the background at this link to start your 2010 with flowers.

Hope your first day of 2010 is a good one.