Saturday, February 28, 2009

Stormy Seas

Winter at the beach is so mysterious. I love it. My beach experiences have always been on the Pacific Coast or Hawaii. I don't really know the east coast shoreline but I hope to visit someday. I just spent the last 5 days teaching in Pacific Grove, CA at Empty Spools Seminars. Wow, what a place. It’s held at the Asilomar conference grounds right next to Pebble Beach.
During this stay a rainy
storm blew in and dampened the grounds and all of us. That doesn’t stop quilters one bit. In fact, it made the smells stronger and sweeter and the colors where brighter. In my class I am trying to get the students to look closely at colors and values in just one flower petal at a time. It can be very challenging. So the rain was an added blessing. The waves at the beach where breaking at least 6 feet high at times. Then the sun would peek through the storm clouds and let a little ray of light shine onto the front of a breaking wave as it crested. The wave would glow with a deep turquoise blue green, edged in white froth. I couldn't wait to plant my bare feet in the cool wet sand and squish it between my toes. Which I did while taking pictures of the stormy sea. I see a wave quilt in my future.
My room was so sweet - it even had a romantic fireplace.
Too bad I was alone. But I was there to teach and encourage although I was having a secret romantic interlude with the ocean. Don't tell my husband!
With each teaching venue I try to push up the ante for myself in developing my teaching style.
This time I became the “Queen of the PowerPoint.” Each day I could show the students visually what I was talking about. The first day was finding your inspirational photo. Second day was how to paint with fabric. On the third day, I taught how to use color and value to create realism. The fourth day they got a break. My girls did tease me about "where is our PowerPoint?" But that night I had a surprise for them. It was my turn to do a short presentation to a very artsy crowd of about 300. They had 3-4 teachers present each night and I was the last to present. By the last day, I knew the crowd was getting very wary of one more presentation. I seem to always be last and I wanted to do something that reflected me and my art. It had to be dramatic and memorable but short, no more than 9 minutes. So, in true Melinda style a great idea came 3 days before I left for the retreat. I had a dream about this PowerPoint presentation. Even the song I used was in the dream. I was very nervous about the timing but my friend, Dawn, helped me along the way. I have found out that I like working with this new computer techno stuff. It’s just a new art medium. So I have put up the presentation on YouTube for you to view and enjoy.

Next time I do this I will try and dream up my PowerPoint at least a week before I leave. NOT

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Folsom Quilt and Fiber Show

This weekend is the Folsom Quilt Show in Folsom, California. It just happens to be my home guild and, yes, it is near the prison that Johnny Cash wrote and sang about. But this is one of the best local quilt shows I have ever been to and I am not just saying that because I am a member. There is so much talent in this group it is amazing. It is a funny and encouraging group of women and you just can't help but have fun there.
Here are some of the wonderful award winning quilts.
This first one is by is Judy Danes . Watch for her in the future as she will have a new book out in March on her thread painting that is to die for.
The second quilt is by Patty Berghamp who is a fabulous appliquer. This quilt is so perfectly stitched and would look wonderful in my studio.
The third quilt took my breath away the minute I saw it. WOW! It was made by Dee .
The last picture is of our fearless leader, Karla Delner, who found a friend who was being smuggled in the back of a baby stroller to see the quilts. You can see she has a firm hand when showing him the door.
Got to go now and take more picture today. Stay tuned for more.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Phoenix is so beautiful this time of year. Not only is the sky a perfect blue but the temperature is just right at 70 degrees. I was invited to teach at Quilting In The Desert in Phoenix. Right away I noticed, I do not have any idea how to travel with piles quilts and supplies. You would think that all those years as a fight attendant would have taught me something more than just how to serve drinks in turbulence. But I was there with my designer luggage, a stylish leopard print that I thought at the time was the cutest luggage ever. My traveling life has differently changed from a sweet week in Hawaii to down and dirty, business travel. Its hard for me think of these teaching trips as business because I love to do this so much. So I am now in search for the biggest, toughest and lightest(tired of paying for the extra weight) suit cases I can find. Not only did the handle break off my bags but the side's ripped.
As I watched the other very seasoned teachers fly into town. It was pretty obvious that I was the new girl on the circuit.
Paula Nadelstern was sporting 2 large vessels that she got in New York's garment district. Katie P M was wheeling in some well seasoned hard sided red and blue monsters. Pam Holland was quite chic with her red hard sided carry on with red patten leather Birkenstocks and a matching red purse. I see that this packing thing is an art form all on it's own.

I did met some wonderful people at this retreat. Very creative and sweet. We laughed a lot. I have been invited back for next January which I look forward to. Next time I fly to Phoenix I will take the right luggage and spend more time in the airport because they have one of the best art exhibit in a airport that I have seen so far. Even there freeway art is fabulous. So if you are ever going to Phoenix take the right luggage and spend time looking around, it's quilt a treat.

The picture is of my favorite airport art “Samson” by Artist Brian Goggin. Its here at the Sacramento airport down at Southwests baggage claim. Which is really not that comforting while waiting for your bags to arrive.