Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thank me later Thursday -- a mango detour

watercolor and colored pencil by my friend, Leslie Pierce
I'm scheduled to go to Jamaica in a couple of weeks for work and cannot wait to get my hands on some juicy mangoes. Here in the states we tend to only get a few of the varieties but in Jamaica there are more than you can imagine.

Originally from the Indo-Burma region of the world, a serendipitous event involving a captured French boat with seeds onboard in 1782 brought the first ones to Jamaica. Many varieties were introduced during the nineteenth century from India and later from other Caribbean islands. 

my watercolors from a trip a couple of years ago--can you tell I was obsessed?

A few of the Jamaican names for the different varieties:
Tie-tie, Cedot, Amelie, Jacot, Mazagan, John crow bellyful, Cashew, Busha's wife, Ladies' fringe, Yam, Saltfish, Miss Cuskett, Dandy Williams, Duckanoo, Grandfather and Bees' box, Zil, Julie, East Indian, Bombay, Graham, Haden, Kent, Robin, Long and Black mango, Keitt and Tommy Atkins (to name a few).  Some are simply known by numbers.

The textures, shapes, colors and taste of different mango types vary. Hmm. Maybe it should be my goal this time to try them all. My absolute favorite is the Julie, so juicy and delicious. It would be hard to top it.

Tip: If you get them here in the states, you can buy them when they're green (they're usually varieties from Mexico) but have some willpower and wait until the skin changes to splotches of gold and red before you eat it. That's when it's ripe and delish!

Read more about Jamaican mangoes here.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Inspirational detours

"We quit smoking after 40+ years"
Fiber portrait by artist Susan Lenz.

"I forgive those who look at me with hate"
Fiber portrait by artist Susan Lenz.

"Just like the day I was born"
Fiber portrait by artist Susan Lenz.

"Mastectomy over chemotherapy"
Fiber portrait by artist Susan Lenz.

"At 15 I hitch hiked to NYC"
Fiber portrait by artist Susan Lenz

On my way to South Carolina last week I took a detour through a town called Salisbury, North Carolina to see an exhibit called Decision Portraits by fiber artist Susan Lenz. Two rooms in the Salisbury Waterworks Visual Arts Center are filled with an amazing display of embroidered portraits that represent a decision made in each subject's life. Some are sad, some are amusing and some inspirational. All are evocative.

Each portrait is made from a photograph transferred onto cloth and each has stitched words as well as lovely embellishments including beading and other mixed media. It is definitely an exhibit worth seeing and made that detour off I-85 a good decision indeed! 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The skinny on my first show

Festive venue wasn't it? I'm in the aqua shirt, attempting to peddle my wares [photo courtesy of Flickr group: Richmond Craft Mafia].


A closeup of said wares.
[photo courtesy of Flickr group: Richmond Craft Mafia] 

Spring Bada-Bing was a fun show and I'm so glad I participated. Lots of quilters came by the booth to say hello (shout out if any of you are reading this and I forced one of my business cards on you!). It was nice to meet new quilting peeps and talk shop. I sold these three quilts and another that I made right before the show and never photographed. Two of the four quilts I sold were bought by Richmond Craft Mafia members who sponsored the show and were super cool and welcoming. I also sold all the tea towels I made and wished I had made more. Next time. 

There were some really talented vendors at the show. Some of my faves were Tasha McKelvey who, among other things, makes the cutest painted pottery gnomes-on-a-stick--check 'em out. You can stick them in your spring planters. I had to snag one for this year's Mother's Day gift.

The talented artist Crystal J makes funky, fun handpainted silks. The colors and patterns she's developed are irresistible.

Modern Atelier  makes unique handcrafted fragrances including one developed especially for Crystal J for the show at her request called "bacon". Yep, smells exactly like pancakes and bacon so how could I resist that??

All in all, a great show. I'm looking forward to at least attending it next year.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"Thank me later" Thursday

T minus 4 days until the craft show! If you're around Richmond, Virginia you should come by and check it out. I'm looking forward to it.
I decided to make some tea towels for the show with some of the cute Japanese prints I've been hoarding. I'm hoping it will help my booth by offering another price point that's considerably less than the quilts I'll be selling.

On to the business of "thank me later Thursday":

Have you seen these stunning e-invitations and cards at Paperless Post you can customize?

If you're at all into design or appreciate eye candy you should check it out. The customization is endless. You can change images, wording, color, font, paper type...etc. And that's just the card itself. You can also customize the envelope. Be careful though, I know somebody that recently spent a lot of time playing on this site. A lot. That's what they told me anyway.

Happy Thursday to you!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

"Thank me later" Thursday

Need a good laugh or just wanna smile? The other day I happened upon a little gem. It's a Flickr group dedicated expressly to pictures of dogs on roofs. Who doesn't wanna see that? Silly and interesting. You're welcome :)

T minus 8 days! I've been busy trying to get stuff together for Spring Bada-Bing. I've been mentioning that a lot in my posts lately but that's because it's on my mind a lot. I'm trying to figure out the best display for my quilts which is kinda tricky. The ideal display is probably hanging them in some fashion but for this show the display is a six foot long table.

Other crafters have suggested adding some sort of levels to table displays to give them dimension and added interest. I'm still trying to figure out something that would work along those lines. While I'm on a roll posting links to Flickr groups, you might want to check out this one too. It's a group called "show me your booths" (hehe) dedicated to pics of various crafters' display setups at shows.

Maybe I can get some good ideas if I keep looking through them.
Happy Thursday, everyone!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Another one for Spring Bada-Bing...

I've been on a bit of a solids kick lately so I decided to go back to my prints  and use up some of my stash on this one. I used a lot of Heather Ross's Far Away II fabric line which is a nice cotton/linen. For the sashing and outer border I used Kona in two shades of grey(mostly because I went to Joann's to get more of what I thought was Kona in "coal", when it turned out I needed Kona "not-coal". Still not sure what shade of grey that is ---- ahhh. I actually like the two tones though). If anyone knows the Kona shade of the lighter grey, please give me a shout out!

As with most of my quilts, I used a simple pattern. This one is called "stacked coins" and I wanted it to be a bit less linear and neat so I tried to change it up by cutting it a little wonky freehanded.