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Moving!!

My blog and is now incorporated into my art website here: www.tracymccabestewart.com. All new posts are on the new site.  The blog can be visited directly here: www.tracymccabestewart.com/weblog, please update your bookmarks accordingly.

Some people look for crocuses or the return of the robin.  I know it’s spring when my big, ugly friends come back.

We have a very interesting bird community here in my neighborhood.  What you need to first understand is that I live in a nice, regular, old suburb of Chicago.  We used to be a farming community, but most of the farms have gone the way of housing developments in the past 10 years.  Despite all of this, we have 2 blue heron rookeries and a fair amount of sandhill cranes that migrate through.  We also have a very healthy population of coyote.  I will try to post pictures of those critters in another post.  Today I want to introduce you to a much uglier, fairly disgusting friend.

 These guys come to my neighborhood to raise their young every spring

That is one ugly bird

That is one ugly bird

 Besides all the usual spring migratory birds, we have a breeding group of turkey vultures that nest 1 block behind my house.  They nest in a small wooded lot owned by the park district, but spend the morning perched on my neighbor’s very expensive house.  I have talked with my neighbor and he claims they started with one pair of them about 20 years ago.  Last year I counted 25 birds.  He thinks they are pretty cool, but says that they will all peck at the skylights when someone uses the bathroom.  That’s a fine way to start the day!

I couldn’t get the whole group in a shot, but here are about a dozen of them

That's a whole lot of vulture poop

That's a whole lot of vulture poop

 

My neighbor is more tolerant of nature than I am.  The first time I saw these guys, of course I had to find out more about their behavior.  Here are a few reasons why you do NOT want them roosting on your house:

  • Vultures are ginourmous-these guys are as big as an eagle
  • Vultures are carrion eaters
  • Vultures pee on their legs to disinfect them
  • Vultures projectile vomit when threatened
  • Vultures are butt ugly
  • Vultures poop a lot

It is like something out of a Hitchcock movie.  I am still waiting on my new memory card for my camera.  These are  pictures of them from last year.  They roost in the morning and unfortunately I had to shoot into the sun.  These are the best pics I could get.

Vulture on Deadwood

Vulture on Deadwood

Well, all of this has nothing to do with art.  They don’t exactly inspire aesthetic grandeur either, but are definitely one of the weird things that shape my world.  Anyone else have weird animals in their neighborhood?

Here is one of many very entertaining knitting creations from people who obviously have too much time on their hands that I found on Dark Roasted Blend

Intestinal tract created by Matie Trew
Intestinal tract created by Matie Trew

Matie’s website she knits a whole lot of weirdness.  This is what happens when a biology major takes up knitting.

A. A. Milne:

One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.

My daughter came home from college for spring break on Saturday.  She has been telling me that she is paring down her possessions:

Ashley's purging campaign seems to involve moving everything from school to our basement

Ashley's purging campaign seems to involve moving everything from school to our basement

and, in her own goofy way, takes over everything.  All the clean clothes she had left were party dresses: 

I have not done laundry all semester

I have not done laundry all semester

I know that very little will be accomplished the week she is here.  She doesn’t exactly inspire purposeful movement. 

Ashley and Jack worn out from getting out of bed

Ashley and Jack worn out from getting out of bed

 

We catch up and laugh tons.  She is very funny and having her home is a lovely vacation while still at home.

I did manage to get a little screening done:

Metallics screened on commercial cotton

Metallics screened on commercial cotton

and some discharged organza:

screen-1

Kind of uninspiring alone but pretty good when layered:

Silk organza over screened commercial cotton.

Silk organza over screened commercial cotton.

Sorry the pictures are crap today, but my memory card died today and I had to use Ashley’s point and shoot for these photos.  The resolution is pretty low.  The Amazon fairy will bring me a new one on Wednesday. 

There is a really good Shiva paintstick tutorial on Rebecca Reasons Edward’s blog:  This is My Brain on Quilts.  She discusses using stencils, stamps and below that making your own rubbing plates with puff paint.  It sounds intriguing.  I will be experimenting soon.  The piece of mine below has some of my own Shiva paintstick experiments on it.

Cave Series IV

Cave Series IV

SAQA @ 20

Evening Meditation- detail

Evening Meditation- detail

I opened a very happy email this morning!  My piece, Evening Meditation, the piece that I featured on my blog in the last post is one of 35 pieces accepted into a wonderful exhibit called SAQA@20; featuring the work of Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) members.  SAQA is an outstanding organization promoting the work of extremely talented fiber artists from around the globe. 

The exhibit was juried  by Patricia Bolton, editor of Quilting Arts and Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazines, among others.

SAQA@20 will debut at the International Quilt Festival in Houston this fall and travel to various venues for the next 2 years.

I just realized that these article posts are the perfect place to put a totally unrelated photo of my work!
Shameless Self Promotion photo of my work#1
Evening Meditation

Evening Meditation

I just read a really interesting article Time magazine did on creative people and the way they work  called

The Hidden Secrets of the Creative Mind

 

The study found a lot of things that most artists already know:  good ideas are a numbers game: you need to process lots of bad ones to get to them, ideas evolve in the process of working on them: you get lots of tiny “aha” moments while executing an idea, and those “bolts out of the blue” actually come after lots of indirect processing or what Christine Kane (and many others)call  moodling.  it’s a good read!

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