Saturday, September 30, 2006

Fashion and Frivolity

In the grand scheme of things, fashion could be rated as something that's unimportant, frivolous even. When I was a senior in college I interviewed Robin Givhan, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fashion editor for the Washington Post, who told me "Fashion isn't frivolous when people literally kill for it." At that time (and it still happens sometimes) teens were being killed by other teens for their expensive coats or shoes. It makes you think twice about it.

How you're dressed reflects how you feel, and how you want the world to view you. If you feel good, you project that you feel good. Right now, with all that's going on in the world, I can't argue with getting some kind of pick-me-up whatever way you can.

I was checking out different websites and thought I'd share a favorite fashion blog of mine called The Sartorialist. Great, candid shots of fashionable folks out in the world in NYC and other major cities. Of course you've got your fashion industry folks, but you also have stylish "regular" folks too. It's fun to visit. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Renaissance Festival '06

Jousting and turkey and costumes, oh my!

Did you miss me? Sorry about that! The end of summer's been crazy and busy!

The other weekend, I had a great time with our friends at this year's Maryland Renaissance Festival. We always have a great time. The guys found a way to work the word "wench" into as much as they could. I got out my flower wreath and we ate just about anything that sounded good: Corn on the cob, smokey turkey legs, steak on a stake, cheesecake on a stick (Hmmm...there seems to be a theme here.) You actually felt a little weird not being in costume. Everyone just seemed to be really enjoying themselves. Speaking of turkey legs...I'm looking like that because when I took the first bite it was MUCH juicier than I expected. Even the little girl behind me was surprised.

Toooo much fun!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Stumped & Art Quilt Appreciation at Guilds

Still struggling withthe background of the Grandma quilt. It just hasn't hit me yet as to what I'll do quilting-wise for it. Arrrgh.

Went to a guild meeting for the first time in months (summer break). It was nice seeing friends and talking shop. I also realized that my guild truly has an appreciation for art quilting. The members are just as excited about art quilting techniques as they are about traditional quilts.

Have others had this kind of experience in their guilds? I've been getting the feeling that this is not the norm.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Native American Quilters

"Dress Series: Green Crow" by Margaret Wood

I was interested in finding out more about Native American art quilters, but there's such a lack of info on the Web. There are Native American quilters who specialize in beautiful star quilts, which are usually given away at honor ceremonies, but art quilters? There have to be more out there, right? I suppose that if you're thinking "art quilt" in the sense of contemporary art quilt, some of the quilts in the past "To Honor and Comfort: Native Quilting Traditions" exhibit would definitely fit that category.

One that I found is Margaret Wood, who is Navajo and Seminole. She does beautiful work. Hers is one of the few Native contemporary art quilt sites that are current. I'll be interviewing her in the future for the podcast. The public really should know more info about the quilters featured in the exhibit because their pieces really are beautiful. I know that as an art quilter of color, how important is it to have different viewpoints in the creative world and art quilting's no exception.

Monday, September 11, 2006

5 Years

There's so much that I can say about today. I could talk about the horror of 5 years ago. The surreal images on the TV. Seeing the black smoke from the Pentagon fill the air. Waking up frantic in my apt. across the river from National Airport when it was reopened after days and days of eerie silence except for military helicopters and jets. Or walking home from work for weeks, scared to take the subway and hearing siren after siren as I passed soldiers with machine guns in convoys along the way.

It has definitely made me value my family and friends a whole lot more. It's easy to reflect upon those other aspects of this date, but I know that the thing I'm thinking about today is being lucky enough to be able to have one more second, minute, day, breath to try to live the best life that I can.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Quilts A Bubblin'

Well, I've actually been making quite a lot of progress on the "Grandma" quilt. The background has really been a cause for a lot of anxiety for a long time. I can't believe I have been working on it for that long! There was a point I had to just put her away and not think about her because it had me so frustrated. Next up in that series is my other grandmom. You can see the photos I'm basing them upon here.

I have other quilts swirling though. I only know the titles ("B2FH," "He Only Wanted It Because She Had It First," and "Tarantula Nebula") so far, but I can see them in my mind. Sometimes I lie down and think about them and I can see the colors and shapes just come to me. I'll be honest, I don't often sketch them out first. Usually by the time I'm creating them, it's like pen and paper--I just do.

I was thinking about entering a few shows this season, but I've been a bit slow. I'm not rushing anything for a show, so if I do I do, if I don't--oh well. There's always next year (although for Quilt National I'd have to wait two).

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Mumbo Sauce--the Real BBQ Yummy Deal

Speaking of Chicago, here was one of the most surprising things I found out...

Living here in D.C., I somehow mistakenly believed that mumbo sauce--that tangy, yummy, sweet, BBQ sauce-y goodness--was a regional D.C. thing. I've even been joking for years that the reason mosquitoes bite me so often is that I "must be covered in mumbo sauce or something." Ask most African Americans raised here (and within proximity of a carry-out) and they will know what mumbo sauce is. What it is not is that almost apricot sauce sticky sweet, day-glo-colored stuff you get at the carry-out.

What mumbo sauce is has everything to do with the late Mr. Argia B. Collins, who founded Argia B.'s BBQ Restaurant in 1957 in Chicago's South Side and supposedly invented it. His version, the tangy, yummy, sweet BBQ sauce-y goodness I tasted in Chicago, stunned us. We had never seen an actual bottle of mumbo sauce before. The closest we've come to its taste is at Wings 'n' Things on upper Georgia Ave. (and worth the trip if you're here)--and they claim that the Adam's Rib Restaurant here made it. I was told in Chicago that mumbo sauce made its way here from there.

Ms. Collins (his daughter), if you're reading this, is your Mumbo Sauce available in D.C.?? Everyone I know would have some. Okay, lol...I think I'm really hungry now.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Sew Chick in Chi-Town!

First, I would like to give a shoutout to Trish Williams and the ladies of the Needles and Threads Quilters Guild in Chicago! While wandering through the stalls and stages of the African Festival for the Arts in the South Side's Washington Park, I came across a small pavilion filled with art quilts! I introduced myself and as I was about to leave, Trish asked me my name and said "You're Sew Chick! I read your blog everyday! You haven't updated it recently! Where have you been?" I laughed and said "I'm here!" Here's an interesting thing about Washington Park: Someone let some pet parakeets loose and they have bred. Their large nests are all over the place there.

In town to visit friends again, I had a good time checking out the 150-foot high geyser jet and fabulousness that is Buckingham Fountain, the Cloud Gate at Millennium Park, the Chicago Botanic Garden (check out the Japanese garden!) and the Field Museum. I love Chicago and never got used to Lake Michigan's freaky blue-green, Caribbean-colored water. Fantastic city.

Oh yeah, that's me above "running" from Sue--the Field Museum's largest, best preserved and most complete T-Rex skeleton yet discovered.