Sunday, November 27, 2016

November, and what could have been....

It is November, and that is never a really good month for me. Until this past week this year’s November-weather hadn’t been as terrible as it can be, we actually had days of sunshine, some cold, some not too cold, and some were even beautiful and sunny. Perhaps after a bit of early morning fog, just by the river. 

Then this past week was terrible and very depressing, but today is nice again, any half glimpse of sunshine is so welcome! 

 I just wish I could live in a country that has a different weather scheme.
Actually, for a few days during the week before last and last week it looked as if this dream might come true.
My husband suddenly started talking about an open position in Bogotá, Columbia, and whether I could possibly consider living there. We started a bit of internet research about the city, the conditions, school options for my son, and a basketball club and began to like the idea. I thought through how much of a change it would mean, all the things I would have to give up, and what it would mean to embark on such an adventure, moving to another country. At least I would have had a head-start on my husband as I have already been studying Spanish. Can’t say that I am anywhere near fluid, basically it is still in the stages where I always feel the incompetence, especially in listening und understanding when my teacher talks to me - she has by now changed into normal conversational speed, and she is not a small talker. And I should study my vocabulary on a more regular basis… But it’s good enough to say, yes, that’s an adventure I can face, and I wouldn’t have to start from scratch.
So there was the smell of adventure in the air, a possibility for a total change. Until my husband talked to the organizers of the whole thing, found out about conditions that applied first to his own application, and the necessary preliminaries, and to me, and everything fell to pieces. It  would have been virtually impossible to get a work permit for me, not even to talk about the things on his side. And although I would have been willing to give up all the things here for an adventure and new experience, I am not willing to do that to be damned to inactivity in terms of working/earning money. And we would have needed a second income to supplement what he would be making, as additional costs would apply. So that was that. Not possible, and a bit of a disappointment, too. Not that Columbia had been on the top of my personal list of countries I could well imagine living in before this discussion, in fact, it had not even been listed. But it was a teaser, very welcome, enticing. Now November is even grayer than before, if there is such a thing as a comparative of gray!

During the week I finished writing my article for the Patchwork Professional magazine and sent it off half an hour ago. 
I also started getting ready for the possibility of snow, and soaked some pieces of fabric in soda ash. After all, the article in the magazine is on how to make good use of special effect fabrics like snow-dyed fabrics, I might as well be prepared and have new ones on offer.

Not much sewing went on, as I was also dyeing the next selection of the fabric club ‘on the side’. Now I have four of the six colours sitting in the basement, waiting to be ironed. 

One of the least liked parts of the whole process, I admit. I’ll just have to split it up a bit - iron one section, start dyeing colours no. 5 and 6, iron the next one… A busy rest of the Sunday still ahead of me. And by the time I finish writing this, the sky has clouded up again, no more glimpses of sunshine. Might just as well hide in the basement!

Monday, November 21, 2016

(So what would be a good title for this post?)

Can't think of anything that catches it all...

Today I finished the binding for the large traditional quilt that uses snow-dyed fabrics for the article in Patchwork Professional magazine.

Fun to quilt on the longarm!

Ready to be shipped so they can take care of proper photography in the studio.

The 'modern' quilt had been finished earlier in the week.

Because this is for a magazine publication, I will not post any full-view pictures of either of these before the publication of the magazine. But I'm glad I am done and can concentrate on other things now. I would have wanted to start dyeing the November selection of the fabric club tonight, but I wasn't home when the new shipment of threads would have arrived by courier, now I have to go and pick it up tomorrow and can't do anything yet. A relatively quiet evening, then.

Of course, there is always something else going on. I am working on catching up on my Journal Quilts for QGBI Contemporary Group:

But I only just now realized that the one of the left hand sidedoesn't have
a real piece of orange in it.... Have to see what I can do about that!

I had busy days with some unpleasant things going on for the Senegalese students in my German class, and I got to visit with the newborn baby of one of them.

She is the sweetest little girl, and I found it impossible to believe that my 11-yr-old was exactly the same size when he was born. How they grow up!
I played in a performance of Gabriel Fauré's Requiem on Sunday, and thought how much I would like it for my husband to find a different position so there would be more opportunities again for me to play in an orchestra.
I am totally upset at what is still going on in Aleppo, and that Russia and several African states are pulling out of the International Court in Den Haag. And now that Angela Merkel has announced her candidacy for next year's elections these stupid alpha blokes in Bavaria are again talking rough to harm her. Do they really think that they are going to improve their own results like that? All they're doing is harming the entire democratic system because we are going to have just as unpleasant an outcome of the election as all the other countries that are having problems right now... I wish I could just live on a small island where world politics don't matter. Even if water levels are rising.

Monday, November 14, 2016

The week after

Ever since last Tuesday/Wednesday I have been trying to avoid listening to the news. My husband fills me in every now and then about what he thinks is important, so I am not completely out of it, but... Of course I heard about the earthquake in New Zealand - Kaikoura is where, just south of it, on my first bike trip, I saw a couple of yellow-eyed penguins behind a protective little fence beside the road, where they were standing, as if they were watching the traffic go by. Wonder what it looks like there now... And Leonard Cohen gone ... Not a good week out there, was it?
The week for me was very busy because I still had to prepare for the opening of International Thread's exhibition on Friday. Finished three sleeves, then on Thursday Barbara Lange and I spent a fun and hard-worked afternoon hanging up the exhibition. And on Friday morning I was busy writing the list of titles as we had actually hung them, putting in prices, updating our information sheets, and in the afternoon we went back to Munich, for the opening in the evening.
Saturday I spent the morning catching up on housework, and the afternoon at the longarm, working on a quilt which will be called "Mapping the World of My Mind" and is part of the article I am writing for Patchwork Professional Magazine.

These threads have by now been sunk, today I have gone through a steep learning curve about metallic threads on the longarm (although I have not reached the final stage in that yet) and am getting to the point where I want to say 'this is how much I am going to show in this issue', as it will need some hand-stitching, too, and definitely there will not be enough time to do it before the deadline.
This evening I went to see the 'supermoon'. On the way I caught a bit of nightly 'skyline in Bavaria'.

But I had been negligent about charging my camera's battery, and after this very first impression of the moon rising

it went dead. The clouds were rolling in, so there wasn't really much to photograph anymore anyway, and I simply watched a bit without having to check whether this would be good to photograph or not. It's pretty unlikely I will be around for the next supermoon, which they say is going to appear in 2052. There might be a slight chance, but to be honest, I don't want to hang in for that long! Not unless things take a radical change for the better, and that doesn't seem very likely right now, does it?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

On a day like this...

After Britain's Brexit vote earlier this year, which really threw me completely, I had already learned that it did not make a whole lot of sense to hope for the best, that reason would prevail where political issues are involved these days. And although I tried to keep a little bit of hope alive, all the ups and downs during the last few weeks had long since left me convinced that the outcome of the American elections would be as unpleasant as it indeed turned out to be. Perhaps I hadn't quite expected the totality of the result, but I had not really had much hope left that it could be avoided. So when my husband greeted me this morning with "he's got it", it was only a confirmation of the expected. America, what have you done? I know it was the choice between plague and cholera that you had to take, but did you really have to choose this one?

And on my way to teach indeed it seemed a bit as if the world was in tears as well.

A little bit further along, there even was a bit of beauty left to be found.

By the time I had finished my three hours of morning class even the sun had broken through.

Although it didn't last long... I received packages from Margaret Ramsay and Kathy Loomis with their quilts for the International Threads exhibition that is opening day after tomorrow, and which Barbara Lange and I are going to be hanging tomorrow.

In Kathy's parcel there also was a promise, as my family is one of the lucky and happy recipients of her famous annual Christmas ornaments, which were included in the package. But I haven't opened that little bag yet, keeping a bit of suspense for better days.

Christmas ornaments, yet to be opened.

And in the evening I also received a huge bouquet of flowers from the SAQA board, as a thank you for my years as Regional Rep. Which certainly helped to brighten up the day even a bit more.

So where will we be in a year from now? Who knows...

Friday, November 4, 2016

International Threads: Exhibition in Munich

Next week Friday International Threads is opening an exhibition at the Gallery Quilt et Textilkunst in Munich, Sebastiansplatz 4.

The opening is on Friday, November 11, at 6 p.m. Everybody is welcome.

Opening hours: Monday through Friday 10 - 6, Saturday 10 - 4.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


Marketing is not my strong side, and so far I have not been adamant about being active in social media in that respect. In the summer I learned from Chrisse Seager, though, that it's easy to post stuff on Instagram and then share it on facebook, too, even if you don't do facebook on your phone. (I suppose I am one of the very few people on earth who don't, and I was getting kind of tired of having to upload pictures on the computer, which is why I was being even less active on fb than I had been before.)
So slowly I taught myself a little bit how to do Instagram, and have been posting a bit there. Probably security issued are just as viral with them as they are with anything else, so I guess it doesn't really make a difference whether I use Instagram on the phone or facebook, but...
The signature is #justquiltsjustcolours. I am still planning to post other things on facebook, so it might be worth looking there, too. Although they asked me today whether Justquilts Justcolours was the name I use in real life. I cooly told them yes, it was. Let's see how long I get away with it.
As I will be getting a new phone sometime soon, and just got a different computer because of my teaching job, this is a whole new digital era in the beginning, in my life at least. I had that old laptop for more than six years, and it is still being used by one of the refugees, so it will have a life span longer than many other computers. And my phone is also old by smartphone standards. But of course I am participating in that vicious circle of getting new gadgets, and sustainability is something else.
Anyway - follow me on Instagram or facebook!