Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Out for the Day

About twenty five of us friends had a day out today in Valeggio sul Mincio.


We went to a wonderful agriturismo, Corte Marzago, that belongs to my friend's family.


They have a bed and breakfast and also several vineyards for their own wine production.


I bought a case of the white Custoza which is the area for that DOC wine.


Entrance to the Agriturismo.
It use to be a convent in the 1500s.
You can still see the steeple of their church.

We started with a quilt lesson from Roberta Bugli, one of the Ad Maiora quilting pioneers.


It is  a fabulous hand-sewing project taken from the magazine Quiltmania.

Teacher's example.

I like to have those on the go for when I travel. I think I will make this one of my projects.

Some of my amazing friends.

It is so nice to sit together and sew...like the old days, I guess,
when women got together
and shared stories while making things for their loved ones.
Down time is good!
We do a lot of laughing.

Someone was selling small scented cushions to put in drawers. The money went to charity. I bought this one made by a 90-year-old women. ALL BY HAND!!


You can not believe the work!



We had a fabulous lunch...

The chef in his kitchen

... with the main course being the famous tortellini of Valeggio served with a butter and sage sauce. The pasta is so thin! The filling is meat.

photo montage, Maria Teresa Sansotta

A few of us took a side trip to Borghetto,


where they have a famous tortellini festival in June.



The festival is really about eating the famous tortellini with tables set out on the bridge which is all lit up with candles!


I just love being here!


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Knitting Beautiful Colours

The yarn I bought at the Frolic in Toronto before I left is fabulous!

It is hand-dyed. It goes from orange to purple is a slow progression. Most yarns I have seen have a colour transition that is too stark.



 I only bought one ball, 115 grams, so my project is small.



I made a cowl and had to undo it as it didn't go around my neck twice without choking me!




I had to rip it out. If you repeat rip it rip it rip it...kind of sounds like a frog sound. That is why knitters say they "frogged" a piece. So you see undoing work is part of knitting.

It took one week to make and ten minutes to undo!

Knitting while waiting for the train.
...on my way to Mantova.

I am starting again.



Monday, May 16, 2016

Textile, Dance and Music

There is a little gallery underground in a small piazza in Padova.

Prato della Valle, Padova


I like going there. Often they show textile work. This time I discovered the work of Leda Guerra.

Dione e Afrodite, 1992
private collection
cotton


She is a textile artist. The exhibit highlighted her work from the 1990's to present.

Pensiero, 1998


I like the way the soft fabric seemed to turn into stone in some of her works.

Omaggio a Doré- Virgilio e Dante, 2009,
linen


We later returned to the gallery for a ballet which was extremely satisfying for me as my first career was in dance. I appreciated the choreography and its connection to the textile artwork .



A violinist played as the dancer made her way around the artwork. She wore a costume made by the artist.



The audience followed the dancer and the musician around the gallery.


The three artists with Leda Guerra in the centre.

Art for all the senses.






Friday, May 13, 2016

A Visit from India

My husband just got back from India.


He spent some time in Nagpur and the wife of a friend sent a present for me.


It is a woven shawl he said. A typical cloth from Gujarat, a state in western India.

There is a little mirror embroidered in
 using mustard coloured thread.
I learned that technique in a workshop
I took years ago given by Judy Martin.

I like the little mirrors sewn in. They remind me of stars twinkling in the night sky. I like the tassels edging the top and the bottom.

Some tassels are mustard and blue and some are red and blue.


I wore it last night for dinner as it was a little cool out. It is such a special gift.




Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Back in Verona

I am back in the wonderful city of Verona.

The view I see every day-
taken this afternoon- we had a little drizzle this morning.


My social calendar has started with a bang! Birthday party, aperetivo with friends, lunch with another friend, an italian lesson..

I was at a concert on Saturday evening listening to pianist Julian Gargiulo. You can hear his music here.

Teatro Ristori in Verona

He is Italian from Verona and was living in New York for many years. I met him when he was performing in Toronto.

Julian Gargiulo signing his CD's after the
performance.

I have unpacked my fabrics for sewing and yarn for knitting.

Judy Martin gave me a great idea for while I am away from my studio. She suggested I choose 3 of my daily postcards and re-make them. Copy them but larger. Go from 4"x 6" to 12" x 18". I can do that.




Four of my past postcards that I have chosen.

It will be an interesting experiment. I don't like copying. The part of art I like is the "doing". I like creating and thinking of how I want things to be and so when I make my daily postcards, I never go back to them. What I wanted to say is said. But I think I will enjoy re-making the postcards because I won't have my usual supplies with me. Looking for new materials I can use to express the same idea could be a fun challenge. Thanks Judy.

Today at the studio instead of sewing we cooked!


We had a friend from the province of Puglia (the heel of the boot) come in and teach us the tradition of orecchiette.

Orecchiette in the foreground.
The pasta in the background was made using a metal stick.
The stick isn't cylinder but square.
The pasta is rolled around that metal
 and then slips off creating a hole for the sauce to hide in.
 In the old days the ladies used
the metal spokes from an umbrella, also square.

Delicious!

Hand work. Tradition. Women's work. Creating of a different kind.






Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Patchwork in Chicago

I recently visited the University of Illinois in Chicago.

The Pliable Plane
on from March 3 to May 9, 2016
at UIC, architecture department
The architecture department had a patchwork installation in their hallway.



The makers are Jennifer Meakins, Nicholas Rummler, Antonio Torres, Aura Venckunaite. The students helped install it.

I had a fun weekend. The city is fabulous.


As I looked around I felt sad that Toronto didn't look as great. In my opinion, Toronto was developed with a poor vision.


The Toronto waterfront is an issue and it seems to me the high-rises that are built are just that- super tall buildings. Many of the ones I saw in Chicago were conceptual and had links to the city.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Radiation Exhibit Continues

This post is about a show that happened in Lennep, Germany a few weeks ago.




The Radiation exhibit, or "Strahlung" exhibit, was divided between two museums because of its size. It was a cooperation between the Tuchmuseum (textile museum) and the Deutsche Röntgen Museum across the street. Doctor Wilhelm Röntgen invented the x-ray so it was fitting the exhibit went there.


View of one room in the textile museum. My piece is on the right.

Mine was at the textile museum and I heard the interest and attendance was high which made the museum very happy! To see some of the history of this exhibit click here and here and here.


View inside the textile museum in Lennep. 

This exhibit is going to be shown once more in June in Celle, Germany, at a patchwork day and then my piece will be mailed back after 2 years of touring.