Oh, Georgia!

I recently watched Georgia O'Keeffe, a Lifetime original movie I DVRed the weekend we were in Alabama visiting family. Being a working mom and traveling a bit more than usual, it took me a while to get around to watching this biopic. I've always been a huge fan of Georgia O'Keeffe. She is by far my favorite artist, next to Monet.

After watching the movie, I remembered something I had thought about before and have found intriguing. I find it a bit coincidental that my life has taken me to several places that were of some importance in Georgia O'Keeffe's life.

First of all, I lived in Amarillo, Texas for a couple of years during middle school. Georgia taught in the public schools there from 1912-1914 and at West Texas State Normal College in Canyon in 1916.

I also lived in Columbia, SC for many years and had the opportunity to study at Columbia College where she once taught in 1915. Instead I chose to go to the University of South Carolina to pursue a degree in public relations management. I am still kicking myself for not pursuing my degree in studio art. Thinking I would starve for the rest of my life, I chose a more sensible career field that came with a regular paycheck.

I visited New York City many times while my mom lived there for nearly 20 years. I visited all the major art museums there several times to view Georgia's paintings over and over again.

In 2007 and 2008, I was enrolled at the University of Wisconsin in Madison for a six-week management program. I was excited to be so near Georgia O'Keeffe's birthplace in Sun Prairie, where she was born in 1898. I thought that the Chazen Art Museum would have a few of her paintings. I was disappointed to see only one. Come on people! One of the most prolific female artists of all time was born less than 20 miles away and you only have one painting of hers on display. What a letdown!

Once on vacation I visited O'Keeffe Country (Taos area) in New Mexico and understand her desire to live there. It's one of the most beautiful places in the country that I have had the opportunity to see. If you haven't been to the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, you need to. It is the only museum in the world dedicated to a woman artist. The museum has over 1,100 of her paintings, drawings and sculptures that are displayed on a rotating basis. You will always see something new each time you visit.

I have yet to visit Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu and Lake George, NY but I hope to one day. They are on my list of places to see.

Getting back to the movie. The movie itself was well done. Joan Allen gave a wonderful performance as Georgia O'Keeffe. I especially liked the scene where she paints the mural at Radio City Music Hall. And Jeremy Irons was brilliantly cruel as Alfred Stieglitz, O'Keeffe's husband. I recommend watching it. It will leave you with the urge to create! All I can say is...Oh, Georgia!


A new endeavor

As long as I can remember I have had a love affair with fabric. As a child I used to dream about being a fashion designer. I could sketch on paper the most wonderful clothing designs (at least in my opinion). Just one problem. I couldn't sew a lick. So I abandoned the dream and moved on to advertising and public relations and painting in my spare time. This was especially prudent after I nearly failed middle school home ec because of my poor sewing skills. Thank goodness I was a good cook or I would have never passed!

I love going to fabric stores and fawning over this fabric or the other for its color or pattern or both. And I have acquired quite a stash. What I will do with my stash I don't know, but I have it. Over the years I have attempted to sew things like simple curtains, anything that just required a straight line, nothing fancy. I longed to create something more. Perhaps a quilt. It's just sewing straight lines, right? About a year ago, I saw a Better Homes and Gardens magazine called Quilts and More that had an easy quilt pattern that could be done in a couple of days. I held onto the magazine and secretly wished to make a quilt using this pattern. And I held onto it. And I held onto it.

Fast forward to the first of September 2009, a couple of weeks ago. I typically make a handmade gift for those on my Christmas list each year and was thinking of what I could make this year when I came across that magazine issue. Yes! I could make a quilt for some of those family members and friends on my Christmas list IF the pattern was as easy as the magazine said it was. So, here I am attempting to make my very first quilt using my trusty Brother sewing magazine and a Moda Fabric Layer Cake in Soiree. Above are photos of what I have done so far after about three hours of effort. Not bad for someone who is sewing challenged.


Keep calm and carry on

Well, I've launched my blog. Now, I just have to "keep calm and carry on."

I've always considered myself a bit of a Francophile but now since my marrying my husband Robert whose grandmother is a Brit I am becoming more enamoured with all things British. Just this week, Aunt Dori, Robert's great aunt, is visiting us from Manchester, England. Aunt Dori's accent is as thick as lemon curd. It is fun to listen to her British accent but sometimes it's hard to understand her. And then on top of that, understanding the difference between American English and English English. Oh ve! For example, I'm a Southern girl who loves her homemade biscuits smothered in sausage gravy. I know they're bad for me but they taste so good ;) However, biscuits in England are what we call cookies here in America. Makes you think what would gravy-covered Oreos would taste like. Yuck-o!

At 70, Aunt Dori is a hoot! She and her friend Dave like to hang out at the pub every night and drink scotch and lemonade. For us Americans, lemonade in England is actually Sprite or 7-Up. Confusing I know. Aunt Dori learned that lesson when we all went out to dinner one night. Aunt Dori and Dave also like to karaoke and dance. They are pretty hip for their age and keep us Yanks in stitches. They have turned us on to a (2006) British pop tune by the Scissor Sisters, "I Don't Feel Like Dancing." I can't get enough of it.
Try it out. You WILL feel like dancing. Until next time...cheerio!


Is it safe?

Hello world! I'm finally biting the bullet and starting my own blog after months of wishing, planning, dreaming and some worrying. Now, I'm finally doing. I'm a bit apprehensive, sort of like Ol' Blue here. Should I? Shouldn't I? Will they like me? Will they really, really like me? I hope the weebly wobbly way is safe. I've cinched my saddle. (Gulp!) Well, here I go. I hope there are happy trails ahead. Time will tell. Stay tuned.