Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Four Days of Tunes...and Many More Art Quilts

We just returned from one of the best Merlefests ever!  Thursday night was Alan Jackson.  He gave a great performance, but we were disappointed that he only sang songs from his bluegrass album.  Not a single one of his gazillion country hits!  Friday started out rainy.  We went to one indoor concert in the auditorium.  Then the sun came out, and the weather was perfect for the rest of the weekend!  We saw our favorites, The Kruger Brothers, several times during the weekend.  They are fabulous musicians that made the hillsides ring with their singing and strings.

Friday night was my favorite concert of all...Old Crow Medicine Show!  High-energy and great music!  Saturday we saw Ricky Skaggs and Sam Bush.  Sunday was a treat, because in addition to Merle Haggard, we listened to sounds of popular old-time country groups like The Statler Brothers, Alabama, The Oak Ridge Boys, the Eagles..all because Jimmy Fortune was playing with the Daily and Vincent band.  Good times!

We stayed over in the mountains Sunday night and enjoyed a quiet night on our cabin porch after all the excitement of the festival.

We got home to Raleigh on Monday night, tired but happy!

Okay, on to more quilts from the Art Quilts Whimsy! Exhibition at the Page-Walker Arts and History Center in Cary, NC.

Weedy Sea Dragon, by Gwen Brink

The next quilt has interesting cutouts in the center of the red hexagons.
Bend It Wright I, by Ruth A. White

 This next one is fun, reminiscent of the paintings by Salvador Dali.  It is called Furrealism ...Dali Has Gone to the Dogs, by  Pauline Salzman.  It is hanging next to my piece in the show.

On the topic of dogs, here is a charming quilt called Let Sleeping Dogs Lie, by Jennifer June.

A very colorful quilt in the collection is this one called New York Clambake: Digger's Dozen, also by Ruth A. White

Next is Submerged, by Patricia Powers.

Post-Modern Log Cabin, by Sarah Bearup-Neal, looks bright and colorful in the hallway prior to entering the main display room downstairs.

 Here is the second quilt in the show by my mentor, Pamela Allen of Canada.  She calls this one A Crane in My Back Yard, and wishes that it was the avian kind of crane instead of the giant construction machine.

There are more quilts in the show that I have not photographed yet.  I had to delete some pictures off my i-Phone before it would let me save any more!  I should be going back out there soon.

I hope you have enjoyed my previews of the show so far.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Opening Day of Art Quilt-WHIMSY! Exhibit in Cary, NC

This morning I had to go to Cary, NC to take my dog to  her eight-week checkup after knee surgery and her physical therapist.  We got good reports from both.  She can now do what she feels like as far as gradually increasing her running and strength.

Her doctors are only about a mile from the Page-Walker House in Cary, so after taking Kasey for a walk around the art-encrusted grounds, I went in for my first brief glimpse at the show on opening day.

I was happy to find my quilt right away in the main display room on the first floor.

Oh, Look!  The Spider Plant is Having Babies!, by Jeanne Turner McBrayer

While I was there, I met Judy Smith, who also is a new member of PAQA-South and had a piece accepted into the show.

Marsh Fairies, by Judy Smith

My art quilting mentor, Pamela Allen, has two of her quilts in this show.  One of them is hanging directly across the room from mine.  I like that they are "looking" at each other for the next two months.

By the Splashpool, by Pamela Allen

By the Splashpool, detail

By the Splashpool, detail

Pamela also has a quilt on display upstairs, which I will show at another time.  I think her style absolutely defines the theme of this show, "Whimsy."

There were two different quilts featuring giraffes in this exhibit.  One was the quilt featured on the brochure about the show.

Sometimes Friendship Can Be Sticky, by Barbara Dahlberg

The other features three delightful giraffes dining upon some luscious leaves.

The Lunch Bunch, by Ann Turley

The Lunch Bunch, detail

The Lunch Bunch, detail
 The Page-Walker House is a historic building once used as a hotel.  The room being used downstairs for the show is like a big parlor or living room.  There is an old fireplace and mantel which was colorfully decorated with a large quilt and a series of small mounted quilts.

 The kitty is by Sandy Curran, and is very "eye-catching" especially with its bright flowers.

Stop and Smell the Flowers, by Sandy Curran

The series of smaller art quilts on the mantel are by Lyric Kinard.

That's all I have time for today.  Tomorrow is the first day of Merlefest in North Wilkesboro, a music festival that we have attended for the past three years.  We have tickets for the whole thing again this year.  Featured performers include Alan Jackson, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Merle Haggard.  Favorites of ours include The Kruger Brothers and Sam Bush.  We have two couples staying with us, with much better accommodations this year thanks to the new cabin.  I don't know how much time I will have for blogging, but will get back to more pictures from the quilt show when I can.

And here is our daily dose of cuteness:

This is my granddaughter Charlotte, also of Cary, who is about to embark on her first trip to The Big Apple with her parents.  Little does she know it is her grandmother's home town!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Busy Days

Sorry for neglecting my blog for awhile!  The days have flown by between moving into the new mountain cabin, driving back and forth to Raleigh, babysitting for my sweet Charlotte two days a week, celebrating two family birthdays, shopping for things we need for the cabin, and everything else.  There has been no new artwork or sewing project to report!

Last weekend we had a cabin full of company as our older son and his family came to visit, as well as our friends Tom and Pauline.  This time Tom got the walkway installed, and it looks great!  Much better than my cardboard boxes laid end-to-end!  There is still some loose sand to continue to work into the cracks between the bricks.

While that project was underway, my brother-in-law's uncle Gary came over with his bulldozer to landscape the rest of the property!  We did not know he was coming.  He worked for two days straight, pushing over scraggly trees and opening up our view to the creek and pond.

He also smoothed out all the holes and trenches from installing the utilities, and expanded our driveway.  Our yard looks at least double the size it once was.

I was a little concerned about the kids playing outside with the bulldozer in action.  It seems they always like to find a hide-away to build their "clubhouse."  This one under the cabin steps was perfect, and kept them out of the path of the dozer!

There was also time for a little fishing in the pond.  For the past several years we have been transporting trout caught in the creek into the pond so the kids have a "catch -and-release" fishing pond.  Some of those trout have gotten very sizable!  Caden hooked a huge one twice, but could not bring it in on his Lightnin' McQueen fishing rod.  I'm the only one that actually caught one, a pretty ten-inch speckled brown trout (caught on the Sponge Bob fishing pole!)

These two little pooches look like Me and Mini-Me.  The little one is my sister's puppy, Daisy.  She says over here with us a lot whenever we come up.  I think she believe that Kasey is her mama.  Kasey says, "Not no way, not no how!"

I took Kasey for her check-up after her mouth surgery and they said she was doing great.  She goes next week for her 8-week check-up following her knee surgery.  I think she is doing fairly well on that leg.  She puts her weight on it some, and we are starting to let her walk the short way from our mountain house to my sister's (just across the pond.)

Meanwhile, back in Raleigh, it is the prettiest time of the year.  The dogwoods and azaleas are in full bloom.  We are lucky to have a beautiful woodsy yard and a pond at our rental house.  There are banks of azaleas all around our driveway.

The dogwoods are beautiful between the deck of the house and the pond.

If only the weather would stay spring-like.  We will have a couple of nice warm days followed by a return to cold, damp weather.  

Here is our little munchkin enjoying one of the warmer days!  She looks like an Easter doll.

Today we are going up on the mountain to dig up some rhododendrons and maybe some flame azalea to transplant to our own little hill.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Looking Up

We're in!  We finally got to spend the night in our new cabin last weekend.  The beds were not delivered until after ten o'clock on Friday night, but they sure felt great!

Although we have had a garage apartment on the same lot for six or seven years, we never realized that we would be able to observe sunsets from our new deck.  The colors are even reflected in the pond below the house.

Our son Dave, his wife Emily, and their baby Charlie came up to help us move in.  It was so nice to have a proper bedroom for them, and lots of room for Charlie to run around.

In fact, she is a Mountain Girl now!  She has been on Gator rides,

run through  the Christmas tree farm,

and played with Aunt Katy's baby goats and chicks, and a whole mess of Hall cousins.

And I think I may have another budding artist in the family.  I got out my box of 64-color Crayolas, and I swear she said, "Oh, Wow!"  She carefully took out one or two crayons at a time and then put them back IN the box without breaking them.  That's my girl!

Back at home in Raleigh, the dogwoods decided to start blooming while we were gone.  Now if only the weather would warm up a bit, we could go outside and enjoy the North Carolina springtime.

Here are two of my pieces featuring dogwoods.  Carolina Woodland Spring is a trapunto quilt with additional painting and beading.  I used real dogwood blossoms for the patterns.

Carolina Woodland Spring, by Jeanne Turner McBrayer

And here is my watercolor painting of the dam over the creek at our mountain place.  

Creek at Dogwood Time, by Jeanne Turner McBrayer

And for those who read my previous post about my dog needing more surgery...she did just fine.  What a trooper!  We have a very good dog.  Getting expensive, but what a sweetheart!