Something to Think About

Data Broken Free from Organization

Organization or, rather, lack of it, is the key: David Weinberger insists that “we have to get rid of the idea that there’s a best way of organizing the world.” Building on his earlier works’ discussions of the Internet-driven shift in power to users and consumers, Weinberger notes that “our homespun ways of maintaining order are going to break—they’re already breaking—in the digital world.” Today’s avalanche of fresh information, Weinberger writes, requires relinquishing control of how we organize pretty much everything; he envisions an ever-changing array of “useful, powerful and beautiful ways to make sense of our world.”

As businesses go miscellaneous, information gets chopped into smaller and smaller pieces. But it also escapes its leash–adding to a pile that can be sorted and arranged by anyone with a Web browser and a Net connection. In fact, information exhibits bird-like “flocking behavior,” joining with other information, creating swarms.

Obviously all my data has broken loose from its organization, which way is another way to say my room is a mess. (Which also means I’m working on my Mary Poppins snapping act today.)

Something to Think About · Travels

Be Happy

Be Very Happy
Montalcino, Italy
June 2007

“The world is this way, we wish the world were that way, and our experience of the world—how we see it, remember it, and imagine it—is a mixture of stark reality and comforting illusion. We can’t spare either. If we were to experience the world exactly as it is, we’d be too depressed to get out of bed in the morning, but if we were to experience the world exactly as we want it to be, we’d be too deluded to find our slippers.”
–from the book Stumbling on Happiness, by Daniel Gilbert

Quilt Shows

Road to California, 2007

Last week I attended Road to California, a quilting conference with exhibits, vendors and classes. I took a class from Gabrielle Swain, an applique-er who uses paint crayons, and watercolor pencils to shade and enhance her work. Below are some shots of the class.

This is a quilt of the teacher’s, an appliqued leaf with shading produced not only by the choice of fabric, but by application of highlights and darks through pencil/crayon media. I expected to enjoy the class, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much. I learned techniques that I know I will use, and my class samples (though hideous) are good examples of what I learned. I purchased more oil-based paint sticks at the show, as well as set of oil-based crayons at Office Max afterwards. Now to find the time.

Here are some show photos, in no particular order. They are merely some highlights of the exhibit for me.

Autumn, by Melissa Molino, using the block “Oak Leaf Reel”

Van Gogh’s Quilt, by Ann Horton

Scrap Bag Quilt #6 by Maria De Greene.
She said was trying to use up her stash in making this series of quilts.

Greetings from Oregon–The Quilt by Carrie Perkins. Clever back art.

Save Me From the Trilliums by Terry Kramzer. I have actually seen a trillium. I used it for my appliqué block for the Swain class on Thursday. Trillium Grandiflorum, I think is its name.

A Star Called Kansas, by Darla Orndorff. After noticing how many times I have photographed a feathered star in my life, I suppose one is in my future. I’m resisting.

Sunny Girls, by Pat Durbin, This one was a stunner. Teensy little squares (see detail below) made up this quilt–fractured when close-up, but lovely when seen from a bit of a distance.

Prague, by Beth P. Gilbert. Having been there, and glimpsed the cemetary fronting the castle across the river,
it reminded me of our trip to that city in spring of 1996.

Evergreen by Carol Taylor

Cats in the Garden, by Roberta Morgan. I don’t usually go for the Wearable Art (it’s gotten way over the top for my tastes)but how can you ignore these kitties?

Unintended Consequences, by Kathy Schiedt

Truck Bugs, Bachoe Blossoms and Wheelbarrow Butterflies, by Barbara E. Lies
Very humorous quilt. Look closely at the elements in this traditional-looking applique medallion (details below). She used monofilament to appliqué these trucks, but only on very close inspection was it noticeable.

Kaffe Fasset fabrics were everywhere in the vendors’ booths. Seems to be the rage of the age. So I bought some, and the owner (Leo9) let me photograph the riot of colors. I cut and pieced some last night–here’s attempt #1 up on the pinwall.

Attempt #2–I was auditioning the orange zinnia-looking print in the outside triangle on the upper right, but it’s gone now. I’m off to rake the leaves off the patio (a spring-time chore in Southern California) while the riot of colors and patterns percolate.I came home tired, but energized–a nice break from slogging through my teaching lesson plans. School started–a good group of students. Time for one last piecing session before the first set of papers comes in next Wednesday (life as I knew it, will be over).