Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Spectacular Rhapsody - Fiber Art and Haiku - September 29, 2011

A Spectacular Rhapsody - Fiber Art and Haiku - September 29, 2011

      I live in northern Virginia and the firework display in Washington DC is spectacular.   I beaded the fireworks on this fiber piece.  My haiku for this piece is:

Bombs bursting in air...
I see and hear the fireworks...
My heart beats quickly...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Hungarian Rhapsody

The first thing that came to mind when considering September's Rhapsody prompt was the Hungarian Rhapsodies by Franz Liszt, probably some leftover fragment of my years of piano lessons.  While thinking about the musical theme, I was also making up the grocery list for the coming week and somehow Hungarian Goulash, which has paprika as the defining ingredient, entered the mix.

I used an inkjet transparency transfer method with gold Lumiere paint to create the background.  The piano keys were done with CorelDraw, Photoshop and good old pencil and paper, when I couldn't get the computer to make just what I was after, then printed onto fabric and enhanced with colored pencils.  The pepper shape was from a photograph and just the perfect bit of fabric.  I left off the haiku words, as it seemed busy enough already.  The whole is machine quilted - the lines are meant to represent sound waves.   I tried a facing for the edge finish, which is certainly clean and easy, though the corners aren't sharp enough to suit me.  Next time.  This one is small - only 9x6.5".

music fills the air
expect the unexpected
rhapsody in life

Friday, September 16, 2011


Joyous ecstasy,
Harmonic rhapsody,
Music to my ears.

9"x12", this is my contribution to this month's prompt.
Ann In Fallbrook, CA

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


My found haiku reads:

    universal lyre
    had conversed with every leaf
    the voice of the wood

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sheers Series #8: Rhapsody In Blue


I am posting my piece unfinished, as I am leaving town again and won't be able to finish til I return home. It is all sheers, #8 in my series. This time I opted to use no fusible, so the pieces are all basted together right now. Not sure exactly how I will finish the edges...I have two or three ideas and will experiment when I can.

It measures 36"x27"

Thanks Pat for the beautiful word prompt!
Your comments and suggestions are as always gratefully received!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Life's a Rhapsody

My small quilt is 18x 30". It is on a silk background quilted with music symbols. The ribbons are doing the dance. I love all comments, criticisms, and discussions.

Life is a Rhapsody

Irregular, improvised

colorful music

Sunday, September 4, 2011

September Word Prompt: RHAPSODY

Howdy everyone...Here it is another month gone by, and time for our Sept. word prompt. The word this time is presented by Pat Havey: RHAPSODY.

This should elicit some wonderful poetry and art...I'm looking forward to them!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Journey - Seeing the Elephant

No one knows the exact origin of the phrase "seeing the elephant" in conjunction with a journey.

Hindus consider it a good omen to see an elephant when one is traveling.  In the Hindu pantheon, Ganesha, who is depicted with the head of an elephant, is the patron of beginnings, the arts and sciences, and writing.  Ganesha is revered for his ability to remove obstacles, though he has been known to place those same obstacles in the way of those who need to be deterred from the paths they have chosen.

Historically, Alexander the Great defeated an army mounted on elephants during his campaign in the Indus Valley in the 3rd century BC.  The ancient Greeks used elephants in war, as did the Seleucids of eastern Macedonia and the Egyptian Ptolemaic dynasties.  The Carthaginian general Hannibal drove an army of elephants over the Alps in 218 BC, though most of his elephants didn't make it.

In these early encounters, those who "saw the elephant" would have likely been awed and frightened, unless of course, they were those fielding the war elephants.

Charlemagne was intrigued by stories of the massive beast and managed to acquire one of his own for his palace at Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle).  People came from all over to see this marvelous animal.

In America, there were traveling circuses which often included an elephant, and the inhabitants of the towns which these shows visited would ask each other if they "had seen the elephant".

When American settlers began to move west in the early 1800s, their letters and diaries often mentioned "seeing the elephant".  In the early years of the westward migration, the phrase denoted excitement at seeing new places and anticipation of a better life ahead.  In later years it became more common as a description of discouragement when the hardships of their journey turned out to be more than they could bear, or when their destination eluded them.  Indeed, many of these immigrants turned back in their defeat.  During the Civil War, soldiers would refer to a battle they had been in, or an upcoming one, as "seeing the elephant".

I have chosen this elephant to illustrate our journey word this month because I think all of us who create have met our own elephants along the way.

My elephants this month were an earthquake and a hurricane, neither of which did any real damage here, though that first elephant made quite the bad impression on one who had never even considered worrying about such a thing, and stopped forward movement for over a week.

This piece is 8.5 x 11", machine appliqued and quilted.  The background design is my own drawing, and the elephant was machine embroidered prior to the quilting and is based on an elephant drawing in the public domain, from wikicommons.

when following dreams
the journey must continue
past the elephant