I finally put together the quilt top for this throw — see previous posts here and here. Another month and maybe I’ll actually get it quilted? It’s odd that since I’ve turned sewing into a business, I actually have less time to sew.
I’m sure I’ll get some comments about the paintings above, which I just haven’t had a moment to actually hang on the wall since I painted my sewing room last year. The painting on the right is by self-taught artist Mose Tolliver who lived in my hometown of Montgomery, Alabama. I remember visiting his home with my mother, during a time when she was very interested in folk art. And the painting on the left is by Steve Keene, whose work resembles that of self-taught artists, but he is in fact a Yale-educated, Brooklyn-based artist who paints in multiples. My husband became interested in Keene’s work when he started painting album covers.
Lately when I talk I end my sentences, with “blah, blah, blah” as I tend to go on these days and bore even myself. Maybe I should start ending posts this way too? Blah, blah blah.
We just returned from a week-long trip to that enormous sociology experiment called Disney World. The cynic in me can’t help but be disenchanted by the massive environmental impact and the huge crowds, but the kids loved it and I re-lived some nice childhood memories. All in all it really was a nice trip, but now I need a vacation from our vacation. It was exhausting.
I made the kids ride It’s a Small World three times. And as someone commented on yesterday’s post, I too realized that this ride may have informed much of my design aesthetic. Not something that you really think about when you’re eight years old, but those early memories definitely make a difference. When I was a kid, we also vacationed in a small resort town with a kitschy Swiss theme, which furthered my love of tiny wooden toys, cuckoo clocks and clogs.
If you’ve never experienced this ride, you can see a video on YouTube here and read about it here. But of course there’s nothing like the real thing. It’s a magical experience that seems to hold up well after almost 50 years, captivating the full attention of both of my children. On this boat ride with sweet animatronic dolls wearing beautifully detailed costumes, happy animals and glittered scenery representing different parts of the world, there’s something new to see each time you ride. The song It’s a Small World was written exclusively for the ride. The scenery was designed by artist Mary Blair who helped define Disney’s style in the ’50s and ’60s with her art direction on classic films such as Peter Pan and Cinderella. The white and gold facade (above, top left), with its layers cut out in geometric shapes, reminds me of the work of artist Louise Nevelson with added glitter and lights. Blair’s modern style mixed with the international theme to create a look that may seem a bit kitschy now, but nevertheless stands the test of time.
And yes, I’m totally nostalgic about it. My photos are pretty terrible since they were taken in the dark with a flash (apologies to the people behind me), but you can see them all on flickr here. Do you have childhood memories of this ride?
For Rent, Faubourg Marigny, New Orleans, Louisiana, February 24, 2008. © Ellen Luckett Baker.
It’s been nearly five years since Hurricane Katrina made landfall in New Orleans. Too young to remember, our children saw their first images of the storm’s aftermath this week on the news. They both stopped what they were doing and sat down, mesmerized by the strange scenes of families stranded on rooftops.
In a new online exhibition, Katrina + 5: An X-Code Exhibition, curator Dorothy Moye has compiled images of the x-codes, the seemingly enigmatic symbols used by search and rescue teams to mark the homes and buildings in New Orleans. My husband and I visited New Orleans in February of 2008 and drove around the Lower Ninth Ward. Without a full understanding of their meaning, I was fascinated by the x-code markings, so I took photos of the destruction that still remained. When we visited, there were few if any restored houses and as we got closer to the levee, the area was almost completely abandoned. I’m excited to have several of my photos in the exhibition, including the one above. It’s fascinating to read about the meaning of the codes and to see how years after the storm, they remain — an indelible mark on the battered but resilient city of New Orleans.
While I was working on my book, I had some help. Erin McCamant worked for me as an intern, testing patterns and helping me see the book through the reader’s eyes. Now she and her boyfriend, Sean Abrahams, have a joint show of their artwork at the Kibbee Gallery here in Atlanta. Both recent graduates of Savannah College of Art & Design in Atlanta, they blend their own unique styles in this colorful show.
Erin’s work focuses on her love of craft through jewel-inspired sewn and painted canvases (shown below), playful fabric pom-poms and festive bunting.
Sean’s work consists of intricate doodles in psychedelic colors depicting a fantastical world, drawn with humor and skill (shown below).
If you live in or near Atlanta, check out their show up through August 28 at Kibbee Gallery. Call for an appointment.
Vote Earth tonight from 8:30-9:30 pm by turning off your lights. That’s 8:30 pm your local time, wherever you are. My six-year-old is concerned that she won’t be able to use her night light, but I have assured her that I will turn it back on later! I do think it’s important to explain to our kids how we get energy and how our energy use impacts the earth.
This poster was created by the controversial artist Shepard Fairey. I sort of think his art is BS, but that’s just my opinion. I do like this image. Wonder where he “borrowed” it from?