Chitchat and the occasional in-depth analysis about fiber, knitting, spinning, crochet, cooking, feminism, self-image, and a modicum of personal blathering.

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Another nighttime trip to Phipps.

The same night as the art show, we took in the winter show at Phipps Conservatory. I love going to Phipps at night. It's magical. It's a beautiful enough place in the daytime with the flowers and plants in the way it smells and feels inside. At night it takes on a whole new dimension. As usual, I took a lot of pictures.

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There were indoor and outdoor displays.

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We were hoping they would have some of these in the gift shop, but they didn't.

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Here's Bob in the tunnel, sort of.

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As always the orchids were my favorite.

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The train set was very elaborate and well done as always. The theme this year appeared to be Jurassic Park. There were dinosaurs sprinkled throughout the whole display. There were a lot of amusing interactive features as well. You could blow up the mineshaft, or make the volcano erupt.


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Phipps Conservatory continues to be one of my favorite places, especially during the darkest part of the year.

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Time isn't always on my side.

As I write this, I'm sitting in the waiting room of my car dealer's service center. I made an appointment a couple of weeks ago to get my "auto butler" service done and get an estimate on getting my door seals replaced. 

Normally I would have dropped the car off and made arrangements to have a ride so I would not have to wait. I didn't do that this time because I was told I would get a loaner car from the dealership. 

I bought my car last year, used, from an outfit that prides itself on customer service or so they say. I have a lot of things I need to do today, including prepare a dinner for six. I was told I in fact cannot get a loaner because they don't do that for auto butler. Despite explaining this is what I was told. Despite having about a million things to do today. Had I known this, I would have made other arrangements, but silly me, believing what I was told. 

So here I sit, in the waiting room of #1 Cochran Automotive, crap TV blaring in my ear, caffeine deprived, enraged, feeling frustrated and devalued. I can't cook from here. Their wifi sucks and blocks half the things I could accomplish while waiting. And while all of this sounds somewhat spoiled and whiny, this is part of what I paid for when I bought this car. It comes down to my time not being considered valuable. It comes down to honoring what I was told when I made the appointment. And I am very dissatisfied with it. 

Monday, January 06, 2014

Not that I'd be biased or anything.

As the very proud parent of two fantastic daughters, it's difficult for me to be objective about things that they do. Last night, I was lucky enough to attend an opening night celebration for my daughter Lena's most recent art show. It took place at the salon/spa where she works, Tula Organic.

The show was well attended. I only stayed about an hour, but when I left there were probably about 30 to 40 people still in the salon. Everyone seemed very enthusiastic about her artwork, which was amazing!

I took many pictures and I'll show some of them here. Here are some of the crowd.

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She had some prints for sale; I brought two of them home with me.

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The show was called "Children of Dust".

Her statement about the show:

My oil and watercolor paintings for this show are based on a series of interviews I conducted throughout the year. I intentionally chose very introverted people to model for me. For each interview, I asked the participants if I could photograph them for references for my paintings. During the photo shoot, I asked intense personal questions. Both the questions and answers remain confidential. I changed the photographs depending on what the participants said, and used their answers to create my compositions, color choices, and titles. The pieces also contain information about the emotional aspects of the interview, both what I felt and what I sensed the participant felt during the photo shoot.

I was shocked by the openness of the models. This body of work is something of a confession, and a description of the complexities of communication and brokenness. I chose the title, "Children of Dust," as a reflection of the tension in which we live: the interviewees were strong and filled with shame, angry while pursuing peace, had high goals yet paralyzed by fear.
All of the pieces are incredibly expressive. Her subjects all seem to be searching for something. Perhaps something that would benefit all of us, should they find it. The overarching theme that I noticed in most of the faces was a sense of heroism. They struck me like the grand propaganda pictures from old Soviet posters. It doesn't quite sum up what I felt when I looked at them, but that's the closest I can come to describing it. I will let you make up your own mind about it.

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Lena has accomplished much in her just under 30 years. Most recently she graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a double major in art and art history. She worked as hard as I've ever seen anyone work to achieve anything. For that reason alone I'm incredibly proud of her. But when I look at her artwork I am amazed at her talent and vision. I hope her work will soon get the exposure it deserves.

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Lena has an Etsy shop at gift of amnesia etsy

and a tumblr blog dedicated to her artwork at gift of amnesia

Her show will be hanging at Tula through the end of January. Stop and see it if you can!

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Welcome to Buttercupia Mark 2

I know, it's been a long time since I've blogged. There are a number of pretty good reasons for this. Probably, the most significant reason is that my hands are bad. As my work responsibilities have changed, I've had to use the mouse more often, type more, and generally wear out my hands before I have a chance to blog. All that has changed now, because a generous friend helped me get speech recognition software that I can use to blog, post on Facebook, write e-mails, and many many many other things. So great thanks to Brea for that.

It's a process. It's going to be difficult for me to stop muttering under my breath while I type. I do that a lot. Even with this short amount of dictation, I've had some pretty amusing things pop up in the box.

I'll have lots and lots of pictures, knitting updates, spinning updates, and food, with the occasional kitten thrown in for balance, and perhaps a more frequent presence. At least, that's the plan.

Wish me luck!

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