Thursday, December 18, 2014

Stockings

I made these for a good friend who lost her house and everything in it in a fire 2 1/2 years ago.

Stocking

Stocking

Stocking

Stocking

Stocking

I also made one for my grandson, but I forgot to take a picture of it before I gave it to him over Thanksgiving.  It is similar to the last Santa stocking, but with a light blue background and dark blue toe, heel, and cuff.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Reading Challenge for 2015

I've decided to participate in the Back to the Classics Reading Challenge hosted by Books and Chocolate again in 2015.  I was hoping she would host again, because after participating in 2014, I have quite a few more classics I want to read.  She is changing the categories up somewhat for next year; here are the categories for the Back to the Classics Challenge 2015:


1.  A 19th Century Classic -- any book published between 1800 and 1899.

2.  A 20th Century Classic -- any book published between 1900 and 1965.  Just like last year, all books must have been published at least 50 years ago to qualify as a classic.  The only exception is books that were published posthumously but written at least 50 years ago.)

3.  A Classic by a Woman Author.

4.  A Classic in Translation. As in last year's category, this can be any classic book originally written or a published in a language that is not your first language.  Feel free to read it in its original form if you are comfortable reading in another language.

5.  A Very Long Classic Novel -- a single work of 500 pages or longer.  This does not include omnibus editions combined into one book, or short story collections.

 

6.  A Classic Novella -- any work shorter than 250 pages.  For a list of suggestions, check out this list of World's Greatest Novellas from Goodreads.

7.  A Classic with a Person's Name in the Title.  First name, last name, or both, it doesn't matter, but it must have the name of a character.  David Copperfield, The Brothers Karamazov, Don Quixote -- something like that. It's amazing how many books are named after people!

8.  A Humorous or Satirical Classic.  Humor is very subjective, so this one is open to interpretation.  Just tell us in the review why you think it's funny or satirical.   For example, if you think that Crime and Punishment and funny, go ahead and use it, but please justify your choice in your post.

9.  A Forgotten Classic.  This could be a lesser-known work by a famous author, or a classic that nobody reads any more.  If you look on Goodreads, this book will most likely have less than 1000 ratings.  This is your chance to read one of those obscure books from the Modern Library 100 Best Novels or 1001 Books to Read Before You Die.  Books published by Virago Modern Classics, Persephone, and NYRB Classics often fall into this category.

 

10.  A Nonfiction Classic.  A memoir, biography, essays, travel, this can be any nonfiction work that's considered a classic, or a nonfiction work by a classic author.  You'd be surprised how many classic authors dabbled in nonfiction writing -- I have nonfiction books by Dickens, Trollope, Twain, and Steinbeck on my shelves.

11.  A Classic Children's Book.  A book for your inner child!  Pick a children's classic that you never got around to reading.

12.  A Classic Play.  Your choice, any classic play, as long as it was published or performed before 1965.

There are no required categories for 2015.  There will be a drawing for a $30 gift from Amazon.com or The Book Depository for reading at least 6 classics.  If you read 6 classics, you will receive 1 entry in the drawing; if you read 9 classics, you will receive 2 entries; and if you read 12 classics, you will receive 3 entries in the drawing.  I haven't chosen all of my classics yet, but I will keep this page updated as I select and complete them.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Truant by Margaret Hasse

Another really special poem. 

Introduction by Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate:  For every one of those faces pictured on the obituary page, thousands of memories have been swept out of the world, never to be recovered. I encourage everyone to write down their memories before it’s too late. Here’s a fine example of that by Margaret Hasse, who lives in Minnesota.

Truant


Our high school principal wagged his finger
over two manila folders
lying on his desk, labeled with our names—
my boyfriend and me—
called to his office for skipping school.

The day before, we ditched Latin and world history
to chase shadows of clouds on a motorcycle.
We roared down rolling asphalt roads
through the Missouri River bottoms
beyond town, our heads emptied
of review tests and future plans.

We stopped on a dirt lane to hear
a meadowlark’s liquid song, smell
heart-break blossom of wild plum.
Beyond leaning fence posts and barbwire,
a tractor drew straight lines across the field
unfurling its cape of blackbirds.

Now forty years after that geography lesson
in spring, I remember the principal’s words.
How right he was in saying:
This will be part of
your permanent record.
 
American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Introduction copyright © 2014 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Prayer for Joy by Stuart Kestenbaum

Another favorite poem published today in American Life in Poetry, a free weekly newsletter.

Introduction by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate:  Stuart Kestenbaum is a Maine poet with a new book, Only Now, from Deerbrook Editions. In it are a number of thoughtful poems posed as prayers, and here’s an example:

Prayer for Joy


What was it we wanted
to say anyhow, like today
when there were all the letters
in my alphabet soup and suddenly
the ‘j’ rises to the surface.
The ‘j’, a letter that might be
great for Scrabble, but not really
used for much else, unless
we need to jump for joy,
and then all of a sudden
it’s there and ready to
help us soar and to open up
our hearts at the same time,
this simple line with a curved bottom,
an upside down cane that helps
us walk in a new way into this
forest of language, where all the letters
are beginning to speak,
finding each other in just
the right combination
to be understood.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2014 by Stuart Kestenbaum, “Prayer for Joy” from Only Now, (Deerbrook Editions, 2014). Poem reprinted by permission of Stuart Kestenbaum and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2014 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Long Stitch Book

Long Stitch Book

This is the first long stitch book I made in Kelley Walker's  class at My Heart's Fancy.  If you aren't local and want to learn how to make this book (along with a pamphlet stitched book in a slip case), she also teaches an online version here.  Kelley is a great teacher.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Pamphlet Books in Slipcase


Pamphlet Books in Slipcase

I made these books and slipcase in a class I took from Kelley Walker last year.  She teaches it online too, which you can find here.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Long Stitch Book

Long Stitch Book

I have enjoyed making books ever since I made my first one many years ago, and about a year ago I discovered a great book arts group right here in the town where I live.  It is a great group of artists who are up for just about anything.  I taught this book structure at our last meeting.  Thanks to Kelley Walker for teaching this structure at My Heart's Fancy a few months back.  The covers are some of my gelli plate printed papers and the spine is sticky back canvas painted with acrylic paint.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Start Where You Are . . .

Start Where You Are . . .

Gelli plate printed background.  Washi tape accents. Hand lettered quote.  In one of my hand made journals.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Happy Village

Happy Village

Finished my happy village quilt I started this weekend in Karen Eckmeier's class at Oklahoma Quilters State Organization's fall retreat.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Use Your Words - Color

Use Your Words - Color


Another page for the free class I'm taking from Carolyn Dube, called Use Your Words.  This page also uses a technique from her Play Dates video, using gesso over Dylusions spray ink. The pink strip along the bottom is painted canvas, and the green patterned strip down the left side is gelli printed deli paper.  It's fun combining a variety of techniques on a page.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Use Your Words - Play

For some reason, I see that I haven't been sharing much of my art here lately.  I have posted some things on Facebook, but I seem to have forgotten about posting to my blog.  So here is a journal page I did recently:

Use Your Words - Play


It was done for a free online class from Carolyn Dube, called Use Your Words.


Monday, September 01, 2014

Back to the Classics 2014 Reading Challenge Wrap Up

I have completed the only reading challenge I participated in this year.  Below is a list of what I read for each category, when I completed it, and a link to my review:

Required:
1. A 20th Century Classic - The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway - finished 5/3/2014
2. A 19th Century Classic - Cranford by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell - finished 7/27/2014
3. A Classic by a Woman Author - Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen - finished 4/20/2014
4. A Classic in Translation - Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak - finished 3/26/2014
5. A Classic About War - All Our Worldly Goods by Irene Nemirovsky - finished 7/11/2014
6. A Classic by an Author Who Is New To Me
 - The Paradise by Emile Zola - finished 2/22/2014

Optional:
1. An American Classic - Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston - finished 4/10/2014
2. A Classic Mystery, Suspense, or Thriller - Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers - finished 5/13/2014
3. A Historical Fiction Classic - Lamb in his Bosom by Caroline Miller - finished 4/2/2014
4. A Classic That's Been Adapted into a Movie or TV Series - The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton - finished 8/13/2014
5. Extra Fun Category: Write a Review of the Movie or TV Series adapted from Optional Category #4 - The Age of Innocence - watched 8/30/2014


I completed all 6 required categories and all 5 optional categories, which makes me eligible for 3 entries for the prize drawing. 

I enjoyed doing this challenge.  My favorite books were The Age of Innocence, Lamb in his Bosom, Cranford, All Our Worldly Goods and Whose Body?.  My least favorite books were The Sun Also Rises and The Paradise.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Age of Innocence - Movie Version

When I watch a movie made from a book I have read and enjoyed, I usually like the book better.  This was true about The Age of Innocence, although I thoroughly enjoyed the movie.  I thought it was very well done, the acting was excellent, and the main characters were well cast for the parts (Daniel Day-Lewis as Newland Archer, Michelle Pfeiffer as Madame Olenska, and Winona Ryder as May Welland).  I had actually seen the movie several years ago (before I read the book), and I remembered scenes from the movie as I read the book.  (This may have colored my impressions of the movie and/or the book - I usually prefer to read a book first before seeing the movie.)  After reading the book, I wanted to see the movie again.  I don't have the kind of memory required to be able to say "this scene was changed" or "this scene was left out," but it seemed to follow the book fairly closely and had a similar "feel" as the book.  But a book can go into so much more depth than a movie can, which is why I usually prefer a book.  You can read my review of the book here.  This is my final category for the Back to the Classics 2014 Reading Challenge.  I rate this movie 4 out of 5.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

In the New York City of the 1870's, Newland Archer is engaged to be married to May Welland but has fallen in love with May's cousin, Madame Olenska, who has returned to New York from Europe after leaving her husband. This puts Newland in a serious dilemma, because:
Few things seemed to Newland Archer more awful than an offense against "Taste," that far-off divinity of whom "Form" was the mere visible representative and vice regent.  
I thought the author did an excellent job of showing how hypocritical society was in valuing appearances over substance. I rate this book 5 out of 5. It counts as my Classic That's Been Adapted into a Movie or TV Series; I will re-watch the movie in a couple of weeks and then I will have completed my Back to the Classics Challenge 2014. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Planting Peas

I don't read a lot of poetry, although I am subscribed to American Life in Poetry's weekly newsletter.  This week's poem was one of my very favorites, so I thought I would share.

Introduction by Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate:  The ancient Chinese poets used to say that at some point in each poem the poet ought to lift his (or her) eyes, ought to look beyond the surface of the present into something deeper and more meaningful. Here is just such a poem by Linda M. Hasselstrom, who lives in South Dakota.

Planting Peas


It’s not spring yet, but I can’t
wait anymore. I get the hoe,
pull back the snow from the old
furrows, expose the rich dark earth.
I bare my hand and dole out shriveled peas,
one by one.

I see my grandmother’s hand,
doing just this, dropping peas
into gray gumbo that clings like clay.
This moist earth is rich and dark
as chocolate cake.

Her hands cradle
baby chicks; she finds kittens in the loft
and hands them down to me, safe beside
the ladder leading up to darkness.

I miss
her smile, her blue eyes, her biscuits and gravy,
but mostly her hands.
I push a pea into the earth,
feel her hands pushing me back. She’ll come in May,
she says, in long straight rows,
dancing in light green dresses.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©1984 by Linda M. Hasselstrom; www.windbreakhouse.com. Her most recent book of poems, written with Twyla Hansen, is Dirt Songs, The Backwaters Press, 2011. Poem reprinted by permission of Linda M. Hasselstrom and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2015 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts. 

Friday, August 01, 2014

Cranford by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

I found this to be a delightful story (or series of vignettes). Most of the residents of Cranford are women.  Visiting and calls had rigid rules and regulations:  from twelve to three are the calling hours, stays must not exceed a quarter of an hour, and no more than three days should elapse between receiving and returning a call.  No one ever spoke about money.  And manners were more important than anything. 

According to Goodreads:  "First published as a magazine serial from 1851 and then in novel form in 1853, Cranford is the best-known work by Elizabeth Gaskell (1810 65)."  I read this as my 19th Century Classic for the Back to the Classics Challenge 2014, and I rate it 4 out of 5.  This is my final book for the required categories.  I plan to read The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton for the category "A Classic That's Been Adapted into a Movie or TV Series" (unless I change my mind - which I've done several times with this challenge already).

Saturday, July 12, 2014

All Our Worldly Goods by Irene Nemirovsky

This book is set in France, starting right before World War I and ending just as World War II begins. Pierre is from a wealthy family and is engaged to Simone. Agnes is from a lower middle class family. The different social classes didn't mingle. But Pierre and Agnes are in love and they marry against their parents' wishes. Shortly after their marriage, Pierre is called up.

"It was the very beginning of the war, when the heart bleeds for everyone who dies, when tears are shed for each man sent to fight. Sadly, as time goes on, people get used to it all. They think of only one soldier, theirs. But at the start of a war the heart is still tender; it hasn't hardened yet."

The story follows the families through the horrors of WWI, the time between the wars, and up to the start of WWII.

"If they have good commanders, if everything goes according to plan, they'll make it through, as we did. But . . . I'm afraid. Too many people have told them about the last war. . . they know that all our sacrifices were useless, that victory conquered no one . . ."

This was published in 1947, 5 years after the author's death in Auschwitz. It is my classic about war for the Back to the Classics Challenge 2014. I had already read Suite Francaise, also by this author, when I belonged to a book club, but I thought this was better. I rate it 4 out of 5.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

With our Grandson

We visited our son, daughter-in-law, and grandson the second week in June.  Our daughter-in-law took this photo of us with our grandson, and it was such a good photo that I just had to share.  They've been visiting us and her parents this week; not sure how soon we'll see them all again.  Hopefully no later than Thanksgiving, but maybe earlier!

With our Grandson

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Lesson 8 Abstracting a Photo


Lesson 8 Abstracting a Photo 

We were given three suggested ways to make an abstract design from a photo. I chose to use a grid. This was my final lesson for Katie Pasquini Masopust's Online Color Composition and Design class. I learned a lot from doing the lessons so it was a worthwhile class.  

Below is the photo I chose.

Lesson 8 Inspiration Photo 

Obviously I cropped the photo considerably.  This quilt ended up a bit smaller than most of my others (it is 12" X 12" while most of my others were 14" X 14"), because once I had all the fusing done, I decided it needed to be cropped a bit closer.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sister Trees

Sister Trees

Little quilt I made in Frieda Anderson's fusing class at the Quilting Adventures spring retreat in Schulenberg, Texas.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Lesson 6 Abstract Landscape


Lesson 6 Abstract Landscape 

My assignment in Katie Pasquini Masopust's Online Color Composition and Design Course was to create an abstract landscape.  This is actually my second attempt, as I didn't like my first one.  I found that it's true what they say - you learn more from your failures than from your successes!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Whose Body? by Dorothy L Sayers

I don't read many mysteries, as it isn't a genre I usually like very much.  But one of the optional categories for the Back to the Classics 2014 challenge is a classic mystery, suspense, or thriller, so I asked my brother (who works in publishing and likes mysteries) for a recommendation.  Based on his comments (and the fact that it was only $0.99 for my Kindle!), I decided to read Dorothy L Sayers's first Lord Peter Wimsey mystery, Whose Body?  I'm glad I did; it's one of my favorite classics I've read so far.

A dead body is discovered in the bathtub of an architect on the same day that a well-known financier disappears.  Are these two events related?  Lord Peter Wimsey investigates.  The story was interesting and the writing was engaging; here are a couple of my favorite quotes (that I can sadly relate to more than I would like to admit):
He felt as though he were looking at a complicated riddle, of which he had once been told the answer but had forgotten it and was always on the point of remembering.
He pursued an elusive memory for some minutes, till it vanished altogether with a mocking flicker of the tail.
I rate it 4 out of 5.  I will probably be reading more by Dorothy L Sayers.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

I read A Farewell to Arms in 2012 as one of my selections for the WWI Reading Challenge.  I didn't care much for the story or the writing style, so I really didn't think I would read anything else by Hemingway.  But last year, I read The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, which was about Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley.  I enjoyed that book so much that it made me decide to give Hemingway another try.  I chose The Sun Also Rises, which was Hemingway's first big novel and established his reputation as a great writer.  Which I have to say, I don't get.  His style is very terse, almost newspaper-like.  Maybe that was such a change from the writings of his day (The Sun Also Rises was first published in 1926) that it was revolutionary, but it doesn't do anything for me.  And the story wasn't any better.  It was about several American and English expatriates (the so-called Lost Generation) living in Paris who go to Pamplona, Spain for the bullfighting fiesta.  Their main activity is drinking and getting drunk (or "tight").  It is my 20th Century Classic for the Back to the Classics 2014 Challenge, and I rate it 2 out of 5.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

This was the story of Janie Crawford, a black woman in the south. Janie was married three times. Her second husband took her to Eatonville, Florida, one of the first all black towns to be incorporated in the US. It didn't say when the story was set, but it was published in 1937. It was an interesting story, but the dialog was written in vernacular, which I found difficult to read. This was my American Classic for the Back to the Classics 2014 reading challenge and I rated it 3 out of 5.

Lesson 7 Simultaneous Contrast

Lesson 7 Simultaneous Contrast

This assignment in Katie Pasquini Masopust's Online Color Composition and Design Course was to use multiple values of analogous colors for the background and a complementary color on top.  The complement was supposed to look darker on the light fabric and lighter on the dark fabric.  For some reason, that didn't work in my piece, but I like the composition of this anyway.  And yes, this really is Lesson 7 (for those of you keeping up with my posts LOL); I haven't had a chance to finish Lesson 6 yet.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

I have wanted to read this ever since I did an online quiz that told me that the Jane Austen character I was most like was Elinor Dashwood. Yes, that's a pretty shallow and silly reason, I know, but at least I finally read it. While I enjoyed the book, I didn't think it was as good as Pride and Prejudice. It took me awhile to get used to the language, which is more formal and complex than our language today, so it was kind of slow going for me. There was one plot point that was very similar to one from P&P, and you pretty much know the ending of any Austen novel from the start, but the fun is seeing how it gets there. I rate it 3 out of 5. This is my Classic by a Woman Author for the Back to the Classics 2014 reading challenge.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Lamb in His Bosom by Caroline Miller

I read this book for one of the optional categories in the classics reading challenge I'm doing this year:  historical fiction classic. We're in Tennessee visiting friends right now, like we do (almost) every year at this time. Nancy is in a book club that met on Tuesday, and this was the book they read this month. I am sort of an honorary member of the club, since I only attend once a year. I'm really glad that this was the book they read, because I'd never heard of the book before and I thought it was a REALLY good book.

It was published in 1933 and won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1934. It is set in the backwoods of South Georgia during the years before and shortly after the Civil War. It is about a young couple, newly married, and follows their lives and the lives of their extended families over about 25 years. It shows the hardships of life in those times and reminded me frequently how easy and good my own life is, with running water, electricity, good medical care, plentiful food, etc. I loved the language and found it lyrical in many places, such as this quote from page 129 of my copy:
"Her heart had never been uplifted so high, nor cast down so low -- uplifted because she believed that this was the right thing for her to do, and downcast because she could not make her heart do this thing without nighabout breaking it. For a heart may be lifted up and cast down in the same moment, as sometimes sunshine comes while rain is falling, and builds upward in the sky tall reaches of misty, unlikely beauty."
Or this quote from page 304:
"Time does not pass in a clock's ticking; oh no! It goes like gusts of wind past the north corner of a house. Stay in the sun on the south side and you never know a wind is blowing, but breast around the north corner, and it will jerk your breath from out of your ribs. It is blowing, but you don't notice it, until that baby-chile, Mary Magnolia, is ready to stand up and take a husband and go yonder to Dicie Smith's house to live."
I rate it 5 out of 5.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

I have wanted to read this book for a long time; it's one of my favorite movies. So the Back to the Classics challenge was just the push I needed to finally read it.
 
I enjoyed most of it, although I found it very slow going. There were parts through the middle of the book where I got bogged down, but overall it was a good story and well written.
 
The description on Goodreads is as follows: "In the grand tradition of the epic novel, Boris Pasternak’s masterpiece brings to life the drama and immensity of the Russian Revolution through the story of the gifted physician-poet, Zhivago; the revolutionary, Strelnikov; and Lara, the passionate woman they both love. Caught up in the great events of politics and war that eventually destroy him and millions of others, Zhivago clings to the private world of family life and love, embodied especially in the magical Lara."
 
I rated it 3 out of 5. I'm counting this for my Classic in Translation category.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Lesson 5 Photo Value Study

Lesson 5 Photo Value Study

In this lesson, we were to choose an inspiration photo, crop it to create a tight composition, and recreate it in an achromatic color scheme (using only black, gray, and white fabrics).  I exaggerated the value contrast from the photo to make a more dynamic piece.  I also simplified it by leaving out the water droplets (didn't think I could reproduce them in fabric!).  My inspiration photo is here and the cropped version is here.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Lesson 4 Lost and Found Line


Lesson 4
Originally uploaded by Cheryl Gebhart

I'm working on a series for my Color, Composition & Design class with Katie Pasquini Masopust. This lesson is about lost and found line, engaging the edges, and avoiding the centers. I used an achromatic plus color scheme (black, gray, and white plus red) and a diagonal layout.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Lesson 3 Negative Space


Lesson 3 Negative Space
Originally uploaded by Cheryl Gebhart

I'm working with the same shapes as lessons 1 & 2, but since circles were dominant in lesson 2, I made the triangles dominant in this lesson. I used a split complementary color scheme again, this time with red, orange (my 2 warms) and blue-green (my cool). And I chose a vertical layout. In order to add interest to the negative space, I pieced the background, and in order to stay with the vertical layout, I pieced it as vertical strips. I had all the triangles pointing up for the same reason.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Paradise by Emile Zola

This is my first book for the Back to the Classics challenge, and I was disappointed in it.  I decided to read it after watching the series on BBC, which I liked (except for the ending).  I knew from a review on Amazon that the stories wouldn't be the same, so I was interested to see what changes were made to it for the TV series.  The stories were so different as to be almost unrecognizable.  But my biggest disappointment in the book was the lack of character development.  I never felt like I got to know any of the characters.

The story is set in Paris in the late 1800's and is about the department store called The Ladies' Paradise, which had many similarities to the big box stores of today:  through sheer size and predatory practices, it is able to ruin the small independent stores.  Pages and pages and PAGES are devoted to descriptions of the store and the merchandise.  The arrangement of the store is much like modern grocery stores, which require customers who want to pick up just a few items to travel through most of the store in hopes they will purchase impulse items.

It shows the rise of consumerism in the late nineteenth century.  But the level of disdain the author shows towards women made it very hard for me to read.  Not only are the women not respected, but the men take advantage of them and no one is likable.  The story mainly follows Denise, a young woman who goes to work at The Ladies' Paradise.  At the start, she is hated by all of the other employees.  By the end of the book, everyone loves her, including the owner of the store, but we're never really shown what brought about the changes.  I rate this book 2 out of 5.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Lesson 2 Composition


Lesson 2 - Composition
Originally uploaded by Cheryl Gebhart

I chose an S-curve layout and a split-complementary color scheme (blue, violet, and yellow-orange) for my lesson 2 quilt. It is 14 inches square. I decided to use the same shapes and some of the same fabrics as I used for my Lesson 1 quilt.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Online Quilting Class

I am taking another online class, this time from Katie Pasquini Masopust, in Color, Composition, and Design.  Katie is an art quilter, and I took her Painted Stitched Canvas class in person last spring when I went to Texas for Quilting Adventures.

Our first assignment was to make a color wheel inspired quilt, and this is what I did:


Online Quilting Class
Originally uploaded by Cheryl Gebhart


I painted canvas with various neutral browns for the background and then fused the colored fabrics onto the canvas.  I quilted it with black thread and finished the edges with satin stitching, also in black.  It is 14 inches square.  I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Back to the Classics Challenge 2014

I've chosen 3 of my 6 required books for the challenge so far:

1. A 20th Century Classic - The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
2. A 19th Century Classic -
3. A Classic by a Woman Author - Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
4. A Classic in Translation - The Paradise by Emile Zola
5. A Classic About War
6. A Classic by an Author Who Is New To You

Depending on what other books I choose, I may move one of these to a different category. And I reserve the right to change my mind. ;)

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Challenge for 2014

I thought I had already written this post, but I guess not. Maybe that's just as well, because I've changed my mind about one thing. I had decided to take a break from reading challenges and the sketchbook challenge this year. I completed my revolutionary war reading challenge in 2013 by reading five books (my goal was to read 4-10 books); you can see a list of the books I read here. I didn't do as well with my sketchbook challenge; I only did 6 of the 12 monthly challenges. But after reading about Back to the Classics 2014 challenge on my friend Kathy Johnson's blog, hosted by Books and Chocolate, I've decided to join this challenge. I haven't read as many classics as I'd like, so this will (hopefully) motivate me to read more. I haven't chosen any of my books yet, since I just made the decision to participate today, but I'll post again once I choose my books.

Here are the categories:

Required:
  1. A 20th Century Classic
  2. A 19th Century Classic
  3. A Classic by a Woman Author
  4. A Classic in Translation  If English is not your primary language, then books originally published in English are acceptable.  You could also read the book in its original language if you are willing and able to do so.
  5. A Classic About War  2014 will be the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I.  Any book relating to a war is fine -- WWI, WWII, the French Revolution, the War of the Worlds -- your choice.
  6. A Classic by an Author Who Is New To You This can be any author whose works you have not read before.  It doesn't necessarily have to be an author you've never heard of.  
Optional Categories:
  1. An American Classic
  2. A Classic Mystery, Suspense or Thriller 
  3. A Historical Fiction Classic.  This is any classic set at least 50 years before the time when it was written.  For example, Margaret Mitchell published Gone with the Wind 70 years after the end of the Civil War; therefore, it is considered a historical novel.  A Tale of Two Cities and The Scarlet Letter are also historical novels.  However, older classics set during the period in which they were written are not considered historical; for example, the novels of Jane Austen.
  4. A Classic That's Been Adapted Into a Movie or TV Series.  Any period, any genre!  This is practically a free choice category.  However, it's a separate category than the required categories.
  5. Extra Fun Category:  Write a Review of the Movie or TV Series adapted from Optional Category #4.  This should be some kind of posting reviewing the book read for the previous optional category above. It can be any adaptation -- does not have to be adapted before 1964.  For example, if you chose Pride and Prejudice as your the optional classic above, you could review any adaptation -- 1940, 1980, 1995, 2005, etc. These two optional categories go together, but this must be a separate blog posting -- no fair just mentioning it in the book review!