Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Welcome friends

To friends far and wide
and those on-line,
 come sit at our table awhile
and dine.

               We miss those who are distant

                     and hold them dear.

                  Traditions warm us

               and keep bygone near.

                Our house is clean
                      and decorated too.

             We exchange simple gifts, 
               some old, some new. 

                  As festivities end, 

            may you find peace and rest

            and through the New Year, 
         may you be blessed. 

          in *snowy* Minnesota*
                                *      **              

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Tea and a peaceful moment


won't you have a cup of tea?
   wherever you may be
      pour a cup
         sit down
            take a sip
               close your eyes
                  feel the peace of 
this very moment
    now (breath)
 and now (breath) 
        and now   

won't you rest a bit from the holiday din?
   wherever you are now
      in warm sun
        or winter snow
          deep blessings
            may you know
              and the beauty of 
this very moment 
   now (breath) 
and now (breath) 
       and now....


Teapot and cups: Made for a friend and relative, Grete, in Norway.
Star quilt: Made for Mennonite auction for charity. Custom long-arm quilting by Marie Johnson. Won third place in Christmas category, Minnesota State Fair.


Friday, December 20, 2013

Gyda in Norway

                     A wall-hanging I made in 2012. "Det var så koselig."

I got news this morning that a person very dear to me died, Gyda, my 98 year old Norwegian relative in Norway. I last talked to Gyda on Monday, when her son called from her bedside in Oslo and handed her his mobile phone. This morning I had a text from him that she passed away yesterday.

Gyda was enormously important to me, like another mother. A year ago I finished the wall-hanging "Det var så koselig" which means something like "it was so cozy." That was one of Gyda's typical expressions. I embroidered Norwegian words in the dotted fabric around the scrappy center. The wallhanging is 36 inches by 40 inches and was made for a Minnesota Contemporary Quilters' challenge called "Abode."

Below, Gyda and me in 2010, near Sandefjord, Norway.

Thank you Gyda, for many cherished moments together and many letters.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Art From Earth From Above

After reading so many wonderful blogs, I've decided to give it a whirl myself. I'm not a techie so I will be simple.

This is a little piece I made in 2012, my first to be in an exhibit. The exhibit, put together by Caron Lage, is titled Art From Earth From Above and is based on the aerial photos shot by French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand for his "Earth from Above" series of books. The exhibit will travel around Minnesota and North Dakota for a year.

I chose a photograph of Hittite ruins in Turkey. My piece is about 16 inches by 12 inches.  Right below it is the Yann Arthus-Bertrand photo that was my prompt.


I made one inch half-square triangles for the terrain and added pieces of a cut-up crocheted doily for the ruins and a beaded ribbon for a river passing through the ruins. There is no actual river in the photo, just a dirt-track road. I turned the road into a beautiful river. A river is a good symbol.

In my piece, some of the green triangles between the river and the ruins have dark red dots, representing Armenian blood.

Here I am in 2011, in Afyon, Turkey, the town in which my Armenian maternal grandfather was born and raised. He left Turkey in August, 1914 with a scholarship to Macalester College in St. Paul, shortly before the onset of the Armenian Genocide in April, 1915, in which he lost his family. He never returned to Turkey. My husband and I climbed the long, steep path to the top of the rocky tor, the site of a restored Hittite fortress that dominates all the town's views. At the foot of the tor is the old Armenian neighborhood, most of its late-19th century homes well-preserved and occupied, with no record of Armenians ever having lived there.

We stayed in Afyon for one night, in a slightly tatty but elegant hotel. No one spoke more than a few words and phrases in English. Here is the large repeated motif on the bedspread of one the beds in our spacious hotel room, which could have accommodated a whole family: