Thursday, October 7, 2010

Do Bee Do Bee Do: The Anti Quiltin’ Bee

Please click on the picture above

to enjoy the beautiful fantasy quilt detail.

“I love these digital quilts I’ve been making, “ I told my friend Marilyn. “No scraps, no batting and a whole lot less time.”

“Yea, but what about all the fun they used to have at quilting bees?”

She got me wondering if quilting bees were as charming and folksy as they look in the movies. Were they real pals’y kind of places, or was everybody looking to see if your stitches were small enough? Did people feel obliged to go even if they didn't want to, like Tupperware Parties, or were they heaps of fun? I 'spose it depended on where you were and who you hung with.

Trying to imagine what a fantasy quilting bee scene would be like, I wrote a little Objective-C code to enable me to travel way WAY back to the time of home made lye soap (have a good time washing that out of your eyes), barn raisings, and quilting bees.

Loading program into debugger…

Program loaded.


[Switching to process 14843]


Welcome aboard PORTAL PILOTS , serving the needs of the time travel community for over three centuries.

Customer LRS531957 PLANNING A TRIP FROM THE YEAR 2010 TO 1893

SO SORRY We are experiencing a slight disruption in service. You will be dropped off at the nearest portal.

PORTAL PILOTS apologizes for any inconvenience to your schedule.

While you're waiting for the next Time Portal to open up in the year ... 1977..., feel free to complete our customer satisfaction survey, and be entered to win a coupon worth five percent off, on your next PORTAL PILOTS trip!

Debugger stopped.

Program exited with status value:0.

My ipod battery is dead and I forgot my charger. (I can’t even remember if we had three pronged outlets back then anyway). What am I going to do here for a few hours?

Hey, the summer of 1977! I remember this! I had just finished up my junior year at the University of California at Santa Cruz, and was living and working with my sister in Yuma Arizona. She had gotten me a junior programmer gig for the summer.

Trisha had gotten roped into going to a Tupperware Party. Her best friend, with whom she volunteered at the “League of Women Voters”, was putting it on, so of course she was stuck with going. I was stuck too but, coming from one of the more alternative U.C.’s in California, I saw it more as a cultural experience.

The nice-lady who ran it showed us a fine new product. A hot-dog bun keeper for the freezer.

The two of us stared at each other in amazement.

“Because, girls, you know the problem you have keeping hot dog buns in the freezer. You KNOW how those darn buns stick together!”

Trisha and I were both thinking the same thing. Don't they have a big knife to whack them apart with?

We drank our carcinogenic diet sodas and after 30 minutes, figured we could slip on out while the others were playing some kind of game with clothespins and a laundry bag that we never did understand.

The nice-lady’s skinny backside was firmly anchored against the door.

“Girls! (toothy grin). Where are your order slips?”

We managed to mumble that we were not buying anything.

She gave us a look of amazement, tinged with horror. “But what about the hot-dog-bun keeper?” (I'm not making that product up.)

The nice-lady swiveled her head slowly back towards the rest of the group, who were now frantically scribbling on their forms amidst a welter of clothespins.

Trisha swung one foot around the screen door. I slithered through, and we lit out like two banditas into the badlands.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Signs of Fall:Pixel Paintin' Pumpkins

I spent much of my day working on creating and debugging self-review exercises in my quest to learn Objective-C. I really like writing and debugging code, but it's hard teaching yourself a new programming language. Over the last few weeks, I've figured out a way to make my self-imposed homework fun, by linking them to my art-journal. I've shared my experiences in this online piece, Reviewing Concepts: Time Travel for the Masses, a piece I wrote at my self-education blog.

I also took a little time to create another fantasy quilt and stencil an imaginary pumpkin just like Martha Stewart, or one of her hard-working staff, would. My pumpkin, however, is one I plucked off one of my old photos with the help of Photoshop. And of course every pumpkin needs a quilt of it's own.

As always, if you click on the picture above, you'll see a lot more beautiful detail.