Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Frida: Timeless

Long time readers know that I have a special fondness for Frida Kahlo.  Her art and heart have inspired me and I hope this post inspires you too.  

During our family reunion I was able to see the special Frida Kahlo  exhibit in Illinois.  

It was planned for summer of 2020....but as we all know, Covid delayed many events, including this one.
It was held in a beautiful new facility in my old hometown of Glen Ellyn, Illinois where we lived for 12 years in 3 different homes.

Frida was born in Mexico in 1907 and died at the age of 47.   She had a tumultuous marriage to Diego Rivera the famous muralist painter.  You can read more about her on the MAC website here.

A recreation of her bed where she painted.  Notice the mirror above used for her self portraits and to paint her body casts.
Here is a photo of her real bedroom in Mexico. 
Frida suffered Polio as a child, and when she was 18, she was in a horrific bus accident where she impaled by a long metal pipe causing damage to her pelvis and spine along with many other injuries. 

A replica of one of her many body casts which she painted.
She lived in a world of pain and endured 35 surgeries.  She wore many different corrests to stabilize her torso.
Despite her pain, she loved to wear beautiful colorful skirts and blouses in the Mexican Style.
They also helped to hide her disfigured polio leg and the corsets.  Beautiful photos of Frida with flowers in her hair.
Frida on Color:
Frida painted 200 paintings in her lifetime.  Here are a just of few of my favorite paintings in this exhibit.
This is a disturbing painting (one of many she pained) but I admire her bravery and honesty in creating it and painting the frame.
This is a painting that depicts the pain Frida suffered after a miscarriage while in Detroit.  She longed to be a mother and was never able to fulfill that dream.  It left a deep scar on her emotionally.
I was very surprised at the size of the painting, which is quite small but very detailed.  It is heartbreaking and very intimate, as are many of her biographical paintings. I didn't get a photo of the placard, so here is a description from a book.
Here are the two art books of her art that I own. 
A beautiful painting on copper of flowers.

Wonderful explanations of her art and her life.
I went to the exhibit with my beautiful niece, Katie from Seattle and Rich's cousin, Sally, from MA.    We each took in the exhibit at our own paces and spent time on the things that were interesting to each of us.   
Here is a challenge quilt I made several years ago giving honor to Frida. I used the Madonna as my inspiration.
It is all fused and collaged with string piecing. 
Here is another Frida adjacent post that I wrote years ago.

I highly recommend the movie Frida, starring Salma Hayek.  You can see it on HBO or rent it on Amazon and other streaming services.  It was my first real introduction to her life story.
If you are still here reading about Frida, thank you!
She has given me so much inspiration and an opportunity to be grateful for my life.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Down on the Farm

The Danish Family was finally able to have a long awaited reunion!
This is our  silly shot.  Much more fun than the posed shot.  We had about 25 rotating family members.  These are the descendants of my husband's mother and her brother and sister.

We are blessed to have a family farm near Sheridan, Illinois.   The main reunion was Friday - Monday.
Rich's parents bought it 50 years ago and it has grown, and grown and grown, just like the family. Here is me and by boy, andrew.  Rich is in the background playing with a neighbor dog that kept following us.
We do all our own cooking - including making almost 400 Danish Pancakes; Ableskiver.  Here is a website to learn more about them.
We also had 20 lbs of sausage on hand.

We eat under a big rented tent and have a such a great time chatting and visiting.
Rich and I made 32 ears of roasted corn.  I cut it all off the cob and added lots of butter and s&p.  
here is my son and nephew on a building inspection.
and the water equipment testing....  yep, it's all good.
A group of us trekked into town to pay our respects to our Beloved and Departed Patriarch and Matriarch who would be so happy to see we are keeping the tradition going.  I don't know who took the "official" photo ha ha.

In Quilting News:
Our co-op farmer and caretaker of our farm, David, brought me this incredible quilt to see.  He wanted basic information. 
It is in excellent condition.  I did a little fabric research and put its age at 1860-1890.   I love the shirtings, double pinks and look - one of the greens in my Chrome Sweet Chrome.  
wonderful browns.
I'm really glad I met this quilt !  I may even organize a sew along or pattern.
I'm also crocheting a blanket for our bed for the upcoming winter.
The pattern is a solid granny square.  I learned it on Youtube here.

I visited the Frida Kahlo exhibit while in the area, but I'll share that next time!
Happy Fall -Take Care. 

Friday, August 20, 2021

Dog Dayz

I don't have a big project in the works so I'm playing with these circles sent by my quilt buddy Wendy of The Constant Quilter.  Use the link to see her project.

These are the circles trimmed out after appliquing.  Here is a photo from her blog.  Wendy does everything so neatly!
  All the fabrics are designed by Betsy Chutchian.
I considered several options for these little beauties.  I decided to use solid fabrics and picked cheddar and red.  A natural, right?  

I'm gathering them around 1 3/4" paper circles from  I starch them to hold the finished edge.
I am glue basting them onto 3 1/2" background squares.  I only use little dots.  You don't need much.
I made a CutRite Heavy Duty Freezer Paper mask in order to center the circles.  (you can see the product here and its available on Amazon).  Thank you, Sharon, for telling me about this!
Those photo shows the circle placed inside my template. It is on top of the yellow background square which you can't see because I liked it up perfectly 😁 I hold the circle with my finger, then remove the paper.
I press with hot dry iron to set the glue.
Nutmeg watches over my used paper circles.  Thanks Nutmeg!
I dry press them to use again.
Here is a batch all ready to applique'.  Can I tell you again that glue basting for applque has changed my life?   Have you tried it? 
Summer Recipe: Perfect for August
It uses cherry tomatoes and I like to use several varieties.  It is easy and keeps in the refrigerator for several days.  You can also use it as spread for toaster bread.
All you need is cherry tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes.
There is so much upsetting news in the world at the moment.
I am trying to stay calm with simple sewing and simple foods. 
I wish you all the same.  
Take care of yourself and your loved ones.