• Watercolor Work

    So I find that if I ponder a quilt project by composing the image in watercolor I can often simplify it and also develop the intimacy with the concept needed to turn it into a meaningful quilt image.

    Chivers Farm in Somerset UK is a beautiful place.  Welcoming, peaceful, warm….

    The watercolor is just the beginning.

  • Back home in California

    World travelling….  Is inspiring.

    …  to value my marriage and my partner above much else

    …  to remember to keep my mind and heart open to what is different

    …  to express myself and my feelings with more effort – watercolor, weaving, knitting, sewing….

    And Spain…  What can I say?  The food, the people, the wine, the history – absolutely fabulous.

    My watercolor from last night (Sunset at Rust op Twist, STX, April 2010):

  • Nice pic of Deb… and Art in the Park

    This is a nice picture of Deb before she left…  at the back bar at Savant. She looks happy!  It was a really nice time with her.

    The art pattern continues on.  Hannah and I did “Art in the Park” yesterday!  We met at the Fort in C’sted.  I’ve briefly walked through there and I have even did the tourist thing at the Fort.  But I’ve never taken the time to sit at any of the many well placed benches or picnic tables and just relaxed there.  It’s lovely.  There was a group of mothers and young kids on a play date.  And many other folk meandering through.  There are some mahogany trees there that are well established and beautiful.  Lots of shade.

    So we were going to paint some building from that vantage point but I found the building to have too many lines and too many perspective issues for my skill level.  Instead – I turned to Hotel on the Cay and saw a nice simple boat scene.  I am finished with it – but maybe Pjete can help me to do a better job on the boats….

    I’m excited about heading to Spain!  Madrid, Toledo, Avila, Merida….  Rioja and Albarino wines….  good food, late night dinners, tapas.  Old city walls and cathedrals.  The Prado.

    Hannah and John are coming over for an early dinner tomorrow.  Bob from downstairs will join us too.  No big shakes – scalloped potatoes and ham, salad.  Still working like crazy at house chores!  Ted is laboring at the hurricane shutters these past several days.  I have plenty of painting tasks.  :)

  • No art today…

    Deb left for Florida and home today.  :(  We had a really great time!  And made most moments count.  This morning we did meet with John and Hannah at the F’sted pier for a snorkel to the old dolphins.  I saw a turtle several times and a good sized barracuda.  Lots of fish.  Big schools of silvery bait fish which are always fun to swim through.  The cruise ship schedule doesn’t seem to have impacted the waterlife at the pier in any negative way.

    We enjoyed a brunch at Polly’s and later after Deb left took solace in a mama-wanna and beer at Domino Club.  I’ll miss you Deb.

  • ART on the Gallery

    I brought all my wonderful gifted (by my dear daughter) watercolor supplies down with me to St. Croix last week.  I had some idyllic thoughts about gazing at the wonderful vistas and dreamily preserving the images in watercolor….  Especially with Deb here – she’s practiced and skilled at drawing and such!

    Well – all much easier said then done!  But what a FUN time!  We started very nervously – had to actually make an effort to “Do It”.  The paper and colors and brushes are somewhat intimidating.  But again – What FUN!  We’ve tried to do at least one thing everyday.  I’ve found that the water is the most difficult so far.  I’m not very happy with either of my two attempts.  Otherwise I’m pretty surprised at how pleased I am with the results of my tries!  Keep in mind – I’ve not used watercolor before and I’m far from an “artist” of any sort.

    What is most interesting is how Deb and I had the same topics – sitting side by side – and the results are in all cases very different in approach and in color use.  Very cool.

    Deb’s first attempt at the waterscape in front of the house:

    Deb’s 2nd waterscape painting:

    Now MY 1st waterscape try:

    Karin - 1st Waterscape at Rust op Twist

    Karin - 1st Waterscape at Rust op Twist

    Karin - 2nd waterscape try at Rust op Twist

    Karin - 2nd waterscape try at Rust op Twist

    Deb - Conch Shell

    Deb - Conch Shell

    Karin - Conch Shell

    Karin - Conch Shell

    Seagrape Tree Leaf - Deb

    Seagrape Tree Leaf - Deb

    Seagrape Leaves - Karin

    Seagrape Leaves - Karin

    Hibiscus Bloom - Deb

    Hibiscus Bloom - Deb

    Hibiscus Bloom - Karin

    Hibiscus Bloom - Karin

    So that’s the show folks.  I’m hoping that I’ll still do this most everyday after Deb leaves!  It’s most fun it seems because she is here doing this with me.

  • CRUZAN RUM Distillery

    Deb and I toured the Cruzan Rum Distillery here on Island.  It’s interesting that Diageo is building a facility very nearby to manufacture and warehouse their Capt. Morgan rum….  Cruzan Rum has been here for a very long time.  Rum taxes and export rules change frequently.  Just now – they bottle some rum here.  They export quite a lot in barrel.  They also export quite a lot of Day 1 old rum in big tanks that will eventually ride on semi-tractor-trailer trucks once it reaches Florida.  There is apparently quite a tax benefit to ship it at this stage – maybe it’s not technically rum at this point – but some other product.  They also export quite a lot of fusel oil – a waste product in making rum – the fusel oil is used in the perfume industry….  Hmmmm… given the smell from the fermenter tanks I’m kind of curious which perfumes I should consider avoiding….

    The tour was interesting in that nowhere stateside would the public be allowed in an industrial facility so unguarded, unprotected, and so close to the manufacture of a product that will be released to consumers…  I could have added anything I wanted to the fermenting tanks without notice by staff.  The stairs we climbed were incredibly steep and corroded.  There were hoses and pipes in any number of the “pathways” we walked.  We wore no hardhats, eye or hearing protection.  We were not continually warned to keep our hands at our sides, etc.  It’s my experience that Cruzans have an expectation of common decent behavior from all of us.  I like it here!

    So – the pics from the day:

    Next is a view of first the mixing tank and then a fermenter tank.

    There is a significant amount of waste product that they dump.  They send the very hot mix out on this open-air rack where gravity moves it at a good pace through a number of tiers and then into a pipe.  It travels several miles through the pipe to the ocean where they are allowed to dump the now cooled waste.  There are no chemicals – so they are allowed to dump with full permit.

    The remaining pics are just my “eye”.  I always enjoy banana trees with bananas growing.  The red flower at the end of the cluster is pretty fascinating.

    And that concludes your tour of Cruzan Rum.  The benefit to being here in person is that after the tour they pretty much open the bar for us!  And I do like rum!

  • St. George Botanical Gardens

    Deb and I took a self guided tour of the St. George Botanical Gardens today. I’ve been there a number of times as that is where Mango Melee is held annually – but I’ve never actually toured the gardens. They are extensive.

    A chenile plant in Laura’s Garden. Themed with red flowering plants. I’ve only ever seen chenile plants as hot-house house plants.

    Next stop – the Blacksmith’s cottage. There was, apparently a big earthquake in the mid – later 1800’s that destroyed alot of buildings on the estate. This particular building was rebuilt after that earthquake. However, I don’t know how the home-made lime, coral rock and possibly molasses would actually hold up to any of known building code/earthquake zone standards….

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  • The Dam Work

    We’re working this week at Glen Canyon Dam in Page Arizona (on Lake Powell). Drove over Monday (11.5 hours in the car). We did stop for an early dinner at Emeril’s Table 10 in Las Vegas – Delicious! Home tomorrow.

    The View from the Dam Trailer at the Dam Worksite at the Dam:

    The Colorado River just on the other side of Glen Canyon Dam…

  • NEW MAC!

    I finally got off of the wishy-washy wagon and marched on down to the Apple store and got my new mac! There was a parking spot open right in front of the store – what more convincing evidence did I need that this was supposed to be?
    The really best news is that restoring all the stuff from my old computer – apps and all – via the time-machine backup was 100% successful and painless (after software updates and reboots). Whooo Hooo!
    Bigger hard-drive, faster processor, more RAM, BIGGER and brighter screen – what more could a girl want?? :)

  • Quintessential California Day…

    Well not exactly.  What we might hope for everyday.  Hard to tell that earlier in the week was gale force winds with an ocean upswell making water temps the lowest recorded….  Today was 74+ degrees at 2pm at Hole in the Fence Beach.  Dog heaven – if the tail-o-meter was any indication.