Thursday, January 24, 2013

Maine, The Way Life Should Be

Before I start I must confess to being one of "them" and know that no matter how long I am here I will forever remain so.  However, I could not love Maine more if I came from generations of Mainers.
This morning I looked through a pictorial book, Maine 24/7, for perhaps the hundredth time.  There is an introduction written by Bill Nemitz, a columnist with the Portland Herald and I would like to include some of the passages interspersed with some of my depictions of Maine:

"We call them "from away".  They often ask why we choose to live here in Maine, where the winters are too long, the summers too short, and the shopping centers so scarce that we actually named our largest one "The Maine Mall".  They wonder how we can get by on so little, yet still hang signs at our borders that boast, "Welcome to Maine.  The Way Life Should Be."

 Pretentious?  We don't mean it that way.

 It's simply the truth.

   Life in this corner of the country is, now more than ever, not easy.  The mills that once churned out shoes and textiles are long gone. Our proud fishing fleet struggles to stay afloat in a steadily rising tide of federal regulations.  The brightest of our children leave for college and, much to our dismay,
often never return. 

 Yet we stay.  And we adjust.  And we presevere.

 ...which brings us to the true essence of Maine-and the reason we choose to stay. 
 Maine, in a word, is beautiful. 

 From the granite outcroppings at West Quoddy Head, where the sun first touches the nation each morning, to the majesty of Mount Katahdin, Maine is a place where people the world over come to look, to smell, to feel the simplicity of nature as it goes about its business.  And from the lobsterman to the logger to the musician, it is a place whose people cherish nature's business as  they go about their own.

 No, it isn't easy.  And as long as we stay, with our ghost mills and wicked winters and our mall named after the whole gosh darn state ,it likely won't get easier anytime soon.  But if there is hardship in Maine, so is there pride.  And if living here is a challenge, so is it a blessing.

 Welcome to Maine:  The Way Life Should Be!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Using Scraps and Recycling

I was visiting Jackie's Art Quilts blog yesterday and she was discussing using scraps of leftover fabric.  I mentioned I used my scraps for small or mini art pieces.  Below are a few very recent examples.

Of course my lupine love continues.  Above the background is an old quilt I made probably in the 70's,  I used a breyer to paint it blue, I added some darker blue organza a bit off center, embroidered my lupines using french knots.  The leaves were appliqued and then a bit of free motion stitching.

Here I used combination of paint, applique and thread sketching.

Lobster boat, using applique and thread painting.

My depiction of the Rockland Lobster Fest  with the bright tents and foggy harbor.  Applique and thread painting.

Route 9 is also known as The Airline by Mainers and stretches up to Downeast Maine.  The moose heading onto the highway is not an uncommon sight here and there are many MVAs each year due to their wandering onto the road.

 All three pieces above were made using old woolen coats/sweaters and small fabric pieces.

 And finally, these I cut from an old quilt made in the 80's.  It has been loved and used to death, but had some pieces still good enough to use to make valentines

Click on the pictures for a larger view. I am off to finish making my valentines!