Tuesday, January 26, 2016

New Year, New Life

I rarely go so long without blogging and I don't like to use the excuse "Life got in the way." So suffice it to say, I am back!

My goal on this blog has always been to express the connection of crochet to my everyday life. It is such an important part of my being or my identity; and I like to point out the many "hooks and connections" that influence how I live.

On December 19, my husband and I made our 3rd move since June 2013! We experienced the ying and yang of suburban Chicago vs. the city of Chicago for 16 months. Being a "city girl," I yearned to live in the city and soak it all in.

Ravenswood condo
This little dream of mine was an overwhelmingly positive experience. We walked and walked, we viewed the city from the treetops while riding the "El" or the Metra. We enjoyed outdoor dining during Spring, Summer & Fall at the myriad of multi-ethnic restaurants within reach. We wandered to street fests and art galleries along with any other intriguing places that caught our eye.

At the end of October 2014, it was time to move again. Alan's debilitating disease, Corticobasal Degeneration, was getting the best of him and he was having trouble navigating the 7 steps up from our garden unit condo. I was imaginging him toppling on me and taking me down to a broken hip! Not a good scenario for a full-time caretaker!

We had to choose between an elevator building in the city or a return to one back in the suburbs from whence we came to be nearer to long-time friends. Suburban Arlington Heights won out, and we consider ourselves lucky. It was a wonderful building with helpful staff and friendly residents right in the height of downtown which continued to give us the feeling of "urban living." We walked  or wheeled to restaurants, parks and the theatre. Having lived in Mexcio City for two years, we have that mexicali feeling in our blood. We enjoyed many sunny late afternoons sitting in the downtown plaza which has a Mexcian restaurant literally attached enjoying the welcoming waft of fresh tortillas being prepared for the evening!

Arlington Heights condo
From the beginning this move to Arlington was, in our minds, a transition year. We needed to adjust to the fact that we would be leaving the area in which we had lived for thirty years, leaving dear friends and leaving our younger daughter to be closer to our grandchildren. There is much to be said, as we ponder what our future will look like, about the emotional support from close-hooked family living nearby

On December 19, 2016, we crossed the state line and moved to McCordsville, Indiana, just minutes from Nicole and her family on the north side of Indianapolis.  Basically we are settled in and cozy in our new home which has accomodations for Alan's needs. The grandchildren have already been here for a couple of sleepovers; and they like to stop by after school to check the refrigerator to see what kind of snacks Gigi (Grandma Gwen) might have. We've been to breakfast, we've been bowling and we look forward to going to Build-A-Bear real soon.


Bowling

Selfie time

Gigi Love
There's good news...I have a friend who lives fairly nearby on the other side of Indianapolis. We are childhood friends who have kept in touch through thick and think. It's very comforting to know she is here for me.

Gwen, daughter Nicole & Debbie
At times, it does feel like a dream that we made such a big decision and such a move. It is not like we are not used to moving. We've done it many times, but mostly Alan's job dictated our destination. This time the decision was all ours!


Our new home
I discovered since I've been here that I am teetering between country and suburbia. Ten minutes in one direction and I am driving through cornfields to get to the post office. One the other hand, ten minutes in the other direction, I am at the grocery and many familiar retail offerings like Best Buy, Target, and all the rest. Our house is only the 2nd one on our street with many more to be sold and built. Lonely? No, not really, it is winter and I am content to be inside and cozy!

So, where does my crochet come into the picture? Do I really have to explain? The majority of my readers are crocheters..for those of you who are not, I'll be happy to explain. Crochet is my comfort, my outlet for creativity, my rock, my joy and my time filler. It is therapeutic. My life may be new, but my crochet follows me whereever I go. Stay tuned; I will post some fun pictures of what I am making soon!


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Book Review: Poetic Crochet ~ 20 Shawls Inspired by Classic Poems by Sara Kay Hartmann

Poetic Crochet
I often say about crochet, “There is nothing new under the sun,” because I’ve been at it for over forty years! 
Theme books like this book's title intrigue me because again, it is difficult for me to find books that offer truly new and creative twists to all the crocheting I’ve done over these many years. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Art to Wear Exhibit: WomanMade Gallery, Chicago


WomanMade Gallery: 685 N. Milwaukee, Chicago
Yes, my specialty is crochet, and yes I am the author of the Fine Art of Crochet: Innovative Works from Twenty Contemporary Artists. However, I love fiber in all of its forms and Art-To-Wear is no exception. The Art Wear movement established firm roots in the decade of the eighties with the publication of Julie Schafler Dale's incredible book, Art To Wear.

Dana Balwin: Wild & Wooly Bride, lamblocks, embroidered, beaded, felted

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Deborah Hirshfield: Triumverate of Maladies, silk, dye, wood, thread, wool roving
Deborah Hirschfield: Untitled
Melis Agabigum: When You Told Me to Go Along, I Should Have Asked How Far, coppper, powdercoat, waxed cotton
Suzanne Peterson: The Weight of Overindulgence, glass, nicket, video
Cydney Lewis: Blackberry Necklace, plastic bags

Dawna Davis: Elizabethan's Treasure, wire


The above work is the closest they came to choosing a "crochet-like" piece! There was a tatted work, but I didn't photograph it.
Dagmara Nogalska Costello: Lady G


Monica Guerra: Milagros Feet
Bonus: exquisite architecture & clear Chicago sky
Bonus 2: preserving Chicago architecture
Broaden your horizons: be on the look out for all kinds of fiber art shows. You might even run into a cnocheted piece of art now and again and for sure a lovely sky to gaze at too!