This is going to be a long one, and meander a bit. Sorry, that’s just the way it is.
First, I got neat stuff in the mail today:
A fat quarter of typographic fabric from one of my SILs (thanks!), a lovely postcard from Robin (I’m guessing it’s made from leftovers from her Nancy Crow workshop — very cool), and a bumper sticker from Gerrie. I have to think a little on where I’m going to put the bumper sticker since I actually have no complaint with Germany’s part (or lack thereof) in the war (and I suspect it would be frowned upon if I tried to stick it on the door to my hubby’s office).
Speaking of the military, we had the pleasure of getting to know a very unique family in the unit TS&WGH commanded when we lived in Wiesbaden, Germany. Lynette (the mom) was very active in the Family Resource Group (think support, information, and networking for families on the unit level) when we joined the unit, and she always supported my efforts the year I was ringleader. That was the same year our husbands went to war; and the year they began to uncover the extent to which autism was prevalent in their lives. Lynette was tireless in her quest to find the best way to meet her family’s special needs while so far away from her normal support system (family, church, and a greater pool of social services); and she did this while the rest of us were preoccupied enough merely with our service members being in harm’s way. Fast forward four years to today. The family was able to relocate back to the US where they could take advantage of more support and opportunities for the kids. This year they are planning to go to Kris’ Camp, a non-profit organization first established in 1995 as a therapy intensive/respite camp for children with special needs (thus far focusing on children with autism/autistic-like challenges) and their families. The Wilson family has been fundraising in order to afford this camp and travel costs, and have recently set up a web page to take donations. Unfortunately, since both Todd (the dad) and TS&WGH are in the army, and TS&WGH outranks Todd, we can’t donate money (rules against impropriety — and I don’t think Todd is allowed to give us money either). But maybe, just maybe, there’s a few people out there who ARE able to help. If you are interested, please visit their web page for more information.
OK, on to the regular business of the day — my Needle Doodle (now shortened to “noodle”):
I looked at my near full practice sandwich and thought that I didn’t have enough room to squeeze in a contour drawing, but it wasn’t totally full either. I got a wild hair and decided to fill in the spaces with free hand feathers. To me, these feathers are like the Swan Dive. Deceptively simple. You can do a 1 1/2 flip with a layout and pretty much as long as you land head first in the water you are successful. But with a swan dive, any idiot can see if you’ve overshot, or undershot, or didn’t point your toes, or had an otherwise sloppy entry. Same thing with feathers. They shout out all your lumpy curves and failed back-tracking for the world to see. I haven’t attempted feathers since I took a day’s training on the Arts & Crafts Shop’s long arm machine over a year ago. I thought it would be interesting to see what I could do. My mantras were “draw a half a heart, it’s just like a half a heart,” and “go out quickly, come back carefully” (this second one from my Diane Gaudinsky book). I can’t say they are great, but they weren’t awful either. And before my art quilting peers call me a sell-out, this is merely a technical exercise, not an indication that I will be changing my artistic direction.