Nature fights back

Yesterday was our day at the Crystal Bridges Art Museum (diorama below). 


This is a large museum in Bentonville, AR, built by a Wal-Mart heir.  If you get a chance, the permanent collection is really wonderful.  They had the Angels and Tomboys exhibit on and for some reason, I’ve heard of that, but can’t remember where.  We only toured the permanent collection.


We had lunch in the restaurant at the museum and it was really good.  There were expansive garden views as well, and we didn’t get to tour that, either. 


I was really into faces, just looking at how the artists captured the facial expressions of the subjects.


Portrait of George Henschel by John Singer Sargent

I found this man’s expression to be quite beautiful.  I wonder if he was someone special to the artist to get that expression from him. 

Even Jeanne by Alfred Henry Maurer


Such a bitter looking sneer, like she was being made to model in a cold “smoking area”.  (honestly, my photo doesn’t do her expression justice.  she doesn’t look nearly as bitter here as she did on the wall)


And, of course, Rosie the Riveter by Norman Rockwell.  What confidence.

The exhibit was set up in time order, from the early colonial period to contemporary art. 


One of our favorites was this sculpture, Man on a Bench by Duane Hanson.  He was so real, right down to the wrinkles in his arms where they rested on his legs and the wrinkles in his socks. 


And, Dolly Parton, by Andy Warhol.


This one really spoke to me.  Old Self:  Portrait of the Artist as He Will (Not) Be. Variation #2. by Evan Penny.

After that, we got back so Syd could have a swim and we hit the big salad bar restaurant in town, where we talked bad about people that didn’t know how to act in restaurants, like the lady that slapped her child and the table full of people that got mad at the waitress because their food took so long (large group) and asked for “to-go” containers immediately, put their food in the containers, but then they sat at the table and ate it out of the containers.  Okay, you gotta admit that was weird, right?  Great dinner conversation for a group that has been together so long they’ve run out of stuff to talk about. 

We also picked up my Hawaiian style quilt kit.


Island Coconut is the pattern.  I got it in a slightly printed fabric that will give the palms some motion.  The kit has the precut applique, the white background, a muslin for a back, a thick poly batting, a color matched spool of thread, an applique needle and a quilting needle and a bit of piping that I probably won’t use, and a very thorough set of instructions.  He has 12 die-cuts he can make.  I bought an additional 2/3 yd of the print for a backing and binding in case I decide not to use the muslin.  It was $30.  I’m pretty happy about it and it’s hard not to start.  His kit has everything.  He’s an enabler.  Here’s his info if you want to contact him.  (I am a non-paid spokesperson who had a good experience and am sharing it, but I can’t guarantee your experience.  He seems like a really nice guy and would likely ship.)


I finished repairing a sock this morning, and I’m nearly done sewing the binding on the Pond Mountain quilt (strike that, I finished two minutes ago while Syd and Rob were horseback riding).  Those were my big projects for vacation.  I’ve had plenty of sewing time and have been feverishly basting hexies whenever we drove any distance.  I’ve also been replacing hexies in the part that was done. 


Those two light rounds on each side of the first border disappeared because some of the neutrals were medium and blended with the greens.  I’ve replaced most of them with light neutrals and the borders are showing up now.  (Color gets all the credit, but value does all the work)  I might replace a few more, but not many.  I said I’d replace hexies until the rows became visible.  I can see them.  Can you?  It’s really kind of a pain to replace them, so if we all see the borders, I might be able to stop the compulsion to take it apart again. 

Please see them.

Be well and have a great Thursday.  I have to get back to my packing.  Tomorrow is a travel day.  The sitter texted us from the rain guage in our backyard last night, and we’ve gotten 3 inches of rain.  Waa-hoo!  I can’t wait to see what’s going on in my garden.

The chiggers are killing us.  Rob has to bathe in repellant to go out with the dog.  Sydney isn’t phased.  I only walk on the paths, so I don’t have nearly so many.  But, last night, something climbed up my shorts leg and bit me 4 times on the butt, before I realized something was going on and ran to the bedroom for a fast strip.  It looked like a cross between a wingless bee and a huge black ant, after I beat the crap out of it with a shoe in retaliation.  And, it left welts that have luckily gone this morning.  Or, I’d be in trouble trying to sit.  And, we drive 9 hours tomorrow.



Coloradolady said...

I know exactly what stung you, or at least know what you are talking about. We have them here and I killed one this morning. I don't know what they are called, but truly they are a pain.

I know you have enjoyed your week, and I wondered if you went horseback riding with them, I would have passed too!

Have safe travels home! The rain has stopped and as you can guess...it is hot and humid!

I can certainly see all the borders by the way!! Very nicely done.

Rebecca Grace said...

1. Chiggers?! Eek! Just when I thought the bird mosquitos of Minnesota were the worst of the insect world (they are the size of pteradactyls, I swear to God, and those 'skeeters could carry off a small child).

2. I SEE THE BORDERS!!! :-) And I love what you said about color getting all the credit but value doing all the work. I need that on a post-it note in my sewing room.

3. Very cool, yet creepy museum. When I see sculptures/statues THAT realistic, I get flashbacks of a Fantasy Island episode that I should not have been allowed to watch when I was a child, something freaky where the wax museum artist was somehow dipping live human subjects into the hot wax and encasing them in it and that's why they looked so real... So the bench guy and the head and shoulders guy jutting out from the wall would definitely give me nightmares!

4. About the Hawaiian applique -- how are you going to do that? Is it needle-turn applique, fusible machine applique, or what? I'm jealous -- you get to dig right into the fun part. I wish little elves would come and prep all my little applique pieces while I was sleeping!

Sounds like you're having a fantastic vacation, which you totally deserve. Except for the bug bites on your tushie. ;-)

Becky said...

I love that you took me to the museum! John Singer Sargent is one of my very favorite painters! I discovered him when we toured Biltmore 30 years ago. I have one of his coffee table books and I love looking through it. His portraiture is remarkable......absolutely lifelike! Be careful going home!

lw said...

I love the John Singer Sargent-- beautiful!

Not only can I see the borders, the hexie quilt has a really lovely sparkle from the other light hexes in it.

One of my coworkers told me that there's a heat pen on the market that you can use to heat up insect bites-- apparently the protein in the bite that causes allergies is destroyed if you heat the skin up to 140 degrees. I'll let you know if it works, and if it does if the cure is worse than the bites.

Linda K said...

I see the borders! And I love that they whisper in some areas, and sing in others.
I'm looking forward to visiting the Carnegie museums here in Pittsburgh while I'm staying with my DD and SIL and granddaughter. And the Warhol!

qltmom9 said...

Nicely visible borders...much improved. Thank you for the fun virtual vaca! I love to see stuff like that and NOT get stung! I SO enjoyed your blog this week. Thanks MUCH for sharing.


cindyquiltsOR said...

Chiggers: the reason I do not visit any region of America where they may be.

Museum: goodness! So realistic!

Borders: I am outnumbered. I thought there was one hexie that was in hiding. Top, right corner: count down 7. BUT! My eyes are old and I could easily be wrong.

Best Wishes,
Cindy B.

Elizabeth said...

That hexie quilt is beautiful! You can stop taking it apart now. I totally see the borders.

I loved your peek at the art museum. It was fun to see the artwork, especially the sculptures. Too bad you didn't have a chance to see the gardens. That one tiny area in the photo looked amazing.

Glad you're having a good time (minus the bugs).

xo -E