Friday, September 30, 2011

Turning the page on September

We uploaded the catalog of mesquite furniture pieces into this great new viewer that works like a virtual magazine. The pages turn on their own or flip like a real magazine. It even works on smart phones although it is very small and hard to read. Please check it out and share it with anyone you think that might be interested.  I am so amazed at how fast technology is moving and the immense effort it takes to keep up with it all.

Amish Country Quilts - all the designs that have made Lancaster America's quilt capitol!
An Amish Quilt
When we lived in New Jersey we usually took a trip in the fall to the Amish country in Pennsylvania.  It is times like these that I wonder if they might have it right by banning technology from their lives.  Lou is working with his hands and reaps the rewards of  seeing a piece go from raw wood to sculpted beauty.  I on the other hand try to crack the ever changing code of social media.  From Facebook to Twitter, Google Analytics, Bing and beyond. I feel like I'm on a merry go round that is moving way to fast and I can't get off. Ahhh to be Amish and under a nice handmade quilt in a feather bed by sunset.  Okay I know that is romanticising it a bit but Ohhhh how I dream of THAT bed and quilt.....

My health always an issue I had more than normal health scare when an asthma attack surprised me this month. I am better now but it took me down and out for a few weeks.   It  all started with the smoke from the fires here in Central Texas. One of our artist friends Susie Fowler the Shade Tree Potter lost her home but incredibly her studio was saved. See video, photos and  article here.  Please donate and help out if you can. The Bastrop fires seem to be getting all of the attention and resources while our neighbors in Spicewood who also suffered losing their homes and businesses are offered limited relief. The Pedernales/Spicewood Fire burned 6,500 acres and damaged nearly 70 homes.

Susie Fowler Shade Tree Potter in her Home/ Gallery this vase is up for Auction
This piece, Pedernales Cliff Tower, is featured in the Texas Country Reporter episode about Susie Fowler The Shade Tree PotterWatch it HERE. All the flora and fauna collected for impressions in this piece were gathered on her land and down the bluff to the river bed.  The minimum bid will be $400,  starting the bidding with the existing bid for the previous piece.
The piece is currently on view at Authenticity Gallery in the Bee Cave Galleria mall. Please drop in and make a bid on the silent auction form.  The final auction award will be made during the Live Auction at the benefit at the fire station.
ALL of the donated funds go directly to the Pedernales Fire Dept. Auxilary
The Pedernales Fire Department Auxillary Fundraiser is this 
Saturday, OCTOBER 1 from 7 - 11 PM.

We were picking up Lou's God son, Travis from New Jersey, from the airport that evening and all roads (highways) home were blocked by fire. We were on 71 at the Pedernales River (well what was the river) when the Spicewood fire crossed the highway. Dripping Springs was being evacuated as we considered trying Hamilton Pool Road because 620 had already been closed due to the Steiner Ranch Fire.  This meant going all the way back into Austin and taking 183 to 29 but then we heard on the radio that 29 at  Leander and Liberty Hill also had a fire closing the highway.  We went ahead and decided to try getting through Liberty Hill before giving up and spending the night in Austin.  As we arrived they were re-opening the highway, so while we ended up taking the long, long, long way home. we did make it home that night. A bit late but safe and sound and for that we are so very thankful.

Travis sanding sanding sanding
Barney with a bench mock up during the design process
Travis was a huge help in the shop learning some woodworking skills and Lou Quallenberg's meticulous methods. His strength, youth and help was important because we are nearing the deadline for the Dancing Trees chapel, benches.  This time crunch and deadline mean we still do not have a showpiece for the Texas Furniture Makers Show and if we make it to the Texas Mesquite Association Show in Fredericksburg it will probably just be me  by myself getting in some Christmas shopping.  I know several artist friends that will be very disappointed  not getting to see Lou Quallenberg at least for a quick visit and laugh.

 Lou applying the finish entering the home stretch - only 7 more.
Mesquite seat gets coat #3 (see the number to the left?)
I will be happy to have him back in my life once the deadline is met, but I know that at some point in the near future another deadline real or imagined will arise and keep him in the shop non stop again.

It is so good to know he really enjoys the work he is doing.  I only wish we could put the home, shop, and studio all together in one location so that I could at least peek in on him while he is whistling and working away with his latest mesquite beauty. 

After watching Texas burn and 90+ days over 100 degrees suffering through the worse drought in many years and possibly ever recorded in Texas, it finally RAINED at our house.  We have been trying to save our trees and while this is a Band-aid it brought some relief. More importantly it brought hope.  We are happy to turn the page on September and look forward to cooler fall weather.