Posts Tagged ‘dinosaurs’

Once More with Feeling: Herons, and other Dinosaurs

Friday, January 18th, 2013




I Love dinosaurs. I do. Sorry about that. I never outgrew it. I was taken to the Field Museum in Chicago where they had the grand dioramas of dino life and had to be restrained from climbing in.

fantasiaThat’s still true too. Fantasia had a fabulous bit in it where they swam, lunged along, ate and died.  I’ve made them as stuffed animals and quilted them from time to time.

hot blooded dinosaursBut one book took me to another place entirely.  Hot Blooded Dinosaurs came out it 1977. It was a rage book for a while and then you didn’t see it. I’d borrowed it from a friend.

No more dragging your butt along allosauruses. These were quick moving, wild predators that deserved to rule the planet for a good long time. It was mind blowing. Jurrasic Park was such an amazing movie because no one said it, but that was the whole point. These were not cold blooded creatures. The dinosaurs weren’t jumped up lizards. They were real, tooth and claw. I, for one, was thinking of the dragging tails in the dioramas and saying, “Nope. You’re wrong. They’re  HOT blooded.”

Crocodiles, sharks, turtles and dragonflies are a slam dunk as modern dinosaurs. The fossils are quite clear. They were here then. They’re still here now. But birds.The premise is that birds ‘are direct descendants. And if you’ve seen a heron hunt or look at the skeleton, it’s pretty evident. 

ladyblue (1)So when I quilt herons, I’m playing with my plastic dinosaurs. Again. No apologies. They’re too cool not to. Of course sometimes they’re people I know.


book (1)It was no surprise when the editors insisted on Lady Blue as the cover for Thread Magic. Maybe they liked dinosaurs too.

You’ll find Thread Magic on my web site . It’s a print on demand version. All of the text and pictures are there, but the print suffers from less glossy paper.


Hot Blooded Dinosaurs is on I just ordered myself a copy.


Also on Amazon you’ll find Fantasia, perhaps the most influential art cartoon every made. Thank you, Mr. Disney.



Experimental Art by Accident: Plumbing

Sunday, May 6th, 2012



All of life is an art form. I’ve always maintained that how we live our lives, structure our stories, organize or not organize our space is in it’s own way a creative act. Sometimes it features beauty, or courage, or growth. Sometimes it’s a rare moment of survival in the midst of craziness. It is, however a creative act in response to the world we live in.

Several weeks ago, my neighbor Liam told me he wanted to make a volcano. Not  a problem. Got a soda bottle, vinegar and some baking soda. Mix and explode. It was a lovely afternoon.

Yesterday,  I recreated the LaBrea Tar Pits pit in my kitchen. Honest to God. I can barely wait to show Liam.

We wash dishes here every six weeks or when we run out of forks, whichever happens first.This time I decided I’d have a clean kitchen for my birthday which was yesterday. At least it’s a novelty

I had a very slow drain and thought it was risky to run the dish hider ( I haven’t noticed that it washes dishes. But it’s very good at hiding them.) I knew it was a dicy situation, so I went and looked up drain cleaning on the internet. As always, every product had at least one one star review and five five star reviews. Thus equipped, I went over to the hardware store and picked up a product I will not name. It was buffered sulfuric acid. Should cut through anything. Right?

Not exactly. Home again and we put it down the sink. Looked good. Made significant noises. ( I always find those encouraging). I waited 15 minutes and ran cold water. Out of the depth black bubbly goo started to rise. And take over one side of the sink and then the other. I went to the living room and started to pray for a faith healing experience. That didn’t happen. Two hours later I had everything from the black lagoon in the kitchen sink except, thank God, the creature.

Then I heard the drip. I looked down to see a streak of black goo on the pipe. Ran to get a bucket from the studio. Ran some more cold water to dilute it.

This situation is what we call a busted comode. Full of something and going no where. When I though again about plunging and plungers, I remembered that we could have sulfuric acid and black goo everywhere.

Back to Liam’s volcano. I got the box of baking soda and started to pour it in. Black bubbles rushed up one side of the sink. The other side burbled in response. An odd black greasy crust formed on the surface, broken temporarily by more bubble action. It went on all night.Blump. Burbble burbble, blump,plip,plip plip. Grirrrirrrgle. A symphony in black tarry substances. More baking soda in the other side. More blurble sounds. It was the symphony of the swamp.

I plunged at 10:30. At 3 am. More burbling noises but no other changes. The swamp is still extant and bubbling at nine am.

Why is this art? It’s too funny to be anything else at this point. But in the middle of this, when I called a friend to ask what to do about it, she said” Have you seen the moon?” No, it wasn’t a non-sequetur. If you’re going to have the worst plumbing night of your life you might as well have the best moon too. And I bet there was a spectacular moon over the tar pits as the dinosaurs went down. You’ve got to enjoy what’s there. And it’s a new form of surface design. But you might not want to try this at home.

So I hope you have a super moon to light your plumbing disasters. I’m also hoping the plumber works on Sunday.

You’ll find more information about the super moon at

Update: The plumber doesn’t work on Sunday. And he thinks it’s the whole drainage system. Anyone wanting to buy a quilt today, contact me and we’ll have a half off sale. 



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