Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Take-along handwork

I can't just sit in a meeting, listening and taking notes. I have to have some needlework in hand. The last couple of years my take-along project has been English paper pieced hexagons using silk neckties. These hexes are 2" unfinished. The "flowers" that I am making are just over 8" across. I've made 50 thus far and will keep going until I have 200 or so,or until I am thoroughly tired of them (which I'm not, so far). It is very unlikely that I will run out of ties; I have four file boxes full.

When people ask what I'm doing I stop short of explaining what the fabric is. They rub a hexagon between their fingers. Some get it: "Silk?" to which I say, "And what's made out of silk?" Again, some get it: "Ties!" But just as many can't figure out the fiber or the source.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Breaking Through Barriers: AAUW Convention 2009

The 900+ participants at this 46th biennial convention cast important votes, listened to inspiring speakers, and learned about new initiatives. They reunited with longtime friends and made new ones. They will return to their branches with renewed energy and enthusiasm to "break through barriers to give all women and girls a fair chance."


The bylaws changes that the delegates approved include:
* one member/one vote for future elections
* flexibility for branch and state leadership
* one board for the Association (which is now AAUW (501.c.3) and the allied AAUW Action Fund (501.c.4))

The proposal for extending membership to anyone who shares in AAUW's mission was defeated.

Kudos to the Bylaws Committee for their two years of thoughtful collaboration, and to Bylaws Chair Caroline Pickens for her presentation of the bylaws to the body.

Both Ruth Sweetser, Association President, and Barbara O'Connor, Foundation President, led AAUW well during their terms. Carolyn Garfein was elected president for the 09-11 term.

Other convention highlights:
* Preconvention tour of historic St. Louis
* Keynote by Lilly Ledbetter
* Presentations by Rep. Rosa DiLauro (D-CT) and Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA)
* "She-E-O" featuring corporate CEOs Arlene Harris (Jitterbug) and Erika Feinberg (ActiveForever)

This was my fourth AAUW convention, but due to conflicts with ALA Annual I have not been able to attend since 2001. It was gratifying to see so many people whom I knew from years ago, and to meet in-person those I'd met online. As always, I was impressed and inspired by the women who have invested so much of their time, talent, and treasure in AAUW over the years.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Monday, June 22, 2009

Watch this space, the sequel

Note to self: next year, stake those peonies!
The peony on the dining table is in a Kohler vase. (Kohler tested its glazes on this particular shape of ceramic vase. In antiques shops near Kohler/Sheboygan they are very expensive, but I found this and another just like it in a shop in Union Grove, WI, for just $15.)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

For the language mavens

Books about language abound these days! Two new releases that we are reading (full disclosure: DH has finished them and I am still reading them):
* In the Land of Invented Languages, by Arika Okrent.
'Esperanto rock stars, Klingon poets, Loglan lovers, and the mad dreamers who tried to build a perfect language.' I've long been intrigued by Esperanto, but not enough to search out fellow Esperantists to learn it -- but apparently there are lots of people who have. Okrent, a linguist, goes back to the 17th century in her research about invented language. (An appendix lists 500 of them; who knew?)
* Origins of the Specious, by Patricia T. O'Connor with Stewart Kellerman. 'Myths and Misconceptions of the English language.' It turns out that many of the 'rules' that we who aspire to good grammar practice are relatively recent. (As Okrent writes, 'Forced tradition + time = real tradition.') O'Connor's essays include 'User Friendly,' about those Texas road signs that declare, 'Drive Friendly.' It turns out that 'friendly' 'has been both an adverb and an adjective since the Middle Ages. In fact, 'friendlily' is the klutzy latecomer--it didn't arrive until the 17th century.' Or, about double negatives: 'I wasn't until the 18th century that a sentence like, 'I didn't see nothing' was pronounced a crime against English..'"
Have you noticed that in recent years expository writing has taken a decidedly conversational turn? The author is more likely to interject first person opinion and address the reader ('you'). I think that's the influence of e-mail; surely people who study that sort of thing have already researched the trend.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Zig Zag the easy way

A couple of weeks ago I found a blog tutorial on how to make a zig zag quilt without having to piece triangles. http://beesquarefabrics.blogspot.com/2009/03/how-to-make-zig-zag-quilt-without.html
I forwarded the link to several of my online groups. I then decided to take my own advice and try the technique myself. Not only did I piece the top, I've finished the entire quilt! Here are photos of the front and the pieced back. It's approximately 53 x 62.