Newsletter – July 2015

Greetings, Everyone, from beautiful, sunny Whidbey Island!

It’s been a pretty toasty summer here on beautiful Whidbey Island, but we did have a couple of days of rain in the last week, which was very welcome! I don’t usually need to put out extra water for the birds who visit my feeders, but this year I’ve attended to that. And with the blackberries ripening a bit earlier than usual, they don’t need as much food from me, either. They are entertaining to watch, however, and some are very lovely. We have a pair of goldfinches in the neighborhood these days (the official Washington state bird), as well as the usual bald eagles, hawks, barn owls, and LBJs (little brown jobs).

A couple of exhibition notes: I am honored and delighted to have a quilt accepted for the invitational show “Affinity”, organized by Jamie Fingal and Leslie Jenisen. The exhibit will debut at the Houston International Quilt Market and Festival this fall, so if you are headed there, be sure to look for these pieces. They are all 40″x40″, which is larger than I usually work, so it was a good challenge for me. My quilt is titled “They Rest from Their Labors” and is shown below.

They Rest from Their Labors

I also will be installing an exhibit of my three-dimensional work in the display cases at the Freeland Library here on the island, on Saturday, August 1. The exhibit will stay up until September 12. There will be 41 pieces in the show, and they are from my Vessels, Shrines, and Reliquaries collection. Over the years, I have adhered to the following definitions for those categories:

• Vessel: Anything that will hold or contain anything else.

• Shrine: Anything that commemorates or memorializes a person, place, or event.

• Reliquary: A combination of the two.

If you will be on the island, I hope you will stop in to see the exhibit. You can check here to confirm the hours they are open: www.sno-isle.org/locations/freeland/

Phases of the Moon

Recently a friend recommended a book to me, after we had talked about decluttering our lives a bit. The book is called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing by Marie Kondo. It’s a short, fast read full of anecdotes, success stories, and inspiration, and the Japanese aesthetic shines through. There is no-way-Jose that we are ever going to get our book collection down to what she thinks is appropriate, but I did take about 1/3 of our books off to a reseller a week ago. The main thing I gleaned from the book was her list of the order in which to tackle the various categories of stuff in the household. But her method is for households, not households + home offices + studios, so I had to add some categories to cover everything we have crammed into our house. It will take some time to get through the entire list, but I have to say that it is a real pleasure to have all the books on bookshelves, instead of in piles on the floor of every possible nook and cranny! Try your public library. I ended up buying the book, since I would have been number 246 on the list of people waiting for a copy. Now I just need to find a place on the bookshelf for it! Hah! Maybe I’ll donate it to the library, instead.

Enjoy your summer! Keep cool, watch out for mosquitoes, try to do something creative every day, and be well, happy, and safe, my little chickadees!

Larkin Jean Van Horn

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