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Dean Kirkland

AND SEW IT GOES

http://andsewitgoes.blogspot.com/

Located in Portland

Last update: March 17th, 2017 at 11:30 am

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My art, my life, my family and whatever strikes my fancy

In the two weeks since our return from Cuba, we have pored over our photos, and remembered, again and again, every moment. We agree it was, maybe, our best trip ever. We have realized how little we knew and that what preconceived ideas we had didn't quite line up with reality. We went with open minds and hearts and realize

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Much of our time in Cuba was structured around educational activities—lectures, performances, museums, but equally interesting and wonderful, for me, was our time spent walking and riding through the streets of Havana and observing life in the city. The day we arrived we had some time, after checking into our very grand

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Growing up in Idaho in the '50s, Ernest Hemingway was a local celebrity, living in the center of our state in Ketchum, near Sun Valley. He showed up in our local newspaper frequently and everybody knew someone who knew him, or had met him, or had spotted him in a bar or at the train station. We didn't have many famous autho

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I knew that Cuba is famous for all the old American cars from the '40s and '50s, but until I actually saw them, I didn't understand how many and how great most of them look—I assumed they would be pretty beat up and ramshackle. Some are that, but there are hundreds(?—it seemed like...) of real beauties rolling ar

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Here's a fun fact: In the early years the streets of Havana were paved with stones from Massachusetts that arrived as ballast in the ships that came into the harbor to trade with Cuba. The photo below shows me walking on American soil in the heart of Havana.

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Where to begin? Our week in Cuba taught me just enough to know that I still have more questions than answers, and to understand all that Cuba is would require far more time and study. Take my observations with a grain of salt. I took lots of photos and will let them do most of the talking.

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Something I Need to Say

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It is winter here in Oregon. Crazy winter. Not like Portland winter—like winter winter. It actually started way back before Christmas with an ice storm that ripped through and, among other things, forced our STASH group to cancel our annual Christmas go-to-a-fancy-restaurant lunch. "Oh well," we said. "We will resc

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Yesterday I came down with a bad case of cabin fever—had to get out of the house! The holidays, wonderful as they have been, were getting a little claustrophobic. It seemed like a good day for a drive into the city to check out the new Artist and Craftsman Supply Store. I love an art supply store like some people l

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If you've been reading this blog for awhile you might know that, at year's end, I don't make resolutions, but rather settle on a word that will encourage and remind me of my goals and intentions for the coming year. I think it started about nine years ago, when members of an online group I belong to started posting their ow

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Earlier this week our grandchildren spent a couple of days with us while their hard-working parents enjoyed a little holiday getaway. We wanted to do something fun with the kids and since the weather had improved vastly from the previously icy, snowy week before we came up with a small Portland Adventure. It was a modified

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Second week in December. I had decided this was the year that I needed to embrace the "Christmas Spirit" since the national news was so depressing and getting worse by the moment. I'm not one who can plug my ears, sing "lalala..." and pretend the crap out there isn't happening, but maybe, just maybe we could carve out a lit

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I thought this wa

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You know I walk most days near a wetland area. And you know I take a lot of photos. I love the fall. I love the cooler temperatures and the changing colors and even the rain. In late November everything softens. The colors are more muted, the sky goes smeary and wet and the edges lose their crispness. We walk in all the wea

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One of my ongoing challenges in my studio is figuring out the best way to store and access my large collection of thread. I have yet to find the perfect system. In my old house the thread was on a rack on the wall.

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Yesterday I saw a link on FaceBook to a video about the Nigerian artist, Victor Ekpuk and felt such a joyful feeling of recognition! He has a style of mark-making that reminded me, immediately, of my own mark-making, doodling form. Here is a sample of his work:

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So many things this week. It has been one for the record book.Sunday: after a wonderful weekend in Moscow, Idaho and Pullman, Washington with old friends, we drove home in the rain, arriving in time to collapse in front of the TV and watch the presidential debate, and I don't need to even talk ab

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I've been cleaning up and organizing my studio and realizing how much old work I have piled around. I need to clear some stuff out—somehow. I don't begin to sell everything I make. I send it off to shows, some sells, some comes home and ends up rolled up and stored. Some I give away. Some I feel great fondness for, so

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Last week we gathered for a reunion with my brother and five of our cousins in Lakeview, Oregon. Lakeview, where my cousin Ginger grew up, is in a remote and beautiful part of Southeastern, Oregon that is a different Oregon from the coastal, green, mossy western edge that most people associate with the state. Lake Count

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Summer always seems like it will be a good time to get a lot done in my studio. I can picture myself with a tall glass of iced-tea, sewing away in my cool, shady studio, surrounded by green and flowers in bloom and birds chirping merrily in the trees. And sometimes it is just that, but I forget how many other diversions

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When we were in Pocatello last month, my brother said he wanted me to tell his daughters the story of my meeting our grandfather, Raymond "Red" Valkinburg. I would have been happy to tell the story, but time got short and we got busy and it didn't happen. So I thought I'd tell it now.

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On our recent trip to my hometown of Pocatello we drove by two of the houses I have lived in, and I stopped the car to take pictures of each. (Probably freaked out the owners if they saw me) I'll bet most of you have done this at some time. There is something so compelling about going back for a new look at a place you

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Last week Ray and I went to Pocatello, Idaho where I grew up, to help celebrate the 90th birthday of one of my favorite people. It's a long drive, but we get back to Pocatello almost yearly, and I have to say I appreciat

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It has been a busy year or so and I've had a lot of good things happen with my art. It has been accepted into a nice variety of shows and I currently have more art "out there" than I ever remember. It has gotten to a point where I am beginning to lose track of what is where, so I needed to take stock. I know I have shown so

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Wow, what a sad, tragic, discouraging week. From shootings to terrorists to hate and nastiness, it has been almost overwhelming. And yet life goes on. The photos on my phone this week show little that relates at all to the heavy sadness and horror I've been feeling. The sun continues to shine, flowers bloom and summer f

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