Compressing a Life

I guess the current buzz word is downsizing.  It’s a necessity, I suppose, at least for me.  My house is too big for me.  I need work space not public, entertain judgmental people space.  I don’t want to keep all this clean; I would rather use the energy I have for doing more interesting things.

I did get almost all the quilts off the walls this week.  It seems I had spent the last ten years grieving and mourning my old life and most of that was finished.  Taking the art work off the walls was such a shocking sense of finality.  Yes, I will hang some of them in some other place.  Yes, I will sell many of them.  For now, they are rolled, wrapped, and stored.

All that remain are Kendra Bayer’s and Liz Berg’s pieces which both need their wooden crates dragged out of the garage.  It’s an easy job once I get everything in one place to do the work.  Worked my way through my photo files.  I know Bayer’s and Berg’s photos are somewhere; just not where I expected.   Since I could not find photos I guess I will photograph them once they are lodged in their crates.

I did find Pamela Allen’s Giotto Eyes, magnificent!  It also got rolled, wrapped, and stored away ready to move.


I have been thinking lately of a 4″ square linoleum cut that prints up nicely; I like how it mats and frames to 9″.  Been toying with the thoughts of what have I got in images that could make up a set of four more 4″ square carved printing plates.  That part of the scroll through the images was productive.  When I pulled them into a file it was only fourteen.  Cluttered on my desktop it seemed like a lot more.   I like the process of carving.  I have a need to be productive in the midst of the removal chaos.  It is probably just wishful thinking.

MorganFreeman.3.17.13In the meantime, Morgan Freeman, has come to lay between my keyboard and my screen.  He stays close to me these days; that’s reassuring.

Siberian – Miss Blondie

Miss Blondie is a Siberian Forest Cat, born 22 september 2011.  She is a golden and rather sassy.  Her picture was taken before she got her summer haircut.  She is spayed.  Miss Blondie is looking for a new home.  POA

Feedback Please ! ! !

I have a theory.  The best place to live would be a town where one could walk to take care of one’s daily needs:  grocery, bakery, butcher shop, coffee shop, pub, friendship, banking, news, and all the other little things we don’t actively think about.  That town would have good bus service to and from a near by  train line that runs between fairly major cities.  This town would have things like city water and sewer as well as decent electrical and gas service.

And, oh, did I mention?  the climate should be mild all four seasons with no outrageous extremes and there should be water close by.  Water could be fresh or salt or it could be a river, stream, ocean or sea.

Now that I’ve laid out my specifications let me throw a curve:  there should be liveable but old housing stock.  One should be able to buy a simple place to live for less than €100,000; where would that be?  How about less than €50,000; where would that be?  The monetary unit could have any name; euros were used as they are fairly universal.  The language could be almost any language.

please send suggestions to thelma scudi at out look dot com.  Oh, did you notice?  I have taken back my maiden name.

Tangible History

I don’t remember what year it was. It was the year the republicans tried to impeach Bill Clinton because of Monica Lewinsky. It was the year that Colin Powell was working in the white house. It was the year that I thought a member of my rather odd family would probably be the next joint chief of staff. AND it was the year that I had all the inside gossip and telephone ear because of all these things. I was so annoyed by all of that that I made this piece of textile art, No Pecker Wars.

It is available for sale. If you actually purchase it I will tell you the whole story instead of the coy teasers, above. I won’t even bother to change the names to protect the innocent. There were none.

Textile Art Collection for Sale

I have decided to sell the pieces of textile art I have collected over the years.  Here’s a list of the artists:

Nancy Erickson

Bodil Gardner

Pamela Allen

Sarah Louise Ricketts

Dijanne Cevaal

Fiona Wright

Loraine Sample

Barb Wills

Marion Barnett

Olga NOrris

Bailey Curtis – Horseshoe Pass, below

Kendra Bayer

Martha Marques

I have the images gathered together but not put in any sensible marketable format.  If you have interest in any of the works by these artists, please, let me know.  I will be preparing a CD with all the images.  To cover burning, printing, shipping, and handling the CD will be available for $5.00 US to thelma smith at hot mail dot com on pay pal.  The charge will be credited back when you make a purchase of a work.


Heroine with a Strong Influence

Today is the first time I knew Caledonia Curry’s real name.  Swoon is her public, street, name.

Check out here:

There is a wealth of images here although even if you scroll down you don’t get many of the early, street works.

Here’s another link:

and a nice bio:
Do be careful, the introductory 30 second video clip is on an endless loop that I don’t know how to turn off.  I would skip it if I were you.

I have known her and her work, via the net, since her early days of pasting prints on walls.  I did not realize how much she influenced me until I heard this bit of response:

I have been working for four years, now, with linoleum carving and printmaking.  I never made the connections, actively, to how important both the making and the ephemeral nature of printmaking is to my own practice as an artist.

Welfare Rant ~ Father’s Day Rant

When I was divorced in 1971 it was in a john birch divorce court. I was awarded $50 in child support per month.   (I said awarded; I did not say paid or enforced.)  I asked for NO alimony as I wanted nothing from the father of my children other than his responsibility for part of their welfare.

As, yes, welfare, Orange County, California offered me $100 a month in aid to dependent children; my mortgage payment was $104. If I took the $104 they would file a lein against my house. Qualifying for food stamps in the pre- computer days was onerous.  All of us were treated as though we were street walkers with huge trailing bunches of illegitimate children.

I went through the years my children were growing up working three part time jobs, The USDA, The US Department of Commerce, The US Census Bureau.  They paid poorly and did not run payroll on a bi weekly or monthly basis but when the payroll office decided it had nothing else to do. No benefits were paid although I made my contributions to social security.  Add to the three part time jobs, food stamps but no welfare and no child support.

It takes damned hard work and intelligence to not only survive but to thrive in the face of poverty, adversity, and bureaucratic insanity. I have not forgotten the indignities.

No one, I repeat, no one takes on this sort of life willingly. At seventy, I’m still an unwed mother, a high school drop out, child bride, shotgun wedding.  I grew up raising my own children.

Today I have to thank the system and the dead beat dads of the world.  Let’s remember clearly just how honest and responsible they were in caring for their children.  Happy Father’s Day, norman dean ross of garden grove, california!  Thank you for the character building lessons.


Stefanie Gray: It’s the end of welfare as I knew it, and I feel fine. But the public…
the Guardian|By Stefanie Gray

The moon in june

um,   .   .   or was that the rain in spain?  The preparations for the run for the border have begun.

Well, says it is 99 degrees Farenheit outdoors.  The air conditioner thermostat is set at 80.  The salt is dripping in my eyes.

It has not come to sitting on the suitcase but there has been a lot of mashing and mushing and leaning on and pulling cellophane tape tight.  I have successfully reduced seven file boxes of quilt archives to five cardboard boxes.  The dining room table is worse than usual.

I am waiting for the fatigue to soften a bit before I edit the cover letter for all the boxes.  The archives are going to the International Quilt Study Center & Museum at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.  All the documents for the exhibitions I curated in the oughts and all my business records for the last fifteen years.

I am well aware that there are dozens if not hundreds of textile artists who are much more skilled than I.  I am of the third tier at best.  I don’t think that means third rate, however.  I am hoping that a student fifty years from now will enjoy digging through all these files and will maybe find them interesting.

At this point, I think it is time for a nap.

Memorial Day in the United States

At the risk of offending kind, genuine people who are rightfully proud of their ancestors, I must say I am a bit tired of the maudlin, unthinking, recitation of rhetoric about how much honor and glory there is to war.  I am sorry, war is a lot of blood, guts, mud, and horrible death; and more horrible damage and disfigurement to the survivors.   There is nothing glorious or honorable about it.  Yes, some people have acted with integrity in the face of this abomination; that does not change the nature of the abomination.

When I was a child in Indiana, today was called Decoration Day.  It was a day to go to the cemetery and pull the weeds on the graves of my grandmother and great grandmother.  Sixty years ago we did not have the media information explosion.  We did not have the marketing explosion where everything was commodified and monified.   Penny candy was still a penny and a licorice whip was as long as a child’s arm.  Even the smallest village had a one room general store and a one room school house.  We were taught phonics along with reading and arithmetic.

Time has not made everything wonderful.  Yes, I remember when Jonas Salk conquered polio and we could go out into public places in the summer instead of being terrified of contagion.  Yes, I remember when whooping cough meant quarantine.  Diphtheria and measles were almost abolished in my childhood.  Penicillin was the miracle drug; it was poorly understood and certainly not subject to today’s use protocols.  Tuberculosis receded for many decades and now has come back with a vengeance to the poor.   I grew up with a familiarity with both medicine and pharmaceuticals.

But did we have to gain those advancements by paying the price of 800 inane tv stations and all the ballyhoo?

I guess Decoration Day is a day of remembrance.  Let’s just remember more!   The idea that letting our political leaders use up, grind up, and spit out our children is an idea that needs a lot of exploration and critical thinking.  thanks for reading my ranting and raving.


Left Turn Lane

Some images from Left Turn Lane

Left Turn Lane #1 Left Turn Lane #8 Left Turn Lane #17 Left Turn Lane #22 - detailleft

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