Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Westlin Bunker

Last week we attended an Alfa RV Rally in Montgomery TX. The rally was fun. We managed a trip to Messina Hoff winery, returning with delicious goodies. Then we decided, during out last day, to walk up the adjoining road to the building at the top of the hill . It was extraordinary not for the view or the building but for the the history hidden beneath our feet indeed it was just great fodder for the creative mind. For the chic office building with manicured lawns and delightful water fixtures had a pagoda and two other similar buildings at the far end of a bubbling pool. Nothing on the building told us anything about it. Just down the hill in the forest they were busy beginning excavations. A sign and drawing showed what they were doing. It was an emergency data recovery underground storage bunker that they were extending with underground walkways to the existing bunker.

Ah Ha !!! here was all manner of skulduggery and no doubt in a few minutes a limousine with dark tinted windows would slink up and large broad shouldered, dark suited men, faces hidden with dark glasses would surely sweep down on us . Or maybe men in military gear would descend from the soon to approach helicopters. That's what too many Netflix movies do to you. We looked up the company Westlin and discovered the bunker had a far more fascinating history than I could have ever dreamed up. It was built in the sixties by the crazy nephew of Chang Kai Shek (NOT the correct spelling). It was built to shelter 1,500 people from catastrophic attacks whether alien, human or natural. It was a whole underground world only revealed when the oil company (the nephew ran an oil company)that built it went broke.
Here is the lead to it http://www.houstonarchitecture.info/Building/2124/Westlin_Bunker__The.php

Wow all that happening in rural East Texas.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Tome 7& 8

These two are my favorites and such a joy to make. On 7 the pattern was not followed, the tabs are the wrong way round.

This is Tome 7. I called it Friday at Deanie's. I painted the background for the studio and then made the figures from felt then needle lacing the women's clothes. The labs are black felt. This is the reverse side I wanted the machine needle lace flowers and leaves to be 3D.
This is Tome 8 and we used Pattie's pattern for the fairy house. it was such a delightful pattern and I managed to get it the wrong way round. I used buttons for the flowers and a trim for round the house frame.
This is the reverse side and is hand embroidered. I made the pocket into a wall and at last used a silk rod for the tree trunk. I sort of did my own thing. After 8 Tomes it finally dawned on me to put the holes into the background early on and NOT to extend the design into the tab area. On 5 I had trouble stitching it down if you are going to attach deep items onto a tome they should be done after the tome is completed. It may be easier to do it Pattie's way and turn them than to try and edge them. Since her idea was to use it as a journal of embellishment techniques this has also become a testing and record of construction techniques.

More Tome fun

Once a month, usually on a Friday I visit my friend Deanie to play. We started working on Tomes last year, then after the first 3 we had a hard time getting enthusiastic as it just seemed to be techniques we were both familiar with (we started with 4 other people who dropped out very quickly)and too much printing on fabric. So, we decided to use the techniques Pattie suggested in her patterns creating our own themes and designs and only use her design if we really liked it. Suddenly I was excited, so much so, that this month I even finished #5, 6, 7 & 8. I loved her woman for the first side of 5 and then I could not get going on side 2 then my muse kicked in or maybe I let her in.


Above is Tome 5. I used all the bits of beading I had made trying to learn different stitches. The bottom blue is tubular herring bone and I made it too big. So here it is recycled.



This is side two of Tome 5. I stamped a frame from my stash then added paper clay "artifacts" and other bits and piece that have laid around far too long.


This is Tome 6 and I just could not get enthused about making a doll in velvet. So I made foiled birds in the cut outs and a foil they used in automobile decoration bought about 30 years ago from Meryl someone who used it on wearables around the cut outs. pretty ugly eh!


This is the reverse side. Here I used a velvet that I embossed 5 years ago. I then made a pocket with Deanies dyed silk velvet. Deanie is an authority on dying and weaving she creates stuff to die for. I put the tags that I received in a swap with the Stargaze tome group into the pocket. The angel ribbon was added recently to prevent the tags escaping. That is a piece of the ribbon Sophie Gelfie sent me when my purse was voted the craziest in a French crazy quilt show.