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American literature art children creativity French literature humor music nature quilts

Only a real idiot can have this much fun! (homage to Julio Cortázar)

Reading Julio Cortázar’s essay, “Only a Real Idiot” yesterday, I felt such a joyfully liberating surge of life energy, for he captured how I feel, on seeing a hummingbird scratch his neck with his tiny foot like a dog, or a cornflower in glorious blue abandon alongside gritty Rainier Avenue, or José González in concert. Or my classmates doing Aikido at sunset, a Chinese busker twanging strange melodies at Hing Hay Park, or Toots and the Maytalls when they were here, so long ago in the pre-pandemic past…

“I am entertained, deeply moved; the dialogues or the dancers’ motions seem like supernatural visions to me. I applaud wildly, and sometimes the tears well up in my eyes or I laugh until I have to pee; in any event, I am glad to be alive and to have had this opportunity to go to the theater or to the movies or to an exhibition, anywhere extraordinary people make or show things never before imagined, where they invent a place of revelation or communication, something that washes away the moments when nothing is happening, nothing but what always happens.” (“Only a Real Idiot” in Around the Day in Eighty Worlds, p. 62)

It’s all about enthusiasm.

My latest creation–to be unveiled next week at West Seattle’s Summerfest!–is the Luxury Troll Boudoir. (If ever there were a folly, this is it!)

Luxury Troll Boudoirs in progress, HGBG workshop, West Seattle (7/5/22)

— Set in a picturesque cigar box, each features a troll doll with its own quilt, snuggled into a little bed made of vintage satin
— Comes with a booklet, Beautiful Thoughts for the Boudoir, with quotes and portraits by five inspiring French and American women writers
— Suitable for children or nostalgia lovers of any age

Coming soon to the HGBG shop on etsy!

Author portrait courtesy of https://aldianews.com/en/culture/books-and-authors/cortazar-movies

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Next week: NAACP event features “Respect” wall-hangings!

I’m thrilled that my work will be included in the items auctioned by the King County NAACP during the Live Virtual Event next week! Two “Respect” wall-hangings–“For Him” (left) and “For Her” (right) will be featured. Details below!

Here’s to the great work done by the NAACP in Washington state and nation-wide!

1. “Respect” wall-hanging “For Him” (left, above)

2. “Respect” wall-hanging “For Her” (right, above)

The “Respect” wall-hangings: civil rights artwork for the home!

There are many symbols stitched in these wall hangings, such as the three little birds which conjure up Bob Marley’s song, the state names, and the two pockets which represent resourcefulness, grit, and homegrown American sweetness. The artworks represent an effort to honor Black culture in the USA, so that the history of struggles, the ongoing connection to Africa, and hopes for the future live on.

Both feature fabric from today’s leading designers—the historical vignettes of dignified African Americans are made of “Harlem Toile de Jouy” by Sheila Bridges and the silhouettes of Afro-wearing women by Aphrochic—both of Brooklyn, NY.

– Three patches declare our political statement: 1) a portrait in yellow and black of slain civil rights leader Malcolm X, 2) a cheery reminder of Bob Marley’s song “One Love,” and 3) the slogan “Respect Existence or Expect Resistance.”

– The back of “For Him” is made of plain red cotton; “For Her” is made of a blue and green African print resembling a palm tree or long-necked woman. Both are bordered with Japanese block prints from Hosekibako, an elegant resale shop in Seattle’s Int’l District; “For Him” features white cotton with brown bamboo and flowers; “For Her” features a dark blue cotton with large black lilies.

– Materials: cotton, satin, denim, flannel

– Size:  Height: 37”; Width: 57”; Depth: 1/3:

– Polyester batting (1/3” thick) assures lightweight warmth and a cozy feel.

– Quilted the old-fashioned way, with tiny knots of embroidery floss, tied on the back.

– The final binding is stitched on by hand, with tiny stitches to keep it safe and sound.

– Each wall-hanging has a cloth “sleeve” at the top, for easy mounting (with a stick or dowel and a couple nails).

Made in Seattle by Honey Girl Books and Gifts LLC: a woman-owned business, estab. 2018, by Seattle native Julia Douthwaite Viglione (daughter of G.K. “Jeff” Douthwaite, former WA state legislator and civil rights advocate).

https://www.etsy.com/shop/HoneyGirlBooksGifts

Respect wall-hangings, backs, “For Him” (left) and “For Her” (right)

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a quilt is born today!

I’m feeling a spring in my step today, as I wrap up the work on “Respect” quilt no. 12!

It will be available for sale soon, via the “Great Futures Gala and Auction” of the King County Boys and Girls Club, to be held online October 23, 2021.

Here’s to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America!

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art creativity design music work

(later, on day 29)– late-breaking news: limited edition Seattle face masks!

Design inspiration struck today, as I was groovin’ to the dance music and cheerful songs played on our local public radio station KEXP! As a result, you now have two more choices in these limited edition face mask. With a winsome puppy, one celebrates West Seattle’s small business, Honey Girl Books and Gifts. The other commemorates the day when the sun rises anew on Seattle, after good health returns to the people. Just $25 each, for a limited time.  Email juliawsea@gmail.com to reserve yours! (pick-up will be in 1-3 weeks). And thanks for supporting our local businesses in this crisis! We appreciate you.