Road Trip! With an Artistic Rest Stop

I apologize for A Pause in Quilting, possibly my worst post ever. I was in the woods of Indiana and the internet connection was horrible!

I drove off with my three kids, ages 3, 6 and 8, to our annual family reunion. That's 640 miles in the car with no other adult. I was afraid it was going to be a horrible time, but it worked out pretty well! My kids really enjoyed the audio books I had brought along. There were three major down times, two involving vomit and the other a really tired and cranky mommy. But I did get a nap before anyone was driven completely crazy,  hotel rugs are amazingly resilient (and the housekeeper was so kind) and rural highways have great spots to pull over in a hurry. Ugh.

We've done portions of this route several times over the years so we have certain places we stop whenever we go that way. One of them is Tamarack, the "Best of West Virginia" where all sorts of arts and crafts are displayed, sold, and even, in the case of their artists in residence, made. The kids were pleased that the textile artists in residence weren't present as they know I would stall out at their studio. Seems I've heard of Elaine Bliss, I checked out her site, but I can't quite figure out where I've come across either her or her work before.

Look at all the space! But no privacy. Quilter in a fishbowl!

I spy a Janome, but couldn't make out the model.

There was a quilter selling table runners and fabrics in the hall too, but I didn't get a chance to chat. The little guy needed to keep moving right through. Besides playing on the modern art sculpture inspired play ground, the only places that caught their attention for long were the glass blowers in their studio and (be still my homeschooling heart!) the gallery exhibit!

There were some beautiful pieces, some strange pieces, some mind-blowing works and even a few textile pieces. It was a great variety that led to discussion on what art is, might be, and what it might be telling us. There was also a lot of "Don't touch! Keep back! They want how much?! and "The artist was expressing a thought or feeling and we might never know exactly what he or she was saying".

Look at the detail on those gourds! At least I think they were gourds. It's hard to tell after seeing these:

Dinosaur balloons? As art, thought I? These are actually ceramic! All the way down to the little brass "valve stem" for inflation. Fooled me. Really thrilled the kids.

Stegosaurus by Brett Kern

 I'm not up on rug terminology, but this locker hooked (maybe?) rug/runner by Susan Feller of Hampshire WV sure makes me want to start some applique designs. Beautiful!

 This piece spoke to me, not surprisingly with its water and hands. It's called Healing Waters by Jean Gilbert Kellogg, an acrylic painting on canvas.

 This oil painting by Linda Stonestreet had what seem to be my favorite colors lately! I find myself being inspired by so many watery images and their colors.

Now after multiple loads of laundry, I just need to finish unpacking and catch up on a few things so I can take the inspiration and get back to quilting!


  1. Glad you had a fun and safe trip! I shared your blog with two friends. One is already starting to fm, the other is ready to branch out from SID. They both loved it.

  2. Don't you hate it when you're the one with the problem? When my son decides he doesn't want a nap I'm the one that tends to get really grumpy...he does fine. I'm glad you arrived ok!

  3. I love Tamarak! I haven't been in years, but should take a trip up. Glad you had a good trip!