A working trip back to my childhood home

I had so much fun on this last trip. I flew into Boston and met up with my younger sister Beth who lives in Massachusetts.

D P Coates
These paintings of my dads were hanging in Beth’s house. My dad was a Naval engineer, who designed steering mechanisms for nuclear subs, but he liked to draw historic houses with pen and ink and paint with oils in his free time. The funny thing is he was colorblind, which could explain the olive green ground and overly bright yellow houses in the painting above. I really love the way that bright red barn grabs your eye since it’s the only red in the whole painting.

page stThursday Beth and I drove up to Kittery, Maine to see my step mom who now lives in my dads old house, where I lived until I was 5, when my parents divorced. I had not set foot in the house since. It felt almost like a dream to walk through the house again, with memories flooding back. Intellectually, I knew it would feel small, but it was amazing how small it really was.

How I wished I had time to walk up to the end of the street and walk  through the woods to the cemetery on the other side.

page st kittery
me beth butchMy sister Beth, my brother Butch, my stepmom and I went out for lunch so I could get a lobster roll (pronounced lobstah)  🙂

lobstah rollthen we took a drive out to Kittery point and then down the coast to Rye, NH. I don’t think I’ve been back to New England in the winter since I was in college and it was so beautiful to see it again with snow.
kittery pt
Rye NH
I think the water is a much darker blue in winter than the gray blue I think of in the summer.

Friday I checked in to my hotel in Waltham, MA and met up with textile artist Sue Polansky who I met when I was teaching at Arrowmont and lives in the next town. Sue took me over to Harvard to the Natural History museum to see the glass flowers made by a father and son in the late 1800’s through early 1900’s. The incredibly life like plant specimens were made to scale except for the cross sections.glass flowers

It was completely mind boggling how they achieved so much detail with glass tendrils as thin as a hair.

On Saturday I taught the first of two one day classes using acrylic ink for the Quilters Conncetion guild in Watertown, MA. As a one day class it’s an absolute whirlwind and the only photo I managed to take was this one dripping ink on one of my demo pieces.IMG_1068
Sunday I made a point to try and take a couple more photos, IMG_1071

IMG_1075but the day flew by so fast I never had a chance to take more, let alone see everyones work before we had to quickly clear out for another group who was booked to use the space in the evening.

This is one of my favorite classes to teach, because there are so many techniques to explore, but I keep thinking of more things to do with the inks than there is time for teaching in one day.  I want everyone to try them all, so I always feel a bit disappointed when we run out of time, I much prefer two or more days and students always say they wished they had more time too, but I know many venues are hesitant to book a two day class because they’re harder to fill.

Before my evening lecture on Monday, I got together with my friend Sue Bleiweiss and went to the Boston Museum of Fine Art to take in the exhibits and had lunch in the fantastic cafe there. I love how art museum’s always have great restaurants. IMG_1077

Tuesday morning I woke at 5 am to catch the train to New York city and since it was so early I wasn’t sure of the best way to get to the station, so after hearing that Sue Polansky had good experiences with Uber I tried it and I have to say it worked out great! I had a $20 first time coupon, saw who my driver was going to be, an estimate of the fare, how long it would take for him to get to me, paid by the app so no fumbling for cash or waiting on a credit card and no tip. The 20 mile trip with the coupon cost me $7. 69 in a clean and comfortable car with a very nice driver.

IMG_1097IMG_1142It was overcast and cold on my way to New York, but everything was sunny again when I met up with my guy.

Phil took the red eye out of Sacramento, got to New York, dropped off his things at his friends place where we were staying and came to meet me at the train station to help me with my two 50 pound suitcases and backpack.

After we rested up a bit, Phil realized he was missing a cable that he needed for rehearsal, so we headed out to an electronics store that happened to be about 5 blocks from City Quilter. How could I not stop and check that out and also look for bolts of my dear friend Melanie Testa‘s fabric 🙂

city quilter

Since Phil and I had our days free, with rehearsals and performances for him in the evenings, I made plans to meet up with friends each day.

On Wednesday, Phil and I to met up with Melly at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to explore the amazing exhibits and have lunch.IMG_1133
I love this picture of Phil and Melly looking at the map.IMG_1131
On Friday, Phil and I met up with my old art school buddy, Tony Limuaco for a fantastic lunch at a Korean restaurant called Wanjo. Tony and I hadn’t seen each other in 30 years! How is that possible? I think the most startling difference about me and Tony since 1985 is our hair!
tony and me

Tony is an illustrator/graphic designer who took up knitting after 9-11 and is now an amazing knitwear designer with patterns published in Vogue and Interweave. Tony’s expanding on his culinary talents now, launching a kimchi business called Kimcheelicious, you have to check out all the amazing Asian cuisine inspired recipes he has on his website, Yum!

After our very fun catching up lunch, it started to snow as we tried to make our way around to see a few landmarks. This is only my second time to NYC and I want to see everything! It was very wet snow, melting as it hit the streets, but it was coming down pretty steady. grand central
After our train back suddenly switched to an express, we had to get off to find another one, but finally gave up and decided to walk the 12 blocks back. When we went up to the street at Columbus circle we were greeted with a winter wonderland, and it was a cold walk back into the wind the whole way! Never thought I would want an umbrella for snow before, but it would have been a very good thing to have!central park snow

On Saturday we met up with Mistyfuse Iris for brunch down in Chelsea, oh my gosh, it’s a good thing you do a LOT of walking in NYC.IMG_1229

After our decadent brunch we walked a good long ways to 30 Rock on our way to find a funny little ancient model train store about 5 blocks from there.IMG_1230
After the final performance Saturday night, all the dance company and musicians had a delightful and lively Chinese banquet with lots of laughter and singing at a restaurant near the theater. I feel so incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to accompany Phil on his annual trip now, and see such interesting, conceptual modern dance, listen to extraordinary musicians for four straight nights and get to know such wonderful creative people who express their art in a different way than I do.

We got to sleep very late and woke up a few hours later,

sunrise ny to ctto catch the train to Stonington, Connecticut and visit Phil’s brother and his wife, who’s also an artist 🙂 for two days.

Stonington is such a picturesque little town on the coast IMG_1307
with lots of historic houses painted lovely colors
but it sure was cold!
IMG_1308I love the color of the water from the shallow golden yellow,  root beer brown to aubergine, ultramarine, and cobalt. What a palette!
cold connecticuttIMG_1366Those are big chunks of ice floating on the waves at the shore. When salt water is frozen you knows its cold!

Which makes me ever so thankful to be back home in California where the sun is shining and I can put on a pair of shorts and feel warm… for now 🙂

Tuesday I fly back to New York, this time to Albany, where I’ll be teaching a 3 day (YAY!) workshop using acrylic inks for Hudson River Valley Fiber Workshops at the beautiful Greenville Arms Inn.
This week I have been busy putting together the kits, which includes 2 1/2 yards of fabric and all these goodies! We’re going to have so much fun, you should join us, there’s a few more spaces. Happy hour starts Thursday at 6, with class on friday 🙂

19 Responses to “A working trip back to my childhood home”

  1. debi kibbee says:

    great post Judy, looking forward to May 2016 when you are in Omaha. Hope we do the acrylic inks class!!

  2. Thanks, Judy, for sharing your wonderful journey with all your followers. In my book you are always THE BEST.

  3. dyemaven says:

    what a great trip! thanks for sharing it with us. made me smile. I’m going back to NYC soon and I always look forward to it!

    • thanks Wendy, I can never get enough of the fabulous museums and great spots to eat in NYC. I want to recommend two spots; Iris took us to Empire diner in Chelsea, fantastic dark coffee and amazing food! the other place I found on Yelp in little Italy called Piacere, (we’ve gone 2 years in a row, both times fantastic) it’s authentic italian pizza, wonderful atmosphere brick interior and you have to get the spicy olive oil for dipping bread and pizza, YUMMO! Have fun! and maybe I’ll see you in Houston 🙂

  4. Marilyn Lees says:

    What an interesting newsletter, Judy. Thank you so much. The colours in so many of the photos were so inspirational – I really loved the one of the golden sand under the blue water especially. Come back to New Zealand soon please. Marilyn

    • Oh thanks Marilyn! I really want to get back to New Zealand, it has to be one of my favorite spots on the planet. I just need a way to pay for my airfare! 🙂 I would like to arrange a trip in a year or two and book spots around the country to give lectures and a few workshops and hopefully get to see the south island as well. One can dream right? 😀

  5. woolensails says:

    It looks like a wonderful trip, filled with friends and beautiful places. I love Maine and we paddle out of stonington in the summer.


    • Hi Debbie, nice to hear from you again. The coast of New England is so beautiful, you’re so luck to paddle out of Stonington! Phil and I are planning a trip to New England in mid August to meet up with his brother and sailboat in Portland ME and go sailing for a couple days then road trip through NH, MA and VT can hardly wait!

  6. Angi eharis says:

    I dream of going to newyork, someday, tx for taking me! Aloha, angi in hana

  7. Barbara Furgason says:

    Thanks for report on your trip! I, too, have made a special trip to see the glass flowers. I was enthralled with their beauty and finesse. I wish I could take your workshop on acrylic techniques. You are doing the workshop at Gualala this fall. It might be too far for me. Can you recommend some books for me to read? Would you consider teaching at the Richardson Art Center? They have big, light rooms, and they have some quilt artists there form time to time. I am a member of the Richmond Art Center.

    • I would definitely teach there Barbara, I’m always happy when I can drive to a venue instead of fly! Ideally the acrylic inks should be a 2 day class, so if that facility can schedule 2 days that would be great. Unfortunately I don’t know of any books using acrylic inks on fabric, as far as I know I’m the only one teaching it.

  8. Barbara Furgason says:

    I will talk to the Richmond Art Center about how they find artists and schedule workshops. I am a new member so I don’t know if they stick to their local home grown artists.

  9. So much fun to “travel along” with you, Judy! I love NYC and haven’t been there during winter in several years. It looks like a great trip! xo

  10. Carla Snawder says:

    Just found your blog. Love your art and can I carry your luggage on all your trips?!! Really enjoyed reading and seeing your trip. I missed the quilt show here in Houston. Hope you enjoyed TX. Going to order your book for my daughter’s birthday, she’ll love it, very unique as she is!

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