A Fantabulous Field Trip

by Christine Barnes

stella-chile-detailYes, you are correct: “fantabulous” isn’t a word. It’s my combination of fantastic and fabulous, as if I could somehow make something wonderful even more wonderful by gluing the two words together. But a field trip to San Francisco with Heidi, Kari, and Patty was so delightful that it “broke the fun meter,” as Patty said.

First stop: FabriX on Clement Street. Oh my gosh, you should go. Marcy Tilton buys there occasionally, so you know it’s good. Here my buddies (and Patty’s husband Bob, our driver) posed long enough for a pic. We were so excited!1-at-fabrix-outsideThis shot doesn’t do justice to the store. It’s crammed with amazing fabrics, and the prices are great.2a-kari-and-pattyin-fabriNext up, and the main attraction, the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park for the exhibit “Beyond the Surface: Worldwide Embroidery Traditions.” As we walked through the lobby toward the exhibit, I was awestruck by “The Earthquake in Chile” from American artist Frank Stella, which commemorates a devastating earthquake in Chile in 1647. Seeing all that color on such a large scale was exciting, though the subject matter was anything but cheerful. I saw ideas for fabric design in this ginormous (now that’s a real word) painting. I took this photo with people to give you a sense of the size.6-mura-with-people

6b-mural-mid-range-2We took in the embroidery exhibit, which was fascinating, but alas, the light was low to protect the textiles, and it was a challenge to take photos. Below are gloves and a hat on display, and one of the many drawers of textiles under glass. The exhibit runs through August.4a-gloves-drawer-pulled-out-hat

3-embroidery-wide-shotOK, that was interesting, but what next? The de Young gift shop is always a treat. I wanted, really wanted one of these glasses because, well, the colors make me happy. Isn’t that reason enough? But I resisted, knowing the sign that said “please ask for assistance” meant that they were beyond my budget. I did give in to a little bracelet of fabric beads.5-sf-gift-shop-glassAs the infomercials say, “But wait, there’s more.” We entered an exhibit of Stella’s prints, and again I fell in love with the color. And again I saw fabric patterns.8-stella-prints-1

7-stella-print-39-stella-bands-horizontalIt just got better in this room of studio glass and other pieces from the de Young’s American Decorative Art Department. To be honest, my brain was a bit fried by then and I forgot to “take notes” with my iPhone. It was enough just to look.10a-glass-craft-room

glass-on-table-lateThis Chihuly piece was exquisite. No other words needed.12-chiluli-greenglass

12a-rainbow-glassI fell in love with this ladder decorated with paint and broken glass. The closeup reminds me of Wayne Thiebaud’s paintings.13-ladder-and-glass

13a-ladder-mid-size-looks-like-paintingOn the way out there was even more studio glass, and I couldn’t resist this luminous piece. I’m calling it “butterscotch” because I forgot to get the title or artist’s name. Sigh!16-butterfinger-glassOur fantabulous day was made even better by the gorgeous weather. Check out the blue-blue sky and these Victorians, taken as we drove to Stone Mountain & Daughter in Berkeley for more fabric indulgence. But that’s another story, and you’ll see what Heidi and I create from our finds another time. Thanks so much for looking. It was great fun to have you along for the ride!17-victorian-houses

 

 

 

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