Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A New Project and Deeper Breathing

Good afternoon. I'm feeling so much better today. I would say I'm feeling like my old self again but I don't know what my old self felt like! It was long, long ago that I felt anything that could be called "normal". But today, after a long, long road, I feel good.


I feel GOOD.

But I'll get to that story in another post on another day :)

Saturday was cold and I wasn't feeling too swift. I dug through my fabric pile, pulled out some more of my vintage, blank fabric and started cutting. Then, after I got the dimensions somewhat as I wanted them, I pinned them together and began sewing my new puzzle piece work.

It still has a way to go but the second photo is the gist of it. Jagged edges and wandering lines. I'm excited to see how this piece turns out. This is only the left side of the work; the right side has a large square with holes cut out of it. The holes will be reattached in another portion of the work. As for the holes, I've got a few ideas in store for them. We'll see how it goes once I get the background work finished and get it snugly in its embroidery hoop.

The weather turned against us this past weekend. We're under a freeze warning tonight. Sheets and garbage bags are in store for a few of the plants outside. I'll bring the cyclamen, the lemongrass, and the spiderwort inside; I'll cover up the fox tail fern, the hibiscus, the forsythia, and the butterfly bush. Fingers crossed it works. The hibiscus looked suspiciously as if it wanted to bloom soon. As for the forsythia, it hasn't bloomed since we moved to Savannah, but I'm always hopeful. Maybe this Spring?

Well, off to do some cleaning. I found some lovely little organizing boxes at the Dollar Tree and I'm tackling the dreaded "Husband's Desk of DOOM!" In all seriousness, it's not that bad; just covered in papers and CDs. I'll probably leave the papers alone but the CDs are MINE!

Have a marvelous day, Friend!
Stay warm and cozy :)


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Almost a month

Has it really almost been a month since I last posted? Not that it feels as though time was flying. On the contrary, time slowed down for me several years ago. It's a strange phenomenon. I seem to be living in a bubble while the rest of the world blows on by.

The bubble doesn't prevent anything; it doesn't shield me from sickness or frustration. It doesn't make me immune to the  day to day conundrums we all must face. It does, however, allow me to see things in a slower light. I'm able to look out my window - be it at home or while I'm out and about - and concentrate on the details that surround.

There's no other way to describe it. Everyone I know is already complaining about how fast this year is flying by. "It's already March!" they whine. "Really?" I look around me. "Hn. It's just now March?" February seemed to me to last forever. I usually hate February. This year it wasn't so bad. Then again, we had a very, very short and uneventful winter.

So here I sit, March 8 (National Women's Day, by the way), and write a long, over due post.

I finished my hoop project:

It turned out much more lovely that I'd anticipated. The frayed edges soften up the strange juxtaposition between the fabric and the empty space. I've yet to start on a friend for it, a mate. 

Fibromyalgia, it seems, is a beast and I'm just now being properly introduced to it. Blaming a lack of creative output on illness seems cliche but it's true. When I'm at home I'm so exhausted from the few days I work that I cocoon on the couch with hot tea and stories. My inclination is to fight back by doing as much as I can in nose-thumbing defiance. That only gets me more misery. I imagine Fibro as Kathy Bates' character in "Misery". It coddles me, tells me I'm doing just fine, "Oh, why don't you just sit on the couch and rest." And then, out of no where, while I really am doing fine, it attacks me with a sledge hammer. Wham! Right to the back of the thighs! The shoulders! The lower back! Arms and legs and knees and toes!


Slow moving conjured up two delightful and beautiful books from the shelves last weekend. 

My old sewing machine has had it. I love her dearly; she belonged to my great aunt, but she can't cut it anymore with snagging bobbin and grunting over thick fabrics. I'd love to have her repaired but I've been doing my research and it seems the best thing to do is let her rest. I've adjusted the tension multiple times and still she snags. But I'm OK with that. I'm looking forward to buying my very own sewing machine. I've never done that before. I'm the only woman in my immediate family who has never bought and owned a sewing machine. Aunt Mary was bequeathed to me by my grandmother. I love the old gal but I'm ready to step into my own.

The first book is an amazing find. The author, Sanae Ishida, was diagnosed with Grave's Disease and it led her on a healing journey that included her old passion of sewing. Reading about another woman with an auto-immune disease finding her way through art moved me to really reconsider, really think about my own, creative journey. That is still being sifted through.

The second book is the most beautiful book on natural color I've ever found. Sasha Duerr is a professor at the California College of the Arts working in both textiles and fine arts. Her instructions for using botanical material to beautifully dye fabrics are clear and concise. I'm so excited to have a place where I can experiment not only with the actual dying process but also with cultivating the plants themselves. She has a wonderful essay in the book on "Medicinal Dying". That speaks to the herb wife in me and sings to my garden dreams.

Sorry to ramble so. Like I said, I've been battling the Fibro Beast but whenever the fog clears, I do sit and think about this creative journey I'm on. I miss my pens, my inks and needles. I miss my fabrics and sketch book. I miss going outside and breathing in the season. A walk to the end of the lane is enough to put me out of breath. But I'll get there. I'm working on my health right now and I hope to have an excellent report in a few weeks. We'll the least, I need to be able to create again. For myself.

For me.

For this little blog.

I'm happy here.

Take care, Friend,
xo  <3

Friday, February 10, 2017

art on backward

Have you ever taken a peek behind a work of art? The backside of a painting may not be that interesting but the backside of anything stitched is most intriguing.

It's there that you see the mistakes, the knots, the frayed lines. It's the behind the scenes of the emotion, the frustrations, the perfect running stitch, the failed French knot. It's an entire dialogue between artist and fabric that takes place in thread.

I've always loved the backside of stitches. I like the tactile ridges and wrinkles. I enjoy running my fingers over the bumps and bruises, seeing the scars and the faded smudges of blood. There is sweat and tears in every work of art. There's also immense joy. Regardless of medium, the artist puts a bit of himself in every work. The imperfections that are unseen, that are told to face the wall, are the real story.

I don't want to hide my bumps and bruises. I limp on the bad days, stand up a bit straighter on the good. Why shouldn't my stitches communicate the same? An emotional road map that sings of the journey we took: needle, thread, fabric, idea. Think of the fabric, the canvas, the page, as your odyssey and your tools your companions. 

Go forth and create.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017


I've been enjoying creating some basic templates for some paper projects I'm hoping to begin work on soon.

the stitching project is coming along. I want to do an entire series, possibly of 3-5 hoops with some rambling stitchery. this first series will be called if on a winter's night. Calvino's book really moved me. these stitches appear a path and the fringed fabric a forest. I want to play more with perspective, not just in my art but in my writing. the way Greer Gilman plays with words and shifts perspective by using the most root definition of words. yes, yes, that's what I'm hoping for.

on and on the rambling way goes, 
weaving through winter like so much freshly fallen snow. 
hoof print of deer, pad of fox and squirrel; 
i follow, i become, more of me, this lost little girl

I love the idea of creating "little books" to house sketches and words. they will be small stories about things: projects that are medium specific. perhaps Miss Imogene will get her start here. her story is coming to me and I'm excited to write it down but there's hesitancy...I am unsure where the weaving will take me. it's away from the literary fiction I've begun exploring. I should amend: the magical realism, the literature of the fantastic. ah, yes.


bye baby buntings

these will take on new lives as buntings and flags, kits perhaps so others can craft their own?

the possibilities, they say, are endless! these paper pieces will become the houses of my designs. all my little sketches. first they get life as paper, then, I hope, to progress to fabric.

fabric of my very own.

to tell my story in ink and stitches where all the fibers are mine?


Saturday, February 4, 2017

a stitch in time

saturday has been lovely.

it's cold again, threatening to warm up by sunday, late.

as usual we're experiencing a southern winter: freezing temperatures on monday, mild and spring-like on tuesday, blustery and rainy on wednesday, with fluctuations between humid, fog, cold, and warm from then on through the weekend.

i'm holed up at home, being without car, listening to records and working on my current gentle work:

this is a departure from my usual work. I'm not even sure where the idea came from. isn't that delicious? a random idea, passing by, blew through my open door and *snatch* my imagination caught it.

I'll post a finished portrait soon. I only need to add one more color of little dashes along these strange, tattered roads.

happy weekend



I did not post yesterday.

I spent the evening reading

and herding cats.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

roughly drafting

last night I did some rough sketches of Ranunculus ficaria or, as it is called now, Ficaria verna. the common names for this little herb are lesser celandine, figwort, smallwort, pilewort, and fig buttercup. if I had to chose one, I'd choose the latter. I know the suffix -wort is commonly used in botanical nomenclature but still: it doesn't sound very pretty, does it? and pilewort comes from the old use of the mucilaginous properties of the plant for piles aka hemorrhoids. bleck. 

they are darling little plants with absolutely no relation to the greater celandine which, as I've found, is more available and more commonly used as a medicinal herb. everywhere I looked, however, there was caution: don't plant this! the expert scream. it's invasive! it will choke out native plants! people were asking about using weed killer to eradicate this poor, European transplant. I did come across one site that suggested appreciating the sunshine yellow flowers for what they are and said that writers such as Wordsworth, Lewis and Tolkien all sang it's praises.

for my next go at little fig buttercup,
 I'll outline in ink and give it a bit of color

give it a chance, the website urged.
let it work its magic on you.


and that's my lesson for my botanical drawing practice.

give it a chance and let it work its magic.

thank you, lesser celandine-fig buttercup. perhaps, if I can find you, I'll give you a little pot in a shady corner of my back yard. take that, weed haters.