Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Emptiness and Gratitude of Fall

I decided today to post here on my blog since it's been a while. I happened over to Jude Hill's blog Spiritcloth and felt led to add something new. Perhaps no one knows what people think in their heads .. i try to stay out of mine but often there is just too much in there ha ... and it's good (although at times scary) to have a place like this to put them. I still continue to find myself attracted to the little creatures that I run across on the property where I live. With this one there is a little story. I was out walking my dogs one morning and often I am looking where I am going and watching the dogs and just plodding along. This morning I guess I had my head down, it was cold and wind was brisk, my eyes were watering. As I walked a long I noticed this guy walking on the road. A long way away from water. My molly dog is mini dachshund and she is always finding something to get ahold of and for its fate I guess the little crustacean did not get seen by her. I'd say he was and she were lucky to have not run into each other as those pinchers there could really do some damage I'm afraid. So .. we walked past and I steered them clear on the way back home. I decided that this guy was so unusual to me that I would find my camera and go back to take some photos. So as you can see I did make it back and really searched for several minutes to find him. He stopped for a while and let me take some photos and when he realized that I posed no threat to him he continued his valiant effort to go somewhere. I know we have several streams that are nearby but he was far from any body of water. We had a few rainstorms during that previous few days but I didn't think we had any flowing streams by the road that would have somehow pushed him out into the expanse of this land. Nonetheless he was there .. in the middle of the road and i took several photos and just watched him going. I wanted to see where he was going and I knew that there was a stream up ahead. I think it may have taken hours to get there at the rate he was going and as the time passed he squeaked with every step. My lack of patience got the better of me and I decided to help him a long. With a piece of trash and a stick I carefully held him down and carefully walked him to the stream, which I am happy to say he is now in ... unless of course he decided to visit the neighbors up the road. And also you can see that the leaves have all gone now and there is little green left. Even the leaves on the ground have been crunched over and I have to hunt to find a whole leaf. I find myself more lonely with the grayness of these days.. so many gray days strung together, some rain and forced inside where the lights are low and the work is stifled with little room. But this day I was grateful to find this guy. I know he would have made it on his own. I didn't want to risk having a car drive over him. Silly ....i've grown attached to the creatures. More writing below. 


        I couldn't post about a crawdad with out wondering what it's showing up in my life now means. As with all things there is some lesson to learn here. Perhaps this seems odd but I take these events as wonderful gifts from the's nice to have a conversation with the earth. I have been busy creating. I did want to also share some of that. I have been enjoying the process of discovery that pushing through things gives me. Here are some things I've been doing. Mind you .. this is just some of it. Thanks as always for stopping over and having a look .. I've got so many more things to say .. it just takes time away from painting and playing and making art. :) Stop by again soon! 

 This is discharged on the back of a garment. On the right is the close up of the eye. I read in Jude's blog today that they are talking about eyes there. I love eyes and always have.

Below is another discharged painting on fabric. Sometimes I wonder if it is a waste to do these since they will continue to eat the fabric.....maybe then I can just look at them as temporary works of art. As you can see .. the eyes just seem to peer through you. Next to that is more discharge just using leaves as a stencil. I love botanical designs.

 Below is rust on colored fabric. I have made several of these that I am going to be using in a few projects. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the color combinations here. Did I tell you that I love these colors together????

More botanical and did you notice that the leaves sort of resemble feathers????  and another painting on fabric. I guess as I continue I care less and less about what someone would think .. and even though you may think that is not something you would do .. meaning that you do care .. i mean this in a way that .. for me .. if I decide that I want to try something I say to myself .. why not? Just do it...who cares? THere is no wrong way really. Who decides what is right. And yes saying that reminds me that there has been much time in my life when I strived to do things, make art, create, do what I want to do but by the rules by what the teacher says to do ... maybe it's taken me all my life to just do what ever I like . ... seems silly but still true.
 and again with the eyes. I love to paint eyes. They seem to say so many things ...they look into your gut with out your even knowing. They see all that is hidden without telling. They say the truth .. and what you see is in you ......

 Another leaf that reminds me of a feather. and below the sunset that I witnessed with that fiery blood red sky ... the furnace of the earth ending another day ....illuminating the sky with brillance. Such a lovely sunset. Such a lovely day. I miss the summer.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fog, Frogs and Feathers

I seem to have less time these days and I find I miss the quiet of staying home for days at a time. We've had a lot of rain and with rain comes fog and frogs. I don't know why but it seems that I find some creatures in my yard just as they are about to have their last breath. I am always somehow overwhelmed and honored to have to be aware of this. My Molly dog who is a cute little Miniature Dachshund of a brindle coloring is born to hunt and seek out all living creatures ... can't imagine why she is this way but it's just her nature. I'd rescued a toad from her before but a week or so ago I was a bit too late. She suffered for it with a mouth full of foam, I wiped her mouth clear and put her inside and went to check on the toad. I can't tell you how sorry I felt that this toad seemed to have been fatally injured. There were no puncture wounds however he just seemed to have a look to him. I took him back to my back yard and explained to him that he might have better stayed back there where there were no dogs to find him or dig him out of his hiding spot. Molly will relentlessly dig to find something. I sprinkled rain water over his fat body and he would move but with great difficulty. I sang him a lullaby. Silly, a grown woman singing to a toad. And finally I had to walk away and hope that I was somehow just being too worried and hoping as I passed around the corner of my house that he would have miraculously recovered and hopped away .... but alas it was not so and he had passed.

It seems appropriate that some of the days were gloomy, I miss the toad.

And now to what I enjoy doing. Lately, it's stitching and following Magic Diaries and the Spirit Cloth blog of Jude Hill. Besides all the wonderful workshops that she teaches she is also doing a project called The Magic Feather project. She hopes to collect 1000 feathers. She is thinking of giving a creation with these to Wendy Golden-Levitt . Here is my feather that I have put many hours into. I guess I always think I have to be different. Everyone was stitching the actual feather so I thought I would stitch everything around the feather. I wanted the intent to give to somehow be evident. The cloth that is here is a baby bassinet sheet. One I used on a bassinet that was mine, and I'm certain that each one of my three babies lay on it at one time or another. My daughter had it and decided she wouldn't be using it because it just doesn't fit the new kinds of bassinets. So for some reason I couldn't discard it and instead I rust dyed it and ripped it into many cloths. I love the way that Jude will sometimes draw outlines or images to stitch and so I had intended to draw the feather first and see what I would do. I stitched the center of the feather and liked the drawing and thought maybe my stitching would take away the lightness of the way that feather appeared in the drawing. The pen is a black ink pen made for drawing on fabric that I have used and it won't wash out but even if it fades what will be left is all the shape of the feather. Either way I am sure it will imply feather. It was at this point that I had decided that the stitching would be outside the feather. I intended loving thoughts into each stitch. I carried this little piece of cloth in my purse with a needle and a thread and every time I had a moment to be still and quiet I would take this out and stitch. There are many hours in this and last night I was with friends, some that were hurting and some that were comforting the ones that hurt and I stitched and listened and made the last stitch. Later I was about to stitch my name somewhere on it and the needle fell to the floor. I was in a restaurant sitting in a booth. I felt around for the needle but couldnt find it. I guess I'll have to find another one... but i'd grown attached to it. Silly. I wonder if I did too much when she wanted something simple. I guess I wanted to give my best love into a feather stitching which is time and energy. mostly just to give.

So if you would like to add a feather to her collection please follow the link above on her name and click on the Magic Feather Project and find some wonderful words and magical inspiration and make a feather, any kind at all, so she can reach that goal. And be a part of something magical. :) Oh dear .. I almost forgot the back .. I love the way the back turned out too!!!  aaaaccckkkk. here it is:

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Life is what it is...........

Some days my perception of the world is better than others. Today .. life is just what it is .. nothing spectacular .. ordinary sleepy day .. with some work smattered through out ... enough to break a sweat and need a rest. So right now .. i'm peaceabley tired. Satiated......enough.....

It's a nice place to be. Amazingly a word read through my blue colored glasses can on occasion come acrossed as a searing bolt of whitesh blue ... like lightening striking me hard .. a blow to my heart. I never know when it will come. I never know when my minds going to think that no one cares, i never know when the world will appear only black and white .. I never know when it will feel as if the sound stops and I hear no one talking. I never know when I will feel invisible. Sometimes I know that that's what it was like for real .. for really real long ago. Long ago..

So today .. I'm just here .. thinking, feeling stuff... just passing through it. I will never be just like anybody else .. I will always be just me. Hoping that sometimes I could just take off those blue colored glasses and wear a pair of red or purple or yellow colored or just plain so the colors I see are never even slightly altered but just the colors that they are... of course I'm speaking metaphorically here. I think that things in life that happen to you cause you to see through colored glasses. I know this, but no one else does until they get to know me. But I really just wanted to talk about the pictures.

So ..yesterday .. I was thinking .. I love to take photos of all the incredible bugs in my yard. I think it's funny that I love to see the creatures that inhabit my space .. even the ones i don't like .. and even the ones that have to go.......but i also realized there are alot of other things I like .. fabric for one .. and I came from a woman that loved fabric too .. she sewed all my clothes when I was little. When I was five years old we moved from the USA to Africa... imagine that .. during the cold odd but wonderful time to live over seas. For six years. Wonderfully exciting times in my life!!! without a doubt .. My mother sewed our outfits for all of our trips. My sister and I wore matching dresses .. sometimes me and my sister and my mother would all have the same fabric in our dresses. I loved that .. I so so loved that!!! . It was so exciting to be going on a plane .. and we had to look presentable. We looked spectacular!!!! My mother was a wonderful seamstress!!! She never just sewed one or two outfits but three or four ... and other pieces to complement other things .. so we always felt like we got a new wardrobe. She did also sew for holidays and special occasions. She sewed my confirmation dress, my prom dress and my wedding dress and even an extravagantly beautiful cover for a bassinet when my daughter was born. I hadn't realized that sewing is probably just in my blood. Happy memories surround fabric and sewing. So I have a love of fabric just like my mother. And I love many other things too as I'm sure my mother does. I know that I got a huge creative streak from my mother. That and dragging me out to every single museum and art gallery that she could on our yearly summer travels through Europe while traveling from Africa to the US and back. This certainly influenced my creativity. Today .. i realized I haven't shown too much about what I've been creating lately even though i think photography is another one of my creative outlets.I do enjoy doing more hands on art even though it's hot out side and even though I'm not boiling things up .. i've been making a stash of fabric .. that I've dyed or rusted or just sun streaked. Here's some of my stash .. oh and even some is thrift store bought . I never go to fabric stores and buy anything new. It's either a yard sale or a thrift shop.or a dress that has a fabric that I love, it's just the way I am. So here's some of my stash and what do you know but while I'm in the middle of the shoot of my fabric .. a beautiful butterfly lands on one of my dye pots .. and he stays there a long time .. even gets on the fabric. Then flutters up to my fabrics that are all laid out and pressed and sits there in front of them and then on them and then flies away and I am brought back again to grateful. For the butterfly is all the affirmation I need. And I feel the transformation continues ...and i see his colors plainly and they are spectacular!!! So below is my yard and all my fabric on my car .. it makes a great table in a way. Then there are the solar dye pots. The yellow is Turmeric, the brown I think is a bit of rust and some walnut and oak galls that I'd forgotten for months. The purple is the blueberry.. the green pot that the butterfly visits? That's rain water, vinegar, and a copper pot with pieces of fabric and it looks like it's developed some mold on top. I know there are a lot of photos here so .. just look or don't. The long strip of stitched cloth is my version of Jude's straps, I like it so much I may not fold it .. not sure yet. I may just put a back on it and make it that wide.. but I love the colors on it. I like the edges of things .. I like drawing on fabric and stitching on parts and not other parts.. I love dyeing fabric. I love nature. I love the sun dotting in different places. I like defused focus of sunlight. I love seeing with a camera... maybe thats how I see best!

This is the back yard. I have put up a table
out here and want to move all the dyeing
to back here. I like the quietness of this space.

Misty, she loves to survey the land from the front
porch. I think she mostly loves the cool concrete!
strips of cotton and silk eco-dyed

Turmeric glass jar dye pot, center is the walnut, rust, oak 
gall pot and the right one is empty... waiting for something. 

Cotton dyed in a walnut pot
red cotton ribbon which also
transferred to the fabric.
This is on the side, I can see this looking
out my kitchen window. I love the sun 
streaming down the path.
Eucalyptus dyed silk!

Silk shirt piece where the buttons are that I used as a strap for tieing up other silk bundles. 
I love the texture of fabric like this!
I do love to draw eyes! 

The beginnings of a beast maybe? This is discharged black cotton that was something my son had and was going to trash. I got it before he did that. I have a matching pair. He was using this fabric to tie something in his car where it got several years of exposure to the sun. I love this haha!!! 

Peace everyone .. I know this was long .. but this was just one day. Now I know why I don't do this so often. There is a lot of work in just editing photos.