Saturday, August 4, 2018

getting lost

"it's okay to get lost
every once in a while,
sometimes getting lost
is how we find ourselves..."
-robert  tew

ever wake up in the middle of the night and feel like you don't know who you are anymore? like you took one too many turns without being present and now nothing looks... right?

last night i woke into one of these moments and wandered into the sewing studio and just sat there. communed with a few of my stitched and dyed fragments. expressions, really, of self. tiny bits of who i am. or was. or am yet to become. who knows which?

i need to be present more. to myself. to the expression of my own fragments. i've wandered... strayed a bit too far. become lost. 

it's time to find me again..


Saturday, June 30, 2018

hexies on my mind

sometimes you just want your hexie papers to be as pretty as the fabrics you are stitching with them...


Sunday, June 24, 2018

darkness intruded

"light thinks it travels faster
than anything 
but it is wrong. 
no matter how fast light travels, 
it finds the darkness has always 
got there first, and is 
waiting for it."
-terry pratchett

no matter how hard i try to hide from the morning sun, it always finds a way to intrude upon my thoughts. waking my day to the reality coursing through the world outside my bedroom window.

yet, daybreak is one of my favorite times of day. teetering between the realms of dream and waking. some of my best ideas are born during this between time.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

"writing in a journal reminds
you of your goals and of
your learning in life.
it offers a place where
you can hold a deliberate,
thoughtful conversion
with yourself."
-robin s. sharma

sometimes time slips. unexpectedly. swiftly. disappears from before your eyes. it's almost like taking a wild ride in the tardis with your very own personal doctor who! 

it's been rather like this here on my blog. i got swept away by allure of instant gratification of instagram. don't misunderstand, mind you. i love instagram! but it moves so quickly. makes it difficult to gather ones thoughts. so i find myself drawn back to the wellspring of my blog.

a blog can truly be one's journal. that place where you can explore thoughts. share them. get feedback. wander from room to room in one's imagination.

a place to jot down notes and thoughts to come back to and develop further. 

to collaborate. drink from the wellspring and refresh oneself.

i think i shall be spending more and more time here, once again...


Sunday, August 13, 2017

hexies on my mind

i've gone hexie mad! i've got over 200 winter holiday hexies, 200 dotted hexies, 60 animal initial hexies, 100 reclaimed cloth hexies, and 400 (and counting) halloween hexies on my basting table.

that's not counting the over 200 coffin hexies that i just finished basting for my coffin hexie swap on instagram. there are over 7,300 coffin hexies on their way to my door to be sorted and sent back to the swap participants!

i've resisted the hexie craze for years. until now. now i see hexies. hexies, hexies, hexies everywhere!


Friday, June 9, 2017

considering edges

"i want to stand
as close to the edge
as i can
without going over.
out on the edge
you see all kinds of things
you can't see
from the center."
-kurt vonnegut

the skies this morning are sitting on the edge between endless sunshine and thunderous storms. the morning itself is and edge. between darkness and light. chill and warmth. is it no small wonder that i find myself considering edges?

in art, no matter the medium, the edge is as important as the center, the focus, of the piece.  how that edge is contained. or left wild and free. how the edges interact with the environment around it. do the edges set boundaries? redirecting the eye back into the center. or do they invite the viewer to explore new vistas? drawing one beyond the confines of the piece into unknown territories.

when we entertain going beyond the edges, we talk about pushing the envelope. this implies that we are inside the envelope. with everyone else. trapped. constrained. that we are trying to find the edges on the outside. so we can move them. but if we simply move the edges, we are still sitting safely inside them.

i prefer to think of edges as doorways. passages beyond, yes, but also portals of return. allowing us to roam the endless possibilities while still beckoning us home once again. to rediscover ourselves in light of new understandings. new experiences.  to explore the treasures we find elsewhere. the ideas. the techniques. and to integrate them with our own evolving sense of style and interaction with the world through our art.

will you step through that doorway?


Monday, May 22, 2017

glowing against the grey

"only connect!
that was the whole of her sermon.
only connect the prose and the passion,
and both will be exalted...
live in fragments no longer."
-e.m. forster, howard's end

it is strange, how ideas fold in on themselves and re-present themselves. a stray fragment whispered longings for something to make her shine. i gifted her with a star. seeing her joy, i sought to give this gift again. before i knew it, there was a tiny galaxy of stars, just there, glowing against the grey.

soon other celestial bodies whispered into existence.  moons. suns. planets.  these could be any or all, for what is in a name?  tiny echoes of the sunbursts and moonglows that have been manifesting in my studio. celestial fragments.

they look familiar. yet different. new.  ah! but of course! inspiration bathes us in its own celestial glow. jude hill's nine series of indigo moons and stars. pale resist-dyed "threadcrumbs" luminous in their deep indigo sky. jude has ever been a beacon in the star-filled sky of my creativity! so to keep that element, these celestial fragments are grouped in nines as well. to pay homage to the one who seeks "a cross-pollination" which "seeds a larger and exotic garden of delights."

so very different, yet related. these smoldering rust-printed celestial fragments would play quite nicely with jude's mysterious indigo jewels in that garden...


Thursday, May 18, 2017

creating rust

"i'm not the black sheep,
i'm the rust-dyed one!"

a lot of rust-dyeing and rust-printing has been going on around the studio these days.  i've been creating new techniques and exploring old ones further.  you'd think it would be a simple task, and perhaps it is. at it's core. but there are so many alternative options and nuances to be discovered here. things that go far beyond simply wrapping a rusty object in wet cloth.

for instance, in the photo above, i have what i have come to call a "dye plate" in use.  for me, a dye plate is any flat rusty object that can be used to print or dye rust onto fabric or paper.  this is different from dimensional rusty objects in that you are more able to control the pattern it creates.  my dye plates range from identifiable images (like the grizzly bear above) cut from raw steel with a plasma cutter, to flat panels of raw steel used for overall dyeing and in contact shibori dyeing (which i also refer to as "nouveau shibori" or "guerrilla shibori"), to cast iron objects with flat or low-relief designs.

the process is more involved than simply wrapping the rusty object in wet cloth and leaving it alone for a bit.  you have to monitor it. coax it. feed it.  the cloth must be kept wet. for even prints, sometimes parts of the cloth must be allowed to dry while other parts are kept wet longer.  the "dye blooms", which are what i refer to the bleeding or running bursts of migrating rust marks, need to be manipulated to create pleasing backgrounds.  this is done by saturating some areas heavier than other with vinegar water, by covering the cloth in plastic to encourage condensation, and other techniques.  a single print takes anywhere from 48 to 72 hours to mature.  more complex prints, with overprinted and axillary images can take a week, or even a month, to create.

i will be going more in depth into some of these, and other developing techniques, here in the blog as time progresses.  it has been a fascinating journey and i am eager to share it with you.

until next time...


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

a sense of home

"there is nothing
half so pleasant as
coming home again."
-margaret elizabeth sangster

in the midst of a flurry of rust dyeing for new projects and my new etsy store, i find myself drawn to my collection of wip's and ufo's. not in melancholic yearning, but as drawn to old friends whom i've not seen in a long time.

there is a comfort in knowing they are there. waiting. ready to pick up where we left off. harboring the glowing embers of fond memories. memories that rise with open arms and envelope you in a warm sense of home.

it's heartening to know these friends are there. will be there. whenever needed. even when they are temporarily misremembered...