Thursday, April 28, 2011

another milagro heart in progress

it would seem that the milagro heart genre has resonated with my inspirational soul, for i find myself sketching more and more of them. not to mention finding myself stitching them as well...though, perhaps, not as quickly.

i still have a very long way to go with this one:  threadwhispering to do to the crown, the textured velvet heart, and beyond; perhaps some envisioned beadwork...but i thought to share the inception of this deep heart.

once again, it is encircled with french knots, with more to manifest. but beyond their reach there is an illusion.  one might, at first glance, think i've stolen into jude hill's wondrous studio and liberated some of her magic thread!  but i have not ransacked her treasures...this is but a deception. a delusion. call it instead a semblance filament...or a déjè vu strand.  it is actually a grey back stitch wrapped in black thread.  oh, but the quiet promise of her magic resides therein...lucky heart indeed!

but now, i must sleep...and dream of magic threads and hearts with endless depths...


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

fortune cookie wisdom wednesday

i didn't have my camera with me today when stopping in at my favorite chinese restaurant, but i did manage to not lose the tiny fortune before getting back to my laptop. so, today's fortune cookie wisdom reminds us:

 "everything has beauty but not everyone sees it"

in moments deep in meditation, i find it inconceivable that we can forget this truth! during the morning routines of everyday life, i find it difficult to believe that we can forget this truth. in the midst of afternoon turmoils, i find it sad that we forget this truth.  sometimes, in the depths of the evening's exhaustion, i forget this truth...

it's disheartening to realize that even when living a deeply spiritual life, the trials and tribulations that can attend daily life can blind us to what we already know. can instill misunderstood fears in our hearts.

our deepest fear, it would seem, is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure. how can this be, you ask.  it is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us the most. we wonder, "who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?" but i would ask, who are you not to be so? you are a child of the universe. your playing small does not serve the world around you, much less yourself. there is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you.  when you let your own light shine, you give other people permission to do the same, perhaps without even realizing it. as you liberate yourself from your own fear, your presence automatically liberates others.

so, go. liberate yourself. liberate the world around you. see the beauty that is in all things!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

amore perduto

there's this place in me 
where your fingerprints still rest, 
your kisses still linger, 
and your whispers softly echo. 
it's the place where a part of you 
will forever be a part of me...
-gretchen kemp 

amore perduto. love lost.  or perhaps even amore spezzato. love shattered.  indeed, some of the stitching adorning the heart looks as though it may have been shattered. once. twice.  i'm finally taking a moment here and there to dip into jude hill's whispering hearts mini series...  it feels wonderful to have the time free from work to allow my participation.  though hearts are not my first choice of subjects...  perhaps the series will assist in a transformation of this? if it had already...perchance the stitching might have read, "il mio cuore è per voi" instead of amore perduto.  but lost, for the moment, it already is... and so... andiamo!

there is still more to do to this piece.  more stitching. some embellishment. i'm uncertain what at the moment. so it shall rest a moment or two while i tackle another heart...


edit - 4:40 a.m.:

already, i find myself feeling fickle toward this piece and have decided that i didn't care much for the text.  a simple wool selvedge mask seems to be a good start. a little stitching.  soon to be more.

 the message is still there.  only hidden.  like most heart scars.  there will need to be more layers...or more embellishment, for we are frequently good at masking pains of the heart...

 and some additional stitching to the heart and it's crown, just for good measure...

it's interesting to observe how one's mind makes unexpected leaps and diversions when one allows it some measure of freedom...


Friday, April 22, 2011


sometimes, we need to just rest.  after my last three insane weeks i spent my last three days doing just that. sleeping, mostly. generally resting totally. unplugged. except for the odd peek into the net on my android....

and then, i began to rouse myself from my lethargy and put needle to fabric again...

this is earl.  well, that is how he introduces himself to folks since he says none of us would ever be able to pronounce his monster name.  besides, ever since he awoke to find that he no longer had the heart for monstering, he figured he should have a normal name...

earl enjoys fine red wines, quiet nights by a crackling fire, and long walks beneath the moon.  he doesn't like to talk much about his shadowy past and prefers to wear his heart on his...chest.  he lives quite contentedly on this book cloth created from various vintage linens, cottons, and handwovens.  his book cloth sports braided tassels adorned with tiny silver belly dance bells which hang over the top of one's book to help mark the reader's resting place, but can be equally effective as ties to hang this small cloth in display.  earl is the first in  the "pity the monsters" series of small cloths.  earl's little world will be available in my new shop shortly and will be ready for immediate shipment.

this week has been an odd one. filled with snow and rain and sun and sleep.  apart from the ache in my fingers the rain always brings, i'm ready to re-enter the world and begin the sisyfusian task of catching up with it all!  but, for tonight, i'm headed back to bed for one last good night's sleep before heading into work in the morning.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

spring snow

woke up to six inches of new-fallen, wet, soggy snow this morning...  just when you thought it was safe to pack away the woolens and break out the thongs!  ha!  i must have forgotten that i live in montana...

it's been snowing all day, too.  non stop.  sleep and snow.  so much for the saint's recent grooming.  at least, bringing her into work with me so much has kept her much cleaner than she would be if she were at home, playing in the mud behind my back... much like this guy:

she's been worse in her day...but i try to keep her a million miles from any mud now that i've experienced her high and muddiness!

this batty weather has reminded me of a little critter that's been lurking in the back corners of my mind for some time.  i think he may come out and play tonight...maybe even bring a friend, if it's not too crazy at work once everyone is tucked safely in their beds.  we'll just have to wait and see...


Sunday, April 17, 2011

morning rain

clouds come floating into my life,
no longer to carry rain or usher storm,
but to add color to my sunset sky.
-rabindranath tagore
that moment that occurs just as i am waking. becoming aware of this world once again. is one of the most magical moments of the day. i am most aware of my breath in that moment.  aware of the fresh life flowing inward with each inhale.  of the expulsion of transformed air with each exhale.  the house is quiet. the dog is sleeping. the cat is dreaming.  a cool, fresh breeze is wafting in the slightly opened window.  bringing with it the smells of dawn.  yes. most magical moments.  even more so when it is raining outside as it is this morning...

have had no time to stitch these past couple of days.  been working too many 18 hour days.  have another one today.  perhaps tomorrow will have some time to spare...


Thursday, April 14, 2011

a fortuitous find

what luck! even with yesterday's dimwitted fortune cookie! stopped in for a moment at a local charity shop before heading into to work for yet another extended shift and found these two wondrous balls of pendleton selvedge for sale!

these are like the ones that i began weaving that scarf from what seems so long ago...only brighter and more jewel-toned! of course, these will be the next to find their way onto my loom once i finish the other scarf! oh, the projects to do...the projects to do... 

i've been reading a lot more blogs lately during breaks at work and it seems that many are looking at their ufo lists as something detrimental to their health.  now, i know several psychologists that would probably agree.  however, you have to take into consideration the mindset and operational tendencies of an artist. artists tend to be more tempermental (and i don't mean in a blowing one's stack sort of way). we tend to be more in touch with our emotions...or, at least, influenced more heavily by them. and by our intuitions.  we begin creating because of something that has moved us in some way.  if we are moved in a different way before that initial creation has come to full manifestation, then it moves to one side.  other times, it needs to rest. to be lived with for a while, so that we might sense its full impact and continue coaxing it into existence more appropriately.  for this reason, i tend not to think of them even as ufo's...but as beings in process (which does sound better than bip's).  i have little concern for there being many beings in process around me in my studio.  indeead...aren't we all beings in process?  we are in good company!


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

fortune cookie wisdom wednesday

thanks to a very generous and amazingly talented friend found through the one world one heart 2011 event, i now have a marvelous new fortune cookie wisdome wednesday banner!  the bodhi chicklet creates these too lovely for words fortune cookies from some sort of clay. they look so real, i am frequently tempted to munch into one...but have managed to refrain thus far. i remember thinking how wonderful they looked when i stumbled across her engaging blog...and how disappointed i was when i didn't win her give away offering of three of these beauties. you can imagine my delight, and amazement, when she wrote to tell me that she was sending some to me just because she has a big heart and a generous hand and knew how much i would enjoy them! they even have their own fortunes nestled inside...perhaps next time i'll have to share one of them!

until then...

sad, but true.  i've been known to receive fortune cookies lacking in fortune.  i'm thinking this is yet another of those times, for all the same that it contained this slip of paper....


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

pity the monsters

"this used to be a mean monster
until he got sick one winter
with the flu & stayed in
bed & watched too much
little house on the prairie
& now the littlest thing &
he starts to cry."
- brian andreas

have lately been contemplating the various monsters we harbor in our hearts and minds. fear. lack of esteem. distrust. inaction. self doubt. oh...the list goes on ad naseum. 

the odd thing about these monsters, however, is that when you look back at them, they get nervous.  the shy away from scrutiny. they know their posturing is full of bluff and blunder.  they have no inherent power. only that power that we give to them. even when they look deeper into themselves, they find they haven't the heart for monstering...

a bit more stitching to do on this little one eyed monster book cloth, but he's coming along nicely.  i'm already feeling my heart soften towards him....


Sunday, April 10, 2011

creativity monster

"embroidery is a very personal art,
its charm lies in the individuality
expressed by the worker."
- w. g. paulson townsend, 1899

this can also be said of any fragment of needlework (or other artistic expression, for that matter).  even when we find ourselves joyously influenced by others we admire and aspire toward, our needles move to a different rhythm, expressing the soul that lies behind their direction.

those who inspire me (jude hill, ann wood, india flint, heike gerbig , those amazingly talented folk listed on the side bar in "some of my favorite haunts", and so many others yet to be listed there) all leave their mark on my creative expression. how could they not? but even though i can see the touch of their essence in my work, it is like recognizing a mother's eyes or a father's chin in a child.  i am thankful and blessed to have such amazing creative "parents" and hope that my own work does them proud!

one of the most difficult aspect of the creative life is learning to trust one's artistic intuition and expression. we look to our teachers. we look to our peers.  we look to our patrons.  everywhere but to ourselves for validation.  something that richard hatton once wrote really helped to open my heart to trusting my own sense of design: 

"we have to trust our own choice after all,
and end with the simple belief that
what pleases us is beautiful. 
indeed, no other rule is of any use to us,
and if we do but honestly please ourselves,
and make forms which genuinely give us pleasure,
we shall find ourselves credited
with the power of designing beautiful things."
- richard hatton

this has been a great struggle for me in the past. i'd like to say it is a monster that i've put to bed. but, being human, i still wrestle with him from time to time. but i return and contemplate hatton's wisdom and am heartened. for those of you who find yourselves rolling around in the grass with this monster, i hope this thought helps you, too!

and now, to dive into that thread basket and commence work on a new monster fragment...


Thursday, April 7, 2011

empty spaces

"i was waiting for the longest time,
she said. i thought you forgot.
it is hard to forget, i said,
when there is such an empty space
when you are gone." 
-brian andreas

internet connectivity has grown worse at home. six more days until my system switches over to the new company. keeping fingers and toes crossed that it will make a difference.  if not, i'll be cancelling them and going back to cable.

meanwhile, there have been a lot of empty spaces in my mind without any reliable connectivity. i'm falling behind on my blog posting. even more so with my blog reading. but it hasn't stopped there.  empty spaces have been opening up around my home as i sort and disperse "stuff".  traditional quilting fabrics that i haven't touched in ages are going out to friends. various craft supplies that no longer find their way into my life are following close behind.  reduce. clarify. disentangle. simplify.

finding more time to put needle and thread to fragment.  have several new manifestations to share when my connection resumes.  finished the couched tree tutorial. began tinkering with new ideas. new explorations.  just can't get them posted here until either my connection clears up wednesday, or i quit working so many hours and can go sit in a coffee shop and use their connection for a while.  unfortunately, working a 74+ hour week generally finds such establishments closed by the time i head home for a few precious hours of stitching and sleep.

one amazing improvement, however, is that i've been invited to bring along the saint on my 14-18 hour shifts so she won't damage her bladder while waiting for me to return home and let her out. (she's very delicate about relieving herself and wouldn't dream of doing so in the house.)  the elders in residency are enjoying her company to no end. the saint, being an affection whore, is in pig heaven and pouts when we head back home to the cat, who has taken to ignoring her in favor of sprawling in my exhausted lap...

at least i get the occasional opportunity to connect and post from time to time at work!


Monday, April 4, 2011

squares, squares, everywhere squares

could there be any more little squares in this piece?  i suppose, if the 3" squares were 1 1/2" squares like the others, there could be...


Saturday, April 2, 2011

eye candy this week

since i still can't get online at home, and i have always believed that is a good thing to foster community, i just thought i'd take a moment and share a few of the sites i've enjoyed this week while surfing around (click on each photo to take you to the original post and your browser's "back" button to bring you back here, or right click and select "open in new window" to check them out without leaving this site)...

there are so many more delights i would love to share with you...but there is only so much room and time...