Friday, August 1, 2014

Adventures in Stitching

I have to admit - when it comes to handwork - even if it is supposed to look 'a little rough around the edges' I have trouble letting myself completely go.  I'd like to pay tribute to three doll makers whose work speaks for itself. 

Nola Hart's dolls are wonderful and she very graciously gave a pattern to Cloth, Paper, Scissors so that others could make 'her' doll.  In the process of a description of her work she says that when she stitches the outline of her doll's head she doesn't have a pattern or design, she just stitches a shape.  To me that is such bravery -- and even more brave that once its stitched she uses it as it comes out - without worrying about whether there is a good curve here or too abrupt a turn there.

Robin Ridener of "Baggaraggs" creates the most wonderful figures.  Her technique of making the whole doll, staining it with coffee and then putting it into a 200 degree oven - not really knowing what effect she'll see when she takes it out is amazing to me.

Last, but certainly not least is Catherine Zacchino - "Junker Jane".  Her work speaks for itself -- but for me she is the epitome of 'letting go - letting be".  

As I wrote this tribute to these women I realized what was missing in my own psyche.  Growing up in a time where the seams must be neat, the sewing 'well done' and the end product be 'just so', I have a difficult time crossing those barriers into 'acceptance'. Each of these women do their art with their own controls (thus their style) but I don't believe they worry about 'what it will look like' - more the story that it will tell - the feeling that it will convey.  That's my goal as I work along today.  I know I'll never be as 'wild and beautiful' as these women but I think I'll gain a bit of fun along the way if I learn to accept with joy what comes from my hands and stop worrying about what's going on in my mind.

"Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring." - Marilyn Monroe

Monday, July 28, 2014

Miss Emily D.

When I began preparing this doll figure, I wanted to convey my nostalgic feelings for that old-fashioned thing called 'letter writing'.  The kind that used pen and ink, script or print by the writer's own hand -- written, folded, sealed into an addressed envelope and sent on its way - with the writer hoping that it would arrive at its destination safely.

One of my favorite poets, Emily Dickinson, was a great letter writer.  Being the recluse that she was, this was often her best way to communicate with others.

In looking at some of her letters, I had to chuckle, because most of them began with an apology for 'being so late or tardy' in getting back to the person she was writing to.  That seems to be a universal and timeworn thing that letter writers do - apologize for their slowness in returning a letter.  I know that I always do - because I am always behind.

Thank you Emily for all of the words you laid down on paper -- they are lovely.

"They might not need me; but they might. I'll let my head be just in sight; a smile as small as mine might be precisely their necessity." - 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Taking a moment... study the roses.  They've been quite prolific this summer.  Our largest bushes have already come and gone - it seems so quickly that I didn't even get a picture. 

Here are a couple of newbies -- which I spotted the other day.  

Upon looking closely I see that other creatures were also studying them. 
I'm hoping that this spider is looking for a meal of aphids, thus ridding the
roses of those pesky critters.

"Love planted a rose, and the world turned sweet." - Katharine Lee Bates

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Challenge of Spools

Tah-Dah -- here are my spools sitting in their bowl, fulfilling my InspiredArts Challenge for the year.  Not without a few glitches I might add.  Even at the last minute I was taking loops out and putting loops in.  I believe my 'measurement godmother' deserted me during this process.  But it is finished - ready for show today and ready to see what everyone else brings.

"I have the wherewithal to challenge myself for my entire life.  That's a great gift." - Twyla Tharp

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Green Wall

It is during this time of the year, here in Western North Carolina that I get hit by 'the green wall'.  Everywhere there is green -- and not just in lawns but in shrubs, bushes and trees - by the millions.

Each year I go through a semi-claustrophobic period.  Most people would say I'm crazy - what's not to like about all the beauty around me?  I think my feelings are based on being a 'western' girl.  I grew up living on the beach -- I spent much of my adulthood in desert areas.  I value the sight of the sun rising and setting in all its splendor.  I value the night sky with the stars spread from horizon to horizon.  I like knowing exactly where I am at any given time.

The first time we moved to the east and I made a drive out of my neighborhood, I got so lost.  I must have passed the same place three times before I realized I was going around in circles.  There was green everywhere.  It all looked the same and it was quite unnerving.

I love the feeling of standing in the desert and seeing and feeling the world spread out before me.  Its no longer about 'me' its about this incredible planet that we inhabit and the vastness of it compared to my smallness.  

For now I'll try to push my 'green phobia' aside - because fall and winter will soon be here and then I can complain about the cold and the leaves to rake - but by gosh I'll know where I am at any one time. *smile*

"Any landscape is a condition of the spirit." - Henri Frederic Amiel


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