Alex from UNDER A TOPAZ SKY contacted me before we went on vacation and asked me to be part of a round the world blog hop started by Hilary of "Living to Work". Of course in my usual fashion I forgot completely about it -- but here I am, a bit late but still ready to share. I come to you from Hendersonville, North Carolina. I've lived all over the United States -- but this place came at just the right time for me. The creative population abounds in this area and the arts are truly treasured. You almost have to create something with your hands if you live here.
1. What am I working on? Lately I've been busy creating the Ladies of Lickety-Split which are cloth dolls with stories. Doll making has been an integral part of my life. While I sometimes veer off in other directions: book art, beading, punchneedle - I always come back to the making of dolls. Just in the past few days I've set the "Ladies" aside and am working on a whimsical cloth doll - which involves only a smidgen of reality. Watch for it at a later date...
2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
As a whole this isn't something that I think about too much. Of course I don't want my work to imitate (or heaven forbid) copy anyone else's work. I do think that doll making opens one up to imaginative play and there are some very, very imaginative doll makers. I guess my work only differs in that its mine -- with my theme/story choices, color choices, fabric and material choices.
3. Why do I write/create what I do? Because it makes me happy! That's it in a nutshell. I purposely do not give myself deadlines, nor do I worry about 'what will sell' (as I have in the past) but I just create because my mind and my hands demand it. Its a joyful process and I do everything I can to protect that joy. I'm so very grateful that I'm at a point in my life where I have the time with which to spend hours in my studio. Being frivolous with my time and creativity is my goal these days.
3. How does my writing/creating process work?
During my morning walks I let my thoughts go where they may. Sometimes I'm just in awe of the beauty around me - other times my mind is busy, busy, busy with ideas for a new 'personality'. All too often I'm walking home so quickly you'd think something was chasing me. But no, that's just me trying to remember the random thought I'd had so I can write it down. Yes, I should take a small recorder or a pen and notepad - but gee where would the excitement be in that?
The other stimulation I get is from material things (especially fabric) but also yarn or fiber that I just have to use. I am totally vulnerable when it comes to buttons or 'found object' metal items -- these often whisper their story to me before I've even had a chance to think about it. Lately, my focus (if I have one) is to let my imagination go and to not let that inner critic pop out. Let me introduce -- One of my greatest joys is to visit friends online. What a treat to look inside another stitcher's studio to see what they're doing and especially how they are doing it. I pass along to you two of my favorites -- I know you're going to enjoy following them, if you don't already.
Rachel of VirtuoSewAdventures is definitely a 'virtuoso' when it comes to needlework. She constantly stretches herself, using new (and difficult) stitches in her work. I love the fact that she creates her art using historical references, pictures from long ago, symbols used in the past. She uses her stitches to make a new representation always putting it into context of the stitch and staying true to the original image. Rachel lives near Liverpool in the UK - so far away. What would it be like to see her work in person -- oh my!! For now I recommend that you stop by for a visit - I know you'll be amazed.
JenClaire of Bayou Quilts resides in Louisiana (hey Jen, not so far from North Carolina). I think she and I are on the same wavelength. Jen is creating some wonderful, fanciful dolls which I adore. She's got a bit of the adventurer in her, doing some of this, some of that. I love it that I never know what she'll show me when I drop by. Her figures seem to me to be full of LIFE. She loves to experiment and to play (my kind of gal). Jen also maintains a book review blog named A Garden in the Pocket. I think I need to stop by there more often as she has reviewed some very interesting looking books. Hoping you'll visit these creative women - I know you'll enjoy. NOTE: I'm so sorry -- my computer was giving me fits when I tried to link in Alex, Rachel and Jen's sites. Please forgive me. If you Google the names I'm sure you'll be able to check in with them.
Uh-oh!! The other day we saw a new face in town. Upon discrete inquiry we found that her name is Harriet Hexagone. She is an 'official' sent to Lickety-Split by the "Association of Witches Against Hex's" or AWAH for short. Apparently word has gotten out that Hilda Hexington is practicing spells in her backyard.
It seems that the AWAH carefully licenses those who are allowed to bring about hex's and Hilda is definitely not on the list. Its certainly a relief to the folks in Lickety-Split as many of them were staying awake nights worrying. Of course when Ms. Hexagone sees Hilda's list she might just break down and approve a few of them. After all, most of us have had the unhappy experience of being on the other end of the phone line from 'customer service'.
This illustration makes me happy. I'm sorry that I can't attribute it to its rightful artist -- but I did want to share it with you. This is such a wonderful time of the year for me -- heavens I'm even happier than I usually am and that's going some.
Hope you are having wonderful Halloween/Pumpkin/Crispy days time this month.
After retirement Hilda read a book about witches -- I think it got stuck in her library stack by accident, but I'm not quite sure. She at once decided that she would become a witch.
She had read about good witches but that seemed a bit boring. So Harriet decided that it would only be fun if she could place hex's on those people who annoyed her. Oh so many were written down on her list. You know the ones -- the newspaper delivery that ends up on the roof, the cold food which should have been hot and moving toward the top of her list -- the customer service person on the other end of the line (we all know that frustration). The list could go on and on. But I think we're all pretty safe for now as Harriet has been so busy compiling her 'Hex' list that she hasn't actually learned how to do a hex. Time will tell...
These are the first Autumn leaves I've found this year -- found in the middle of September but I'm just now getting around to showing them what with one thing and another. I remember the day -- it was cloudy and I was surrounded by green everywhere. Looking down at my feet I spied a red leaf, laying there in all its glory. I looked up but could not see where it might have come from - probably blown away in one of our rainstorms. A little bit later I found another deep red leaf. Could this be an omen of a beautiful Fall coming our way? "October is the fallen leaf, but it is also a wider horizon more clearly seen. It is the distant hills once more in sight, and the enduring constellations above them once again." - Hal Borland