Thursday, May 31, 2012


Don't you just love the anticipation of beginning a new piece of work? 

Laying out possible fabrics, threads and embellishments (which gives me the thrill of going through my stash boxes) -- deciding whether I need more thread (of course, I always do) -- determining whether to tea stain some of the fabric -- wondering what other techniques I can use to bring this piece to life - this is the pleasant anticipation I create before actually taking those first stitches.

"So you see imagination needs noodling -- long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering." - Brenda Ueland

Monday, May 28, 2012

Rockin' On

I am definitely a 'rock' lover.  You know the geological kind -- the kind created by eons of heat, cold, water, ice and pressure.  The kind that make me sense how very small my presence on this planet really is.

Large rocks washed constantly by stream water -- tumbling to and fro when the water is high, warming in the sun when the water is low becoming smaller and smaller.

I like to imagine the huge rocks slowly (very slowly) being reduced to small rocks that can be held in my hand.

"Water is the driver of nature". - Leonardo da Vinci

Thursday, May 24, 2012

"Tell Me A Story"

I've been wanting to incorporate some words into my work these days.  Thinking about it brought up all sorts of memories of being read to, learning to read, reading to others -- as I think about it I realize how much books and reading have been an integral part of my life.  

I was read to as a child and reading became my main pastime growing up.  My adult reading involved reading to my own son, grandchildren and other children through work at schools and daycare centers and to volunteering and working with an adult literacy program. 

At one point I spent several years reading books onto tape for the blind and also read the newspaper for a radio broadcast for the visually impaired. 

This stitchery is my ode to reading.  I think I shall continue to try to tell stories - but these days I'll try to pass the words through my stitching work.  [A special note of thanks to my friend Phyllis - who sent me a piece of this wonderful fabric filled with handwriting and a drawing of a hand holding a pen - thanks Phyllis].

"As a child, what captivated me was reading the poems myself and realizing that there was a world without material substance which was nevertheless as alive as any other." - Mary Oliver

Monday, May 21, 2012

Feeling Grey

I don't know whether its because we've had a lot of grey, overcast days interspersed with rain lately -- or because many of my morning walks seem to be into the fog -- but I've become smitten with the color grey.

I feel myself being drawn to these misty, soft shades of grey with perhaps a little bit of soft blue or lavender thrown in.  Usually this is a light, bright tones time of the year - but I keep thinking of the softness of grey and its counterparts and I am drawn into its mystery and magic.

Recently I went to a Quilt Shop Hop where I seriously looked for grey fat quarters and the other day I spent a beautiful hour in the "Asheville Cotton" store where I searched out shades of grey to add to my collection.

I'm not sure what I'll do with all these fog, mist, ocean, clouds, steam, smoke shades but here they lay ready and waiting.

The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

Carl Sandburg

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Overwhelmed - in a good way

 The "Artisphere" show in Greenville, SC was adorned with booths -- like a huge feast spread out before us.  Throughout the day we managed to check out each and every one (at least I don't think we missed any).  Before I knew it my mind was reeling with the creativity, imagination, skill and beauty - all in one place. 

Above you'll see a piece of Wendy Zoschke's jewelry work.  She lists her work as jewelry/semi precious -- I would say that all of her work is precious, regardless of the stone she uses.

John Mowen's sculptures -- his work was so meditative and while talking to him I realized that he lives his work -- that what comes out of his hands also comes out of his heart.

Metal work by Holly Rodes Smithey -- edgy and contemporary.  Beautiful designs  and a wonderful use of color in many of her pieces.

Jean Yao's baskets kept us transfixed.  She makes them using bits and pieces from palm trees -- several different types of palm trees.  She begins by making a wire base (a work of art in and of itself) and then patiently weaves her fibers in and out and around.  She has combined the natural world with fine art.

I wish there was time and space to show you more of the over 100 exhibits.  Knowing that all across the country and the world there are artists honing their skills and bringing their thoughts into being, even as I write this, gives me a true feeling for the beauty that we as humans can and do create.

"Art is made from dreams and visions, and things not known, and least of all from things that can be said.  It comes from the inside of who you are when you face yourself." - David Smith, sculptor

Monday, May 14, 2012

Fog in the Forest

After an overnight rainfall came the fog.  Walking along I felt as if I were in another world, one complete with magic and mystery.

The pine trees have begun sprouting their cones -- although it looks like I might have covered my camera lens with gauze it is the fog that gives this misty look.

Do I see a bunch of French Knots in this tree?

Looking into the forest I cannot see further than a few feet.  The growth is deep and dense.  On this cool, foggy day I imagine the forest fairies curling up inside their hollow tree trunks with an extra cup of tea.

"I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes." - e.e. cummings.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Letters from Home

I'm a hopeless romantic when it comes to the postal service and receiving mail -- I mean the old fashioned, hand-written kind of course.  Do you know how difficult it is to even find  a postcard these days? 

"Letters from Home" is my way of honoring the lost art of letter writing.  With each panel, and help from my ever present 'stash of stuff' I tried to convey what it means to get a letter from someone who has taken the time to sit down, write from their heart and send it along to me. 

Each stitch brought forth memories when our mailbox entertained cards and letters - packages and pictures.  Those days are behind us -- but this is my small way of keeping the thought alive. 

"Letters are expectation packaged in an envelope". - Shana Alexander

Monday, May 7, 2012

An Old Friend

When I am at a loss for words -- or even ideas I turn to this beautiful old book: "Abbott's Ready Reference Illustrated Self-Pronouncing Dictionary".  I found this lovely at an antique store quite a long time ago.  Although it had had a lot of use and was partially falling apart I decided to bring it home with me. 

In these days when questions are answered and pictures are searched on-line it is a step back into quieter times to open these pages (trying to protect those that have finally come popping out of the binding).   The pages have darkened to a beautiful tea-stained color which for me only enhances its beauty.

While paging through this time I found flowers that I had long ago pressed into the pages.  Still beautifully colored they lay on the pages where there is an illustraton of other flowers. As I paged further I found some leaves and other flowers sheltered within these pages.

Some illustrations have made their way, copied onto silk, into my earlier book art.  Others sit there waiting for their time.  Don't you love these pictures of shoes and boots?  I do love using words in my artwork -- perhaps it time to revisit this precious book once again and see what treasures I might find.

"I was reading the dictionary.  I thought it was a poem about everything."  - Steven Wright

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Blank 'canvas'

This 'page' is sitting on my table waiting for stitching and embellishment.  Although this isn't really a 'blank' canvas as I have already put a collage of fabric and paper upon the true blank page -- it is still 'blank' from my standpoint.

It needs more layers -- its needs some embellishment and most of all it needs stitchery.  The stitchery is the 'exciting' part.  What stitches will I use?  What would go here and over there?  How many French knots or x's should go in this spot? 

Okay time to thread the needle...

"At no time are we ever in such complete possession of a journey, down to its last nook and cranny, as when we are busy with preparations for it." - Yukio Mishima

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Spring is the time of year when change is all around me.  As I step out the back door I am surrounded by beauty - and each day that beauty changes into something else. The flowers begin with a bud - a promise if you will. 

By the next day, or sometimes later in the afternoon, they start to change, slowly revealing the colors of their petals.

And this day, they are unfurled even more.  Almost every plant in our yard is either blooming, in full bloom or already losing their blooms.  Change is inevitable in our natural world. Accepting change as it comes, enjoying the different phases and stages is all part of living this full life of mine.

"If you surrender completely to the moments as they pass, you live more richly those moments." - Anne Morrow Lindbergh


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