Thursday, October 25, 2012

Flying Machine

                                                        "Design for Flying Machine" - Leonardo da Vinci

Going back to the desert - flying high in the sky.

I'll try to post along the way - just to let you know that I'm thinking about you as I breathe in the clear desert air, spread my arms in the openess and feel the sunshine warm my skin (even though it is supposed to be rather cool).  And of course loving our family!

"For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and there you will long to return." - Leonardo da Vinci

Monday, October 22, 2012

An "InVESTment"

Who would think that design of a small lined vest would be so complicated?  Who would think that after several practice pieces the 'investee' would want to tear these bits into scraps and throw them all away?  Who would think that after 'three strikes and you're out' a successful prototype would be accomplished?

Meanwhile someone is waiting patiently, with a slight smile on her face, as her creator goes through all sorts of gyrations.  And we haven't even gotten to the shoes yet!

"Practice is the best of all instructors." - Publilius Syrus


Thursday, October 18, 2012


In my creative life I find myself drawn to symbols - some of them over and over.

Here are my 'most used' symbols:

Bells, stars, the moon, birds, circles, dots, spirals, letters, music, metal, time.  I'm sure there are many others -- but these are the ones that usually end up in my work no matter whether I'm beading, punching or doll making.  These symbols represent comfort and joy.  They put the world to rights for me.  I never get tired of them and often read multiple meanings into them.

Here's the official definition for the word 'symbol'.

sym·bol - ( n.)

1. Something that represents something else by association, resemblance, or convention, especially a material object used to represent something invisible.

2. A printed or written sign used to represent an operation, element, quantity, quality, or relation, as in mathematics or music.
How about you -- do you find recurrent symbols appearing in your work?  I know that many of you have some of the same symbols list that I do, because I see these same symbols in the work I love to look at.
Isn't it wonderful to have a treasure trove of images flitting through your mind -- images that please you, bring you peace and make you want to flaunt them in your handwork?

"We are symbols, and inhabit symbols." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, October 15, 2012

Lots of Stitches

Some thoughts on the recent quilt show that I visited...  Remember the story about the Blue Ridge Parkway and the tunnels?  Here is one tunnel represented in fabric and stitch.  It looked like one could just walk right into that tunnel.

There were traditional quilts...

...there were fantasy quilts...

...and there were contemporary quilts.

I later thought about the numbers -- the teeny, tiny stitches (both hand and machine); the fabrics - in all the colors of the rainbow and beyond; the shapes and patterns.  Last but not least the hours, days, months of stitching.  It was an honor to be able to see all of this beautiful work in one place at one time.

"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way -- things I had no words for." - Georgia O'Keefe

Thursday, October 11, 2012

"Star Gazing"

Taking a bit of time for star gazing!

Feeling the vastness of the inky sky above me - dotted with teeny, tiny lights (that aren't really teeny tiny at all).

Thinking that these dots once guided sailors and travelers from place to place. Could it be, that by looking at them I can also find my way?

 "Star light, star bright
First star I see tonight
I wish I may, I wish I might
Have the wish I wish tonight."

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Chappeau

Ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you that I am not a fashionista!  I wear jeans everywhere and most of my clothes are purchased at consignment shops or thrift stores, meaning I'm always behind in the latest trends.  My studio dress is usually jeans (of course), a t-shirt and my favorite, oversized green and black checked flannel shirt!  Ahh - comfort!!

So imagine my amazement as I dive back into doll making to find that I'm entranced with dressing these little people.  I'm working on shoes - I'm designing and making hats - I'm putting socks on little feet (okay I must admit that I myself am addicted to socks - love them in all sorts of colors and patterns) - I am becoming my own 'Project Runway' . 

While at a recent quilt show I went to my favorite vendor booth "Annie's Keepsakes" to pick up some of her delicious wool felt.  There I found this pattern for two hats -- a 'stovepipe' hat' and a 'flat hat'.  Of course both patterns were not designed for dolls but hey - I have a computer - I can resize.  And that's what I did!

This scrunched stove pipe hat sits perched on an otherwise unfinished doll -- waiting for the rest of her outfit.  What fun this was to make - even though working in this very small size and with felt was somewhat of a challenge. 

Now I'm working on a new shoe pattern -- this is a prototype in amongst the old doll shoes that I took apart for a pattern.  I learned the in's and out's with this first one and am about to start the 'real' thing in black felt (to match her hat of course).

I'm having way too much fun!!!  If you're interested in this pattern you can get it by contacting Annie's Keepsakes.

"I base most of my fashion taste on what doesn't itch." - Gilda Radner

Thursday, October 4, 2012

"Letters from home"

This little person has been created in homage to the old-fashioned art of letter writing.  As I was growing up and even as an adult I treasured each letter that I received from someone far away.   I even read historical books that were based on letters two people had written to each other. 

Although our modern day life gives us quicker, easier access to each other -- the letters written by hand were, many times, far more enlightening than a few quick lines in an email.  I knew that the letters I received were meant solely for me and were not written to a social media site.  Just one-on-one communication - sealed in an envelope.

Hand written letters (yes, there was such a thing once upon a time) were treasures that took time and love to write.  Also they often took quite awhile to actually get to the receiver - no instant messaging in 'those' days.  Sometimes, by the time the letter actually arrived, the news was already 'old'.

But still...  I make this little figure, who collects her mail in her pocket.  Perhaps someday it will end up in a box, up in the attic for a future person to discover.

A special thanks to Sherri for this darling little black chair (and two others that she sent to me).

"To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart." - Phyllis Theroux

Monday, October 1, 2012

My Place

My soul comes alive in the presence of vastness.  When I was recently in Nevada my grandchildren and I would go outside, into the dark of night, and sit looking at the stars above.   We could see from horizon to horizon.  I was in awe while my soul was at peace.

When I am in the desert, where the view is never ending, I feel my heart fill with the miracle of it all.  I celebrate this earth and my teeny, tiny place in it.

When the ocean waves break -- one after another -- and I look out to the horizon seeing all that water in front of me my heart sings.

I am such a miniscule part of this universe -- and looking at the world around me makes me realize that the every day of my life is only one iota of the whole system (if even that).  These thoughts free me -- they allow me to put everything into perspective.  I will never learn all of the mysteries of the universe but I am so very glad that I am here to nurture it as I can and let it nurture me.

"Do not look at stars as bright spots only. Try to take in the vastness of the universe." - Maria Mitchell


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