Friday, January 31, 2014


I've been spending some time in the "Engineering and Design" Department.  I'd like to make some free-standing punchneedle houses.

I've drawn two designs - front and back.  They will be around 7-1/2" tall x 3-3/4" wide.  Will this work?  I guess for that answer I'll have to move on over to the "Production Department". 

"Not all those who wander are lost." - J. R. R. Tolkein

Monday, January 27, 2014

Hidden Water

Captured as I was with "The Secret Knowledge of Water" I knew that I had to create it in stitch.  Somehow I wanted to reflect the words I had read.  Somehow I want to recreate water, hidden in the desert caverns, canyons and arroyos.  I wanted to look beneath the surface and see it calmly gathering in pools.  Perhaps bubbling up in places neither I nor any other human would ever see.

"This was not the kind of water that could make war on the desert.  It was a secret, a softly spoken word that the surrounding desert could not hear.  If the sun ever found it, it would be gone in days.  This was an artifact of the last rain, which had sheeted over the face of this isolated mountain and just happened to catch in this dark place where a block of stone had fallen, leaving a hole like the pulling of a tooth." - Craig Childs

Friday, January 24, 2014

Oh My!

You won't mind if I pat myself on the back will you?  If I send up a big 'high five' to myself?  If I hire a band and have a mini-parade?

This was what I had before.  Drawers filled with plastic bags.  Bags filled with skein upon skein of embroidery floss.  It was piled everywhere.  It was overflowing the drawers. It was a disaster when I wanted to begin a piece and had to strew it all over my work table to see what I had.

For some reason the 'organization bug' hit me at the end of the year and I started wrapping my floss around bobbins, labeling them with the proper color number and putting them into neat and tidy boxes.  All the green shades together here..

But many, many hours and colors and skeins to be  wrapped ahead.  A project not finished but truly started to my complete happiness.

"True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Monday, January 20, 2014

"The Secret Knowledge of Water"

This has been my reading, these cold, wintry days.  A book by Craig Childs which takes in his two year quest for water in the desert.  I wanted to put some of his words into this posting because he is such an eloquent author.  Searching for pools, seeps, streams, ponds, rivers and even flash floods in our Southwest desert country - he took me on an adventure that I will never forget.

"The desert breathed and then went silent at the first mention of nightfall, a kind of quiet that comes only at the edge of the earth."

Reading his words I was determined to capture a small few of them in stitchery.  Thus came about this working of the threads in "Magical Water" - a piece that is still in progress. 

Don't you love it that we, with our hands, our minds and our hearts can capture moments, events and most of all our deepest feelings?

"It is always like this finding the source of water - a second of silence, the clandestine enchantment of encountering something small and sacred, then down on knees to see where it actually appears, how far inside I can reach." - Craig Childs

Friday, January 17, 2014

A Weaving

This is the only time of the year, in my little part of the country, where I can see 'inside' the trees that surround us.  Most of the year their bones are hidden inside leaf upon green leaf.  

On a recent walk I decided to record some of them - perhaps for a playback in the summer when I'm feeling closed in by their presence.  Of course they begin at the roots - here covered by delicate moss and protected from the cold by their former leaves.

Looking up, I can actually see a beautiful blue sky.  Cold, yes, but expansive - I feel like I want to fly to the topmost branch where I could look out and see forever.

These branches, which I normally cannot see, now form lovely, intricate weavings. Standing below I realize how small I am in this universe and I like it.

"We sleep, but the loom of life never stops, and the pattern which was weaving when the sun went down is weaving when it comes up in the morning." - Henry Ward Beecher

Monday, January 13, 2014

Winter House

I'm sitting here in my studio awaiting the next cold weather prediction.  Of course I had to 'build' a shelter during this time - a "Winter House".

Its been very cold outside with numbers like of 1 and 3 degrees bantered about. Quite chilly for this usually temperate southern climate.  But there is hope - the smoke from the chimney at Winter House is billowing out - meaning there's a warm fire within and I daresay my warmest sweater and many cups of hot tea.

I wish for all of you warmth and safety during what has been a very challenging winter.

"But it's mind, this poem of the night,
and I just stood there, listening and holding out
my hands to the soft glitter
falling through the air.  I love this world,
but not for its answers."

From - "Snowy NIght by Mary Oliver

Friday, January 10, 2014

Today I'm thankful for...

...words and books.

This old dictionary -- published in 1947 -- was a wonderful discovery made on one of my 'treasure' hunts.  Its heavy, full of so many words, their definitions and even some sketched pictures.  I can imagine the artist laboring over these very small illustrations and I am  grateful that I found this bit of history.

I admit that I'm old-fashioned -- I do all my reading in 'real' books. I love to turn the pages and to put book marks inside so that I can find my way when I come back.  The turning of a page still thrills me and I am so grateful to have the joy of the printed word in my life.

As you can see a tome this heavy sometimes does double duty as a leaf press.

"Every time I have to look up a word in the dictionary, I'm delighted." - Vivienne Westwood

Monday, January 6, 2014

New Year - More Fun

I love the new year -- I see before me 365 brand spanking new days.  I know what some of them will contain (or at least I think I do) but there are so many months, weeks, days, hours ahead that its like looking at a blank slate.

My first stitchery of the new year will be 'comfortable'.  It will speak of home and safety and the lovely softness that can come upon you while drinking hot tea or cocoa on a cold, winter's day. 

"Even in winter an isolated patch of snow has a special quality." - Andy Goldsworthy 

Friday, January 3, 2014

First Month Meditation

I am a rock.  I began with sharp edges, jutting out then over time made round from the constant movement of the water.  I sit quietly in a bed of crushed rock and sand.  The water flows around and over me.  Sometimes it is so strong that I am carried further down the stream.  I hear and feel both the calm of the river and the tumult of the rushing water.

Life is the water, I am the rock.  I sit here while life flows around me, over me, through me.  Eventually I will be worn away and will become part of the floor in which I presently sit. For now, I am the rock.   

"Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again." - Joseph Campbell


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