Monday, March 31, 2014

"Butterfly House"

Many years ago we went to Calloway Gardens.  There we found a large glass room, filled with beautiful plants and even more beautiful butterflies.  The butterflies flew around inside their artificial home, landing here and there.  Often they would land on our shoulders or hands.  It sent a shiver of delight and wonder through me.  I wanted to stay there forever watching these beautiful flyers and having them as friends.

So of course my village has to have a Butterfly House -- life wouldn't be complete without it.  And it will honor these beauties who are having a difficult time in the environment that we have created.

I was inspired by some paper that I found at a nearby scrapbook store, brought it home and printed it onto fabric, thus giving me a door.

I had a lovely died piece of silk ribbon which had been waiting years for the proper use.  A few seed stitches added some texture.

The back of some garish buttons matched my colors and added a little bit of whimsy.

Just remember...

"Without butterflies, the world would soon have few flowers.  There is enough room in the sky for all flyers." - Trina Paulus

Friday, March 28, 2014

Working Hands

Charles Westcope

Hands tell the story of a person's life.  A carpenter's roughened hands reflect a life of hard work, working with materials that are rough and hard, a sculptor might have hands strengthed by the use of mallets and chisels.

                                                                 Albrecht Durer

An older person's hands (like mine),  have raised veins, age spots and perhaps arthritic knuckles or fingers, displaying time gone by -- time that has taken the softness out of the hands but not out of the heart.

                                                             Leonardo DaVinci

Hands can tell a story - a beautiful, ongoing story of life.  Within them rests all the toils and joys of our life.

"Let a joy keep you.  Reach out your hands and take it when it runs by." - Carl Sandburg

Monday, March 24, 2014

'Building' A Beginning

To begin a 'house' I must begin with the colors, tints, shades and floss choices.  Spreading this, that and the other across my work table is so much fun.  Trying to blend light to medium to dark, to make a cohesive look -- that takes a lot of time.  

And then the work begins - with these hands putting one stitch in at a time, moving slowly forward.

"Imagination is the beginning of creation.  You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last create what you will." - George Bernard Shaw

Friday, March 21, 2014

Third Month Meditation

For some reason, the months of January and February were not to my liking.  I found myself tense over nothing, feeling oddly out of sorts, unsure of whatever task I was working on.  

One day, I saw the above picture on  Esther's emakesart blog.  It was a beautifully constructed journal page and it reminded me to breathe.  I have practiced deep breathing in the past but not for quite awhile. 

Taking a deep breath from way down and then letting it out slowly was a sure cure for what ailed me.  The lovely thing about it is that it can be done anytime, anywhere. For those few seconds of concentrated breathing the world goes away.  Breathing in the air I become part of the universe, and breathing out gives me peace.  

Thank you to Esther for allowing me to show you her works and for reminding me to breathe.

"When people ask me what the most important thing is in life, I answer: 'Just breathe'." - Yoko Ono

Monday, March 17, 2014


Welcome to a spring nest!  How enjoyable it can be to put together a little house.  

Not without some problems along the way, this nest was built with more effort than I thought it would take.  After finishing, I wrote a page for myself outlining problems and how to solve them, solutions so that the design might be better next time.  That tells me that I'm still in a bit of unknown territory.

I'll be thinking more about what this 'house' plan means to me because I think there are deeper feelings going on and the practicality of my medium just has to catch up.

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

Friday, March 14, 2014

Spring is on the way

Do you know what you are seeing here?  This is a sure sign that Spring is coming -- soon.  These are LOTS of frogs eggs in the little pond outside my studio window.  Tadpoles will soon be swimming - frog croaks will soon drown out my studio music - and I will be ever so happy.

"Life stands before me like an eternal spring with new and brilliant clothes." - Carl Friedrich Gauss

Monday, March 10, 2014

One Punch at a Time

Do you remember the Hansel and Gretel story where the children tried to leave bread crumbs so they could find their way in the forest?  That's where I felt as I moved ever so slowly through this 'house' design.  Because I'm using reverse punchneedle I can actually delineate each stitch one by one.  My own personal crumbs.

And slowly but surely it starts to take shape.  The end is actually in sight.  My story is being told with hundreds and hundreds of punches.

"It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop." - Confucius

Friday, March 7, 2014

Lost Bird Film

Recently I had the opportunity to watch the "Lost Bird Film".  It documents the dream and creativity of sculptor Todd McGrain.  After reading the book "Hope is a Thing with Feathers"  by Christopher Cokinos, Todd determined that he would create sculptures to honor extinct birds.

Todd's idea was to not only create the sculptures but to place them in locations that were endemic to each of the birds.  The birds are Great Auk, Labrador Duck, Heath Hen, Passenger Pigeon and Carolina Parakeet.

Watching Todd's struggle to find suitable locations for his sculptures and the ultimate joy of seeing his creations in place was both sad and hopeful.  I send deep thanks to Todd. His work will be a constant reminder that these lovely birds are gone forever.  Hopefully, these magnificent representations will remind us of how truly fragile life is.   

"I never for a day gave up listening to the songs of our birds, or watching their peculiar habits, or delineating them in the best way I could." - John James Audubon

Monday, March 3, 2014

Once More...

 Deja vu -  from French literally "already seen", the phenomenon of having the strong sensation that an event or experience currently being experienced has been experienced in the past, whether it has actually happened or not .

Perhaps these pictures remind you of my last 'house building' experience. That one didn't turn out as I had hoped.  Because its something I really want to accomplish I'm beginning all over again.

My concept includes some mixed media along with punchneedle and I plan to use reverse punchneedle so that the design is a little more recognizable.  Will it work???  Guess I'll find out down the road.  Thanks for coming along me with me once again on this experiment.

"Whatever good things we build end up building us." - Jim Rohn



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