Monday, June 29, 2015

Weave A Dream

I've heard it said that each of is living a dream.  I'm not sure what I think of this but I do know that each day I feel as if I am creating that day as I go.  Sometimes others are weaving my story and sometimes I'm weaving my story.  Of course I prefer it if I'm the weaver.

Creativity is all about this.  The idea appears in my head.  Its often drawn in one form or the other to give it substance and perhaps a bit of validity.  As the time goes on and my head, heart and fingers move together, like threads being woven into cloth, I see the results.

For me this is sort of what life is all about.  Using what we have within us to create a carefully woven story.  Just as a woven cloth can keep us warm when the earth cools, so 
can the work of our hands bring joy and pleasure of a day woven well.  

"We all have our own life to pursue, our own kind of dream to be weaving, and we all have the power to make wishes come true, as long as we keep believing" - Luisa May Alcott

can our own weavings  bring joy and wonder into our hearts.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Washoe Lake Pilgrimage

We recently spent 10 glorious days in Nevada with our family.  Woven in with the love, joy and laughter of friends and family was the sad plight of the southwest deserts.

Washoe Lake is a large but somewhat shallow desert lake.  Its located between Carson City and Reno at the base of the Sierras.  It has gone through droughts before and has come back - or at best retained a small bit of water in the very center.  Today the only water that can be seen is at the north end in 'Little Washoe Lake' and that isn't very much.  

In the shade of a few scraggly trees sat this bench.  A monument to a wind surfer who  shared these waters with his fellow surfers.  Sadly I don't know anything about him and couldn't find anything on-line about him.  But I join this tribute to him  with my tribute to the Lake.

While we were there I walked out into the lake-that-was-no-more and collected a couple of rocks.  I hope, with all my heart that the rain and snows will come back some day and with them bring the rebirth of Washoe Lake.

"Life is a bed of water filling from many springs and we seem not to know when one gushing flow will oe'r flood the banks only to be succeeded by a drought." - Anonymous


Monday, June 22, 2015

Shine Your Light

Don't you love that phrase - shine your light?  What a thought and inspiration that we might share with others the work (play) that we do.  That we should pass along the disappointments and the successes.  That we should try to shine each and every day in whatever way we might.

Please go ahead and ask me if I'm having fun and I'll answer with an out loud YES!  This small group of figures is certainly quieter than those who have come before and I'm so enjoying the quiet colors, the simplicity of the design and this oh so peaceful face which greets me each morning.

"If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely." - Roald Dahl

Friday, June 19, 2015

The Sense of Sight

Having worn glasses most of my life I have always thought that I understood the importance of sight.  Earlier in my life I worked with a program for the blind - reading the newspaper and books onto tape, etc.  The value of my sight has always been a BIG thing in my life.  

But then there is the other side of 'sight'  -- the use of what you actually have, to SEE everything around you.  How often have I gotten involved in the task of the day or a problem I was trying to solve and all these sights are passing in front of my eyes but I'm not really seeing them.  I'm more interested in the destination than in the view along the way.

I am thankful for my physical sight and just as I have to use glasses everyday -- perhaps I need to pay more attention to what is around me.  Using my sight to see the tiniest bud bloom or the bird far up in the tree, or the face in front of me without distraction -- now that is a real sense of sight.

"The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision." - Helen Keller

Monday, June 15, 2015

Practice Patience

Quietly, but not always calmly, I labored over this new design.  At the very beginning, before I even cut fabric or took a stitch I decided to put words or phrases on each doll.  Words that would reflect 'living' ideas I'd like to delve into deeper.  The phrase 'practice patience' was the first one I came up with.  I have no idea why, but it fulfilled a prophecy as I began this new design.

Sometimes, knowing what you want to do and actually being able to do it, does not happen.  But I persevered.  Through linen that kept wanting to squizzle beneath the sewing machine foot to the previously read story about faces.  It almost seemed that this doll was not meant to be and yet I just knew I had to make her.

And so, between the two of us we pushed onward.  Now she sits upon a shelf and serves as a reminder that patience can work.  Sometimes you have to 'settle' for something a bit different than your original dream - and that's not a bad thing.

"Patience is the art of hoping." - Luc de Clapiers

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Sense of Taste

Hmmm -- am I allowed to taste anything I want as part of my research into the sense of taste?  Oh, I suppose I have to be good!  Instead I'll live vicariously through pictures of all the things I'm not allowed to taste anymore due to doctor's orders (the perils of getting older).  

Do you remember your childhood when you were supposed to eat everything on your plate whether you liked the taste or not?  I certainly do - and not always pleasantly.  

These days we seem to want to taste everything and once tasted, eat as much of it as we can.  In some ways I think that by having so much food available to us we are actually losing our sense of taste.  It is now acceptable to eat MORE rather than be discriminating about what we are eating.

Having to change my diet in the last few years has given me a new appreciation for my sense of taste.  I'm happy with little nibbles of dark chocolate instead of a whole box.  I savor these small tastes because I know they are limited in quantity.  I have a new appreciation of the food I eat. 

This is truly the 'fun' sense -- so go ahead taste something wonderful that perhaps you've never tasted before and celebrate this oh so tasty sense.  

"Anything is good if it's made of chocolate." - Jo Brand

Monday, June 8, 2015

Let's Face It

While working on something else I found this linen shirt buried in one of my boxes.  It was an excellent 'find' at a local thrift store.   Oh, I just had to use this.  Its got texture, a beautiful earthy shade of beige/grey and soft, soft, soft.

For me the 'face' is the pivot for any doll -- it sets the scene for the story.  Does it make me laugh, does it make me smile, does it make me wonder?  And it can be the most difficult of part of the whole design.  In making a prototype I decided to draw the face on a finished head.  I practiced on muslin, I drew faces until I almost wanted to have a 'faceless' doll.  Time to draw the face on a linen stuffed head.  Tragedy!  That idea did not work with the linen.  Okay -- I'll just embroider over the drawing -- worse tragedy. Pawing through some older doll stuff, I found a few stitched faces which I'd once meant to attach to a stuffed head.  Voila!!  Could that work?

After making several faces and attaching one to a finished doll I thought I had the answer, but each day I grew to dislike it more and more. This doll design is supposed to be somewhat serene and quiet and even a bit sophisticated, if you will.   What is a non-artist supposed to do?

Coming to my aid was a collection of circa 1500 women's portraits.  Several to choose from, but this beauty came to my rescue.  I cannot seem to find out who the artist was but the title is "1500 Eleonara Gonzage Italian Renaissance".  

Much more to do, but the secret seems to be patience and perseverance. Thanks to Eleonara I now have a face that helps tell this story. 

"Sometimes things aren't clear right away.  That's where you need to be patient and persevere and see where things lead." - Mary Pierce 

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Sense of Touch

The sense of touch is with me all the time -- right there in the tips of my fingers.  But how often do I pause to accept it, to actually feel what I am touching?  Every day, fabric and thread flow through my fingers and I hardly think about it.  Every day I feel the warmth of my tea cup, the softness of my pajamas, the heaviness of a blanket at night - without thought.

One touch I never take for granted is the touch of another person's hand.  Whether it is the other person taking my hand or me taking theirs -- that touch stays with me all day.  It is a connection that I hope I never ever ignore.

 Am I perhaps drawn to fiber arts because of the textures? Am I drawn outside to touch the grasses or the flowers because touching them makes me feel even more alive? Do I stroke a baby's cheek in honor of her/his life?  Touch is a sense that I hope to think about more in the coming days.

"On the unconscious level, touch seems to impart a subliminal sense of caring and connection." - Leonard Mlodinow


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