Handwork

Working on hand sewing projects is strange. You are sitting down, relaxed, to work on a project, but your mind could be racing. It might be a time that engenders new ideas or brings resolution to problems.

For my current project, I work on it a bit and think that I don’t want to put a whole lot of stitching on it. Maybe I’ll fill just one more circle.

Then maybe one more.

But then it needs some here to balance.

Hmmmm….does it need some beading or does the metallic paint give it enough bling?

I thought this piece was going to stay simple and serene. So many thoughts running through my brain that cannot be seen as I sit calmly stitching, one little stitch at a time.

Strange…

Almost done, I think.

No beads on this one. Keep it simple. Soft edges so wrap around the canvas. Yep!

Finished and really just the way I envisioned it. Hand work really gives you the time to think things through!

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Contemplation

It’s approaching noon and I’m still in my pajamas. I didn’t get out of bed until after 7:00 this morning. I haven’t done anything but drink coffee and read.

This is the height  of lazy decadence and I’m enjoying every moment. However, this is not a sustainable state of being for me. I’m already getting a little antsy from sitting around too long. I’ve been worried that I’ll turn into a do-nothing, lazy bum. I’m pretty sure right now that that is not going to happen.

Retirement is, after a long time, becoming a part of my brain. I finally realize that I don’t HAVE to do something every single minute of every single day. I still like getting up early, but it doesn’t have to be before 6:00. I enjoy starting the day with a leisurely cup of coffee and time for the gym before doing anything productive.

And by productive, I mean making art.

And time is slowing down in that area, too. I’m being more thoughtful about what I produce. I have a very clear line in my head between what I think is commercial craft product and art—though I don’t really like the terms of ‘craft’ and ‘art’. I prefer the idea that art is the concept, the idea and that craft is the process needed to make the vision into reality. And that there are some items that fit into people’s homes more readily than others!

Ambition is not in my vocabulary anymore, if it ever even was! I have dreams of market viability but have no drive to do the work to make it happen. And I’m actually okay with that.

My life is at a place that I never dreamed it would be. I’m comfortable, happy and doing only what I want to do. How amazing is that?

I feel like I’ve written this same thing recently, but it’s still so very true. Life is good!

 

Watching paint dry

Been doing that a bit the last several days, trying to get pieces mounted and finished. These are ready to be glued down now.

So, while I was waiting, I decided to distract reward myself with a bit of fun. I had these three pieces that I started on a play day and thought I’d pick one to work on.

This is what I picked and how it looked after I was done playing on the sewing machine.

Then I started playing with additional embellishments–beads

a funky little birdhouse

some lacy leaves that are hard to see!

and then I found the buttons! I think I’ve found the solution!

Maybe fewer……………

Feel free to chime in with your opinions! Whenever it’s decision time, that means it’s a good time to take a break, get something to drink, maybe write a blog post………..that’s where I’m at! Coffee and blog. Thinking………….

Simply a technique junkie

Since the 1970’s, I have been a constant learner of textile related techniques. Whatever was the latest design fad or invention, I was right in there learning all about it.

A little wacky twist

I bought books and gadgets and took classes constantly. I made quilts and collected fabrics–and embellishment materials–and more recently, beads. I’m learning about stamps and paints and doing embroidery again.

I make textile collages intended to be hung on walls for decorative purposes. Sometimes I can call myself an artist, and even say it with a straight face. However, deep down, I wonder if I’m not simply a technique junkie.

Here–cut it like this, stitch with this thread or add this paper or bead or piece of lace…I know when I make a piece whether it is ‘good’ or ‘nice’, ‘pretty’ or ‘beautiful.’

Faultlines

Is it artistic or just a compilation of whatever stream of thought process attracts me at the time?

Or is that what being an artist really is? I don’t make art  to express big ideas, or political statements. I make art because it’s attractive…to me. I like the way the colors and shapes flow together. I like the contrast between the hard and soft of fabric and beads. I like the textures of different fabrics.

Categorizing oneself is not always useful. In this case, does it really matter if I call myself an artist or a technique junkie? I’m not going to stop making. And I’ll probably still tell people that I am a mixed media textile artist. But I DO think about what makes me feel that I can say that…

Taking it easy

Aaah…the smell of lavendar…went to the lavendar labryrinth at Cherry Point Market today after work. Lots of things that I didn’t take pictures of and a few of the things I like, such as shadows and curving paths

and flowers and herbs

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and big, big rocks!!!

Yes, there was a lavendar labyrinth, but it was not huge and overwhelming as I thought it would be. The walkways were small and uneven and I am currently babying an injured knee so I was unable to comfortably walk and inhale the marvelous fragance. I had imagined the plants would be lush and perfectly groomed, but some were good and some were rather untidy. Made me feel better about my few little plants that always look on the brink of extinction!

I was glad that we went and the timing was really pretty good for the blossoms. The lavendar scent was wonderful and the herb garden in the center was marvelous. It was a very pleasant little side trip away from camp and now I can sit lazily watching a movie and sewing, thoroughly relaxed and refreshed!

 

Love this flower!

Hardy hibiscus was a pleasant surprise for me a few years ago. I had no idea that this beautiful flower could withstand Michigan winters, but mine is flourishing. Of course, any plant that thrives on neglect does well at my house! These full blossoms are past their prime, but that adds to the charm for me.

Every year I take a few photos of the beauty I enjoy, fully intending to make an art quilt from them. I have yet to do that!

There is a beautiful orange colored hibiscus at my mother’s house that I would love to have here.

However, that is in Florida and those plants really would not survive that Michigan deep freeze!

The bug-eaten leaves—the potential of the buds and the flowering as it’s opening–inspiration for sure.

But it’s inspiration that stays only in my mind, not committed to fabric. Yet. It could happen. Maybe.

Watching paint dry…

That’s the excitement in my life right now. I finished up this little piece, as much as it’s going to get.

Then I decided to paint a canvas to mount it on.

The canvas had been used and abused, but I thought I could rescue it. So it got a coat of paint and I had to wait for it to dry…sigh!

After drying, it still looks in pretty bad shape and it’s in an area that will show.

Now I’m trying some molding paste for texture to cover over this. I started with just smearing with a palette knife and then thought I’d stamp in some leaf shapes. Now to do this properly, it should be a smooth, thin coat of the paste. I abandoned that idea in favor of making texture that might suggest a leaf shape.

So now I get to wait for the paste to dry…sigh. And then I can paint again and wait for it to dry…sigh. So much excitement I can hardly stand it!

I need to mount this project from the Knot Even Quilters so it can be hung in an exhibit. I’m close to making a final decision and then, all of a sudden, I’m stuck. Do I want the pulled out piece at an angle or straight up?

Such a tiny spot to get stuck on…but that’s where I’m at. Spending a whole bunch of unexpected free time doing nothing. Well–a little cleaning, a little reading, a little gardening, a little computer time–lots of little bits of this and that. Nothing too productive, so I’m calling this my recharge week. I’ll try to ramp it up a little bit————–after a do-nothing weekend!!!