Tidying, recomposing: inside and out

studio-dolls-deemallonVacuumed the studio today, mostly because it is soooooooooo cool in the basement now and it is so hot and muggy everywhere else. Also, about two weeks ago I garbage-picked a sweet little chest of drawers and I have to make space for it (“bye bye” to two more milk crates! well, not bye bye, they’ll be re-purposed in the garage…)
applique-deemallonWhile cleaning up, I couldn’t resist pawing through one of my scrap boxes and composing a little foreground. I want to try an elephant a la Jude’s cats. Not the Nine Patch cats, but the free-form pieced/applique cats. This composition might be too busy for an elephant (or for anything you say!). We’ll see. It’s meant to be the cloth equivalent of doodling. Not to capture the line of a drawing as both Jude and Grace are talking about, but rather to stitch with the somewhat vacant, relaxed air that can accompany doodling: tacking down, turning edges under, or not. No big deal.
The side yard is getting some attention this summer — in a lazy kind of way. The loss of corner lot hemlocks to disease will expose that side of our house radically in the near term. So I am trying to build up some screening (without spending any money). The Rose of Sharon was an off shoot of an existing tree. I used to think of them as ‘junk trees’ but now love how prolific and fast-growing they are (funny how plants go in and out of our favor, isn’t it?) The sedum were split last summer. Hosta, astilbe, mini-iris came from crowded places elsewhere in the yard. The whole thing is a bit of a challenge for two reasons — one is that my neighbor’s plow guys shove snow here — I’ve lost two shrubs in the last two years on account of that (another reason not to spend money).
currants-deemallonThe other is the black walnut (the big trunk on the right) — some plants don’t take kindly to a toxin produced by its roots. I’ve learned that the hard way and now keep a list on my phone for easy access while at the garden center (oh what did we do before smartphones?!!)

One of these years (not this one) I will make good on the promise of those walnuts and dye fabric with them. Or eat them.

6 thoughts on “Tidying, recomposing: inside and out

  1. Nancy

    And Max said Be still!!
    Love seeing your spaces. It must be tricky to plan and plant when you have input from neighbors during snow season! sigh
    I got so excited when I read walnut tree! I miss my neighbors. It dropped walnuts in my driveway, right outside my front door!

    1. deemallon

      Leave it to you, Nancy, to supply the proper quote!!! It took me a sec to realize… but I got there.

  2. Marti

    Dee, for some time now I have been reading about, looking at and watching in awe and moving admiration, the many squares that are being made and sent to you for your Charleston quilt. Thank you for offering this opportunity to move beyond the grief and shock that so many of us have felt and witness a coming together of collective understanding that reaches out across this country. The Charleston families showed us that forgiveness is powerful in the face of senseless tragedy. You stepped up and said, it is connection that will see us through. And in this coming together of indigo cloth, thread, hearts, tears and talk, what is being woven here is simply, Love.

    1. deemallon

      Hi Marti. I read your comments all over the place, of course, and it is nice to see you here. I had no idea when I started this quilt how deeply it would affect the people participating. It keeps evolving in ways that give me faith in the human capacity for empathy and in white people’s potential for revising ourselves toward greater understanding.

      1. saskia

        I’m not stitching for the quilt, however am following all that is happening here and elsewhere; it’s a good thing you are doing Dee

        1. deemallon

          Hi Saski… thanks for following. We ARE connected we bloggers and in all kinds of ways. For example, yesterday I found a dead finch on my walk. I used a dog-poop bag to scoop it up and popped it in my freezer when I got home. Now, as it happens, I would have done this before meeting you, but since meeting you, the collecting can’t help but link me to you, make me wonder, for instance, what voice you might give it, what robes, what playmates.

          The quilt is a good thing and it is a creative thing, but it is really nothing in the face of systemic racism. To say to a community devastated by racial violence: “I’m thinking of you,” is nice, and I mean that, there’s a kind of binding of hearts that matters, but it’s not stepping up to the plate in the way I believe responsible white people are being called to do. What’s next, how to, the mind wants to know!

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