One blend, one box, 3 cloths

Sometimes I get intimidated about the fact that people actually read these posts. Forgive the blindness imbedded in such folly, but I know I’m not alone in this weird double-take.

For instance, I want to post more about anti-racism again and about my book, now titled The Weight of Cloth, but part of me wonders — who am I? Well not about the book, which I am amply qualified to speak about, but about more general issues of structural racism.

I’ll get over myself. Have no fear!

So here is a simpler kind of post. Show and tell. And really, a chance to note recent gifts.

ONE BLEND. A blend of exotic spices prepared by a friend was one of my favorite gifts this year. A pinch flavors a big pot of stock on the stovetop at this very moment. It turns out that I committed to trying new-to-me flavors this year before even recognizing the thought. A resolution? Yes, and a discovery — that the better resolutions might be those that you adopt before even making note of them. No forcing.

Another Ottolenghi recipe. Ripped from the book PLENTY’s cover. This is my creation tho — both the food and the photo. And yea, it was tasty!

ONE BOX. Those of you that follow my cousin Ginny Mallon will recognize her artistry on this repurposed cigar box. I LOVE IT. When she started posting them on Instagram this fall, I knew I needed to give one to my husband for Christmas. Him being a Cancer was the excuse, my adoring them, the real impetus.

And since Ginny wouldn’t let me pay her, I received a gift too!

THREE CLOTHS. The first is a close up and finished. The second is almost ready to be bound. And the third is a close up of one that feels like I will never finish it. A progression of sorts.

All I want to say about them today is how liberating I found Jude’s recent comment about how she doesn’t see ugly (or something like that). I was referring to a quilt not shown here. I’ve always worked with ugly and messy, maybe even taken a tiresome pride in the fact, but this feels different. It gives me staying power.

19 thoughts on “One blend, one box, 3 cloths

  1. Jen

    Love that art of your cousins, so am now following her on insta
    And, woooo…that close-up of your stitching, damn! So luscious! 🤩💕

    1. deemallon Post author

      You will enjoy Ginny’s work. She’s so so talented and lets her views on society infuse her work in lots of powerful and interesting ways.

    1. deemallon Post author

      Well I just went over to windthread and read about the wind and your outrage and about living on the edge of normal. Being left with Metta is perhaps not so bad a thing, but to express the outrage, also important. Of course you would be welcome here! And all the thoughts, all the feelings would find succor here as well. The Japanese have a saying: “By siding with the truth, one always emerges victorious.” And Audre Lorde famously noted that anger is “loaded with information.” Two reasons why it’s foolish to avoid anger or be afraid of it. What is happening here (and now in Brazil) is head-spinningly bereft of reason (never mind patriotism), is dangerous, and at times seems unstoppable. But that’s where hope comes in.

  2. Marti

    Last photo is a DANCE…it is a riot of color and explodes with movement, with heat and heart and creativity; makes me get out of my chair, shake my hips, dance and twirl and let me tell you, it is the perfect prescription for rising anger and letting it fly along with dismay that I often find I need to tamp down.

    But first, I have to also let it rise- anger and dismay and the battering down of hope.

    But as always happens, after I work this out in thought, emotion and body movement, hope does return. I often reflect on Gabrielle Roth who said that “we need to physically free the body, wake it up and get it back into motion and fluidity. As soon as that happens, we start to feel, our emotional world is enlivened and we begin to deal with our fears, our angers, our sorrows and our joys….”

    But for now, I’m gonna just meld with this wondrous cloth of yours, pretend it is adorning my body and say, welcome, you are just what I need…

    1. deemallon Post author

      Always the lyrical dance in response, Marti. And the important source reminders. I haven’t thought about Gabrielle Roth in a while.

  3. Nancy

    Pomegranate seeds! Yum! Well, as usual, I was here, read, went off looking…came back, went off again and am now finally commenting :). This seems to be my new pattern.
    Ginny’s art is so interesting. I don’t instagram, but if I did…
    It’s a funny thing about gifts…I can’t smell or taste these spices, but the beautiful bowl is a gift to look at. I so love old school, 1970’s looking pottery. 🙂
    I like the idea of the resolution coming to you after the fact…I like to do lots of things this way, takes the pressure off.
    As for your cloth, I am just always so fascinated how you “build” them, how they become…AND…by how much your work is your signature, so you, so much each piece reads as “Dee”. How cool is that?Post what you want, how, when you want…it’s all good 🙂

    1. deemallon Post author

      Pomegranate seeds are having quite the moment in this house this week! It always surprises me to hear others talk about my “signature.” It’s a gratifying thing to hear so thank you for that. As for the dish, that too was a gift (last year). I’m a huge fan not just of ceramics, but of small bowls. When I worked in kitchens in the 70’s and 80’s, people referred to little glass bowls as “monkey dishes.”

  4. Ginny Mallon

    Hi Dee! Thanks for the shout out! I’m so glad you liked the crab. My usual projects have so much angst, this is a fun way to shake that off at the end of the year. Thanks too for supporting the protest exhibit on the attack against women’s rights. We finally have a name (I think anyway) it’s “Our Choice” and is scheduled for April at the Arc Gallery in Chicago. Thanks for helping make it a reality!

    🧡🧡 I love this quilt and would keep the white trim. Love that gold cross! The composition is a waterfall of color. 🧡🧡

  5. debgorr

    It’s important to identify what gives us staying power…. All the colors are so beautiful, pomegranate always gives such a pop of color to anything, like little jewels.


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