Category Archives: indigo

What a psychic said

We’ve all been victim to the innocuously made comment, bland in endorsement, challenging in ambiguity.

Such as: I see you’ve gotten your hair cut.

Another example said to me years ago by a psychic: “you’re in good shape, considering what you’ve been through.”

Okay… I’m sure she meant to be encouraging but the fact that I’ve never forgotten her words kinda suggests otherwise.

These three scraps of paper, from the top down: 1) an aerial view of a lake in Colorado; 2) antique linens beautifully cared for; 3) a young impoverished girl sunk in a wading pool, somehow managing to look both defiant and defeated.

This is more of a time line than a depiction of ‘above, center and below’ as prompted by Acey* in Prompt #24:

Above/Below/Within — Tell a 3 piece story about who you are in relation to the sacred directions

Reading from bottom to top — the girl represents what I was given (not literally, I grew up comfortably middle class), the linens represent the mediating power of creativity, the clouds and lake, call forth the bigger picture, the place of transformation.

With a birthday on the horizon, it’s an opportunity to think about the archetype of The Water Bearer. To me, the lake and clouds suggest Aquarius. They reference the sign’s reputation for having concerns about humanity generally (as opposed to singular people), and for taking an airy intellectual approach. Sometimes the cool mental ways associated with Aquarius strike me as ‘less than’ — no heart-centered earth mother here!

Without intending to so do, this collage reveals the strength and beauty of such an approach.

The collage below also came together this morning — similar in structure, but more grounded, specific and joyful.

The fact that the points along the linen’s edge form a row of houses is just perfect.

*

Acey’s Collage Month.

See also my Flickr album, SoulCollage, and the tags for SoulCollage and collage here on the blog.

And from last night, another slide show made, in part, while sleepless last night. We were away this weekend, so I hope to catch up by Wednesday.

Indigo cloth dyed by me at Rebellion Farm, SC during Donna Hardy’s weekend workshop; gateway view from a barracoon on the coast of Africa, photo probably from Smithsonian Magazine; a collage I made ages ago; the cemetery is in Charleston, SC and the magnolias too; Angel Oak from Johns Island, SC; a river scene from Boone Hall Plantation, Mount Pleasant, SC and finally, cabins at the fairly recently refurbished McLeod Plantation on James Island near Charleston, SC.

Blue Cross and endings

These mosaics aren’t about my sister, per se — more about clearing out her apartment. The first four pictures show how she lived. The second four, the clean up.

As of this morning, it’s done. Keys handed over. Inspection performed. Cancellation of lease signed.

There were a lot of people at the housing office. Bundled against the cold. Stacking and restacking all the papers they’d brought. Proof of this. Proof of that.

It wasn’t lost on me that to each and every one of them, my sister’s death represented a boon — a chance to move up a slot on the waiting list. My sister was on that list for eight years. Waiting. Wondering. Whenever she’d trot out her conspiracy theories, I’d push back, “Nah — we’re just waiting for someone to die.”

I’m thinking the blue cross in my new quilt piece (more of a doodle than anything) might represent aid coming from unexpected places (a blue cross being a less recognizable symbol of aid than a Red Cross). The bird and flying insects represent freedom. The underlying thought is that it’s too bad my sister had to die for me to be free. It wasn’t the route I would have chosen. And my problems didn’t set it up that way.

In other fiber news, I added an external pocket to my denim travel bag for my phone. Yeah! Also, the pennant I contributed to Mo‘s project, “I dream of a world where love is the answer” has flown home, along with tokens. In particular, I love the little white star. Thank you, Mo!

And lastly, the woman who taught the Indigo workshop I attended in 2014 down in South Carolina, Donna Hardy, posted this on Instagram this week.

I am shipping off a heavy weight cotton rectangle with a simple resist that came from Africa. It’s an honor to be part of this project, too.

PS my eyes feel 90% better already!

Playing Card Symmetry

At last, there’s enough quilting on this piece to consider that step done. Now — how to finish? It’s a little on the big side for me — maybe 18″ wide? Back when I composed this — two years ago — I had considered placing a reverse house below the horizon line, not unlike a playing card — one knave’s head down, the other up. Didn’t stick with that idea, but now I find myself wanting at least a moon below. I can consider the idea with the app PicFrame.

It’s more interesting with two moons, don’t you think?

PS I am under the weather with a cold or flu, so forgive my delay in getting to some of your blogs. My cheeks hurt. My eyes feel furry. My nose is stuffed. This is the first congestion I’ve experienced since I started using a Netti pot about four years ago. A pretty good run, I’d say.

The Barn

Having this quilt on my wall for a while meant a couple of poor color transitions had time to prick at me. When I decided to give the piece to my brother for Christmas, I decided to tackle those spots before shipping it off. It’s not always advisable to attempt “improvements” of this kind.

First, I added some yellow in the foreground to pull the eye foreword and interrupt the blockiness of the patchwork.Stitched a few dark patterned strips on either side to lend depth and to interrupt what had been a distracting light area to the barn’s left.

And finally, I applied more hand quilting here and there and added some red bits to adjust the perspective lines on the cupola and far right eave (not terribly successfully).

The tweaks are okay. Maybe not what I hoped for. With additions like this, you always risk of either disrupting the spontaneity of the original design or of creating new problems while fixing existing ones.

This piece ran the additional risk of spoiling the (possibly impressive) fact that it’s almost entirely pieced.

Anyway. The upshot is that my remediation, successful or not, has whet my appetite for learning. How come I never learned perspective? Really? And, maybe it’s time to learn how to manage transitions more skillfully by attending to color values.

Unmoored


Laying down a strip at the base of Moon House quilt just now, I set the structure momentarily aside. And it struck me how apt that is: known angles canting off, the roof tumbling away in willful contrary movement, the house either about to crash back to earth leaving a splintered, uninhabitable pile of refuse or to improbably float off into the ether.


I think I’ll stitch it there. As I do, it will be a chance to sit with a conundrum. For what is anchoring down with thread that which is in free fall but a conundrum? Finn returning the ball poses a glad image of being airborne. I wish you could experience his grace, his enthusiasm, his boundless joy, how effortlessly he dwells in the moment. The house tipping over vs. the dog flying back to me for another throw.