Tag Archives: felt

November clouds and sounds

window-shadowMist this morning. Rhythms shift as the days diminish. Some things stay steady or grab ahold. Others seem to fall away. I don’t quite feel in control.

Frustrations — the ongoing irritation of yard crews buzzing, seemingly, through my skull — sometimes four a day, sometimes the trucks blocking my road. An expensive ‘upgrade’ with Verizon that not only DID NOT increase our speed, but created the lovely new quirk of dumping our devices off-line even when sitting within several feet of the (brand-new ‘upgraded’) router. The prospect of switching providers is on the horizon. While it will be good to do something about deficient service (especially when that ‘something’ might include two years of free HBO — a real prospect to a 57-year old who has NEVER had cable), it is nevertheless the case that switching a decades-old email address can only feel like a nightmare in-the-making. Ya know? And I hate how even the ‘easy stuff’ never is — fellow oldsters know what I mean! — how you get that four step list and the first three super-simple steps do not take you to the tabs or settings they say they will and you have to walk away or start over, all the while assuming there is something seriously wrong with your brain?!
clouds-wires-horizon-deemallonAnd then there’s WordPress, which misbehaves regularly. This week? Random new default settings for picture justification and the lovely (revisiting) trick of rearranging the placement of a photo if I add a caption after insertion. That neither of these things were happening last week and that neither seems amenable to my attempts to correct just add to their power to annoy the crap out of me.

I’m not done yet — every other picture I shoot on my phone produces the “NO SPACE” message, even though I only keep about 250 AND I keep deleting apps AND I have very little music there. Since recently discovering the DianaPhoto app, it suddenly matters to me, meaning that what was an inconvenience two weeks ago, feels like a creative constraint today.

The PC where I type now presents its ongoing inefficiencies with photo tweaking and storage (my friend the Blue Spinning Donut). Any rearrangement of pix (say to a separate hard-drive) risks losing the trails and producing a gallery of question marks (it’s happened!). I actually feel sick thinking about all of this.

All fixable problems, of course, but not without outlays of cash for expert intervention or, in the case of the phone, massively upgraded monthly service. OK, I’ll learn about the cloud. OK!! OK!! I’ll go talk to one of the fucking geniuses at the mall.

But more money? No and no.

No wonder this little girl cheers me so!! She’s immune to these maddening issues. Completely Old World (which, let’s face it, might be 1991). She doesn’t even care that the hem of her pink silk skirt is ripped.
felt-mouse-christmas-deemallon-pinkShe sports her imperfections with elan! She eagerly greets every morning! All she needs for a happy day is someone to share her seasonal gifts with. Today, she’s my role model.
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IMG_6280I think when I get back from Salem today, I’ll have a nice long chat with her.

Maybe her name will come to me on the drive North.

For now, let me beg forgiveness for the complaining (and by the way, for those of you who know me better, you know this is NOT a rant… more like a Report of Defeat).

Let me also apologize for the possible incoherence. I am typing to Alison Krauss (followed by Amy Winehouse) played a little too loud. This, to obscure the sound of two trucks somewhere nearby that seem to have nothing to do but BACK UP.

Beep beep beep beeep beeeep beeep. And now the street sweeper. Oh god, this is making traffic on 128 actually look appealing!

Toodle-loo row houses!

row housesI think I am finished with these. Made quite a few over the years. Sold most of them. There was a formula here that was calming, teachable, and they made terrific use of tiny “precious bits” of fabric. But, no more! Even if I find a half finished strip in my studio, I may let it go.IMG_9644What a concept – letting go… not just of an activity, but maybe also of the compulsion to finish a thing begun.
IMG_9649My flickr site features some of these creations:  Felt and Denim Huts and more general house-themed work here: Houses & Roofs. IMG_9658Here are a few older ones.Spring-VillageRed-Soil-slantfull-moon-fullhouse-pillow-rockersusans-pillowhut-as-holderThe “Purple Moon” at top is for sale. $150. I will list it on etsy by weekend’s end, or you can email me if interested.

Glitches, patience, and white as an attitude

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Please notice that I am not ranting.  I am not. Even though the tree and fence above could be a visual for me and our technology problems of late. Think: “Upgrade”.

The Black Screen of Death, which was not the Black Screen of Death really, but more like a Coma Interlude, occurred multiple times yesterday. Eventually the system restored itself each time, but not without freaking me out. “Walk away from the screen, Ma’am!  Walk AWAY from the screen!”  What choice did I have? Days of not posting here or for my online class have me feeling a tad crazed.  And now the taxes are REALLY, really due.

The good news? Scary glitches and slow processing are making learning a few simple tricks on the new Photoshop Elements seem like a piece of cake. And more good news: I managed to finish Schedule C this morning in spite of it all.

Back to quilting.  Less screen time invariably means more sewing, which is also good news, I might add.  Continuing with white, white, white for the Jude Hill class I’m taking over at Spirit Cloth has been productive. Interesting. Lots of white to share. But not now.  I took a small intermission from white to construct the little row of houses below.

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The formulaic nature of this design means they are relaxing to make. And yet, each set is different enough from every other to stay interesting.

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The tiniest chips of fabric can be employed for this project (“Oh-oh!” you say with dismay. “You mean I can’t throw them out?!!”)

cloth-then-paper

This drawing came after the cloth construction. It gave me this fun idea of a multitude of paths running to and from the doors.

The original impulse for ground and sky fabrics lies just above the drawing, and here is where I want to suggest that this project — though full of pink, blue, rose, lavender, rust, and indigo — bears a relationship to white. If you can stand to — keep reading!

The ground is that wool challis I’ve talked about before. The sky is a piece of a vintage silk from a deconstructed handmade bodice.  The colors worked and they were the very first I chose. They were the INITIAL IMPULSE. The circuitous route back to the original choice got me thinking about white as a process or a state of mind.  Specifically, about white as pure expression.

broccoli-trees

I fiddled.  A Lonni Rossi broccoli fabric had potential but was rejected for being too literal and for adding visual clutter.

indigo-skyThis shibori sky, suggestive of aurora borealis, was also too much.  Stars, also too literal.

floor-and-basketThis started the return back to the original choice.

penultimkateHere, I shrunk the scale and added a moon. The moon stayed, but the scale was revised back to original premise.

strips-silk-torso-moonHere I am back to the original sky, only now with the moon, and a much too busy foreground.  Departing miles from the original feel, it looked like I was trying way too hard and furthermore, the woven-strip foreground would have prevented stitching all those paths, and they intrigue me.

garment-and-moon-3  Now, almost there.

round-right-at-end And back.

So, what if “WHITE” is purity? What if ‘white’ is an original impulse? The original set of colors? The original thought? I’m not suggesting that refining ideas and radically departing from an initial idea are not essential and exciting ways to create.  I AM suggesting that there may be times when sticking with that First Thought (in this case a pairing of challis and silk) might be just right.  A way to honor an intuitive and spontaneous creation.

You can find more of these row house quilts here.

Holiday sewing

Just listed these items in my Etsy shop — clothcompany.  I already have some wonderful balsam-filled sachets to list, so look for those – and there will be at least two Christmas Kitties next week, and — dare I say? — a batch of finished dolls.

We will be making these simple and yet charming tree ornaments in the December “Sewing for The Holidays” class at the New Art Center [Newton, Massachusetts].  Class meets for three successive Saturdays — Dec 1, 8, and 15 — from 12:30 until 2:30.  There’s still time to sign up!

Red/green felt house

A felt house finished over the weekend.  I’ll admit I liked it better as a flat thing.
Rather than stuff the satin loops through the bead, I slipped waxed linen through the bead and tied it around.
And here’s a rare photo of Jack relaxed (rare, because the camera makes him nervous):
My 59 second tutorial on making the felt houses can be found in a link in this post.

Metta-huts

This row of felt houses is going to be stitched into a single dwelling. On the back of one of the facades is a prayer —

May all sentient beings be peaceful
May all sentient beings be free of inner and outer harm
May all beings be cared for gently as they walk upon this earth
May all beings know joy, wisdom and compassion…

Not sure, yet, if I’ll give this a base, so as to be a box, or stitch on struts, so that it can be ‘planted’ outdoors.

Freak outs, Interruptions, Mandala

Computer freak over the weekend.  I am NOT a PDA owner, I have an ordinary phone, I’ve sent perhaps six text messages so far and two never made it because I pressed the wrong button, I can go on vacation and not look at a screen — but this weekend, when a virus made our whole system go ga-ga, I panicked.  A little.  (And, probably only a little because I have such faith in my husband’s ability to fix these things).

And Ken DID fix it over the weekend — two days re-whatevering, and it seemed fixed — but yesterday, the weird pop ups popped up again.  And again.  Oh, GOD AND AGAIN!

So, if I disappear for awhile, you’ll know why.

And then, there are the interruptions.  The interruptions associated with having a recently disabled sister in need of lots of help (yes, she’s getting better, but housing? work? benefits? — the list is substantial)…  as well as the tasks associated with having two teenage children —

trips to the dermatologist, the dentist, the orthodontist, attending track meets, ordinary pick ups and drop offs, homework review, homework nag, computer supervision, computer nag, cooking, shopping, making lunch, making breakfast, cleaning up from breakfast, making dinner, making snacks before dinner, washing clothes, folding clothes, hunting for things like a particular sweatshirt or the mate to a ski glove,

and other jobs —

hunting for the source of stink in the fridge, cleaning the containers that held the stink in the fridge, cleaning out a closet now and then, stripping beds (I’ll never admit how ‘now and then’ THAT gets done), scrubbing tubs and toilets, unearthing the dining room table, looking for a summer cottage for 14, vacuuming up dog hair, walking the dog, asking other people to walk the dog, bathing the dog, cleaning up after my sister’s cat, feeding the cat, getting the car in for brake-fix, putting shit away, hanging up wet towels (Oh, wait a minute that last item belongs up with having two teenage boys in the house), putting more shit away…

all these things have a way of taking up time without necessarily granting me (or anyone?) the sense of having ‘done’ anything…

This is not a complaint, truly, not a complaint, but an observation that (I believe for cultural reasons having to do with gender), I have to keep making over and over.  I have to keep noticing over and over how my time is ‘not my own’ — not only because I forget, but because in forgetting, the accumulated pile of things not-done have a way of starting to criticize me.

And then, of course, there are the queries (upheld by various practices that I needn’t go into) —

why does anything attain the status of ‘interruption’?  Why is anything deemed unimportant?  Why can’t I see that things unfold as they should…

Ahhhhhhh.  There’s the rub.

Above, a mid-winter mandala that I don’t know what to do with — not a pillow, not a wall-hanging — don’t know.  But it cheers me up to look at its hot, bright colors.

In the Upper Field with Jack this morning (Bowen/Thompsonville field, not Heaven!), the light spoke straight to my heart about spring.  Snow squalls on the way this afternoon, frigid temps returning this weekend, I know, I know, but the light does not lie… the oaks ringing the field were awash in a lemony-rose color that tickled my chest in a way that only people who live in wintry climes understand.