Tag Archives: kitsch

Thursday Assisi

A day with spectacular skies. After K’s cab picked him up, I visited the Cathedral of San Rufino and then returned to the Basilica of St Francis where I listened to an audio presentation (the entire thing!) about the frescoes.

Enjoyed the climb back, stopping to buy some lovely linen towels.

Learned a new word today and already it’s coming in handy – gimcrackery.

You cannot belief all the religious gewgaws for sale! Pure gimcrackery!

I actually want one of these.

Lunch out but salad fixings bought for dinner. You’ll see the edge of a book below on Saint Clare. Almost done. She didn’t just take vows of poverty, she became poverty itself. Or so they say.

Started reading a new book (by John Boynes) and got down to work writing as well. Three chapters pruned, refined.

Now I return to San Rufino to observe a ritual involving the removal of the statue of Christ — perhaps in preparation for Good Friday’s procession?

And lest we forget, here’s Saint Francis himself.

Critters only — studio tour

I went looking for the gift of wooden African beads from Sage Ann Hawk and could not find them. Arg! But here are congeries of critters just dying to say hello.


Well, not everyone. This guy wants you to skedaddle and fast. Perhaps he’s witnessed some worrisome antics — or maybe, he was just born with a suspicious nature. Increasingly, I’m inclined to the latter view.


Panda bears and tuxedo cats have an obvious affinity for one another! Dopey and sublime seem to like to keep company, too.Mr. Moose has taken on the thankless task of paperwork. I hope he’s up to it!

Can you find all four kinds of critters, above?
Speaking of butterflies, the top WIP was inspired by Hazel‘s word quilt and the indigo scrap was made during one of Jude’s classes – both from some years back.

Shifting layers around in the studio equals personal archeology.

There’s my beloved cat, Cindy, who lived to be 20 years old and died while I was in Dublin (having just turned 20 myself). She graciously came to me in a dream before the letter bearing the sad news arrived (although as I recall, she bore a trident and issued a warning with a very deep voice, not unlike the movie dragon Saphira from Eragon).

Aside: this pet and her years of affectionate company are why, for a spell, I resisted Hazel’s name change.

Another aside: Vineyard on the left, orthodontist’s office on the right.

Everything is a collage, really, not least of all, life itself. Bulletin boards evidence collage by their very nature, with variations afforded by cropping. “Live beautifully” might well have served as my mother’s motto (she stands in a dark sweater next to her sister). Had I snapped the picture a little to the right, I’d have captured my father, too, with each of the trio spouting a palm tree out of their heads.

I have a long and silly history with rhinos dating back to middle school, something my sister references often in a way that never feels quite neutral, but forget that. Just know — this rhino hasn’t got the time of day for you. He’s a taskmaster. Honking and snorting, “wind the goddamned bobbin, already!” (Confession:  I often stop a sewing session when the bobbin runs out. Just walk away. Often).

Oh, the things I’ve learned about alligators! Did you know that they kill their victims by pulling their limbs off and not by biting them the way sharks would?Well, even though I couldn’t find the African beads, here’s a woven belt that Sage Ann Hawk also gave me. Look how it keeps the pedestrian tape measures company, and dare I say, lends a little dignity?

* * *

P.S. Four days sugar-free and my feet were pain-free this morning. Four days!

P.P.S. Did anyone else read the New York Times magazine story about Gwyneth Paltrow? Even though I ascribe to many of the “kooky” things she peddles, I can’t stand her whole brand. The only thing that made me warm to her even a little was the mention of how awful it was to work with Harvey Weinstein — made me wonder if she might still be acting if it weren’t for him.

cycles

IMG_7592 guy IMG_7784They were separated for awhile, and now gladly find each other! The mouse stink that inspired cleaning vigor last week, makes the shoulders sag this week… IMG_7631 IMG_7632As hard as it is to believe, each dot on every branch holds the promise of magnificence!
IMG_7637The sun goes round.
IMG_7802One day, the rusty body waits. And another day. And another. Until weeks and weeks pass, and it joins the ruinous company of clutter.  And somehow, the wings find him. Even more miraculous — not one, but two clips find the fingers to render him whole. He joins ranks with vital, growing things.
wings

Meditation on white

PowderI went to the graveyard this morning in search of white* and found, instead — blue, lavender, rose, dun, and periwinkle.

If one OPENS the aperture wide enough, a whitening occurs (an interesting metaphor for the heart), but even with a bleached-out composition, I find: blush, spring green, evergreen, gun metal grey, rose, silver, charcoal, brown, taupe, pale magenta, and blue.

Graveyard-pond

So, I came home and placed an ewer on the snow (‘an ewer’?!!)
Beads-of-waterEven having cropped out the purple shadow that extended off its lower right edge, look at how many shades of white and grey there are to appreciate!
Ewer

White on white can mean that an object blends with its surround seamlessly.  A joining of thing to ground.

Heart-on-door

White in all of its worn and buttery variations, above, can serve as a mat for a quilt-in-progress, where an ivory moon stakes a particular claim to purity.

And lastly, just in case you think I am taking myself too seriously, the Injuns that I periodically feature on this blog (and yes, when these plaster fellas were made, I’m sure they were ‘Injuns’) are a study in white, all in themselves, as they weather on the deck.  Here they are, not in the most recent storm, but in the one before last.
Snowed-in

Snow-on-deck

I can’t help but think they are mocking me.  In the nicest possible way, of course.

* This post responds to a query asked by Jude Hill in a class that I am taking online.

Turning of the year

The leaves are down, and raked, pretty much.  The hydrangea near the side steps catches the morning sun.  Each lacecap has retained a ring of dessicated petals.  They bob slightly in a breeze, like a spindly offering of gold coins to the coming winter.  Cold has finally descended.

Yesterday I hung a selection of work at the New Art Center.  Even if not a single piece sells, I am grateful for the DEADLINE — it forced me to finish two new quilts.  I am calling one of them “L.A. Circles” because a key fabric was purchased during a visit to Los Angeles this past February.

There are the L.A. circles in the middle, above — a fantastic pink and black burnt velvet.

There are some of the larger pink circles in the lower middle, flipped to their ‘wrong’ side.  The hut on the right incorporates half of a woven-strip-square and uses another sheer fabric for a roof  — a blouse from a thrift store.

Another couple of woven-strip-squares were incorporated on this side.  Many fabrics were overlaid in what seems to be a new way to work (overwork?!!) for me, obscuring the obvious outlines of the squares.  This might be the first quilt that I heavily hand AND machine-quilted.The title “L.A. Circles” emerged quite some time ago – not just because of the burnt velvet, but also because of the solar disks — the sunflower, the stitched linen.  I had fun emphasizing the circle shape with machine stitching.

Inspiration — The Museum of Kitschy Stitches

BOOK

We all need to laugh and this little book — subtitled “A Gallery of Notorious Knits”  — is hilarious!  My friend Sarah, visiting from Portland, Oregon, gave it to me and I recently sat down and read every single word.

The author, “Stitchy McYarnpants”, aka Debbie Brisson, it turns out lives in Boston.  You’ll find more of her highly refined sense of kitsch here — StitchyMcYarnPants.