The Elms — one of the many Gilded Age mansions that line the coast of Newport, RI. These gigantic, opulent structures were used for eight to ten weeks a year as summer homes. We did the 1/2 hour tour, which means we didn’t learn all that much about the family. But a couple of tidbits were garnered: the owner’s sister was an avid bridge player and if she couldn’t get a table of equals together, she’d recruit the butler to play. He had to stand for the entire game.
At dinner, not only was one not allowed to show appreciation for the food being served — (no ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’ at the lifting of the metal domes), one wasn’t even supposed to watch to see what was there!
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.
“Practice gratitude whenever you feel overwhelmed…. ” Caroline Myss
Well, now, then. Last week, then. The weekend before last… and the one before that. The summer is tumbling by in a blur of obligations, interventions, and work. Indoors time — I’m not used to so much of it. Structured time — I’m not used to so much of that either. Many changes here.
So, here’s a quick list of things I’m grateful for —
time to have worked on this piece for just a little while today. and a sense that perhaps it is inching toward resolution.
a cleaned up house on account of company
digital images, digital cameras, near-instant gratification of images
a new journal arriving in the mail for the Sketchbook project
dinner out, featuring tofu, eggplants and Chinese greens I don’t know the name of
Catalpa leaves approaching dinner-plate size
the lake vacation to look forward to
things growing in my absence
making a quilt for a wounded child, knowing I am on the other side of most of that
Jack did NOT know I was pointing a camera at him. This is from two days ago, when we had some warm temperatures and I put blankets out to air.
This is the commission that I just finished. I would not use variegated thread again in a project like this — I didn’t like it changing up on me when I didn’t expect it to. Also, even though this is a blanket, meant to be sat under on a couch, I would NOT have rinsed the photos once they were transferred to fabric — the red shirts bled! So, unlike most of the blankets I make, this one will have to be dry cleaned. Lastly, I should have added another band of color on the right side.
For the inkjet phototransfers, I used pre-treated and pre-backed sheets of cotton available commercially — I like ‘Printed Treasures’. They are pricey, but because it is so labor intensive to produce one’s own sheets, I consider them worth the cost.
I have gone the Bubble Jet Set route (which makes fabric more receptive to color), but by the time you’ve washed, dried and pressed the fabric, measured and cut it to just under 8.5 x 11″, then backed it with freezer paper, you’ve invested a LOT of time in something that has a very good chance of jamming in the printer. Once I learned that you could skip the chemical bath and simply back the fabric with freezer paper and print on it, I tried that, too. But again, the washing/pressing/cutting/backing and jamming are big headaches in my book.
So, while I wish the pretreated sheets were cheaper, I consider them worth it.
Almost done with this one… some of the stitches need better anchoring, because it was hard to control the tension pulling through fabric that had been gessoed.
The little single chain crochet that is couched on the edge was tinted in a pot with onion skins and one lone black walnut shell which appeared in the kitchen the morning I had the pot going.
What I notice — There is a tension pairing marks made by me (the script, the stitches) and ‘found’ marks, as printed on commercial fabrics (those little vegetal shapes — which look like a primitive form of writing and those pink upstrokes on the linen, which I repeated with my black marker). What I want to see now is a piece that ONLY has marks/writing made by me.