Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Fun Opening

Just a really quick post to crow over my friend Brian Fox's opening at The Narrows in Fall River MA. I'm really proud of him. He has followed his bliss and it has led him to some wonderful experiences. The opening was busy and a terrific chance to see some friends. (Yes I am in one of these pictures but since it is mostly my butt I won't point it out)

Monday, September 29, 2008


Today I dyed some fabrics to use as I develop the rest of the discharge panels. I expect to adjust these colors with over dyes or discharge work as I develop the pieces. (hopefully they will look a bit less 70s decor when I'm done).

As I have worked on the first panel it has suggested a number of other ideas to me on how to introduce stitching and color into them as a group.

These started as a fun little experiment with no particular goal attached, but as I work on them they are becoming something else, still an experiment but also an exploration of ideas.

Archaeological digs, textile traditions, universal archetypes, excavation, exhumation, and going deeper into the psyche.
I feel reticence about too much sharing as of yet so bear with me, the story is still being formed and I want to give it the space required to emerge. I am also a bit fearful that what I find in them may not transmit to others and I will sound a little crazy...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Persephone's Path

I am continuing to work on this piece of discharge shibori.The top layer I've shown before... buttonhole stitch has been used to create an undulating line that runs the length of the piece and to define three little openings that lead to the second layer. The second layer is made of red linen muted with an over dye of dark brown. This red layer is slowly being shaped by pin tucks stitched down with bright red and burgundy flosses. The texture is reminiscent of worn rock layers found in canyons.

I have now begun to attach it to the base layer made of heavy canvas dyed in brown and black. The finished size should be about 14"x 52". I have no idea how I will manage to photograph it. I plan to stretch it as a painting would be.

This is a slow piece of cloth in every sense of the word. It defies me to stitch with a machine. I feel that the textiles, the concepts it embodies and the original inspiration all demand hand stitching. I had NO plans to stick entirely to all hand work for this.

I knew it was about the Persephone myth, and Jungian arch type when I started (referenced in Goddesses in Everywoman a New Psychology of Women by Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D.). That was my choice , vision , creative decision. However I hadn't reread the chapter in a long time... today I thought I would look for a quote and here is a nice juicy bit I found regarding Persephone as the Queen and Guide of the underworld:

Symbolically, the underworld can represent deeper layers of the psyche, a
place where memories and feelings have been "buried" (the personal unconscious)
and where images, patterns, instincts and feelings that are archetypal and
shared by humanity are found (the collective unconscious).
Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D.

I find I am running out of words at the moment but this quote really is relevant to my heart, head and hand.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Done Diggin'

Yesterday I completed the final path in the garden and mulched the last bed. Thank God! Now I can start planting it. 3 years ago we had the stairs installed, last year we put the path in and this year I got the garden dug... this has been a long haul. I'm especially pleased to have gotten it done now because my mom is visiting from New Mexico and now we can wander a few garden centers together. (Squee!)

the top picture shows the view toward the driveway and this shows the view toward the backyard

Saturday, September 20, 2008


OK I'm calling this one, my CQ "square" is completed. It was really fun to just pull out all the stops and leave"good taste" behind. This baby is totally encrusted with beads and textures, alot of glitter too... I got out the glass beads and played with creating edges that dangle in a most unruly manner and there is a great deal of metallic thread. A few posts back I mentioned that I don't consider myself much of a bling person... lately though I seem to be drawn to it, often in conjunction with the heat set shibori. I believe that is because one of the things I really like about the heat set is the way light plays across the surfaces (more on that another day)

I think that this little creation reminds me of the tide pools I was so drawn to as a kid, still am actually. OK maybe its a fantasy coral reef whatev...

I kind of enjoy this uncouth little creation and making it definately got some brain cells firing on some other projects that have been stalled for months while I've been working on other less pleasant tasks.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Down East Visit

Last weekend I drove up to Bar Harbor Maine to visit family and friends. Our friends Susan and David made us "t'home" at their cabin and I began a long awaited visit with my mom and her husband. It was a bit cloudy but Mt Desert Island is just beautiful regardless of the weather. While we were there we visited Thuya Garden on Northeast Harbor, the guide commented that the gardens were past their peak! They were stunning regardless of peak-ness. The dahlia above was at least 6" in diameter...
They were abuzz with humming birds and bumble bees and the floral textures were captivating.
We also drove up Cadillac Mountain I thought the mistiness added to the experience, I guess I just like a few things left to my imagination.
Here is the view away
and here is another view of the mountain

up close and personal, sometimes the shortviews are just as lovely as the long views!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Crazy What if...

I decided to join in on Jude's What If... Crazy Quilt along. Beautiful work is being done on the flickr site (I just checked it out). I'm not a quilter, I figure you have to have made some sort of an attempt at one to claim the title, and I never have, but since its all about stretching the boundries I thought what if I gave it a shot?

So here goes...

What if I tried to use some of the bibs and bobs from heat setting tests?

What if I combined them with a base made from home decor brocades and ribbon bits?

What if I used beads as well as stitching as embellishment?

still alot of stitching to go but its a start.