Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Once upon a time I rode a mountain bike out of a truly craptacular period of my life.

I learned alot when I rode that bike, one of the lessons imparted (never quite mastered) was cadence. Maintaining a rhythm will help you cover more ground and tougher terrain than you would ever think you are capable of conquering.

Before vacation I had a nice cadence going. Daily posts, and daily acts of creativity. It was a pretty liberal definition of creativity but hey it was serving the need of the moment.

Vacation interrupted that steady beat and I've been having a bit of a wrestling match getting back into it. That of course led to a touch of angst about losing it and what is wrong with me and so on. Pointless but distracting.

So tonight I put a little time into a paper quilt idea, frankly its not really gelling as I would like but the act is what is important not the result. I will try again tomorrow and see if I can't get my beat back.

Monday, September 21, 2009


I have little of substance to show for myself tonight so I bring you this fellow made by my friend Esther Golden. Lar thinks it looks like a tooth with those little feet but I think its a Martian pod for some sort of sporelike plant...

regardless it has followed me home and taken up residence in the studio.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Autum Blends

Well here they are, a slew of Autum color blends. All of these pieces will be sent off to Arizona tomorrow along with a few other pieces of shibori. One of my mom's friends Karen Rogers of Quilted Inspirations is going to have a booth at a quilt show and offered to put some of my fabrics out (extremly nice of her- thanks Karen!)
So now I'm off to pack the rest of the fabrics to send her...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Still sniffy but I did manage to dye a group of fall colored panels...results tomorrow for now its off to bed.

Friday, September 18, 2009


Originally uploaded by alsokaizen

I think I have caught Lar's cold, my throat is suspiciously sore and I feel uninterested in doing anything tonight that uses actual brain waves (well OK thats not totally unusual for a Friday night)
'Nough said here is another photo from NM, soon after it was taken my battery died and (as I had forgotten the charger) I had to leave off taking photos

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Color Blend Result

Here it is, the container worked out pretty well. I'm considering trying a longer thinner container to see if I can't get more colors on one piece of fabric. One possibility would be one of those plastic dividers you use in silverware drawers....
Yeah I know orange again but this time it was at moms request. I am having a tough time telling if the colors in my photo are accurate because my computer monitor is dying a slow death and keeps tinting everything hot pink,
Its incredibly disturbing.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Color Blend Dyeing

While visiting mom she asked me to make some fabric to use in this quilt design. I referred to Color By Accident by Ann Johnston, (a really good book on low water immersion dyeing)
and got the basic idea of what I wanted to try.
The pattern calls for 1 yard of the hand dyed "sky" fabric
I wet it out and wrung it to damp, then crumpled it into an old Chinese food takeout container. (perfect size!)

I chose three colors (Gold, Orange and Scarlet) in medium densities, approximately 5 gr per cup.
The measured amounts of dye powders were added to 1/2 the water and dissolved
then poured over the fabric in sections; Scarlet far right, Orange center, and Gold far left.

because there is so little room for the dye in the container they sort of stay where they are put. I let it sit like this for 5 minutes or so then poured a cup of soda ash mix over the top of the whole container which will act as a fixative.

Hows that for a fast and dirty description? Seriously, the book describes the process really well. I recommend it.
So tomorrow we will see how it came out!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Mexico Part 2

Just a few more pictures from my visit
A storm sweeping across the mesas
weathered clothespins

The chiminea in the garden, behind it you can see mom's butterfly "bush" (its more of a tree) and dozens of hummingbirds were darting around it defending their turf.

Clouds threatening the afternoon's relaxation
The lizard that likes to hang out by the sun plaque on the garden wall

The fountain burbling away

Toby mom's very talkative cat

I will have a few more tomorrow

Monday, September 14, 2009

Home Again

Settling back into my nest here. I had a wonderful time visiting my mom, step dad and my friend Esther in New Mexico. I took a few pictures before my camera ran out of juice. (guess who forgot her battery charger?)
Mom lives out in Datil in a lovely quiet adobe house that sits right next to the Gila National Forest. We went on a couple of day hikes at the Catwalk and a small ruin, ran errands and looked at old pictures. Low key visiting at its best.

More of our time was spent sitting in the garden watching the dozen or so humming birds that were in occupation.
I'll post a few more pics tomorrow night. I'm long since unpacked but still feeling a little discombobulated in the head.

Friday, September 4, 2009

South Western Hiatus

The blog and I willl be going on a little break while I head to New Mexico for a long delayed visit with my mom. I will be back with photos and adventures in a little over a week
Gotta pack now!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The true cost of anything is what we must give up to have it.

I have no idea who that quote is attributed to or where I found it, it has been living on my work studio wall for years.
At one time it served to reinforce some rigid ideas I have long held about what an “artist” is, ideas that I am unable to live up to such as being free and unconcerned with financial security. Only half of me was built that way the other half finds the idea of being without a weekly paycheck panic inducing.
I have spent long hours trapped in a struggle between those two sides, wanting to be free and wanting to be secure. There is nothing really wrong with either of them. They both serve me. The problem is when I start to think that they are mutually exclusive, without the freedom/creative part I die a little inside, without the security here comes the panic attack. I start to go round and around like a rat chasing its tail.
I finally sought help with this last year and found someone wonderful to help me break out of this circular thinking trap.
It is getting better. I’m not there yet but lets face it there is no THERE.
But back to the quote, it has been the theme of all of my clearing and sorting this summer. The cost for me hasn’t been about money so much as space, both physical and psychic. I only get so much space and so many hours to work with, if its all filled up I get to feeling trapped. As I’ve sorted I’ve found that many of the things I’ve been holding onto were physical manifestations of my “shoulds” and “good ideas” and “ought tos”. In order to clear the space I had to release plans, ideas and dreams that don’t fit anymore or that I just don’t want to do (but feel like I should). The cost of keeping it is too high for me to pay.
There has been some mourning, some struggles have ensued as well (which is why it has taken so long), and I don’t think I got it done perfectly. I probably kept more than I should have. I think it’s an ongoing process I will revisit from time to time. I’m trying to do this gently and to find a balance between the two impulses that I can live with. The biggest thing I am sorting out is what my definition of a creative life is.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Basket 2 Result

Well I'm out of shibori paper scraps now! This is the final basket in the diagonal weave in all of its glory. There were some technical issues (of course there were) but I triumphed in the end.

The top is done by folding over all of the ends and weaving them back into the body giving it a zig zag edge.

its interesting to me how the two weaves have such different personalities to them. The diagonal is kind of jazzy and dynamic, the horizontal is calmer and stronger in appearance.

Good point! Are they strong enough to function as anything but decor? mmmm... well I wouldn't take them to go apple picking but I bet they could carry a quart of blueberries... no matter I will probably use them as dry vases or just put the square vase inside of them and use them for flowers... The paper is really pretty strong and the places where I joined two pieces have nice 1" plus overlap. I only had one piece rip while I was working with them. Elizabeth brought up a good point which is that the tight weave does obscure the shibori patterns quite a bit, it would be interesting to find a way to construct a basket that maintained the continuity of the patterns better. Just a thought.
Also in the interest of complete disclosure I never did manage to get to my "less interesting project" last night so I should probably put in half an effort now!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Basket 2

Had to start over with longer pieces of paper. Right now it looks like some sort of celebratory insect. I will have to leave it for the moment a less fun project is demanding my attention.