Friday, April 30, 2010

Small Discoveries

Isn't that pretty?
Some sort of bark I ran across today while walking. Birch-like in texture, shiny silver in color.
I of course brought it home with me.
Still poking along on this experiment, 4 different designs made from the same elements. I'm wondering how different they will be from each other as I vary position, and relationships between those elements.

And finally some thing else I found while walking, I have kind of a thing for rusty bits and pieces
I'm wondering if I can change this into something else, something decorative and tribal looking.

Thats about it for today.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Its interesting to see how the same color thread looks different on the various types of stone.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Not Quite Right

Not really satisfied with the tension in the wrapping...
Or the thickness...
Will need to readdress this one - but I did fix that bead.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


This evening I started to add some beads to this Kaizen Stone.

You will notice that the first bead is laying a little crooked while the others are anchored in place and stand straight off the stone.

As I was working I started toying with a "stitch back" method using a variation of blanket stitch.

I gravitate to blanket stitch... its so useful. Maybe it falls into crochet hard to say its been a long time since I crocheted

It anchors the beads really nicely, hope I remember how to do it tomorrow.

I'm sure directions for this sort of thing are out there on the interweb somewhere but I'm too lazy to look for em, plus its kind of fun to "invent it"

I may go back and fix that first one. The others look so nice compared to it...

I've always been impressed with coral seas dedication to perfecting her craft over at Threads Across the Web especially the way she will backtrack on a piece in order to get it just right.

In the end it is so worth it.

I tend to get so caught up in the idea that sometimes I buzz through the craft with a "well it's good enough" attitude... Slowing down a little bit and really studying how to do things gives a chance to really reflect on the idea and look at the deeper layers in it.

Another person who shares that deeper looking is jude over at Spirit Cloth.

She really studies the details of what she is doing... both the idea and the craft.

Her results are a beautiful marriage of form and thought.

Yeah, I think I will go back and fix that bead...

no rush...

a little time to explore the ideas involved in making these pieces

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tim Gunn and Crazy Sexy Geeks

Gotta link to this.

I'm a big project runway fan (love Tim)

AND a geek

So these two interviews with Tim discussing Superhero costumes...priceless!


Sorry I have been unable to figure out how to embed vids in the blog but go and see
Its Tim at his Gunniest!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

This is how I've decided to mat/mount the last stone. Pretty simple, I like the way it emphasises the quadrants.
Pretty low energy today... its been a while since I went to a gig, 2:30 AM is a late night for me.
As I take it easy today I have begun a new stone,
and I am cooking vegetarian chili for dinner, yum.
Time to sit by the fire and wrap.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hopes and Blooms

Spring is running about 10 days ahead of schedule here in New England
Today was a lovely day, bright and warm so gardening took priority
So you get to see garden photos!
The Japonica has just begun to bloom

This is the very first garden I put in when we moved here 10 years ago.
I was very proud of my dry laid stone wall, time for some repairs a bit of it has begun to tumble

This is the only one of these tulips that has come back with a bloom, I suspect they require feeding .

This is the second garden I put in. It is really hard to get things to grow in it as it is nearly desert dry in the summer. Catmint and Phlox do pretty well here.

I finished putting the bird garden in two years ago. Last year I began the long process of establishing some of the larger plants. Looking a bit skimpy but I'm trying to avoid my most common mistake of cramming it full and losing plants

One of my flowering trees is actually flowering! I got these from the Arbor Day society, bare root stock, and a rough few first year or so but they seem to be coming into their own now.

This bed has a color focus of yellow/purple in the summer right now it is more green and orange.

Another view of it

Our property has a huge retaining wall of rocks in the back. Some of those suckers are 1/2 the size of a VW Bug. I added a border a few years ago and the plantings are starting to come along.
Its taken me awhile to figure out which plant can survive my neglect. I don't water or feed as much as I need to. Last year it was a huge disappointment, alot of deer damage early in the season followed by a very wet early summer left it looking very poorly. I'm hoping it will do a bit better this year.

Spirea is one of the plants that seem to do well in spite of me. I love the spring color.

I have a thing for bronze colored foliage. Not sure what this shrub is but its really pretty.

Brunneria is blooming, love that blue!

I love red leaves too, my Japanese maple is unfurling its leaves.

Hucherea more beautiful leaves. I figure I will be looking at leaves more than flowers so I tend to choose based on the colors and textures of the plants when they aren't in bloom.

This was a new purchase today called Blue Star Creeper its supposed to do well along walkways and between step stones... I put it into the bird garden with high hopes.

Mostly today I spent a great deal of time dividing up Creeping Phlox. I have some nice sized plants and it is just so extravagantly pretty at this time of year, I want more of it in the yard.
Tomorrow is supposed to be cool and rainy and tonight I will be out late as Lar has a gig that I plan to go to. It will be a good day to think about the background for this...

Friday, April 23, 2010

A little more than 5

Tonight I was able to take more than a single step.
Its funny how it starts to roll along a little easier as I focus on these very small steps.
Well actually it makes perfect sense there is no risk involved, no possibility of failure or disappointment.
I will have to think about how I want to frame it now...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

5 More

Another night, another 5 minutes, another piece of the puzzle falls into place.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

5 Minutes

ask small questions~to dispel fear and inspire creativity
think small thoughts~to develop new skills and habits
take small actions~that guarantee success
solve small problems~even when faced with overwhelming difficulties
bestow small rewards~to yourself or others to produce the best results
recognize the small but crucial moments that everyone else ignores
I'm trying the 5 minute method to get myself moving again. As unsettled as I am these days I can still manage 5 minutes on a creative project each day. I've done this before to good effect. Taking such a small action has an eroding effect on the resistance/fear in me. Its such a small goal that I can reach it with ease. Success is guaranteed. Each little success sands down the fear in me. Then the fun can kick in and it takes on a life of its own.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

More Steps

Its funny how recognizing that I'm experiencing some new dynamics in other areas of my life, and realizing that its understandable that it may be difficult to maintain a focus on artwork at the moment made the idea of actually doing something just a little easier tonight. I relaxed and followed an idle thought or two. No pressure, just a few minutes of messing around.
I noticed something else tonight, another aspect of all or nothing thinking...
It gets difficult to start again sometimes because I think
"oh no! I haven't done anything for awhile... the next thing I do better be really good just to make up for lost time"
Thinking that of course sort of ratchets up the pressure to perform, which makes it just a little harder to start
Then if I don't have all the energy necessary to get started...
I repeat the whole process again and maybe again, each time ratcheting the pressure up just little more.
Mmmmm... self defeating?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Baby Steps

I've dropped out of the art swing for the last few weeks.
Usually I'm inclined to beat myself up for that sort of behavior (not that THAT helps any)
This time I will try a different path and acknowledge that my life has been developing on some different fronts lately.
Work has been changing for me for the last year or so, its a good change, into a position of more responsibility, interaction, and new experiences (my first business trip last week). I feel as though some growth is taking place there on my part.
I've also started really paying attention to my diet for the first time in years. I am trying to lose a little weight... the pounds have been creeping up in the past couple of years.
And gain some fitness... as my activity level has dropped off the weight has gone up.
Nothing crazy or obsessive just less calories, more fiber and water, and more movement.
This does mean tracking food and being less passive about what I eat. More cooking and awareness of the choices I make. Making the time to get moving on a regular basis.
Its all a shift in priorities, and I have been negotiating it at the cost of artwork.
The artwork habit has been pretty wobbly for months now, I keep picking it up and putting it down.
I have a difficult time with balancing my life, I'm pretty good at "all or nothing" but all or nothing doesn't work equally well for all things. I tend to focus on one aspect of my life at the cost of everything else and it gets all out of whack.
So baby steps are called for to regain my stride, this evening I cleaned up my studio, and poked at a few projects that are laying around. Its a start.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Results of the burnout.
The flame traveled along the pleat edges so in places the fabric is barely connected and one corner is completely detached.
This wasn't quite what I had planned, but I kind of like the result
I think it might be interesting to play with stitching it to a background (not green)
Maybe a red ground color... or magenta.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Experiments in Ombre: Part Ugh Revised

Here are the results of my overdyes on those icky Ombre experiments (I left the nice one as is)
Remember this one?
The Blob
Is now a butterfly (of sorts)
This one
Has become a nighttime landscape
And this disaster
Has been transformed into this
A detail
I may not be done with these, I am tempted to add more colors to the landscape.
And possibly play with fire on one of the others.