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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Continuing


Last year, and many others in the past...
I've made plans or resolutions.  I've heard others use the word intentions, which feels a bit more accurate for me.
Also, in the past, I've chosen specific words to focus on.
2011's word was create and while I did do a lot of 'creating'...two things are for sure, I wish I had done even more and I pretty much forgot about the whole thing by February!  I kept on creating though, past February and through the year because that's what I do.


Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.  -George Bernard Shaw



Maybe Life is about stumbling on to yourself!  That seems to be more my style.
Usually, I end up forgetting all about these things a few months, or a few weeks into the year.
This year I'm choosing to do none of that.  After all, it's another year, in a long string of years that has and will make up my life.  I will embrace my love of the New Year = fresh start feelings.  I will focus on those feelings for as long as I do, then I'll move on.

A young man I know and a friend of his have discovered the art of continuing.  And really it's very simple, just tape on another piece of 

paper and go on with your drawing.  I believe they call this practice "continuing art".



I love that these first graders have unknowingly come up with such meaningful metaphor for this time of year, for life in general.  Make some additions, some adjustments and carry on.

This is a very good thing to remember.
Frankly, I was delighted to witness some continuing art being made (if only for a moment) by this young man.  Several papers were taped together and he was busy adding more to his story.  I was told that his friend had continued his drawn story up his bedroom wall and on to the ceiling!  Later, I was sent the two photos above showing his continuing art posted near the ceiling of his own bedroom.
I look at these drawings and wonder what their stories are.  They hold the imaginative thoughts of a young boy.  They supply inspiration to those that see them.
  I think some stories don't have to have an end.  Some stories can continue on & on &on...

Here's wishing your story continues in 2012.
May you embrace many, many moments.

This Moment
This Moment

A neighborhood.
At dusk.

Things are getting ready
to happen
out of sight.

Stars and moths.
And rinds slanting around fruit.

But not yet.

One tree is black.
One window is yellow as butter.

A woman leans down to catch a child
who has run into her arms
this moment.

Stars rise.
Moths flutter.
Apples sweeten in the dark.

~Eavan Boland

Monday, December 26, 2011

10 Minute Drill #12- Inspiration Continued

   
    So, here we are...the Day After Christmas when all the news wants to discuss is the sale shopping frenzy.  Instead, I invite you to relax and listen to this young girl.  To me it matters not that she sings of religious ideas that are not my own.  I just hear her as sweet inspiration.  Her beautiful voice, her songwriting...her ability to see right down to the heart of what is important - Every Day kind of important.
"Our dreams seem nearer and words are kinder, to the people that we meet..."  
"Families come back home, to the place they belong and their broken hearts are healed...."
May you celebrate this kind of inspiration all year long.
                      Here is a bit more to read about her.  She certainly leads by example doesn't she?  As she lives in a 2 bedroom house with her family, yet plans to donate part of her itunes sales monies so others may have the gift of music, what could be better than that?
                                           What word comes to mind as you listen?  
I have so many one word answers.  But, I keep coming back to
 "inspirational".  
May we all have an inspired year in 2012.

Here is the link, in case you need it: Night of Our Lives

Sunday, December 25, 2011

10 Minute Drill #11 - Go For It!



                                                
If we could all have a New Year like this football play!
That's all I can really say.  Nothing profound.  This just gave me a lot of joy to watch, so I thought I'd share that here.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

10 Minute Drill #10 - Gifts


I love to give away things I've made.  This time my sister and my 3 nieces were the recipients of warm winter scarves as part of our Hanukkah celebration.   One side strips of colorful fabrics and one side soft fleece.  Mmmm...cozy!
Woodsy Yosemite Niece!

 I hope your upcoming winter days are filled with family, warmth, and the joy of giving.

                                                        
Sister's vintage fabrics!

Flowers for the photographer/dancer niece!

 
Guitar-playing Music Business Niece!


 

All photos by Nancy A. Erisman ©2011




Friday, December 16, 2011

Three Feathers & One Spoon

These are the last feathers that have been sent off to Jude for her Magic Feather Project.   In a way it makes me kind of sad.  I've had so much fun making them, executing some of the many ideas that have been flying through my head.  Now it seems as if I'm out of time.  
So, what do I do with the leftover ideas?  lol
The funny thing is that one of these little feathers is the first one I started, but I kept putting it aside.  Either I didn't feel the flow or it was prempted by some other idea or some other procrastination.  With the end of the year deadline coming up, I figured to give it another try and WaLa...it spoke to me in this little gathering of 3!
 If you are a super quick stitcher, and can get a feather into the mail fast...
join in by sending her a feather!
This is a favorite scrap of fabric I've had for 40+ years, so I saved back a tiny bit for me too.  I have always been charmed by these little birds.  There is something so happy about them.  The fabric came from a shirt my sister made herself, back in the day.  It had 'butterfly' sleeves and was cropped right up under the breasts, tying in the middle (if that makes sense).  Does anyone remember that 1970's style?  Haha.  I can't believe how much skin we used to show!  I loved that shirt and was so amazed by the fact that she could actually sew something not too embarrassing to wear!  lol   Unlike the gold peasant blouse I made as a 7th grade sewing class requirement!!!

The backing is an old square of blue flannel from my patchwork baby quilt making days.  At that time I made a variety of patterns and sizes of squares, all with ties in the corners or middle of a square.  I always used and/or backed my baby quilts in flannel for extra softness.  I don't know why I placed them together here as I did (on angles), 
but oh well.  
I do hope it is useful for Jude.
On the back, you can see my thread loops from trying to hurry to finish it up in time. I don't like when the back is messy.  I hope Jude backs this, so little fingers are safe!  :)
Jude thank you for the opportunity to participate in such a worthwhile project.  I've appreciated this for so many reasons.
 I look forward to watching what happens next!

While I've used free moments to stitch feathers, my guy has used his free time to create beautiful wood spoons.  This one was a birthday gift for our neighbor.  I wish you could feel the smoothness and the gentle way it fits right in your hand.  Lovely!
As the year winds down, I hope you enjoy a sense of calm and creativity.



All photos by Nancy A. Erisman ©2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

Goodnight

 Photo by Nancy A. Erisman ©2011


Walnut tree stark and bare
shivers in the cold night air
Moon full, bright and round
All moon's friends gather round

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Something Old

 Photo by Nancy A. Erisman ©2011

This is my grandfather's cane.  A man I never knew.  My mother's father, who passed away when she was only 11 years old.  For all of these years it has been kept, as a cherished remembrance of this important family member.  I've taken the seam out of the cane wrapping cloth and washed it by hand in Woolite.  It continued to disintegrate in my hands.  
There are many holes and shreds of fabric hanging off.  
It is as fragile as our history...as our memories of one another...of life itself.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Changes


Seems like nothin' stays the same...
even the same things change over time.
Especially with some type of intervention -
by man or nature.




















This is the same rose bush at different times.
After pruning, the coloring shifts, the size of the blooms  differ and even the shape of the flowers changes.




These 3 photos show my neighbors rose bush.
It has become very ruffled after pruning.  The tips of the leaves have become variegated.
It has a very faint scent this season.  It used to be my favorite scent of all the roses.















This beautiful red rose barely had a scent at all in the past.  Now it is just heavenly.  Imagine the most condensed rose scent ever and you've got this one.  I wish you could smell it!

My roses don't know what season it is...they just keep blooming!
Today I really liked this!

All photos by Nancy A. Erisman ©2011 & earlier   

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Still Life in a Window Box

Snap...Snap...Snap
Look...Shift...Zoom
It was a pleasure to quickly take many photos of the window box life as it is now.
What looks spent...is actually full of life.
Take a look and see what you think!

The window box, filled with walnut leaves.
Shadow Dancing!
Lace and blue sky.
Close up of a black lump...mutant sunflower?
Tiny black creatures...the creators of lace leaves.

A bit of smocking pleats on the old tomato.
A hint of color.




Beauty!



All photos by Nancy A. Erisman ©2011

Singing in the Rain

     

What a difference a day makes!
For some unknown reason this popped into my head this morning!
My oh my - how my daughter and I enjoyed ALL of the old dance movies.
She's been dancing (formally) since she was 4 years old.
I've been dancing in my heart more years than that!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Exhausted

I've put away the photographs project.
For a while...perhaps a day...or a few days.
Maybe longer.  I need a break.

So, today I feel like this sunflower.

Photo by Nancy A. Erisman ©2011
I spent some moments with the old sunflowers today.
More about that later.

Friday, November 25, 2011

5x8

  Found among my mother's things...
6 linen (?) cloths.  Each with it's own illustrated quote.  Measuring approximately 5x8.  Would you like a little Dickens with your cocktail?  I think they are pretty funny.  These most likely belonged to my mother and birth-father in the early 1950's.  I wonder what stories they could tell?  I think I will do a bit of online research...




UPPER LEFT: "Welcome Poverty", cried Mr.McCauber              
UPPER RIGHT: Mr. Pecksniff and his charming daughter   
BOTTOM: Mr. Fezziwigs Ball

                                                  

 
TOP: Convivality at Bob Sawyers  
BOTTOM LEFT: Mr. Jefferson Brick proposes an appropriate sentiment 
BOTTOM RIGHT: Mrs.Gamp looked around and chuckled

All photos by Nancy A. Erisman ©2011




                                                                      

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Today...


Today I am Thankful for these views...
on a mountain-top about 28 miles from my house!




Standing on the top of the mountain I was amazed at the distance I could see.  
Then I began to examine the natural elements up close and that was equally amazing.

What happens when a pine cone sits still for a long time!  Pine cone ghosting!


A plaque on the large pine tree.  It reads: "Soar on Vince. You will always be with us."
Recently trimmed pine tree
Very large pine tree!  Oddly enough it has a very short looking trunk, many large branches very low on the trunk and very long needles.  

Heading back down the dirt road, I marvel at the geological history.

All photos by Nancy A. Erisman ©2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving Week Everyone!


       

Some days are just overwhelming! 

Friday, November 18, 2011

10 Minute Drill #9 - Memory Keeper


Today I pulled these out.  They were purchased a long time ago at an estate sale around the corner from my house.  One or two of them will be used on the Memory Keeper woven envelope I've begun.  With some ribbon or cloth to help keep it closed.

This one was tucked in among them.
I really like it!
One row shy of a nine patch!  Ha!

 All photos by Nancy A. Erisman ©2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Where I Am

 Photo by Nancy A. Erisman ©2011


The time has come to dismantle my mother's photo albums.
It is a very hard job.  
Many of the people in these books have already passed on.  I miss them.
My mother was the last of her generation in our family.  She had everybody's stuff.  
Now my sister and I have everybody's stuff.
I have so many...so very many conversations with myself (and my sister) about: 
What we are supposed to do with all of this "stuff"?
My mom created many photo albums over the years.
But, this grouping of bumpy, textured, woven ones are the hardest to undo.  
They hold my whole childhood.  
They hold the little girl part of me that still exists, deeply ingrained in my heart.
There are so many family photos, collected over years of life experiences.
There's so much family history here.
At first I did not think I would be able to take these books apart, as I've known them most of my life.  They speak volumes about my mother.  Their super organized, chronological order format, even down to the blending of two families...the little white paper labeling done in my mother's never-changing handwriting...their smell, my mother's smell that graces everything once belonging to her.
Taking them apart is loosing another piece of my mom.
It's loosing her once again and that is sad.
I look for the lessons.  I embrace family traditions.  
I celebrate joyous moments again.  
I marvel at who my mother was...at who each one of us has been.
Somehow, this job feels appropriate for this season of change.  
I feel changes coming.
I feel unsettled...disequilibrium.
I fit this job in where time and emotions allow.




Tuesday, November 15, 2011

10 Minute Drill #8

Today I like this:

 Photo by Nancy A. Erisman ©2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

Information & Further Exploration

Information & Further Exploration...often provides Inspiration and Conversation!!!

This is one of those posts that includes many links to other inspiring places to visit.
I like to do that now and then.  I like to share!
I get a weekly update from two cloth related magazines from Interweave press.  I get the updates from Quilting Arts and Cloth, Paper, Scissors.  I took those magazines for years.
Here are a few recent links that made me think of my online community.  The first one is for anyone who likes to spin and read...maybe not at the same time though!  It seems the folks at Interweave have been working on a project that involves spinning projects based on the work of Jane Austen!  You can find it here: spinning and reading
This next one caught my eye because of the colorful photo and the words: periodic table of elements,   which my guy has been interested in.  Not me, I don't want to do anything formal with my dye pot play!  But, I must add that I love color wheels and this reminded me of them.  If you're interested in a scientific display of dyeing, then by all means...go check it out!  Isn't that a beautiful color-filled photo?!
Then I saw this one about the debate about using patterns and one on smooth stitching  Two subjects recently posted on blogs I read.  I myself don't like to use a pattern, not my way express myself & I am not good at it!!  However, my first work (as a kid) was 'printed cross-stitch' designs...just stitch over the X's!  The second article here made me think of arlee whose work is certainly not smooth and flat...and is so interesting and textured because of her creative Frankenstitch!!!

Made with a pattern?  I'll never know!  My great-aunt made this doggie doorstop!

Additionally recent conversations have been based on earning money and notoriety by putting your work out there.  These conversations have at times been deeply philosophical, personal and intense.  I personally like the idea of entering a piece after you've seen a post like this one.  It has the  perks of you being able to create a piece in a way that is true to you and if it happens to fit a guideline out there...well that's fun!  I have only once been inspired to create something as an entry piece.  It was a self-portrait 'contest' for Quilting Arts.  My piece was not selected, but was on their website for a while!  I thought that was fun.  There are a lot of suggestions for entries in this article.  Also if someone sees some of my work...and just cannot live without it...just ask!

My self-portrait...A sensory gal!  Made by writing a journal page...manipulating it 4 different ways, transferring it on fabric...spring eyes, shells for ears and a protruding nose symbolize what makes me me!  The back was made by scanning rough sand paper and printing that onto fabric.

To all of those that crochet and/or those making the Beekeepers quilt and of course don't we all love circles?   Now, this one may be a great project...the Circle Rug.  When I read the directions, I laughed at how it read like a foreign language to me!  But I do love the idea!  I liked how the middle hole disappears.  Cool.

I hope you've enjoyed this little link-share session and if you've seen something you'd like to share...leave a comment!
 All photos by Nancy A. Erisman ©2011



Thursday, November 10, 2011

10 Minute Drill #7

Fabric Out of the Dye Pots!
 I've taken all of the fabric out, washed it up...
Do you want to see?


With no formal record keeping, this is what I have learned:
  1. The powdered rust in the rusty horse waterer, with rusty items thrown in works nicely.
  2. The habotai silk takes color very well.
  3. My oblong acorns from the front yard, do not give off much color.
  4. The linen takes color well, but remains scratchy feeling, even when in the dye pot for a long time.  Pondering the texture of linen.
  5. The silk velvet is my favorite in both richness of color and feel.
  6. The round acorns dye much darker.

These are the fat round acorns found during a Sunday afternoon adventure apple picking.  I cooked them on the stove in the new little brass dye pot.

Day by day the walnut tree becomes more golden.
We've thrown some leaves in the walnut dye pot.
Today I learned how those leaves dye the front porch as well!!!


I've begun a weaving that will become a special envelope for a newly married couple.
 All photos by Nancy A. Erisman ©2011