Saturday, July 30, 2011

His Hands

He came for a visit.
We talked about making a 'pocket cloth'.
He showed interest right away.
He squished up different sizes to see how small it should be 
to fit in his pocket.
In my studio, he's offered fabrics to choose from.
Interest begins to fade.
This was like pulling teeth!  And believe me, even his loose tooth didn't 
come out - it was tough!!!  
After looking at bags and bags of fabric, he chose 3!  
No More.  Just 3.
I explain the "Magic Stitch"  ... "Invisible Baste" ..."Glue Stitch"
His big eyes expand in huge circles of wonder and amazement!

We doodle his design (his is the large square, mine is the small square).
It's tricky to figure out how to make it using the three fabrics he chose 
and the triangle shape he wants.
I explain about the 4th space on the white fabric.
He comes up with a solution to cut away the last triangle 
of white backing fabric, stating that it looks like a cat, like ears.  
Yep, I see that!

He draws a dotted line to symbolize where we will cut.
He makes symbols for the arrowhead and leaf fabric.
And puts a "f" for the feather fabric.
"I can't draw feathers", he says.
As we problem solve how to cut the triangles to have them fit on the white square,
he comes up with a new quote (see top of page in photo above).
I quite agree!
He claims that if we stack the fabric together 
we can cut all three triangles at once.
Right again.
He does this plan, freehand, eyeballing the size.
He tries them out on the white square and two fit fine, one does not.
I explain that the feather fabric needs to be reversed to help it fit 
and we do that.
It works.
So we cut a new triangle from the feather fabric and it fits fine.

Now it's time to learn the Magic Stitch.
I show him how to do the Invisible Baste stitch.
He takes to it like a fish to water!
He loves that it cannot be seen on the front!  Now that's exciting!
His hands are cautious and gentle, but sure.
He works with a certain strong focus.
Can you see his long stitches on the back?
He's really good at this!  He attaches the feather fabric and is ready for a break.
Because, after all he'd really rather play grandpa's guitar...or most of all play his DSI game.
He is 8 years old.  He is my grandson!
He likes trying out the pick and the glass slide!
"Can I play my DSI?"
Photos by NAE @pomegranatetrail ©2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sunshine Movie and More


I've been a lot of places lately, mentally that is.  Feeling so busy and scattered and focused (or not) and concerned.  Sometimes when that happens, I go back to a place of comfort.  So I watched a bit of this movie while eating dinner last night.  It is my movie.  It is 15 year old me.  But it is a part of me that stays real and true.  It fits in with some of what the sewing circle has been talking about.
Things that change...shift...morph or deepen.  All to come full circle, right back to who you always were (or a part of you).  Why is that?  I think part of it is, because, well at your are who you are baby!  Yes we all grow, change and evolve.  And it is good to reflect and consider elements of yourself from time to time.  It is good to be a person of continuing education (in whatever form that takes).  But some days, some needs to wallow in self-ness.  That's important too.

As far as MD goes...I had an idea.  It felt like a big idea.  I had been sewing on my heart sampler and it has been feeling important.  It's had something to say to me.  I wanted to keep it near me for a long while.  Then suddenly, in a burst, I thought what could wear your important blanket.  Not such a far-fetched idea (think big-seller Snuggle blanket - the blanket with sleeves).  But I was thinking, not like a skirt or jacket or even a cape (a-la Grace).  I thought what was a quilt and then it wasn't.  And so, I thought of the blanket/poncho.
With a neck hole that could be 'covered' with the heart sampler.  Button on...Button off.  I thought that I could place buttons strategically so if I was wearing it and I so desired, I could add the heart sampler back on.

 I rotated this, but Blogger wants it sideways!   
I think it is kind of funny that I have to post this sideways...because when it is to be worn - it will face one way, to create a "V" neck hole... it can face another way when buttoned up.  I hope that makes sense.  I have thought of uneven edges, haven't planned for arm holes.  Frankly, I have an idea...but other than that...not so much!
 I have seen folks with their posts and/or design walls -  starting in the center or with a collage foundation.  I like both approaches very much, but I just keep thinking how I may want to keep this with me in a different way.

I am having trouble with a few things about this cloth.  There are things I am problem-solving.
  1. In some moments it feels too contrived.  I want it to evolve and be organic.  I have enjoyed watching Jude's & Grace's process. I love the collage of Nat's browns. But I had asked myself, "What is the purpose of this cloth?"  The answer fits this poncho idea perfectly.  So, then is it contrived?  Am I trying too hard?  Or am I setting it up so it can then evolve - in which case it is just part of the prep process.  Right?  It is just a cloth that has a hole in the middle, no big deal right?
  2. I have been planning on having the hearts be a finished block, so when it is buttoned on, covering the hole it has a 'back' as does the rest of the cloth.  Right now the heart sampler is about 12X11+.  I have no idea how big a poncho neck hole should be to make it functional.  Suggestions?  I plan on adding on some dyed neutral blocks (maybe 1X1 or 2X2) around the main sampler to make it bigger.
I have some other thoughts going on too, as far as other fabrics to use.  I found these darling lambs in some old stuff.  They may wander aboard this cloth someday, or not!  I may tea dye it.  Or not.
Old child's pillowcase...lovely!

I adore the edges on the little pillowcase.  The blue and white gingham is from my daughter's Dorothy costume and the other little blue print is from my wedding dress!  Hey, it was 1979 what can I say!  I may use some of these...(say it all together now!)...or not!  I do want to wiggle some blue in somewhere.  I've always been a blue jeans kinda gal!  If it works to use actual blue jean fabric, well I've got that too!  I also found this old sugar bag fabric.
Very old sugar bag

The choices are many.  It seems I am not so great at deciding between all of my ideas.  I am glad it is considered slow cloth!  This gives me time to let things gel awhile.  I just keep adding the intended stitches to the heart sampler and ponder on what may come next.
It's a good thing I am not in a hurry.   I don't have a deadline.  Plus,  I have many other things to attend to right now.  So this is good.  Yep.  Just breathe...

Photos by NAE @pomegranatetrail ©2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Relative Size

Photos by NAE @pomegranatetrail ©2011

As I go for a neighborhood walk
or sit on the patio to stitch in the cool breeze of the day's end
My eyes search for the enormous pine 3 houses away
It's easy to see, it dwarfs the two-story houses, cars
and ancient oaks that line the street
I admire the strength and longevity it represents
Something so big can be empowering
It's safe to say, I'm infatuated with this quiet old giant
Some days though all of this tree's bigness
just succeeds in making me feel small

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Delaney & Bonnie & Friends - Never Ending Song of Love - 45 rpm


This is one my favorite songs, by one of my favorite groups!  If you are not familiar with Delaney and Bonnie you really should check them out.  SO amazing each in their own right...but together...WOW!  Here is another favorite titled Poor Elijah.  When you read their bio's, you'll see how accomplished they are.  You Tube is chocked full of their music.  I could listen for days.  I chose this song to put here because it is so happy and full-to-bursting with love and good feelings!  Anyone can sing and dance along!
If you explore around You Tube...I'm sure you'll find more of their songs to fall in love with!  And you will undoubtedly stumble on their daughter Bekka - who has one of the most amazing voices ever!  I never tire of hearing her sing.  One of my favorites is the video of her singing this song soon after Delaney's passing.  Her heartbreak is palpable.  His version is just as heartbreaking.        
Their daughter Michele is a talented artist.  I love her portraits with body painting and the work she did on the CD cover for another friend: CoCo Carmel Whitlock's First Fruit.  CoCo's tribute to Delaney "Rest in Peace" is hauntingly beautiful.  She has a whole awesome body of work too.  CoCo is married to Bobby Whitlock and they make beautiful music together these days!
Michele, with her sisters Suzanne and Bekka have started a foundation to help musicians in need.  They have also begun the process of creating a movie, a documentary, a is the trailer (including a little story about the song I posted here -AKA The Jumprope Song) for Matilija Magic.  They're also trying to get them inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of fame.  It is pretty ridiculous that this has not happened yet.  If you'd like to send a letter on their behalf, I'm sure it would be appreciated.

I know this post is super 'link' heavy...but I saw the tip from Peggy (yep it worked - thanks!!!) and then I put the song up real quick to test it.  Yippee!  When I went back to write this, I did not realize the post was staying up as is...without the story.  I couldn't leave it that way...Delaney, his daughters, his One of a Kind mom - Mamo, CoCo...all friends of mine.  I had to include this part to honor them.  Delaney passed away 2 months after my mom did in 2008.  He is missed by many, myself included.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sounds of Nature

 Two interesting things came my way today.  One reminded me right away of Grace and her recent rain experience.  I wonder if it would be possible to listen to THIS rain while reading her poetic post!!!

Then I came upon this post of bird calls and thought of Jude's recent post on the woodpecker.  So I scanned the bird calls sight and sure enough, there was the same woodpecker (2 varieties, not sure which one Jude found).  In contrast the the rain experience, it may be kind of odd to listen to a bird call while looking a photos of a dead bird.  Creepy.
Just so you don't miss it... I listened online, I didn't download anything!!  :)

Anyway, just thought i would share these.  Let me know how you enjoy them!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

July 13, 2011 #2

A day of exploring old cloth
Followed by an evening walk
Exploring the neighborhood
The slow pace of summer
(click on photo to enlarge)
Sunflower withers in the evening sun

Even an ordinary grass shares details with the observant

A few blocks away, the road leads into the hills

Ancient oak and a recent passing marked
Neighbors ready for a relaxing summer chat

1 crow & 3 turkey feathers
And one smooth worry stone
Photos by NAE @pomegranatetrail ©2011

July 13, 2011

Look what I found yesterday...
I've been meaning to dig out some old family pieces, thinking I may have a piece to bring into my MD cloth.  I won't use the two large pieces here...they won't work for what I am doing.  I don't know where they are from.  For some reason, that bothers me.  They may be family pieces...or not.  This is something I think about a lot...the history and the story.  I swing like a mad pendulum between wanting to know and preserve every morsel of family or personal story...and...feeling that the story, the history, the tradition and culture of who we are gets woven into our very existence.  Although we may not recall it specifically, it becomes a part of who we are.
I important is the total recall?  All of the details, all of the moments - do they really need to be remembered to have played out their have had an impact?  Doesn't time change those memories anyway?  What if those memories have been passed down to you...the story told and retold over time...does that change that story's true nature?  Does that even matter?  How absolute does the story need to be?
This is part of the reason I decided to tell the story as I saw it, as I lived real time.  This blog is a record of my days, which in turn is a record of my life.  This feels important to do right now.  One day I may want to reflect.  One day my children or other family members may want to know my story.   So in addition to the wonderful conversations and community that I've discovered in Blogland...there are the moments made into memories.  I like that.
The 3 little doilies were made by my Daddy's Grandmother.  There is one more little one not in the photo.  I may use one of these.  However, my concern is in the wash-ability of them.
It is important to me to be able to wash and really use this MD cloth.  It is not a wall-hanging.
Some of these handkerchiefs belonged to my Nana (maternal side) and others I am not sure about.  My grandmother's name was Marian, the one with the green "M" and a couple next to it were hers.  They are in beautiful condition.  If they belonged to a stranger, I may not feel such trepidation in adding them to the dye pot, cutting into them or covering them with stitches.  
Their perfection poses a white canvas effect on me.
I'm sure glad I don't have to make any decision today!
As they danced in the breeze, I walked along the line and smelled each one.  I may never know the stories locked inside these small pieces of cloth.
But I must say, they smelled just as I knew they would.
The distinct sweet odor of all of my linens.  Remember the pillowcase posted during SunMoonStars?  Yep, same sweetness!  I guess this is one of my quirks, but it totally fascinates me!  No matter where they're stored, what house or what state I'm living in, what year it is, what laundry soap I've used (I used odor-free soap now)...for all of my adult life my linens have smelled the same!  Fascinating!
Anyway, aren't they beautiful?!
 This is part of a small tie or scarf.  It belonged to my mother.
Her name was (is) Marjorie, but most people called her Marge.
This is one that I am planning on using.  
I want to have her near me in this way.

This is something I made when my son was an infant.  It was framed and hung (for many years) on the wall of the bedroom I shared with my ex-husband or in my son's room.  I was about 21 years old and becoming a mother was The Most Important thing to me.  I had seen this 'blessing' somewhere and though I did not consider myself very religious in the formal practicing sense of the word, the heart of it spoke to me.  Yes - small things that have no words...yes.
I believe the bird, butterfly and flowers were traced, but the letters I wrote out free-hand each one in a cross stitch design.
I love the simple innocence of this cloth and 
I am so glad to have it after so many years.
I am considering the use of this one.
Here I have some cloth in waiting.  I'll use these when they come out.   I will soon be ready to begin adding on to the heart sampler.  I'm planing on using my shades of brown for much of the foundation.  I have done these dye jars as experiments - on a whim.  
They are (from left to right) red dirt - pansy flowers - rust - ? (I forgot!!! lol)
This belonged to my Grandmother and I wonder who did the stitching.  I love the color and fanciness of it!  Upon closer inspection, as it hung in the sunlight, there are several very very tiny holes were the fabric has worn through.
A  nice day of sunshine
and time for cloth!   

Photos by NAE @pomegranatetrail ©2011

Monday, July 11, 2011

Just stopping in - Be Back Later

I'm stopping in for just a photos...
Just two things to say, which I may expand on later.
  1. While waiting for blood work today, another patient was checking in.  At first he seemed annoyed that they could not take him right away.  He was unsteady on his feet and had an odd expression on his face. he turned around from the check-in counter...and was now facing the room, he threw his arms wide and in a loud deep voice sang a rousing chorus from the old favorite "This Land is Your Land".  His voice was BIG and I was so startled.  Being the thinker that I am, I tried to figure out the cause for his spontaneous song.  My guy read his book for one split second and then joined right in!  I wished I had sung.  By the time I felt ready...he finished and walked out.  This happens to me a lot.  This experience happens to fit in with the book I was reading late last night! Coincidence! 
  2. Yesterday's post on MD really got my wheels going.  I have a Big idea that has come to me on the Purpose of my cloth.  Now that I slept on it last night,  I am trying to see if it is plausible...brainstorming...problem considering and solving...and so on.  I am trying to not have it grow big and elaborate, which I tend to do.  So, I have told myself to just look at the main idea...the tricky part and if it still feels good after that, then continue on.  I do love this part of the process.  
 I will share as things form more firmly in my head.

Happy stitching!

Friday, July 8, 2011

First Day

Today is the first day of the Magic Diaries class over at Jude Hill's Spirit Cloth blog.  Everyone has been anxiously waiting for this day.  My fellow stitchers have been preparing for this day, each in her/his own way.  The most most 'vocal' has certainly been Grace over at windthread, where she has prepared fabric and looked at placement, color, shape and theme in a variety of configurations - thoughtfully considering Jude's many past lessons.  Others have designated certain 'projects' to be worked on during this time.  Still others have been waiting for the class to start to get going or to be inspired or to just ride along for the observational learning and inspiration of it all.
I have had a vague ideas floating about in my head.  I have certain colors that always call to me.  I am drawn towards woodsy & flower colors, as I think of them.  
I have the experimental dyeing that I've been doing.  
I even wrapped a couple of trees to let Mother Nature in on the fun!    

As I've been cleaning my studio, I have been pulling out things that seem to fit in with the feeling of all of this.  I want to do some planning along with more than some discovering along the way.  Something else quite important to me right now, is to only work with materials I have on hand (except possibly thread).  I also have made a decision about the dyeing part (for now... Haaha).  I am going to focus my efforts on only the most simple methods and materials.  I have India's beautiful book, which I have not had time to devour properly.  Oh my it is just so gorgeous!  
So, I am going to stick to things like tea, onion skins, red rock, and rust for now.  I feel myself getting too distracted and I want to be proactive about changing that.  I am also planning on using my ugly stuff!!!  My thought is: if I dye something and it doesn't look so hot...who is to say it won't look just fine cut up and woven and stitched upon?!  Exactly.
Like I said, I will be using materials on hand!  Which means mostly cottons, with a few other things tossed in.  That's what I've got!  

I hung up all these pieces from my growing pile and took a look and made my first Magic discovery!  I could not get my little heart piece out of my head.  It already holds a lot of meaning for me.  I sit and look at it and move the last few hearts around and let the ideas gel some more.  All this while, it has been telling me that it belonged here on this new cloth.  Somehow it needs to fit in on this Big Cloth.  And this is true...I am not done holding it near yet.  I have not been sure where or how...but, so far I have most often seen it in the middle.  Anyway I then pulled out the old fabrics from a project never started...
the ones I'd had in my mind to use...
well Low & Behold --- They are the same colors as my heart piece!  
The greens, the purples, all fit!  
I hung them up to see/feel them working together.  Yes...this seems right so far.  I did not really intend to do a Dark and Light thing while pinning them.  This is a first hanging, just to see what I've got.  I'm sure there will be plenty of movement in the coming months. 
So, as you look at the photos below, let's play a little "I Spy" game...

So far...

I spy 2 failed flip and stitch
and one very old handkerchief
I spy acorns three
and light & dark leaves from a tree
I spy stars in the night
and little holes to let in light
I spy 2 things that fly
and two skins that may slither by

Among these fabrics are more special treasures, 
I must say...
but let's discover those along the way!

                                             I'm thinking about starting with some cloth weaving and 9 patch....

But first I'm going to 
sit a while 
and look at this 
beautiful display...
Photos by NAE @pomegranatetrail ©2011

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

What Is Life?

"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. 
It's the life in your years."
Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865) US president, lawyer
A little weaving...
Ponder as you will...for which one of us, if any, has the definitive answer to the question of my title?!
For this answer varies from person, 
from place to place, 
from day to day.  
Sometimes from moment to moment.
Along with the afore mentioned cleaning 
and obvious computing...
These days, life looks like this...
Washing dishes & onion skin dying...
Enjoying the breezes...

A bit of stitching...
Beautiful flowers in the neighborhood..
Hope things are just as productive and restful over your way!                                                                                   
Photos by NAE @pomegranatetrail ©2011