"I do believe in an everyday sort of magic...the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we're alone." Charles de Lint
My Aunt Wilma passed away today. She was almost 94 years old and the twin sister of my dad...Walter. She lived in Dana Point, California and every time I visited I felt like I was in a special place. She was a remarkable woman and she will be missed.
My sister Nancy and I visited several times together
Lilla Rogers, artist, teacher, and author of the book I just Want to Make Things claims that "people buy your joy."
Today was take down day at my "Unexpected Horizons" art show and I think it was a big success. Over the two months I sold 23 pieces and at least 6 or 8 mobiles. On my way home this morning I delivered "That Piece" (above) to its new owner...my friend Amy....and tomorrow I'll deliver "A Little Serenity" to my friend Linda. Thanks for buying my joy!
And the good news is Dr. Adams wants me to come back for another show sometime.
As we were taking things down....Dr. Adams bought that last piece I just took in a few days ago.... "Indigo Moon" and she and I picked fabric for the second commission she ordered.
It will be fun to come up with some new things again at some point...but for now I will welcome the break and focus on my house and my gardens.
This was a good thing for me to do...I learned a lot about myself and what I'm capable of. I'm very grateful do Dr. Adams for giving me the opportunity.
I found this lovely pottery plate at a local consignment shop...I love the colors and the earthiness.
I was keeping my eyes open for something to sit in the middle of my dining room table in Maine....and I think this works pretty well. This is round one of what's going to be displayed...I guarantee it's going to get changed up.
My show is winding down soon....and a few days ago I took in one last piece I called "Indigo Moon."
It's rather simple...but I'm pretty happy with it. I played around with different pieced quilts blocks at the bottom...but in the end...simple worked best. I won't mind if it doesn't sell because I have a couple places I could hang it.
I used an altered photo and two different fabrics with a little sliver of silver metallic paper peeking through.
I took the photo a couple of years ago in Bedford as I was leaving Connie's apartment....I've always loved it.
For this piece I used a version that I digitally altered.
I think it looks kind of etherial...and artsy.
Here's another view of the moon that same night. I will play around with these photos again....I think they are beautiful. I do love indigo!
I drove up to Maine last night to get a head start on my day of doing this and that.
This morning I finally finished up the painting in the living room. Now I can put it all back together...and this little construction project will be nearly done. (I still need to paint the new shelf in the kitchen....but that may wait a while. If you don't look too closely...the primer looks like paint. Or that's what I'm telling myself.
I spent the afternoon outside...weeding, trimming, and cleaning up. It was a beautiful day....for this and that.
My new favorite bush is Aronia...a kind of choke cherry. The blossoms are just lovely and it has a nice upright shape with black "super berries" in the fall.
I like it in front of the house. It will only get 5 or 6 feet tall so won't cover the window...but provide just a bit of privacy. The variegated red twig dogwood on the left will get 5 to 7 feet tall and will fill that corner nicely.
I grew up on a farm in Wisconsin where the ice cream man came once a week during the summer. My mom would buy big tubs of ice cream for the family...but we kids would buy our own individual treats that we would hide in the corners of one of the big chest freezers. I often bought Creamsicles....and I only remember orange. And that was the color theme of this morning's walk with Anita and Janet.
We came across a cluster of azalea bushes in Creamsicle orange and yellow....they just glowed. It was fun seeing the buds in all of their stages: closed....just opening....fully open. Janet and Anita were patient with me while I took pictures....they know what they're getting into when they walk with me.
As we walked on....I spotted some sweet little orange glazed mushrooms in front of a house. As I was snapping a picture....I was caught. Joan, the homeowner, came out pleased that we were enjoying her mushrooms and invited us into the backyard to see the rest of her collection. What a treat! Her gardens were lovely filled with hosta, ferns, and Solomon's Seal...and of course several little clusters of mushrooms.
There were the oranges and yellows.....
....blues and purples
...and sweet little browns and earthtones.
The shed was charming....which matched the funky garage. The whole yard was a sanctuary.
It was a delightful side trip....and we made a nice connection with a friendly neighbor. Thanks for the tour Joan!
Don't you love the wide, rustic stone wall in the front of her house!
My friend Connie lives at a retirement facility that is in the middle of a major building project.
There is a long hallway called Main Street that has a temporary barrier wall with little windows so residents can watch the project unfold. They have divided the wall into sections and are inviting and encouraging residents to do murals and coloring projects. They asked Connie to design a section...and she enlisted my help.
Connie's vision was to depict the 21 original board of trustees in simple stick figures with a list of all their names. We came up with a computer rendering which I printed on a transparency and projected on the wall with an overhead projector. I traced all the figures and names using a black marker and together we colored the ties and beads. The figure in the middle represents the current CEO...who is also on this list of original trustees. I think it was a successful project! We make a good team!
We have a tired blue chair and ottoman in the corner of the living room in Maine. The stuffing is losing its loft and there are a few burn holes from the fire place....but it's the best seat in the house. It's where Paul sits to read, write, or listen to music or the Red Sox, and it's where I sit and stitch.
The flat arms are just the right height for a board Paul uses to hold his laptop or journal (you can see it there on the left)...and they are perfect perches for the supplies and snippets from my current project. Last time I was there I sat there all evening starting my new wool and felt project...enjoying the view out the window...and the peace and quiet.
I have tried to find another one like it....even from the same company...but no luck.
Here's it is in our three season porch when we lived in Madison, Wisconsin. This was my favorite room in that house...and of course my favorite spot to sit. Do you have a favorite spot to sit?
It's garden season....and time to plant the pots and urns at home and at church...it's where a lot of my creative energy goes this time of year. I still hope to continue working on art...but since the show is winding down in a week or so it will be a good time to focus on other neglected things inside and out.
This morning I was walking the yard and wondered how many varieties of hosta I have...I'm not even sure I got a sample from every one. But just for the record there are 26 in this picture. Some of the leaves will get a bit bigger....and some will stay the size of my pinkie. I love all the textures and shades of green.
...who's got the button? Anyone else play that game when they were young?
I recently ordered a bargain bag of misc multi colored buttons from Etsy. There are several projects where I've used a spectrum of buttons and my supply of some of the colors was getting low.
Ever since I made the "beach balls" piece for the show (I actually made two) I've wanted to do a version in a swirl.
So I've cut some circles out of felt and wool and chosen some buttons. Some of the circles will be needle felted right into the gray wool felt and some stitched on. I will likely work in some beads and maybe even some embroidery stitches. In the end it will be mounted on a black square canvas. I think it will be a fun piece.
I spent the whole day with my friend Anita on what we called a "daycation" in Portland and South Portland, Maine. I had a few chores to do at my house there...then we just enjoyed the deck and poked around here and there at shops and consignment stores. It ended with a lovely evening beach walk in Ocean Park with a nearly full moon. A great way to spend a day!
Dr. Adams commissioned me to make two fabric and photo pieces inspired by this little "serenity" piece.
She provided two photographs of the same water view...a dusky evening view...and a daytime view.
I just finished the evening view and I'm pretty happy with it. It's larger than the inspiration piece and the companion, daytime view will be smaller. The frame is 12 x 12 and the matte opening is 4 1/2 by 4 1/2.
It was a little bit of a process....picking fabrics and coming up with a design that honored the photo....but I think I landed where I needed to be. Next I'll tackle the daytime view.
At first I tried exactly the same thing I had done before...but a patchwork square wasn't right for the photo. I played around with layers....and knew that was the direction I needed to go.
I chose printed batiks that picked up the textures and colors in the photo. I decided I needed complete control over layers and the slopes....so I did the whole thing by hand. I would have benefited from an appliqué lesson....but I think I did OK just winging it. If you look closely you can see my stitches....but I'm OK with that. It is hand pieced, after all.
I started at the top...with skinny strips of fabric to create a horizon line. Then I cut gentle curved pieces of the fabrics and played with placement and order. Hand dyed solids and batiks are the same on the front as the back...so I could try a curved piece several ways.
I finger pressed the edges and sewed them in one at a time. I constantly laid my matte on top see how it looked on the photo and in the matte opening. Using fabric tape I added the gold ribbon at the top with just a sliver showing.
It's not pretty...but here's the back. As I added a layer...I tried to cut away excess fabric to reduce bulk. After a good pressing I secured it all together using fabric tape and popped it into the frame.