Medicine Bags in the Studio

Here’s an idea I’ve been working on since January. These things take time and this one had to simmer awhile.

I’m creating a line of Medicine Bags. The size is about 4″ x 6″.  They’re good for little things like toiletries, essential oil collections, handmade soaps… This idea is going to let me work with some interesting variations, using different fabrics and different surface designs. So here’s the first one.  This design came up when I bought a new deck of Tarot cards that needed a home. They’re made from collage blocks. I layered small pieces of really cool fabrics like silk, chiffon, gauze and panne velvet and sewed them all together with something sheer on top. It’s a nice analogue for Tarot where there are layers of meaning to consider. Then I bordered and lined the bags with a fabric that blends silk and cotton. And Voilá, the best of silks and cottons to surround and protect my cards. The pictures show the same bags, but the two sides are different. 

 

I’m already working on two more designs, one with eco-dyed muslin and another with a different selection of hand dyed fabrics. Each group is going to be really different. I’ll keep you posted.

Power of the People

I’m non-political. I was disenfranchised a long time ago. But I’ve had this kind of New Age idea and I’d like to hear your thoughts on it. Or be silent and join me.

There was research some time ago about how the power of prayer could affect social behavior on a broad scale. The study I’m thinking of showed reduced violence coinciding with a time when a large group of people focused on making it happen. Now I don’t believe in “prayer”.  I call it focused consciousness, but it’s the same thing if you call it meditation or just directed thought.

The problem I’m looking at is the upcoming election. The candidates that are presenting themselves all seem to have very limited perspectives. I don’t want to be governed by a President who has extremely focused religious, moral or economic views. Call me an idealist but I think a President should have the interests of the entire country as his/her main focus.

Voting is the process but without the best candidates, it just won’t help. And whatever you may think about the current candidates, there’s no denying that we need some very inspired leadership to raise us out of the economic and social problems we’re experiencing.

So what I’m thinking is this. If you agree about this, just a little, join together with me and all the other anonymous “you” out there. For five minutes a day focus on bringing to this country leaders from the next election who can provide the basis for a recovery from this state we find ourselves in. 2:00 pm New York is 1:00 pm Chicago, noon in Denver and 11:00 am in L.A. Climb to the rooftop. Retreat to the cellar. Retire to the restroom or join together in the conference room. Focus for just 5 minutes on wanting the very best for this country.

It is said that we get the government we deserve. Now obviously no one person makes up the government. And you may not agree with me on who is best for what role in government. But if you agree with me that the power of the people is in unity. And if you agree that unified thought and desire can generate change. Then join with me to focus on bringing to this nation the leaders we need. And maybe, with a unified focus, we can create something even better than we deserve.

Send a link to this blog to everyone you know. Or put the idea into your own words. But believe with me that if enough people join in, then we can make something wonderful happen.

Be Yourself

More of my TextTiles.

I’m a quiet person, not given to expressing opinions in public. These pieces really let me voice my thoughts.

The next step for these designs is to turn all of the TextTiles into notecards.  They’ll end up in the catalogue on my web site.

I like this one.  It’s a quote from Oscar Wilde.  This starts when you’re a teenager and it takes courage to outgrow it.  We’re all under pressure to live up to something or be someone else.  But it’s the same thing as lying.  When you be yourself you don’t have to keep track of what you’re pretending and who the real you really is.

This one follows logically.  It’s takes a lot of work to stretch your thinking to allow yourself to be yourself.  Just like any exercise, it’s worth it in the long run.

FYI about the process. The silhouette on Be Yourself is mine. It’s the first experiment for a series that finally became Faces. Techniques are a combination of reverse appliqué and embroidery.

The butterfly is another experiment in a technique of slashing the fabric and including pieces when it’s sewn back together.  The chiffon on the butterfly is all on the surface, attached only in the seams.   I finally got it all figured out and refined in the Fairy series. There were three that I finished but I only have one of those left.

I hope you like these.  Maybe they speak to something in you too.

Be Bold

Dream and Be Bold.

This one hangs over my desk. It’s a quote from Goethe. 

I’m not a bold person, but a lot of it comes out in my art. It feels good.

The center block is crazy quilt, a collage of satin, brocade, silk, chiffon with sparkly stuff. Purple and yellow. It doesn’t get much bolder! 

This is a quote from Gandhi. I guess it’s like boldness. You have to be it to make it happen.


 

They’re good thoughts. I hope you can use them.

Live Large

I’ve got something to say.

My focus these days is on sharing ideas. Things I want you to think about… If you’re not already.

Sing, Dance, Love, Live. You’ve seen this one around but have you really thought about living as if today was your last day? Last chance to get it right? To say what you need to have heard? It’s a really big concept! 

And the concept of letting go, what an idea! All the things you can’t do, can’t fix, can’t change, absolutely can’t control. Think about how much energy you’d have left over if you let go of all of those! 

Just some stuff to think about.

FYI about the process.  I’ve gone back into my stash and started pulling out UFOs.  Unfinished objects, samples, experiments, proof of design concepts, all kinds of things that were too cool to part with but haven’t had a home till now.  I’m looking at them to underscore some of the philosophical things and interesting quotes that have been accumulating in my mind.  It’s like archeology in the studio.

And I’m looking at these unfinished things as a canvas to try some of the really new concepts I’ve been working on too.  It’s like basic research in any field.  It brings out really unexpected synergy.

Blue Batiks

It’s been a really productive month in the studio. First the Ribbonettes right after Christmas. Then this collection. 

I received a collection of batiks as a gift.

 

I’ve adopted the local coffee shop as my own personal, local beautification project.

 

It’s a warm, brown room with lots of windows.

 

Table rounders and runners and square table toppers.

The blues just glow.

 

I almost didn’t give up the table runner.

The spirals are an original design.

It’s good to beautify other people’s lives.

New in the Studio

Curls and twists and beads and sculptural objects out of ribbon. 

 

  

Freeform sculpture with stiffened ribbon and beads, sparkly and shiney.  Ornaments for an office cubicle, a Christmas tree, anyplace something little and pretty can hang. 

The earrings from this technique are going to be awesome! 

It’s all about doing what you need to do.

This new collection doesn’t fit in any of my shops so it’s in the catalogue on MY NEW WEB SITE (WooHoo!!)

Be a Child

New Toys. 

I was fortunate enough to receive some very cool toys for Christmas. Never underestimate the value of toys to a grown-up.

One of the biggest challenges I find in gift giving is to find good toys. I need to entertain the nieces and nephews, ages 21 to 4, and of course, my husband. But this challenge is also a gift to me. I get to exercise my inner child, to remember what I would like. The kids need stocking stuffers and nice puzzles have gotten to be a staple, lovely carved wood or intricate wire. They cover the age range nicely. My husband is tougher. What to get for an engineer! But there are places like Edmund’s Scientific with some wonderful techie toys, so that’s getting easier.

I don’t usually buy toys for myself. But as an artist I’m constantly looking for new ways to expand and grow my art. This year I received some gifts that really make my heart sing. My inner child was thrilled with a beading loom. It’s not big or fancy but it’s full of potential. I had to sit down right away and create a simple bracelet. I’ve done some others with needle weaving but I really look forward to seeing how far this more simple method will go. You’ll be seeing things developed from this showing up with runes and metaphysical designs soon (I hope).

But the real treasure is something totally new that I’ve never tried before, a Sumi-e set, Oriental brush and ink painting. I’ve always loved this kind of work, almost anything of Oriental art. It’s going to take a lot of study and learning a whole new range of skills. I’ll show you some pictures as soon as I’ve had a chance to play with it. (Beading was more instant gratification.) But this is the most exciting thing about a new toy, no matter what your age. It’s the challenge that isn’t work, learning to do something different and enriching with no pressure.

So think about that next time you’re faced with the challenge of conjuring up your inner child. Think back to the fun of exploring something you didn’t know. Think about how cool it was to learn about finger-paints or Silly Putty. Let yourself be a child again and buying for children gets a lot easier!

Embrace the Energy of Reality

Embrace the hour,

Embrace the day,

Embrace the energy that makes easy my way.

 

I’m still working so hard I feel like I’m going around in circles.  But I’m also working on being very mindful of the energy of reality.  The only thing that matters, the only energy that exists, is right now, in this very moment.  The past is done and gone.  Worry about the future is just reaching into the unknown and bringing back failure.  This moment of reality holds the only energy I can use to create.  This moment is the only place I have to make a difference, to grow my life and focus energy on making my future what I want it to be. 

 

 

 

        The bowl is finished.  It may be spectacular.  It may be weird.  It took weeks in the studio because each row had to dry before I could apply the next one.  But I think it’s like all art and life.  You never know what has really been created till it’s released to go out into the world on its own.  Is that what living is all about?  That we don’t know the results of our actions until we take them and see them reflected in reality?

 

 

 

 

Use the energy that exists in the moment, since that’s the only place it exists, and believe that you’re creating something good.  That begins to sound like creating and building a life is all about intentions.  Do our intentions create our lives?!  Now there’s something to think about.

Making Art and finding strength in Reality

I watched the dawn sky go from grey to pink and rose to orange. But when I went out to take a picture for you, the camera just didn’t capture it. It’s like making art. Sometimes a concept comes that seems so incredible and right and yet the colors and shapes and textures just won’t come together from the materials. I guess that’s why it’s so amazing when it does.

Evanescent, like cosmic energy. You know it’s there, you can feel it, be empowered by it. But when you try to grasp it, hold onto it or really characterize it…it’s gone.

I felt so alone this morning. Is that the burden and the blessing of each day, of each individual? The strength that resides only in this one moment of reality…

and this one…

and this one.

Strength comes from within. Alone.

I’m still working on decoupage.

I have this wonderful bowl.

And I had a basket full of pinecones that took a whole day to disassemble into individual petals.

They are the most amazing microcosm of texture!

So now I’m putting them together.

Pinecone petals under glass.

I’ll let you know how this all works out next time.