12 October 2017

Happy October!

Gosh, it's been so long since I've posted on my poor blog, I'm ashamed to admit it!  And yet life has a way of distracting one from all the ideas you had planned, the projects that you want to tackle -- and before you know it -- poof! -- weeks, months have gone by.

But October is one of my favorite months, as is Autumn in general. I love the summer and being able to move around without coats and boots, but at some point all the heat and brilliant colors become overwhelming, and one ends up waiting for a chilled breeze, the scent of fallen leaves scuffling underfoot.

Combing through my photos from when I started this blog back in 2007 or '08, I found some season-appropriate images that I thought I'd share.  I do have new ones, but like many of us these days, they're lodged in my cellphone -- someday I'll download them and play around with them.

I hope you're all enjoying the fall season so far, although many areas have been hit by such horrific disasters, those from Nature and those from our fellow humans.  But even a moment to find that hidden last blossom of a rose or a spray of little helicopter pods turning the most amazing array of hues should be a moment to relish!

 I'll try to be more diligent about posting. When I read back on my entries, it was a great reminder of how much the journaling helped with so many aspects of the creative life -- and how many wonderful friends I made over the years!

"I'm so glad I live in a world
where there are Octobers."

L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

02 January 2017

New Year, New Ways:

Necessity is the motherhood of invention.

What had been my newly remodeled craft / writing room created only about six months ago is now gone.  Actually, quite happily, I gave it back to our son, whose first foray into independent living with a bunch of his friends didn't quite work out. We said, "Come on back and re-group!"  So, here I am again, downstairs in the lower level of the house with little natural light, next to the laundry room.  But that's okay; I did that for almost 20 years.

It tends to be quiet, not in the daily flow of foot traffic, warm in the winter and cool in the summer. I can make a mess and leave it, which I was finding it hard to do in the new studio space -- it was just too darn pretty to mess around in.

So yesterday, New Year's Day, I wanted to do some quilting. But my son was snoring away in the room, recuperating from the previous night's party. Did I mention that I had such a huge stash of fabrics and yarns, I left them in the room with him, with a pledge not to stink them up too, too much (mothers are like that!) 

So now what to do? 

Downstairs, I began pulling out bits of exotic papers and specialty threads, little scraps of this and that, then decided to start with a basic one-patch - what quilters would call a basic building block to patchwork quilting. Using some lovely Japanese paper yarns I bought from Habu Textiles, NYC, years ago, I stitched through the papers, using a combination of stitches. The scrap of music score is from an old Dover book on Chopin, I believe (copyright free). "Cedez" means "give" in French. I truly like this idea of "paper quilting," a kind of simple collaging, I suppose.

So you see, I gave my studio to my son with all our love and support, and that move, in turn, gave me the gift of creating something I wouldn't normally have done. I think I'll start working on a 4-patch piece. I have a lovely batch of silk sample squares in a variety of textures, as well as a pile of fun Indian and Nepalese papers. In many ways, this reminds me of the traditional embroidery sampler young girls were required to make years and years ago; a way to learn a variety of stitches that would serve them well in the years to come.

Happy New Year!  
Let's hope for a better year ahead!  

18 December 2016

Winter Solstice

“I prefer winter . . . when you feel the bone structure of the landscape -
the loneliness of it . . . .  Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show.”   
Andrew Wyeth

Hush time, time to draw a breath . . .

A time to watch white flakes falling, whispers of wind slipping
between pine branches . . .

A time for firelight, memories and hope
for the days ahead . . .


Small stitches, humble shreds of fabric
weaving thoughts and sighs,
a rosary of regrets. 

11 December 2016

A pause in the madness --

Days are getting crazier and crazier . . . shopping, traffic, preparing for a possible snow storm tomorrow. Sometimes when life gets like this, it's best to find a quiet corner and pull out some papers and embellishments and make something simple. I was thinking of my daughter and her fiance when I made this. They just bought a house, and I thought this might be a sweet something to hang once I frame it.

See, simple things. Sweet things.

Sometimes that's all you need to tide you over . . .

09 October 2016

Rainy Sunday Afternoon

Still playing with digital scrapbooking elements and trying to get a handle on Photoshop Elements. For years I used PaintShop/Corel, so this is a bit of a learning curve for me. Since the weather has taken another turn -- remnants of Hurricane Matthew, I suppose, working its way up the coast -- it is cold and rainy today, probably in the low 50s. Good for the garden, not so much for us humans. 

These are some digital elements I bought from CottageArts, LLC, as well as some scans I made from old Dover books (copyright free), or old discarded books one finds in library sales. My next hurdle is to deal with clipping masks and family photos. Hopefully this winter I'll start work on family photos going back to the 1930s, putting small genealogy books together for our children. At this time only my mother-in-law is left from that generation. The stories and information that she retains will no longer exist if we don't archive them now and get them into print in case platforms change.

I used to love the Legacy magazine put out by Stampington and Co. - mostly dedicated to family memories and the layouts were beautiful. Now, when I can, I pick up Digital Studios by the same company. Unfortunately, the contributors rarely give one a step-by-step guide on how to achieve something similar. But I'll persevere; just a matter of breaking down the steps and using those beautiful brushes and other elements. 

I may even throw myself into the mix with Instagram -- been hearing so much about it these past months, especially the "book bentos" that are so popular. The problem is, there's not enough time during the weekend to accomplish everything one wants -- I often feel like the "weekend warrior" and then go to work on Monday exhausted!  

So when do I retire???  Not soon enough, I think!  ;-)