January 31, 2012

Some answers are not complicated



This is an unfinished cloth...haven't worked on it for a long time,
almost a year and a week to be exact.
I loved it when I put it away in the cupboard, but feelings can change.


It's always a gamble to pull something out I haven't seen in awhile...
what if I don't like it anymore?
Sometimes it seems better not to know.
Do you ever have that feeling?

I guess what it comes down to is three choices...
begin again,
transform,
or continue by looking at it in a new way...

simple.


: : : 


This is my contribution to 'Texture Tuesday' over at Kim Klassen's Cafe.  Her texture
challenge this week was ... SIMPLICITY.

: : :

The cloth before the cupboard is back here. 




January 26, 2012

If you can't beat 'em...



...bend a little.

Been gnawing on a very important issue for a couple of weeks now...
this seemed as good a time as any to make a few changes, be more
proactive
about the ownership of my images here on the Path.


So I'll be adding an extra *voice* in the form of a watermark,
just to let people know it's proper birthright...the true maker.
Now when people steal my photographs ~ and this they will do, without a doubt ~ for their Pinterest boards,
or their own blogs,
or their own projects,
without even the courtesy of a polite, "may I?"
at least I'll know my name sailed away with it.


I've been resistant to add watermarks...don't really like how they interfere and
draw ones attention away from the real subject matter,
but now it's become more important to sign the work than worry about that.
I'll just have to try and make them pretty & palatable.
Painters have been signing the face of their paintings for eons...
do we ever say, oh why did he put his signature on it?


Enough ranting about that.
If you want to hear some hair raising personal stories, we can email privately :>]


Today's photo was previously seen on my December 15th post, but since it met with all the criteria for
Kim Klassen's challenge this week in her Beyond Layers workshop, I decided to roll with it...
considering my mental state and all.
The challenge was to think of a single word and then create a photo around that theme.
I used one of Kim's FREE textures, called Simplicity, which has a lovely, old newsprint feel.
The additional challenge for me was learning how to add a layer of type...
and another layer for that dang watermark.

What do you think?  Can you live with it?



January 24, 2012

alight...




            the movies

        In the movies, the new lovers would circle the city, arms roping
        around each other's backs, their stride perfectly even, the tempo
        of their conversation lilting like a song, and the audience, hoping
        for their own sweet story, would lean from their seats as the glow
        of evening descended.  Time would stand still when the kiss
        finally came, the swish of trees serenading, and even the hot dog vendor
        belting from the sidewalk would stop to watch, and be healed.  But this
        isn't how it works, the heart intemperate as early spring, bruised and tender
        from all the tumult it sustains.  Still, the reel plays and we swim in their desire,
        fused by want and lit by fire.

        by Maya Stein

: : : : :


This poem was reprinted with kind permission from Maya Stein
who has been writing these kinds of feasts for the senses each week...
a series she calls, 10-line Tuesday...
I thank her for this inspiration...for how she focuses each point she makes as if on the head of a pin.
Please do read more from this collection over here...
and her blog, one paragraph at a time, is about just that...
"looking at life one paragraph at a time."

: : : : :

Photo credit:  Embers, by Jason Bolonski on Flickr
remixed under the Creative Commons license


January 20, 2012

Nothing like some good conversation...


I have some BIG news, Blogger folks, and I wanted to share it right away!


If you're like me, you've been envying our blogging compatriots over on Wordpress & Typepad
because their blogging platforms offered them "reply" buttons in their Comments section,
while those of using Blogger blogspots have been living in denial...

...well, guess what?

NOT ANYMORE!

Has this news just made your day?...because I feel like my entire blogging life has been transformed !
At last, I can have some good ole conversations with those of you who so kindly leave comments.
It was an easy change...the folks over on  Way2Blogging.org  spell it all out very clearly...
Here's how ~ click this link:
for the easy step-by step instructions.

You may note that their dashboard illustration looks a bit different from your own...for instance,
I did not have a  Settings>Other  as 4. stated,
and I found the "Allow Blog Feeds" spot under  Settings>Site Feed  instead.
All I had to sacrifice was my Comments pop-up window for Comments embedded in the body of the post instead,
 but heh, well worth it...

There is also a video tutorial in case you run into problems:


So go ahead, let's have ourselves a wee chin wag...
not quite as enjoyable as face-to-face, I know,
but a whole heck of a lot better than commenting into thin air, don't you think?!
I never quite got the hang of replying by private emails...(many of you don't provide an email link anyway)
so this
should fix everything  ;>}




January 14, 2012

Thom Atkins, a man who beads...


and...stitches THE MOST exquisite art quilts.
Breathtaking, literally.


To see his jeweled handwork in person was an enormous pleasure.  If you are
anywhere near the area, I hope you'll visit the La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum
and see these beauties for yourself.  
Thom Atkin's one-person exhibit, 'Ten Years of Beaded Quilts,' will be up until March 25th.


This piece is comprised of five panels, the large center one shown here.
You can see more of 'Byzantine Bezels and Borders, Oh My!' over on Thom's website,
but believe me,
there are no pictures that can come close to capturing what they look like 
when they are a few inches from your face...get there if you can.


So... 
what happens when you pile four bead-smitten, textile-smitten gals into one vehicle
and head off to see an exhibit such as the likes of this?
Nothing short of a totally splendid & inspiring time, that's what!

I'll show you a few things that really knocked my socks off.

At the helm of our merry band was my dear bead friend, Robin Atkins...
Thom Atkins is Robin's brother.  Can you believe that all this beadiness is in ONE family?!
She's posted about Thom's exhibit over on her blog, Beadlust...go check it out, it's a lovely read.
Needless to say, she is one proud sister.


A special thrill for me was to see an entire wall filled with Thom's pieces from
the Bead Journal Project, 2007.  That was one of the years that I participated
 and I remember watching his pieces show up on the BJP website...
oh, how wonderful to see them in person, at last!

But before I go on, I hope you will all bear with me in regards to the color & quality
of the photos here.  Geesh, it was tough shooting in there...low, tungsten light
which cast a yellow glow on everything...camera's ISO pushed to the max....so I've opted for
just getting these images up here (rather than spending hours & hours tweaking in PE).
The beauty of Thom's work will come through, even if the photography fell short...

9" x 13"

January was one of my favorites from the BJP (click on the name above to see it on Thom's website)
...I love his beaded interpretation of the feeling of sideways rain...


and the way that bottom edge is beaded...those rain drops are hand carved Labradorite beads.

Here is some more beautiful rain...


It was easy to be swept up in the details.  Many of the quilts were quite large, like this one
which hangs in two panels...I kept moving up for a closer look.

50" x 53"


Click on the photos to see the details better.


If you go, plan on lots of time for staring.  I was spellbound by the iguana in The Lotus Eater...
his back is entirely covered with tortoiseshell dagger beads...splendid!

detail from The Lotus Eater
31.5" x 37"

detail from Monterey Seascape
27" x 36"

I think Robin and I were not alone swooning over this underwater habitat...truly incredible.
Can you tell this was an exhibit filled with viewers' expletives?!  That central branching
plant is constructed of triangular seed beads...must be one of finest uses of that shaped bead
that I have ever seen, so expressive of that plant's jointed structure...

detail from Coral

Although not a quilter myself per se, I have great appreciation for the skill involved in letting
fabric dictate line & motion, for taking traditional methods and making one's own marks with them...
for embellishing personal stories in one's own particular voice...

detail from Australian Aboriginal meets American Indian


For me, Thom's creations are as bold, and strong and as expressive as a very fine opera,
filled to the brim with his very distinctive voice!



Here's Robin with her "little" brother, Thom.
I'd say they are both beaming, wouldn't you?

: :  :

Thom has a book coming out in the fall, on quilting with beads.
Stay tuned for that one...I'll write a reminder when it hits the streets.
And if you can't wait to learn more about his methods, rumor has it that Thom will be teaching soon-ish
right there at the La Conner Quilt Museum...
news to be posted about this ~ and the link to sign up ~ on the museum's website 
starting on January 18th.
Ok...I'm going to spill some more beans and let you know that Robin has agreed to teach
two half-day workshops there herself...

it's all too, too beadiful indeed!

: : :

February UPDATE!  Registration is now open for the Quilt Fest Workshops (happening in early October, 2012) to be held at the La Conner Quilt Museum, WA, where both Thom and Robin will be teaching their extraordinary techniques and sharing their talent.  Thom's workshops include, "Bead Embroidery for Quilters," "Beaded Bezels & Borders," and "Improvisational Bead Embroidery."  Robin will be teaching "Beaded Buttons" and "Beaded Fringe Techniques."  Click on this direct link for the workshop descriptions and registration.


January 9, 2012

Energizing


by beading up a storm...
needles called Size 0...six beaded stitches equal 3/4 of an inch.


Can't say I'm loving this thread...very bling-ie and a little too flash for my taste,
not at all natural to work with either.
So maybe it will be silk thread for the next one.  I'm open to your suggestions...
maybe a perle cotton?


I can't even explain how energizing this process is,
how such quiet, methodical work can completely recharge that part of me that goes *flat*...


: : :

Found a list over here that sounds really good,
although it could be just my mood.
Hope you like it...it applies to any of us working towards something.
I am especially fond of item #1
and being one of those "over-thinkers" myself, I'm now thinking (hah!)
that I don't want to tie myself up with that nonsense anymore...
Wanna get more   %$@&   done instead!

And now I'm going to just STOP over-thinking this blog post and hit
publish.


January 4, 2012

Looking back while walking forward...


So here we are...2012
...welcome.


I like that expression, "Be where your feet are,"
but I'm very glad I wasn't here the other evening when the Big Wind decided to catapult this limb
right out of the tree.
It's over six feet long (not counting how deep it's buried) and about four inches in circumference
...hit the ground like a javelin.


Think I'll leave it where it stands.  Birds will use it for a perch.
Looks about perfect for the resident kingfishers.


I counted at least five different species of lichens
growing at the base...
they have charming names like waxpaper lichen (used extensively by
the rufous hummingbirds to camouflage their nests),
ragbag lichen
and pincushion orange...
sounds like a Stitcher's Dictionary of Lichen, doesn't it.

Not far away, on the other side of the pond, one of my wrapped trees
hadn't been inspected for awhile so I wandered over there for a look.  Back in September of 2010,
I joined a project called 'wrapt, tied and marked by nature' - a group project that
involved leaving cloth wraps around parts of trees for a period of six months
to see what marks mother nature might provide...
sort of the ultimate natural dyeing.
A couple of us left our wrappings on much longer
since the marks were slow to develop.  I saw zero change after the six months,
but at that point the whole process had been too time consuming to not persevere.
My original post about all the trees I wrapped is over here.


I think I'm the last one still standing...and now it's been one year & four months...

 
...and lookie here...something has happened after all !


Well marked by lichen now and the underside has withstood some deer scratchings.
Appears that the insects have been busy leaving "scat"
and there's some beautiful staining from the tannin.
Time for a proper unveiling - for all the trees - very soon.  Then I can finish up this part of the project,
repurpose these textiles.

Got me some plans [grin]

Whatever thoughts we all might be having about this new year, it's good not to give up on the past
and it's even better to keep moving forward with purpose, all those lessons under our belts...