February 28, 2012

Texture Tuesday...white



At certain times of the day (usually in winter), the greenhouse positively glows.  It sits there
in its woodland domain, looking all ethereal, as if it's lit from within.
Just the magic of low light, nothing else.
A kind of mirage...
fleeting.

I admit, I was a little stumped when I first read the challenge for this week's photo...
I don't shoot a lot of white (except for the obvious - snow) and I haven't worked a lot with "high key"
so I almost passed on the whole deal... 
until
I popped over to the Cafe to see what everyone else was up to.

WOW.

So I cruised around, viewing all kinds of amazing work and landed over at Jen's website
where she - get this - removed the color from her original photo.
duh.  hello.
Call me copycat.  I know a good thing when I see it.

: : :

Today's photo received two layers of Kim's 'Poetic' texture.
Here are a couple more faves from the group pool...this one is unbelievably endearing,
this one is positively sublime, 
and because I am the sap that I am, there was this...



February 21, 2012

Natural succession...


isn't always pretty.


A typical scene from our woods in winter...blow down, something we can count on.
Topsoil levels are shallow in most parts of our island.  Saturate the ground with enough rain,
throw in some wicked winds
and you might find this on your next walkabout.

On the other hand, around the coastline, you can guess where the trees are going to fall.
How far will they swim
and where will they next take up roost...?


If you view this as *litter,* you may need to reconsider.
Never was there a finer building material for the imagination, as exemplified by these great forts
and time-worn shelters...they pop up almost overnight around here.
But this is transient real estate...don't get too attached...most likely they won't be there next season.


I've found another purpose for this refuse; no heavy lifting, no construction skills necessary.


They fit in my pocket,
travel well,
and serve a very important function...Douglas fir, madrone, red cedar, all working together.


So smooth in the hand from all that tumbling.
And on a lucky day,
I can find ones with a natural slit in the end for holding the tails...



February 14, 2012

The expectation of happiness...



...this is mine: spring is coming ~ the hummers will return, and shortly after, the roses.
Ohhh, the roses...

It's Texture Tuesday and I'm linking up with the rest of the gang...
I've used KK's 'Revolution' and 'Start'
and an old roses border texture from Playing with Brushes...

...for comparison, where I started from.

: : :

In the meantime, I have a great culinary expectation under all this mulch...

...the garlic is up!
Five varieties that have been grown on this island for ages, but for the first time by me.
A gift from one of the old-timers.


Hope you've had a lovely Valentine's Day, my friends...





February 12, 2012

Full hearts

This, my friends, is my one hundredth post...
I had not been intending to mark the occasion in any particular way,
but
it's almost Valentine's Day and because of some sweet, sweet friends
'round this blogging world of ours, here I go...

'Seasons of the Heart'


I found a message waiting for me this morning...Penny from Tanglewood Threads had stopped by to say she wanted to give my wee blog an award.  Oh crap.  No offense to dear Penny but I am just not an awards kinda gal.  Or I didn't think so anyway.  After a couple of guffaws, I sat back with my morning cuppa and thought about it awhile...really, it was such a nice gesture.  I should just get over myself and accept graciously.

There's more.

My last post, the one about my grandmother's needles, was one of the rare posts where I've spoken about my family.  Grandma Lange was such a huge part of my growing up time and and she taught me many things that (most) little girls want to know.  What I never mentioned was that my grandmother was of German descent....


The 'Liebster Blog Award' is of German origin, too...liebster  translates to 'dearest' or 'beloved, but it can also mean 'favorite.'  My grandmother used to call me by that name in my not-so-frequent moments of good behavior (I was a bit of a sassy handful).  A timely coincidence, yes, in my time of a full heart!  Thank you, Penny, I am honored.


So here's what it is: in the spirit of fostering new connections, the idea of the Liebster Award is to bring attention to blogs with less than 200 followers.  Just a few rules for the recipient which come with acceptance of the award:

Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
***
Copy & paste the award onto your blog.
***
Reveal your own five picks for the award & let them know by leaving them a comment on their blog.
***
Have faith that the love will spread...


It's my pleasure to highlight the following great blogs, in no particular order ~ they are all wonderful.  Because I am a rule breaker, too, I am including a 6th - just because I really want to.  There is no obligation should any of you not wish to participate...simply know that you are very much appreciated out there in the blogging world ~

Art & Etc   There's an explorer in all of us & Ronnie doesn't hesitate to show us that side of herself.  Way over in Sams Creek, NSW, Australia is some "seriously irreverent" artwork happening...and I'm quite partial to all the very fine phone photography.

Prairie Break   Little horticultural miracles popping out of rocky crevices make my heart zing.  I eagerly await every post from Panoyoti (Senior Curator & Director of Outreach at the Denver Botanic Gardens) who serves up his vast knowledge of plants with the utmost of humor and wish-I-were-there pictures.

Chad Alice Hagen   My only complaint about Chad is that she doesn't blog enough (probably because of the darn cats) about her exquisite handmade books and her latest explorations into naturally resist-dyed felts, and all her teaching forays 'round the world...

Travelogue of an Artistic Mind  My newest blog acquaintance, Jen Worden, lives in the boonies of rural Nova Scotia...she's art obsessed, passionately opinionated (in a good way) and definitely not afraid to color outside the lines.  And she uses her dogs for subjects, too  :>]

LaWendula   From the heart and from the home, to the beautiful landscapes close to the Baltic Sea in Germany, this quiet and serene blog is pure inspiration and a special place to take a deep breath...

Fearfuldogs' Blog   When a seriously fearful dog named Sunny entered Debbie's life, everything changed.  He was her "inspiration and catalyst" behind the creation of her blog.  She is one of the strongest advocates for scared dogs - and how best to handle them for their optimal well being - that I have ever *met*.  



February 10, 2012

My grandmother's needles



We may have heard that old saying about characteristics or traits skipping a generation...true or not, 
I am testament to this saying in my own lineage.  In so many ways I am unlike my mother. 
Dearest heart and dearest friend that she was to me, I am different.  We were different.
It is my grandmother I resemble more.  Oh, not so much in physical features  -  although I have her genetics to thank 
for the arthritis in my hands - but in our chosen activities.  Pastimes.  Personal pursuits.


My grandmother taught me to sew.
I don't remember my mother ever using a needle.  As a single parent, she worked as an administrator in a high profile law firm.  Those are skills I will never have, neither the parenting nor the legal ones.  Grandma babysat me for long hours after school.  It was then that I learned to not only drink what she called, coffee-milk (1/4 cup of coffee to 
3/4 cup of milk...with about 3 teaspoons of white sugar), but also to play canasta, and mend.

I have kept her sewing box all these years....such a ratty old thing, which I stuck way back in a storage cupboard.
Recently when I needed a big-eyed needle, I knew where I could find one.
The box was chaos.
Bits & bobs of everything in a massive, tangled jumble.  How many six inch segments of leftover rick-rack does one need to save?  How about snaps missing their opposing sides? 

So, I held a little impromptu reorganizing party and gathered together
my fondest memories...


Grandma kept her needles in their original packages.  This one used to hold fifty...
a penny a needle. 


Do you see those numbers, 7425?  Written in my grandmother's hand.
Someone's phone number, jotted down quickly.
Back in the day, everyone in our town had the same prefix so phone numbers were always written like this.
Her sewing chair was right next to the telephone table.

Imagine...ten cents for 18 crewel needles made in England...


This is my favorite grouping 
- every needle once in use - 
but more than that, I  remember my grandmother showing my awkward, young hands 
how to re-stick the needles here.
Her fingers were gnarled & bent, yet their misshapenness was so meaningless to her...

now mine are the same.

: : :

This post is a commemoration (of sorts)...it was a year ago this week when I accidentally stabbed myself with a sewing needle and a dangerous infection, along with a long course of intravenous antibiotics, took over my right hand - and my life -
for four long months.  It was a dark time.
And it is no more.


: : :


You may have noticed there's been quite a bit of photographic experimentation going on 
around these parts of late...thanks for putting up with me  :>]]
I'm having a rip-roaring time!  Here's what I worked on today for Day 8 in 'Beyond Layers.'

In honor of.






  

February 7, 2012

Inside all of us is a wild thing...



...some just show it better than others.





: : :



Linking with the theme 'Free & Easy' for Texture Tuesday, using Yesteryear



February 5, 2012

I went to Google & ended up at the Met...


I'd seen this bead posted somewhere, thought I'd find out a little more about it...
it was the date that fascinated me,
created somewhere around 500-600 A.D.
So, what else does one do?  I Googled it...

Culture: Frankish ~  Medium: Glass ~ Dimensions: 1  9/16 x 3/4 in.

and there it was, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York City.
Now, it's been a long time since I visited there in person and I don't know if  I've ever been to their website,
so what the heck, I   made the big mistake   decided to have a little wander around
and proceeded to type the word BEADED into the search box...

oh heaven help me.

Wait till you see some of the incredible beaded objects I discovered.

  But before I continue on, I want you to know that it's perfectly alright with the Met to share their images like this.  In light of recent copyright discussions here (ahem), and elsewhere amongst friends, 
I made a special point to check this on the Met's 'Terms and Conditions' page.
Clickable links are provided with every image so you can go directly to the Met's collection (and their images enlarge to full screen size - plus a zoom thingey - wow).

We're good to go, and that's really good 
because now I'm gonna show you a few of their amazing pieces of bead antiquity...


Date: ca. 680-670 B.C. ~ Geography: Egypt, Upper Egypt; Thebes ~ Medium: Blue faience beads

Constructed of tubular faience beads strung together in a net pattern, this shroud was sewn onto the outer wrappings of Tabakenkhonsu's mummy.  Additional beads in various colors have been worked into the garment at several points: a beaded broad collar has been added to the top, where the garment came over the mummy's neck;  over her breast was a winged scarab to protect the heart; and on the abdomen are four "canopic" genii who guarded the viscera.

A very interesting description of "faience" - the oldest artificial substance,
made a millennium before glass was invented -
can be found over here...


Date: mid-19th century ~ Geography: Canada, Quebec ~ Culture: Huron ~ Medium: Silk, wool, glass, moosehair ~ Dimensions: H. 2 1/2 x W. 9 in.


Date: ca. 2030-1802 B.C. ~ Geography: Egypt, Upper Egypt; Thebes ~ Medium: Wood, mud, linen string, paint

The so-called paddle doll consists of a flat piece of wood depicting the torso, rudimentary arms and neck of a woman, with a thick shock of "hair" made of beads strung on linen thread.  The body is often painted with jewelry, textile patterns and/or tattoos.  Contrary to their modern name, these "dolls" were not toys... It has been suggested that paddle dolls were an accoutrement of troops of singers and dancers who performed at religious ceremonies associated with the goddess of Hathor.

2,000 years B.C....how can this still exist???
I am in awe.


Date: mid-20th century ~ Culture: African (Dinka peoples) ~ Medium: glass beads, animal skins, wood, cowrie shells

The waist as a zone of decorative focus is not exclusive to women.  The Dinka people of the Sudan are virtually naked, save for their jewelry - necklaces, armlets, bracelets, anklets, and belts - and their beaded vests and corsets.  As each of these items is an explicit indication of age and status, their corsets are of varying scale.  The most heroic, as in this example, extend from the small of the back to a point above the shoulders.


Date: 20th century ~ Culture: African (Dinka peoples) ~ Medium: fiber, glass beads, cowrie shell


Date: 1818-1830 ~ Culture: Mexican ~ Medium: glass, silk ~ Dimensions: 4 3/8 x 1 1/2 in.

Beside the intricate beauty of the hand work, there is an interesting story behind this piece...
as there so often is.  Here is part:

The unusual shape of this early miniature reticule suggests that it served a decorative, rather than functional purpose.  Probably hand knitted, it is part of the Mexican beadwork collection of over 600 pieces assembled by Elizabeth Morrow (1873-1955), mother of writer Anne Morrow Lindbergh, the wife of renowned aviator Charles Lindbergh.  Morrow collected the objects between 1927 and 1930, when her husband, Dwight Morrow, Sr., served as U.S. ambassador to Mexico...

Date: 19th-20th century ~ Geography: Nigeria ~ Culture: Yoruba peoples ~ Medium: wood, glass beads, cloth, leather, fur, metal, pigment 



Date: 12th-14th century ~ Geography: Peru ~ Culture: Chimu ~ Medium: Spondylus shell and black stone beads, cotton ~ Dimensions: H. 17 1/2 x W. 15 in.



Date: 19th century ~ Culture: English ~ Medium: bone, metal and beads

There were no dimensions for this one on the Met's website...I wonder about its size.
And would this be a fancy bobbin for lacemaking?
It is divine, whatever the intended use.

: : :

Just a couple more to show you - I feel like a glutton too long at the bead table!
But these next two exquisite textile pieces you must see...

a 1920's bead embroidered silk velvet dress...

Designer: Jean Patou ~ Date: ca. 1924 ~ Culture: France ~ Medium: silk, metallic thread, metal beads



...and this sample embroidery cloth of the same era, attributed to Sarah Lipska, a Polish designer.

Date: 1920-29 ~ Culture: French ~ Medium: silk, metal ~ Dimensions: 34 1/2 in.

This object is from a collection of sample embroideries, which was originally owned by Morris de Camp Crawford, editor of Women's Wear Daily, who collected objects which told the story of fashion and fabric history...Lipska is an enigmatic figure, who is known to have worked with Leon Bakst as a set and costume designer for the Ballets Russes, and later in the 1920s as a fashion designer in Paris at 4 rue Belloni, and finally as a sculptor.  Extant examples of her work are rare...

Please treat yourself & view this over at the Met
click to enlarge - then zoom in to see her beautiful beaded stitches...

whatever you do, stay away from the search box.
You have been warned.