Texture Tuesday ... storm


For those of us who are not there
we watch the news,
we listen.
We try not to worry ... too much.

Many will write about this one in the days to come.
There will be expressions of this event that go far beyond what I am capable of here ...
why, the mere thought of all the animals
and my throat closes.
I have a very hard time thinking about them, their helplessness.
Where will they go ... how will they manage.

Like a gift, 
Maya Stein's poem, her weekly offering for 10-Line Tuesday,  arrived in my mailbox filled with balm.

: : :

the geese in the mudhole

We drove by them yesterday, three hours before the storm made landfall.
They were bobbing in a lopsided circle in the shallow water, like teens
at a square dance waiting for instructions. In the car, sleeping bags, flashlights,
and a mounting urgency to find elusive safety. The trees looked reckless,
power lines dripping and swaying like my uncle's heart rate the week
before he died. Two days ago, I watched a woman feed them from a bag
of ripped-up bread, and thought about the nuisance they were, mucking the park
with their wattle and filth. Now, I envy their animal certainty, this buoyant grace
that shrinks from me each passing hour as I bend a nervous ear to the news,
while they lilt and flutter with each wave, admiring the views.

: : :

Thank you to Kim Klassen for her texture, sonnet magic,
which I applied over an iPhone shot & altered with apps.
To view more images from the group, they're HERE.


Weaving a tideline


Today I constructed a makeshift loom
done the old way from things at  hand:
a basket ~ just the right size, long and narrow ~ and a warp of leftover jute
from the bean trellis.

I first wrote about this simple style of loom-making back HERE,
with gratitude for learning.

The next ingredient: castoffs from the scrap pile, stuffed in a holdall where every leftover bit 
from every project I've ever sewn resides in one big chaotic jumble.
Seams.  Refuse.  Hemlines.  Offcuts.  Selvage.  Lots and lots of fray.
Flotsam and jetsam of the textile variety.

I need to create a tideline for some completely ordinary stones
that are in the process of becoming
something else entirely.
You see, one thing led to another after my earlier  *choosing of the stones*  with dawg.
Stones came home with us.  They sat on the kitchen counter.  Then they sat on the bed.
And before you ask, no, they did not start to talk to me  ;>]
But something was brewing ...

an idea, another story on cloth,
carried by the weight of stones and the glint of thousands of tiny beads ...
somewhat autobiographical ... the only way I seem to be able to stitch a tale these days.

No matter how sidetracked I become (all the naturally dyed fabric I can't seem to stop churning out ... 
so beautiful in it's own right, but will it sit folded on a shelf for eternity?) I always come back to 
my one main truth ...
whether woven or boro-ed, appliqued, pieced or patched, 
textiles are the landscapes where my beadwork will live.

: : :

I'm inspired today by this video, sent by Barb from our merry band of dyers (thank you!)
It's for all us who haven't been satisfied with our creative work at one time or another ...
or now ...




Definition of tricolored ...

a.  of a dog: having a coat of black, tan and white.

b.  having, using, or marked with three colors.

First known use:  1795

... seen today by the shore, 2012.

: : :

Playing with the theme, 'from above,' in Beyond Layers,
Thanks to French Kiss for her fabulous textures in the Glorious Grunge Collection ...
and to my dear woofie for her patient paws.



Beaded bezels and oh, so much more!


If you think you might have trouble being taught some beading skills
by a fella ...
or if you have any sort of allergic reaction to  C O L O R 
then do not and I repeat, DO NOT
take a beading workshop with Thom Atkins ...
for a fella he certainly is, and he is most definitely
not afraid of color.
Not one little bit.

Every year the La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum, WA,  holds a fantabulous Quilt Festival,
a week-long event that includes special workshops by visiting textile & embellishment artists.
Thom was part of this year's talented contingent ~
and so was his very talented and beadiful sister, Robin Atkins!
You may like to revisit my January post where I wrote about them during Thom's one-person exhibit,
"Ten Year's of Beaded Quilts" to see more examples of his work.

For our "Beaded Bezels & Borders" workshop we were given
design kits filled with fun fabric by Laurel Burch and multiple baggies
filled with coordinating beads ...
I enjoyed this approach a great deal for it pushes you away from your comfy spot
and tweaks your thinking into a whole new realm.
It's always good to visit new & unexplored places.

Here's a couple examples from my yet-to-be-finished sampler ...
a "fence" with a lacy edge and a
peyote stitched bezel around a flat-backed cabochon.

Here's my shisha mirror *loudmouth* bezel ...
I can see myself there on occasion.

Thom is looking very serious, but in actuality our workshop was filled with loads of laughter.
Here he's clarifying one of his methods,
patiently answering the dozens of questions we fired at him.

The demo table was covered with examples of his own samplers ....
be prepared to swoon.

Shisha mirror cab at the top, flat-backed cab on the bottom.
We learned how to stitch the rope edging as well ...

This detail was from his cat piece ... 
I loved the flouncy effect of all those beads around that cab.
Fearless with color, that's how I'd describe Thom's work.

And this is the sampler that almost disappeared  into the bottom of my bag.
Isn't she a BEAUT?!

If you ever have the opportunity to learn firsthand from Thom,
oh, I do hope you'll take it.
In the meantime, his bountifully beautiful new book has just hit the streets,
Check it out.  Many more samples of Thom's work are viewable online.

And then there's this ...
included in his bio, a most interesting excerpt:

"Some 30 years ago, his sister, Robin Atkins, taught him the basics of bead embroidery
on fabrics.  He's been fascinated with beads ever since, but sewing beads onto fabric and
making stained glass didn't produce a decent living.  He was also tired of the fragility of glass,
so he went back to college, where he learned about welding, forging, silversmithing, and
bronze casting.  Bronze casting gave him back the tactile surfaces and the subtleties of
three-dimensional curves and negative space.

A car accident terminated his career in sculpting in bronze.
While recovering from the surgery to repair his wrists and thumbs, 
he thought about sewing beads onto cloth in such a way
that the beads and the fabric both had a say in the design.
He's been working with the delicate balance between beads and fabric in his designs ever since."

Making the most of our human condition.
Isn't that the best of what we can all hope for?

: : :

Thank you for visiting today ... I hope you have enjoyed all the 


One day


A perfect autumn morn;  still, warm-ish ... seamless

... until the sun appeared with her own side seam

highlighting an oceanographic hemline outside ...

right angle seams inside.

Not particularly seaworthy,
but my very finest emotional thimble.

Destination ...

your drifting days are over.

Smooth sailing over calm seas,

peace at the end.