"One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes." -The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Looking Back ~ Looking Forward ~ Stitch

In my stash of vintage textiles I found this Donkey
Hen's Teeth has been writing about toy donkeys
recently. When I found this I thought of her blog
which is inspiring to me and I thought I would share.

I saw a donkey the other day when I was driving to clear
my head. A real donkey.

I have several petticoats from the Victorian era that I wear
during the home tours where I help out twice a year.

This one has embroidery eyelet done entirely by hand.
There are many tucks done with a machine which I imagine
was a treadle machine.

I continue to knit at night the linen vest. It is slow going
but enjoyable.
Spring is teasing us, here. . .
Frost and quickly melting snow.
I have many flowers in bloom and the pear trees are
trying to bloom. I hope they are smarter than I am.
Have a nice day!

Monday, March 28, 2011

More From My Collection

Photo's Taken of My Private Collection ~ Antique Fibers

Treasures I collect whenever I find them...
Inspiration and informative technique from the past
teach me how things were done.
The beautiful ribbons, cords, beads, and silk among
openings and closures I find interesting.
Many things we will never see new, again.

Today is a snow day.

Friday, March 25, 2011

For a midsummer night's dream - Linen

Perfect Whiteness of Silk and Linen
To contain a Midsummer Night's Dream

Song of the fairy
Swifter than the moon's Sphere

The scent
. . .until the break of day, through this house each day. . .
Santa Maria Novella, Firenze

Shakespeare Lives In This House

Folk Vest by Cheryl Oberle
is the inspiration for this vest of Linen Yarn

Inkle Loom with Linen Yarn  to adorn the vest with a woven  insert

I had the idea for white linen baskets while looking at blogs in Sweden
My mom rose to the occasion to make these from my linen stash.Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Daffy Days

These days make me daffy

Which way should I turn

Inside or Outside

Thinking of White Linen Baskets

and one Lemon Ice Linen Vest

hand painted by Claudia

Pear Blossoms

Chartreuse Baby Willow Leaves

Cascading toward the ground

periwinkle blue flowers

violets as sweet as can be

Claps of Thunder with blinding light

a glimpse of this close Moon between

showers -O- clouds


White freshly bleached curtains


in the March Wind

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Traces Left Behind

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My friend Rhoda lives in Santa Monica where she has an amazing home a block from one of my favorite shopping streets. She is a world traveler and imports artifacts like textiles and baskets and beaded necklaces from Zulu tribes. She gave me a lovely basket tightly woven to perfection. It has hand carved feet of an exotic wood and the top is some sort of reptilian creature beautifully hand carved from the same wood. This is from her private collection of artifacts. Inside this basket I keep the feathers of my beautiful Canary which passed on quite a few years ago. Why would I keep these?


How we connect moments inside our grey matter and what triggers those sensory flashes bringing us to a perfect experience thought long lost and forgotten is the subject of research and fascination into one of the still greatest mysteries. . .our brains.

These feathers bring to me the sounds of sweet music of the song of my bird and the color yellow.

Yellow is full of  sorrow, sweetness, and bright sunny days.

My mother had yellow criss cross curtains in the window of her kitchen.
They were always starched and so clean. I remember her ironing them on the day she told me she was going to a place to see J.F. Kennedy speak while he was running for President.

Our table was yellow and chrome. Underneath it is where I hid the flyswatter from her so she couldn't slap me.

I brought home a tiny yellow fuzzy ball of a baby chick which I hid in the backyard and tried my best to take care of but failed. I have always grieved for that baby chick.

I remember the taste of nectar from yellow honeysuckle flowers growing in our back yard.

My mom took me to a shop to buy me a dress and I couldn't find one.
The man in the store promised me he would give me this yellow blouse and matching skirt if I would lose some weight. This was later when I was in that twixt and tween age.
I have never forgotten that man or that skirt and blouse. I never went back. I did lose the weight.

My husband and I stood on Pebble Beach watching for that yellow flash
when the sun hits the water at the very last moment of the day.

Cadbury Easter Eggs with that yellow sweet center and yellow peeps of marshmallow brings to mind every Easter Sunday where I always think how many of these Easter Sundays I have lived. . .
think about it. . . every day that we live we have done this day how many times?
Did we do it right this time?

Today I see so many many yellow daffodils and pansy faces.

All of this is connected to yellow canary feathers that I hold dear inside the beautiful basket.

Do you have a touchstone?
Tell me, do. . .

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Idea Generator

Mt. Fuji Ballet Box

One thing I thought I would share is how I go about kicking up a creative bout when I might be stuck in a rut. Yes this does happen every now and then. Sometimes, it is a matter of feeling a bit stale in seeing work that just doesn't quite make me want to share.
I do this with my students and they take off with it.

1. make a painting or drawing no larger than 8.50 x 11 inches.

why this size? Because this can be put inside your scanner.

2. Scan it into your computer program for painting. I use Corel Draw, usually, but you might use the paint program which is installed with Windows. I do not have a Mac. . .so, you can do the same with your system.

3.Resize the artwork to about a quarter of the size of the original.

4. You can duplicate this 2 or 4 times and turn it upside down or whatever you want. Alter the drawing with the tools provided in your program. Change the color or paint something else on top of this, you know, just experiment with it until you find something that feels right.

5. After that, crop it into a square. This is where it starts to be fun. Now, you can duplicate this 4 times and meld this into another square, etc. See what you can come up with that pleases you.

6. set this up on your page to print several of your new images, which are in the format of squares. Print.

7. Now, Cut these squares out from the paper, fold these using origami techniques or in the form of a fan, or whatever you want. You will have several pieces
8. Using a digital camera photograph these  and put that into your computer and then alter these in the same way.
9. You can see this is full of possibilities. It will spark your creative mind and send it off into directions you may have never considered, otherwise.
10. Consider a theme. This can give you a starting point. I did this before thinking of Mt. Fuji. I found things that related to this topic. Japan is so on everyones mind right now. This is a great thing to do to feel as if you can actually do something about this tragedy. I think we are all connected and our good thoughts really do help.

I make handmade boxes using traditional bookmaking supplies. This is beyond the scope of this post but there are many books and classes you could take to learn these techniques of book making and box making. But, you could use and recycle a box used for something else. One of my best secrets is to use YES glue to apply paper onto another surface without curling the paper. Apply a generous coat of this glue on the surface of your paper (wrong side) not too much, then glue it onto the cardboard. Smooth it down quickly and get any bubbles out. This works well for me. I hope this will inspire you to create something new and interesting and consider new possibilities.

Blessings upon Japan

Saturday, March 19, 2011

How It All Stacks Up

Thinking about stacking things while
working on tiny baskets
created from waxed linen

Hmmm, maybe just stack itty bitty baskets

I can not ever do just one thing at a time
I listen to books or the BBC
while I weave, knit, paint, fold origami, embroider, bead, or photograph
things for this blog.
I might write something
or sew something
or just sit in revelry
gazing out the window while drinking coffee.

This is how I do IT. . .

How about you?
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