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

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Computer Paper Bird's Nest

When I lived in the SF Bay area, which was quite a few years ago, I found in a bush in my back yard a birds nest. This nest, I wish I still had, was full of the usual sort of nesting material with one addition. . .computer paper. You  know the kind. . .we bought these in rolls to fit in the printer which had those little pins that pulled the paper along, before the now known form of printer we all use. Remember? The kind which you had to tear off the outer strips to find a piece of paper that resembles what we use now? These little torn strips were put to good use by the birds.
I think of this nest often, believe it or not, when I consider how much and how fast our lives have changed.
Do you think about these things too?

I wonder if this would make that Chinese delicacy, Birds Nest Soup, taste any better?

Have a great weekend!

Friday, June 24, 2011

To Tell The Truth

I have just a few minutes before I must leave to take my mom to the Doc's. This has been a couple of crazy weeks for me. I have been really sick with ?? Tests and such. Anyway, I have a hard time blogging right now.
I just wanted to mention something that is near and dear to my heart. The PROCESS of working.
If you notice there is a badge for The Process Pledge. I love the ideas behind this. I like free sharing, I like just doing whatever just because, I like to share how I do things, I hate being obligated to too many things.
With that having been said. . .hey, we all do the best we can. Sometimes something might be great and sometimes not even. It really doesn't matter. I learn more from mistakes, ALWAYS. That is why I think it is ok to show things that I might  not really like but what I did was more important. Or THAT I did it.
I know some pretty great people in blogland. It takes a lot of time for anyone to share anything, I just wanted to say Thank YOU to all that do.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sleeping Beauty Part 2

Translating what you find to be beautiful into an expression of your mind means using  precise choices of material, tried and true techniques, and with use, a notion of perseverance to the finish.

This translation or  image  is the reward

Being a little open-ended, and by that I mean, leaving yourself open to surprises or discovery, as you work, this is where tiny moments of joy add to the creative sparkle.The translation is what you have, after all.

We all have reasons why we choose what we choose.

I am fortunate, in that I work with children. I watch them in their creative and beginners mind solve the problems they set for themselves with a little nudge in the beginning from their teacher. You must be interested in creative endeavors if you are reading this blog.

In the past few postings, I have been leading you along by sharing how my own mind works, a bit. I had a theme in mind, but no idea of where to go with Sleeping Beauty. Throughout the years of working and learning I have tried many things. If I saw something interesting I would either take a class or read a book to learn a technique which might work. Some of what I did stuck and some things did not. It was the process of learning new things that became joy, for me. So, I have  many tricks up my sleeves. It is a good thing to be curious. It is a good thing to find a way to learn what you want to know.

Sleeping beauty is a product of that exploration.

Noro Yarn is a work of art in itself. I love working with it because it is like working with a paintbrush that someone already loaded with paint. You decide where to put what. So I knitted some fabric which I added another strand of other types of thread or yarn in a few places, just to see what would happen. I felled this in the washing machine. Out comes a fabric which can be cut or sewed or whatever. So I chose this for the cloak.

Soft white wool already carded into bats I buy and then alter by mixing fibers and/or dyeing and then felting.
I made these balls quite a few years ago and then I dye them to use in many ways. This is what I used for the head, which is a very obvious choice to make. I make cords adding in other fibers to be dyed at a later time.
I chose some of these and chose the dye color. I cut them into the shapes and sizes I thought would work
In Making the headdress, I used some pieces of dye felted wool and a different kind of fiber to wrap them. Then I had to figure out how to combine these elements in an interesting and efficient way, so with that in mind I used some Sculpey clay and fashioned a piece with some colored wire to hold it all together. For the element of hair?? I dyed silk in many colors and tore that into strips and added that to the headdress, as well. I knitted a small triangular shawl of kid silk haze for her. I added jewelry by beading pieces for the neck piece. I had to think of arms. I found plastic tubing at the hardware store and thought, wow, that could work. I stuffed the tubes with silk fiber then attached them to the body which is a rectangle of Michael James fabric which I use in a lot of work. For the feet I covered some cording with silk fabric and formed it into two puffy feet.
I know that this is not in minute detail. I leave some things to your imagination. I am doing this to inspire you to do your own work and to give you some ideas for thinking about what is available in the world to use in a new and interesting way. I find wonderful things when I take a look at blog land. It adds something sometimes that may not have occurred to me. This is my way of thanking all of you.

Posted by PicasaOh yes, one more thing. . .Now that I have ?? finished this piece. . .
I am considering doing another one but I already learned
what I will do the next time to make one better.
It is the process!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sleeping Beauty Part 1

Translate visual images into what you do?

Remember colors?
Remember repetition?
Remember texture?
Remember little details that caught your attention?

What about form?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Segments of color

 This is for real. I feel like I am looking at a beaded piece which it is not. I see fabric folds with multi-dipping into lovely shades of blue and a bit of purple. Some black would be nice if I were to clamp segments of the fabric. When I am looking for inspiration in nature. . .now THAT is for real. I see a pretty stitch around the edge of a leaf shape.

A bug?
I do not know what kind. I am interested in the texture and the stripe I see. The color is magnificent.
On silk?

The organization of this texture/form/color takes my breath away.
This flower is real or more than just a photograph because it is blooming
right this moment in my flower garden. Look at the center of the flower. Look at
the structure of the form. It is a purple. Of course I am not interested in making a flower.
What I am interested in is seeing what made this appear so full of beauty.


Is this real? Or Not?
Red so indelible?
Not really? Well, for 24 hours.
Is this my dressing table?
Is this my powder puff?
Is this very old?
The silver is tarnished to the point of being black.
The silver handle is broken off of the puff.
The crystal is chipped.
This photo has been treated with Kim Klasen's Granny's Cupboard
So even the photo is a question?
All of this belongs to me. Or does it?
Do I own the photo?
Do you?
Do I really care?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What If You Had The Opportunity?

I try to forget what I am doing. . .
I try to get out of my own way. . .
Something new to try. . .
is always. . .

The mirror of a soul
it is there for all to see. . . Where is it?
Will you see it?
Will you even look?
If given the opportunity
will I take it?
Will my battery be
Are we ready, yet?
Will I skim the surface or
will I go to the depths?

Will I be willing to forget the name of What I see?*

* inspired from reading this:

Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees: Expanded Edition, Over Thirty Years of Conversations with Robert Irwin

What Is On The Table?

Raku Pottery in the first photo was done in many many steps. Each one could be the end of the piece. This was done using the coil technique and then worked with a tool and paddle to get the bowl form. It was fired many times with the last being raku. I was thinking of being down in a well and looking up at the sky when I under-painted it. Luckily it made it through all of the firings.
The bottom photo is of my table today and the things I am working on. Beading of a quilted piece and embroidery, too. I am using batik scraps to form the wacky squares.
The photo group topic of the day is blue. So. . .

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Let's take a walk!

Today the dryness of the weather, the sunshine, and the fact that my Hollyhock is blooming, gives reason to think of staying in Santa Fe at a B&B. The galleries in Santa Fe are most inspiring. I love the painting galleries most definitely. Some of the artwork I have bought through the years come from these.
I love to buy and wear Santa Fe style clothing and jewelry, silver and turquoise, for sure. Above is an ear-wire thing (by that I mean it is a wire that slips over your ear) that has pottery shards and beads which were gathered in the area by an artist. I bought this many years ago and still love to look at it.
The Acoma Reservation is about 100 miles Southwest of Santa Fe. It is such a wonderful place to visit. It is built upon a Mesa which can only be reached by a tribal vehicle, now. Unless, of course, you live there. I have visited many times. As a matter of fact the pottery I collect is from a world class potter who came from this amazing place.. I plan to do a post about this topic very soon. Lucy Lewis's work I have studied. Her techniques were amazing in that she made her pots in her kitchen at Acoma and fired them nearby. More later.
I think I need to put on my walking Mary Jane's and wander through the streets and breath the crackle clean air, eat at the Pink Adobe, see what is new and interesting, and just be. Of course, it will all be in my mind.
I think I will dye silk fabric today in the colors of the Southwest.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Thread Painting and Cuneiform


Have you ever wanted to be THE one who might solve a problem that no one else can solve?
There are a few languages which we see as pictures or artifacts in a museum somewhere. Or mathematical riddles as yet unsolved that might be in a book we read.
A replica of a clay tablet which is believed to have notations or records of perhaps items sold in a market place is within my collected items related to language, along with a poster of the Rosetta Stone.
These concepts bring me to a curious state of mind. If only I were  to live to be 400 years old I might have enough time to be THE one solver of a question. But, alas, I will not live that long. So,
I think about these things and use these ideas for creative fodder.
File:Nazca monkey.jpg
Nasca Lines

Uppermost photo of a thread painting which was done by hand using a machine influenced by this topic.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Inspiration comes from strange places, every now and then, at least it does for me. Who would think that reading a recipe in a cookbook would inspire pure play? You know what I  mean? That feeling of butterflies in your stomach when you were going out on a first date with your dreamboat? Or, sailing to Catalina in a very nice size sailing vessel with just four people along for a nice little cruise for dinner? Or knowing that you will be at your favorite bookstore right on Venice Beach where the guy with the white turban sings his heart out to amaze? Or you pop into his private jet and fly to the river for a weekend of boating and water skiing? Or sailing to that island for a day of para-sailing and picnic in Acapulco?  It all started with Jicama!
Jicama and Lime and Cayenne pepper and fresh cilantro and  Sea Salt chilled nicely after being cut into spears or the shape of a very large french fry. Such a refreshing treat on a hot summer day! I love veggies to graze upon. Do you?
So, that recipe led my mind to wandering around old memories. That led to pure play with photographs.
I see, now, that my thoughts came out in the above photograph. I see a little bit of those times and places.
I now have butterflies in my stomach and pitter patter in my heart and happiness of a life lived well.
I hope something sparks joy for you all on this Sunday!


I have been trying for hours to upload a photo to my photo group and I keep getting a little RED X! This is a waste of my life energy. I think I have just so much to use before I am all used up. I am sort of joking.

It has been really hot this week. Popsicle mania in living color. I think one flavor tastes like perfume. So I give those to my honey when I get one. He likes them so it is OK.  Living my life as I try to do with some thought about what I choose to do, is pretty funny, too. I am pulled in directions like a piece of an Abba Zabba Bar.
I love those. The only place I can find them is in Asheville, NC at the country store place?? I need to make a trip, soon. Anyway, I need to be a rubber band instead because they snap back into shape immediately. I just get worn out.
I am looking at the two photographs above. One is perfectly focused and the other is treated with a diffusion treatment. I always go for focus. So it is really hard for me to do something like I did, above. But, the doll which I have posted before is so fantastical that I thought that would make it more interesting.
I have been listening to a great book, The Greater Journey by David McCullough, It is about artists, writers, etc. who went to Europe at the time when many Europeans were migrating here. It takes place in the 1800's to 1900 or there about. Fascinating. I feel as if I am walking beside some of the "great one's" I admire, to experience what they did. A lot of the story takes place in Paris. I have walked everywhere in Paris and loved every minute. I would like to visit there again, soon. I especially love the book stalls along the river.
My point about this is that the doll I made is felted wool and embellished. I was thinking French when I did this.

So, now I am leaving this open door and heading outside to work. I hope you all have a very great the rest of the weekend time!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Speaking My Mind

Speaking my mind or is it my mind speaking?

Opening that door to what I really know or think about is an exercise that I can do sitting down. The keyboard is the door. I realize this everyday and forget this everyday. When I sit down to write a post for this blog it is usually off the top of my head and I do not edit. I guess I "should" edit, but that is a very fatal end to what I think on an unconscious level. I really do want to know. It reminds me of an exercise I learned in college about brainstorming by writing a word and then as fast as you could think branch off of that word with another. It is like a tree trunk with branches coming off in more words. My writing down is better for the way I work.It surprises me that I so willingly share with the readers of this blog what I am thinking about. It is one of those things. Transparency? You know how I believe we are all connected, so this is part of that, I guess. I like Gertrude Stein as a writer because she gave permission to do this when she wrote.

OK, so here it is, what I am doing, now. For the last few weeks I have been working on linen with embroidery, by machine.. .then hand embroidery on top of that. It is all experimental, experi-mental, wow, now that would be a good blog title. . .see what i mean? Above are two photo's of things I am working on.
I am still amazed about the first image. I guess somebody else is, as well, because I have had an incredible amount of hits on two posts relating to that image and the Mt. Fuji post I did a while back.
I do not like punctuation either. It slows me down in my thinking. I regress. Anyways, I love letters.
Letters or alphabets in any languages from all time interest me. I think it is the mark making thing that we humans do. Like in painting and drawing and even writing. It leaves a trace of who we are, behind.
I have done a few alphabets of made up letters throughout the years, I love to draw letters. In graphic design classes I took a very long time ago is when I discovered why. They are beautiful.

My most favorite story is the one in the Bible about Babylon when language first got scrambled. That is another post for another time, I think. But, you get the idea?
Again and again I come back to letters. And that is all I want to say about that right now.

I transferred the image onto organdy of the volcano lights and am working on that. I stuck it on my back screen door to take a look and snapped that photograph. The other is embroidery of one of my language images which came from a drawing I did last year.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Should I Listen? Chile Volcano

My conscious intention is not what actually dictates how I do something, it is the starting point.The process of creating is interesting in itself. I follow some blogs of creative people with curiosity. I am intrigued by what may
influence the choices they make. I like to see what the beginning point for them might be and how their art or craft is executed in the complete form.
I think that what I really teach children is just how to be creative, how to problem solve, which affects everything in our lives. I give permission to explore the entire bank of knowledge we humans have gathered. I give permission to use any tool or resource they can find.
I take my own advice, most of the time.
I am amazed, once in a while, when I discover something which relates to what I am trying to do. I might have a clear idea then it is a matter of completion. When I keep my options open and do discover something else related to my vision I must decide what to do about that.
Well, I found yesterday that a volcano is erupting in Chile. This has changed my mind a little bit. The process of letting go of something is always thought provoking. I took the image I did the other day and altered it. See above.
The best part of all of this is that it is influenced by my life. I am open and curious. It is the concept, after all.
How about you? How do you do that?

Monday, June 6, 2011

When That Little Voice is Quiet

Today I am thinking about how I would have loved being Marco Polo.
The fascination I harbor for the Silk Road leads me to books and to the 
study of textiles. I personally love all natural fibers. I always choose wool, 
or silk, or linen, and cotton. I grow flax in my garden. Not enough to do
any major production, but it is interesting to see how to do these sort of 
chores. And it is a lot of work to end up with a fiber to spin into cloth.
I am thankful for the fact that I can trade for these things. By trade I mean
using money that is earned in some other way.
I think about beads, too, that is a story in itself. I wonder over how someone
probably accidentally discovered glass and then someone figured out how to
get holes through these tiny little beads. I study about glass and beads, too.
It is nice to have an appreciation for the objects we choose and an 
understanding of the materials gathered.
This is what I think about while I am busy doing other things.
White on white is the topic in photography today.
That little voice inside my head is not telling me what to do.
I wish it would.
The macro lens I ordered should be here sometime this week.
That will be a huge help.The lenses come from Japan. . 
This is always on my mind, the Japanese people.
So in the meantime, I am working on the pleated piece and doing
some beading on this other piece.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Where Will I Go?

The organdy is being pleated while my mind is going a million miles
a minute. I love it when the possibilities come shining through.
This piece will have layers I think.
It is all taking on a life of it's own, 

Basketry forms scream they want in on this, too.

Some fine tulle in black, I think, is speaking to me.
I sit here with my morning coffee while the day is coming on it's way.
Changes come in light and temperature while I contemplate this work
that is telling me where to go. I am thinking that this organdy is the perfect
fabric to accept this transfer, that the creases hold so nicely. I am thinking of
the semi-transparent nature of this fiber piece and how I might use that to my 
advantage. The form that is emerging as I pleat and clamp and begin to stitch 
is intriguing. 
I see what this wants to be.


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