Thursday, September 25, 2014

Stitched Journal Project - September

The Stitched Journal Project is: Makers from around the world creating one "page" or piece of work per month and sharing. It is a project to get the ideas flowing, to process the days in a creative way, to try new techniques and to push past fears that keep us from making something.  It isn't about perfection, or getting it "just right," it is about process and perspective.

September
Fabric, Thread, Old Jeans, Cotton, Printing, Embroidery

I don't really know what to say about this piece. It's part practice, part evolution of process. Inspired by a recent dream of odd dolls, wanting to add a bit of dimension to a piece, and the real life feeling that I am always forgetting something. 


This was a first attempt, a little clumsy and a long winding road away from my original concept.  

Long time ago, I saw a film on Picasso. There was footage of him painting. I will never forget watching him paint in grainy black and white; just when I thought he had painted the best thing ever, he kept going. As he added brush strokes and swapped out eyeballs and noses, I remember clasping my hands in anxiety while sitting in my theater seat. I kept thinking in my head, almost begging him, "Ok, stop now, it's perfect, no stop now! It's still good! No! Stop please!" In the end the painting was a mess and he blanked it out in entirety with gesso - to begin all over again on another day. He said something to the effect of, "Sometimes, you need to let it go, to stop before you ruin it completely" Actually, I have no memory of the actual words he spoke, but that's the gist I took with me.  

If you over think it to death, you become your own worst enemy. So, when I was working on this, I thought of that Picasso scene. I kept trying to add too much, I kept trying to tell the story, I was trying to be understood. But then I remembered - leave it alone, keep it simple, stop going. The truth is, it doesn't matter if anyone gets it. It's an odd piece. It was a huge lesson for me in making. Sometimes you just have to stop and let it go.


Below you will find links to the wonderful makers and their Stitched Journal Project pieces for August. Please keep your eyes on this spot in the next couple of days as more add their links. Be sure to visit them and leave comments!

If you think you would like to join in as well, it's not too late!  We will be sharing our pieces the last Friday of every month at least until the end of the year. We'd love to have you.

All of you wonderful Stitched Journal Project participants please link up below! Remember to add your photos to The Stitched Journal Flickr Group! and be sure to share with Facebook, Twitter, etc!







Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Blame it on the Rain


On the first day of Autumn the rain started to fall. It looks like we will be getting our first real rain in some time for the next couple of days. While we desperately need the rain, I suddenly feel a bit nervous about the coming dark days. Already our girls, our hard working hens, have stopped laying everyday. The thought of buying eggs from the store makes me feel a little iffy.

On the upside, the weather is conducive to hot tea, baking bread, and getting back to my sewing machine. I have plenty of projects floating around in my brain. I want to make something interesting from the fabulous silver metallic denim in the photo above that was sent to me by my friend Nancy.

I have a rather urgent mandate from Pony Girl to create this costume (how is it almost October?)!


To be honest, I'm not feeling too jazzed about it. Now had she gone with her other choices; Wonder Woman or Little Red Riding Hood, I might be a bit more stoked. But this isn't about me, right?


Then there's this skirt that just needs a decision made about fabric. I'm not feeling the "Rainbow Like" suggestion from the previously mentioned Pony Girl, but I'm indecisive. I had a thought about going full on Roller Derby style with this one. We'll see.

Well, happy Autumn all, or happy Spring to those of you on the flip side!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Lost in Transition


The weather doesn't quite match the season. We've had the longest, warmest, and driest Summer for as long as I can remember. Still, there are signs; signs that things are changing, that the shift is coming. I mean other than the obvious, other than school starting and the whole world turning upside down, waking up at 6:30 am every morning, making both breakfast and lunch 15 minutes after you wake up and please just let me make coffee before anybody talks to me.


I have to admit, I feel a little lost in transition. I keep waiting to feel like I've gotten past the hard part and can dig into work again. Yet, when I do have time to make, to sew, to create; I have too many ideas and can't settle. So instead, I do laundry, I mop the floor, I wander the garden looking for signs.


The signs are there. Things are changing. I am just adjusting, getting my feet back on land after a long Summer of sea legs. 


I am covertly, quietly, hesitantly, happily going forward... lost in transition for a brief moment. It all comes back around, we slip into the new routine, we get ourselves together and brave the change... we find our way.




Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Tiny Miracle


Yesterday whilst out in the garden I spied a tiny miracle. Well, to be honest, I actually caught the scent of a small miracle before I spied it with my little eye.

Earlier this year I took a few leaps of faith when it came to planting in the garden. I have told you of the many fruit trees we have and the abundance we are gifted with. Still, I wanted to try growing something I have never grown before, melons. This is not the complete truth, I have on one other occasion grown melons, watermelon actually. However, that is a tale of woe for another time.

A cantaloupe melon, a Charentais Melon to be specific. Pony Girl is wild for melons, so I thought I'd throw caution to the wind and plant one small plant. Over the Summer months I diligently watered and cared for said melon plant. I was quite beside myself when the first little green globe appeared on the plant, and then 2 more joined the party.

As time went on I noticed that the small green globes were not growing to the size indicated on the information tag that came in the plant. Last week as I checked them again I sighed the sigh that says, "Well I gave it a go, what a shame."

Yesterday though, as I was returning from my errands I walked past the garden bed with the miniature melons and caught a whiff. The scent of a ripe melon! upon closer inspection  the little fruit fell off the stem into my hands. Oh my thought I, surely it wont taste good, it's only the size of a softball after all, not nearly the 2 pound fruit it was supposed to be.

I cut the melon in half, hmmmm... it looks good. And then I took a tentative taste. This my friends was the best tasting melon I'd had in an age. It tasted like candy! Amazing! Hurrah!

I saved the rest of the melon for Pony Girl, who did in fact agree that it was most delicious.

Though in the scheme of things it was truly the tiniest of miracles, I'll take it. It's the everyday little happy surprises that make for a happy life.

Friday, September 12, 2014

A Wedding in the Woods

We were there the day they met...


Last weekend our family attended a beautiful wedding in the woods. The marriage of two of our dear friends was an occasion for joy and celebration. It took place at the lovely Mazama Lodge at Mt Hood. What a perfect setting on the most gorgeous blue bird day!

I was invited by the couple to be a back up photographer for the event. It was such a pleasure to take in the sights and capture a few precious moments.

I loved so many of the details of the event.


The simple mix of colorful flowers in mason jars and the clean lines of the tables fit in so well with the room and style of the couple.



The great room of the lodge is amazing. Rustic woodland setting paired with giant windows to let in the light. Isn't the ceiling wonderful highlighted by the bare bulb type string lights?


One of my favorite details was the table seating chart attached to the mantle of the giant stone fireplace. Each table number is accompanied by a string of photos. You find your photo to know where you are sitting. It was so much fun to see all of the photos too!


I also loved the hand stitched cocktail napkins for cocktails and appetizers on the great porch after the ceremony.


This was my favorite moment from the wedding, one that only I and the other 2 photographers got to see. The couple decided to meet on the balcony alone (but for us taking pictures) before they walked down the aisle together with their family. As the couple saw each other dressed in their wedding finery, they embraced with tears in their eyes and smiles on their faces. I'm getting a little teary just writing about it. Such a precious moment between two of the greatest people. I felt so honored to be a witness.

What a great day!



Now I'm off to go through the other 150 or so photos for editing. Have a wonderful weekend all!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Flying and Falling


Or should that be; Flying into Fall?

It's been all about the start of school, which is always a little crazy and full of meetings with teachers and paperwork and explanations and referrals. That gorgeous kid in the picture is in a new grade, in a new school and doing great.  The early mornings are a bit rough, but we are settling into routine.

There is also a heap of falling food. I mean literally, there is food falling from the sky, ok, actually from our trees and I'm racing to process it all for the winter before it goes to mush on the ground. Our exceptionally warm Summer has put all the fruit into overdrive.

And well, there are 100 other little things going on that might explain my absence from this place. I'm ready to come back though. I'm ready to do some nesting at home and get back to my work. So bring on Fall (or Autumn whichever you prefer)!

Are you ready for the change of seasons?


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Stitched Journal Project - August

The Stitched Journal Project is: Makers from around the world creating one "page" or piece of work per month and sharing. It is a project to get the ideas flowing, to process the days in a creative way, to try new techniques and to push past fears that keep us from making something.  It isn't about perfection, or getting it "just right," it is about process and perspective.

July
Mixed Media

It all started with an antique Czech belt buckle made of wood that my mother sent me over a year ago. The short version of the long story is that I got an idea, and then another one. Which led me to dig out some wooden game pieces I picked up at my local thrift about 100 years ago. 


I drilled some holes -  using the Engineer's tools while he was out. I stained them and waxed them. Then I tried to teach myself... with only my mind's eye to guide me... how to weave directly onto a very small wooden button using waxed embroidery thread.


Clearly, I need a little practice. I did however, learn lots of things NOT to do. Even it's roughest form, I'm liking where this is going, and I have some grand crafty plans indeed.


The background is an amazing antique linen, as in - at least 100 years old! Each piece was aged in an infusion of various teas. As luck would have it, my good mate, occasional glamorous assistant, and all around crafty inspiration, Jane from Flaming Nora; has just done a lovely tutorial   on aging fabric with tea! 

So, I've tried all sorts of new techniques with this piece and feel a bit of inspiration. Plus it has lovely muted colors just in time for back to school.


Below you will find links to the wonderful makers and their Stitched Journal Project pieces for August. Please keep your eyes on this spot in the next couple of days as more add their links. Be sure to visit them and leave comments!

If you think you would like to join in as well, it's not too late!  We will be sharing our pieces the last Friday of every month at least until the end of the year. We'd love to have you.

All of you wonderful Stitched Journal Project participants please link up below! Remember to add your photos to The Stitched Journal Flickr Group! and be sure to share with Facebook, Twitter, etc!









Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Mollie Makes Home and 91 Magazine get together!


A while back Caroline Rowland of Patchwork Harmony and the much celebrated 91 magazine sent me an email. She told me she was editing this year's Mollie Makes Home issue and asked if I would like to have my home featured in the magazine. My answer was quick and obvious, of course! And then I started to worry about all of the unfinished projects going on at my house. Still, I think I managed to capture a pretty fair representation of my style. I must say that working with the team at Mollie Makes (thank you Ruth!) and with Caroline, was such a treat!


The super exciting news is that the first ever print version of 91 Magazine will be included with the Mollie Makes bookzine. Swoon! So you are getting 2 awesome for the price of one. Sweet!

I have yet to lay hands on the print version, but let me tell you, I might be just a little bit excited.  

The issue comes out tomorrow Aug. 28th in the UK at most news stands and news agents. I don't have a US date yet, but I'll be sure to let you know!