Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Brain Storm Idea

While reading Beverly's blog, Fiberhart, about sorting her stash, I thought why not sort by value instead of colour?!  I think I'll try this...and just number the boxes 1-10 for value!  A while ago I had thought about sorting colours in shades, tones, etc. but thought that would be too many darn bins for a colour family...but values, I'm thinking it'll work!

To my family, friends, and sistah bloggers

thank you for sharing in my joy on the republication of my poem!  Its a full circle feeling to have a poem published now in light of not having written a poem in almost 5 years.  While waiting for an echocardiagram today and browsing through the Gallery Issue of Surface Design magazine it hit me to create a series called Weaving Poetics.  My hands begin to tingle as I visualized designs in my head and I re-thought the idea of not going to Studio 3 today.  But I'm holding to my plans to block the This Far By Faith (working title of the blue and green piece in 2 posts below) today at home and I'm going to start the beginnings of Weaving Poetics which I can do at home also.  I think if I had dedicated permanent space to work in, I'd be the type of quilter who had multiple projects going on and I can now see the benefit of having more than one sewing machine set up to accomodate multiple works in progress.  Back in June when I was in Studio 3, I observed Kim (the long term artist in residence) and another artist from Los Angeles working around their studios on mulitple canvases and I wondered about this for my own work...if I would work on multiple projects or focus on one from beginning to completion. 

Last night, leaving Studio 3, I stepped out into pitch black darkness.  Quite a jolt to this city girl of just how dark night can get.  I was only parked a few feet from the door but stepped by in to turn the hall light on so that I could see my way to the car.  If I had given myself enough time I'm sure my eyes would have adjusted. I was intimidated by it and wanted the comfort of a light.  When I go tomorrow I'm taking a flash light.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

In Honour of Poetry Thursday

Dscn1865 Dscn1867 On Tuesday I received this anthology which included a poem I wrote in 1988 for a previous, smaller anthology of international poets to honour a birthday for Nelson Mandela.  Last year the editor with Aflame Books tracked me down via the poet, Amelia Blossom House, who edited the first anthology, Nelson Mandelamandla which was published by Three Continents Press in 1989, to ask my permission to re-publish in this current anthology.  I had forgotten about it until last week when Richard Barlett, the editor, contacted me to say he was placing the book in the mail to me. 

Halala Madiba (link is to a BBC article) is a much larger anthology of Mr. Mandela in poetry. The poems are placed in chronological order beginning in 1963 through 2005.  Nadine Gordimer wrote the foreward.  Other poets whose names are familiar to me and who are included are Dennis Brutus, Abena Busia, Seamus Heaney, Haki Madhubuti, Kalamu ya Salaam, Tupac Shakur (Yes, the Tupac!), Ntozake Shange, and Wole Soyinka!  Good Lord! I'm awed, filled with joy, and humbled all in the short spanse of seconds.  It has been recently released in the U.K. but will not have a U.S. release until next Spring. 

My short poem barely made it into the first anthology...I was at the post office with 15 minutes to go until the post-mark deadline would have ended.  For months I wrestled with writing a poem about Mandela, thinking it must be lengthy, heavy in content, and my best work.  After months of discards and whittling down, this short poem expressed what I had to say about apartheid and the struggle for freedom...completed a day before the deadline.  Self-doubt almost stopped me from sending it knowing that it had to be reviewed before being accepted for the book.

Having received this book in the same week that I began this retreat in Studio 3, is a divine validation of the highest order for me...I describe myself as one with the soul of a poet who is now quilting.  It feels miraculous.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Day 2 in Studio 3

Some doodles from my sketch book...a combination of pastels, coloured pencils, and water colours-

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Dscn1862 Doodling these right before I leave to head home marks the transition.  When I arrive I spend about an hour practicing free motion quilting before working on specific projects.  Today I quilted this...this is its original orientation but I think it works hung in other directions too.  This came out of the symposium I attended in July.  My intent with the quilt design was to mimick the slanted shapes...it kinda turned out and it kinda didn't...i.e. I like the design but in some spots it doesn't compliment the top design.  I'm going back over the red lines to make them stand out more...I should have used a heavier weight in red thread but I can't spend another cent so I had to make do.

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Dscn1857_1 I was going to stay home tomorrow but then I remembered I wanted to take this to the LAFTA (Louisville Area Fiber & Textile Artists) meeting tomorrow night, so I will go back up in the afternoon and either put a facing on it or an escape hatch finish to complete it in time for show and tell.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Back Again in Studio 3

Dscn1839 Dscn1840 Dscn1841 Dscn1842 Dscn1844 Dscn1850    The function of the item in the previous post will be revealed over the weekend.  Meanwhile, here are photos of my set up and the work I accomplished today.  The piece with the ankhs was in limbo until an angel gifted me with the coptic crosses on the left.  I am now very satisfied with the focal points and will be facing the fear of quilting it this week.

At the symposium in July, Juanita did a color workshop and for the first time I have an intimate relationship with my color wheel! The palette in the first photo above was sorted by value after I selected the colours from my blues and greens. This is the beginning of my next quilt.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Time for Mama to get Krump!

The last week has been filled with school shopping!  My teens noticed today that I was singing and giddy with excitement and in a light, silly mood.  They came out and accused me of being happy that they are returning to school tomorrow!!! Of course, I was wide-eyed and in shock at such an accusation!!!!!!!!!!!!!  There will not be anyone around for me to nag about turning the music down, or prod to do chores, or get off the phone,...what will I ever do with myself without them...whose arguments will I referee in their absence! Who will bombard me with continuous outrageous request of "can I's"?  Yo! do I hear silence, hours of silence nearby?! Will there be time routinely to hear myself think????  Well, damn straight I'm happy they are returning to school!  And I mean that in the most encouraging way because a mind is a terrible thing to waste!

To celebrate and recover from a tab bit of sadness from some disappointing decisions of late, I will be back in Studio 3 for the next month, possibly 2!!!  The kids helped me set it up today and tomorrow I begin working.  I'm set to sew this time and not dye.  Since I have a longer time there, I will be more fexible with my schedule and not stay the 10-12 hours there every day like I did back in June when I had it for 7 days.  No more than 6 hours a day, longer on weekends and about 4-6 days each week...it just depends on my progress.

In my last post, I mentioned the silk fusion which I thought I had photographed but this is all that I have on my camera.Dscn1825 It is of me wetting the silk between two screens.  It turned out a beautiful fiery red and orange that I gave to Juanita as a small parting gift.  I hope she can find something fantastic to do with it. 

Since my last post, I made a trek to Berea with 3 quilt guild girlfriends and just had a blast getting to know them on the 2 hour ride and walking around the town for its 2nd annual Quilt Extravaganza...its a beautiful historic town with the friendliest people and artists' shops and studios. 

Here are photos taken at the Museum of Design Atlanta of functional items by contemporary African Artists.  And can you guess the intended function of the last piece pictured on the bottom right?  I'll provide the answer and a prize for the correct answer.  And as always on my blog you can click on the image to enlarge it.

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Friday, August 4, 2006

Sale or Trade

Handmade Silk Paper by Kath Russon  (clickable link to amazon)

I purchased this one and Take Silk by Judith Pinnell  (clickable link) at the same time to compare.  Its my policy to have only one book on any given technique or process.  Russon's book goes into more detail on using a variety of silk fibres and dyeing them and more processes than Pinnell's.  Pinnell's has more "projects" but doesn't cover the dyeing or using more processes the way Russon does.  I love the silk fusion but will not go so far to invest in the various silk fibres to use and am happy to purchase my silk fibres already dyed so I'm keeping the Pinnell book.  If you're interested in Russon's book at 12 bucks plus the cost of mailing or want to trade something as enticing, email me at karoda2743 at aol.  Put an identifying title of the email so I will not delete just in case I don't recognize your email. 

I did a piece today along with some painting and tissue dyeing of fabric...pictures in a few days.