Friday, October 20, 2006

Did you hear a loud verberating

echo and wondered where the sound was coming from?  That would have been me followed by gasping, then more screaming, with my hand spread over my heart and the other hand waving in the air with a slight 2-step going on!  Ladies and gents, sistahs and brothas, I have been accepted into my first juried exhibit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The quilt is entitled Negotiating Territory and was a design I created  out of the symposium I attended which is coordinated by the loving and lovely Juanita.  This quilt attempted to apply everything I learned from the symposium.  The concept is about finding and declaring one's space/territory...whether between indiviuals or countries and governments and corporations.  Making this quilt and the time I took in Studio 3 was a balm for an emotional disappointment of the house hunting ending back in August and was most therapuetic for me.  Acceptance into the exhibit is a mended circle.  This is MY Quilt National :)  I plan to make 3 more of them before next summer.  I'm not sure of the rules about showing the quilt so I'm not even going to do it...I'll probably wait until the show goes up in January before I show it here.  (Plus, LP (life partner) has been cleaning up the computer today and now just about all my photos are missing.  He has reassured me that they are somewhere inside this box and in time they will be restored. my eyes cut to the side with a smirk)

I'm actually preparing to submit to 2 other shows...for one I'm going out on a limb and will have 2 pieces professionally framed but without glass (???? on the glass, but I'm leaning toward no glass).  They just seemed to need a frame versus hanging out loose.  If I get accepted they will be for sale as part of the requirements for entering.  I think I'll sprinkle Holy Water on them before I send them out. 

Peace, oh, and you can take out your ear plugs, I'm much more settled now.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Its So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday

Dscn2073_1 I began the break down of my temporary studio yesterday.  Most of everything is back home sitting in the middle of my bedroom waiting to be sorted and put up.  The days I have remaining I thought I'd read, do hand stitching, photography of older quilts, and some silk fusion.  The fabric selections for the quilt I am refering to as "725" all got packed up.  It was much too ambitious of a quilt to start in the time I have left.

Yesterday and today the weather was peaceful.  I opened the windows of the studio and while hand stitching, listened to the variety of bird chirps and the rustle of leaves and grasses.  It was incredibly relaxing.  I'm not an up close with nature woman but enjoy it from a mid-way point of view which seems to be enough to widen my experiences from the daily to and fro' of, as Stevie Wonder sings, living in the city.

I sat and watched clouds slide across the sky and became almost Dscn2063_3 hypnotized by the changes in colour and the movement and organic shapes.  I read poems from Halala Madiba and even attempted to memorize one...its been so long since I've been able to do that.  I journaled the making of the quilts in the 2 months I've been there...nothing too extensive, just enough to document the work and my emotions to help me remember the time spent.  If I was organized as I'd like to be, I would make a journal for each quilt I make.  Wouldn't that be a great thing to do and read 20-40 years later!

Tomorrow I'm off to the library to pick up some book selections for researching "water".  One is by a Japanese (I believe) writer who submits that water cells hold memory, or at least that is what was explained to me by the person who recommended it.  The writer's surname is Emoto...if you've read any of his work, please leave a comment and tell me what you think.



Monday, October 9, 2006

The Blues Man and The Robey Clock

Dscn2077 Dscn2083 Thursday and Friday of last week I had a visitor.  Adrian II, my grandson entertained us.  He is very social...his father, my son, was just the opposite when he was this age...he was quiet and observant.  Its been a very long time (14 years) since I've cared for an infant and having him around really takes me back.  He is so easy to care for and loves music.  I played blues for him this time because he reminded me of an old bluesman (we do nick names in my family) so I called him Blues Man and we rocked and clapped and rocked some more. 

I was at the studio for about 5 hours today but felt dull and lack lustered.  I've been so crazy about this piece but today I put it up and nothing, felt nothing...I think its more me than the actual piece because it looked just like I pictured it would and wanted it to and have been very excited about it until today.  I tried working on the 3rd in the series but felt so uncertain about what I was doing that I placed it aside and took the red silk fabric (can be seen on the design wall a few posts down)and did some hand sewing on it with perle size 8 thread.  The idea for what I want to do with this piece was inspired by 3 pieces by the artist Sam Gilliam that I saw over the summer.  Its examining whether a monotone colour can hold its own with just using texture.

This is The Robey Clock, the 2nd in the Poetics Series.  Dscn2120 Dscn2122I used Jacquard Silk ExtraOrganza which printed better than the organza I pruchased from Dharma which I cut down to size and ironed on freezer paper to run through my printer.  What works for me is the clock (printed on Jacquard silk) behind the sheer, the bone shell African beads in different sizes, the eyes, the stamp work on the background (another symbol for Sankofa), the close stitching lines and that brick red colour and the yellow.  I think a mat and frame would improve it and I may do that later on.  It has a raw edge with a zig-zag finish which suits the piece well.  I'll return tomorrow to the studio space and hopefully will be able to make progress on the 3rd one which is a remake of Lena Bell.

What in the world is this?

Yesterday a friend and I managed to make it to Saint James Art Fair for a few hours (which is no way nearly enough time).  We browsed the vendors on Saint James Court and Belgravia Court and that was it.  I was enthralled with so many of the artists' works as it was a feast for the eyes! 

To get to the Fair which borders on a small urban park called Central Park we walked through the park and Donna spotted these green things on the ground which neither of us had ever seen.  She kicked one and it was hard like a ball.  I asked someone who was passing through if he knew what these strange things where called and he identified it as some type of "orange" but not in the edible way.  He said he places them in his basement to keep crickets away.  He said they are filled with black seeds.  They grow on a few trees in the park.  I was just fit to be tied at these strange and new to me fruit.  I was telling a girlfriend about them today and she said they use to grow abundantly in her area in Pennsylvania and they played with them as kids and called them Monkey Balls and added they "green" stink when cut open.  But I was so fascinated with them that I brought one home.  My new neighbor downstairs wanted me to cut it open to see the inside but I'm not ready to do that yet.  Not until I know what they are called and what the tree is called.  Here it is: Dscn2131 

Its the size of a grapefruit.  What in the world is this mystery fruit called?   Even beyond the art works, this thing, whatever it is, was the true find for the day.

Addendum: Thank you Amy for identifying this fruit for me.  For those who are just as curious as I am- Osage Orange, i.e. Hedge Apple.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006


Dscn2056_1 In just a little over a week it will be time for me to pack up my stuff and bring it back home.  Its not that I've created so much but rather what I've accomplished in 2 months equates to about 6 months here at home.  How does that law of science go?  Once a thing expands it will never be able to go back to its original size.  Its going to rough but I know winter is approaching and it would not serve me well to have a space away from home as extreme cold is very hard on my lungs so I tend to become a hermit.  But what ever shall I do?  Sewing the way I've been has made me come to justify having multiple machines...not that I do, but if I had a dedicated space, I surely could see having multiple, well maybe 2 pieces going simultaneously, especially in a series.  But some may call me a dreamer, but I know I'm not the only one :). 

Here is what the design wall looked like when I arrived this afternoon: Dscn2049 This is derived from the Poetics Series and the words and numbers and fertility doll photo are for a piece based on several poems about my great grandmother.  The red and bright gold are silk pieces that I dyed which will become a part a piece hanging in threes.  The piece at the very bottom is called The Robey Clock and the piece above it is a back drop for the 3rd in the Poetics series.  Dscn2053 I took Lena Bell and wrapped it around a frame and it really improved the overall appearance of the piece.  It now measures 20"x16".  The other 3 will not go around a frame and I'm going to make Lena Bell again.   I'm not sure if all these will be complete when its time for me to pack up but even if they are not, I am pleased.  When I left today, here is what the design wall looked like: Dscn2052 Auditioning fabrics for 725 with some of my favorite commercial fabrics...but I think the words may get lost among the prints for the design I'm kinda working with. 

I'll return tomorrow and will take Friday off to rest and enjoy my children (out of school) and my grandson who will be here.