Saturday, April 26, 2008

Beading Cabochon

Dscn3028 Beading can become monotonous. I jump around on the quilt and change up which beads I'm working with to break up the routine of it...similar to hand stitching it is very relaxing.  Unlike hand stitching, the squinting to pick up beads onto the needle breaks the meditation of it. 

I used the gourd bead stitch to encase the cabochon (btw, I like the way saying this word sounds and feels in the mouth).  This is my first attempt.  The above picture shows the base layer followed by rows of bead one, skip one pattern, followed by an increase row and a decrease row.  Rereading the instructions over and over still didn't allow me to "become one" with them...laying the base row gave me a sense of accomplishment that over-boosted my confidence.  In addition to having an even number of beads in the base row like the instructions called for, I think it is necessary to mark the first or last bead as the bead one, skip one pattern in the successive rows became confusing to me.

My completed encased cabochon (this word sounds of French origin), did not have the tightness like experienced beaders but it does hold it in. Dscn3032_3   


Yesterday Peter hooked up my computer in the workshop but I'm not on-line yet there and not sure if I will hook it up. Afterward we spontaneously made a trip to IKEA in Cincy.  We squeezed in a quick trip to Jungle Jim's International Grocery but didn't have time to linger as we wanted to get back before it got dark...Later, I'll show you the great selections of hot sauces that I grabbed.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Red is in love with me.

Red_sea_3Yesterday's dinner plans got laid by the wayside for a good deal on craigslist for a computer desk for the workshop and a metal locker style chest of drawers for my energy level and mental focus wasn't up to cooking anyways so it was not a battle for me to push it to the side and go pick up my items.  Long John Silvers and Kroger's deli rescued us from growling stomachs.  Today it was tuna salad, carrots, and grapes...another easy fix after being in my workshop from noon until 7pm.  I took a break for light lunch and for 3 breathing treatments which take less than 15 minutes each.  The remainder of the time was spent putting bead embellishments on Red Sea (working title). 

When I first started today, the bead work made me think about fossilized plants and animals like I have seen at the Falls of the Ohio...when I had placed a good number of beads on one section, the idea of a quilt being sculpture came to mind.  When I wrapped up the day I placed Red Sea around my neck (it measures 10"x36") and I thought of wearable art.  A quilt can be so diverse in the art form it takes.   

The bead work feels really right for this piece and the more I add the more it speaks to me.  What I discovered about random beading is that it isn't really random at all.  The color of the bead, the shape and size, the spacing, the line they create, etc.  have a right place.  I found myself taking beads out, redoing them so that the thread lines and the bead lines talk with each other.  These images are scanned because it doesn't photograph well but since it is my current beloved I wanted to show him off.  He is subtle with his come on but Red_sea_2 I still swoon when he whispers in my ear.

I'm going to add 2 cabochons for a soft focal point...they are red is smaller than the other and it will be the "eye" of the piece...right now, I'm thinking the eye of God.  The larger one measures about 2 inches long, 1/2 inch wide and has a slight curve.  I've never encased cabochons before but I'm looking forward to the challenge. 

My parent's neighbor wants me to let her know when I start selling my quilts...I knew she meant bed quilts and instead of me taking the opportunity to talk about what I'm trying to achieve I just nodded and said "sure".  She'll be the first on the invite list when I hold an open house.  It will be easier to show her than tell her.

Peace,  Red_sea_1

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

a thousand sleeping shadows chant???????

Dscn3026 Its very challenging to work with one "red sea" in black and white...the texture is mainly created by the hand sewing and the beading...the colour on the silk is varied which helps with subtle value changes...the beads are in the lower right corner and you might get a better view if you click on the picture to enlarge it.  There is a lot more beading to be done but before I continue I'm going to stop in at a few bead stores tomorrow and look for varied red beads.  I contemplated adding another colour or two but it didn't feel right...the original idea still holds.  I tried to find the 3 pieces made by Sam Gilliam online to inidicate what I'm trying to achieve...I think it will be clearer once the 2 cousin pieces to "red sea" are made.

Yesterday I worked on 3 seperate pieces in progress...after the red bead shortage I beaded the "blue grid" for a while then sat in my comfy chair to read Beading on Fabric and woke up almost 2 hours later.  I auditioned fabrics for a piece inspired by Willie Pearl, my great grandmother and a poem I wrote about "weusi" (we, us, and i).  It was 5 hours of actually working.

Dscn3018 I'm home today and my plan is/was to actually prepare foods for the rest of the peas and tomato stew, baked sweet potatoes, green salad, beef steaks, and I'll make salmon croquettes on Friday.  First I have to clean the kitchen which Ade was suppose to do last never fails, if I fall asleep before he cleans the kitchen, he will not do it.  This is his regular chore which he does well when he does it.

Dscn3017I couldn't find "for" should read a "thousand sleeping shadows beneath her bed chant for rain".  I had the shadows, whispering, singing, incubating...for honey, death, songs, blue flowers, etc. before I settled on chant for rain...why rain?  why chant?  I don't know...and how can shadows sleep and chant at the same time....ummmm, through dreaming maybe?  How is that for a peek inside my mind?


Monday, April 21, 2008

As I begin to rock steady.

Today was my 3rd day in my workshop.  I'm not sure if this will become routine, but so far I start my time when I arrive by slapping some paint on pages in a book being altered, followed by 5 minutes to focus on what I'm going to achieve for the day then I'm up and sewing...right before I leave I slap 2 more pages in the bookwith paint and then I go upstairs to chat with who ever is in the house, one or both of my parents and/or a niece and great niece...then I depart for home usually around 7ish.  Its a steady 5-7 hours of me actually in my workshop...anywhere from 15-21 hours a week.  At this point, no hard and rigid rules or goals as long as I'm rocking steady. 

I'm still finishing up the red silk hanging that I'm calling Red Sea.  The facing method which Kathy Loomis featured in American Quilter a few issues ago is what I selected to finish off the edges.  It is more user friendly than the pillowcase method for me.  The bead work will get under way tomorrow. 

The primaries will be held tomorrow in Pennslyvania.  I think the tv will stay off until the polls close, but I will try to give Dee a holler tomorrow to see how she experienced the selection process. 

Yesterday my mother, an aunt and myself rode a purple chartered bus to Cincy to see the The Color Purple on the stage.  I cried through most of it and when I wasn't crying I was laughing.  I haven't reread the book since it first came out in the early 80s...through my tears it hit me just how powerful a story it is about love...the triumph of matter how horrendous  we experience living, our souls are always seeking to move toward love, to become love.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Day 2 working in The Workshop

Dscn2993 Three days each week will be devoted to being in the workshop.

Today was devoted to working on the grid.  The grid is balance, predictability, calming...but then I thought about my grandmother and great grandmother who where huge bingo fans...they could work the grid of bingo cards about 15-20 at a time and still keep an eye on me playing at the most 5 which kept me hopping.  After I was old enough to drive, I inherited the duty of taking them to bingo which meant I eventually was drafted to stay versus dropping them off and coming back to pick them up.  I don't know what is happening currently, but bingo halls had the best fried fish sandwiches!  The fish sandwich was a pay off for staying with them.  I have a bead that is a blue fish...I might add it onto this grid which will be moderately beaded when it is near complete or completed. 

The above thoughts came to me while sewing the grid and playing with the beads for this audition reminded me of loads of bingo chips on a card.  I really don't know what it all means other than these where the thoughts I had and I wanted to get them written down.  Bingo is anything but calm and I want to lean toward the grid being calming and balanced...   

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Workshop

Dscn2973 Red, the colour of passion.  Yesterday was my first day of working in the shop.  My father calls the space "my workshop"...I prefer that over the word "studio" so that is the word I'm going to use.  Mary asked me if I'm going to have a ribbon cutting ceremony...and at first I chuckled but after giving it some thought I think at one point I actually will have an open house for fiber friends and associates.

I pulled out this red piece that was inspired by 3 pieces from Sam Gilliam's exhibit at the Speed Museum last year.  It is really more vibrant red than it appears in this photo.  I want to see how dimension can be created using one colour with different weights and styles of stitching. The aim is to create 2 other pieces in blue and yellow that will be companion pieces to this one.

The Making A Way photo album was accepted as a mid-point check in for the grant from KFW.  This lets me know that it does a good job of communicating the story.  Also, it was appreciated that I had given thought to the best way to spend the grant money and produced an even better solution than my original proposal.  Go ahead and check the final pictures for yourself.   

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

If I could whistle, I would

but I can dance...Juanita was whistling and all but dancing the other day, I would have been doing both yesterday if I could whistle. We made more progress on the studio set-up.  Here is Christian, Mo's dorm neighbor,Dscn2906  excited about helping out...

The Making Away photo album has been updated to show the progress.  In this process I've become addicted to Craigslist...the rugs, the chair and ottoman, and the blue office chair came from there.  The white microwave cart with the inks and paints on top I got by default...I ordered it from and Peter spent 2 hours putting it together and after saying a gazillion times that I had measured it before ordering, the microwave didn't fit...I had only measured the width and length but not the height.  Okay, so, to purchase another I think this warrants a trip to IKEA which opened in Cincy last month...I need to SEE it in person and then I'll know!

I did try to sell the microwave cart on Craigslist, but no takers.  It was destined to be reclaimed by me for another purpose, right?

My main purpose is to get everything in and then I'll refashion once I know what I'm working with.  But yesterday pretty much pulled us over the hurdles.  Just lightweight odds and ends and then the last things to come in will be my sewing machine, computer and printer.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Able to leap tall buildings, fly at incredible speeds...

I'm feeling excited and revived! Got word that the ceiling tiles have been replaced...just short 3 tiles! woopee, this puts me back on track of getting the bookcases there...they are too long for my little truck.  This weekend I anticipate major progress if not near progress. 

I started feeling alive again on Saturday and although I should have, I didn't stay in but had to get myself down to the opening of the state headqtrs for Obama!!!!  Great vibes in the place!!!!  I'm tempering myself as needed but I can hold my own once again.

And the more I watch corporate news outlets, the more suspicious I am that they are filming from the movie set of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest!  Or the worst bunch of fiction writers I've ever seen!  It might be news in somebodee's world, just not mine!