Thursday, 24 November 2016

another seemingly uneventful thursday, or was it

 raking leaves in the backyard, 
removing leaves from the low table, carefully,
knowing the bird is there;
then finding yet another one, just a bit further on the path along the house, almost hidden by the fallen leaves
this time a fresh body,
maybe the storm last weekend 
still has eyes


 making small cushions these days;
I find it comforting, making these soft objects;
something to do curled up on the couch next to the husband watching tv

the one on the left is filled with bird feathers, from birds he has shot and we have eaten; I have decided I want to use the entire animal, not just the meat.

I had imagined making a BuddhaBird, something very simple: a small bird skull on a stick, stuck in a chunk of wood, fat-bellied;
I saw him sitting on top of this particular cushion; I had assumed he would choose this one, because of the feathers.
Nope
other side

he chose this one with the full moon; he himself turned out different too: a skull hot-glued onto a stick, in turn hot-glued to a shell, it was a painful, messy process, much like birthing is; he complained a lot, was upset and not zen like at all; neither was I, feeling guilty for making him suffer, yet going ahead anyway

he came out okay I guess; I had already made this small cape-wrap-around snippet of clothing, not especially for him, but it fits perfectly; he has accepted the single feather 'makes you look smart' we all said to him; even though he's a BuddhaBird I find him difficult, not easy-going, then again I probably had unrealistic expectations to begin with

glowing in the spidery lights

on top of his moon amidst his new room mates

SUN STAR MOON
another Jude inspired project


Sunday, 13 November 2016

birth day

last evening, it cannot be a coincidence, I made the baby, he turned out smiling and curious; the very early hours of the 13 November twenty years ago our eldest was born, not a coincidence then

 this collage, what I like to call my Buddha collage, has been hanging there for quite some time now, you know how you stop noticing something and then suddenly do, again not a coincidence as I am listening to the video 'The Tibetan Book of The Dead' you can click on the link over at Grace's 


 was also listening to the Beatles, today especially to John and George, how their songs remain relevant

am planning on adding an extra layer to the studio walls: more insulation and making better use of these wooden planks, they've been outside and need to dry





a calming video: husband performing part three of Tai Chi set


Saturday, 12 November 2016

r.i.p.: ode to a tiny toad




not only did we find leaves & mushrooms, 

we also happened upon a small shrew, 
dead alas, however still very beautiful, 
so wrapped in a leaf it came back home with us





'I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah'
Leonard Cohen 1934-2016

one morning I noticed this flattened tiny toad
on our path leading up towards the house
suggesting it was one of us who had
trampled him the night before
whilst walking in the dark
not noticing the small critters crossing
from flower-bed to the shelter under the bushes

some shelter, huh,
now he is gone forever

I cried then
and I cried today as I stitched all the small objects onto the cloth
stitched underneath and over his tiny armpits
and maybe I also cried a little for myself and everyone else after a week of upset and turmoil
who knows

I remain hopeful


I am basically an optimist


hallelujah by Jeff Buckley 


Sunday, 6 November 2016

autumn has a lot to offer


leaves hanging by a thread


grateful for holding water
I think he's thinking: 'as long as I keep my eyes shut, there's no one there staring at me and taking pictures of me as I mind my own business; I sincerely hope she's gonna bugger off soon, pardon my french'
grateful for small encounters

grateful for food our land offers


grateful for a safe haven


introductions are made

 last friday I was in town with my close friend M. and we happened to meet a beautiful white goat; I liked her straight away: just look at those hiking boots and her rucksack-basket, those horns! of course I immediately thought of Grace and her goats. We got to talking, one thing led to another and I can tell you she has a sweet and gutsy personality and has purposely travelled here to meet us. She knew about everybody here in The Dwelling, so she decided to walk the roads, track the trails, hike through the woods and over the mountains, alone or when her path crossed a fellow traveller heading in the same direction, she shared the road ....Her name, and I know some of you will be familiar with her, is Snowbunny
Grace and I believe she is a reincarnation, goat Snowbunny's to be precise

the small birds who flew here last year all the way from Julie's place, have fallen in love with Snowbunny (then again, who hasn't) and this one seems determined to live in her basket


grateful for kindred souls

Sunday, 23 October 2016

phantasmagorical



it's getting colder and still the dye pot has some colour to offer, I leave it outdoors as the odor, pleasing as I may find it, is mildly offensive to the other household members; on a whim I cut up several different fabrics into squares and clamped them with coins of varying size and origin, the results are not dramatic, however I hope effective once I get stitching, although some results were disappointing: too little contrast; I've thrown another batch in for an over dye hoping for more contrast! my mood quickly improved as the Gang had decided to throw a little pre-halloween party with the new spider lights I bought for them the other day in town, they let me stay and watch: some enjoy 'Drumsticks' gorilla's racket and stay in the living room, nipping their Brasilian cocktails served in special beakers, whilst others have fled upstairs where they have the spiders, gaiety and pleasant conversation minus the noise



add on: later dye results, much more sun/moon going on here albeit in a crepuscular manner, the brightly coloured backgrounds are particularly uplifting, I'm going to experiment a bit with these new colour schemes; image is poor quality due to artificial lighting:













 I don't know if you noticed but in the images above there are two cut-outs from early paintings of lonely folks in rowboats, for the life of me I can't remember where this image originated, maybe the song 'row, row, row your boat gently down the stream,.....' a song my mum used to sing, teasing us ever so slightly 'cos we thought it was a sad song, despite the word 'merrily' it didn't feel right if life was 'but a dream.....'and in one of the latest pieces I've been working on a small sailing boat has materialized; as I am very much a land kind of person and hardly do any sailing or rowing it puzzles me why I feel the urge to include it in the imagery; as a nation we are surrounded by lots of water and I feel intense pleasure at the relative proximity of the sea and the rivers indeed very close by, but still I am intrigued, probably best not to have an answer 

 very latest project: combining two strips of dyed cloth, evoking planetary movements or x-rays, have started sewing them together with very small stitches, love doing that
bought 3 square glass/metal frames and 1 oblong one (was all they had left), they can open on top, perfect for small two-sided pieces; sometimes I stumble upon something like this and have to buy it, you know next time you go to the store it'll be out of stock

Friday, 21 October 2016

change




 reworking an old piece, adding Sun Moon & Stars - as a follower of Jude's latest 'class' -  with lots of thread beads, for one because I love the feel of them and to me they could also represent stars, light specks, shimmering motes of stardust; the cloth was wider, too wide I felt so I cut it on both sides and added neat edges with the very thin red/white cloth, hence the blue bird lost it's tail; I also added the blue-grey sky fabric with the dyed moon and the red-white middle square with the cut-off tree-thingy on top and as I was so busy cutting away sewn on bits and restitching others, I decided to cut the middle layer away from underneath all the coloured bits as well, making it all two-layered three-layered, another thing I learned from Jude; in this way the backing is left cloth intact for a neater look, I always like to look at the back of a piece as well; if I've lost you by now: don't worry it's not that interesting, this information is mainly for personal record-keeping.
probably more interesting than the back of this piece is the article on woodlice lying underneath it, did you know they grind dead wood into powder so the fungi can get to work; thanks to the woodlouse's endeavours valuable nutrients from dead organic matter is rendered back into the soil so living plants can prosper; without woodlice woods would disappear or become much less diverse!  Onsiscidea is the name for this group of arthropods, not insects  but crustaceans, related to crabs, lobsters and shrimps. They date back 160 million years. They're constantly shedding their skin and devouring it as well, theirs is a peaceful life: eat, sleep, shed repeat.
 Imagine my surprise when I discovered just how many synonyms there are in the English language for such a small creature: 

pill bug 
woodlouse 
armadillo bug 
cheeselog
doodlebug
monkeypea 
roly-poly 
potato bug 
roll up bug
slater 
sow bug

addendum for Grace in response to her comment: I said the piece was two-layered, I don't know why, I guess I didn't look properly, as it obviously has at least three layers, where there is the red/white square with the tree-thingy scrap of cotton it has 4 layers, as the red/white is so very thin I feel it to be okay that way; why I'm being so finicky about this is in part thanks to Jude's teaching (she frequently explains how she cuts away layers after having added bits of fabric, so overall there is the same amount f.e. here) and also the entire feel of the piece is directly influenced by the layering and as it's hanging (or will be soon) the amount of cloth and weight involved matter, which you 'get' once you feel the real item in your hand