Saturday, 11 February 2017

sewing away

it was going to go somewhere else, however we all know a woman changes her mind more often than not, so the small tree patch has landed in this log cabin mini-quilt, not that I knew what it was until I learned about this motif, where other than over at Jude's, where I was carried away via the virtual waves to womenfolk.com, very quaint indeed

wonderful how fast we are able to travel these days

the cream/green silk comes from Dee and the pale blue from Julie, the stained silk from my wedding dress; the very fine cotton is, if I remember correctly, from a blouse my sister-in-law handed down to me

it never ceases to amaze me -when I make myself think about it- how in such a small square there are already so many connections....I haven't even mentioned all the effort that went into producing the fabrics themselves, the dyes, the threads; come to think of it, everything I make is always part of something bigger, resulting sometimes as a final product at the end of a long line of human production and/or natural processes

humbling to realize how small I actually am; I tend not to think too much about the bigger picture (or my place in the world) focused as I am on my belly button, very much the centre of my world; child-like almost

moving on now to this larger piece: a Big Pillow, deviating ever so slightly from the smaller ones; it can't be any other way 'cos I want to keep this boat image intact; it started life as a seperate piece, became integrated in the Larger Cloth, which itself didn't survive and has been cut into several smaller pieces, most of which resulted in the Small Comfort cushions (or Soft Landings, I'm not sure what to call them really, are they seperate enitities or should they stay together?)
As I decided we needed new pillows on our beds, it meant I had a really nice down pillow left over (a couple of the oldest ones have gone to Django as well as to  the eldest son who no longer lives here, but in his student digs and needs five pillows, new and old, I haven't asked why)

I made the pillow smaller, i.e. narrower, as the down feathers have shrunk, fallen in on themselves as it were, and I want a full plump look, without losing the softness. I've had to use a ruler for drawing straight lines onto the fabric, and am now sewing the front and back to each other as neatly as possible; when I look at all those hand-sewn stitches, absolutely mind boggling and yet, also completely as it should be


Saturday, 4 February 2017

laughs


Arjen Lubach, Dutch comedian


I believe the only thing that can save us is laughter!


'tweet re-tweet' 
far from the turmoil on the world stage, at home surrounded by the beings in the studio, loving family members, the dog wagging his tail - apart from his not so subtle nudging urging me outdoors for a walk every 15 minutes or so - a sense of sanity, calm and well-being descends upon all those who dwell here....I feel grateful to be here, alive and healthy in this day & age, despite it all
although I too grapple with many petty so-called first world worries: a new phone that doesn't seem to be uploading the photo's the way I'm used to, hence the lack of posts these past couple of days; two phones arriving instead of one, having to send one back and fill in all kinds of incomprehensible forms; 'stay calm, breathe in breathe out, don't let yourself get upset'
switching energy supply companies, argh, very friendly woman named Claire whom I must have spoken to/emailed 20 times this week (I kid you not) but now if all goes according to plan we will be heating and cooking with renewables instead of adding to climate change* whilst cooking a healthy meal or taking a hot shower!

dealing with 2 different companies and stuff went wrong, not because human beings made mistakes (which we sometimes do) but because their 'systems' failed.....well we have all been there I guess; fortunately in both cases the two women I dealt with, wanted to help, be of service, we talked like real people do, we made jokes, in short we made it; Small Feats

have started practicing yoga again after a botched attempt in a class years ago, a much more intense kind, I think this might be helping as well

(*this is not an alternative fact)



latest small cushion, with a hare-in-hiding, a small green bird, full moon (yep, Jude related) blue silk from my wedding dress, rust marks lino print indigo dye lots of tiny stitches



thinking of sewing the tree-print-patch onto this one, adding a layer 

display on windowsill; the humble toothbrush has become purely decorative, I tried brushing my teeth with it: the wood is just so uncomfortable! too hard in my sensitive mouth, ha

ever expanding and contracting collection of small cushions, where have the other ones gone? memory's a fine thing


Saturday, 14 January 2017

blue skies turning grey






 yesterday snow and cold and winter in the land, today most of the white stuff has disappeared and temperature feels kind of like spring might be on it's way, as long as the sun shines....we've had wet snow, drifting by in swirls leaving no lasting impression, Dutch winters these past years don't quite happen
at least the studio is cosy and warm, snug with the wooden walls; i'm sketching with fabric, long drawings, landscape impressions, glimpses of blue moons - thanks to Jude - the beautiful squares are from Julie, i have so much to be grateful for.....






i thought of folding this one and now rather like it as is, the shape reminding me of a skirt, so that'll be it's title 'the half skirt'; still needs a backing for the left part plus want to integrate the right part more with the blue silk



Shakey Graves performing 'dearly departed'


Sunday, 8 January 2017

musings




 we i.e. friends M & J & I were in Cologne for 2 days, on a fun-shopping-museum-wining-dining Spree!  in the first photo the Dom tower, impressive against the clear blue skies, the temperature was somewhere between -3 and -7 celsius....so it was cold, yet dry and therefore bearable. We enjoyed ourselves immensely; these kinds of short breaks feel longer and as per usual I realise I should do this more often.....Back home a day later we have Snow! and Frost! and Grey Skies! our world is limited to the view across the road: black&white fields, fog makes the world seem very small and muted. Time to head to the studio, where I played around with these two wooden tree stamps, bought in Cologne; and continued with the art of small cushions



 the blue fabric in the top right corner and the Naples yellow/mauve corner on the left below come from a delicate fabric Jude sent me, along with Harry the lion and these colourful bundles:

Jude's Bundles, minus the When Worlds Collide fabric, of which 2 small snippets were used in the cushion


 this small cushion is made with two layers of thin fabric on both sides; the colourful side is made up of four squares sewn together as Jude has taught me, so the seams fold flat by themselves, the patchwork has been basted onto a white cotton square; the grey/white side consists of two oblongs scraps sewn together in the same way, basted onto two similarly sewn cotton strips, laid in the opposite direction, creating a fake 4 part square patchwork; the tree has been stamped onto an older plain white patchscrap.

I'm very aware of how dominant the need within of being the owner of all that I make is, the ego thing is big; and yet here I have used a fabric dyed by another person I know (albeit virtual) and a stamp block created by someone completely unknown to me and what I tentatively seek (here) is a collaboration of sorts, a letting go of this ownership. Of connecting with others.....My friend A. who happened to drop by today and with whom I can discuss these kinds of things, referred to it as 'inter-being' 



I took lots of photo's of the art in the Ludwig museum, I won't bore you with all of these images; I do want to share this particular lady whom I find highly amusing as she looks away from us Cheshire Cat-like  to her left, is there perhaps something that amuses her I wonder; a glance that makes me smile in recognition even though we are forever seperated by all the years between us; alas I don't have her name, the photographer was Karl Schenker 

Friday, 30 December 2016

ex-change


a growing collection, some have gone, more are added on a regular basis







 not what you would call a proper winter, up until this morning that is: we wake up to blue skies and white splendor....we go for a walk, traipsing through a magical world; you know magic never lasts and as the temperature rises steadily the sun's rays have the trees dripping white icicles, as we return home all goes green and brown once more

As always thinking way too much whilst walking, on such matters as 'why do what I do?''why bother?' knowing there aren't any real answers to these kinds of musings....how the other day a friend visiting in the studio mentioned she could see how I was on a search, the individual pieces are in fact studies for whatever....yes, that is it

fragments of thought:
the studio is more and more a reflection of self, imperfect & unfinished - which is a good thing, for only death brings finality - 
talent is, as I see it, stretching (beyond) the bounderies of one’s limitations....
How I ‘work’: by association, never a proper plan, I just start, get going.... one thing inevitably leading to another, often unrelated, but somehow circling towards the same goal
expression, impress, breathing, non-verbal communication, communion
happy new year



Saturday, 24 December 2016

wishing you all a Jolly Cactus Gathering


 whilst celebrating the Jolly Cactus Gathering* our friends thought it opportune to announce the arrival of yet another being in their midst: Harry the hairy lion; he gave me quite a fright as I unwrapped the gift from Jude there he suddenly was: a stowaway hidden among the fabric scrap-bundles in an envelope from the States; turns out he's a very gentle and kind lion, the kind we all can live with here!

* never a specific date: it occurs as the mood takes them, this year it happens to coincide roughly with christmas and solstice



the Unthanks performing 'King of Rome' nice tale......






Tuesday, 6 December 2016

transformation

what it looked like and how it is slowly becoming something else:

warmer, earthier, more me
more tactile

there are so many spaces for everything I make and find; I have decided to call self a 'maker' rather than an artist (although there's nothing wrong with that of course)
what I like about this word 'maker' is that it is the same in English and in Dutch ánd means the same thing as well; will have to make (haha) a new business card!

the general idea is to cover up most of the white panelling right down to the floor, covering up those bricks as well; I might add a layer of white wash to make it more uniform and lighter, have not yet quite decided, isn't finished so all the more reason to wait; couldn't resist hanging stuff all over the walls though, I tend to do that: move in the decorations before things are finished; will also be using those beautiful wooden floor-tiles on the floor, eventually it will be a true treasure



late afternoon Sun

p.s. have been kind of absent here, yet again due to dental ill-health issues,....switched dentists as I no longer trusted my former one, will not bore you with my physical woes and sufferings (I can be quite a drama queen in pain!) Suffice to say I collapsed last Sunday onto the sofa and called in sick for this week, still have a root canal to look forward to on Saturday, anyway am in safe hands once more