Tuesday, 30 July 2019

working title: The Bird Quilt, or how sewing has led me to the next chapter of my life

Brandi Carlile 'Wherever is your Heart'

 The Bird Quilt, what there is now; scrolling downwards and see how it evolved in Time; yes I know still a long way to go............
once again I'm following an online class over at Jude's Small Cloth
if you love working in cloth and don't yet know her, visit her site and prepare to be amazed and/or blown away, I highly recommend joining her class!

a moon from Jude
this patch determined the size of the patches in the 9patches sewn here

As I grow older, I continue to learn; amongst many things I have come to understand that if I want to grow as an artist (and as a human being) I must accept and embrace what works for me; for example I'm not one for measuring and one of the things we are learning in class is working with 'puzzle patches'...now an inch means even less to me than a centimeter, and so here are the cardboard squares I've traced around the patches I have been working with; so even though the numbers don't add up, they work for me...
as can be seen in the photo above, the patch on the middle left was too small so I added another small strip to make it fit; as I am pretty cavalier about measuring it does mean I have to often add a strip or two here and there

As Bob Ross always liked to say 'we don't make mistakes, only happy accidents'

rough sketch made in the middle of the night when I woke up and could sleep no more, I have, of course I have!, deviated from the plan,
another one of my working methods

our house guest for a couple of weeks, a Springer Spaniel aptly named Springer
she has one switch: she's either on or off

I am seriously considering getting a Small Springer for me now, she is such a delight to walk with

the magic of thread

lucky break in my life, or how many signs do I need? after having had a minor* mental set-back a couple of weeks ago, I yet again fell into so many supportive arms: my husband, our sons, my GP, a favourite cousin, a therapist, friends, even a job coach! the road ahead is uncertain, but I feel very positive and am now totally committed to making my Art the main focus of my working life, this is my dream and it has been for so long now and it is now going to be the reality of my life, so here goes  woooooosshh 

* compared to last year #

Saturday, 20 July 2019

on the right path

Imagine my surprise on finding a letter from Threadcrumbs in my mailbox yesterday, and then upon opening it finding yet another much smaller blue one within; wondering what it might contain, I excitedly tore it open to discover these  soft treasures: 9 Silk Summer Flowers from Jude! I smiled a huge smile; I felt sooooooo happy and grateful.
I am now wondering, fretting even, about how I might use them, feeling a slight trepidation: not wanting to waste them by not using them and not wanting to ruin them by using them the wrong way. 'Oh, don't be a pussy, Saskia', Frog murmurs, 'What can go wrong?'
He's so right of course, albeit not very subtle.
Feels like things are converging for the better. How serendipitous: the plant below finally blossoming after many years in this pot and me having taken a photograph just a couple of days ago, buying a new one last Thursday and the stamp on Jude's envelope: all the same plant, Echeveria.
How I have been dyeing with colours these days, realising how much I need colour to brighten up my life.

gifted beige linen/rayon trousers in a bundle, just before they were dyed in dye-remnant from the two blouses further down below

new plant


after dyeing and rinsing: the commercial dye-remnant turned out a lot paler than I had previously imagined, I do like it though

two blouses had become too dodgy-smudgy looking with the natural dyes, so I wasn't wearing them anymore and I therefore decided to over-dye them with commercial dyes, as I have been having great results with Dylon Navy Blue on old and/or second-hand items of clothing; first effort was a night of wicking in a mixture of Dylon Tulip Red/Navy Blue and something or other Violet; too purple and pink for my taste, especially around the collar, did not like that at all! So, after a thorough wash and having added Jeans Blue to the brew, they had to endure yet another night's wicking and turned out dark and gutsy, this was more like it.

I love the Turneresque landscapes

I also like how the natural dye results still manage to shine through in places

all in all a success

me wearing the pants today with a jumper which once was a pale beige and which has had a NavyBlue treatment as well!

Thursday, 11 July 2019

(not) black & white

'a sign'
 a friend of my mother's owns a jewelry shop and she advised me to ditch the leather ribbons and make proper necklaces with the clay pendants; here's the first batch worn on the almost naked body
I'm trying not to be too critical of self in bikini and reading glasses, which I must wear otherwise I can't see what I'm photographing

 I suddenly get the love for black&white Jude


 this has got to have been the weirdest year in my life so far; first I collapsed August 2018 (if you are interested read more about my burn out here) within that same month my then 87 year old dad had a heart attack, was in hospital and nursing home for almost 2 months; came back home where my then 84 year old mother took it upon herself to look after them both, with a lot of help from my younger sister and brother and myself! None of us lives close to them, as they live 'down south' in Maastricht, we've settled in Heukelum, Rotterdam and Amsterdam, that's at least 2,5 hours away......so in the midst of my personal crash, trying to heal I found self travelling back and forth dealing with the parents (every visit was an exercise in placing buckets under proverbial roof leaks, mini-crisis management, as well as patiently deflecting personal frustration at their stubborn resistance to 'outside' help) 
We siblings each faced the task of juggling two households relying on our spouses/girl friend to hold our own forts in our absence; fortunately, we get on really well together and make a great team!
Still it was a lot to deal with. We celebrated our dad's 88th birthday in April of this year and things seemed stable, albeit a very fragile balance. Unfortunately our dad tripped on the street, fell on his face (arghhh!) lost several teeth, having managed to keep most of them for 88 years....that was yet another crack in the foundation, but still we all marched on. Our mother was determined to celebrate her 85th birthday in June and she did, the 5 of us and 35 of her girlfriends, yes she has many friends and despite everything the two of them were pretty active in many ways (theatre/museum visits, book clubs, bridge, the 5 of us being together an enjoying that!, at the same time the seemingly endless bickering, nagging, guilt trips, forgetfulness, anger, frustration, sadness, tears, stress about everything and anything, growing old isn't easy, having aging parents isn't either)
But, then a couple of days after her birthday party she finally crashed full stop, ending up in hospital, where she spent almost 2 weeks.....Suddenly our dad had to be the brains again, ha! And of course, we kids were there full-time, one after the other, but this time we said: enough's enough! now we are going to get more professional folks involved in keeping things going; you want to remain living in the house you've lived in for 48 years, something's gotta give.
They agreed. Of course they did. We are finding our footing, getting used to a the new circumstances.
The reason I have been so absent here and elsewhere online is due to the above, my mind has literally been too pre-occupied..........
hopefully there will now be more time, space and peace for me to get better and be here and in my studio once more