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A New List of Wonders

17 May

What a versatile word–the word “wonder.”  It’s a noun.  A verb.  An adjective as in “wonderful.”  Unable to recall the original 7 wonders, I googled  only to find that the list is not static and there are different categories.  Man-made wonders.  Natural wonders.  Ancient wonders.  Underwater wonders.  Even a category for “Forgotten Wonders.”  And the thing these “lists of wonders” have in common is that they are palpable.  Visual.  Identifiable as a place on this earth.  And surely they are wonder full.  But what about the others?  Those wonders that can only be felt?  Experienced?  Observed?  Wonders not linked to specific place?

So thinking about this, it occurred to me that it would be interesting to compile a new list.  A different kind of list.  A list without parameters of time and place.  A list that embraces the experience of being human–and all that that implies.  So I’m going to start it off with the wonder of  Friendship.

One word that embodies SO much.  Care to add your own?



Saved by the White Heart

28 Apr

Still working on prototypes for the tea pouches–little bags that will hold between 2 and 4 oz. of tea. I wrote about this project in my last post. And in the interim have learned a lot about self. For one thing, I am not mass production oriented. At All. I loved/love making the cloth for this project. But realize that once the cloth’s made, it’s time to turn the fabric over to a seamstress. Which I am not.
I’m not at all precise –I could be but it kinda bores me–so to get the general size, i’m just ripping and eyeballing. Still a certain amount of planning and precision is called for at this stage of the design process. Ends have to meet and drawstrings have to be long enough and then there’s the MACHINE. Filling bobbins–aarrrgh i hate doing that–and fiddling with things that jam up the needle or whatever. So this white heart figure. Oh. she saved my life. Evolved straight from right brain activity almost without my noticing. I was just handling scraps. Setting them here and there until I noticed the form and then I looked more closely and smiled. She seems to say, you take a break now. Stop thinking. Relax that furrowed brow. Don’t measure. Forget all of that. Just enjoy. Take your time with me, we’re just getting started. Forget production. Forget speed. Go slowly. I appreciate her advice.

What could I call her other than White Heart?white heart

But I’m committed to making the fabric for these little tea pouches. I love doing that. Even enjoy the free motion stitching–it’s loose and spontaneous and can be anything it turns out to be. But once the design and dimensions are firmed up, we will just find someone who enjoys production sewing. So here are a few puerh pouches intended to hold 2 or more oz. of loose tea. They’ve yet to be stained in tea. When I put them on the table, I was so charmed with the interaction between the four. A little family of sorts. puerh bags

I think about tea now. Tea that’s travelled from amazing parts of the world. From there to here. And I think about the history of the journey of tea over the milleniums. Here’s a fascinating article:

Unexpected? … yes.

9 Mar

I really try to avoid cloth until I’ve morning-routined things.  You know.  Sitting. Breakfast.  Yoga.  Shower.  Getting dressed.  Because if I don’t do them FIRST—an entire day can pass before ….

Like now. It’s 10:33, I’ve been up for 4 hours–but curiosity snagged me before …before those other things .. grabbed me as I was just going to take a little peek to see how cloths fared the night. Just fine as it turned out. And I decided to post the come-along of the birds from Primordial Soup. I’ve added thread to them. They stand out a bit more now. Not sure, but here they are.4 birds

AND THEN when I was downloading the pics. LOOK! Unexpected? Yes. It must have been on my camera. Where did this come from? Went back to check. Not there. Just here. On my computer. Giving me ideas. Unexpected ideas.

many birds

Quilt Saga

22 Feb

So the boy’s quilt is finished. After hours of free motion quilting and several minor repairs, it survived it’s first road test last weekend. Now it’s gone from here, tucked in sweetly in a bedroom on the other side of town–and although I had wanted to show it in person to a few people–it’s not looking like I’ll get it back any time soon. So here’s what we have:
date a reminder of WHEN it was made and for whom–but figure he’ll remember WHO made it so left that off–face underneath it for the first time and finally,
the morning after.leg

This was my first quilt and I was surprised that it shrunk as much as it did after it was washed and dried. Final size approximately 56×72.

Solstice Drummer–Remembering

3 Jan

The solstice altar cloth became this–a drummer–echoing the remembered beats of the hearts….Solstice Drummer

Solstice Drummer

 from NEWTOWN.   And we listen.

Travelling Home

Travelling Homehonoring more

(Clicking on the images should enlarge them.)

Winter Solstice Altar Cloth

19 Dec

On Friday I’m attending a winter solstice celebration marking “a time of realignment, a new cycle for humanity … a  huge astronomical shift in the Earth’s herstory.”   I’ve started this cloth to add to the building of an altar that will be part of the ceremony.  A little more hand stitching.   You might want to check out this 21 December 2012 link.Altar Cloth

Authenticity and Perspective

17 Dec

So I’ve started a new blog site and a voice in my head is saying “whoop-dee-doo, and so?”  Well, so nothing except this: I notice I’m AFRAID of seeming trite and I’m also noticing how vulnerable I feel.  What’s that all about?  I’d venture it’s about this process of putting it out there–THEN paying attention to what is arising.  In this case,  the arising of these uncomfortable feelings is helping me see where on the flypaper I’m stuck.  Helping me step back from my SELF, view the big picture and then ask myself, “REALLY–you’re worried about stuff like THAT?”  I think this is called gaining perspective.   It’s also helping me sort the wheat from the chaff in terms of hearing my authentic voice.  The only one I wish to speak with but the one that sometimes hesitates.  Authenticity, yes.

And that brings me to something else.  Today I was pulling out work from last year, looking for something for a gift.  I liked some of what I saw.



It’s very different from what I’m doing now–THEN I was just doing.  Without thought.  Just doing what came to me.  Now I’m wondering if I’m doing some other THING.    This cloth piece is goopy in a sense.  Some of the fabric was painted and the paint had glitter in it.  The CROW in me is in all ways attracted to the bright and shiny.  I don’t really know if it’s horrible, funky or just nondescript.  But I can still feel the realness of the place where  it came from.   So I’m thinking about authenticity and perspective.

a heart for E

12 Dec

I’m meeting a dear friend E.  for lunch today.  We don’t get together often.  Her schedule is much busier than mine.  When I think of her, I think of her heart–the openness of it and the love she bestows to every ONE–two legged and 4-legged alike.  She is a massage therapist and works with a chiropractor.  Together they have designed a therapeutic brace that relieves knee/hip pain in canines.   She has poured her heart into developing the prototypes and now the final product.  This heart sends lots of love back TO her.

The background –strips of scrap cloth woven a la Jude Hill.  The doily under the heart is one E. gave me a long time ago.  It had belonged to her mother.  Free motion stitching (she whispers).

a heart for E.

a heart for E.


Technical Issues

8 Dec

Blogging IS turning out to be another exercise in perseverance.  That’s good.  I need more practice.  So right now I’m figuring out why my images can’t be enlarged when the cursor clicks on them.  They’re enlarging up a bit but I’m looking for the really close-up detail.   Grace, thanks for bringing this to my attention.


So let’s see….ok.  Looks like that worked.  Magnifying glass is showing.  Enough now.  Been at this too long–will work on placement LATER.

One World

One World

Thoughts on the Bias

7 Dec

Somewhere along this stitching trail I’ve developed the opinion that somehow “slow cloth” is more–what?–authentic? meaning FULL? moving, intense, honest?  And I’m looking at that now because I have no idea where that notion comes from.  Actually I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the polarity of ideas and opinions we all seem to have and promote.  And I’m always amazed that say two people can have diametrically opposed opinions on the same topic and each believe in their heart-of-hearts that THEY are right.  And something has been niggling away at me presenting the notion that perhaps the truth lies outside–or within– this seeming duality of thought.

So what started this off today–I’ve been digging out old pieces from months ago, pieces I clabbered together by the seat of my pants–feeling what I wanted to stitch down but tool-less in a sense.  I painted and dyed fabric to get the colors I was after–with little idea of what I was doing.    I free motion stitched patterns because that’s all I knew in terms of how to sketch image.  I embellished with bead–and some hand stitching only after I saw it executed by Susan Sorrell over in Greenville, SC.   And some of the work was really o.k.  But lacking in some THING.  And now I’m realizing what that THING is–STORY.

So then I stumbled upon the mother lode of slow cloth as executed by amazing artist’s such as Jude Hill–I thought “yes”  this is what I’m looking for.  This is the way I want to proceed.  This work has guts and blood.  Aha.  And because I loved it so and wanted to grow up to be just like THAT–slow cloth became branded on my heart as THE way to go.   I still feel very much inclined in that direction.

But today I pulled up this piece.  I call it “One World” and it’s been in a drawer for many months.  When I held it and looked carefully, I was surprised.  It feels GOOD.  Resonates with energy and intent even though it’s not slow cloth.  It was executed on a machine using free motion stitching with only a spattering of hand work.  Yet I really like it.  And there IS a story here.  And, again I’m realizing that I don’t have to see through the filter of always “this” OR “that.”  In fact, I can embrace both with equal passion.  And I can continue to notice this dogmatic tendency I have to label things into division.  One world.  Cloth is teaching me THIS.

One World

One World

Stepping Up

6 Dec

For months and months I have been hanging out at various fabric artists’  blog sites–sometimes leaving comments but generally just viewing from afar.  And for several months I have been taking what can only be described as a journey through cloth–and in to self– with the fabric artist Jude Hill at   So now it’s time.  Time  to share.  Time to give back, in a sense, to the community of cloth at large.  Time to reach out and probably time to sometimes ask for help.    But like so much we encounter in life, things are often not as they seem.   So I’m beginning this process having no idea where it will lead but ready to “follow thread” nevertheless.

It has often occurred to me that working with cloth is, in many ways, a metaphor for life.   Perhaps the process of blogging will be the same.  It feels like a commitment to self, a commitment to record the moments in between what we generally call the “big things” that happen.   Those little moments that actually define the warp and the weft of our existence.   I’m guessing that process and perseverance in blogging, as in the creation and re-purposing of cloth, are two elements of equal importance.    So I will proceed now with the intention to continue–remembering the lines of the I Ching:  Perseverance furthers.


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