Tag Archives: jude hill

Picking Up the Pieces.

19 Feb

I’m loving this time in the cycle of seasons.  Only a few plants outside are showing signs of greening up.  Leaves are nowhere to be found.  And although it’s unseasonably warm, I think we still have a month or so before the lure of new growth begs commemoration.  It’s also a slow time in terms of art & craft shows–a venue I’ve become dependent upon.

But right now I’m not thinking much about craft shows.  Instead, I’m looking at all the cloth I’ve generated from eco printing

and anticipating the process of melding together disparate pieces into whole cloth.

Marveling at the little marks left behind–
littlemiceLittle Mice?

birdbeaksHappy Birds?butterflyButterflies.butterfly2

I play the “cloud game” and imagine all sorts of things–like this hummingbird in search of nectar…hummingbird

Or this–how negative/positive space can hold both leaf tips and faces.sadcat

I love these little etchings on cloth–the last hurrah of the heroic effort on the part of a tree, shrub or flower.  A mark that will last linger long past this growing season.  Sometimes these marks commemorate an event–an occasion–a time spent in solitude in nature, or a social event with family and friends.  Times or joy.  Moments of sorrow.  Sometimes these marks recall weather patterns.  Times of drought.  Times of unseasonable rain.  And although these little imprints on cloth may look like absolutely nothing at first glance, for me they are intriguing.  Mysterious.  Beautiful.  Parts and pieces that, when combined, tell another story.

I’m going to document the birth of this next cloth–a cloth that right now comprises 8 separate scraps of botanical imprints–finding the places where lines and shapes connect–where the whole emerges from the sum of its parts–where it makes sense to me.  Where on some level I’m able to understand how the puzzle pieces can fit together –forming the big picture.


And thank you Jude Hill.   Slow stitch and slow cloth.

Holding Truth: prayer flag #10 as antidote to alternative facts

3 Feb

As far as I know the Bowling Green Massacre theory is an alternative fact.  Not a truth.

This butterfly–slow stiched during a gentler time spent online with Jude Hill–is meant as a reminder of the value and beauty of truth.  It’s a pocket–a safety net–to hold written words or ideas that clarify one’s world view.   And it’s a reminder that butterflies aren’t alone in their struggle to avoid extinction.


This morning’s prayer flag.  Stitched with cloth pieces from older incomplete projects. Patched together for unity.  A truth holder.


Lessons and Teachers

7 Sep

Shocked and saddened by the news that Thich Nhat Hanh is seriously ill.  Hard to imagine a world bereft of his light.


OK.  In light of the above news, this posting seems almost silly– but I’ll go ahead with it, with the awareness of what is really  important and what is simply daily drama.

A little more than a year ago I applied for booth space at Woolworth Walk in Asheville.  A very popular venue downtown.  Two floors of an old Woolworth’s store  containing the work of local artists.  A month or so later I received a call saying my cloth had been accepted, but was told that it would probably be a while before space opened.  Well, a year later, last week in fact, I got the call.  A space was open.  Did I want it?

My first reaction was no.  I felt too busy.  I had only several days to pull it together–paint, hang a shelf, deal with lighting.  That doesn’t sound like much.  But the day the call came I was participating in the drama of having made an offer on a house–and I just felt overwhelmed. Even after we backed out of the house offer, I still felt resistance to taking this step.  The rent on the booth is cheap, really.  $45/month.  And IF something sells, commission is 19%.  But the booth is small–a 3′ wall approximately 6′ tall.  I couldn’t visualize it.  Couldn’t see how I might display the cloth so that each piece could be  seen.  Then when I hesitated and the WW manager said,  “Well, you won’t hurt my feelings if you don’t take it–but it may take another year before something else opens,” I decided to go for it.  Other than a few intense days of set-up, what could be the harm?

It’s been an interesting process–the thoughts and feelings that are arising.  I’m looking at those now–those thoughts and feelings.  How I seem more comfortable just storing the cloth under my bed.   I’m really wondering about that.  The complacency with being invisible.  Wondering also if fear of rejection is playing into all of this?  And as soon as I notice that one–the rejection thing–a HUGE white flag waves in front of me.  A reminder.  An insight.

It amazes me how  lessons/reminders  come in so many different forms.  And the lessons that are up right now are directing me back to the wisdom bound up in Miguel Angel Ruiz book,  The Four Agreements.  There’s really no reason to list the phrasing of the thoughts I’m having.  It’s enough to say some of them are less than positive and really deserve as little air time as possible.

So I’m looking at this.  Noticing the thoughts. Wondering if I’m inadvertently confusing  cloth and self.  Asking for clarity.   And as Jude Hill always says, just going.


The trak lighting I hung overpowered the cloths.  I was tempted to leave it because adapting the trak and hanging the light was a BIG deal.  Challenging.  But the light cast heavy shadows around the kantha stitching.  Made the cloth hard to view.  So I’m rethinking lighting.  And the background paint–I was locked into that–gallery white.  But for now here it is–an opportunity to observe and to notice where my bucket holes need patching.




Fabric Dyeing with Roses from Amma

26 Jul

I thought I was going to post about “filters”–a concept suggested by Jude Hill–in an online study focus called What If Diaries #1.  The figure below–or at least this type of figure–keeps wanting to appear in my cloth.  I resist it.  She suggested I use it as a filter.  Filter?  Is filter the same as focus?  Or perhaps soft focus?goddess1

I wanted to explore that in this blog but the exploration immediately turned into a babble about non-dual reality and became so obviously NON focused that I stopped. Remember Dustin Hoffman in “The Graduate” and the brilliant one-liner–“Plastics?”  Well this is my non sequitur transition.  From filter.  To . . .

Rose Petals.  Specifically the collecting of rose petals on the morning following Amma’s Devi Bhava program in Washington, D.C.

Rose Petals

Rose Petals

I had gone to bed the night before around midnight. The program was to last until around 10 a.m. the following day. It didn’t. It ended early. I missed the grand finale but all along I was thinking about the flower petals Amma tosses down onto the people.   How if I could collect them inconspicuously, I could use them to dye cloth. That was my plan.

Out of curiosity I returned to the large hall where every thing had taken place. It didn’t matter that I was in my p.j.s.  Everyone else seemed dressed that way’  Devotees running huge industrial vacuums were quickly removing evidence of the night before. Flower petals were being sucked up faster than I could get to them. But a little boy, the son of a devotee, told me he would help me. He had just received his mantra the night before. He was eight years old. Precocious. Helpful. We stayed one step ahead of the giant floor suckers. And filled a gallon size plastic bag with multi-colored petals. He kept his own stash and I left with mine. These pieces of damask were dyed with those rose petals that Amma tossed down:

rose petal dyed cloth

this piece which is only in the making, lacking clear direction at the moment, holds several spheres of the rose dyed cloth.  The cloth holds the color.  Holds the memories.  Holds a lot of energy.  And just for the briefest of moments, even smelled like roses.

heart with filter

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