Tag Archives: woolworth walk

To Understand

17 Feb

I didn’t know what to call this post. Simply didn’t know. And in fact, I thought I had a draft somewhere–a post I had started on Friday the 13th, a day after Mercury stopped being in retrograde, or however that is expressed. A draft of observations about that–about Mercury in retrograde. About how really funny it was this time around. How fillings fell out of my teeth–just fell right out. And my new “gifted” Bernette just gave up the ghost. And the error SS light lit up on the dash of my old Subaru, along with the ABS light. Most of the time I ignore dashboard lights but ABS got my attention because I carry precious cargo a few days a week so I called my mechanic friend and he said not to worry. SS stands for speed sensor so naturally the ABS light would come on and he’d take a look but no rush. And then the next day I read that Mercury was out of retrograde and even though it was Friday the 13th I have to admit to a certain sense of relief. And I never found the draft I had started. So here….

The sewing machine. Still waiting to hear what the problem was but I had already realized that it was too finicky for my style of sewing. I need a workhorse that doesn’t care if the bobbin thread is cotton and the needle thread polyester. And I need a machine that doesn’t care if the needle is less than perfectly sharp. Or doesn’t mind if lots of lint builds up before I clean it. It know myself. Maybe I’m a slob, but some details I just don’t attend to as often as reccommened.

It’s hard to fly in the face of the advice from experts and to the person–everyone I spoke to–everyone in the know–advised against a Singer. But I have history with Singers. Just like with Subarus. So I got one anyway–on Ebay–a heavy-duty Singer. And so far-25 baskets later–I’m still loving it. We’ll see.

And the fellow who installed our kitchen, a wood wizard really, built me a nice poplar shelf and a light rack for my little wall space at Woolworth Walk. It’s lit now. Bright. The baskets add something that helps it pop a bit. And they’re really reasonably priced, I think–ranging from $10 to $15 with a few a bit higher.display

So baskets are still multiplying here: these, from the new machine–and they’re better really. Broad bottoms. More versatile.DSC02308


greenpurple - Copy

orange1 - Copy

But I’m only good on the machine for a few days and then I have to unplug. Step away. Slow it all down–so this–a hybrid– free-motion with hand stitching on black walnut/tin can cloth:DSC02327

and this–the sampler of dye scraps–unified now with kantha. I worked it in sections. Nine sections. Then for some reason wondered how many stitches would eventually be here. ~400 per section. Nine sections. The 3600 stitch sampler.DSC02329

Finally I labelled this post to understand. Because of a eureka moment. I got it this morning. The derivation of the word understand. One word comprised of two. Under Stand. But thinking it would be more empathic to say standunder— Stand Under. To stand under some thing or some one–to support– and from that perspective of being underneath, to know. It makes more sense to me. That compassion can emerge from standing under another. Experiencing their truth.

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.




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