...to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free....

29 April, 2012

some thoughts about being away

You've probably noticed.

I've been away from blog-land for a bit.
Sometimes I've dropped in for a comment or two.
Mostly I've visited, but made no noise.

I'm not sure I can fully explain it.
Except to say I've been trying not to make 
personal 'rules' about blogging, which has been something
that has given me joy.

And at the same time I've been a little
more reluctant to be online in any way.

My life is more complicated than many of you 
probably think.
My husband hasn't been well for several years.
He is declining in health in small steps,
but in significant ways.
I've been trying to figure out how best
to spend my quiet time in ways 
that really "feed" me without tiring me.

Much of my days find me doing "maintenance"
and "taking care":  fetching and finding
and ever "adapting to new levels of 'normal' ".

And then there were income taxes, and medical appointments,
and more resultant fatigue on my part than
I usually experience.

This winter, I found that when I'd finally have time
to get online it was rather late at night.
And although I am often quite tired at the end of the day,
I think "screen time" was jazzing me up a bit.

Falling asleep was beginning to be a challenge.

Anyone who has ever been a caregiver knows
that self-nurturing
and sleep are two essential ingredients to remaining sane.

I miss you guys, however.
I really do.
So, although I am not posting as much, I hope
you will understand,
and not forget me.

I'll be back.  I'm sure of it.


01 April, 2012

shaking out the cobwebs

There is nothing like an art workshop
to shake out the cobwebs
and inspire the soul.

I posted about an art workshop
Today's workshop, like that one, was taught by my friend
Natasha Kempers-Cullen
who is a fiber artist extraordinaire.

Natasha makes amazing art quilts assembled with
fabric which she dyes, paints, stamps
and then embellishes using beads and stitches and all sorts
of beautiful charms and other magic stuff.

I have always wanted to see 
how she created that gorgeous fabric.
You can't get stuff like that off the shelf.

I like to sew, I like to make quilts,
and I LOVE to fool around with paint.
I've longed for some lessons in fabric painting and stamping.
It was a dream come true for me.

This weekend we brought erasers, brayers, foam paint rollers, 
exacto knives, lino tools,
sponges, rags, a bucket,
lots of torn up sheets, plexiglass,
and anything we could find with a raised surface design
that might lend itself to fabric painting and stamping.

Tasha supplied the know-how,
the paints, the tricks, materials for stamp making,  
use of her many self-made stamps,
great music, the chocolate and the encouragement.

There were five of us, including our teacher/mentor/muse/mom/ friend.  

First, we all painted fabric, 
using various techniques which Tasha demonstrated.
We hung them up to dry when we had background covering,
and later took them down 
and added paint, stenciling, any little thing our hearts desired.

Went home Saturday late afternoon.
Got up Sunday and came right back to do some more.

Want to see the results?
I thought you would.

Here are some of the many fabric designs created today.
The artists are Nicole, Becky, Anne, Tasha, and moi.

Before you go, check this out:

Natasha produced a really nice lime colored linen shirt
which she had dripped a little bleach on sometime in the past.
Drips and drops of blah-colored fabric
not very attractively dispersed along the front.
Don't you hate when that happens--
a perfectly good shirt that acquires a 
stain and it is no longer wearable?
Well, this shirt was one of them.

Or so we thought.

She took out the fabric paint,
a brayer, scrunched up the blouse, rolled,
repeated often...
and Voila!

Ready to wear again.  
Better than new.

They should teach fabric painting in every high school!