In 2012 I went to Haystack Mountain School of Crafts for a two week course with Marian Bijlenga. It was intense, and lovely, and the food was amazing, and I had a wonderful time. We were working with water soluble stabilizer, making fabric out of thread and strange objects and thin air.
coiled twigs, pinecone sections, stitched velvet circles
velvet scraps in thread grid
coastline study, perle cotton, invisible thread
Before I left for Haystack, I was having trouble sleeping, and having stress dreams about not fitting in, not having the skills I’d need… Eventually I had a soothing dream about going to the shoreline, and choosing rocks, and sewing little velvet coats for them. When I got to Haystack, I was fine. I had all the skills necessary, and wonderful people in my studio to work with and share with. But my dream of little coats for rocks stuck with me, and I made several.
And when I got sick of velvet, I made some lined linen jackets for more beach rocks.
The application of whimsy is almost always a good plan.
I'm home, seven hours after I left (scenic) Stonington, Maine. I've been through my email, but I have not the energy to deal with photos or any other topic at the moment.
I'll be back tomorrow, with a short report, and lots of pictures.
Happy Cinco de Mayo!! I have to admit I always mistranslate that as five times the mayonaise.
Alice and I are still in Maine. Today's circle is handstitched. The leaf image was copied onto fabric using the inkjet printer, then layered with dark green silk onto a white silk background. I brought the pieces with me to work on today, but finished it just now at the hotel.
We got in several short visits with my dad, and explored around town as well, in between. Alice had two doses of ice cream, two playgrounds, one round of mini-golf (a first for both of us) and a hamburger.
The May 3 circle is in honor of Sol Lewitt whose work we saw at MAss MoCA yesterday. I was chaperone for Alice's class. It was fun watching the kids encounter enormous weird art in the various MoCA galleries. The tour guides were good too. This circle resembles Lewitt's middle years, full of repeated lines and overlapping primary colors to give a little sublety. His later works are not subtle at all – just huge.
This is the third tree in my backyard. Aerin and I planted it our second summer in the hosue, and she could jump over it when it was first in. The first winter the wild rabbits nibbled all the buds off it, and I didn't think it would make it. But it has thrived, and is much too big for Aerin to jump over now. We live in fertile territory!
I'm writing from Sanford, Maine, where my dad went from hospital into rehab. He's pretty miserable, but improving steadily. I've brought him a way to have music, and all the treasured CDs he was traveling with in his car, in hopes he might find it reassuring and soothing.
In the spirit of most important things first, and only telling the good stuff (my father-in-law's parenting rules; inspired or lackadaisical, they seem to work):
- Alice flew a plane today. While she had to have two cushions so she could see over the dashboard, and her feet didn't reach the pedals, still, she sat in the left hand seat, and made the plane go, for take-off and for the trip over the Holyoke Range, over the Quabbin, and over her school. Landing was accomplished by the teacher. Gracefully.
- Aerin got braces today. She was willing to do it on her own, but Al managed to combine visiting with her while her mouth was propped open with seeing Alice into her plane and off the ground, and greeting her on her (triumphant) return.
- I finished putting together my portfolio and I am impressed with myself.
Beyond the important things there was a lot of driving around with various subsets of children in the car. I'm pretty sure I circumnavigated town three or four times.
Everyone is fine. Happy, not too severely pained in the teeth, and completely ready for bed.
Yesterday's beach. Alice and I had the best time. We made footprints in varying hardnesses of sand, and tried to see if we could tell if we were walking backwards or forwards. We looked at longshore motion of sand, and did civil engineering on the tide running down the beach. We did a small faunal survey. We talked about the origin of the sand; up-stream or up-ice, or up-glacier from where we weere standing.
Today we visited Jenny, because she has commissioned a set of works for her bedroom. Alice and Jenny and I spent a happy half hour taping various sized and shaped pieces of newspaper to the wall to decide on the final dimensions. We eventually settled on the perfect configuration, which looked nothing like what we'd started with. Which is good – not letting pre-conceived notions interfere.
Today on the way home, I saw several of the trees, blooming with the most absurd pinky purple color. This one had a pile of dandelions around the base.