Two circles, because I feel bad about missing one yesterday.
I was home with Alice today, who I think was poisoned with some allergen last night. She was sick last night and wibbly today, but seems much better now.
Red Kate – I promised you a blue heron, and I swear I'll do it tomorrow!
I made a circle today, and it failed in different ways three different times.
1. the bleach doesn't make black threads white, it just made them kind of green
2. the white paint doesn't sit nicely on the black thread, it soaks in
3. even when the white paint has soaked in and dried, it is not waterproof, and it washed out when I tried to rinse off the water soluble stabilizer I'd constructed the feather on
And I could have stopped there, but instead I persisted, and then:
4. the water soluble stabilizer did not rinse out completely
5. which wouldn't matter except when reapplying the white paint that washed out and trying to remove some of the wetness by ironing the circle, the leftover stabilizer kind of crystallized on top, and then
6. when I tried to photograph it anyhow, just for completeness sake, the photo won't email, so I can't even show you the catastrophe that resulted
So. I'm done now.
A leaf from the tree at the center of the drop-off circle at the middle school. I'm pretty sure it is a chestnut oak. I should find a leaf from a tree at the high school, marking the end of Aerin's era there, but there aren't any very distinctive trees in the way this one is.
There was an awards ceremony at the high school tonight – over 160 awards given to over 100 kids for everything from skill at sports to skill at music, or math, or intent to be in medicine, to "nice guy" awards. There was a vocal crowd of guys at the back, cheering on their friends. My hands are sore from clapping. Aerin won something to do with band, and something for caring about academics.
The camera remains unworking. I am grateful to have a back-up on my incredibly smart phone.
This was what I worked on All Day today. Except for the part where I did a ton of laundry, packed for Family Camp, fetched and carried Aeirn and visited my dad, and finally realized it wouldn't get done in time and took the others to the Grow Gallery in Shelburne Falls.
OK, just reciting all that makes me tired.
So I have no circle, but I do have a nearly done spring pond piece. And I have four works hanging in a real live gallery, which is doing better business than the owner expected. Which is awesome in all kinds of ways.
I love the texture of ginkgo leaves – the way the veins are long and hardly branch, the way it looks very basic and very old. I emulated the texture entirely with thread, using very long stitches. While I am delighted with this side, I think I like the back even better. Which tells me that I shouldn't have used the variegated thread when I wanted the thread texture to carry the piece.
Here's the back:
You can see how the energy of the thread is more visible without the varied color to distract the eye.
I also had a minor epiphany this morning. I wanted different greens than I had in either of a pair of variegated green threads. One was too dark, with black that I didn't need. The other had a grass green in it that was not at all what I had in mind for pine trees. Alice was home today, keeping me company, sorting the markers into rainbow order when I borrowed two dark greens and started coloring the spool of thread. It worked beautifully!! The marker subdued the bright green and gave more depth and texture to the middle colors. It only soaked into the top layer on the spool, so once I've used that up I have the original color back.
It makes me wonder if I should just start with white thread and color it as I go… Except I like all the threads I have. So probably not.
Moving out from my back yard, but only one house down the street, my neighbor has a lovely deep red Japanese maple in her front yard. It shades the corner of her house, and sometimes the corner of my house too. It is not exactly climable, and she'd be unahppy if anyone tried, but it is very beautiful and the color and intricacy of the leaves pelases me every time I go past it.
Three leaves from a copper beech tree outside the place my dad is being taken care of.
As we went north, we traveled backwards through spring. The leaves shrunk and shrivelled, and collapsed into buds, the blooms turned from aged and browning to tiny and brilliant in golds and greens and pinks. The beech tree was perfct for climbing. Alice had limited tolerance for sitting beside a bed, so she'd go out and climb and read, and come back and check on us.
I love the squiggly center line of the leaves at the top; that will straighten out as the leaves age and harden.
These are real leaves, held in place with silk organza and fusible web. I think part of the piece is about aging and change, as much as the leaf itself, and the circle. I'll keep this one pinned to the wall and watch it change.