I thought I needed more brown fabrics, but in fact, what I needed was to organize and dig through the fabrics I actually own. I found this array of browns and tans, some with gold – I was particularly hoping for brown with gold so it was gratifying to find these pieces.
Then I finished getting the colors down for the spring river piece, and starting stitching on the fields. The outrageous thunderstorm last night prompted an outburst of blossoms and baby leaves all over the trees, so I need to get moving on this to catch the part of spring I am thinking about.
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 mentioned I made my own stamp pad (and spilled green ink all over). I wanted some new colors, so I made a purple and pink pad, and did not spill any ink. One of my Flickr contacts wanted to know what I used, so I show you the tiny adorable bottles of Tsukineko inks and blank stamp pads from Dharma Trading.
Over the weekend I took Alice and Red Kate, and we took my mother too and went to the Peabody Essex Museum. A friend had acquired timed tickets for us to hang out with about 40 tiny adorable zebra finches and their musical stylings on a half dozen electric guitars and basses. They looked like this – the picture is courtesy of PEM, because my sketches of the birds were not successful.
Sunday the snow from the night before was still stuck on the branches and telephone wires – it didn't start to fall off until the wind picked up. Or until the squirrel galloped across the phone wire, that brought a lump of snow onto my head when I was not expecting it. This is white paint pen (from Sharpie) sketching in the snow on the trees.
This one is an attempt to show how the weather came in from the west, high and fine at first, and then lower and gray.
A friend and I clipped some of the winter coat off the red mare, so she wouldn't get so hot exercising. One of the other women in the barn asked what kind of meany clipped a horse before the temperature plummetted? While we were working, the wind picked up and the snow started. I left her wearing her thick blanket, and I probably have to go find a midweight one so she doesn't get too cold…
Honestly, there are days I feel like this book is nothing more than a weather report: today it snowed, it was pretty.
I took the simplest of Margaret's suggestions (I know the toothpaste was a joke, but I did think about it for a minute, because Aerin's is blue with sparkles, and Alice's is faintly pink and I wondered what that would look like) and used gesso with a toothbrush to spatter snowflaky speckles on silk organza. What is harder to see is the white pen indicating snow on the branches of the tree underneath, which I was quite pleased with.
The rising moon was all fuzzy behind some thin clouds, so I tried to portray it in fabric. this is a silk moon on cootton sky, with organza clouds over the whole page. I added some branches to hold the silk down and frame the moon better, and painted on some silk dye to make the clouds blacker away form the moon.
Since it is not quite a full moon tonight (not until Wednesday) this isn't quite correct (it is, in fact, a waxing gibbous moon) but I'm pleased.
All the winter's weather is happening right now, all at the same time. I woke up to bucketing rain, drove to the barn in fog, and freezing fog (a whole new level of dreadful driving) and while I was there it warmed up 1o degrees to simply mist, alternating with stair rods of rain. A very impressive display.
I spent most of the drive up and back composing doggerel regarding the things in the other seasons I wish for when I'm in this one, and the drawbacks I forget about the other season.
This piece is everything, all at once. The underlying image transfer and a layer of silk organza, stitched in long vertical lines to indicate rain, with a layer of plastic bag with drawing on it, topped with a last layer of silk organza. I like the way the plastic glimmers through the organza.