01/27/2012 § 2 Comments
April 22, 1922 – March 30, 1993
Still Life with Letter, 1961
January 11, 1936 – May 29, 1970
Every so often I forget why I am doing what I do. I get caught up in the end result. Or I get caught up in the fact that I am not “there” yet. Wherever that is. I also get lost in the fear that people may not like what I am doing – or I tailor a piece to what I think people will like. Then I am just that. I am lost. And I need to find my way back to the roots of what I do. And I need to ask myself the very first question again. Why? Why am i doing this? Is it to make money? Yes…but no. Is it because I don’t know what else to do with myself? In a way, yes. But more than any other reason, it is because I have to. I am miserable without it. Cranky and unfulfilled. When I look at the photo of Eva above, I see the place I want to be. I see the peace in her that comes from doing what you are here to do. When you just are. And you move through it without hindrance. This morning I woke up feeling sick, achy and worn down. I came into the sitting room and gazed at my recent work overflowing from the back of my sewing chair onto the floor, and thought just that question…Why? More thoughts flowed in. What is that? Why did I make that? Do I even like it? What am I doing? Back to the first question. Why? Why I am not looking for another job? Why am I not still working in a lab at some biotech company? Why am I not still teaching? Why do I need to pursue this? It always comes back to that. So I made a cup of tea and sat on our wonderful old couch and started pouring through books on two of my favorite artists. Richard Diebenkorn and Eva Hesse. And I remember. I remember being a little girl standing in front of paintings by Diebenkorn and Francis Bacon and feeling at home. Feeling like I had found my place. And I am soothed. I look at the lines in Diebenkorn’s work and see the inspiration for the rustic industrial patterns I am driven to sew. I look at Eva’s work and see the beauty in the rough edges. And I see that it is all good. That no matter where it takes me it is good. And I cry. And I am happy. Still sick, but happy. xoxo
01/24/2012 § Leave a comment
You can find this here.
01/24/2012 § Leave a comment
Find this here.
This is what I decided to do with myself on my first day as a self employed woman. I made these little hearts out of scraps of hand dyed hemp canvas. I didn’t have any red embroidery thread, so I decided to make this one a little broken heart. Because, well…sometimes love gets a little bit ouchy. Always worth it, but it can leave us a little tender. Thimbles used to be given by men to woman as a sign of a kiss. A little secret kiss. Isn’t that sweet? So I thought the two went nicely together. I also organized my sewing area a bit and decorated the wall in front of my sewing machine so I have something lovely to look at while I work. And then the light outside got so pretty I had to run into the orchard with my camera. Buttercup was my model.
01/20/2012 § Leave a comment
Dire Wolf skulls.
Pretty skull vignette.
Wall of Golden Eagle leg bones. You can see them all here.
Phew! There has been a lot going on. Last weekend we took a car trip down to Los Angeles. Above are some photos I took at the Le Brea Tar Pits. If you have never been there, they have an amazing museum – if you are into science geek stuff like I am. You can check it out at the link above. Well worth the day trip! We also went to Disneyland. Yep, that’s right. Disneyland. It was fantastic. A tad different than our usual vacations which involve tents and hiking. Last trip we were snowed in at Desolation Wilderness. Which was also a fantastic trip. We like to stay well rounded. Now, onto other news…………………..
new tea set,
and new-to-me fabric.
We also visited with family – which is always the highlight. And while we were there, my Mother in Law gave us a set of her dishes – part of the tea set is shown above – and a huge bolt of vintage outdoor fabric! Both of which I am absolutely in love with. So thank you, Rosalie, for not only being incredibly generous, but also incredibly stylish. So now I get to come up with some great designs for the super groovy fabric – and have a cup of tea while I am doing it! I am thinking outdoor floor pillows, maybe? With hand dyed hemp canvas edges in an inky blue/black? That sounds pretty darn wonderful for outdoor parties.
Finally – the biggest news. I am, as of yesterday, self employed! Running Pennyroyal full time. It was a big decision for the family and would like to say thank you to my incredibly supportive husband for having faith in me. I am sooooo lucky. So, now…off to work. I have some new wool silk blend fabric in the washer ready to be dyed for scarves, or cowls, or whatever my little heart desires, and some already dyed hemp fabric ready and waiting to be embellished in the signature rustic industrial way. So…here we go!
Wait!!!! I almost forgot…my hand painted antler pillows were selected to be in an online catalog put out by an interior decorator. So that was pretty neat. You can check it out…
01/12/2012 § Leave a comment
01/10/2012 § Leave a comment
Rorschach Ink Blot. What do you see? I see a bat. Like this one here.
It was official. I was out of my hand dyed fabric. Which is good because it means I have been busy at the sewing machine. And also good because it means I get to spend another day at the dye vat. One of my favorite ways to spend my time. My hands come out all stained – lately they are black. The house has a funny smell to it. My extra large stainless steel pot gets a little bit darker. And I love all of it. I really don’t have a recipe for this yet – and I may never want one. Each batch is completely unique with it’s own idiosyncrasies. The last lot had huge patches of really dark, inky black on a back ground of lighter more mottled gray. Rather like Rorschach ink blots. Hence the one at the start of this post. This one is darker. Who knows why each one turns out the way it does. The magic of nature, I suppose. The mixture above is similar to the composition of black tattoo ink. A plant and a mineral combined. Tricky, special stuff.
And lastly…the new bag for Nicola. 15″x16″ with nice 1/2″ thick leather straps that fall 12″ from the shoulders. Lots of pretty stitching on this one. And it will be on its way to Boston on Thursday. Good luck, little bag. Do good things. I think I need to get some tags – soon. xoxo