Sunday, April 26, 2015

snippety Sunday evening...


in which our plucky heroine has a productive weekend, with various forms of learning and changes...

These are my results from the "Make Your Own Paints" workshop this Saturday afternoon, taught by the illustrious Eulalia. I look forward to experimenting with these, and using the ideas discussed in the "Scribal Design" workshop that Marya taught that morning... Actual size of shells is around an inch across, the mussel shell is about two inches. The transparent object at the top is a ground glass stopper for a cruet, the flat end of which is used as a sort of miniature muller, to combine the pigment, gum arabic, and water when preparing the paint
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tried something new this week and set up the Levenger editors desk on the dining table. I might have to leave it there, it sure makes it a lot easier to draw...
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There was a good sized bowl full of salad for this week! So excited!! The seeds were planted on the 18th of March, sprouts appeared March 24th and April 23rd was the first real harvest.
The salad table is bursting with tender green growth, so much so that they are in need of being thinned out... there is little room for these plants to continue growing... so:
The first of four trays has now had some of the smaller plants thinned, leaving room for the ones that remain to continue growing, and the next three trays will soon be treated the same way. My hope is that the remaining plants will grow large enough for me to harvest individual leaves as an ongoing crop, for the next few months.
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Finished embroidering the mouse family, which will decorate the yoke of a new undergown for Mindy, my friend and the Blue Cedar House matriarch...
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Very annoyed, my iron seems to be coming apart: there is a rattling noise, I can see bits of loose bakelite in between the handle and the iron body, and the handle is very loose. I suspect that pixies dropped it, as I have not done anything so egregious. Since I use it for all my sewing commisions, I need to get a different appliance that is not broken... so...During one of my daily walks, stopped at Goodwill and found a used iron for $5 in their home goods. At those prices I can replace a lot of irons before even coming near the price of a new basic iron. Plus I picked up three new notebooks for my daily writing and some graph paper I needed for design work.
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April SMART goals
#THINGS MADETHINGS FIXEDTHINGS GONE
1mobieus apronstrawberries plantedbin of twigs
2sewing tools necklacefront yard mowedbin of twigs
3sewing tools shadowboxbackyard mowedbin of twigs
4heart in hand necklaceside yard mowedweedblock fabric
5manyhands shadowboxnew garden bed -
6mouse family yokeferal roses tied up-
7medieval paintsalad table thinned-
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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Tiny epic milestone unlocked


in which our plucky heroine took a trip to Azure Fine Art Gallery where my most current artwork is on display....

The logo for the arts walk in Corvallis... If it were easier* to get there, I'd really enjoy it as a monthly treat; my friends Stacy and Barret Spangler (who live in Eugene) rarely miss a month!

Azure Fine Art Gallery, streetside view... The gallery entrance is inside a delightful arcade that is just to the right of their window

Deb rearranges the gallery space each month to suit the artworks that are on display. This month when you walk in, the room looked very homelike, albeit a home that is filled with resonant artwork.

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The north wall of the gallery space... and the south wall.

Here is my work, on display inside "the birdcage". Deb added the river pebbles to the display, which really helps to both ground the pieces and to lead your eye inside. I have two shadowbox pieces in the show, plus my button crown. I have written about the first piece here, and about the second piece here, and there are more ideas for new work gradually percolating up to the surface of my awareness, so these will not be a pair of solitary siblings. It has long been a desire of mine to make artwork that is both a decorative home object and wearable art, that combine and separate and come back together, thereby blurring the boundary between life and lifestyle.

Towards the end of the evening, this group of fiddlers arrived in the atrium of the arcade, and began jamming together... most delightful to hear the live music, even though it signaled the end of the Art Walk!

It was a great kindness that my Eugene friends then took me back south with them, for conversation and convivial company, as well as a guest bed and a pleasant morning walkabout their neighborhood (and a much easier trip back home the next morning) It is very difficult to get to Corvallis without a personal vehicle, while Eugene is plentifully served by a plethora of options.

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Travel there and back to Corvallis on the bus... the Greyhound heading south was much less timely and comfortable than the Bolt bus heading back north, I am not sure why, since they are owned by the same company. Greyhound left almost half an hour late, Bolt right on time, plus the Bolt driver was impressively cheerful.


Saturday, April 18, 2015

a nice new bed and other delights


in which our plucky heroine works with friends...

...Mr Robertson and Heather are mighty... you should see how much better my yard looks!

The agenda for today was yardwork, since the weather is unseasonably warm and dry, which causes the grass to grow like crazy. While I am gradually covering the backyard with mulch, in preparation for eventual garden beds (and because I loathe mowing) the front yard, and about half the backyard are still open grazing. Part of the backyard will hopefully soon be home to three young hens, so some grassy areas will be all to the good, but long grass scares chooks, it might be hiding tigers...

...the back yard after weed whacking, Mr Robertson did yeoman service and spent several hours returning the jungle to a more easy to traverse landscape... the old henhouse is visible near the fence.

I tackled part most of the front yard with the new-to-me non-electric reel mower. A little help from Mr Robertson and the weed whacker took care of the edges and the really tall grass patches. It was necessary to not only move the brush pile, (now on the driveway next to the yard waste bin, and the compost bin instead of the middle of the lawn, which Heather was very willing to help with. I was impressed with how well the mower worked on my flimsy lawn, once we raked up all the twigs, plus, exercise instead of higher electric bill. Haven't tried the back yard yet, it is always a lot more dense because of years of free range hens in the past.


This will, in time, become a garden bed for asparagus and possibly one or two mini fruit trees. The entire side yard bed has been full of weed block and grass, now half is full of potential.

Heather pulled all the sod, removed all of the weed block plastic, and then we layered cardboard, wood chip mulch, and then the sod, upside down... over time, and with more compost layered, it will hopefully become a good growing spot. this is the part of my yard that faces south and gets good sunlight

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April SMART goals
#THINGS MADETHINGS FIXEDTHINGS GONE
1mobieus apronstrawberries plantedbin of twigs
2sewing tools necklacefront yard mowedbin of twigs
3sewing tools shadowboxbackyard mowedbin of twigs
4heart in hand necklaceside yard mowedweedblock fabric
5manyhands shadowboxnew garden bed -
6-feral roses tied up-
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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

shadowboxen


in which our plucky heroine takes baby steps to explore the land that lies between nightwalking and whimsey...

Sunday was a trip to Azure Fine Art Gallery, to set up my small portion of the upcoming show, prior to the opening, which coincides with the monthly arts walk in downtown Corvallis. My work is in The Birdcage*, a gallery within the gallery as it were...

This whole "having artwork in a gallery" thing is all new to me; I am rather making it up as I go along. My original intention was to have more pieces completed, however, having just the two shadowboxes really allows the work to stand out in an uncrowded and minimalistic setting. I like that better...
The backdrop here is a vintage silken velvet housecoat that I acquired at a barn sale in upstate New York more than forty years ago, the black velvet riffs on both the idea of garments and on the tradition of displaying precious jewelery on a black velvet background. I included my button crown as a display prop, as an echo to the theme of handwork/whimsey...

The second shadowbox... quite different than the first one, yet obviously part of the same genre. The outer edges of the frame are all decorated with sewing pattern tissue paper, as are some of the tiny hands. Sewing patterns are another sort of map, of a different land hard to navigate without assistance.

The pendant combines sterling silver, copper, and brass in a married-metal fabricated artifact.

This quote is another longtime touchstone of mine, a reminder that nothing loved is ever lost while memory lives...

The vintage glass beads compliment the art, and the pendant necklace is held in place with small wooden constructs painted with fingerprint glyphs
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April SMART goals
#THINGS MADETHINGS FIXEDTHINGS GONE
1mobieus apronstrawberries plantedbin of twigs
2sewing tools necklace-bin of twigs
3sewing tools shadowbox--
4heart in hand necklace--
5manyhands shadowbox--
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* from the gallery page:
Bird Cage Series -
Housed within the gallery is a large bird cage for small works, jewelry or single vision ideas that accentuates the idea of “kept treasures”

Monday, April 13, 2015

my little salad greens


...in which our plucky heroine practices delayed gratification...


The wee greens in the salad table with more than two little leaves are visibly differentiating, . It is time to thin them so that the individual plants can grow larger. I am excited to actually eat some homegrown "my little salad", and have promised it to myself as a reward for finishing up my tax paperwork!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

et cetera


in which our plucky heroine woke up with some ideas floating around...

I love the planning aspect of SWAP or 6PAC, truly this is yet another example of my designer brain at play. Most of the ideas are for garments that use my stashed fabrics, suit my everyday life and would make me happy to wear. Unfortunately, my actual follow-through of sewing said wearables has been rather more like nonexistent, in part because of how much else I have going on in my everyday life. Hello art projects, and working life, I am looking at you right now!

I am thinking of setting up my own "Slow-Sewing SWAP" where instead of a four month timeline, I give myself a twelve month timeline. I can could probably manage a garment a month, and if inspired to do more, all to the good! Adding twelve new pieces to the barren landscape of my closet will help a lot. The only "rule" I will give myself is to make garments that will replace the ones in my current wardrobe that get worn until they wear out, because those are the ones that are the most "active"... 
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Continuing to make steady slow progress on the pieces for the art show later this month. Masonite "hands", found while rummaging about, are now layered with pattern tissue paper, and will become components in the next collaged shadowbox.  Paint and sand and glue...paper and wood... not usually part of my metalwork and enameling scenario, but is rather fun, in between being terrified. Very strange the way old echos of the judgemental past still reverberate. Am trying to remember the delighted young child I once was, who loved making things, and let her out to play...
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For some reason, this post from Myth & Moor feels quite germane to my current state of mind...

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April SMART goals
#THINGS MADETHINGS FIXEDTHINGS GONE
1mobieus apronstrawberries plantedbin of twigs
2sewing tools necklace-bin of twigs
3sewing tools shadowbox--
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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Tuesday tidbits


in which our plucky heroine makes incremental progress...


The sewing tools shadowbox artwork is almost completed. The necklace beading continues the theme of measurement. The completed pendant: a carved bone ruler hung with assorted tools, notions, and trinkets, floating in the sky above the sewing landscape

The composition has the sort of dynamic balance that pleases my eye. Art is what you make when there is something that needs to exist, and you make it even though you don't know how, so you keep figuring it out and and making it up as you go along...
I don't remember where I first found this quote, but it has stuck with me for years, because it is true...


A detail of the pendant, with vintage charms and buttons, and a handpainted limoges enamel dress form...


... and the whole pendant

The small vintage enamel clockface stands in for the full moon...
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just found this song again, after missing it for a long time
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Recently found in the fabric stash: a grey rayon popover dress partially cut out... when measured out against the current dresses there are some pieces missing; fortunately there is a little bit of different grey rayon that can be added to it, and together they can become a dress for wearing this summer. Also found a denim pinafore dress with a missing back. Could be not terribly difficult to bind the raw edges and add some mobieus straps, for a nice sturdy workshop apron. These two will become the next "morning sewing" projects.