Monday, December 27, 2010

Deep Thoughts

Words
 have the power
to both destroy and heal.
When words
are both true and kind,
they can change our world.

Buddha

Xmas Present For My Son And His Family

This was made per their request to go above a mantel...I will not ever make anything this big with handwork  again!  However, it got done, mailed off, and received...and they loved it!
48  1/4"  x  35"

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Long Winter's Nap (details)

Hand appliqued, embroidered, and beaded

First Snow Of Winter!

The temperature here dropped like a stone last night...and continues to fall.  Snow has been blowing and billowing, twirling up, and then swooping down.  My windchimes are positively singing in the wind as I watch the snow.  The first snow is always the best...

Long Winter's Nap
10  1/4"  x  9  1/4"

I kept track of the time it took to make this:   151 hours

Friday, December 10, 2010

Enchantment


11  1/2"  x  14"

                                                                                        "Enchantment" is a piece from several years ago.
Background is strip pieced and the tree is embroidered
in chain stitch.  Then beads are sewn over the entire image. 
It's the stuff of myths and fairy tales...wood nymphs, tree
spirits, imprisoned wise women and princesses...dreams,
songs, memories out of time...and deep, deep sleep.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Deep Thoughts

No need to hurry.
No need to sparkle.
No need to be anybody
but oneself.

Virginia Woolf

Friday, November 19, 2010

Almost Thanksgiving


When I was a child, we had a turkey named Tom  (of course).  Tom was our tormenter and protector.  Each time we left the house, we looked for him from the back door...if we didn't see him, we would go out.  Tom would then appear out of nowhere, chasing us all over the yard gobbling as loudly as he could while we shrieked and scattered!  There was one moment of truce only:  each school morning, he met us at the top of our driveway and escorted us down the hill, crossed the road with us, waited while we got on the bus, and then marched grandly back up to the house when the bus left.  In the evening, Tom was at the bottom of the driveway waiting for the bus.  He walked us up to the top of the driveway and then began to gobble and run after us and we took off screaming to the house.  Then there was the time he tried to get on the bus and the driver couldn't close the bus door without smashing him, or open it without him running further up the steps!  And our goat (Billy!) got on the bus twice...he actually made it into the aisle.  We were were nothing, if not consistent.  The image above is dedicated to Tom the Turkey... 




Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Contra Dance--Details


Contra Dance

22  7/8"  x  20  1/2"
Hand appliqued, embroidered, beaded, quilted
My granny was very musical, playing the piano, pump organ, guitar, and guitar-mandolin.  She played what we called  "old time" music.... traditional music and folk songs and gospel hymns.  My granny was in demand when she was young as neighbors and kin traipsed back and forth to visit and dance and sing.  She died when I was very little but I like to think that I got my love of this traditional music and dance from her.  This piece captures one moment and movement in time as the couple move together and apart and step to the music.   

Monday, October 18, 2010

You're Invited To The Witches' Tea

Girls' Night Out
When:  All Hallow's Eve
Who: All The Cool Chicks
Where:  Gingerbread House Deep In The Woods
Ignore bread crumbs.
 Follow Chimney Smoke from oven.  

Saturday, October 16, 2010

More "Dream Of The White Dragon"

I made this piece (17 1/4" x  14 1/4") several years ago.  It emerged from a dream I had, even earlier,  in the mid-1980s.  I was struggling emotionally and spiritually, having made a whole-hearted commitment to growth, but wanting to fall back on some old defense mechanisms during this difficult time.

In the dream, I was standing on a hill looking down toward a white dragon sleeping on its nest of seven white eggs.  Some people went closer to it and it awoke with a horrible roar.  They began to run while the dragon rose into the sky, flying wildly and fast, breathing clouds of fire.  I felt the fear and found myself holding an old book and an odd, smoky glass or mirror.  This book held the secret of how to tame the dragon but I could only read the words if I held the glass just right....if not exact, the words were blurry and unintelligible.  The eggs cracked open and the dragon was circling ever more closely to me.  I had to know this!

After I woke up I began to search for meanings personally, spiritually, metaphysically, etc.  Eventually I settled on kundilini energy (life force) which is often symbolized by a dragon, white is pure Light, seven is the number of chakras (person's life force energy centers), When the kundilini energy flows cleanly through all chakras, healing and enlightenment can occur.  This energy is also connected to sexual energy and a person can easily be "diverted" from healing by using her sexual energy to avoid confronting her issues. (Okay, maybe that was me.")  The old book was ancient wisdom and could only be learned by serious study and exacting examination; it couldn't be learned superficially and without difficulty.  The glass or mirror is from the Bible where we now "know in part" and "see through a glass darkly"...but must put away "childish things" to grow and understand as an adult.  The "rainbow" colors around the eggs were the different colors of the chakras.  

Anyway, this was my interpretation and it pushed me to keep working my issues instead of avoiding them. Avoidance: one of my favorite and oldest defense mechanisms....I don't use it much anymore and this dream was one of my teachers.

Dream Of The White Dragon


Monday, October 4, 2010

Deep Thoughts

I went to a topless beach once.....
saw so many boobs,
I thought I was at a family reunion!
                                    Maxine

Thursday, September 23, 2010

For Everything There Is A Season

Today is the first day of Autumn...beautiful weather...blue skies, white clouds, just enough wind to move the tree branches around.  Tomorrow the temperature is supposed to feel like real fall, broiling heat gone!  Every season has a moment of perfection (and then I begin to complain).  The above is one of my first pieces when I was trying to see if I could make something look "seasonal".  

Backdoor Autumn

A friend and I have been in private practice together for years.  When we first opened, we had more free time than we wanted while trying to build our business.  We would go out back of our office and sit under a tree and talk about everything...business, therapy, possibilities, fears, life...name it and we covered it and, most likely, laughed about it.   Sitting under that tree that autumn was breathing time, encourage and support each other time.  This was made for Julie...

"Backdoor Autumn" is 14"  x  14".    

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Deep Thoughts

"Courage in women
is often mistaken for insanity."

Unknown

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Transformation


20  1/2"  x  20  1/2"


What Goes Around Comes Around

"What Goes Around Comes Around"
26  1/2"  x  22  1/2"  

What Goes Around Comes Around!

So many people I know personally and professionally have been caught in unjust situations lately.  Surprise, shock, hurt, loss, anger, humiliation....people can be so unkind and even cruel to one another.  My heart hurts when these things happen.  I do believe that all our actions catch up to us, good or bad, even though we may never realize or know the connection.  I watch good hearted people trying to come to terms with painful situations without vengeance, and I think of the behavior of the people who hurt them.  And each of us will reap what we have sown..... 

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Deep Thoughts

We live in deeds, not years; 
 in thoughts, not breaths;
 in feelings, not in figures on a dial.
We should count time by heartthrobs.
He lives most who thinks most...
feels the noblest...
act the best.
                                                                 Philip James Bailey

Thinking Of My Dad

August is the month of my father's birth and death.  He died a few days before his birthday in 1977.  I was a daddy's girl who grieved and grieved---now in 2010, there's no sharp pain, but August will always be his month.  He was a civil engineer who served in the Navy Construction Battalion in WWII in the South Pacific.  He would never talk about it, but was deeply patriotic and emotionally connected to veterans.  I made this wall hanging of some of his SeeBee things for my son---who was born the same year Dad died.

Monday, August 2, 2010

"Meditate"

12  1/4"  x  31"

"Meditate"

Needing some peace today....not sure what that's all about, but I can feel some inner agitation and slightly faster breathing.  I have to sit and breathe more slowly and deeply, try to calm my body and my mind, be present in this very moment.

Pema Chodron, an American Buddhist teacher, says to "drop the storyline"....to pull back and reel in our crazy, spinning, wild thoughts that run away in a million different directions, taking us with them.  And nothing has even happened yet!

Breathe deeply....slow down....focus....center....All is well, at this moment, at this time....All is well.   

Sunday, August 1, 2010

"Free At Last" (For Laura)

"Free At Last"  (12" x 17") was created for abused and hopeless women--to symbolize that their despair, deep and crippling as it is, doesn't have to keep them trapped.  While changing is potently difficult, painful, and frightening, we CAN change.  By continuing to put one foot in front of the other, by rising every time we fall, for holding on when nothing else is possible---we WILL break free, we will love ourselves.....I know.

Deep Thoughts

Gulistan
If of thy mortal goods
thou are bereft,
And from thy slender store two
loaves alone to thee are left,
Sell one, and with the dole
Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul.

Mu-slih-uddin Sadi

Sunday, July 11, 2010

"See, No See"

It's been way over a month since I last posted.  I have been SO busy--mostly with meaningless things as I now look back.  I find myself at this same place in my life over and over--I forget to be in the present and, next thing I know, the present has become a past of which I'm barely aware.  Gee...guess I'm gonna have to keep practicing being consciously present in the moment (since better time management skills won't increase my awareness!).

"See, No See"  is 12 1/2" x 12 1/2" and is about the many "windows" of beauty and meaning that we see, or not...that we are alive in, or numb...that we gain, or we lose.
 

Friday, June 4, 2010

OOPS!!

OOPS!!! Part II

I  finished a piece for the exhibit, "No Place To Call Home."  I got ready to pull everything I needed to send---and found that, way back when, I had written the minimum size incorrectly---and I made it TOO SMALL to enter (20" vs 24") !  I cannot believe I did that--eye rolling--sigh--laugh--oh well, on to the next!  However, I am  going to put it here:

Friday, May 28, 2010

But Enough About You---Let's Talk About Me!

I just took some of those "tests" that tell a person about herself.  There was a concensus that I am strong-willed, courageous, honest, and a healer---that healing and art come naturally to me.  They revealed that, while I am not an idiot, I am also NOT smarter than a fifth grader.  The tests also showed I score very high in "weird" and that I'd like to take over the world. 

Hmmm.....This is actually not too far off....   

Monday, May 24, 2010

Deep Thoughts

Our true home is in the present moment.
To live in the present moment is a miracle.
The miracle is not to walk on water.
The miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Sunday, May 23, 2010

When The Women Come Out To Dance

       A few years ago, I was reading book reviews and saw a title, "When The Women Come Out To Dance."  I have no idea what the book was about--this image and its message flashed to me.  Women have forever toiled physically, mentally, and emotionally for others.  We have arisen each day to cook, clean, wash, mend, plant, and harvest.  We have fulfilled our duties to our parents and mates, borne and reared the children, cared for the sick and elderly, and served neighbor, church, country.  All this we are supposed to do with humor and happiness before, or without, acknowledging our own dreams and needs.  But in this piece, our spirits leave our bodies in sleep to meet in a clearing to dance wildly under the moon.  We sing, shout, and move however we please.  In secret sisterhood we offer support and sustenance to each other because we must return to our duties before the sun rises.
       This was hand appliqued, embroidered, beaded, and quilted.  The colors had to be vibrant and wild, the movement abandoned and individual, every person and thing sparkling and alive to suggest the depth and breadth and heighth of the inner, and so often denied, lives of women.   (16 3/4" x 13 1/2") 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Shelter From The Storm

Another Trip Around The Sun!

     My birthday quickly approaches--another time of year I contemplate my life.  Have I lived my beliefs and values? Is kindness more quickly my reaction to the unpleasant than irritation and anger?  Am I learning and teaching and learning?  I want to be a woman of compassion, wisdom, and courage--one who aids in making the world better and who passes this on to the next generation.

 "Shelter From The Storm" is  17 1/2" x 18 1/2", hand appliqued, embroidered, and beaded.  Another goddess piece, reminding me of Mary, Kwan Yin, nature spirits....It's a Bob Dylan song, "'Come in,' she said. 'I'll give you shelter from the storm...'"   

    

Monday, May 17, 2010

Back From The Living Dead--Tired!

I can't believe my last entry was in April!  My daughter's husband got transferred here close to me with two weeks notice at the end of April.  I've been helping them paint, clean, and move--and I've also made a kitchen full of red-and-white checked curtains.  I was reminded again why it's not always a good thing to be the only one who sews.  She and her two dogs stayed with me through the first part of this year while she was in school (college).  I do miss them being here in the house; however, not seeing dog hair tumbleweeds roll by has been good.  Just a few more cleanings and the dog hair should--mostly--be gone-- maybe.  I'm sewing again for me, am finishing up a piece for an exhibit and need to hurry--hard to speed up when doing handwork though!  Hopefully, I'm going back toward normal again, or somewhere close to there.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Deep Thoughts

"I'm in a mellow mood today--I'm just taking names."
                                                                      Maxine

Same Planet, Different Worlds!


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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Autumn Bouquet

I know---it's spring, not fall.  However, I forgot to show the autumn piece I was working on back in Fall 2009.      "Autumn Bouquet" is  27"  x  23 1/2".   The leaves were individually cut out and fused onto a piece of pellon.  I then hand embroidered around and on each leaf, going on to back the "cluster" with black felt. After cutting out and around the outside edges and the inner openings, I bound it all together with embroidery thread.  (I have to admit, after going over and over each leaf, this became less and less of a good idea.)   I'm not sure how I feel about it overall, but I do love the colors.  

Oh, Ward---June Is In The Kitchen!

My daughter, Alex, in the apron I helped her make for the birthday of her friend, Eddie.  He loves to cook and has always wanted to be a "1950's housewife"--he was thrilled !  This is probably also the only time I'll see Alex in an apron!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Deep Thoughts

"To live means sharing one another's space, dreams, sorrows, contributing our ears to hear, our eyes to see, our arms to hold, our hearts to love."

Paul Tillich

Thursday, March 11, 2010

That's New To Me!

On Nellie Durand's blog, nelliedurand.blogspot.com, she showed and wrote about how to make flat bindings with a "clapper"---(no lights turning on involved).  I asked where to get one and Nellie replied that someplace like Joanne's should carry it.  Then Kelly Jackson at ihaveanotion.blogspot.com reported that she also carried them at her site under the name of a "seam press".  I thought this "device" was pretty cool! Take a look!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

SAQA Auction

Finished my 12" x 12" piece for the SAQA auction and will be mailing it off. It's hand appliqued, embroidered, beaded, with a small amount of quilting. I used commercial fabric, peacock feathers, and glass beads. It's the first time I've ever set out to make a piece a specific size, and I found it challenging at first. I love peacock feathers--the beauty, colors, fragility, and the inherent symbolism of vision and seeing. This is another part of our womanly being which is either often viewed as weakness or denied, but there is splendour in the spaces of a woman's soul.
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