Previous month:
January 2020
Next month:
March 2020

February 2020

also found

Georgeenshrined

Meant to include this in yesterday's post.  From part of the Northern cornerstone of my dis-assembled artist's altar. Remembered there were many wonderful stones and shells in this box but had forgotten GH was also involved.  Have frequently wondered over the last five years or so where he got off to.   Made the small icon on his birthday after Concert for George DVD was released.  Dickered over cutting apart the commemorative insert but in the end - no contest.

I loved him.  From the first time I saw him smirking down at the floor while bobbing awkwardly, sick as a dog, on Ed Sullivan.  And then I loved him so much more when he Found Religion in a way that resonated as both creative and liberating.  Most pressingly he influenced me with the Concert for Bangladesh.  I still sometimes watch You Tube interviews of him with the press - before, during and after that concert - when I feel in need of centering and inspiration.  He made the mark and set the tone for all such concerts to follow.  For me it was a life map.  How you to things.  WHAT you do with both your personal abundance resources, your conscience, and any connections you may have. 

(he meant so much to me on so many truly significant level that I lied for decades - pretending to be a Creature of Lennon.  On many levels that was far easier to "defend" without disturbing anything deeply private and seemingly permanent in nature ...)


finding & receiving

Graceandpearl

On Tuesday I started slowly breaking down a narrow six foot long artist's altar here in the studio.  It was 6 or 7 years in the making - stacked solid with layers of mementos, gifts, talismans, and artifacts of all kinds.  Was inspired initially by a truly massive stacked altar glimpsed in the background of many talking head segments of a documentary about Wavy Gravy.

Above is a picture of my aunt Grace and my grandmother Pearl.  The sisters stand wreathed in prolific plant life within their back yard in Bethlehem PA.  Grace is on tip-toes so she can stand while bending her knees to simulate riding a horse or donkey.  Her smile shows real affection for the handsome well-spoken outsider Charlie who her younger sister's engaged to marry. 

Beneath her Pearl, at 19, is doing this whole thing strictly for her man.  He's sweet talked her into it - is undoubtedly sweet talking her even as she acquiesces - kneeling there in her good skirt and favorite blouse.  Because clearly her sister, the eldest, isn't going to do that.

********************

More than likely  Charlie promised Pearl a trip to mountains and a lake.  Grace went too, of course.  The couple won't be left alone until their wedding night save occasional Sunday mornings when Charlie manages to convince Pearl's entire family that his sister Alice was meeting them directly at their family's church.

(who reading this believes they went anywhere near a church or the lady for whom I'm named?)

I found the picture during the final clearance phases of my altar.  Knew it was there and was looking forward to sharing it here.

Fadedheartblg

Have managed to find another Thing I need with me.   It's a heart my son made in kindergarten Valentine's crafts.  In this picture it looks roughly half as bright as it was when he first brought it home in all its dayglo fluorescent glory.  In actuality it had faded to a very anemic pastel.  The heart is one of the last things I removed from the altar.  Earlier this morning I brought it back to life. From now on it's going to live in the drawer of my nightstand within a small grab-and-go clutch.  Just realized while typing that almost everything in that clutch was a gift from T. at various points in his life.

Inkedupheart

Also found upon the altar - this wayback treasure from jude

Judewheel

This patch has always reminded me of a medicine wheel.  But on the altar it represented solely what it is:  a talisman from a very unique and authentic friend who once said to me "i think we already knew about each other."

Electricbluesilk

Yesterday afternoon I put my hand in the pocket of a jacket I'd washed and machine dried the night before.  Apparently I didn't check it before I banished evidence of a very unpleasant yogurt container mishap.  The results of habotai silk self-sculpturing are pretty phenomenal.  am not going to iron it.  Will keep it 'around' so I can touch and gaze.  Eventually I'll want the silk for something else but that's off in the future.

Linenshibori

Also this week:  for absolutely no defined purpose and even less relationship to anything that could legitimately be defined as 'need' - I treated myself to a pack of six indigo dyed linen scraps from Cape Cod Shibori.  Above is my favorite.

Linenshibori2

Shibori3

What's yours?

Ccshiborimoon

Shiborilinnen4

Narcissus22820

We've had a lot of sun (although not at the moment) and the narcissus are doing quite well.  Sure is a lift to see fresh-life green in strong sunlight.   It's been very chilly outside and the bare ground is frozen again.   Hard to believe just day before yesterday I was optimistically envisioning myself planting garlic after the next full moon.

Definitely time to stop procrastinating my seed order though.
 


mercifully mellow

Robinfortressblg

Today has been warm enough to open windows on both sides of the studio.  The pleasure of naturally fresh air - and the fact that it's still possible to say we live with such a blessing - left me hungry for spring.   Am in the throes of pretty much going through everything I own here in the studio and elsewhere.  It's been an ongoing process for about a year now.  The more I lean into it the more it picks up speed and volume. 

Think it's my sane response to the increasingly insane world.  I want and need this space to have energetic flow and practical workability.  In addition to very lo-fi yet optimum storage reconfiguration it's become really important to me that all dust and bits of debris be corralled and removed.  (note as is obvious in above image I do not consider flaking bark fragments to be "debris")

There is much going on in my family - thankfully nearly all of it of a purposeful and positive nature - that's pulled my energy back to the basics of the Householder path.  Last night I had a chance to sit quietly with the new moon in pisces vibration.  That's when the phrase mercifully mellow popped into my head.

Bulbsplantedonsolstic22420

Here in the studio we have two very unglamorous pots of bulbs I planted on the winter solstice.  Sunny yellow and orange sweet scented daffodilly energy is on the rise!  It's a ritual I've enjoyed since a friend and I declared ourselves the Inventresses of the practice roundabout '81.  Then we had an old fashion metal milk delivery cooler to store our pots and now I have a left-behind refrigerator that just sort of hulks at the edges of our garage.  For the two months of winter the bulbs give it purpose.  At this point (other slower to rise bulbs are still sequestered) the narcissus have been slowly acclimating to light for 5 days.  Tomorrow or the next day I'll put them in their permanent spot for budding-up.

Malachiterescue

Have also been breathing life in a long-neglected and pretty much ossified tube of discontinued (malachite) Daniel Smith watercolor from their primatek line.  The color doesn't handle reliably and it's streaky.  But the specific green itself is rather marvelous and I've been thinking of ways I could use the smaller chunks as mark making tools.

Herbacrafterspouch

Today I also sewed a silk-lined storage pouch for a tarot deck I acquired very late last year - The Herbcrafter's Tarot.  Although I'm quite aware dandelions aren't pink it's the scrap that kept calling to me.  I lined the quilter's cotton with a green dupioni silk that stops just short of chartreuse.

[note:  per a request I'll soon be posting about Herbcrafters in relation to the way I approach a new deck upon unboxing.  Will do that on my main blog as I know some who read there but not here will be interested and inspired by the card imagery.]

I just cut long rectangles of the outer fabric and silk, eyeballed to leave sufficient room for a front, back, and tuckable flap.

Pouch unsewn

The two fabric's raw edges are folded inward (sometime with unravelling silk involved it winds up being as much as a half an inch for the silk and then easing-along the cotton to keep the edges even.  Below you can see how the folded seams look when the finished rectangle is positioned in the proper place for its intended contents. 

  Pouchedgedges

You can also see how the two fabrics are folded inward to self-seam with a continuous well spaced running stitch and (sometimes gently botched) mitered corners. 

Today I had to work with set dimensions based on what I had of the dandelion print.  And within that constraint long experience has taught me that if I set further folding and sewing lines based on the booklet and cards placed horizontally as it is above...

Herbcrafters

When all is said and done the cards and accompanying booklet will be housed in verticially snug comfort with just enough space to slip in a polished stone or crystal if you do that sort of thing.  

Pro-Tip:  Join the finishing side seams of the pouch with a continuous backstitch. 

Begin at the BASE of the sides rather than the top. When you get to the top take one or two small but sturdy stitches that are perpendicular to the rest of the stitches.  The top edge of the pouch will receive the most stress and wear.  Mindful stitch planning significantly increases the timeline before you have to repair or outright re-stitch the joining seams.


creative priorities can shapeshift if you let them LOC4

Quilting22020

Last fall I decided once the holidays had completed their cycle of revelry and exhaustion I'd spend dedicated time each day working on the quilt pictured above.  And that I'd stick with the project until the quilt was at long last DONE.  It's a queenish sized bed quilt that was machine pieced decades ago - an unplanned outgrowth of the cloth-based creative explosion that occurred when I immersed myself in Julia Cameron's The Artist Way in '93 .

I was inspired by a friend of mine.  About a month earlier she began engaging with the book's content in a manner that required a fair amount of emotional debriefing every few weeks.  She found herself struggling a great deal with the unexpected and at times destabilizing issues the text evoked for her.  This intrigued me.  I wondered what I was missing about the more actively repressed parts of myself that might yield comparable insight.  I got the book and settled in with it just as J. and T. left for a week and a half in FL with Grandmom.  It seemed an auspicious time to embrace whatever free-fall the book might evoke.

  Well.  Can't say "but nothing happened" because a LOT happened.  But I definitely didn't struggle with my inner self or the book's various proposals, suggestions, and exercises.  i was open to all of it without qualification and don't know quite why.  It was the first time since my grandmother died when I was newly 17 that I relaxed all the way to the bone.  Let myself trust something sprouting inside as if that dual ability to plant and grow hadn't died right along with her.  Experienced an almost glowing sense of personal hope and recognized it for what it was.

  Looking back I realize this was an important evolutionary precedent to set in motion even if I didn't mean to do it or understand how/why I was able to pull it off like that's just the way my life worked.   As if I routinely got out of my own way as soon as I realized that's where I'd been.  The mere notion that this might be who I actually was underneath all the learned gobbledygook and Monster Halls of Fame was diverting enough to re-define my sense of personal empowerment.  I understood - as if it was a physical Zen Master's whack upside my head - that it was a CHOICE to be either unable or unwilling to move in new directions. OR to simply relax enough to be genuinely willing to follow someone else's lead instead of standing stiffly to the side; unable but far more to the point completely unwilling to allow myself a less restrictive option. 

~*~*~*~*~

Since it's "only" ever been meant for me rather than being an intended gift or family necessity I've been hand-quilting this one at a glacial pace even by my lackadaisical standards. Thus it's become something of a fever chart for degenerative neurological slippage as well as how ineffectively I've struggled against the changes it brought.  Especially before learning how to find a completely different type of stitch rhythm and flow - and thus also gaining its accompanying satisfaction range simply to feel able again.  Prior to the collage challenge seed being planted I assumed I'd spend an hour or two a day working on getting this quilt closer to completion from January 1st onward until it was finished. 

The completion target date for a young girlhood in south jersey that I wrote in my planner last fall still feels realistic and attainable in a non crazy-making way.   This week I finally felt caught-up enough from all the life/domestic detail-ish things that slid off to the sides during the challenge. This quilt was unrolled and pragmatically assessed.  Was pleasantly surprised to discover I'm much closer to completion than I remembered being.  Have been spending the afternoons quilting on the studio Dreaming Couch.  Sometimes I've let that time extend until the sun moves close to setting.  It's been extremely pleasant so far - even on the grey wintry mix days when I've needed an extra light source.

Pigfarmdeet

My grandmother stopped quilting before she faced this type of dilemma.  Think she saw/felt it coming and wanted no part of the ego adaptations involved with changing expectations rather than hobbies.   She was a very proud woman.  This defining character trait of her life's ultimate trajectory didn't always work in her favor.  Especially in situations involving things, people, and places she loved too much to bear to see them in any state other than perfection. And couldn't admit to inner feelings of conflict when she believed she was supposed to give all of that over to Our Lord or His Son.  So she excommunicated the objects and activities that engendered unacceptable feelings - such as hand sewing anything at all once the results wouldn't guarantee the customary yield of admiring exclamations and aspirational flattery.

(in some ways it feels like I'm making a very different choice for both of us not just myself ...)

 


my Aunt Grace quilt LOC.3

Bowandarrow21420
My life-long love of super scrappy bed quilts began as a tiny child.  As a fifth generation quilter I grew up studying any number of hand sewn quilts on the beds at my grandmother's house where I was raised - and also in the upstairs bedrooms at her older sister Grace's place.  All these quilts bore the generational mark of frugal DIY ladies born at the starting line of the 20th century.  They'd been raised to make good practical use of every scrap of cloth they had to hand.  Not all at once, certainly, but eked-out slowly over time so that the various fabric patterns recurred like a narrative theme covering time, space, and an ongoing roll call of the past's play suits and pajamas and special birthday party dresses/boy's dress shirts for Good/church.

Upon immediate reflection - what I just described is what I grasp(ed) of Aunt Grace's methodology.  Her quilts were to my eye joyous and freewheeling - impeccably sewn but otherwise completely off the How It's Done rails - brought to heel only by the implicit structure and rhythm of one patch/bold graphic classic quilt patterns.

For scrap work my grandmother favored impeccably aligned log cabin/dresden plate variations that were by and large unobtrusive or painterly in their color range and its distribution.  Her choices often suggest she pre-sorted her scraps as she accrued them in order to work efficiently in a far more color coordinated/visually restrained style.

(Oh come on Pearl, the Grace of my memory would sometimes goad.  Live a little why dontcha)

As with so many other things about how she presented herself and her home I feel pretty clear that my grandmother's self-expressive style consciously hewed to the specific and implicit dictates of the fairly dour Lutheran sect in which she and I were both raised as the backbone and mental/psychic wardrobe of not just our lives but Life itself.  She was not a showy woman in any way.  But she understood some people were colorful without being prideful.   Quite early on she saw the way I was breaking, so to speak, in the aesthetic sense and had no trouble asking her friends to supply more colorful scraps for me to learn - and practice until perfect - a variety of piecing techniques.

Her sister was a lot more layered in how she lived and created.  She had an ongoing willingness - from which I actively inferred enjoyment - to use all the scrap happy colors and patterns all at once.  She mixed decades worth of fabric to create ingrained family myths of origin.  The kids in our family who were her grandchildren slept in her upstairs rooms full of handsewn quilts all the time.  They knew at least some of the stories connected to each of the fabrics.  Stories about things that happened while their parents and uncles were wearing clothes made from specific scraps in yardage form.  In the timeframe of my memories the quilts were growing worn at the edges.  They held the aura of fading scrolls documenting family life when our own parents were young or mere babies.  The upstairs rooms in our time weren't needed save for sleep overs and dedicated kidspace while the adults talked downstairs.  We could crawl around and sprawl together laughing helplessly much as we later would on living room floor based Twister game mats.

  Every once in awhile one of Grace's masterpieces would require seam mending and patching.  This would be a big deal for the sisters.   In addition to brown paper bags overflowing with scraps at both their feet they were also inundated by young enthusiastic children.  We flocked around them in a minimum of 4 and an average of 6 in number  It was a sunlit offhandedly nurturing environment suddenly awash in Pearl's far from muted alarm concerning all that could go wrong - particularly with so many children and the sisters' combined collection(s) of the very most necessary sharp Things that outnumbered the kids three to one.

I loved being able to watch close at hand.  Adults in my life often granted me a front row seat to their activities because they knew I'd be quiet and more or less motionless. I fully realized this as well as the fact that my freeze frame hyper-focus on what they were doing formed a kind of hedge/buffer zone between their workspace and more overtly excitable kids inclined to shout, grab suddenly for things they shouldn't touch let alone run with, or jump around and around and around the adult who was trying to Get Something Done despite the ongoing distraction. 

When the sisters' stitching time turned surgical I was outright called to Assist by simply being there between them and the other grandchildren.  Immobilized with fascination and Need To See.  I loved the moment when split (homemade and much patched, naturally...) bias binding was pulled free and I could see within Aunt Grace's generous seam allowances the true scope of how colorific the unfaded fabrics were.  My eyes gravitated to the excessively excessive somebody-stop-this-woman factor like a very happy bee in a mile-wide clover field.  In such visual mayhem I instinctively found permission to rest and quiet my ever-spinning child's mind.  And isn't rest what a handmade scrap quilt is most meant to Hold?

Bowandarrow215

At the beginning of last Friday the super scrappy hand pieced bow and arrow quilt top featured in this post existed in a state of un-joined but individually pieced/hand sewn 24-inch squares.   Near the middle of the afternoon it looked like the lede image.  I just ... had to do this.  I needed to put together this quilt top - to spend a few day's worth of Workday time sitting quietly in the sun and stitching while I thought things through as much as one can in today's hall of mirrors.  A later point in life ambition became quite tangible in the impulsive form of last Friday morning.   I simply picked up the rolled bundle of blocks and brought them to the studio with me.  It was mid-afternoon before I zeroed in on the nice detail that I finally got my act together* in this specific way - featuring a Bow and Arrow pattern - on Valentine's Day.

What I stitched is primarily a valentine to the woman I grew up calling Aunt Grace even though she was my grandmother's sister.  Her grandchildren in turn called my grandmother Aunt Pearl.   The sisters were very close.  They shared weekend phone calls of fair length during a time when long distance charges usually kept my grandmother's sharp eyes fixed on the clock and her phone call/egg timer. 

Although they did exchange fabric scraps these were kept as a kind of sisterly contemplation - the scraps wrapped small to large within themselves.  They were, at least on my grandmother's end, kept in her nightstand's drawer in a charmingly warped wooden box their younger brother had made.  Grace's scraps were kept there solely to be arranged in various ways on the plain white sheet of Pearl's unmade bed.  Carefully put away for the sheer pleasure of bringing them out again at a later time.  That was in a whole other category from how they worked and with what.  Their quilt and clothes making aesthetics differed enough that unless they were in clear agreement over specific pattern and color choices they worked primarily from stashes as separate (and impressively huge...) as passing ocean liners.

[*It should be said that I first began cutting out the individual scrap pieces on July 4th, 1992.  The occasion marked my first authentically crippling migraine headache.  Had I had an inkling of how many I'd have over the course of the next 20 years I would have curled up on the bed and wept.  But I did not and thus I tried to make some constructive use of young mother alone time while J. and T. watched the fireworks from the old Lechmere parking lot in Cambridge.   I began making my lateral longview way towards a hazy future when I'd have time and inclination to begin putting together a whole new generation of hand sewn bed quilts.]

Each fabric used comprises a single six inch block's worth of pieces:  two quarter circles and the curved bow-tie looking piece in the center.  A number of fabrics I used weren't large enough for the center portion so I cut extra pairs of quarter circles for a wider choice range.  Once I got to the point of beginning to stitch (roughly 15 years ago ...) I used the same fabric on each block's opposing quarter circle because - in a quilt this loud and random the ongoing repetitive duets of the same fabric provides points of discernible focus  if not outright resting space.  The fact that the twin pieces appear in different circles keeps your eye moving.  After a few stumbles as to where or why it's moving your brain registers the repetitive code and starts seeking it out.   It's the pattern within the distortion of "pattern" that my - and Aunt Grace's - seemingly off-the-wall pairing choices create. 

Aunt Grace did this all the time and quite deliberately.  I'd watch her stitching while my grandmother also worked amidst gentle chiding (oh Grace!) that showed deference to their birth order.  It's my inner child's sweet spot/intuitive design point I learned from my loving perusal of the childhood era quilts that most drew my eye and gladdened my heart.  By the end of Saturday I'd stitched together the above.  And my ongoing studio companion was extremely quick to lay claim to my accomplishment.

Mamaonquilt21620

Mama takes her studio kitty duties very seriously.  Haven't stitched anything big like this since her arrival but she seemed to have an instinctive grasp of how to most effectively participate.  meanwhile on my end - due to my extended hiatus from working big and strictly by hand I'd forgotten how freely the mind wanders through reflection, problem solving, and just plain wiping a grimy media saturated brain's slate as close to clean and blank as it gets these days.

I forgot about the way I connect to the spirited history of stitchers fairly immediately once I've found my personal needle rocking rhythm and smooth pull of the thread.   And the ongoing almost simian grooming of stray threads that proliferate the more you handle and shift the fabrics.  My grandmother - who could be super impatient and exacting - had quite tenderly and slowly taught me how to stitch well.  Our religion didn't encourage pridefulness and yet she made it clear that she expected to be able to be proud of me in terms of both my stitching manner and rhythm and also the ongoing quality of my workwomanship.

216bowarrow

This is how the quilt looked once I got it away from the cat and took it up to the bedroom.  Had to spread it out on my bed in order to gauge how many of the remaining blocks would need to be added. 

219quilttopfinished

By mid-afternoon on Sunday I had finished sewing together this loving tribute to my Aunt Grace  It's something that's still making me shake my head in surprise since the accomplishment was not on the books.  It was more a case of "this is what I'm doing now.  I won't ask why I'll just do it with single-minded creative focus until it's done."  


the luxury of cloth .1

Bathroomcurtainnot

Last year around this time I started looking in all the wrong places for this particular friend.  My intention was to create a bathroom curtain for a room I'd say I dislike if it weren't entirely functional and easy to clean - even at the deep detail level. We don't need a curtain there in the green months.  In the winter we don't need more cover than what you find from a single layer of batik such as this.

When I couldn't find it in the places I looked I pinch-hit with a resurrected quilter's cotton curtain (dark green printed with white hyper-basic morning glories sporting incorrect leaves.  They form staggered vertical lines across the green) from J's music room at the old place.  It's serviceable and okay but ... thought I was looking forward to making the switch ASAP until I finally found the above batik yesterday afternoon.  Then I recalled, in slow delicious layers, how the fabric came into my life and specifically why I bought it rather than another satisfying armload of books.

From there I further recalled that throughout my younger adult years I'd put so much stock and blind trust in my largely unimaginable future Old Woman form - as I hazily envisioned her already nestled in what I thought of as a Sleeping Walnut somewhere near the center of my heart.

 Have recently been unpacking, admiring, and re-evaluating aspects of my fabric stash that aren't sitting on open shelving here in the studio. The extra-significant specially treasured stuff in other words.  My efforts don't have much of a plan to them - I've simply been inspired by both Jude and grace - specifically their recent posts about the importance of handling and dreaming over cloth for however long.

My takeaway from both of their shared experiences is that the cloth we make a point of keeping shows us who we are.  who we have perhaps for quite long imagined ourselves to be - be-coming.

and.  what I now realize to be far more relevant -

I have an old white cotton comforter that's the perfect weight for several months of the year.  Everything about it is entirely cotton - as cotton used to be and it's perfectly worn-in, to boot.  Needs patching that's likely to lean closer to total recovering.  Know this but couldn't quite find the incentive to additionally know where to begin.  Since coming into the studio earlier today I've been thinking of cutting this batik apart at the edge of the repeating pattern.  Using that panel length as the centerpiece of the comforter re-covery process.  Keep the top portion as-is and hem with something else I really love too much to actually use - to become a dedicated studio altar cloth.  Don't currently have one.  Whenever I feel the need to move/work in that particular way up here I 'import' cloths from other parts of the house. 

This seems remiss.

[I bought this on my 34th birthday - It was an impulse purchase after I'd dodged into a large glass-fronted store just beyond Coolidge Corner on Beacon Street.   This piece of cloth was the first gasping half-unfocused  thing I saw when I entered a place I'd never been or previously noticed prior to seeking escape from an unexpected lightning and thunder laced summer shower.   The store was full of batik and ikat yardage as well as beautifully understated clothes made from both. 

There were also store-length tables brimming with every imaginable style and price point of beads.  And, I later discovered, frequently these were peopled by a casual handful of women making staggeringly beautiful jewelry from them.  Along the other store length wall were glass shelves full of Day of the Dead shadow boxes, Nicho frames, carved bone pendants and parquet curio cabinets.  These shelves were interspersed with drop-down accessory displays.   Mostly hand woven shawls and belts or braided cord finger-woven versions of same.

There were also wooden/pottery/porcelain bowls and plates and all sorts of other well-off gewgaws such as elaborate hair combs and custom-made miniature brocade couches/wing chairs for a cat or small dog but these things didn't interest me at the time.  Now I'm sure I might have envisioned wall displays of such things.  Not for myself to live with but just as an aesthetic exercise to create a cohesive collection/statement wall.  Along the lines (although clearly QUITE different vibe) of the wall display featured here.  Back then I was mainly concerned with the rain stopping promptly so as to get me back home in time for a carefully planned birthday supper  - that I wasn't supposed to know about - with J. and T. 

I bought the fabric - stopping only briefly to consider its price - because I'd picked it up when I arrived.  Once my eyes did fully focus on the colors and pattern I knew it would mean something of a glad-hearted/hopeful nature to me later on in my life.  Just knew.  And so I spent the money meant to be my yearly solar return Book Binge without a blink of regret.]


Marti Reponds to Recent Events

She Rises When Needed

Martiresponds

grace has also posted about this wonderful work this evening.  Please read her post as well as the first comment which contains Marti's detailed heartfelt explanation for her creation.

 


Day 30 - results

Trustyourself

(because that's where and why and how all the creative magic happens)

I'm really glad we all did this together.  I hope you are too.

  EVERYBODY did outstanding work - not just in the scope of their collage creations but also in terms of quickly establishing a challenge-based working style and dedication to their personal process development.  Despite the initial uncertainty any challenge brings it was truly remarkable to see how quickly everyone adapted to their freshly personalized relationship to this expressive medium.  By reviewing each other's efforts the way we'd all look at something together if our virtual situation was happening in the walking-around world - we each insured that every single one of us "got" something about collage that we hadn't quite put together before this time of sharing.

  Everyone - including me -  willingly trusted I'd guide them to a stationary end-point while also digging deeper into their private stashes of emotion and life experience as well as their paper collections.  Now - going forward - there's only one barometer/compass rose to be followed:

trust yourself

keep speaking truth to and FOR power

from the center of your creative soul

and every corner and crevice you discover

where true power resides

*~*~*~*~*

My faves from these days:

Dee

grace

Joanne

Liz

Marti - curendera (make sure to scroll down or click for her response to our final prompt)

Nancy

[For those who like statistics - this blog has averaged 82 unique visitors a day for the challenge time-frame.  Including myself and everyone actively involved - 35 people have let me know they're participating/following along as a somewhat regular part of their creative experience. 

The most unique visits to a single post (328) happened here. oof.  Typepad is going rogue on me right here at the end!

For reasons unknown all the [listed as published] posts aren't appearing on the blog right now.  At least not in what I can see of it here on my laptop or phone.  The post with the most unique visitors was the Day 16 results page for the garden Crone totem.  Quite a skyrocket!  Somebody somewhere linked, obviously, to significant effect.  Perhaps it's fitting that my first studio-based intention once I've scheduled this post is to paint that totem's background layer.  Last things first, as I like to say!

Not at all by design but I'm very grateful it's working out this way - I don't have to be/go anywhere that requires me to be all the way ON until Thursday morning.  Between now and then I'm planning to stay paint smudged and considerably more powered-down than I've been since ... before Thanksgiving, actually.  Yikes.  No wonder I feel so ready to shift from extro to intro mode energetically.

and I still don't have a clue what I might post on this blog going forward.  or why ...]


a guest post from Marti

Ojomarti

For all of my collage companions,  I offer this simple collage filled with images, some of my dyed cloth and an important word in Spanish, Ojo.  Ojo means eye and Acey, you have given us the ability to go deep within ourselves and see in a new and connective way.  Rather  than offer up  a stepping stone, I give you an old archway, next to an old door, open the door and glide through this portal, this opening so that we  may all continue with the discoveries that we have made,  both outward and inward in working with scraps of paper, scissors and glue. Imagine that this archway contains these carved words:  Continue to find your sense of personal discovery.  Find solace and quiet joy in nature. Know that rainbows always come after storms. May you have candlelight to soothe the darkness.  Most of all, thank you all for stepping along the path of collage with me, for being a part of such an illuminating time, a deeply moving and connective way to begin this year of 2020.  Love, Marti