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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.