"Isn't it awful that cold feet make for a cold imagination and that a pair of woolen socks induce good thoughts." -- Franz Grillparzer
If a pair of woolen socks can induce good thoughts, I say pull them on! This is a design I'm currently knitting. Blue Sky Alpaca in Rust with bits of red and purple from other projects. Though I tend to design most things on the needles, sometimes a little sketching is necessary. The rust will be worked in a block pattern using simple knit / purl construction for both the leg and instep. I love surprises. Don't you? The heel flap will have mismatched hearts with opposite hued toes. These are soft, slouchy, sassy socks for secret lovers.
I'm a very excited about the newest knit publication from Lark Books - The Joy of Sox. It will feature two of my designs! Double the good thoughts! The kind folks at Lark want to know about your knitting passion with this short questionnaire. How many hand knit socks do you have? And be honest, don't you wear socks to bed? I simply can't stand cold feet.
"Red is inciting to activity and favorable for emotionally highly determined actions ... Red may be suited to produce the emotional background out of which ideas and action will emerge." -- Kurt Goldstein
The Red Thread Project ® website is taking shape. My webmaster Andy Altman is burning the midnight oil so I can get it posted and live by the 4th of March. Yes, you read that correctly. The 4th of March. Aren't you excited? I am!
If you are new to the Land of Serendipity and don't know of The Red Thread Project ®, it is community art project made by the community for the community. Hundreds of youths and adults knit and crochet hats; attach the hats to a ½ mile long knitted red thread; wear the hats in a simple performance / dance; exhibit the hats and, finally, donate the hats to local charities including those assisting cancer patients, foster children, the elderly and the homeless.
The Red Thread Project® celebrates community connections, both visible and invisible, while encouraging and fostering individual creativity. Since its inception in 2004, over 4,000 hats have been donated to charities in Terre Haute, IN, Memphis, TN and Grand Rapids, MI. In September 2009, The Red Thread Project® will be part of Innovations in Textiles, a conference and celebration of the textile arts held biannually in St. Louis.
All the details on how to get involved will soon be available, but you can get started now. If you want to participate, just make a hat. It is that simple. Though most hats will be knit or crocheted, plaited, felted, and sewn hats are also welcome.
Thanks to Samantha Bennett for taking this picture during the staging of the performance in Grand Rapids, MI 2006.
"Art is not a thing; it is a way." -- Elbert Hubbard
More newish work. I enjoy mixing hard with soft materials, but I'll be darn if I can figure out how to ship a fence. Okay, I know how, but the box will be bigger than me. And the expense of it! Well, sometimes an artist just has to follow her heart and consider the rest as needed.
Exciting news to report. My work is being featured on the homepage of MyArtSpace for the next month! I'm honored. Take a look and while you are there, check out the work of the other featured artists.
"Art is not about thinking something up. It is the opposite -- getting something down." -- Julia Cameron
Who coined the term scarflette? I use the term when marketing certain work on Etsy, as it is obviously a common term on the site. But isn't this piece really a collar and not a scarflette? It looks more like a collar to me.
I'm having fun. The flood gates are open. I inherited a dozen or so 19th century fashion prints and love the detail work women would wear. Ribbons and beads and lace - all on one dress. Last week's newspaper reported a more austere look for spring to reflect the austerity of our times. I say screw that! (Excuse the language.) In austere times you need to dress up if only to prove you can make it through to another day. The movies of the 1930's were filled with gorgeous gowns to provide fodder for daydreams, a moment of escapism. Do you think Greta Garbo would have been caught dead in a pair of scruffy jeans?
I guess this is why I'm now hooked on collars. They dress up a simple t-shirt. They add flounce to the office twinset. They scream girly attitude.
The button featured on this collar is from my friend Sheila's company, One World Button Supply Co.
She gave me the best present for Christmas. A box filled with an assortment of buttons. Oh my goodness! Every time I open it I feel like I have found secret pirate's treasure. Such pretty buttons made of horn, glass, tagua and wood. If your local yarn or fabric store doesn't carry her line, ask them to consider it. She works with non-governmental organizations, women's cooperatives, rural development groups and more. Each button is hand-crafted by artisans from around the world. I like working with materials I know were made helping others do what I am trying to do - make a living from my creativity.
"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs." -- Ansel Adams
Cover your ears. That's right. Go ahead. Cover them. AAAAAAAUUUUUUUUURRRRRRRGH! You can uncover your ears now.
I am getting pretty good at photographing my daughter. That's the problem. I am not trying to sell photographs of my daughter, I am trying to sell the hats featured in the photographs! How do catalog photographers do it? I was flipping through the catalogs for Garnet Hill, J. Jill and others, each with models featuring the latest styles. I see the models, but what I notice first are the clothes.
I thought of using a mannequin. The vintage ones from the 1940's suit the style of my work, but are out of my price range. Sigh.... Where is a benefactor when you need one?
The learning curve to start, manage and update an online shop is absorbing the bulk of my days. I read photo books. I fiddle with my camera. I make various attempts at understanding geek speak so I can track movement on my site. In the meantime I keep upping the knit and crochet challenges. Who has a clear explanation for single motif intarsia knitting in the round? After 3 hours at it this evening I finally put down my needles. My brain is full of lint.
I recently inherited a stash of my grandmother's patterns. I loved her cravats. Very girly. This is one of my versions. You can see another at Enjolive.
"Life on the planet is born of woman." -- Adrienne Rich
As always, a female voice speaks through my work. I don't know any other way to create. It seems obvious as I am a woman, but could I speak with as much force or clarity if working from a male point of view? Writers do it. Think of the work by Henry James or D.H. Lawrence. Singers do it too. "Respect" was originally sung by Otis Redding, but when sung by Aretha Franklin it vibrates with different meaning.
I wonder. Are their artists who work from opposite gender views? I know of many paintings by men of the feminine domestic, but they don't push past the voyeur, that ever present male gaze. And female artists? Are there any who tackle the male domestic without adding a varnish of feminist discourse? Something to research.
Well as I ponder, I bring you "Life Force," a piece I created last spring for an exhibition at the Catholic Theological Union. LIfe comes through the body and the mind, both nature and nurture. It is brought home to be cooked into nourishing meals. It comes from the earth and returns to the earth. She is Mother Nature.
photo credit: Larry Sanders
In late January Steph at VladsTheBatAttic honored me with the Proximidade award. I've beem remiss in not passing it along to other fine bloggers.
Proximidade is described as follows:'This blog invests and believes in PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes for self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers!'The rules are: This blog award should be sent to your favorite eight bloggers and they, in turn should forward to eight of their favorites. You should include the text for Proximidade (above) in your announcement blog.
I have too many blogs I enjoy. My inspiration list is far from complete. I will leave its update to another day, but for now will name those to whom I pass along this award:
"In the depths of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer." -- Albert Camus
Enjolive was born on the darkest winter day when the snow was deeper than my boots. What winter needed were little beacons of color in soft wools to warm both body and soul.
The scarves long promised are finally being posted at Enjolive! Bright colors, yummy textures, and full of whimsy. I've never understood the desire for serious clothing, all gray, buttoned up, and constricting. Give me flowers, stripes and curlicues!
"The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies." -- Gertrude Jekyll
Are you as tired of the winter chill as me? When the winter grey gets me down, I head over to the Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse for a dose of summer warmth. It even smells like summer after a fresh rain. Deep breath. Aaah, lovely.
Adjacent to the greenhouse is a community garden. In the last two years we've installed a small patio, a rain garden, a small prairie, and even an orchard. On this year's docket is a fence made from gathered limbs and branches led by artisan extroidinaire Tor Faegre. So much is happening at this little green oasis. You have to join us.
I've been a volunteer since 2006. Kirsten always needs volunteers whether for our annual organic plant sale or to help with building beds, weeding garden sections, or painting signs. My primary job these days is the development and maintenance of our blog though I will also be leading our garden book club this summer. I had been raising a number of plants for natural dyes, but finally relinquished my space last fall as I was having trouble keeping up with my home garden.
Over the years I've learned much about organic gardening and composting. The classes are ourstanding. I'm looking forward to a class this spring on grafting fruit trees with Oriana Kruszewski. I want to add a pear tree to my own little orchard.