"The soul never thinks without a picture." -- Aristotle
I feel like an old hack in the art world with over 20 years under my belt, but I still get a thrill with every opening. This Friday "The End of the '80's" opens at the Avram Eisen Gallery, 5200 N. Damen, Chicago, IL. Four of my smaller works from the Chirurgi series will be on display. That's "Scab" above with a detail of it below.
I've been busy in the studio, mostly with stock piling new hats, scarves and other warm accessories for this fall at Enjolive, but work slowly gathers for a new sculptural series of cell structures. Unfortunately I won't have them ready for Friday. I generally work 8-16 months in advance of an exhibition. For me, this is a necessity as my work can take up to 2 months per piece. Bead embroidery is a s-l-o-w process. Knitting is faster, but again not exactly the speediest of processes. It must be my working style as even my little gouache studies can take 2-3 days.
Next up, the flags will be flying! Stay tuned. Details to come.
Photos by Larry Sanders of Sanders Visual Images.
"All crime is a kind of disease and should be treated as such." -- Mahatma Gandhi
The loud sounds I heard last week weren't fireworks. They were gunshots.
I live on a lovely street of bungalows and 2 flat apartment buildings. Folks sit on their porches sharing gossip as children zoom around on bicycles. But within the past month there has been such a spike in crime, that my jaded self is getting spooked. Last night was the final straw. Bold as brass, members of a gang walked down the center of the street shouting epithets at a particular building as they proceeded to smash car windows. It wasn't 2am. This was 8 in the evening while families sat outside.
I was walking my dogs with a neighbor's son. He was confused and wanted to see what was wrong. Natural seven year old curiosity. I pulled him back, explained that those young men weren't safe and that he should never ever go near them. I hated to see the fear register in his face, but what else could I do? The gang was between us and his house.
And to make matters worse, the local arsonist is back. He was paroled and has returned to torching garages. Friday night brought the count to 2 garages in one month. The police know who he is and where he lives, but until they actually catch him, they can't do anything. It's maddening.
Neighbors are fed up and have met with the local police precinct captain. Advice has been given on how to decrease the risks. Police response to 911 calls are now nearly instantaneous. Will this be enough?
What angers me most is that society's only solution to decreasing crime permanently is to jail offenders. It doesn't seem to be a deterrent if an arsonist is jailed, paroled and then continues to burn buildings. Is there any other way?
On that note, I'm going out to my garden to weed and think.
Yesterday I received my copy of "You've Changed." Hot off the press. Oxford University Press to be exact. That's me on the cover. Me as in my work and me as in a photo of me from 15 years ago. My daughter is closer in age to the woman in that photo than I am. How odd. Do I dare use that tired phrase "How time flies?"
At 27 I finished up graduate school, moved back to Chicago and bought a yarn store. One year later I was a mom of a bouncing 7 year old. I know the me now is connected to the me then, but it seems improbable. So much has happened. So much is different. I find myself more cautious these days, even somewhat afraid.
My daughter often asks me why I don't do this, that and the other. The stories I tell her about me at her age don't match with the mom standing before her. Did I really buy a one way ticket to England one morning, leave that night and not return for 7 months? I didn't have a place to stay, but that didn't matter. I was fearless.
These days I plot every move I make. I recently described the process to a friend as a complicated game of chess. I am playing the world master, but still hope to win. I guess that's something to say for the me now. I have enough hope to think I can beat the odds. I can win. Yes, that is indeed something.
Not a single quote could be found pertaining to this glorious fruit, which is surprising given it's one of the super foods excellent at fighting cancer.
I've gone a bit gaga for blueberries. Tis the season. Blueberry butter, blueberry pancakes, blueberry smoothies. I bought five pounds of them at the farmer's market the other day and they are already half gone. I can't decide what to do with the rest. Blueberry muffins or blueberry peach jam? Hmmm. Maybe I need to go buy some more blueberries. Solution solved!
Blueberry Butter recipe
4 cups of blueberries
6 large Granny Smith apples peeled and chopped
1 cup of brown sugar
2 cups of sugar
1 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 tsp of mace
1/4 tsp of nutmeg
1/4 tsp of allspice
Cook on low until the sugar melts and then bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Return to low and cook for another 45 minutes. Remove apple chunks and chop smooth in a blender. Return to blueberries and stir into mix. Can the butter using the rolling boil water method for 10 minutes. I haven't tried freezing the butter, but if anyone has, let me know how it worked out.
"A kiss is a rosy dot over the 'i' of loving."
-- Cyrano De Bergerac
I am obsessed with dots. Round dots, oval dash dots, any kind of dots. Candy, Fruit Loops, buttons, red blood cells. Dots, dots, dots!
Even pizza! Homemade wheat crust with gorgonzola, chives, a dab of honey and dark purple grapes. Yummy dots.
Needle felted dots on a purse, circa 2009.
A bead embroidered leucocyte cell, circa 2006.
Interlocking dots, liver cell structures embroidered on medical text, circa 1996.
A detail of a bead embroidered landscape, circa 1992.
I think you get the point. I'm dotty. ............................................................................................................................................
"Without the studio, however humble, the room where the imagination can enter cannot exist." -- Anna Hansen
Welcome to my studio! It isn't glamorous. There aren't big floor to ceiling windows with northern exposure or great freight elevators on which to load giant canvases. It is in the basement of my house with low ceilings and little natural light, but it's mine. All mine.
A constant presence in the space are my dogs. That's Josie. She loves to lay near my feet, or better yet, on my shoulders as I work. Seriously. This dog thinks she's a cat. She loves yarn and all shiny things. If I'm not careful, she'll grab my yarn and run off with it, trailing a giant web behind her. It's a good thing she's so darn cute....
Most of my yarn is stored in this closet where you will find my finished work and other surprises. I'm a pack rat and occasionally forget what I have or where I've put it.
Most of my bead collection is stored in Uncle Joe's dental cabinet. He was a dentist back in the early
1900's. The cabinet still smells faintly of camphor.
Beads that don't fit in the drawers are stored on top or in the windowsill opposite.
As you can imagine, I have an extensive stash of knitting needles.
The vintage decoration covered in silk flowers was something my Gam made many years ago. She delivered it to family and friends sick in the hospital with a bounty of lollipops tucked into it. I became the recipient of it when 7 and still find it a cheerful sight.
I know this looks like a bookshelf, but it's actually my loom, an AVL 16 harness dobby. Anyone interested in purchasing it, let me know. I'll make ya a deal. I haven't used it in years and simply don't have room to fully extend it and still have space to work at my sewing machine.
And as often happens, my daughter comes for a visit. The dogs are off for their afternoon constitutional. The blond fuzz is Jack.
Well, I hope you've enjoyed your visit. Stop back any time.
"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once." -- Albert Einstein
Every morning I wake up thinking of all I will accomplish over the course of the day and every evening I reflect upon what's left to do. It's maddening.
The process to post just one knit item on my Etsy shop Enjolive can take 3 days from start to finish. Design item. Make item. Photograph item. Photoshop photograph. Write a witty (hopefully witty) description. Create listing. Post listing on Twitter and Facebook. Load up images on Facebook and Flicker. Package item for storage until sale. Handle sale transaction. Send item. Write follow up email to customer. Do bookkeeping. Report sale to government. That doesn't include the time spent in networking, researching, and entering craft shows. And I wonder why there is always more to do? Silly me.
It's nearly a year since I started Enjolive. It has yet to be a financial success. Mom's death took the energy out of my sails for a while there. But I have to say, I love what I am doing.
So Madame Clock (didn't you know that clocks are feminine?!), go ahead and tick tock. I have some more knitting to do.
"That minister of ministers,
Imagination, gathers up
The undiscovered Universe,
Like jewels in a jasper cup."
Imagination, gathers up
The undiscovered Universe,
Like jewels in a jasper cup."
-- John Davidson
Buried in a closet and an antique dental cabinet lies a treasure trove of vintage beads, crystal beads, sterling silver findings and more. 21 years ago I started a small costume jewelry business. Graduate school, a retail yarn shop and one daughter side tracked me, but the jewels are back!
This is my first listing at Enjolive. Girly with a capital "G." Romantic and sweet, but with a dash of attitude. Creating costume jewelry is like knitting - highly addictive. One idea leaps to the next, so look for many more listings over at Enjolive throughout the summer.