Stitching in the flow

Recently, the Witch of Forest Grove posted a photo of her tarot deck in a lovely still life image on her Facebook page. In it was a pouch I made that she eventually made hers.  This photo manifested 4 new custom bags.  It can be a challenge when someone wants one “Just like hers” when my goal is to make sure everyone gets something at least a little bit unique. Luckily living in the now and letting the organic process flow makes it easier and also I’m not who I was when the first bag was created and so my style has shifted.  There are similarities but the differences are there too.

This little one is for me to replace the bags that were stolen from my art showing last November.

Put A Bird on It ~ Silk and silk/wool threads, velveteen apllique, on wool with vintage white silk lining. Included in the shot but not the bag is the deer skin I obtained from a Makah bow hunter I ran into many years ago.

These following bags are the commissioned pieces. I thought their new owners would like to see a taste of things to come.  Almost complete, they need their cords and “tassels,” some of which will be actual tassels and some will be deer skin tassels, all will be beaded with semi precious stones and perhaps a charm. Ladies, they will ship Saturday, July 7th.

For Chris ~ cotton velveteen, green/purple dupioni silk, perl cotton, amber bead, gold brocade silk lining with vine pattern

Also for Chris ~ Wool with silk, wool felt, and cotton velveteen applique, horn beads, perl cotton, blue/purple/red changeable silk lining

For Allison ~ cotton velveteen, green/purple dupioni silk, perl cotton, amber bead, gold brocade silk lining with vine pattern

For Nikiah of Red Moon Designs ~ bone stag with bone and horn beads, vintage silk velvet snake, vintage white silk lining.  The rest is a surprise, this bag is special….

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Darn that cat!

What do I do on the bus to and from work? Catch up on my social  media so that I don’t have to turn my computer on when I get home.  Here it is, the last work day in June, and I’ve made my numbers, I’m getting the biggest bonus I ever had, and boy am I tired.  April, May, and June have been massively busy at work and I’m just overextended. When you have fibromyalgia it can be exacerbated by this much stress and kickassedness.  I come home and crash.  And that’s what happened recently. I crashed. My attention has been a bit compromised and some details have fallen through the cracks. My clumsy also became more evident.  I have no one to really blame but me for what happened next but these things happen and no blame.

I might have mentioned that two weeks ago I fell. Twice. Here’s what happened. Long story long. My left elbow is as bad as it can be without actually being swollen or broken. The pain is incredible when I try to grip anything like a cup of tea or a door knob. If I raise my arm to scratch my face (it appears to be part of the angle as well as the movement) it shrieks. And typing?  My shoulder appears to be affected as well as my wrist and forearm but the elbow is the worst.

How can you stay upset with this face? this itty bitty kitty mitty? you can’t.
but damn, some days…

My dear Miss Mitty has been missing her aim on the litter box.  I bought some of those pads for potty training puppies so that if she missed the litter box it would go on the pad and be easier to clean up than puddles.  One day she didn’t actually miss, she peed 2 feet away from her box and soaked my bathroom area rug. So I washed it with vinegar and some enzymatic stuff.  She started peeing there regularly.  I bought a new rug and cleaned the concrete floor.  She peed on that rug.  We are currently just washing the three area rugs each week because she shows no sign of stopping this.  She is getting old, hey, at least it’s in the bathroom. Right?  I can be understanding, she’s been a very good, very sweet mitty and is doing her best and I wouldn’t want to put her down over a smelly rug that I will totally toss when she does leave this world.  Seemed like a worthy sacrifice.  She came to me so damaged (rescue) in body and soul that I do everything I can to keep her comfortable and help her heal.

One day I was working at home and kept smelling urine.  Right by my computer chair two rooms away from the bathroom. (god, typing HURTS) I got down on my knees and sniffed and sure enough, massive stench. Oh man.  What the fuck?  I saturated the spot with pet odor remover and it is better.  I think she smelled the discarded potty mat and thought that room was good to pee in. But I had to make sure THAT never happened again so how to keep mitty out of my studio??? There is no door, the room is too small and the door is in the garage, so simply closing a door isn’t an option. To stop her that day until I had a better plan,  I used a shelf from my oak bookcase (I have a little corner with a couple staffs and shelves and an ironing board and curtain rods and my witch broom (I knnnnoooowwwww)) and well, it was handy.  So I put the shelf across the door.

I puttered in my studio a bit and then turned to walk out and promptly nailed myself in the shins and did a full body face plant on the other side.  Mr. Furnace was there and he came over to help me up and I said, no, just let me lay here a minute. I was really gobsmacked and boy when you fall at 52 and you aren’t athletic any more it’s no picnic.  I used to run hurdles in high school and I fell jumping one of those. I was in amazing physical shape and it was all I could do to get up and leap again right then and there.  Falling like this is no fun at any age in any shape.  I felt bruised all over and had a ding on my shin and the top of one foot. And thought to myself, “duh!!!!!! you need to get something higher so you will see it.”  Since I had nothing to hand that was really big, I put my watercolor board there in addition to the shelf.

The next morning I was in the studio, I had seen the boards and made it safely over the threshold, and I puttered around some more.  And turned and tripped and face planted big time.  I was on the phone with Mr. F and he heard it happen.  This time I put a big dent in my other shin, bruised the other foot.  The thing is the board was on my side of the doorway so it didn’t budge.  If it had been on the other side, it would have fallen with me and that is part of why there was so much damage and no recovery.

I’m mending just fine except for my left arm from shoulder to wrist.  The worst of the pain is in the elbow but it’s very clear that, being left handed, this is the hand that went out to stop my fall and it took the bulk of the weight and momentum.  At the time all I could feel was the damage to my shins and feet because it was so sharply immediate but boy, this arm thing is lingering.  I am looking forward to massive amounts of ice this weekend.

I had a tri-fold presentation board in the car and it is now in place.  It’s 3 feet high so I see it and it has these handy folds so it works very much like a dutch door. A perfect and cheap solution that doesn’t block the space and light like a solid door would and will completely buckle if I somehow manage to not see it.  Hindsight is 20/20.

There is one other reason my elbow hurts and it is crafty and textile embroider-y.  The most fabulous Sarah from Witch of Forest Grove posted a photo of her tarot deck and in the photo was one of the bags I made.  A very simple bag. That photo generated 4 custom tarot bags in as many days!  So I’ve been typing and working hard and coming home and stitching every night.  Here is a taste.  This is a crappy phone photo so it’s blurry and it doesn’t come close to how yummy I think this looks but someone will be happy to see this progress.

A middle earth rune bag with tassels that are “butched up” Love that.

The Wheel of the Year Turns Again

Making much progress on the Wheel of the Year project. This is one of the never ending projects. 4 years now I think. I work on it a bit, put it down, work on it, put it down. It finally told me that the segments were complete. I was doubtful as I was thinking “no more is better, more stuff more stuff” and this voice said  “no, plenty of stuff, you need white space for the eye to rest!”

Note: These photos don’t do it justice.  Made some progress leaning my camera as well so these are the last icky photos…

This piece will be almost 4′ across once complete.  It consists of 8 pie shaped pieces, each on representing a sacred time of the Celtic/pagan year.  Starting with Imbolg/Candlemas and moving towards Yule (Imbolg, Ostara, Beltaine, Litha, Lammas, Mabon, Samhain, and Yule) it is made from wool felt with beading, embroidery, and felt/and velvet applique.  Each piece has an animal and a plant associated with that time of the year, celebrating fertility, life,death, and rebirth.

I’ve finally got the pie pieces connected to each other and have the central motif of the sun and moon begun.  Each section will be separated by a green velvet ribbon.  It will be backed with green wool felt and have, in each corner, an embroidery of an element (earth, air, fire, water).  I’m really getting close to completion and once again I’m excited about it.


Gallery of past progress