The 60s

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Oh my goodness… Where did the time go? Heck with other people! *I* couldn’t handle how fabulous I was. Long, tortuous but eventually liberating, sunshiney, personal journey story left for another day.

Recently I was asked in Mindfulness Compassion Therapy (what a blessing it has been) what I want to do with my 60s. It sounds like a simple question but it’s not. I don’t think I’ve asked myself that type of question regarding a new decade of my life ever. This one simple question has really pumped up the volume of stepchild questions. It’s no longer just one question.

One of those questions that I keep revolving around deals with creativity. The last 2 years have been a bit of a dud artistically. Sort of. Creativity? What’s that? I had a very bad reaction to one of my cancer treatment medications in January of 2017. It was bad. It nearly took me out. Art? I could barely tie my shoes. Write? I could barely read. Drain Bamage. I’m 100% serious. I have been working VERY hard on getting back to myself.  It’s working. I’m back. In many ways better than when I left. And I do mean LEFT. So, now that I’m right…  Or should I say upright …

What do I want in my 60s? More. More Joy. More Love. More Art. More Healing. More Style. More Fabulous. More Family. More Health. What helps those things come into being? Creativity. Love. They’ve always been the answer and still are.

The other day I bought myself a new and fabulous pyrography machine. That sucker BURNS. I won’t be able to use it on anything other than the hardest woods. It burned through a piece of basswood in 4 seconds. Which means I won’t be using it that much right now as my current project isn’t in hardwood. I’ll share photos of the new project but I’ll be using my trusty Dagger.  I need hardwood supplies.

I’ve been looking at my fabric stash, much diminished after a major purge last year, for textile inspiration, noodling around in my head before I sleep letting ideas for textile goodness projects come and go. My Facebook feed is full of luscious needlework beauty.  Pinterest too.  (BTW, my Pinterest boards are here, enjoy)

Inspired by something I saw, a few weeks ago I sent a photo of a recent needlework project (not the one below) to a magazine in Australia, Inspirations. They have been an inspiration to me for a long time. I love their magazine, it’s soooo beautiful. And they wrote me back! Asking for a larger resolution image for their newsletter and a brief bio about my needlework journey. Stuff like this bag below. I made at least two dozen bags in the past year and most of them are sold or gifted. I’m moving on to other things…

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While I was working on a bio to send to Inspirations I came here to grab some blips and quips and I realized that I missed my blog. I miss *some* things at any rate. Some things I don’t miss at all…. But boy did I need to do some spring cleaning. Like make certain posts private from two years ago. I don’t want THOSE public, I was having a rough time. A VERY Rough Time. Some videos I recorded and uploaded made me feel embarrassed. Some of them were recorded only days before the world went black. Why on earth would that be embarrassing? Well, if you’ve spent any time in the archives, you might understand why a world renowned embroidery publication might find it off-putting. There’s nothing I can really do about the archives. I lived my life out loud and in public here for a long time. All 18 of you wonderful strangers read it faithfully.  So what’s here is here. Except from 2 years ago. The videos just had to go in the Good to Know But Not Share file. I did, however, listen to them and found tidbits of goodness like 30 minutes of me rambling about what I was going to do creatively in 2017.  Let’s just change that to 2019 shall we?

The big question became, “What do I want to do with my 60s and do I want to do it here?” Is it time to focus? Is it time to get back to being productive? Is it time to be public about it? Hesitatingly, the answer is:

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OH! I got married last week. OMG. Married! To the best man a gal could want by her side. At least this gal. Now that is some joyous news.

Fabulous though he is, I can talk until the cows come home. Evidently they don’t come home very often, the man never gets any peace. He’s a SAINT. He’s private. He’s mine. He might even lovingly cringe that I’m going public again. I’ve learned a few things in the past 2 years and one of them is, you don’t have to share EVERYTHING anymore. Say what?! I know, right? If It makes me hesitate, put it on the back burner. I’m going to leave the archives here because if nothing else, they will show, I hope, my personal growth. It’s done my heart wonders, this being married to such a wonderful person. The day after we got married I felt incredibly different in a very good, very supported way. In a family way, er, family kind of way. I felt so loved. I FEEL so loved. And feeling loved kind of opens up all kinds of possibilities doesn’t it? It sure beats the alternative. Right? Right.

I’m making a list of things I want to talk about and things I want to show off. Things you might like to see and read. My hard drive crashed two weeks ago and I lost YEARS of hi-res images of my work but I think I have enough to make it work moving forward. My phone takes amazing images really. I have a great camera. Let’s only show new things. There are tons of photos here already of what I did in the past. I have new things I can bring out for show and tell.

One last thing, recently I purchased colonialtailor.com, a long held dream of a demo site that mimics Medieval Tailor but with 18th century American clothing reproductions. It’s been on my dream list a long time but when I put off buying the domain and lost it to someone else and my “Master” betrayed me, precious, I kind of let it fizzle out. There were tears. And hissing. That was 10 years ago. This year it was available again for a rock bottom price and it’s now mine… So there might be things to say about that! Wait… MIGHT? Definitely some things to say about that and some of it has to do with being adopted, DNA and geneaology, Benedict Arnold, and Robert the Bruce.  I know, right? WTH.

So…  let the fun begin!

Solace

Peaceful Sunday morning. Bird song. My new phone has an amazing camera. Altar vignettes. No particular reason. 

Art For Art’s Sake

 

I haven’t been posting much because I’ve been quite sick. So sick that I couldn’t sleep in my own bed. The guest bed seems to be the place. My phone has a new camera and this morning, laying in my cozy nest, I fell in love with my art supplies all over again.

My own art isn’t featured in this room. I never noticed that. Granted, this room is the last frontier as far as home dec goes and as I follow the flow, listening for whispers of what goes where, I’ creating a sacred space. It does, however, feature the art of friends.

Because of my recent illness I’m rethinking some things. I spend too much time on Facebook for starters. It’s been a love hate relationship. It does have its uses. One of the big questions on my mind is what direction do I want to take my art? Do I want to write more? Paint more? Burn more? Sell? Give only? Not expect money from it or expect to make a living? Etc.  The hamster is running on the wheel. At least the wheel is turning again.

I don’t have a clue what the future holds for me but I’m imagining that it can be anything that I want. Golden. Honey dripping. Joy bringing. Smile as my head hits the pillow. Happy. Content. Peaceful. Love, always love.

More will be revealed. Indeed.

Twilight Is Finally Falling

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Layering the twilight, lots of blues and purples and tiny touches of gold and silver. This illustration will be sold as an original. Haven’t decided on whether to sell framed or not framed. What do you think? Should I add in the frame? I find beautiful frames at second hand shops so they don’t cost much (you know how expensive framing is). But it does take time to find the truly good ones and in some cases would add to shipping costs, etc. I’m eyeing a gorgeous ceramic frame for this but due to the square layout we shall see.

This will be one of a series of Sabbat greeting cards (sets and individually), prints, bookmarks. Hopefully at least Mabon, Samhain, and Yule should be ready in time to purchase from my Etsy shop for the year end holidays. I may consider decoupaging some boxes for affordability. There will be more, I am also working on some wood offerings as well as a couple embroidered bags. Perhaps a few things from my private collection too.

At this time I don’t plan on taking commissions. I’ve got enough on my plate. Hope you find something you like there. I’ll be sure to post a link when the shop reopens. While I’m not taking commissions, please let me know what you might like to see in the shop.

More will be revealed.

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Teaser of Designs to Come

I’ve been going through all my sketch books and seeing what old and new design speak to me for illustration work on paper for prints and cards and the like. I’m having to make small adjustments to size and add details that are now possible. I’m also tracing them for posterity so that I can use parts as well. Why reinvent the wheel?

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Tree of Life Part Deux

When I was first diagnosed with cancer I immediately started working on a Tree of Life embroidery design. Each main branch had a certain plant that I felt would help with my healing.

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I started working on the linen background fabric with threads in a silk and wool blend. And then I started getting really sick. And my fingers started to go numb from one of my chemo drugs. And there were things I didn’t like, for instance the buckling of the pomegranate fabric from sewing around and around just a bit too tightly. Same issue with the acorns and I don’t like the color pathway of the blackberries. They dull it down for me.

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When all was said and done I realized the piece was too big for me to continue and I’d lost heart in it. Didn’t feel like I was surviving and I was losing my spirit.

Some time later, I started using elements of the design to create a commemorative “I Survived Cancer” tattoo for myself.

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Yesterday I ran across the first draft of the Tree of Life sketch and I fell in love with it all over again. The actual final sketch is nice and small. MUCH smaller than the embroidery. It needs a few changes to get there but it’s a darned good start. I added pears and partridge instead of the blackberries because I love them and I want more juice in my life. And brighter colors. I think it will make a very nice woodburned plaque too. And great, affordable, prints.

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Getting ready to trace so I can transfer to any medium, illustration board, wood, paper…

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Yes, I think it’s a good start. I also think it calls for a stag lounging on the left hummock… And the top needs something… A fairy perched? A butterfly? A snail?

So for starters this will be an illustration that I think will make nice greeting cards of 5×5 that anyone, pagan or otherwise, will enjoy. I also plan to use some drawings that were part of a wooden box’s side panels. This would make some fine bookmarks and I have several book mark designs that never went anywhere either. This little strip below is my favorite sketch of all my work. Mainly because I simply couldn’t believe it was my work. I’ve probably made some better pieces but this one convinced me I was an illustrator. Every once in awhile I go back and make some changes like the acorn cap and the thistle. Time to bring her to life.

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There are a ton of drawings that were for wooden boxes and embroideries that I can totally turn in to full illustrations and elements that will go with other elements. What does that mean for me right now? A lot less work. I already have stuff I love. I’m sure many more pieces will arrive in the creativity card catalog of my brain.

More beauty is on its way.

Blessed be.

Pouch Goodness

How do I start? In this case the person I’m making this for gave me a few meaningful plants and colors to start off with. Mandrake, pomegranate, and brambles in natural colours, blues, greens, red.

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My first draft was too big and too complicated (but watch for it to become an illustration for prints and cards).

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The second one doesn’t have the fairy queen but it does fit and it will still be full of beauty and love and magick.

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Then I hit the material inspirations. I look at the threads I have and what colors. These are a silk and wool blend from Caron Impressions and I love them the most.

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At the top are vintage unspun or loosely spun raw silk gifted to me by someone who was a dear lady and she was inspired by my work. The silks were a family heirloom for her and I treasure them. In the little bin in the foreground are also silks, some caterpillar chenille, silk perl, and wired rayon and varies spun silks. Also in the photo is a little pin cushion I made from a Shepherd’s Bush kit. I’ve got at least six beautiful bell pulls that need to be backed and hung. Uh huh. Soon. Sure.

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I just threw this photo in because I found them in the box. These small tools are called “embroidery shoes,” or half cone sticks and are specifically for creating things like bluebells and daffodils in stumpwork raised embroidery.

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Some variegated cotton perl, hand dyed by Caron. You can see the pin cushion better from back in the day when I stitched kits and hadn’t discovered I could design. My first foray away from counted cross stitch on aida cloth and up to linen and silks. I was so inspired I couldn’t stop.

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I probably won’t be using the red or emerald felt but the red deer velvet instead. The little purple mandrake flowers, the beads for the pomegranate and the berries. A needle case carved from the leg bone of a cow or deer, something big, it’s glorious. A lucet for making the drawstrings.

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This color is way too pink, the actual color is a deep rich blood red. I’m going to use the stag heads for the pomegranate sides if they’ll fit.

So just a little peek. Things are coming along as I deal with yet more heavy health issues but I will have more quiet time for at least a little while we figure things out. Tonight I cut out the applique pieces.

Blessings!!!