Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A Year of Exploration and Discovery

On my birthday this year, I gifted myself with a Year of Exploration and Discovery. For this next year I don't have to only weave baskets. I give myself full permission to take classes in or otherwise investigate, say, wood turninrg, scrimshaw, sculpting, sprang or nalbinding. There will be no guilt in dabbling, learning, playing, making less than beautiful pieces of art. 
That was about as far as I thought, just a year of discovery, until I read this blog: http://thebluebottletree.com/find-your-artistic-voice/ 

Perhaps I'm really trying to find my authentic artistic voice. I thought I had found it in weaving in bound weaves:
But maybe, deep down, I'm seeking something entirely different. Some medium may be calling my name for this next stage in my artistic life. Or not. I won't know until I face the fear of, what? Failure? Imperfection? 

Let's find out!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Bear With Me

Found a cute 8" bear in my stash. What else could I possibly do but weave him a backpack?? Western red cedar, waxed linen and waxed cotton.  That's the good news. Bad news is now everyone wants one!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Blending a Love of Beads and Baskets

I love to bead.  I love to weave baskets.  What would be better than to blend the two?  Several Indian tribes are renowned for their beaded baskets, the Paiutes in particular. They truly inspired me.

So for my own, personal take on this, I decided to use Delica beads, size 11.  Both of the following baskets started with a 9 pointed star (symbol of the Baha'i Faith).  One was made over a rather crude pine needle basket:
 My next attempt was beaded over a small lattice twined basket:

So what now?  A much larger lattice-twined basket, of course!

Monday, October 3, 2016


Dear Readers,

Yes, I know, I've been missing in action.  I honestly thought I was not going to blog anymore.... at all.  Come to find out - I miss it!  And You!  So I'm back, but still sorting out what posting schedule will be most comfortable for all of us.  It certainly won't be daily, as it was in the beginning.  I'm thinking weekly.  But I have just missed this, you, the process, too much to let it drop entirely.  And have no fears. As usual, I will not let this become a political rant.  That has to be a refreshing change from what's out there at the moment, yes??

So, in keeping with my love of words (logophile), I found "saudade"!

What is one word to describe the feeling of missing someone?


What dictionary says :
Saudade is used to explain the feeling of missing something or someone.
It is used to tell about something that you used to have (and liked) but don't have anymore.
But literally, it goes deeper. Its a beautiful word of Portuguese origin, evokes a sense of loneliness and incompleteness. In a whole bunch of clumsy English words, Saudade means “the love that remains” after someone is gone. It’s the recollection of feelings, experiences, places or events that once brought excitement, pleasure, well being, which now triggers the senses and makes one live again. It describes a deep nostalgic longing. It brings sad and happy feelings all at once;
Sadness from missing something loved.
Happiness for having experienced the love.
I can conjure this feeling. I feel it for the little girl I once was.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Strings and Cords

My fascination with string and cord continues.  So very many years ago I was into the macrame thing.  Now I prefer the micro-macrame:  (example below is NOT mine)

  Well, okay, because I can use my beads, too.

And I love knots.  Right now I'm playing with covering bottles - not necessarily with macrame-style netting and such, but with variations on the Turk's Head:  different Turks with varying leads and bights, Gaucho, Herringbone, etc.

(Again, the projects are not mine.)

And moving on to tool handles:

Somehow this is all related to crocheting, knitting, beading, and weaving.

I haven't met a cord that I didn't immediately envision how I might manipulate it.

I suppose there are worse things.



Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Peruvian String Art Jewelry

My new fascination:  Peruvian String Art Jewelry.  Personally have not tried to make any yet, but just looking at the photos is most satisfying!  I'm gathering the materials to start making the coils and framework, then will try my hand at this. Let's see:  math + fiber + color + design + function = who could want more?



Monday, January 11, 2016

Learning to Beat Procrastination

I used to teach organizational seminars (hard to imagine, I know).  So I know all of the tricks on how to beat procrastination - for someone else.  Since I've finally managed to overcome my latest procrastinating and finally gotten back into the studio, thought I'd share some of my favorite tips for artists that may be facing that procrastination elephant in the room:

1.    Break it down into manageable bites.  Even if you tell yourself you'll only work for 10 minutes, do that.  Set a timer if that helps.  You can do anything for 10 minutes.
2.    Figure out the one thing that's stopping you from working. Then go work on something else until you come up with a solution.  But at least do something.
3.    Work with a To-Do List.  (Key to this is to make it realistic!)
4.    Guard you time.  When it's time to work, really work.  When it's time to play, then play.  But don't feel guilty about one while you are doing the other.
5.     Don't use FB and emails as an excuse - they will gobble up your time without mercy.
6.     And if nothing else works, just make yourself  "show up" in your studio, or where your work. Once you're there, you'll probably find something to get started on.

This last week I was struggling to get working, because I really didn't know how to fix a problem rim on a basket.  So I forced myself to "show up", and started weaving anyway.  Once I got to the rim, the solution presented itself quite easily.

Why did I make it such a big deal??

Monday, January 4, 2016

Joy in Organizing

There is a deep, personal joy that I find in organizing for the new year.  As I file away the previous year's records in preparation for tax season, I check off the task on a mental checklist. ( I love making space and folders for the new year.) Clearing out old emails for a fresh start with a pristine folder - check that off, too.  Physically clearing off my desk and inbox with accumulated detritus almost brings a smile to my lips.  Prioritizing and moving notes made on my iphone to Workflowy is so satisfying.  Clearing apps off my phone that I don't really use is remarkably freeing.  Yes, I could go on and on, but only at the risk of really sounding like an organizational geek!

Why I like to organize is probably very similar to why women like to clean. (http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/cleaning/love-clean/calms-mind )
It makes me feel in control, it calms my mind, and it's a reflection of who I  truly am.  Plus it's always nice to start the year fresh, without the mess.

I understand that organizing isn't everyone's "thing", but it certainly is mine.  Don't get me wrong, my house isn't perfectly neat all the time, and I do occasionally lose things.  But that doesn't stop me from embracing the bliss of organizing small areas of my life.

And one more plug for Workflowy - absolutely the best organizing and list making app in the world.