Our granddaughter loves her room at our home. (right)
She especially loves the pillows on the bed. It's interesting how they are such an important memory for her.
Sometimes when we Skype, she wants to see 'her' room and the pillows on the bed. There they are!
For Christmas, I decided to make her 4 colorful pillows for her own bed at home.
On the work wall (right) designing 4 pillows with a different design on the back and front. I asked what are her favorite colors? Her answer: turquoise, purple and black. Surprisingly not pink. I used mostly Marimekko fabrics from Finland.
I have been saving this torn out craft page of rag dolls from the December 1970 issue Woman's Day Magazine for 43 years! (top 2 photos from magazine page) With my granddaughter and Christmas in mind, I finally tried to make one of these cute things! I kept no directions but did have patterns I made years ago, but never used.
I started. These dolls are harder to make than I expected. I'm not showing the failed experiments! Like any other art form, you have to put time in, experimenting with the process. This could take some time. (below - pondering the process)
I have an awesome collection of fabric from years of quiltmaking so if I ever figure out how to make one of these dolls successfully, I think this could be something fun to get into!
Friends coming and going last week. I dropped artmaking and enjoyed the gift of friendship.
Artist Jens (left) and photographer Florian (right), both from Berlin, came after doing performance art in NYC at the Met, Grand Central Station, Times Square and Rockerfeller Center. I knew conversations would be centered around faith issues and full of intensity and humor so I invited Martha to come on over from Hartford. Martha would have a lot to contribute. Jens comes every couple of years. I first got to know him through his amazing story of creating and sharing his art in the village in Niger. Jonathan and Eileen, Sokol and Kari and family, all living nearby, rounded out the Sunday dinner table. Table set with the batik table cloth I bought in Cameroon last May.
Photos:top 2: Martha, inspired by Jen's latest performance videos, has us posing in performance mode. bottom: Sunday dinner with friends and family. Click photos to enlarge.
I worked on Zach's book in Blurb's BookSmart program. Here's one of his original pages.
On the In Him quilt, I played with adding and substracting shapes and buttons. Not working. I realized the problem. I needed to crop the quilt. At the end of the day I was taking the binding off all 4 sides before I crop.
Today I worked on Zach's latest book, The Kitty Food machine. I already scanned the pages. Today I rotated the pictures and cropped excess.(a page) Zach made his book in the summer when we were visiting.(in art room) This book will be more complicated. We'll need to use cartoon balloons for Kittykee's words.
Pinned the gold back on. Just tacking it down here and there. Will see how that goes. Doubled up blue machine stitches across the quilt. Looked at button and beads for adding later. The process continues.
I am pondering how to say what I want to say, what I am compelled to say in this quilt. It is rather risky letting you see that this is not easy for me. Also-it is not completed. In the mixing bowl of process is the brown-I have some plans for making that work. It does not work here, yet I want to use it. The emptiness is bothering me at the top. So - in the process there is indecision, missteps and quandaries that I'm going through. But that is the creative process.
I think I want to use a filmy golden organza. I may take the 'trailing gold' off. Process.
I love my walking foot for machine quilting. It has 'feet' that walk on top of the three-layers of fabric & batting, so the layers do not bunch up. Today, with the walking foot, I machine quilted along the edge of each floating shape. Photo: reverse side of quilt, where all threads are brought to the back and knotted.
Yesterday I was out of the studio. Nelson and I drove over to New Bedford, Massachusetts to see our friend Pastor Paul Emmanuel Ntap Ekoue, visiting from Yaounde, Cameroon. Pastor Paul is married to Wabi Pearl, a wonderfully gifted artist. We spent a Sunday with them in Cameroon at their Presbyterian church - where Nelson preached, in their home - meeting Wabi and seeing her jewelry-making and out to a delicious relaxing dinner. A perfectly refreshing day! Our time together yesterday was a great blessing, catching up on family and friends back in Cameroon. I wore the necklace and earrings Wabi created. Nelson and I are abundantly blessed with friends and friendships around the world - like with Pastor Paul and Wabi. Really, what is more important than relationships? Nothing!!! When all is said and done, relationships-people, grounded in faith in Jesus, are all we take to heaven. In the photo below Marcia and I are with Wabi in her home, wearing her jewelry. Click here to see a post I wrote about our experience meeting Wabi Pearl, the artist, in Cameroon.
So little time to work today. When I made it up to my studio, the good lightng was long gone. It was raining again. My work room was dark. After putting the track lighting on, I made the decision to move ahead and start sewing the scrap pieces to the sky background. So here we go... Looking forward to working on it tomorrow. Photo: uneven lighting but this is how the piece looked when I left to make dinner.
"For in Him we live and move and have our being."words of Paul from Acts 17:28
What fun working on something so free - no set direction - just loose ideas - fabric scraps floating on sky fabric. Some might call this approach intuitive, I call it Spirit led. Last week I began with a different sky background. Next day it changed to what you see above. This afternoon I took the fabric off the wall and worked flat. Easier to see how buttons, sequins and metallic threads might look floating along with the fabric scraps.` Yes, moving with the Spirit.
Sometimes a Bible verse pops into my head - I'm not mentally going through verses I might apply to a situation - no it's not like that - it just comes. I was thinking about my little grandson, when this verse came to me. "For in Him we live and move and have our being." Acts 17:28. He took a bad fall recently, resulting in a concussion.I was so thankful to God that he was not seriously hurt. As the words of that verse played over and over in my head, inspiration for a new quilt series came rather un-expectantly a week later. Again I was not mentally going through some ideas to picture the verse. A very loose picture simply came into my mind's eye - shapes floating on a sky background. Inspiriation took root and out came hand-painted sky fabric and boxes of scraps. I began trying out an idea on the work-wall - sky fabrics up first and fabric scraps floating on top. I'm excited about the possibilities. A quilt series had just been birthed.
Sally Lloyd-Jones has written the best ever Bible story book for children on the market! Well that's my opinion and I think the sales reflect it! The Jesus Storybook Bible just passed the 1,000,000 copies sold mark!
I drove down to Greenwich, CT this week where I had the pleasure of meeting Sally Lloyd-Jones and heard her speak on 'Communicating Grace Through Story,'
Her 10 big ideas - A story...
• works secretly in silence
• leaves room for mystery
• takes children seriously
• does not dumb down
• uses rich language
• tells the truth - takes fears seriously
• not necessarily real but contains truth
• opens the door to hope
• does not argue
• is a performance
Her talk was rich - peppered with stories, experiences, wisdom and readings from her books.
top: @Stanwich Church, Greenwich, CT with a page from her book projected on the screen as she reads the story