Friday, May 29, 2020

...But I am quilting... (2nd in a series)

I am not a quilter, but I am quilting!
Two days ago.
Blocks are increasing, loose fabric decreasing...
The design is being laid out, forming itself.
In between sewing, I am learning to quilt
with some great YouTube teachers.
Thank you, teachers.
I still don't know what it will look like in the end
but it does look somewhat how I imagined it!
Don't know many blocks I will make.
Or how big it will be.
Maybe a tablecloth...

I am making fewer mistakes now. 
Developing a rhythm. 
I am glad I didn't quit. 
At one point I thought
I'd just make a bunch of separate hot pads.
But I think I've gone too far to not make a quilt
of some sort.
A box holds scraps from quiltfor a next project...
Can't wait to see what it will be!
It was the masks that got the whole thing going.
If I have to wear them, they might as well be colorful
and match my outfit!

Monday, May 25, 2020

"I Am Not a Quilter"...

I took out my old fabric scraps & sewing machine!
They'd been in a closet for 8 years.

A well meaning friend, who saw my frustration with
stitching, taking out stitches,
stitching, taking out stitches,
stitching, taking out stitches,
swear, swear, swear,
suggested, "Maybe you are just not a quilter."

I am also not a dancer.
 I am slower at learning moves
than other people. 
Quilting & Zumba dance have cognitive steps
that are hard for my type of brain.
But they also offer me a flow of movement
and joyful expression. I love them!

(I am also not a writer, 
it takes me a long time...
And yet, I love it too.)

A saying on my bulletin board:
"The harder you work for something,
The greater you'll feel when you achieve it."

So why am I sewing?

• I love going from chaos to order.
• I love spending hours with the fabrics, 
touching them, 
arranging & re-arranging them.
• Soaking in 
the colors, the colors, the colors!
• By experiencing the process,
I see & understand 
others' quilts with more depth.

I love the tools. 
Recently I even bought a few new ones 
at our local sewing/art shop, 
Fiddleheads, curbside.

I love the way sewing connects me with my dear mother,
who helped me to learn to sew.
And who loved sewing clothes for me.
And with my peer group women friends.
And with the memories of my jr. high girl friends 
when we were first learning to sew. 
It was a happy time of camaraderie in Home Arts classes.

Do schools still teach Home Arts?

I love that I can sew gifts for friends. 
The above "hot pad", 
with my first time using interfacing,
was a gift to a friend using colors I know she loves.
I have even made some masks for friends,
in "their colors".

This staying home time has given me
the gift of Home Arts.
And the gift of time to be as slow 
as I need to be.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Sketching: A Pause From Stress

7AM crowded grocery shopping 
once again triggered anxiety. 
An unhealthy looking man, 
coughing & sneezing, no mask,
lingering in the aisles. 
Scared me. 
I talked to our pleasant manager, 
but once home, tension lingered.

So I gathered my art bag
and headed to a bench in City Park.
Highlights on lively small waves,
like 4th of July sparklers, 
sun & breeze. 
View of Penobscot Bay to Blue Hill  
and the distant mountains of Acadia.

It didn't completely take away my stress, 
but for some brief moments
I breathed in healthy air. 
And sketched.

Friday, May 15, 2020

What I Took For Granted...

Funny, I took spiritual gifts less for granted
than material objects, before the virus & shut down.

I don't shop online,
but art tools & materials 
were available at local shops 
within a 100 miles.
Now those shops are closed.

So a friend kindly helped me to order new #11 blades,
and a great, new ergonomic Excel knife. 
They are luxuries to me!!

I did a few test cuts, magnificent feeling
of cutting with a precision blade! 
My edges could be smoother,
but that's me needing to practice...

 I realized I could arrange these simple snippets
in an infinite number of ways,
with lovely negative shapes inbetween...

Like letters in a word, words in a sentence...
An infinite number of ways.
But then, a lot is boggling these days...

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Sticker and Dot Play

While listening to the news of the virus,
I was soothed by painting Dots. 
Dots, again? 
You're supposed to be sketching,
Sketchbook Wandering!

I went through a major Dot Phase 
not too long ago.
Recently a reader, "minimal shine", 
asked about the Dot Stickers
that were on my last daily journal cover . 
To see that post, click HERE.
The Dot Stickers are some of my favorite stickers.
(Yes, I'm also going through a Sticker Phase. 
And at my age!)
So pretty, and even the dots have little dots!
They are called Sticko Color Bubbles
found at Michael's.

The Postal Service is also going through a Dot Phase.
The latest Celebrate postage stamp!

All of a sudden, while doing this post, 
Dots were everywhere!

Even my measuring cups turned into Dots.
Even the soap suds were made up of tiny dots!

The recently organized fountain pen inks.
Yes! The lids were Dots!

Like a happy school girl,
 I'm still merrily pasting little stickers 
into my current daily journal.
In between the writing & the tracking,
I'm also inserting 
my own drawings & paintings & colors.
I may leave the Sticker Phase,
but I don't think I will EVER get over Dots,
 or Drawing & Painting.

(To minimal shine
 let me know that you got the info!)

Monday, May 11, 2020

The Sketchers Get Together (but apart)

The Sketchers went down to the Library Park in Camden
(in separate cars.)
It's been many weeks since we've gotten together
(but apart.)

I usually forget to pack one item.This time: watercolors!
It turned out to be a blessing!
I loved focusing on values, lines, forms!
I would have missed seeing some wonderful qualities
if I had been distracted by paint & color!  
And I would have missed the feeling of my pen
dancing on the paper.
Behind me,
a waterfall, right in town, flows into the Harbor.

Yes, it's almost mid-May 
and I'm wearing a parka and gloves.
And loving it!

Sunday, May 3, 2020

L'opéra de Cendrillon et Il était une fois...

The art of storytelling, is so vital to humans,
maybe more than ever 
during a time of confinement.
I can't travel to gather new stories & world experiences,
but my mind & heart can.
The fairy tale Cinderella came to me recently 
via the Metropolitan Opera website.
Cendrillon de Jules Messenet, written in1899.
I sketched while watching it on my computer screen.

I was brought back to magical fairy tales, characters, costumes & settings
that sustained me in childhood. 
I am brand new to opera. 
What a wonderful way to begin a journey
into a new art form:
An opera for children as well as adults.

As a former teacher I loved exploring the Met's 
lesson plan for Cendrillon which led to note taking
in my daily journal
Studying the French language continues 
to be a sort of enchantment for me.
Voilà, this opera is in French!! Double, triple enchantment!!

 Magnificent costumes, music, dance, comedy, tragedy...
And, of course, "Happily ever after." 
"Heureux pour toujours".
Goodness & kindness triumph over evil.
Balm for a troubled world! 

The story theme of Cinderella is almost 2,000 years old!!
In my own library I found a version of Cendrillon, 
based on Charles Perrault's interpretation. 
I copied text from it as a French language exercise.

 This book is interpreted by Marlene Jobert,
 illustrated by Matthieu Blanchin
 I saw an interactive exhibit at the Musée de la Civilisation 
in Québec in 2012 called Il était une fois, Once upon a time...
Children donned costumes & played fairy tale characters.
I was struck by the similarities of my Cendrillon sketches 
to those from my visit to that exhibit.
To visit my blog post of 8 years ago, called 
Children's Museum Exhibits & Language Learning, 
which featured "Il était une fois," 
Click Here.

(Thank you Leslie for sharing your love and knowledge
of opera!)