Tuesday, October 3, 2017

This and that



Hearst Castle, Monterey, 17 Mile drive, riding through the Canada del Oro wash next to my home, visiting a cool trailer park in Bisbee AZ, and of course some sewing. I tried out some new to me patterns for shirts (which you can see in the collage), experimented with some new hairstyles and makeup, and did a whole lot of reading this summer.

The blue check shirt above is B 6376 and the floral is B 5924.  Both patterns are terrific and result in well-made shirts while allowing for alterations and your own creativity in the design.  Below is a sampling of my summer sewing-I love the Katherine Tilton shirt which is first up.  It is a fun shirt to wear and hangs in a flattering way.  I like it both with flowing, wide pants and paired with jeans.  My other favorite from this series is M 7411, a simple woven tee, but with an added layer.  I used some leftover rayon crepe and rayon challis so this has quite a luxe feel for a tee.  Love the neckline and the fit. 

I spent a lot of hours with Cutting Line Design this summer and have some fun "Saturday shirts" to show for it.  I really like her designs but always have to do major alterations to fit my petite frame.  I think I am getting closer to a good understanding of how to do that, but still have some extra volume around the bust.  It is not a question of using a smaller size, but decreasing the circumference above and below the bust line.  I have adjusted the torso length and shoulder width...now more fine-tuning.  Finally, the pants...ah, these are SO fun to sew and fun to wear.  This pair is made with a very rough cotton which was a gift-it is a utility fabric I think.  Nevertheless, the pants are great for kicking around and lounging at home.  Very quirky, and even with all the volume, do not make the wearer look wide. 

I recommend each of these patterns, with a strong recommendation for B 6325 and B 6376.   

 B 6325
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     







                                                                                           B 6376

M 7411

 CLD A Subtle Twist
                                       CLD By Popular Demand
 Self-drafted tee
 M 6702
                                                                        V 9114

















CLD Simplify Your Life                                                                                             

Monday, October 2, 2017

Summer's end


This heat never ceases, 
Up from the ground, into your feet.
From way up high in the sky, 
It pounds you with a drummers beat.

It coils like a molten snake
And cuts you like a sharp knife.
This desert heat is a hunter.
It will ruthlessly take your life. 

Desert summers have a rhythm which demands attention.  I have become used to the hibernation (estivation) necessary for survival.  The sun controls everything, even when we are inside.  

Summer is at an end now, and we are enjoying temps in the 90s.  It should cool gradually through October, and perhaps we will have a crisp Thanksgiving.  I'm clearing my studio and shifting gears for some cool weather sewing, while also planning to visit Taos in late October for a mixed media workshop.  

As have many of you, I have struggled this year to maintain equanimity in the face of a heartless administration, terrorism around the world, and our own citizens unleashing their demons with a gun.  I really had little to say here, in this special place reserved for creativity and nurturance.  So I allowed myself to be quiet.

There will be a new member of my family soon and I hope he will chew and drag and cuddle this little quilt I made for him.  
Good to be back, Mary



Monday, June 26, 2017

Intimacy with a triceratops


TheArt Institute wing of the Sonoran Desert Museum hosted a drawing workshop taught by Rick Wheeler this past weekend.  The focus of the class was drawing from nature and using a multitude of mediums.  Graphite, charcoal pencil, water-soluble colored pencil, watercolor all got some play as I attempted to draw representationally.  Well, you can see the result...that is actually part of a horny toad, not a triceratops.

Have you seen his work?   I love his wildlife paintings and landscapes, and even more so since I was able to leaf through all his photographs this weekend and see what he worked from.  Please take some time to visit Rick at the address which follows. This will take you to his home at Fine Art World.com

He and I had a wonderful conversation about how visual art is employed and enjoyed by people and discussed using artwork in textiles.  At an individual level, in our own studios, we employ surface design, but Rick and I were discussing using parts of his abstract work as textile design in a production run.

A model for this collaboration between artist, designer, and producer is Vida.  Here is an introduction to the company if you have not heard of it.

So, here is why I am talking to you about this.  Rick not only paints gorgeous scenes from nature, and wildlife, but also does abstract works.  He shared a portfolio of some abstracts with me (I was so honored) and explained that the 11x14 prints I was looking at were photos of parts of large original paintings.  They were so striking, and absolutely ready for a textile appplication.




I would love to connect Rick with someone in my readership who has worked with Vida or a similar company.   If you have an interest in pointing Rick in a certain direction to further a collaboration of artist and clothing designer, please let me know by email or in the comments below.  I will be happy to arrange an introduction for you.

It is good to be back, dear Readers.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Nevertheless, she persisted

This is not about politics, but about art.    

I have this itch inside to create and have been scratching at it lately. I used to draw.  When I was a child I would spend hours drawing nature scenes, and also make long, involved murals on rolls of butcher paper.  In high school I copied the masters, always adding a detail like a joint or a peace sign :-).  I drew in college...slide after slide of microscopic specimens, the guts of some dissected creature, a still life from a field trip.  I even drew a series of charcoal drawings during therapy-powerful and angry, dark, struggling and broken creatures which were some of my best work and which I created and then destroyed as I redefined myself.   The act of creation was liberating in a truth-telling sense and the act of destruction the same.

I even took a few formal classes, including a life class.  It may be time to revisit that again.

For now, I am exploring mixed media and learning how to work with acrylics.  I have started an art journal, hoping to practice some techniques and to leave a space for quick analysis of where I am and need to go next.  It's a giant leap of faith for me as I LOVE detail and tiny markings.  My goal is to create some backgrounds and eventually some works which are a bit bolder than my soul thinks is "me". 

Below find some examples of practice backgrounds, use of marbling and two acrylic skins I made.   






On the sewing side, I am waiting for my mojo to return.  It is bubbling but has not yet reached my hands and heart.  For now, paint.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Lock him up.



From today's New York Times (2/15/2017):

"WASHINGTON — Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials." emphasis added story link

Add this information to the growing list of evidence that Trump has been supported by Russia all along↦fake news, trolling on social media, targeted hacks of the DNC server, possible voting irregularities, refusal to release tax returns, and so on.  It is a mind-boggling list and one which we only know about because we have a free press.    


The gullibility of voters during the campaign amazed me.  Beyond Trump's bald-faced lies at rallies, he held up Putin as a figure of RESPECT.  This, a leader who is a murderer and tyrant. If there is anyone out there in my readership who still supports Trump, please take a few days and READ THE NEWS.  By news, I mean papers with a moderate slant...not Breitbart or Fox.

At this time, 3 weeks into this debacle, my sadness and anger for America continue to grow.  If Trump colluded with Russia for this powerful position, he should go down.  If Trump was compromised by Russia, he could have reached out at any time for help from our government.  He did not, and should go down.  If he was ignorant of all of this, and only his campaign staff did the dirty deeds, he was woefully unprepared for this world stage, and he should go down. 

He should go down.