love text

I’ve been playing with some images and text. The featured word is “love.” It’s a word I’ve experienced as both hallowed and hollow. 

But last week, I had one of those fleeting moments when all the past and present difficulties seemed to dissolve, and my heart expanded beyond its confined boundaries. This Grinch-like heart of mine, which often seems to be “two sizes too small”, momentarily “grew three sizes that day."

Now, if I can only check its inevitable shrinkage . . . 

Postscript: I will always be grateful to Theodor Seuss Geisel and his wonderful character, the Grinch. Their message extends well beyond its seasonal boundaries.


stenciling and stitching

This autumn, I will be involved in a small sewing project with others. We are planning to make some Alabama Chanin  journal covers.  Recently, as I was gathering our project materials, I decided it might be nice for everyone to have a pincushion of their own. I started making some using our chosen palette and stencil pattern, as well as some material and t-shirt scraps. A cardboard cheese box served as my template.

While I was working, I thought the design would also be ideal for a set of fabric coasters. Maybe I’d seen something like that on the Alabama Chanin website at one time or another. As I stitched, I began to visualize them, sewn in autumn colors, on a Thanksgiving table. Hmmmm . . .



“I was thinking . . .”-- evidently, these are three of the most frightening words in the English language. After their utterance, I’ve seen family and fellow staff discreetly bolt for the nearest exit, and witnessed my husband, shiver and shrink, as if a window had suddenly blown open, emitting a chilling breeze.

So, I have a lot of ideas . . . and I like to share them.

Recently, in an effort to organize some of my more random thoughts, as well as the mound of paper and cardboard scraps that had accumulated in my studio, I decided to make a few small notepads. The thought came to me after I saw some simple memo pads on a retail site. An idea--see what I mean?

But seriously, I knew this idea had merit, for goodness knows, I’m always looking for a piece of paper to jot down one of my mental meanderings.  Quite often, I tear off corners from napkins, paper, and envelopes, but I thought a little pad might be more convenient and attractive- plus it would give me an excuse to stop cleaning and play for a bit.  In theory, a pad would help me organize my thoughts before I shared them, and any idea found lacking would be simply removed from the ringed pad, and another recycled piece of paper added to take its place. In the end, my little pads would offer me a method for honoring my muse, without burdening my “more than tolerant” husband.

So, this week, instead of crafting lace tags from a shoebox, I made some mini notepads. Originally, I had planned to make them like those I’d seen online, which featured plain cardboard covers and slips of white paper bound with a binder ring--that was, of course, before I saw a piece of stenciled paper I had saved from an Alabama Chanin fabric order. Again, another idea . . ..

While the notepads would have been lovely without any embellishment other than the stenciled paper I applied to their recycled cardboard covers, I decided to embellish them further with an assortment of circles I hole-punched from additional paper scraps, which allowed me to recycle even more paper. I rather liked how they turned out, so much so, I plan to make more when time allows.

I’m beginning to wonder if the cleaning and organizing of my studio will ever end, but honestly, I’m not particularly dismayed, because the process has produced multiple opportunities for creative exploration. I can’t help but wonder, what’s next. Right now, I have no idea; but if I get one, I’ll write it down . . ..

Postscript:  If you aren’t familiar with the work of Alabama Chanin, you should visit their site at  http://www.alabamachanin.com. I have purchased their three design books, taken one of their workshops, and sewn clothing from their patterns.  Each experience has been both delightful and fascinating.