The Snowshoe Hare, by Mary Oliver, from New and Selected Poems, Beacon Press, 1992.
Greetings for the new year. I feel as though I've been lagging behind and had better post something before the first full week of the new year passes, the moon becomes full and starts waning, and the constellations that are visible take flight and realign themselves. I picked the piece above from Mary Oliver because of a few words that would apply to those of us that have picked cloth and thread as our medium...tangles, lapping thread...across the field and into another year.
I've been occupying myself with domestic affairs. My mother had a few issues with heat - as in furnace went out and then the fuse box needed updating/replacement...and of course the payment of same. There is one small minor electric replacement that needs to be done but if it doesn't happen no big deal.
Most of my time was spent at mom's during the pass week, yes we even stayed up until midnight on NYeve. I think this was a first for us, together at the changing of the guard. I had a small bottle of bubbly, have had it for near 30 years, so we opened it and even did a toast. I think mom managed a sip or two and I think I scored about four before we decided, that's okay, we've done the ritual. But she enjoyed it so...
|The hands that first taught me to hold needle and thread...of all kinds.|
I did occupy myself with stitching while I pondered domestic life. I finished LEFT, but will do a separate post on that. I did finish my first cloth fascicle. Assembled the beginnings of another and a larger cloth, 12x12. That's large for me, since mostly the fascicles are closed, 4x4, and open page layout, 4x8.
This is the first fascicle to be completed. One thing I did learn, even though I managed to get the three images on the page - the collation and pagination were off. I did them as 4x8 page spreads not remembering that once they got bound the facing image/text would not correspond. I have fix that for fascicle two. So as a result the negative (cut-out, text, left-side, odd-numbered) image is not with the partnered leaf-positive (leaf, image, right-side, even-numbered) page. The front-cover image is the outline of a half-oak-leaf and the dates worked. The back cover has a few cryptic symbols, notes, comments - that is my thinking/thoughts sketching page. The inside of the book has a, usually six line, poem that is the voice of the leaf that is pictured on the page. All my leaves are female - that is the voice that I know best. I usually write these in my head while walking mom's dog...they are reactions but my mood, the day, something I see. (My Chekhovian, "subjects for a short story," from the Seagull) I'd probably be better off taking a notebook with me, since sometimes it a race to remember as well...but maybe that is part of the processes. The stitching is not pre-planned. It too depends on the mood and what's in my thread bag. I really like working with this size...and books, well, they are as natural to me as my right hand. I became a librarian because I simply love the touch, feel, contents, smell, the totality of the book.
I've also been placing a little "key" on the pages as I'm stitching. They are little squares that are stitched in the colors of the sky, at some point during the day...the most prominent color of the day. This is done from something that I saw Deb G. doing over at her blog beecreative. Deb is part-taking in something called the sky scarf: Leafcutter Designs - Projects, Conceptual Knitting. The idea is to knit a row a day in response to the sky. I really liked this idea, but really, starting another new project wouldn't be wise, I said to myself. But I did like this so much that it's in my mind, on the mental Rolodex, and I'll do it down the road. In the meantime, however, my little "keys" are my version of the sky scarf idea.
Emily Dickinson made forty fascicles of her poems in her life time. So I've decided that this year I will make forty as well. With fifty-two weeks and one extra leap day I might make it. It took me about a week to do this. Assembly is part of the process. I have a few yard of a natural muslin that is 32" in width. I can tear 4" section that easily divide into four, 4x8 "pages." Then the leaf preparation and assembling. The stitching and notations are made following this processes. I have also been keeping a "paper" fascicle as a sketchbook.
The next fascicle is also ready to go:
You can see that I have adjusted for the collation, pagination issue. Only the center, pages 3-4 are the actual images that will be seen together after assembly, (lower left corner) The other pages are 2 and 5, 1 and 6. They are almost all basted and ready for stitching. The cover is also started. This time I'm putting the "keys" on the back, as well as the contents listings, the notations; this will act as sort of a colophon.
Oh, and just to have something to do other then the fascicle project, I'm going to do doodling on cloth, my calendar cloths, if you like. I thought I would do a monthly cloth, 12x12, where I could try out ideas, stitching/stitches and what-nots. I guess you could call it a sampler or my what-if project.
This is the January cloth, pinned, sketched and experimenting with. I'm not sure about that round circle object. I don't see it blending in with the cloth over-all. I think it would be better done in just thread but once it is stitched up maybe it won't be the thorn of the upper right corner. We'll see.
Thank you for stopping by and hope your week passed was not riddled with domestic problems but happily employing your hands with doing something creative.