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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Writing...



is something I have felt I ought to be able to do, but somehow couldn't.  I trained as a linguist; if anyone could write, you would think that I would be able to. I thought that I was condemned to translating other peoples' work, other peoples' ideas...that I had none of my own.  Recently, though, I've been writing a lot, mainly haiku, but some poems, and the tentative beginnings of a novel.  Very tentative.

I've been quite disturbed by the way in which the recent suicide of the truly gifted Robin Williams has been reported, so I wanted to share this.  Those of you who have followed the blog for a while, know that I suffer from chronic depression, and that some of my work is around that.  This is by way of an attempt to explain to people who just don't 'get it' for one reason or another, just what depression is like.

To Those Who Don't Believe In Depression.
I know you don’t believe that we’re in pain. Mostly because you cannot see we’re broken, The things that we keep hidden because we feelAshamed, inadequate, insufficient, lostIn a darkness you don’t seem to see,Mostly because you don’t know how to look.Or perhaps, you’ve never thought that it was possibleTo seem to be one thing, yet feel another,Both at the same time. And yet, it is.We can’t explain it to you; hell, we can’t explain it to ourselves.But it is as real as you are, to us, and though our bodiesAre not broken, we are in pain.How can we explain it? Did you, when you were young,Lose a cat, a dog, or even, perhaps, a person? RememberHow it hurt? Remember being told that the cared for oneHad gone away to heaven? And thinking that you didn’tUnderstand? Such pain, such confusion…but gradually, youFelt less and less, remembered less and less, and returnedTo your usually happy state… and life went on.Imagine that pain, intensified, confusion combined with the feelingThat it is all your fault, the way you feel, that this thing should be happening.Imagine it going on and on, for years and years, without improving; ratherIt just gets worse. And it is never forgotten, not for a nanosecond. 
Perhaps, if you can imagine that, you can beginTo understand, to accept, above all, not to judge.That is all we ask for, we who suffer. It doesn't seem like much.


Personally, I thought Robin Williams was immortal, a touchstone, a miracle.  Through his work, perhaps he truly is.  His death is a reminder that all of us have demons.  Some of us deny them, some ignore them.  Some grapple with them and lose.  Some gain temporary respite... but they don't often go away entirely.  We don't know each others' demons... but we should try to remember that they are there.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Destashing...

...is a fascinating process.  I've found things I didn't know I had...and I'm  only half way through the process.  Then, combining them in groups to sell them has been interesting, too... here's a selection.





All those ideas, and good intentions, that never came to anything.  Now, it's a question of making room for all the new ideas I'm having...

If you want to peruse my stash as it appears for sale, and you're on Facebook, look here; I'm giving my FB buddies first shot at this...then I'll move them to my selling blog, Artmixter's Emporium.  Meanwhile, I've got some measuring and cutting to do... (whimper).  After the commercial fabric, comes the hand dyes... and then a few small pieces of work... I really do need some space.


Monday, August 04, 2014

So I Couldn't Wait...

to see what they looked like printed onto fabric, so I printed one small piece, and one large piece, on Evolon, and here's the results.

Not the best of photos, but gives you an idea of how it has turned round...the background is pure white, rather than the odd pale lilac it's showing here.  That's the small piece (no surprise there...), a bit larger than A4.  And this is the larger piece...

which, for reasons best known to my software, is fairly accurate, colour wise.  In both cases, though, it's all about the line, just as in the linescapes series.  Dammit, how much work can any one person have going at the same time... ?

Now to find more Evolon...and wait til it's cool enough to do some more ironing...

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Following The Plan...

seems, on the surface at least, a reasonable thing to do.  So I did.  I made green and brown transfer dye papers, because I needed to for a project.   I needed two or three.  I ended up with nearer twenty.  Oops.

All of them were supposed to look like  this;

I'm going to make some leaves... the blue isn't really blue, honest.  Or I hope it isn't.  In fairness, about half a dozen of the papers do look like this; one has some red added, another, yellow, just for fun.  Mostly, though, they're brown and green.

And because I wanted to use up the leftover dye, the small amount that was left in the bottom of the tubs I was using, after I had put the excess into sealed containers for next time, I thought I'd do some mark making. And ended up with lots more papers than I had intended, and had to take some dye back out of the sealed containers... well, you know how it is... when you're on a roll, you're on a roll...

This is what I ended up with.. at least, a sample of it.



I really enjoy working with transfer dyes, though admittedly don't enjoy the heat transfer bit, but we can't have it all...  It'll be interesting to see how these look with added stitch... Evolon here I come...

I'm glad I didn't follow the plan.  Amongst other things, it reminded me that I don't like to be too tidy, too calculated; another reason to go upstairs and sort out Even More Fabric to get rid of.  If you are on Facebook, and want to join my stash busting group, click here .  I'll be starting with FQs of commercial fabric, and progressing through the hand dyes, and then, I think, will probably add some small pieces of work.  Mwhah.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Facing Facts...



is a helpful, focus-inducing thing to do.  Fact.  I have too much fabric.  No, don't give me the whole, need a stash, nonsense; it's just not true.  Or at least, it's not true for me.  I have fabric for a number of different reasons.  Some I have, because I like it, some because it is Useful Fabric, the kind of thing that if you do make a traditional(ish) quilt, it makes good borders or backing.  Some I have because I dyed it, or dyed and painted it, intending to use it, and didn't; some because I dyed and/or painted it to sell, and didn't.  Some because it feels good (velvet and silk, in particular); some because I've written about it and am still exploring (lutradur and evolon).  Some, because it's fun; some because someone special gave it to me.  Like many of us, I have more fabric than I could use in three lifetimes.  And that's fine.

Except, it isn't.  It is getting in my way (fact).  When you can't see the wood for the trees, it's time to either go to the optician, or deal with the issue.  What I have realised is that, whilst I am great at finding focus, I'm dreadful at sustaining it, for a number of reasons.  I don't sell my fabric because I didn't persevere in doing just that, and because I find it difficult to believe that anyone else might want it, an inherent lack of self confidence that I thought I'd kicked into touch, but clearly haven't (it gets in my way, too, but it's not so easy to deal with).  So... I thought I would begin with my excess of fabric, decide what to keep, what to sell and what to donate, and I made a start today.  The image gives you an idea of what's what..and that's just the fat quarters...haven't looked at yardage yet... or hand dyes.  There is a hand dye mountain, and it is good... and it's also excessive.  So that too will go.  But wait a minute, I hear you holler... there's some hand dyes at the back, there.  And indeed there are, some muslin that I bought to cut up and sell in packs for embroiderers... you can see that didn't happen.  Sigh.  But I only brought that down so I could iron it and cut it up, honest.

There's some lovely fabric here, but I'm never going to use it in a million years, so sell it I shall.  Two stuffed bin bags are going to the Hub, so that the guys can enjoy it.  And once the stash is whittled down, the interesting work will begin, whittling down the ideas, being honest with myself about what I really want to make, and getting down to doing it.  And maybe after all that effort, I'll be able to walk in and out of the fabric studios without tripping up on piles of stuff (yes, when I've finished with the cloth, I'll be starting on the rest of it...).  It is going to take some time, but I think it will be worth it.

In the first instance, I'm going to set up a Facebook page to sell this stuff... and any that doesn't sell that way, will either go on ebay or etsy.  Email me if you want details.  And when I've done with the materials, I'll be going through the work, and either selling or donating it, too.  Time to take charge.



Saturday, July 26, 2014

Changing Things Around...

is always an interesting thing to do.  I found some scraps from a jacket I made, years ago, cotton which had been hand dyed, then discharge dyed, and then painted, using freezer paper shapes as a resist.  It looked a bit like this...


I wanted a lot more detail on it... so started in with a silver pen... and ended up with this...

 In terms of contrast, not that big a change...that will come later, but I've certainly added a lot of detail...

It looks a lot bigger in the photographs, than in real life; it's three quarters the width, and slightly longer, than an A4 piece of paper...that makes it a contender for a small Linescape... so watch this space...

Up in the top studios today, I found a little quilt...


It is made from transfer dyed lutradur, which was then embellished with cotton fabrics, backed and stitched into.  It lacked something, so has lain around for ages.  I tried adding buttons, and got this result...


Starting to be a bit more interesting.  What I think it needs, though, is some mark making in pen on the surface...not sure quite what colour...black, perhaps.  Or some hand stitch.  I'm leaning towards the pen, but I can imagine that both will eventually occur...  As I have to go into Dereham today, I may well pop into the bead shop, and see if they have a large purple bead to use as a focal point...

Two pieces, both changed, neither finished.  I'll let you know how I get on.

Friday, July 25, 2014

I Take A Lot...

of photographs.  A couple of days ago, Clare and I went to Burnam Overy Staithe, for a walk on the marshes.  I thought I'd give you a few snapshots of what we saw...pure eye candy, quintessential Norfolk.







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We are, we agreed, privileged to live here.