Archive for June, 2009

Inspiration for Tuesday, June 30 – 2009


I most love my gardens when they do exactly what they want, rather than what I attempt to impose.  I found this stately bloom happily growing between some pavers on the landing of the terrace garden.  It is a type of loosestrife, I believe.  This Spring I removed the label from the place I planted it last year as I thought it had died out.  No, it had just happily re-seeded itself down the slope.


06 2009

Dumpster Diving or Archeology 101

I had my nose to the grindstone before I left for the Boundary Waters and finished up three new artworks for A Sense of Place II and three for Fiber Art Alliance. I am contemplating making three more pieces similar to the A Sense of Place II artwork, but much bigger. And vertical again, if you can believe that. I still haven’t finished thinking about those cliffs.

Step 1 to start these new pieces is some serious dumpster diving.  I haul out each of many storage containers filled with all the offcuts and little pieces leftover from making other artwork:


Here’s the setup.  My purple chair (leftover paint courtesy of my front door), a container of “schnibbles” and a basket for any pieces that match the palette I have decided to use. Fair game is any scrap that is fairly saturated in color and green (including blue/green), orange, yellow, or brown.

Because my schnibble bucket sits right next to my sewing table, things sometimes fall in and are lost until I go dumpster diving.  And sometimes I find stuff that mystifies even me.

In the last couple of days of my dumpster diving, I have found a pen, a ball of hand-dyed yarn, some black shiny fabric with bright red lips on it?????, a stitched and bound 35×28″ whole cloth quilt made of painted polyester fabric (again, ?????), discharged bias tape, tons of painted Lutradur (that’s where it was), two dyed silk scarves, sheets of burned felt, and lots of little pieces that I wasted time studying and setting aside as they were just so interesting.


I learned that even though I neither wear nor have anything in my house that is orange, I seemed to have painted and used a lot of it. I have gone through a purple and blue stage, a murky stage, and seem to be in a clear and bright stage.  I used a lot more dyed, rather than painted, fabric when I first started out.

I have tried many kinds of substrates on which to build my artwork including cotton batting, polyester batting (what was I thinking?). Lutradur (what a waste), Stitch-N-Tear, felt, interfacing, and flannel.  I tried many ways of building my artwork that were dead ends and many that I use to this day.  I am certainly fearless:  I have cut-offs so thick with fabric that they are truly useless as I have no idea how I stitched them together even with my trusty little Bernina.

I’m thinking even though I have several containers in which to dumpster dive that I am on the verge of a schnibble shortage.  I have periodically gone through stages, such a now, when I want to work organically and only schnibbles will do the job. I guess that’s a good thing or I would be buried in schnibbles.

Dumpster diving is fun, but tedious.  Here’s a close-up of my first basket of palette possibilities:


P.S.  I’m missing a scissors.  No doubt MIA until the next dumpster diving session.


06 2009

Inspiration for Tuesday, June 23 – 2009

Hard and Soft

One last Boundary Waters photo before I move on.  Can you imagine the happiness of sitting on this rock, split by time and water, with a hot mug of coffee and a slice of grilled banana bread?  The fog slowly burns away as the sun rises; a small island appears.  The day begins with solitude and peace.


06 2009

I’m back!


Ah, the Boundary Waters.  Never a dull moment and gloriously beautiful as always.  We had so many inspiring moments including seeing three martins, two moose, otters, beavers, loons, eagles and more.  The most exciting moment, unfortunately, was bidding farewell to my glasses as they sank, quickly, to the bottom of a lake. Total operator error. Since I can’t see my feet without my glasses and had one eye swelled shut due to bug bites, I was happy to make it out in one-eyed safety wearing my sunglasses on a dark and rainy day.  I’m looking forward to a bug-free Fall adventure in the Boundary Waters.

This is the scene that really captured my attention on this trip:


A lovely stand of birches.  Each morning the sun would blaze through the black lines of the straight trunks while the reflections remained dark and mysterious in the water.


06 2009

Time for a Boundary Waters fix


Yes, it’s that time of year when I take a break from the computer and dash about to various family events. And, OF COURSE, make time to go to the Boundary Waters with my sister in our 17.5 foot Kevlar canoe.  

This is our thirteenth trip since 2003 and I am still excited to go and see what there is to see.  I love everything about the Boundary Waters — the solitude, the partnership with my sister, sleeping in a tent, carrying everything we need for ten days on our backs, and paddling our lovely golden canoe.  You never know if the days are going to be sunny and bright, dark and stormy, calm or windy, buggy or delightfully not.  Or all of these in one day. I’m sure I will have some photos to share when I return.

In case you need your own Boundary Water fix, some places to visit include:

How I unexpectedly came to love the Boundary Waters (even with a Kleenex for a sleeping bag and a child’s PFD) here.

Artwork:  The Boundary Waters Series 
The Portage Series 
Portage artist book

My sister and I after ten days out in September 2008 with photos of rock, wood, water.

The ultimate journal – our tent!

A wilderness “Andy Goldsworthy” photo challenge


06 2009