Friday, October 14, 2016

An artist collaboration

Do you like a creative challenge?  I am part of an artist group, on Facebook and in real life, which supports efforts to grow our art.  Some of us met in Taos, and will meet again next year.  In the meantime, we share some work back and forth.  I am not anywhere as serious as some of these folks but I do enjoy a challenge.  

Recently we all received a package of goodies with the instructions to use each element in a piece.

That's it.  Use each element.  In a piece.  

ai yi yi.  here is an example of the package received.  Mine had the word "la mer" and a muddy colored fabric rather than pink. 

I fussed around with all this for quite some time because I really wanted a monochrome piece.  I tried bleaching out as much color as I could.  In the end, I let each element talk to me and here is where I went:

The background is muslin which is stitched to represent the topography of the ocean floor.  I then overlaid it with gesso, and painted the background.  Fibers, resistors, and plastic all were placed in various areas of the canvas, somehow coming together.  It was a wonderful experience to let the textures loose and see where they were best.  Here is the overall wall hanging:
Here is a link to a page which shows many other pieces from this collaboration-go all the way to the bottom of the page and you should see columns of examples.  These link to individual blogs.  I chose not to link mine but wanted you to have a chance to blog hop on some artistic blogs.  Starting From the Same Place

Finally, we celebrate art, craft, and our own truth on this page.  I have left the anonymous comments on my last post but only because I see that most of you identified yourselves, giving readers some context to your responses.  I will continue to allow anonymous comments as long as readers are engaging with me and others, not just posting video or links with no explanation.  Thank you, and enjoy some art.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Trump and mental illness

When I was in 6th grade, my Dad remarried.  For the 3 years previously, he had tried to manage a household and raise 4 kids by himself after my Mom died.  He didn't do a great job of it, and when a woman stepped into this male (except for me) household, I was thrilled.  

That elation didn't last long.  I learned that some people need to win at any cost, and that hurting people emotionally, physically, and financially can be rationalized.  I learned that confronting someone who does these things is an exercise in futility as they are supremely narcissistic.  My relationship with my stepmom was extremely volatile as I struggled through adolescence, and I have this experience to thank for my current life.  

My life: full of generosity, concern for others, a bit too focused on fairness, a deep understanding of what it feels like to be abused and neglected, a commitment to a future America in which the wealthy will help those who are less fortunate and those who have improved their lives pay it forward.

This could have gone the other way and I might have built a life centered around bitterness, deceit, money and possessions, anger, and rationalizations.  I might even have believed that those who were less fortunate made themselves that way.  I might have hoarded my resources, and built ways to keep others from approaching.  

In short, I might have supported Trump.  

I cannot watch Trump without seeing the woman who was so central to my adolescence.  I see someone who lies to bring down an opponent and lies to build himself up.  I see someone who cheats other people, because if someone gets cheated, it's their fault for not being sharp enough.  I see someone who tries to intimidate others through threats and manipulation, as I was threatened.  I see someone who had people on his security detail who assaulted others violently, as I also experienced violence personally and witnessed assaults on my Dad. Trump is clearly fucked up and all the money and fame in the world cannot make him a safe person. 

My vote is very much a positive vote for Hillary and on a deeper level, a vote honoring my survival from a narcisist so similar to Trump.  Please vote, and remember that our country has been built on cooperation and inclusion.

Monday, September 26, 2016

No pantsuits here

Anne Hathaway can rock the look, as can Jennifer Aniston.  Myself, I would probably choose to wear an actual blouse underneath!  However, in keeping with my pro Hillary stance, I am promoting pantsuits for everyone :-)   

 In my attempt to be a stylish 60something, I bought a Craftsy class titled "Sew to Flatter-Plan Your Best Wardrobe" and am working my way through the chapters on color and fabric properties.  One of our first assignments was to sort the stash.  I am not a stash collector so this job only took 30 minutes or so.  I was able to identify what fabrics are best suited to my coloring and plan some pieces to add to my casual, retired lifestyle. 

First up is a maxi dress from Style Arc in a tribal print.  I love the knit because it is black and cream, which works for my coloring.  The geometric print is angular, as are my features. The overall aesthetic is casual with a touch of elegance.  The cream and taupe striped knit will be a cardi for a cool night. 

Next up will be a day dress for those times when I need to look polished and businesslike.  I chose a vintage pattern and a print with a fall vibe.  Looking at the combination I see now I have recreated my 7th grade sewing project!

I have 2 projects for cool weather ahead using a color which has been missing for a few years in my wardrobe.  The first is a cape in a cranberry wool tweed from Gorgeous Fabrics (a giant thank you to Ann for the gift of lining-such a nice thing to do!).  I am using Silhouette's new cape pattern pictured below.   I also want to make the Chicago jacket by The Sewing Workshop.  It will be made in some well aged wool flannel.  
I also pulled some knits which are highly textured and plan to make a few casual cardis for the winter.  We'll see... plans are subject to change. 

I am off to take a nap as tonight will be a challenge.  Go Hillary!!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

My RBF and Hillary Clinton

My RBF is a serious face, and one that intimidates.
I had a principal one time who HATED me-who looked for every opportunity to put me on the defensive.  

This man had the audacity to try to HUG me when first meeting me.  I was a department chair at that time, and a member of the Association leadership.  I was called into a meeting of admins in order to be introduced to him before he took over the school.  I stuck my hand out, and he started to put his arms around me.  I said, wryly "I don't believe I gave you permission to hug me."  Thus began our relationship.

Here are some comments I have heard:  
"Smile, it's not that bad"
"You are prettier when you smile"
"What's wrong?"
"Did I do something to upset you?"
"You're mean"
"What a bitch"

and so on.  

What confused me as a younger woman now infuriates me.

This is the same sexist attitude which allowed Reince Priebus to complain that Hillary Clinton needs to smile more.  Would he have said the same of Trump?  Hell no.  Men are given a pass on the behaviors which grease the social contacts we make.   They are not expected to show each of the minute expressions of active listening, to widen their eyes to show appreciation, or to smile encouragingly.   They don't need to smile demurely before explaining a complex point.  No one expects them to cock their head in a coy way before solving a quadratic equation, or outlining the history of the conflict in Syria.  

But, let a woman step up and make a point, solve an equation, or outline the history of the Syrian situation with no smiles, head tilts, or eye widening-->she will be labeled a cold bitch.  

I admire Hillary's resolve and tenaciousness in the face of intense scrutiny and criticism.  I admire her ability to process incredible amounts of information and use that info to make decisions.  I admire her history of team building and using all the tools at her disposal to help ease some of the world's problems.  I admire her as a person who has worked hard all her life to help those who need it.  I admire her RBF.  

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Chronicles of Griffin: Chapter Two which Griff saves the family from a house fire!

Last night I was awakened at 2 am by Griff, and I thought he needed to go outside.  We had a busy day yesterday and maybe he just needed another pit stop.  Out we went, with a flashlight to check for snakes, and he did his business.  When I came back inside I smelled something acrid, and thought the AC was broken.  After shutting it off, and opening up the house, I started back to bed, only to smell the odor even stronger.     

At that point I decided to turn on a lamp and check the whole house.  When I touched this lamp, I found it burning hot and the switch completely inoperable.  Of course, in my attempts to unplug the damn thing I spilled Ross' water and knocked the bedside table off its leg extenders (we have a platform bed).  He woke up and was unaware of what had happened so he was grumping at me to wait until morning.  !!!  

Griff definitely saved us from a potential house fire, and I couldn't be more grateful.  The smell would probably have got me up, but who knows when the wiring would have caught?  Griff is a hero!

In other news, I am meeting with my contractor today to pick out cabinet doors, a sink and faucet, and a new countertop.  My little kitchen will have a makeover this season.  I have lived with it for 2 years and decided to not pop the wall open into the living room. But keeping it as a galley kitchen means I want NICE cabinets, NEW countertops, and a TILE backsplash.  I can live with black appliances, and I think they will look good when we are all done.                               No more pink and black kitchen :-)