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Monday, June 14, 2010


Well, it's summer and there is no such thing as routine for the next two months (and the one month behind us). That means there is no such thing as regularly getting work done, so I'm fitting in what I can when I can and joyfully enjoying my children, too.

When I'm waiting during dance or instrument lessons I'm usually sketching or stitching samplers for Sharon's commission. It took me a while, but I finally figured out that if I do my "draft" on muslin I don't have to rip it out if I don't like the color--I can just change the color and then stitch on the actual piece. So, for instance, here's a little piece I did last week.

I like the shape, but refined how to make the intersections less awkward as I went and tried out some other color combos along the edge.

Now I'm adding this motif to the final product--and I'll have a little mini "study" quilt to sell at some point as well. Muuuuuch better than ripping out stitches!

Had the blocks done for this.

My oldest, who likes things just so and symetrical, finds its asymetry annoying, but my youngest thinks it's swell.

It was to be a king-sized quilt for my bed, but hubby wants another "Almost Amish" quilt, so figured I'd had enough fun with these blocks and put them together.

I am very pleased with the result, particularly as I managed a horizontal rather than a vertical orientation for the first time in, I think, ever. I kept meaning to do a horizontal piece yet it would morph partway through and come out as an exaggeratedly tall and slender piece.

I am using the last two chapters of C.S. Lewis's The Last Battle to inspire the quilting and provide the title: "Further Up and Further In."

I have a couple of other thing in the queue, but Sharon's commission is my top priority this summer, so everything else is more of a back-burner project. She gets to be the first to see that piece, though, so no sneak previews here except the sort that you see above.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Chaos in the Studio

My natural state seems to be somewhat organized chaos. The degree varies, but I think chaos is a necessary part of my creative process.

Yeah! That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

And then I'm cleaning up so I can find what I want to be creating.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Edward Tufte, aka ET

I heard a story on NPR this morning that both resonated with me and made me aspire to do and be more than I am. That doesn't happen all that often when I listen to the news, particularly both in the same story, so I thought I'd share.

The article you can read online is abridged from the audio version, which is certainly worth taking 9 min, 8 sec to listen to. NPR has images of some of his work, but you can see it all at his site. Enjoy!
Edward Tufte is a professor emeritus of poli. sci. and statistics at Yale who is well-known for his work in presenting data clearly and graphically. He was recently recruited to the Obama administration's Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, to advise and devise ways to track and present in an easily digestible but meaningful form how the $787 billion stimulus package is being spent.

Yawn. That's all well and good and I applaud him, but neither resonates with me nor inspires me to aspire to more.

But ET is also an artist. A large-scale sculptor to be more specific, who does, IMO, some very fine work. He has just opened a gallery, ET Modern, in NYC. But he doesn't necessarily want to sell his work.

So here's the resonating part. In the article he says:

"I have a very big problem selling pieces, because I don't want them to leave," he says. "For a long time, I believed that any successful piece was a tremendous luck-out, and that I'd never be able to do it again ... My fellow artist friends, who are serious with me, told me to grow up."

I tell myself to grow up all the time. He went on to say that it's not necessarily the entire piece that he clings to, but rather elements that he's not sure will come again. I so get that, and suspect many artists feel the same, even if they don't say it out loud.

He also talks about giving back, which I love. He's smart, positive, creative, particularly in fields (poli. sci. and statistics) that are not generally known for creativity in a positive way, and not stuck on how wonderful he is. That combination is appealing and certainly worth aspiring to.