Through The Lace Tree

Jon and I just started walking in our neighbor’s woods again after not going there for about a year.  So I was a little sad but not surprised when I saw the Lace Tree had fallen down.

This burly hollow stump was the inspiration for the fabric painting I made a few years ago called Lace Tree Goddess.  

Today I got down on the ground and took this photo through the hollow stump. This beautiful old dead tree still inspires me.

Lace Tree Goddess

Lace Tree Goddess

There’s something about being able to give a piece time that can make all the difference.  It’s only recently that I’ve been able to take more time with my quilts and wall hangings.  It’s a shift I’ve been wanting to make, but was  often filled with anxiety to get them done.  My need to create and sell pushed me to work quickly.

But lately, I’ve been trusting my work more.  Trusting that I will sell what I make and that I can sell it for enough money to be able to take the time I need.

I  knew I wanted to add something to the branches of my lace tree, but I couldn’t figure out what it would be.  I tried different things, ribbons and fabrics to make leaves, sewing fabric between the branches to distinguish it from the rest of the ground.  These things weren’t right, so I let the piece hang on my wall, giving it time.

Then I saw beads, twinkling, here and there.  I started to sew them on, but it still wasn’t what I wanted.  Last night I woke up and thought to cut small round pieces of fabric that would go beneath each bead.  Finally I could see something that would really work.

When I got to my studio this morning I thought of my buttons.  I’ve had boxes and tins of buttons in my studio for years and never knew how to use them.  This morning I knew.  Lace Tree Goddess detail

Under each bead a button.

You can’t easily see the beads from a distance, but you will catch a sparkle when the light hits it right.  Hopefully drawing you in to take a closer look.

“Lace Tree Goddess” is sold.


Snake Goddess in a Lace Tree

Snake goddess and tree

Some materials I just find easy to work with.  I always be able to manipulate chicken wire easily.  It has just the right amount of resistance to keep its character and for me to be able to make it do what I want it to.  It was a material I used again and again when I first started making sculpture.

Now I’m  finding that capturing the texture, twists and flow of branches and roots with lace comes easy to me.  It’s as if the lace lends itself to having dimension, it doesn’t really want to lay flat.   It’s different from most fabric because of the dense areas and open spaces.  I have to work with them and sometimes they dictate what direction I take with the lace.

Today I got the roots and trunk sewn down, with the Snake Goddess tucked in side.  Now I’m continuing to work on the branches.

I have no idea what will come after the tree is done.  But that’s part of what keeps me interested in creating, not knowing what I’m working on will look like when I’m done.

Snake goddess and tree2

A Doorway and a Butterfly for my Lace Tree

lace tree doors

I meant to sew some potholders today, but I got this idea for my quilt so started working on it instead.  There was a hole in the quilt, two squares worn all the way through, so I cut them out and they made a doorway.  Not sure what’s going to be in that doorway yet, but it gave me a place to begin and I built a room around it.

lace tree dresser

Here’s a close up.  I’m really drawn to how the patches of fabric and patterns show up against the stitching.  I’ll probably use some colored markers to make that stand out more, but want to leave a lot of it the way it is.

lace tree snake goddess

I stitched down my Snake Goddess and started to add designs to her.  They come from my Language of the Goddess book.

lace tree butterfly

The last thing I did tonight was add a butterfly to the missing square of the flagmen.   The butterfly is from a wallhanging that Veronica sent me.  Her grandmother had made it and it has all these wonderful patches on it.  Like that little oriental rug under the butterfly.  Those flagmen have the feeling of flight.  And the butterfly seems to make it all make sense to me.

lace tree

Here’s what it looked like when I left my studio tonight.

A Lace Tree…

lace tree 1

I’m trying to figure out what to call these pieces I’ve been making on other people’s old quilts.  I haven’t come up with it yet, but I’m sure it’s out there, just waiting for me to find it.

This old quilt, that someone sent me, was twice the size it is now and had a big hole in the middle of it.  I cut it in half and hung it on my wall this morning.  So far, I’ve  done three of these types of pieces.  I’ve stitched on them and drawn on them with markers.  That’s what I’m planning on doing on this one too.

Working on the lace tree.
Working on the lace tree.

There’s a tree on one of the paths in the woods where I walk that reminds me of lace.  It’s really just a burly stump hollow on the inside.  But it grabs my attention every time I pass it and reminds me of my idea to make a tree from lace.

So I began making this tree out of a piece of lace this morning.  I  tacked it with just enough  stitches  to give it the shape I wanted.

lace tree 4

I didn’t really know what I was doing but it came together so easily, it surprised me a bit.

lace tree 5

I haven’t stitched  the moon on to the lower right side yet.  I’ve already moved it a few times.  It was the first thing I added to the quilt.  It’s from that same Zodiac blanket that Cindy gave me that I’ve used in the last three quilts I made.

I have a couple of vague ideas for what I want to do next, but I’m having a hard time picturing  how it will look yet.  Guess I’ll just have to sit and stare at it a little longer.

The Raven In Our Maple Tree. Videos of Three Different Raven Calls

The dead branches on the old maple in the side yard are a favorite place for many different birds to perch including Bald Eagles and Ravens.

Although the Eagles come and go, the Raven is a regular.

In the mornings the raven is often on one of the many branches that I imagine are a good lookout as well as a good place to project her call from.

I recorded the raven at two different times, making three different calls.  The first call I expected, the second I had heard and seen before, the third was new to me.

Each video is only a few seconds long.  Come listen and watch…



The Polyphemus Moth on The Cherry Tree

The Polyphemus moth on the apple tree

Yesterday, a few hours after I put the Polyphemus moth on the cherry tree, I went back to look for her.

It took me a while to find her even though she was just a few inches from where I left her.  Now she had her wings folded up and blended in so well, I doubt even a bird would see her.

Today I looked for her a few times but wasn’t able to find her.  Perhaps she moved even further up the tree or found a better place to lay her eggs.

Or maybe she was right in front of me and I just couldn’t see her.

I Search The Apple Tree For The Frog

I search for the frog on the apple tree.  Surely a better place to hide than the metal gate.

I circle the tree inspecting the craggy bark, the same texture as the frog’s skin.  I peer high into the branches, the canopy of leaves turning the light green.  I touch the silvery moss, too plush to be a frog. I squat,  my knees jutting out on either side of me (like a frog), and poke my head into the yoni hole in the tree’s trunk, a cave of rotting stalactites and stalagmites.

I see the frog again and again, but it is nowhere to be found.

The Gray Tree Frog On The Gate


The  Gray Tree Frog topped the gate like a finial, like a gargoyle keeping away evil.  Its toes curled around the disk of metal, even the beetle within dangerously close reach didn’t seem to know the frog was there.

I opened the gate and closed it, brushed the donkeys, and never saw the frog until I picked up the brush which I had placed on the post right next to the gate a moment before.

Its camouflage is good, but not so good that I shouldn’t have seen the frog, a now obvious addition to the gate.  But then part of how camouflage works is that we’re not expecting that being or thing which is suddenly where it’s not supposed to be.

It’s our expectations as much as anything.   Isn’t that what a magician would say?   Isn’t that a big part of how they fool us?

As the day went on and the light changed, the frog moved and changed color too, better matching the metal gate.  It slid from the post to the rail, without ever seeming to move.

At afternoon feeding the frog is dressed in a gorgeous silvery sage green.  Its arms and legs are distinguished by thin lines that are created only because it alters the pattern of the frog’s skin.

Although there’s a lot of commotion going on around it, the Gray Tree Frog seems to feel safe enough to have slept on the gate all day long.  I imagine it will wake as it starts to get dark, as they often do, and join in the frog song that sends us off to sleep each night.


Full Moon Fiber Art