I’m not sure how obvious this photo is, but I’m wondering if you know what it is…
“I’m like a sculptor” Sue, my dental hygenist said to me as she was cleaning my teeth. “I take away what isn’t supposed to be there.”
In my mind I saw Michelangelo with a hammer and chisel chipping away at a giant block of marble.
That kind of sculpting was always beyond me. I can’t begin to imagine how anyone could possibly do such a thing, even though technically, I understand the process. Ever since I became aware of the difference, I’ve known that I’m an additive sculptor, not subtractive. I build a sculpture by adding one piece to another.
But ever since I began working with old quilts, I’ve begun to do some of “taking away what isn’t supposed to be there”.
I did it again today.
I walked into my studio this morning and immediately saw that I needed to remove the appliquéd flower on the bottom right side of my fabric painting.
It’s always interesting to me when this happens. When I see, without a doubt, even if I don’t understand why, what I need to do next on a piece.
The other thing that made itself known to me today, with the help of MaryJean on facebook, was the resemblance of the horseshoe-shaped 102 buttons that I made yesterday, to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Dissent Collars.
I never head of the Dissent Collars, but when I looked into it, I saw just how right MaryJean was.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg started wearing the collars over her Supreme Court Robes, which were designed for men and their ties. They became a symbol of her dissenting opinions to certain rulings.
I remember hearing Roseanne Cash in an interview once saying that she believed that songs were in the air for the plucking. You just had to get them before someone else did.
That’s how I think about things like my 102 buttons resembling the Dissent Collars. Ideas floating around in the air, bumping into each other, waiting to be realized.
One thing leads to another.
I pulled out the wildlife fabric to use for the pubic triangle on my Shekinah fabric painting and then was inspired to make some more Wildlife Potholders.
Then I used what scraps I had lying around to make a few more Intuition Patchwork Potholders.
Now they’re all for sale in my Etsy Shop.
They are $17 each with a flat rate shipping of $5.
You can get to my Esty Shop by clicking on the Show Etsy Button below. Or you can always browse my Etsy Shop by clicking on Shop Etsy on the menu at the top of my blog. I try to always keep my shop stocked so if you need a gift it’s a place you might think of to go.
I don’t know how that tiny snail shell lasted so long without crumbling to pieces among all those buttons in the old tin, but there it was, its pearly shine demanding that I pay attention.
I’ve been slowly emptying the tin of buttons for over 20 years, one button at a time, as I need them. I feel like I’ve seen the shell before, but it never called out to me like it did yesterday as I was sifting through the tin to find the smallest buttons to sew on Shekinah, my latest fabric painting.
This morning I placed the shell inside the bone, which sits on the window sash in front of my sewing machine.
The deer bone created a tunnel of light for the shell, so long in the tumult and darkness of the old Victorian Button Tin.
The first time I saw the horseshoe graphic of the House of the Representatives and the orange dots representing the one hundred and two women who are now in it, I knew I wanted to use it somewhere on my fabric painting.
I wasn’t sure how it would work, but there was something about the horseshoe shape and the dots that grabbed me.
So this morning I went into my studio with the intention of finding just how and where the image would work on my fabric painting.
I walked up to the old quilt, that I’m now calling Shekinah, hanging on my wall and there it was, right in front of me.
Two hand quilted flowers, cut in half by the red border, creating a shape close to a horseshoe, facing not the House of Representative way, but with the prongs of the horse shoe up. The way old horseshoes are hung for good luck.
Using purple thread I hand stitched over the old quilting and outlined the flower/horseshoe shape. Then, with green thread, I sewed 102 buttons inside each shape.
This is what Shekinah looked like at the end of the day. Not yet finished, I don’t think, but close.
Except for the frozen ponds, there were only small patches of snow and ice left in the woods. I thought about how fortunate we are to have all these woods behind our house. We didn’t know it when we bought the farm, but if I had, it would have made me want the property even more.
Today Fate and I wandered onto the Old Ice Road. A dirt path that people used to take to Lake Lauderdale to cut ice for their ice boxes.
The path was covered in thick, smooth ice. I thought about how someday, if I lived long enough, I’d be afraid to walk on ice like that. Afraid of falling and breaking a hip or wrist.
But I’m not there yet.
So I stepped onto the ice and skated along on my boots, Fate running ahead of me then slipping and sliding back.
Then I came to a spot where there was a hole in the ice, about 8 inches round, that I could look down into and see the water beneath it.
I squatted down to take a picture and could see, how when framed by the camera, the hole and ice around it looked like an eye.
As I pressed the button on my iPhone to take a picture, Fate stood across from me, on the other side of the hole and looked down into it. Getting her reflection on the water, in the pupil of the “eye” was a complete accident.
On my iPhone I could just barely see her reflection.
When I got home and showed the photo to Jon, he offered to use his photo program to see if he could bring out Fate’s reflection. I have a very simple photo program on my computer and knew it wouldn’t be able to bring up the darks and lights the way I’d want to.
Jon knew just how to bring out Fate’s reflection. I watched as he came up with a few different versions and picked the one I liked best. (That’s the photo above).
The woods was filled with a million little miracles today and I took a lot of pictures. But this one of Fate was my favorite.
I cut the Lavender from our herb mound just before the first frost of the fall. A few sprigs have been on the windowsill in Jon’s study, in the old glass inkwell, that he found at Old Bedlam Farm.
Somehow, every time I watered the Lavender I never saw the roots, until this weekend.
One sprig looked like it was drying rather than rooting. I put that one in the bathroom with the other dried winter flowers that I picked in the pasture.
I stuck the Lavender growing roots in an old glass bottle and put it on the kitchen window where I can watch it more closely.
Seeing the roots makes me thing of spring.
Of the tips of plants breaking through the soil, of the annual flower sale at Hubbard Hall where people dig up their too plentiful perennials and sell them in plastic bags and cardboard boxes to benefit the old opera house.
When I look at the roots, I smell the damp spring soil, and feel the decaying leaves trapped in the dry stems of the perennials I didn’t cut down last fall.
I remember gardening without the heat, without the mosquitos and black flies. I can see the dirt filling the cracks in my fingers, feel it under my nails, my knees damp from kneeling.
I can see me, squatting in front of the herb mound, gently pulling the Lavender from the old bottle so the roots stay intact, and planting it next to the Lavender that I cut it from last fall.
Jon made his delicious scrambled eggs, we had croissant, sliced pears and bacon. It was brunch with a couple of friends.
I put in a few logs then held up the last one, arms length away. “Look” I interrupted them, “It’s a Branch Woman and she she has a vulva”.
Right there on the bark between her legs was the flowering slit. And when I turned her around Susan saw the second woman behind the first, and she had a vulva too.
I held the log by one leg and looking at her began to see who she really was, how I would being to bring her to life.
Another Branch Woman saved from the fire. Things are going in the right direction….
For those of you who have been following my blog for a long time, you’ll notice that I am constantly adjusting my shipping prices.
When I first started selling my work on-line, shipping was one of those things that caused me a lot of stress. It wasn’t just figuring out the cost, it was worrying if the packages would actually arrive where I was sending them, in one piece.
I still sometimes have shipping anxiety when I’m shipping something new for the first time. But mostly, I have the shipping down.
And either I’m lucky or the Post Office does a really good job of getting package where they’re supposed to go and in good condition.
So now, I’m trying something new again.
From now on, all my potholders will have a flat rate shipping cost of $5. So whether you buy one potholder or every potholder I have for sale, the shipping will be the same, just $5.
And I just put up a new batch of Vintage Hankie Potholders and Intuition Patchwork Potholders up for sale in my Etsy Shop.
So come have a look. You can get to my shop by clicking on the Shop Etsy button below or on the menu at the top of my blog.