Chutzpah

“The answer is always yes.”
Sandra Brownlee

photo studio

I took a shot.
One shot
among many
that flashed
yesterday.

I took a shot
a year
like a flash
still crisp in memory.

I took a shot
and in a flash
I remembered something.
“The answer
is always yes.”

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Sacre Bleu!

The month has gotten the best of me…too.  But just hot enough to grow some awesome INDIGO.

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Yesterday I picked a couple of pounds of leaves from my garden and made a batch..

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It starts out green,


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but there is blue in those leaves….

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Sacre bleu!

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See more Indigo by going to Jennifer Coyne Qudeen and Julie B. Booth‘s blogs.

Fallow with Possibility: New Roots

While the new year beckons  “starts,”  i’ve  had a good week 12 sorting some projects that are waiting patiently to be finished.  Now that the move is a short distance behind us, even though there are a couple of “house” projects remaining, I am setting my sights on my real work. “Real,” of course, is relative:  that of continuing my art work, (themed appropriately)

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making new connections, taking stock and restocking and grounding myself in a concrete way, to the land of the Low Country by signing on to a garden plot as part of the Okatie Farmers.

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We adopted this bereft patch of ground with great excitement and anticipation on Sunday, like parents adopting a puppy.  We will train it as best we can, its attributes still a bit in question.  It has a nearby hose bib and a dozen stakes that we can recycle as fenceposts when we build up the perimeter of the  garden with more lumber.  It has sun from all sides,  centered on the power-line alley.   We will put it to work to occupy us and feed us,  as our neighboring farmers are successfully working this land.

 

The other gardens show the promise for this orphan.  Organic cabbage, rhubarb and pumpkin waiting for last pick before we begin the new season.  Peas, beets, the more sensitive greens being discussed or just peeking above the ground.

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Farmers PumpkinJanuary, perfect squash!

Farmers RhubarbFlourish of nature’s compliments

This enormous system of small personal gardens share space and sunshine beneath the power lines that stretch for miles in Bluffton.  I had spied one of the smaller garden plots while driving though on a random day of house hunting.  But it was only when I entered the spectacular rabbit hole beyond my new front door, dog walking and exploring, ( Thank you, Nellie) that I discovered it was literally in my backyard.

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In South Carolina “winter,” vegetables still grow.  There are  two planting seasons,  I’ve learned, that encompass most of a calendar year.  The Farmer “Establishment” offers serious advise and farming expertise.  I’ve had my crop of tomatoes, here a year and there a year,  in past houses, but I expect to learn amazing things about how to get organic food for the table in abundance.

I am also excited to plant and hopefully harvest some Indigofera for dyeing cloth, as well.  According to the club president, she doesn’t know of any other Indigo patches here, but South Carolina is perfect in climate to make it happen.  Sea Island Indigo is the local template. Like my dyeing, farming is an experiment with surprises worth trying.  Here’s to a joyful, colorful and edible New Year!

 

 

 

Making Do with Materials on Hand: Part 2

The search continues in Week 6.  Cloth, mark making and meaning.   A real adventure because work defines work in art.  Working turns surprises into ideas.

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My beachy paradise has been struck a chill for the past week,  but most days are at least in the 50’s. The storms coming across have blanketed the patio with leaves and pine straw. (Gotta collect those for later.)  It’s perfect weather for continuing my junk hunt around the rental house.

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The obvious stuff  on counter tops and in drawers- safety pins, paper clips, and steel wool – have all been pilfered in an effort to make marks on cloth.  Plastic baggies, tea bags, hydrangea blooms that dried on its stem.

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It has become a game to imagine what shape or color of degrading metal will occur when set in vinegar.  A ball of string, soaked in coffee yielded soft asemic curls on cloth.  Caligraphy through a dryer sheet with my precious walnut ink.   The orange tissue paper didn’t bleed a bit.  While lots of experiments fail, the game is getting harder but more interesting.

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While I wait for new discoveries, I’ve spent time taking small cues, making small stitches, taking pictures and learning some new things.

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I started a wishbone trapunto,  got muslin through my new printer,  dyed newsprint, experimented with a counterfeit detector pen, considered white-out as paint and used flower seeds for beads.  No cheese doodles  but… gutterradyeing.  And  Textile Art Center  has some thoughts on the topic.

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Happy hunting!

 

 

 

 

Kiki: Part 2

Kiki Part 2-1

Missed Part 1?  Visit the last post on Make Your Own Kiki Doll
 Kiki and Coco in Paris by Nina Gruener and Stephanie Rausser

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Use a chop stick to turn right sides out and ease the filling into the body, arms and legs.
Use a chop stick to turn right sides out and ease the filling into the body, arms and legs.

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Take small amounts of fiberfill at one time and gently push to furthest part of doll from opening.  Continue until the doll is firm, but still soft. The neck should be especially firm, so that the head does not flop.

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The legs and arms can be filled “almost” to the top.  Leaving a bit empty at the opening makes it easier to fold over and/or attach the arms and legs.  The legs are inserted into the opening of the “dress.”

Pin legs in place and pil remaining "dress" closed before sewing.
Pin legs in place and pin remaining “dress” closed before sewing.
Sew close to edge of  "dress" opening.
Sew close to edge of “dress” opening.
Legs are securely in place.
Legs are securely in place.

Add arms by hand sewing with doubled thread or embroidery floss.

Pin arm in place.
Pin arm in place at shoulder.
Replace pin with threaded needle.
Replace pin with threaded needle.

You should stitch through the arm and body at least two times with heavy thread.  Then use the same thread to add the button.  Make several knots in end of thread to secure button.

Kiki Add Button to Arm

You need three or fall small pieces of wool fabric or felt.
You need three or four small  (4″-5″) strips (1″) of wool fabric or felt.

The longer piece wraps around her face and is trimmed to length.

Pin first strip of wool into place around face.
Pin first strip of wool into place around face.
Take tiny stitches in and out of wool and scalp to attach.
Take tiny stitches in and out of wool and scalp to attach.
Keep adding strips until back of head is covered.
Keep adding strips until back of head is covered.

Trim hair into preferred style.  Make a face!Kiki Sew eye 2

I start with one eye by sending the needle through the back of the head to hide the knot.  It comes through the face and the three stitches are drawn before moving the needle to the other side. I went over the main stitch three times to give it prominence.

Stitch in other eye in same manner.

Kiki Sew eye Other

Cut a tiny heart for Kiki's mouth.
Cut a tiny heart for Kiki’s mouth.

Use light-colored thread to attach mouth with a tack stitch.

Stay tuned for How to Make a Dress for Kiki: Part 3.

Kiki: Part One

My very own Kiki.
My very own Kiki.

of Kiki and Coco in Paris by Nina Gruener
photographed by Stephanie Rausser

Make Kiki Title

KikiSupplies

Kiki Supplies2 Kiki page2

Head and body about 14" long.
Head and body about 14″ long.

When drawing your doll, make sure you leave room  between the body parts, so that you have seam allowances built in and enough space to cut them apart after sewing.

Kiki Legs Arms
Pin drawings to a second layer of muslin.
Pin drawings to a second layer of muslin.
Start sewing on bottom of "dress" and end on other side - bottom of "dress."
Start sewing on bottom
of “dress” and end on
other side – bottom of “dress.”
Cut out shapes about 1/2" away from sewing line.
Cut out shapes about 1/2″ away from sewing line.
Add two snips on each side of neck.
Add two snips on each side of neck.
All pieces cut out. Turn right side out.
All pieces cut out.
Turn right side out.