Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Time to go again

Found out today that I'll have to leave a day early to teach, so I pushed aside all the work I needed to do today and spent the whole day finishing sewing an apron dress of sorts to wear. I'm very good at avoiding my work. Last night, I stayed up late and finished this wee one—my idea was to swap techniques for my dresses and ducks.
Not sure if I'll do the methylcellulose coating on this one yet. Now I have to face the music: oil change, pack, drive, unpack, teach, pack, drive, unpack, install, drive, unpack and repack, and repeat in all kinds of variations.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

This rock I live under

I stayed up a couple nights ago to finish this very funky duck that I started in June, hoping that I'd get it done in Australia. That absolutely did not happen, so I tried to work on it on the Perth—Sydney and Sydney—San Francisco flights. From the very beginning, it was not quite right. On each flight, it got more and more lopsided. I tried to save it when I was in California, and then let it languish for a bit until I rushed to the end this week. This is exactly what happens when I am tired and unfocused, yet it somehow has hilarity and charm.
I've been sewing fabric, making a dress apron or something (it started as something else completely and keeps changing). Mostly it's a way to sew together things that I haven't been wearing or using but don't want to throw away, and it has turned into great solace because after the challenges of sewing paper, sewing fabric is like eating ice cream all the time with no ill effects. So fun and easy! I have also been looking at things at home that I love, like Velma's printed paper above (and the scrap of fabric I dyed with her six years ago).
When I was unpacking, my pieces were coming out and going everywhere. I put this duck into this twined shoe and now can't see it anywhere but there. How happy it is when you find the perfect place to rest.
I woke up with some major elbow pain, which I think is a way of working out wrist pain that originates in my neck. I like that you can see the evidence of the blue hanji string that I used to bind the cords when dyeing.
Ever since Australia, I've been reaffirming this love for textiles, and I like looking at this wonderful stitching by Philomena Hali. This week I was sluggish in getting through admin, but did big pushes to get over the hump, only to find that the video we shot in June was finally live. I was very conscious of the phases I went through, which are exactly the phases that everyone goes through in our new lives that are tied to living online. I felt physically isolated from the people I wanted most to be close to, but in the end pushed myself to do more productive things away from screens, like clean the house.

It's amazing how helpful it is to physically clear away the dust that has accumulated. Of course the best remedy is to get outside, walk around, and hug a friend.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Daily pleasures

Yuko's show is up at the Verne Gallery and I highly recommend it!
Her artwork has always been a joy and inspiration, so it's wonderful to see a lot at once.
This is one of my favorites, based off of her late grandmother's dress patterns (she was trained professionally and her book of draft patterns is in the show as well, which is amazing to browse, complete with fabric swatches).
Her grandmother made these tiny dolls out of scraps of paper, and the slightly bowed ruler is made of bamboo.
One of her wonderful wormhole pieces, an enormous amount of work! They also have a fantastic video of her life and process in the show that illuminates so many aspects of what she does.
Down the road I got a berry smoothie for the first time (because I'm still off of bananas, which is okay in summer when there are so many other delicious fruit to eat).
Further down the road, I splurged on a quilt hand sewn from old cotton saris. The night prior, I had been tossing and turning in bed, wondering when I was going to get a summer blanket (I was still wrangling with my huge winter comforter). Some questions are answered quickly.
Spending time with a limited edition catalog of Sandra Brownlee's work. We met in Western Australia and I HAD to have this little book. There is so much to learn from the time and thought and care she put into this.
Therese had recommended this book, which is perfect. So are summer peaches, in my new ceramic bowl from Australia. I have been bulldozed by my workload but am trying to appreciate the little things. I know it may not last, but trying to recall daily some of the peace I felt in the southern hemisphere.