Monday, December 18, 2017

A Holiday Quickie

Yesterday I made a pile of plump little pincushions for my rug hooking group's solstice gift exchange. Simple biscornus, made with recycled wool fabrics and wooden button's from Lasqueti's Wildwood Button Factory.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

No Mud, No Lotus

Thanks to all of you who offered helpful advice on keeping organised. It`s good to know I am not alone in a messy studio. But I have also given a bit of thought to what might be behind my untidy habits.

First of all, the whole wide world could be considered a messy studio, where things are created and destroyed and loved and fought over and nobody really knows what the hell is going on.

Then I thought about where my awareness that I am messy began, and remembered that as a child our house was often untidy (with four kids, whose house wouldn't be a mess?) My father, who, as I recall, never lifted a broom or ran the vacuum cleaner, was always complaining about this, and no doubt gave my mother lots of grief about her un-housewifely ways. His line was "What if the Queen comes for tea?" Which seemed to be a perfectly reasonable possibility to my eight-year-old self. I internalized his concern that others might think badly of a messy house, and by extension, of the people living in that mess. As an adult, knowing more about my father`s history and his probable PTSD and other issues, I can take a different perspective.

My art has a lot to do with looking for things beneath the surface, with layers of meaning, with valuing the unlovely. Would I have the ideas I have if everything was neat and orderly? That could be a rationalization, I know, giving permission to the mess. But the pictures of my drawing table are not an inapt metaphor for my thinking processes and the odd connections I make. The trick is making it all come together, which might explain the patient, repetitive, tight little stitches that make up my embroidery.

Last night, on that cluttered table, I came up with three new ideas for pieces that will, hopefully, when they are done, look like they were created in a logical, coherent, skillful and patient way. And I shall do my best to answer the ghost from the past, when he starts to complain: "No mud, no lotus."

Oh, and here`s the finished, unsteamed rug.
I`ll do a properly lit shot later, but just wanted to show off the piece. I whipped the edges with a medium brown wool that just blends perfectly. I`m chuffed as can be.

Monday, December 04, 2017

How Do You Stay Tidy and Organised? (And not go crazy!?!)

Pic of my room circa 2008. The file is named "Squalor".  Apparently, not much has changed.

So, I was hooking away on my rug and couldn't find my scissors/hook/fabric I just had in my hand two seconds, and it occurred to me that maybe it's possible that every other hooker/stitcher/knitter in the world might have the same problem occasionally, and maybe instead of cursing my own name for the zillion-th time, I could just ask my fibre friends for tips and pointers on keeping one's working area (diameter of an arm's reach) tidy and organised.

And, judging from my feverish sentence structure, it's an urgent problem.