Tuesday, March 29, 2011

special books

In the age of rampant electronic development, handmade books seem so contemplative, tactile, and necessary. I love handmade books and book artists (you know who you are; velma, lindsey, julia, and jean just to name a few). I have several lovingly created journals. They sit in a stack on my desk and I often leaf through them and touch their covers. None of them have been used by me. My scribbles and doodles doesn't seem worthy of their beauty. I am simply afraid to mess them up...

My fabric covered moleskine books were born from this fear. Somehow it seems less precious to write in a journal that can be replaced. I love making these covers, especially the eco dyed ones. Each of them becomes a small piece of art that can come along in my purse.

But now I am dreaming of making other books, more like the one we made in India's class this summer (pictured above). A book with surprises hidden among its pages; a pressed leaf, a charcoal rubbing, fabric pages, and small pockets. Maybe even a scribble or two...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

self promotion

Maketing, publicity, and pr are concepts that I struggle with. I am just not good at beating my own drum or tooting my own horn. But I do like to present myself and my work in a way that reflect who I am and what I create. Recently I decided to make some larger format cards instead of standard buisness cards. They were printed at my favorite local press in black ink on recycled card stock, and each of them will be adorned with a leaf print on the front. Even though more time consuming, it feels important to leave behind a small sample of my work for prospective customers to look at and consider.

Speaking of promotion... I recently listed a new piece in the etsy shop that I really like. It is a textile collage of eco printed linen and silk, hand stitched and mounted on a small stretched canvas. I call it whisper, because the imagery is barely there, it seems to be floating under the fabric surface.

Lastly, my garden blog is revived. The garden is such a huge inspiration in my life and my work, and I am glad I finally got back to documenting the exciting things that always happens there. Happy spring!

Sunday, March 13, 2011


My heart aches. The devastation from the earthquake in Japan is beyond comprehension. Sending thoughts of compassion and monetary aid is one way to cope. Taking a deep breath to cherish our own uneventful, safe existence is another. Sharing a glimpse of amazing Japanese art is one more way to celebrate this country of beauty and inspiration.

Japanese asa boro. Photo courtesy of  Sri Threads.

Vessel by Mihara Ken 

Kan, winter kimono by Itchiku Kubota

Monday, March 7, 2011

suzanna's mystery quilt

This quilt belongs to my friend Suzanna Bryan who asked me to put a sleeve on its back so she can hang it on the wall in her beautiful Virginia farm house. Well it is not a quilt per se. It has no batting, and no backing. It is machine pieced together, but the rest of the work is done entirely by hand. Every person, creature, shape, and line is hand appliqued and embroidered.

It may not even be that old, but I adore it. I love the color, the texture, and the story it is trying to tell. Something important is being created at the center of the piece, involving lots of man power, stately animals, and guardians. Neither Suzanna nor I know the quilts origin. She bought it from an antique dealer in Charlottesville, several years ago.

It is intriguing and while we were looking at it together our imagination was running wild. Afghani possibly? Is the larger than life figure near the building site a friend or a foe? Is that women hiding under the cloaks while traveling by donkey?

Do you know what this could be?
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