This little one inch square was unexpected. At the beginning there was a thought about mirroring the pink fabric on the left, but I didn't think I could manage it. So I decided to just do the inner white triangle and see what came. Well, the the pink diagonal stripe followed, and the rest just went along from there, one thread at a time. The focus was on each line of stitching, so it was a happy surprise when I leaned back and saw that the abandoned big picture had actually come into being.
Speaking of trying to find the big picture, we have a small room at the top of the stairs, a triangle room at the point of the house, only tall enough to stand in at the center. Over the years it has become a dumping ground for old toys, books, games, etc. I am determined to empty it out and make it a useable space. Yesterday we began emptying it out, bringing everything down to the front room to be sorted. A new dumping ground. I can see that it's going to get ugly before we see the light at the end of this tunnel.
A friend and I talked about getting away . . . imagined a cabin in the woods, on the beach, traveling to Canada, but on Thursday it became clear that we both just needed to GO NOW. The nearest city is Tacoma, 45 min. away, a hotel was booked, and by Sunday lunch we were there. Tacoma is not a place I've ever thought of vacationing, but it was the perfect get-away.
Our first stop was the Museum of Glass. The bridge leading to it is full of Dale Chihuly's creations: The" Crystal Towers" that I love.
Walking under his "Sea Form Pavilion"
And the "Venetian Wall".
The special exhibit was "Every Soil Bears Not Everything" by collaborating artists Joey Kirkpatrick and Flora Mace. Their work takes so many different forms- animals on bowls, flowers dismantled and reconstructed in thin layers of glass, proverbs displayed on shelves of glasses. birds painted with glass powder, sculptures, and much more- all playing beautifully with light and shadow. Here are a few of their pieces...
"Steering Shallow Waters"
This one made us laugh, the birds are a couple of feet tall. "Mistakes Will Be Made (Blue-footed Boobies) by Erich Woll.
"Bowl" by Frantisek Vizner.
"Triad" by David Huchthausen.
"Untitled" by Dominick Lobino
The rest of our hours were spent walking about the town, which was surprisingly full of a great mix of modern and old architecture. There were some delicious meals, and a nice room with a view of Mt. Rainier. I feel like I was gone for days.
It's the last day of school tomorrow. I usually don't do well with transitions, but I think I'm going to happily stitch my way into summer.
Blue is a graduate! Along with 300+ others. In sixty days we'll take him to Ohio, I can't believe it's true. The sadness is starting to make more room for excitement for him. His recent attitude is helping in the letting-go process, too. (Just keep stitching . . . Just keep stitching . . .)
Years ago, before we had the boys, my brother called in a panic. His son was going into high school, "We've only got four more years with him! What are we going to do without him?!" Three years later he was saying, "He's making us nuts! How long till he gets out of here?!" I told him it was great he was acting out, it would make it easier to let him go.
I should call my brother.
There were twenty heart-filling wonderful comments on the "gifts" post.
I created my own random number generator by asking the students in my two classes to write down a number between one and twenty. (Very scientific, I know, but the kids enjoyed getting to vote.)
Number seventeen was the winner, that would be you, Nancy! I'll be in touch . . .
Thank you, again, for all of your generous thoughts, you're all so swell, oxo.
This time of year is always busy, tiring, fun, and a little sad. It's hard to say goodbye to the students who have found their way into my heart, but we are all ready for a break. I started to fall asleep while listening to a student read today, but that may have been due to the book (it was about a zombie goldfish. Don't even try to imagine it.) We've made it through the concerts, potlucks, and a baseball tournament (with more to come). Tomorrow Blue graduates from high school (trying not to think about that too much.) Instead, I am focussing on the fact that four days from now it will be summer vacation, with hours and hours for stitching!
A very big Thank You to all of you who have left such sweet, kind and lovely thoughts on yesterday's post! I will close the comments at the end of Tuesday, so there's still time to add your name to the hat before the drawing (that will probably happen Wednesday after school).
"The gifts came flying in . . ."
"Grateful: warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received; thankful." (Webster Dictionary)
That's what I am, grateful.
Recently, while doing some writing for a submission, and answering the question: "Who or what shaped your creative path?" I wrote, "It was about seven years ago that I discovered the work of Jude Hill of Spirit Cloth. Inspired by her creations and on-line teachings, and also with the makings of the cloth community that she has built, I began to find new ways to look into the cloth itself for inspiration of what might be, to use color, shape and stitch in the search for balance and story, and to soak in the process and be with the cloth. All of this has come together into what feels like a personal homecoming."
And it's true, being with cloth and the company of all of you does feel like home- a safe, supportive, welcoming place to be. It wasn't until finding the kinship of this community that I was able to think about myself as a maker in many new ways.
For this community- for all of you who come by here, for those who have visited the shop, for those who share their own tales, and mostly for Jude, who was the beginning of this chapter in my story. . . I am so very grateful.
So, today, thinking about all of this, I stitched up this little cloth. As a small offering back for all of the gifts you've shared with me, I'd like to send it off to one of you. Just leave a comment on this post by Tuesday and I'll draw a name from the hat.
I got to play with kindergarteners and indigo. What could be better than that? They each rubber-banded a marble into a square of cloth. (Just in case you didn't know, anything involving marbles is very exciting.)
Holding up the first cloth over the bucket of indigo, they all called out "Blue!" or "Indigo!" when I asked what color it would be when it came out of the dye. All three classes gasped properly with surprise at the bright green, and then squealed as we watched it darken to indigo.
Guesses for what would happen to the bit of cloth wrapped around the marble were... "It will stay green!" "The marble will turn indigo!" "The marble will crack open and dissolve into the cloth!". No one seemed to expect the starburst patterns that showed up, even though it had been explained to them while rubber-banding, and at the museum, not to mention the myriad of examples at the exhibit. Doing is believing, I guess.
Sorry there are no photos of the kiddos in action. My hands were in the blue! It was great fun for us all, and so nice to have a little dose of happy drama this week. (And to have a chance to recite "The Jumblies".)