Monday, March 25, 2013

Springtime coziness

For years now I have been trying to find more time (and gathering knowledge about) dyeing using plants and other natural things. I finally found a wonderful friend who is a wealth of information, not only about naturally dyeing, but plants in general. A woman after my own heart since I also work with plants in many different ways.
Finally, I have been playing around with indigo.
I have been seeing blue lately, it is in all of my work, if not the only major color in my paintings and my natural dyeing seems to be no exception. I have a few scarves that I had dyed and have been wearing around for a while and I love them so much that I decided to share with you.
This cowl is light and cotton and perfect for a balmy (or not so balmy) day.

I especially love the little star-burst of blue that is on one side.

Find it HERE.

Just in time for Spring

New in the shop.
Found objects made into art.
Crocheted river stone from a journey to the Catskills.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Indigo and ink

It was somewhat warm enough to play around with indigo.
I had a few things that needed dyeing to cover up my bad laundry skills, ie: putting a red garment in with light colored clothing. That is what I get for being lazy and not separating (which I NEVER do!). Maybe it is a blessing in disguise, maybe it makes for unintended creative effort. I mean, said garments did get a new dye-job, therefore a new lease on life...
The rest were some fabrics/scarves I had dyed before but wanted to over-dye because the color was too light, or the dye didn't get into the middle of the fabric.
I'm happy with the outcome.

What was left of the dye vat I am storing in this glass jar.
I hope I can do some more dyeing in the next couple of days.

I have been in the studio for the last few days working on some new things. I am looking for a new place to make prints and cards. Or maybe investing in a printer to do it myself, any suggestions?

Hope you all enjoyed the weekend!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Living in an artful way

Lee Krasner - " I was not in a position to say I will not continue painting or I will continue painting...I am preoccupied with trying to know myself in order to communicate with others. Painting is not separate from life. It is one. It is like asking - do you want to live? My answer is yes- and I paint."
" I was not in a position to say I will not continue painting or I will continue painting...
I am preoccupied with trying to know myself in order to communicate with others.
Painting is not separate from life. It is one. It is like asking - do you want to live?
My answer is yes- and I paint."
-Lee Krasner

While browsing through pinterest, I came upon this pin.
Lee's quote about working perfectly describes how I feel about creating art.
And although, I find it a bit unoriginal to say, I don't know anything else.

I have heard the question many times:
"Does art imitate life or does life imitate art?"
I think that is a silly question because for me they are one in the same.
Art is more a way of life than that of a mere skill to be practiced (although it does require persistence and practice, obviously). I think, for many artists/crafters, it is a necessity, it is a way of finding and learning about oneself. It is so much more than just making something. I am fascinated with how life and the world around us can be interpreted through art. Sometimes it is tangible, sometimes it really is not, but whatever it may be it is a way of evolving, learning and discovering both what is known and unknown.
Art, like life, is so simple and so complex.

I find art to be such a simple word for such a broad scope. It covers styles, techniques, materials and mediums, but I feel like it goes much deeper than that. I feel that art can cover everything pertaining to existence right down to a breath, seeds sprouting and pushing up through the heavy earth, the way snowflakes are formed, the sound of waves crashing on rocks, and even the simple act of an everyday human routine. Everything we do can be interpreted artistically, even routine. Routines are part learned, part comfort, part emotion and part expression of that moment in the day. I love to observe routines. I find that routine, much like prayer, is a way to focus, reflect and organize the art of everyday and make it tangible, or make a path from one artistic form to another of artistic expression.

Every minute of the day is an opportunity to live in an artful way.
I hope you are enjoying it!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Crazy Brave

"East is the directions of beginnings. It is sunrise.
When beloved Sun rises, it is an entrance, a door to fresh knowledge.
Breathe in the light. Call upon the assistance you need for the day.
Give thanks.
East is how the plants, animals, and other beings orient themselves for beginnings, to open and blossom.
The spirit of the day emerges from the sunrise point."

-Joy Harjo

I can't quite remember where I saw that someone suggesting to read this book (was in you, Prairie Girl?), but so far I am entranced with how Joy Harjo speaks and shares her stories.
Her words are stories, are wisdom brought through her from the divine, the collective, but they are her words.
She sees beyond this existance and merges spirit and soul with earthly being.

"Because music is a language that lives in the spiritual realms, we can hear it, we can notate it and create it, but we cannot hold it in our hands"

So beautiful, I can feel her deep connection and passion for the stories she is sharing in this book.
I am eager to read on!

What books have you been reading lately?

I have to admit, I don't read as much as I would like to.
It has taken me a long time to even like reading because I start off very slowly and have a hard time settling in. I don't even really know what I like to read, I guess it all depends.
I go by word of mouth when choosing books since I find the book descriptions utterly useless.
I am, however, headed out to pick up this one at the library.
(Suggestions are also welcomed!)

Hello, Kitty

This kitty just showed up one day at the back door.
We have no clue as to whether she is a stray or not, but she is awfully friendly and cuddly and doesn't seem to care about the dogs. Actually she just goes right up and starts rubbing around their legs.
She keeps trying to non-chelantly walk into the house with us when we go in, I wish I could let her in.
But truth be told I fear for her, for if she were to get in, oh the damage my little birdy would inflict!
In reality, I worry about the safety of Posey if a cat were to be in the house. I leave her cage open for her to play on top or climb around while I am home.
Oh, poor kitty! She is so sweet!
And if I had a barn... Well, I would most certainly let her stay there.
(Since I refuse to have an indoor cat again... Litter boxes = YUCK!)
Until then, I will sneak her some food and go out and give her cuddles when I have a chance.
All that aside, I think (I hope) she might have a real home and is just curious/friendly/adventurous since she doesn't seem to be starving and wasn't soaking wet last night when she came to visit during the storm.

So that has been going on.
Now I am off to try and avoid doing my taxes.

Hope you all have a joyful Wednesday!

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Last Stops

The last few towns we were in before I left for home:
Tecino (Lugano), Prattln and Zurich.

There aren't many pictures to truly represent the last few stops before I left Switzerland, those may have to wait a bit for Katrin to get home (I put most of my photos on her computer to save room on my camera) or for me to upload and edit the ones on my "real" camera.
In the meantime, a photo of me with one of the largest rosemary plants I have ever seen, along with a sunset behind the mountains in Tecino. Kat playing in the tapas bar, Corazon, in Zurich and then my view from the airplane window heading home.
No pictures from Prattln. I never thought I could say this, but I think it must have been the bum-hole of Switzerland, it was all industrial and not pretty at all. Honestly, we couldn't wait to get up the next morning and leave for Zurich (which is a wonderful city, I must say. And this is coming from someone who isn't a city person!).
So now I am home, trying to teach myself German and get back into the swing of things.
It is definitely an adjustment, after being gone for almost 2 weeks, I had just started to settle into the routine there, as well as feel a little calmer about the language barrier.

Today I will be trying to catch up on some things for business, as well as try to clean up the house a little bit. You know, super fun stuff...

How have the last few weeks been for you?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The view...

...from where we are staying in Tecino.

Driving through the mountains

We literally drove through the Swiss Alps yesterday. These mountains are so grandeous! We were on our way to Lugano and Tesseret which is in Tecino, the Italian speaking part of Switzerland (which is where we are now). We are just a stones throw from the border of Italy!

Friday, March 8, 2013

From Frick to Nyon and on throught the Swiss Alps

Last night Katrin played in a 2000 year old roman cave in Nyon which is French speaking Switzerland. Kinda cool..

Now we are driving (literally) through the mountains to Lugano, in Tecino which is the Italian speaking part if Switzerland.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Zug, Switzerland

We spent last night in Zug (sounding like tzoog)... What a beautiful view! They have a wonderful place to walk around, view the lake and some of the Swiss Alps. They also have an outdoor aviary with all sorts of parrots and exotic bird and they have reindeer (that originate from china)!
Now we are in Frick, but more on that another day.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Plottes, France...

A little sneak peek at where we have been in France.

Traveling in the French countryside

A glimpse of our travel through the back roads in France on route to La Pont De Cotte in Lournarnd and the stage where Katrin performed.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Luzern, Switzerland

First stop on Katrin's European tour.
Spent 2 days here exploring and trying to get some good sleep
(because you know there's no such thing on the plane...)
Next stop, France!