Lizards in the Leaves

Rustlings in the green....imagination, art, whimsy

Aug 17, 2020

15th Anniversary of Lizards in the Leaves

 Well, almost. It was yesterday. I made my first post here on August 16, 2005.

It's an interesting synchronicity that I came here to search for something I'd written, then felt a strong desire to renew posting here, then decided to look up my first post and see that it was a significant date in the life of this blog. 

I haven't posted here for over year. We are in the middle of a pandemic, in the middle of the most far-reaching social upheaval I have experienced in my nearly 70 years on-planet.  My husband and I are keeping a rigorous protocol of isolation and this is Day 161 of that.  We're okay and so far my loved ones are as well. We all take this very seriously.  Wear masks, keep a good distance from other humans. Limit indoor public spaces.  For my husband and I that means zero indoor public spaces.  Groceries...everything....delivered to our front porch. 

We have Family Zoom gatherings every few weeks and those are rather fun. Two days ago, my son Shaun and granddaughter Sophia came over and brought their own chairs and we sat, masked and physically distanced, in our backyard for a bit. It all sounds rather sad, yet it is really a blessing that we can connect virtually and safely.

I want to renew my connection with this blog. And I want to renew its original purpose - to share my creative work, and thoughts about process. I hope this will help me focus on that work right now.  I need to limit my doomscrolling, news watching, the glut of information and opinion that is really not useful to me and only ratchets up anxiety.

So here I am these days.  No lizards, but some lovely leaves. I try to work out here on the porch as often as I can. In the cooler air of the mornings, before the neighborhood wakes up and noise begins. Little birds alight in those leaves once in awhile.

Jun 17, 2019

Stitch kit for travel

For travel, I've found I can get a lot of stitching mileage in this little 6" X 8" packing cube.

A quart baggie of fabric bits and bobs plus this tin for thread and other tools gives me ample creative time with needle, cloth and thread.  And it's so compact that it easily slips into my suitcase or backpack wherever there might be a wee bit of void space.

Essentials in the tin: #9 & #10 needles on magnets stuck to the lid, a pin or two; folding scissors (though there is enough room in the cube to include my smallest Fiskar's and I usually do), needle threader (two, because if one breaks I will never be able to thread a needle), and a variety of thread and floss. 

A lovely amount of fabric scraps can be stuffed into a quart bag, too.

If I wanted to be really minimalist,  I could leave the baggie and just take the tin. A couple of these would fit, folded into the tin, and I'd still have much stitching amusement.

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Jun 16, 2019

Work in progress...

Well, two works of many WIPS. These are not languishing, though. They are actively in progress.  As I'm going to the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA) annual conference this year in July, I thought it would be nice to have some crochet to wear, as well as renew my crochet mojo.

I was thrilled to be able to start these pieces with yarn already in my stash, too.

Both are Jenny King patterns. I'm making a short version of her Coogee Bay dress in a beautiful blue unmercerized 8/2 cotton which I originally bought for weaving.  I was thrilled to discover that I can crochet a whole dress with a $24 cone of cotton (actually it was less, because WEBS gives a 25% discount when you reach $125 in your shopping cart - 20% on $60, and I bought many cones of yarn when I got the grant to buy my Saori loom.) 

The second piece is a pattern called Shawlsational and it's apparently a vest/shawl/scarf-in-one. I am still unsure about how it's going to end up, but it's in the homestretch, so I will know soon. This was done in a cotton Interlacements yarn, Irish Linen, alas no longer available. I ran out of the main yarn, which is purples and greens,  and am finishing up with greens.  I am very pleased at the contrast border.

Of course, these pictures don't show the garments well, just the lovely promise of them as they are in the process of becoming.

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Jun 15, 2019

Charms for...

Last year, I worked on a series of small improvisational weavings (all about 5"X8") called Charms for....
I started adding small stitcheries made of kantha scraps. I think of these stitcheries as doorways, portals of some kind.

Here are two.

Charm for Finishing Things You Think Are Hopeless Messes

Charm for Walking Between The Worlds With Ease 

Jun 14, 2019

Only a year without blogging...

Still here.

Not so long back from the Indiana University Writers Conference - the 4th I've attended. This year the intensive poetry workshop was with poet Aimee Nezhukumatatihl and I've come back with inspiration, new tools, and the memory of a great group of poets. The class was a perfect balance of workshopping manuscripts and time for generative, experiential work.  I am still processing all that I returned with.

I wound up only attending one of the afternoon classes - Jan-Henry Gray's The (Re)Purpose of Poetry, which went into all sorts of areas that I was beginning to explore through work in erasure. I loved that this class invoked the Gee's Bend quiltmakers. The connections between fiber art and poetry are ones I love to find.

On erasure - last fall I was accepted into Driftwood Press Erasure Seminar - a 5-week online workshop with Jerrod Schwarz. It was wonderful to focus and devote my time to this specific form of creative work.

As for fiber...I'm also regrouping there. I did finish a massive project earlier this year - Stephen West's Marled Magic Sweater - and in time to wear it before the weather got warmer.  It is so cosy, soft - like walking around in the most welcome hug.  And the marled technique West teaches (working with 2 fine yarns and switching them up in various ways)  is perfect for the kind of stash I keep - lots and lots of different yarns in myriad colors, but not enough of any one yarn to make a whole garment.

Here's my Ravelry Project page on this sweater. 
And here's me enjoying the hug of it.

May 8, 2018

Small Weaving Charm For Dealing With Much Going On

I started this at a knitting retreat.
As usual I had no outcome in mind. My work just becomes, it seems. I had no idea that I would be turning it so that it was a horizontal piece. I liked way the warp threads  fanned out along the sides, wished they could be fixed like that. The warp (Habu cotton gima) is stitched down where the sari ribbon is woven through. And I backed it with a scrap of kantha cloth. 

The whole thing made me think of being frazzled with too much to do. And as I refined it from the just-off-the-loom state of the last picture, tamed it a bit,  it seemed perhaps the piece could be a charm against being overwhelmed by too much.

Apr 22, 2018

Catching up?

serendipitous, improvisational stitchery
I can't even begin to think about catching up.
So I will just post from right where I am.

This bit of stitching.
A scrap from the bundles of hand-dyed fabric I get from Deb Lacativa stitched to a scrap from a thrifted shirt I got at Goodwill, which was dipped in a bath of turmeric. It's yellowness doesn't really show up in the picture, nor is it very yellow in person. The starker contrast of dark blues and white was muted, though.

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