Lizards in the Leaves

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

Jul 15, 2014

Stitching a poem

A poem-making feeling comes over me as I am engaged in stitching these bits of cloth harvested from old sheets and clothes, some dyed/ stained with plants and berries. 

This is about floating and windows and  things passing by,like full moons ...

Jul 11, 2014

And one more test

Here is a photo from the New York Public Library Digital Gallery. I love the caption, "and she proceeded to burn perfume and repeat spells until the sea foamed and was agitated..."

Guinare of the sea Illustration by Maxfield Parrish

from The Arabian Nights: their best-known tales, by Kate Douglas Wiggin


Thinking of my friend Athena Perrakis, the Sage Goddess.


This may be my 500th blog post

...and I am using it to do more testing with posting from my iPad.
I want to see if I can do links. So here is the link to Jude Hill's blog 
Spirit Cloth

I have been reading her blog on and off for years, admiring the elegant magic of her work, been inspired by her asking 'what if...?'

This is one of the first things I made as I began Spirit Cloth 101:

The purple is fabric from a favorite pair of pants that wore until the cloth was soft, soft, soft and the seam gave way. This was years ago. I am glad I saved the fabric and am now using it. The patches are small pieces of one of the eco-dyed fabrics I made with Sophia.

So far, I am happy with this test. Will have to see how it posts.

Fabric Foraging

I am taking Jude Hill's Spirit Cloth 101 workshop (and getting a great deal out of it), but I don't have a great variety of the sort of cloth pieces I would like to do this type of work with: worn, soft natural fiber.
First, I rummaged through my own clothes that I had set aside for the annual yard sale we have with the rest of the block. Then, I made a foraging run to Goodwill. This was the result:

Mostly cotton, a couple of linen-rayon blends.
This next is possibly my favorite, originally a skirt. I may dye a few pieces of it.
I also like these, a fine gauzy material in two layers, the vertical stripes were on the inside of the garment, the plaid on the outside.
This post is an experiment, too. I am trying to see how I can post using my iPad. It would not let me upload pictures through the browser, though I could do text. So I am writing this as a journal entry in my MacJournal app, which has a 'send to blog' feature.
Here goes!

Jun 30, 2014

Botanical Dyeing

I have no idea if I'm doing this right  (I suspect there are a lot of "right" ways), but I like the results.

Trying to keep my granddaughter occupied on Saturday, I hit on the idea of doing an experiment in eco or botanical dyeing. I'm sure that there are better ways to do this, ones that might make the results less fugitive, but I played it by ear. It was an experiment after all.

First, we  ripped up a section of an old cotton sheet I thrifted some time ago.  She really enjoyed learning how you can make a tiny cut with scissors, then rip and wind up with  nice straight edges. I love the look of a ripped edge, with the threads unraveling here and there.

Then we went outside and gathered our botanicals:  mint leaves, clover blossoms, melissa, fallen petals, Along with a handful of black raspberries from a local farm, we were ready.

We each placed things randomly, folded the sheets, then rolled them around a stick and tied them.

We popped them into a steamer basket and pot that I have reserved for dyeing only.  I let them steam for four hours, adding water now and then. Then I let them sit awhile.

After unrolling and picking off the botanicals, I rinsed them in cool water, then gave them a dip in a vinegar/water bath and rinsed again.  Thinking dryer heat might help set the stains (yup, that's what this is: conscious stain-making), I dried them in the dryer. Then I ironed them.

And I think our experiment was a success!  I hesitate to make anything from these that might need regular washing, but I am definitely brainstorming other ways to use these textiles.

May 29, 2014

Unfinished Object Question

Can I get myself back into the headspace to finish this?

May 20, 2014

Catching Up

I was honestly shocked when I realized that I have not posted a thing for more than six weeks.  Even though I have that Blogging Without Guilt button over there in the sidebar, I still feel kind of awful that I don't nurture my blog enough.  Very glad Lizards in the Leaves is not a plant.  ( I'm a dreadful plant-nurturer as well.)

Since I last wrote I attended the Small Knits Symposium   held in Bloomington, IN. It was great fun and reminded me of how very much I enjoy being with the tribe of the Yarn People. I roomed with designer Barbara Benson, took classes from Lorilee Beltman, got to meet designer Sivia Harding and see everyone's lovely work.  The final event was a great brunch and an even greater presentation by the brilliant, inventive Cat Bordhi.  She brought pictures of some of her trips to Peru and told stories of her encounters with yarn and knitters there.

The book I brought for Cat to sign was not one of her knitting books. It was my worn paperback copy of Treasure Forest, a fiction book she intended to be the first of three. Alas, no more seem to be forthcoming. I bought this a month after Patrick died, and there was so much in it that spoke to what I was feeling at the time.  It seemed to delight her that I brought that book, and she told me that 'everything important" to her was in it.

In addition to the SKS, that same month (April) was National Poetry Month.  I managed to facilitate the publication of our fourth community 'open mic in a book', subTerreanean AND I completed my fourth NaPoWriMo - the challenge to write a poem every day.

Here is #21/30:

my intention
feels clear.

to wind a warp
of strong words,

for weft.

i weave

through an ocean
of fine cotton,

a sky of fragile silk

long pauses

to fall

Finally, at the last minute, I managed to complete the 2014 Int'l Freeform Guild Challenge. This year the challenge was to use only one color.  Awfully hard for me and I gave up. And it felt okay to give up. Much more okay than to continue the fruitless struggle that I had been having.  And wouldn't you know, after basking in a warm glow of relief, I had an inspiration that allowed me to get back into the challenge.

I can't reveal my piece yet, but will post as soon as the online show is live.

Right now, I am madly crocheting and knitting some sculptural bits and pieces that will become something or things. I am enjoying making them in the newest cotton-rich Noros: Taiyo Sport and Kibou.

One thing that they seem to want to become is: gloves.  (Remember, I make clothes to wear in dreams and alternate realities....) Here is the first one: Glove for Setting Intention (the intention set is to make at least five of these.)

Mar 30, 2014

Tiny Collages

Mar 26, 2014

Pondering NaPoWriMo

Pondering NaPoWriMo - a National Poetry Month challenge to write a poem a day in April. I have successfully done it three times now and the experience has always shifted my work in meaningful ways plus given me a great deal of material to work with, even a few poems that are pretty whole, requiring little in the way of revision.

But this April, I will be away at the Small Knits Symposium for 4 days at the end of the month. So the pondering is on how that will affect the poem-a-day goal. Do I start early or finish late? Do I try to write poems during the symposium? That will mean handwritten because I don't intend to take my computer. I will have my iPad which has a MacJournal app (MacJournal is the environment in which I journal and write poetry) though writing on the iPad is cumbersome to me.

Part of my writing process is working on a keyboard. Whether typewriter in the olden days or computer now, I have always noticed a dramatic difference in flow compared to composing poetry in manuscript. I have used that difference, too. The act of handwriting must use different neural pathways or something. There is definitely a difference in the way I connect with my 

Found Poetry Project

This project is just beginning. As I obscure the original words on the page, the lines seem to create the appearance of weaving and I am as interested in exploring and extending the visual effects of textiles as I am in locating the poem hidden in the page of words. 

It was a leap for me to begin to alter the pages of the 107-year-old book I am working with. I did not choose a book that is in poor condition or disbound. No, I chose a book that was just fine.  And doing this to the pages, then tearing them out, I am breaking a taboo, committing a sin if not a crime. But my bookseller/booklover soul merely winced as I made that first ink mark. It did not cry out in agony, merely winced.

What becomes interesting is the relationship I am developing with the book of essays I am pillaging for parts. Title: From a College Window. And its author. Arthur C. Benson. He seems also to have written fantasy and  supernatural tales as A.C. Benson.  Even the names of the previous owners are part of my thoughts. And a search.  I believe this is the grave of one of them.

It will be interesting to see where this project takes me. It is exhilarating to find something that combines my love of words with visual art that evokes fiber.