Lizards in the Leaves

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

Apr 19, 2011

Fabric for Saori Hats

Just ran across these pictures in a folder, thought I'd share.
A while back I made a hat with a fairly short length of cloth woven on my Saori loom and I decided that it would be a nice project to make a length of cloth to cut for half a dozen hats.

So here's what I wound up with, 12 feet of fabric, composed of 6 very different 2-foot sections:

At the time, this was my favorite section:

...and it still is.

Here is one section that I  gathered in preparation to make another hat:

I've since taken the gathering out and I'm no longer sure exactly where I'm going with these fabrics.

It will not wind up as 6 hats, as I used one section for the wall hanging (Breach) in my last post.
And I used another section in a series of woven and stitched soft vessels I'm working on. Those aren't really ready for blogging about yet, but I'm very excited about doing them.


Apr 13, 2011

Arts Illiana Spring Exhibition

Last Friday, Arts Illiana (a local non-profit for the support of art in our region) opened its Spring Exhibition.  I'm thrilled to have several things there this season.

Textile Jewelry (pins & necklaces), Gnome Pots

Breach (2011) Cotton, silk, wool, woven, stitched, felted, 12" X 12"

Angel of Golden Apples and Small Green Dreams (2011) 
Wool, woven, felted, stitched, found pin

Finally, I'm very excited to have the first display of an Earthpeace Banner, the community weaving project I've been doing with the Saori loom for which I received a state grant.  This is Banner No. 2.

I really need to create a whole post on the Earthpeace Banner Project (and update that page!). It's been an amazing experience and I have probably had more than 100 people, mostly children, weave on the two banners.  Banner No. 3 will be started this weekend at the Earth Day celebration out at St.-Mary's-of-the-Woods.  I will be presenting Banner No. 1 to the White Violet Center for Eco-Justice and set up the Saori loom for public weaving during the event.

Maybe I'll see you there!

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Apr 9, 2011

My Spirit Mutt Clover

Such a sad post to write, but until I write it here I won't be able to write anything else here unless I do. The joy of all the wonderful things that have blessed me recently has been tempered by this.

My beloved dog-being friend Clover has been diagnosed with osteosarcoma, bone cancer. And it has begun to spread into her lungs. And...that's that.  We are in hospice mode here: taking each day as it comes, being present with her, hoping to keep her as comfortable as possible until we must do the hard, compassionate thing and let her go. Months, maybe.

Right now you'd almost not know she was sick, though. Both times I've been to the vet's office, people thought she was a very young dog, were astonished to know she is 12.  The lump on her back leg, the 3-legged gait give it away that she's ill, but that vanishes when she's running around outside. She is still following me wherever I go, up and down the stairs, even though I try to make her stay when I'm just going up to make tea.  She's eating well. We've been told not to play fetch with her anymore, as there is risk of fracture in the leg, but otherwise, she can go as she pleases about the yard, take her late-night walks with Paul.

I've written about her over the years here (this is a nice post) but probably not enough to convey just how huge her presence is in my life. I am rarely in a room alone for more than 5 minutes. I've always thought of her attachment to me in terms of energy fields...that there is something that she wants/needs to have by being near mine.  And from her there emanates a great sense of contentment when she's nearby, and it radiates out to enfold me as well.  Symbiotic something, I think.

And she's been with me for everything sad and difficult I've endured over more than 11 years, all the loss and grief. And I can never stroke the very softest fur around her ears without feeling connected to Patrick - every morning, every morning, before school (no matter how late we might be running) he had to sit at one end of the sofa and spend some time petting Clover, and that softest fur spot.

She's brought so much joy, comfort and peace to this house.  I pray we'll be able to live up to her devotion, honor her with gratitude for all the blessings of her sweet presence with us over her very healthy lifetime, and do the very best things for her now.


Apr 3, 2011

Max Ehrmann Poetry Competition

I'm floating right now, my feet dangling farther off the ground than usual!  Because Friday night I had the most wonderful surprise: both of the poems I entered won in the ArtSpaces Max Ehrmann Poetry Competition. If that wasn't enough, one was the Grand Prize winner!!

The awards ceremony was held at the Swope Art Museum and all the winners knew going in that they had won something, but the organizers were able to keep secret just what that something was. I also had no idea that they would allow a poet to win more than one prize.  So, when my poem The Way Your Dog Lies Down received 3rd Place in the Nature category, I assumed that was it.  And was quite happy, thank you!  So it was a huge shock and surprise, when my name was called for the Grand Prize announcement.

Huge. I'm not sure I've ever had such a good shock and surprise. Certainly not in public with a good number of people around.

Whatever the word might be for ears doing a doubletake (a doublehuh?) that's what my ears did. I have a vague memory of my friend and sister winner Ann giving me a poke, walking awkwardly to the podium and reading my poem Initiates with a fuzzy low hum in my head, which was likely the surprise of it all but could also have been from the whopper of a head cold that was manifesting that very evening.

I'm blessed. I'm so grateful.

My thank you list starts with Mary Kramer at ArtSpaces, which created this event that honors poetry and poets in the name of Max Ehrmann, a Terre Haute native who is best known for Desiderata, but whose whole body of work has a great gentle wisdom. Here is my friend Brian's blog post on Max and the lifesize bronze statue which ArtSpaces installed. It's at the intersection of our two main downtown streets, delighting me because I can see it from both RiverWools (my local yarn shop) and from BookNation where I spend a few afternoons selling books.

My thank you list continues with all the businesses and people who sponsored this competition, who contributed money and prizes to make this a very rewarding competition to win. I will specifically mention the sponsors of the prizes I won -- ArtsIlliana for the $100 3rd place and St. Mary-of-the-Woods College for the $500 Grand Prize. Oh, yes, you read that right.

From a January article by Mark Bennett in the Tribune-Star:

 Kramer wanted worthwhile prizes for the competing poets, “because it’s not nothing; it’s a lot of work.”

Poets, she added, “don’t make any money — if so, rarely, so it’s important to make the prizes significant.” Ehrmann didn’t get rich off “Desiderata,” which only became an international favorite in the 1960s, nearly two decades after he died in Terre Haute at age 72.

And finally, I thank the three poets who served as judges:

 The three judges are professional poets with Hoosier ties, including J.L. Kato, a technical editor from Beech Grove whose poetry includes a collection based on his mother’s experiences during the atomic bomb blasts in her native Japan; Arthur Brown, an award-winning poet and English professor at the University of Evansville; and Rachel Contreni Flynn, a National Endowment for the Arts fellow and poetry instructor at Northwestern University. 

  I had the opportunity of hearing Arthur Brown read at BookNation prior to the awards ceremony and I'm looking forward to hearing the other two poets read at events later this month.

And, of course, I must thank Max!

My Winning Poems

(3rd Place in Inspired by Nature)

The Way Your Dog Lies Down

Lie down on the grass with your dog
the way your dog lies down,

stomach and heart pressed flat to the ground.
Move yourself into the soil, grab onto

the dignity of the dirt until you feel brave,
brave Earth.           Listen.

Her grass has a thousand stories
and her roots speak the great tree mind.

You may get up freed.
You may get up defined.

You may get up redeemed, with your talk
and walk and spine all aligned.

So lie down on the grass with your dog
the way your dog lies down,

stomach and heart pressed flat
to the sacred.        To the holy,

holy ground.

(Grand Prize Winner submitted in the category: Inspired by a Work of Art)


Woman’s work is incantation,

ritual to manage the dirt of the world,
ensure steady turning through the wheel of days.

Barefoot on a hot roof, a woman hangs wet laundry.

You may think she’s thinking about cooking supper,
or making a shopping list in her head

but she’s really reading shadows,
consulting the oracle of empty,
billowing shirts before her.

She’s asking a question about love
that will never be answered
by her husband’s clothes

and she knows what’s going on
on all those other rooftops.

Sister calls to sister through the golden simmering air,

a secret circle in plain sight, women holding this city tight
in a spell cast with cloth, water and soap.

Clothespin-wielding adepts,
they’re just working the elements on wash-day,

loving the way windblown skirts kiss
their bare thighs,

as they bend, reach and sway.

Initiates is after John Sloan’s painting Sun and Wind on the Rooftop (1915).