Week 47 in my sketchbook practice.
* shop note: I’ve just added these two new songbirds to the shop – an Indigo Whipple and a Violet Contrarian. I’m adding new pieces every Thursday.
This February marks the ten year anniversary of my blog. 10 years of trying stuff and sharing it.
Posting my efforts and experiments has made me braver and continues to help me push myself to keep moving, take chances, and get over myself. And I love having a record – evidence of small consistent effort over a long period of time, evidence of growth, a catalog of moments and sensations I would have forgotten. It is also a catalog of missteps. I looked through the entire blog over the last couple days – I never have before – and a lot of it makes me cringe. Not even just the really old stuff. There is a shocking amount of things I felt good about at the time that I see now as terribly flawed or awkward. Part of me wants to edit that all out but that is not the spirit of this effort – the spirit of this effort is reaching and sometimes reaching is flawed and awkward. In all of it that is what means the most to me – I tried stuff and I will continue to try stuff and share it. I’m deeply motivated by the idea that my best work is always ahead of me – I feel like I’ve barely gotten started.
To mark the occasion I chose a photo from each year to share in this post – some are images I loved, or times when I felt like I got somewhere new and some are just little moments I’m glad were preserved. Some of the images remind me of collaborators I was lucky to have and people who have been showing up here for the entire ten years – I am truly touched and grateful for that.
Beginning with 2006 – paper birds.
2007 - the ginger rose
2008 – snapshots from Camp Wapameo for Birds
Week 46 in my sketchbook practice.
Songbirds are slow work – it’s all slow work I guess but songbirds in particular will not be hurried. They are the boss of me. I know when I start it’s going to take a long time and I struggle with that for a while – try to speed it up – it never works. I don’t make any real progress until I settle in and forget about finishing at all.
They have evolved over the years into something more realistic than my early songbirds. And every time I make one I reach for more – more life-force, more curiosity, more birdness. I want them to seem to have just perched, or as if that are just about to take off, or take a step or as if they only discovered you this very moment. I’ve added the four above to the shop today – from left to right : a Brown Speckled Wingnut, a Mrs. Brown’s Nuthatch, a Bashful Finch and an Ebony Woebegone. You can see the Edwardian skirt the Mrs. Brown’s Nuthatch is made from here – I’ve been making things from it for years.
Week 45 in my sketchbook practice.
I’m working on a little group of songbirds – some made from Japanese garment fragments and 2 from Edwardian garments. Their beaks are carved from twigs collected over the summer and their legs are paper mache over wire. Hoping to have all 6 finished and photographed for next week. The commitment to add new things to the shop every Thursday has been a good push so far – a good sort of pressure.
And a couple newly finished things - both are in the shop now along with rag doll #1 – a hand stitched botanical experiment and a bustled spider.
Don’t go away mad little spider – just go away.
Made of lovely old cloth from Sri Threads. I had such a good time making her – got lost for hours and hours – that’s the prize. Doll making is like riding a bicycle – both make me feel like I’m 11 again. I’ve already started rag doll # 2 – I have so many doll ideas – it is such a good place to experiment.
P. S. if you like you can join me next September at The Squam Art Retreat for a doll making workshop.
Week 44 in my sketchbook practice.
Last year I focused on creating my first patterns and a couple other large projects and made very little of my own stitch work – the slow sewing I love to do, the creatures I love to make. I’m determined to do more of that this year and to get them into my shop. To build some momentum, for the remainder of January, and starting today, I’m committing to adding something new to the shop every Thursday. Maybe one thing, maybe several, the usual suspects and some surprises and experiments too. If you’d like an email when new pieces are available you can sign up here. Two of today’s new pieces are below, a dark bird and haggis ( a scoundrel) - both made from Edwardian garments.
Week 43 in my yearlong sketchbook practice.