Thursday, October 20, 2011


Today's Forecast: Warming toward life, but chance of scattered brain activity.

The Man got called into work in the middle of the night last evening. For us, one a.m. is the middle, since he usually rises at 4. I was worried about this emergency, because I hate when he misses sleep, and there was a wind and rain "event" going on outside where he had to drive and also face the "crisis." Finally asleep again, I was awakened by his alarm at 4. This time a pill to help me under, and when finally resurfacing this morning, way past my usual rising time, of course there was dizziness and discombobulation of brain waves. I tell you all of this to illustrate my general state of mind lately. I'm the one who has the good fortune to go back to bed, yet I am the one who always seems out of focus.

Part of this loss of a direct path to goals lately is due to the usual up and down of the change of seasons. One week above normal, one below. Autumn this year had been a see-saw from summer to winter temps. I even caught the newscasters on the Chicago station saying that we were expecting the first storm of winter. Well, not really! It's hardly winter yet! But I can see I am not alone in my confusion.

The slightly out of focus view of my busy breakfast space. (The CD cover is actually in focus.)
Yesterday, David brought in two gorgeous purple clematis blooms that thought spring had arrived. This morning I was dithering over sitting down to paint them, or to write the blog, or to return to crocheting a metal bead bracelet I have wanted for at least two years now, or maybe take up my promise to myself to work out indoors since the day is definitely not one for walking outside.

Of course, there is also the new stuff to study. In our household My Guy is generally the one to research and buy new mechanical and electronic gear, and I am usually the recipient who must learn how to use it. Often these things arrive before I am ready to study them. Take for example the new car I got last May. It replaced the same type of car I had, but came with all the updated features that seven years of development will bring. Sure, I can drive it, but can I run it's computer system? Heck no! I got a smart phone almost a year ago, and that too, is still a mystery to me most days. Everything we purchase these days is a computer unto itself, only it wants to connect to all our other computers and they don't necessarily play nicely together. I hit the wrong button on my steering wheel the other day and the car told me it couldn't find my phone! I didn't want my car using my phone. Who was it going to call, the Camaro down the block?

The new Sony camera, pictured above, is another example. I haven't even taken the tag off the carrying case. David is one of the most excellent price shoppers you will find. He has a knack for finding the "returned but never used," and "display model ready to be changed out," and getting them at a fraction of their current retail price. I treasure all this opportunity to have updated technology, and yet, again, there is that manual to study, that system to learn. I think I will be giving up on ever learning how to use my "older" digital SLR. Why bother? This one pretty much does the same thing, but better.

There's also the Paul Simon CD I bought two weeks ago, loaded on the computer and pod, that I haven't listened to. When I was a kid, my brain was such a busy place that if I didn't distract some part of it with music all the time, I couldn't concentrate on reading and studying. Now I pretty much need total quiet to pay attention to really creative pursuits.

Meanwhile, I think the statute of limitations has run out on telling you about my summer vacation. I had planned to go into some more detail about our trip around my favorite Oregon places, but for now I just want to share these two journal ink and watercolor sketches from our stay at TuTuTun Lodge. It's the most beautiful and relaxing corner of "nowhere" I can imagine.

I have been somewhat preoccupied with fabric and stitching lately, but I did complete three pages in the last month, sort of closing up summer and beginning autumn.

Playing with greys and using a selective sprig to represent the entire plant in the planter of her head.

Sheer layering of the vine over the arbor. Again, just a detail of a very large and dense growth.

One day after shopping at Costco, this little leaf was waiting on my car door for a ride. I took it home, painted it, then sat in my garage and painted the reflections on the car door and handle. A lot fun to do.

A friend who admired my Junk Mail book wanted me to show her how to transform junk into drawing paper. I used the "good" gouache paints I bought nearly a year ago, and got some beautiful results. Can't wait to draw a second book.
I am currently taking a class in embroidery with a favorite textile artist, Arlee Barr. Her class is called "Frankenstitch," and she is teaching us how to work big, bold, and chunky, to achieve texture and tell a story through simple embroidery stitches stretched to their creative limits. It is very freeing, and fits my "design as you go" personality. I have no plan or pre-design. I am making what I am calling samplers, although they have potential to be finished pieces.

Here is an example of running stitch gone interesting.

This piece is using various silks I have dyed, dye-painted or stencilled with a strip off a "boro-class" weaving. It will be an all buttonhole stitch sampler.

Here is a little sample of "Frankenstiched" buttonhole as I got started.

One of my creative friends called me this week to say she wanted to stop by with a gift of Indian Corn she had grown this year that took on a creative twist of its own. Some of the ears had gone all "rainbowy" with soft pastels of every hue. In all her years of farming she had never seen this happen. It was a fun surprise, and I think I will make a simple wreath out it for the front porch.

Of course, I could paint it while it's still in the warm house. Nah, I'd better read that car manual first, before my "MAXI" starts dating behind my back. Who said she could use my phone!


  1. Hi Cheryl;
    I just stopped by your blog today, I am not sure if I have seen it before. I really like your post today, especially about today's technology. My phone keeps trying to connect to hubbubs van:)
    Anyway, I wanted to tell you that I enjoyed reading it. Thanks for sharing.
    Hugs and blessings

  2. your post are always so interesting. great drawings, love your stitches and such cute toes.

  3. Echo deanna7trees: cute toes! (Just like mine, only much cuter.) Love your hitchhiker painting, very creative. And, of course, the technology that threatens our very way of life; just like folks of the opposite sex: can't do with 'em and can't do without 'em.

    I always enjoy your posts!

  4. great sketches and stiches! Also, what a wonderful unique gift of rainbow Indian corn

  5. Wonderful post! Loved the sketches and the indian corn! I've never seen it do that either!