This life is a wheel, I think, ever turning, sometimes it seems to slow but never stops. Recently there have been friends who have died in their elder stages of life, the wheel turns. Today photos of a new baby arrived in my inbox, smiling tired parents and sleeping baby, I knew this woman when she was just a girl and now she’s a mom…the wheel turns again. We received a wedding announcement for a young couple who found each other at the camp where we work what wonder this turning wheel brings. Is it the wheel of a traveling carriage on a long journey? Or perhaps the spinning wheel, turning fibers into threads to weave into the tapestry of life. I think that might be it, threads sturdy and strong, threads thin and tenuous. All to be dyed and woven into to the cloth of their purpose. A garment, a blanket, a shelter. Worn to tatters as is the way of the turning wheel never stopping, only slowing now and again for us to notice if we happen to be paying attention.
This is a fabric collage piece I just completed inspired by this moment of noticing the wheel. Thank you to Joan and Ralph who have recently died, thank you for showing me a bit of the tapestry of your life sharing your shelter, wisdom and comfort. Thank you baby Solomon and his parents Calen and Myron for reminding me that the wheel that turns to death also turns to life, and thank you Colby and Noelle for inviting us to witness the turning of the wheel once more, the twining of your lives from two threads to one that will be long, beautiful and sturdy.
Hello dear readers as you know I’ve been doing some new paintings lately and with the wonders of the digital age you can have almost anything printed on almost everything. So I decided to see how these images would look on a myriad of merch. I uploaded my digital photos of these layered lovelies and look what I got – I love it! I ordered the Buddha printed on the tank top for myself- I thought you might love it too… follow this link then click on the painting you like and see it printed on everything from tank tops to phone covers…. really I mean it – check it out!
I didn’t sleep very well last night so I almost talked myself out of my morning hike but I rallied after some oatmeal and a big mug of coffee to take a loop through the woods and out into a hilly clearing that provides vista’s to the east, west and south. The morning fog lay over the river and steam was rising from the dry grass hill as the suns rays warmed the frosted grey-brown grass. I sat on a near by bench facing the Northeast to watch and listen and breathe. The first sound I took note of was the distant road noise and marveled at the low hum. Then I watched the fog lifting its lacy fingers releasing the Russian river from its nights embrace, in the distance a murmur of starlings swooped across the valley and out of my line of sight. Then before I could see them I heard them behind and above, a rush of sound as blood and bone and feather worked to move wing and beating heart on and away out of sight again. The sun won the day- fog drifted, steam lifted and I rose by blood and bone and long limb to walk into my day. Strengthened by the reminder that I am part of the great net of life, one strand in the vast universe, one with the fog and the sun and starling.
I know I showed you my Golden Gate Fabric a few months back but I’m excited to tell you that blog post lead to a spread in the latest issue of Quilting Arts magazine. The editor contacted me to see if I would like to contribute to the annual holiday gift issue. I wrote about how I make the perfect bag and printing your own fabric from photos like these fabulous Golden Gate Bridge images.
This is just a quick post to link you up with some great sites. The internet now allows artists to create all kinds of things we never would have dreamed of before – sites like Spoonflower print fabric by the yard but not all of you sew or know what to do with a yard of fabric so I’ve uploaded to two site that have a vast array of products. My favorites are the printed scarves and leggings on Redbubble and the messenger bag and pillows on Zazzle. Check it out – I ordered a scarf for myself – I couldn’t resist!
In late spring the red poppies in my yard were in full bloom. Every couple of days I would take a picture of a bloom or two on my iPhone. When I scrolled through my phone photo file later, it seemed to me these photos would make a great fabric print. I cropped and manipulated about twenty close-up poppy photos and created a grid of poppies. Then using the PS touch and Waterlogue apps in my iPad I got this great, brilliant watercolor bleed effect. I up-loaded my image and had the pattern printed at Spoonflower on canvas weight fabric. Just recently I recovered this old craftsman chair that sat in my grandparents house when I was a kid. It’s lovely to have a bit of family history and my own fabric flare all rolled up in one living room chair. I’ve got to say I love how the digital age has expanded all the ways to manifest creativity – and can’t wait to see what’s next, what new ways to combine technology, creativity and craft!
You can buy this fabric and all my designs by the yard at http://www.spoonflower.com/profiles/lisathorpe. Spoonflower has a wonderful array of fabric they print on from delicate Silk Crepe de Chine to hearty Eco Canvas and everything in between. Check it out!
About a month ago I shared a series of peace quilts I’d made. With the scraps from the fabric that I had created I made some 5×7 mini quilts that I stitched to card stock and made into mini quilt cards. I stashed the cards away in a box ready to send. I found myself reaching into that box numerous times this month, two dear friends had close family or friends pass away this month, another friend is going through chemo treatment. Sometimes it’s hard to find the right words to send to a friend in need and what is most important is to just let them know they are in your thoughts. I found these cards hit the right note. They are a little piece of me- my art and my heart.
I used so many that I made a whole stack this week to have at the ready to express my affection and concern and hopefully give a little bit of inspiration to someone I love.