Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Down the rabbit hole

I have been thinking a lot about Alice in Wonderland lately. When a friend suggested the very Merry Un-birthday party as a theme for our summer soiree, I had to say, my ears perked up. It was probably a combination of her singing the Very Merry Un-birthday song and my own crazy-steampunk aesthetic at created the spark.

I love the idea of mixing up an Victorian lawn party, with a little badminton and croquet with a crazy drunken Mad Hatter Tea.

Maybe a pink Flamingo or two (or three.) I've been surfing the net looking for Alice in Wonderland inspired images. I've been doing a little research on Lewis Carol and started reading the original Alice In Wonderland. I've been collecting mixed up tea cups and saucers, planning a garden party inspired menu.
If only I could get my hands on a old silk top hat.

Suddenly, I find that serendipity would seem to have it's way. A few days ago Izabella Pierce, a wonderful mixed media artist i know, posted info about another artist who had recently hosted a cyber Mad Hatter tea party. A Fanciful Twist, is the blog of VanessaValencia, another inspired artist and creative soul. Vanessa's Blog is full of amazing eye candy. Great lovely images of dreamy days and fanciful adventures.

Another woman with a fanciful point of view is Jo Anderson, Old Flowers 4 me. This lovely lass, hails from the land down under and creates such a dreamy world around her. I am completely in love with her blog. She lives with such joy and whimsy. The delight she brings forth to her blog is terrific!

I am so stoked to get my party game on and make it a real event.
I've got lots of ideas percolating in my crazy little head and praying that the weather decides to clear up, it's been too cold and rainy in our part of the world, up here in the green mountain state.

Monday, July 13, 2009

My first love

Before there was old paper and Victorian photographs in my art there was fabric. My studio was always filled with lots and lots of textiles that went into the costumes that I made. My scrap bins over flowed with jacquards, velvets, rayon, cotton, challis, in every color imaginable. Then we moved to a smaller house, with no studio space, and NightFires ceased to produce shows, so I had no need to keep the bolts and bolts of fabric I had been storing for years.

The sewing machine got put away and used in for the occasional alteration, Halloween costume or Glenda the Good witch for the local school production of the Wizard of Oz. My focus had been very directed to rusty things, glue, paint, old paper, I had almost forgotten how much joy I get from sitting behind my machine.

I had been out with my dear friend Caroline, on Thursday and saw the most bizarre and thought provoking art installation at the Firehouse Gallery. Uncharted Territories. The work we saw in the window, by Wylie Sophia Garcia was all rich fabrics with yards and yards of hand quilting and stitching.
Completely mind blowing to me that someone could put that much detail into an art piece. It was disturbing, very inspiring and had a lasting imprint in my mind.

This weekend I took the machine to work on some desperately needed curtains for the kitchen. After I stitched them up with some old vintage 40's fabric that I had hidden away, I took a little coffee break out on the screen porch. I was pursuing an old copy of Cloth, Paper Scissors when I came across and article about making little stuff hearts with scraps of fabric. The wheels started turning and and I thought I was give it a whirl with some of the fabric I had left in scrap bins.

I collected up similar colors and laid out a fabric collage, then stitched and stitched away. I had done this layering effect for a few years, not since the last NightFires costumes that I made for the Monkey King. Now all I have left to do is cut the little hearts and stuff them. But part of me is wondering it I should just leave it be- my little fabric collage. I'm going to go clean up my explosion of textiles my desk and sleep on it. There's always more scraps and more things to assemble. Cutting it into hearts, like I intended would not be the end of the world, and probably the best thing to do. But, the joy, the discovery is that my machine and I are happy friends again. I completely forgot how much I enjoyed it and look forward to our next date.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


when i get caught up in things and can't think right, when i feel like i am stuck, or in a mental rut, i get out and go for a car ride. i bring along a snack and the camera, tunes and try not to think about anything else, except for the open road and the sights around me. these pix are from a recent drive through the lake champlain islands. old buildings and cemeteries hold a special attraction for me. i think it's all that memories that are wrapped up in old places. cemeteries of the late 19th century feel so lost and forgotten. the tombstones are often covered with lichens and moss. it's a bittersweet feeling, life is so transitory. and all we have of the past is our memories, and of the future our hopes and dreams.