My birthday month, January, was full of challenges, among them the end of my old computer system. I am working now to set up one a little differently and have found my way back to my blog today. Texas is emerging from a dramatic three-day ice storm which has left many without power or heat still. My own home was touched only lightly because I had only light rain to freeze, but most of central Texas looked like this:
Friday, February 3, 2023
My 92nd birthday came in like a bear.
Wednesday, December 28, 2022
looking back at where we were years ago, and on into that new year.
Fall 2005 Remembered
After fire took our beloved red cape these were two of my posts to readers here. I will be 92 in January and my sweetheart Jackie has been gone ten years today. Life changes for us all, but I am fortunate to have a different but good living situation at present and much to look forward to still in 23.
Tuesday, October 11, 2022
Two nice Izannah Walker dolls in worn but original condition are the favorites of my doll collection. I will add another if I have the means and the opportunity. Meanwhile a very rough little waif showed up on Ebay and then came to me. I set about to try to bring the much patched and poorly overpainted doll to a better state, here is her story. A huge box arrived! The packing would have befitted a princess! Layers and layers under was the doll, in what I believe to be her original dress and three pieces of unders. The perfectly fitted red dress is entirely hand sewn, the unders some and some. Beyond mending, the dress is melting as is the petticoat, both will be kept in a protected plastic sleeve. Pictures tell the story. I am lucky enough to have an old dress that fits Evangeline, also completely hand sewn. I am happy to have a third old Izannah Walker doll, patches and paint not withstanding. She danced away her original feet long ago. Even the replacements have given way, showing she had a long life as a play doll. Her dark little hands show a life of much work. What stories she could tell!
New lower legs to make and paint.
Wednesday, July 27, 2022
There are hundreds of ways to carry a cell phone, I have not been good about keeping mine with me in the past. Now I have an IPhone I enjoy. Looking on line at the dozens of hard leather bags there, both for over the neck or over the shoulder, I did not see one that seemed to be for me. Having studied ladies' antique pockets and sewing rolls and little bags to keep embroidery scissors at hand, a variety of pretty little keeps filled my head right away! A pretty phone bag could be made of crewel embroiderd upholstery fabric. Or one of the little oriental rug copies that used to be given with tobacco products. How about one for rug hookers or a bag trimmed in wool applique? As a lover of old quilts, I started with quilt fragments.
I have finished two patchwork phone bags. I wear them around my neck, not cross body. The pink one is snug enough that the phone does not jump out of it, the slightly larger log cabin one has a brown button and a loop at the top.
For my next one I have turned to southwestern inspiration.
Denim and silver are almost a uniform for me. I enjoy the southwestern jewelry I grew up with and have loved all my life. So I naturaly turn to the American Indian's medicine pouch or the mountain man's possibles bag. The medicine pouches are mostly smaller than I need and the possibles bag is slightly larger. Many people wear the leather possibles bag cross body as a purse, or for shooting supplies which it carried in earlier times. A hunter might hold it over his head when crossing a creek, Keep your powder dry! (and patches and dried food stuff.)
A pretty medicine bag made by a Taos craftsman is typical of newer ones.
On this velveteen bag the ornament is an Apache prayer stone, mounted in leather by a contemporary Indian artist. Among early trading goods prized by Indians, fabrics ranked high in exchange for beaver pelts. Velvet was worn with deer skin and broadcloth and soon, calico.
My brother says "An ancient-styled medicine bag with 21st-century technology.
Sunday, July 3, 2022
Blue Corn, just dreaming of it so far.
Fall decorating will be with us before I can blink, a painting takes me a while to work out and execute and dry and make little changes .. so I have wanted to do some fall still lifes for years and never manage it! Christmas overtakes me while I am still just thinking about pumpkins. So yesterday I began to imagine what I might paint, I love the blue corn of Taos, actually have some seeds from Robert Mirabal but never planted them. The fun of corn husks is unbounded, it can be whatever one imagines! I have a Taos flute, and a wonderful small drum made about 40 years ago by Red Shirt, a Taos Pueblo drum maker of note. Tonight I have sketched a possible arrangement.
I need a huge cardboard box, or some hinged cardboard pieces like the side of a box, to contain the light and make nice shadows and set up a clip-on light. Then I will have to work in a slightly dark room with a light above my easel and my chair and paints and on and on, setting this up in a front bedroom, have to move in a long white work table and shove the sofa over, keeping paint off the bed coverlet and little sofa with plastic covers, and so forth. This is how I have done my big still life paintings in the past, and why there have not been many for years now.
My tiny and crowded library where I normally paint from pictures on a screen is intact and ready to use at all times, wonder what I can do to bypass the difficult set up described above. Photos never catch all the precious reflected colors in the shadows, and reflected light off nearby objects, nor allow one to slightly move this or that over without messing up the shadows. Still I may end up setting the box up at night on my back porch and taking pictures of it. Then paint off my monitor instead of much preferred life.
Friday, June 17, 2022
A rug hooking friend, Barb Carroll passed away last week, she is the one to whom I sold my rug designs. She had long since sold them on to Katie Hartner, A Nimble Thimble in Tyler Texas. Barb Carroll was a pillar of the rug hooking community. Her enthsiastic use of color was unbounded by convention and her work was marked by exuberant color. She was also a warm wonderful human being beloved by so many of us.
I remember the day we met, my friend Virginia Munroe told me of a class she was taking, and said I must drive to San Antonio to meet that teacher. I went, and at the lunch break Barb came out in the hall to sit down and share her sandwich with me, and we were good friends for all the years after that. She is the one who gave Old Spoon the blue checked dress of what I believe is real home woven fabric. The word ‘homespun” is tossed about freely, but this is the real article, as evidenced by the uneven checks. Sometimes the weaver would put a little more of one color or the other before changing her weft.
Old Spoon was made, signed, and dated in June of 1983. She was one of more than 75 cloth dolls I made in the early 1980’s. Only three were of this pattern, the rest had faces with a center seam making a nose. I love Spoon the best, as her features rely on paint alone for her features. At Thirty inches tall and firmly stuffed, she is a substantial doll with an interesting three part head..
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