Sunday, January 13, 2019

Dailies


My friend Kathleen Loomis is solely responsible for the fact that I (have been trying to) do Daily Art. (The parentheses is due to the fact that it doesn’t always work on a daily basis and then I fall behind and…) Joint projects with her have been lovely additions to my life and I would not want to miss them. What we are doing right now is not to be considered ‘art’, but it is wonderful for our friendship because we are getting a lot of information about each other’s daily lives, which is vital for a friendship, too.
In any case, I can certainly blame it all on her, and although the faults are all mine (definitely the falling behind because life takes over on some days) it is always interesting to be even only moderately involved (I started collecting map items for her last year and am certain she could go on making maps for at least a year to use up what I sent her) and to see how towards the end of the year she starts musing about what she is going to do next year. Or to read why she is going to continue with what she had been doing – or why not.

A few days before the New Year she announced her new packaging project, and challenged people to join in. I was immediatelyl intrigued by the idea, because I loved her year of making packages, and was a witness to her week of packaging stuff at the beach in North Carolina when she was making packages with ‘the five year old’ (my son). I am a fan of wrapping, I love Jean-Claude and Christo’s work, and so I immediately thought I should join in. 
However, I do not like the plastic zip-loc bags she is using, as plastic consumption is problematic, and I try to avoid using plastic bags wherever I can, and I certainly won’t go out and buy however many little plastic bags to put stuff in for art. (I am using zip-loc plastic bags to protect my wool stash from moths, but…) Thinking about it after having read Kathy’s blog, I came up with an idea that would save me the plastic part.

I have a big piece of white organza that I have started to use for reusable bags to buy fruit and vegetables, but there is still quite a bit of it left. I will use this instead of the plastic bags.

the first attempts

Of course, Kathy immediately asked me about the rules I set myself. Here is the first outline – open to alteration:   
- one small item a day that I picked up somewhere, either at work or outside or on my work table or my desk…, 
- not prone to decaying, 
- stitched into a double layer of the organza and 
- add that to the collection as is so far. 
- Stay small per item. 
- I don’t need to take the whole piece with me when I am going out of town for a few days, the outcome of those few days can be added on later.
  
So far I have not allowed myself to add two items a day, unless I missed out on the day before (prior experience…) but I think the one item per day will usually not be altered. If I pick up several pieces, I either have to decide which one I am going to use, or keep it for a day that did not yield any finds. The rule for ‘stay small’ is certainly not revisable. I hope I won’t fall behind more than one day, if I do perhaps I will have to skip? 

Current stage. This piece is "Daily Somethings", WIP

I am committing to persevere, and perhaps it will be all year, but if the organza is finished before the year runs out, that’s it.

And – this is not MY personal daily art project for the year that I had planned for myself. However, because “Daily Scrap” is still not quite finished and I am in a catch-up process I am not allowing myself to start the new project until that one is done. (I am pretty good at cheating myself, I admit, and I don’t feel too bad about it in this case.) This is Daily Scrap in its current stage:

Working on the 4th quadrant.
 And I better hurry up! Because the next piece is waiting in cardbox line.


Friday, January 4, 2019

Christmas Goodies, New Year, changes

Christmas treated me well in terms of fibre goodies. After publicly admitting that I had broken my vow to finish off most of my sock yarn before ever buying any new ones all defense mechanisms had broken down. I had ordered a few balls on sale from Zen Yarn Garden (and am thankful to Kathleen Loomis for shipping them because the sale vendor would not ship to Germany, and I had to sneakely give them a US-address) and a few sale items from sock obsession yarns (who were kind enough to ship to Germany, but of course one has to be careful about the amount and postage and customs). So my box full of sock yarns is truly overflowing now. These have not even been admitted yet.


I also received a gift of some spinning fibre, which included a sample packet of luxury fibers, and a sample packet of Blue Faced Leicester mixes. And a bit of camel and alpaca, and wool with silk and...




Before Christmas, during advent, I had had an advent calendar with fibres, merino with silk, with one 20-g-pack to open every day, hand-dyed, in a color way of which you did not know in the beginning where it would end.


Although I did start to spin it already on the first day of advent I haven't finished spinning it all. But I am on color no. 7, and I have decided how I am going to ply it.  So now I know where I am going with this.


I slept through New Years fireworks because I had to go to work at 5.40 a.m. on the 1st, with a practical exam on the 2nd. But since I have never been a great one to go to New Years' parties, that was ok. Next week I will be going back to school for four weeks, then another stretch of work on the ward.
Before Christmas some more developments took place with my school-study situation, and these require that I make a few more changes to my schedule and 'everything that I want to be doing'-load. Which led to a hard but quickly found and next day executed decision, namely that I have discontinued writing my German blog. I had started that when I was beginning the fabric club, then began writing an English blog a few days later. I always tried to keep them different from each other, and it has been a good deal of work, and time consuming to come up with enough (of what I think) interesting aspects to keep both of them going, and disparate, and sort of regular... Now that I am not doing the fabric dyeing business anymore, and because of the fact that the number of readers for the English blog is noticeable higher, I have decided to concentrate on writing the English blog. Time has become much more precious since October, and if I want to continue writing anything at all something needed to change. (A design brush up might be necessary sometime soon, too.) I do hope to be able to keep posting regularly, slightly more frequently than lately, and with new and interesting ideas about textile work in the New Year. Happy New Year 2019 to everyone, may it be peaceful, gentle and full of love.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas!




I have used a photo like this as a Christmas greeting before, I think. Definitely on my German blog.

This choir of angels goes far back in my life. We used to have (some of) them when I was a child, and they would come out at the beginning of advent, decoration on our sideboard in the living room, together with some candle-driven pyramids. 


These items were precious because somehow friends and relatives in the GDR had managed to get a hold of them (which usually were not available to inhabitants of the country where they were being made, because the entires production used to go into export). We had several of the pyramids, a set of small choirboys, and a small orchestra of angels. 

As far as I remember, the musician angels were always my favorites, and once I was earning money myself I would buy me a little musician every other Christmas or so. Then at some point my mother offered to let me have the angel orchestra, and I gladly took that advantage. At that time, my son was already an active little boy and for a few years we were guarding the angels instead of them guarding us. 





Eventually we discovered that the annual Christmas market in Landshut included a stall that sold these angels. Ever since then it has become a little ritual between us – my son and I go to the market, and we have long discussions about which angel we will acquire this time. The discussions can even start several weeks before we take the figures out of their boxes to set up advent decorations. Usually I will argue for a few more string players because a real orchestra needs lots of string players, and they are certainly a minority in our assemblage. 


My son, the drummer, and with a very argumentative nature, will argue for any other instrument but a string instrument, and so discussions are serious, take their time, and the final decision depends on many aspects. 


This year my sons took an inventory of what instruments we have, including whether the angel has brown or blonde hair. My husband isn’t really so much into this, he thinks we have enough of these and should not go and get more. Although we have tried to bribe him by including 'his' instruments, a grand piano, and saxophones.



It is not an entirely homogeneous group, either. Pretty much so, but, as with Germany, we do have a few foreigners in there.

Especially the singers - they do look a little bit different.
 


  

But we know it still is not a complete orchestra, and it is nice to have a ritual like this. Unfortunately this year it was a rather nasty and rainy day, and my son also had to be at basketball practice on time, so our trip was brief. We decided on the bass clarinet for this year, in blonde.


My son, in a youngster’s manner of wanting to the biggest and most expensive part, would have liked to get the organ.
However, we are keeping that for a later date. Knowing full well that it is not going to get any cheaper… The online shop for the angels and many other little fellows is here.