Monday, May 16, 2011

Sunday Interlude

I took a time out yesterday and laid down on the sofa in my studio with two of my foster kittens - Sherbert and Shyla - twin orange babies. I took these pictures myself, too, and was pretty pleased with my aim!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Three More

I found this antique box structure at a flea market in southern France a four years ago when I traveled there for a 7 day polymer clay and mixed media workshop with my friend Dayle Doroshow. The community flea markets were one of the highlights of that trip, which eventually turned into my honeymoon two months before the marraige.  I often do things backwards, and it worked out very well that time. Anyway, this box is part of a pinball game and retained some of the old printing on it, and I was smitten when I saw it. I carted it home on the plane, wondering what the heck I would do with it. All of our keys, and those to friends' homes hang there, accompanied by antique cow bells my brother-in-law gave me, complete with leather straps.
This is a hand carved bowl, about 24" high, that has been beautifully ridged by hand. The artist is Alvin Thomas, a man in his 80's we were told, whose son is following in his footsteps of carving these gorgeous bowls. This one is made of Butternut and the the way the lines in it rippled across the ridging attracted both hubby and me. You can see Mr. Thomas burned his name into it in script, and then labeled the type of wood he used further down. He put the holes in with a leather strap knowing we wanted to hang it as art rather than use it and put it away.
I got this in Ecuador years ago in one of the small mountain towns -Otovalo I think. Each town specializes in a certain craft - leather, wood carving, or weaving. This is signed by Jose C. whose work was graphic and had a clarity of design that appealed to me. These figures are men, not women, and if I remember correctly, only men wear these traditional long braids and hats. The mountain villages of Ecuador were wonderful, and I would go back in a minute. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Sources for Words

Letterpress forms
I bought these on eBay, and have treasured them, but today I used some for the first time.
This box holds all manner of leftover and odd forms of letters that I have purchased or gotten as wonderful gifts from friends, clients and sometimes folks I don't even know.
I have more than a dozen rubber stamp alphabets and would be lost without them. Speechless even.
Magnetic poetry words come in very handy. Did you know there are romantic and erotic sets?
More words that didn't fit on the cookie sheet pictured above. It can be hard to sort through magnetic things since they stick together.
And of course, where would I be without my Scrabble tiles from all kinds of games?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Three Things

I follow the blog And Sew It Goes by talented quilt artist Terry Grant, and from time to time she posts about beautiful or intriguing possessions she has. As I walked through my house yesterday I was reminded of many of the lovely things I have made by other artists. I thought I would share three with you today.
The first and largest is the stained glass in my front door, which I commissioned from Star DeHaven, a local Sea Ranch artist that participates in the annual Studio Tour here. This features a redwood tree with sword ferns and iris below it with the ocean in the background, fog rolling in, and an unlikely sailboat making its way in the wind. My hubby used to sail, and it was a nod to his interests to include the boat. The glass is just lovely during the day as one heads out the door, like when this picture was taken, and equally inviting at night when the lights are on and someone comes to the door.
This is a willow chair made for me a dozen years ago by Carla Thistle, who lived up the mountain behind Sea Ranch in the little town of Cazadero. Carla moved to Maui not too long after my chair was made, and just recently she communicated with me via email to renew that old friendship. I love this chair as much today as when I first got it, and it frames the entry to my bedroom just beautifully. It is topped by a colorful watercolor that looks just like my old dog painted by Doug Blair (whose parents live down the street from me) and which won Best in Show years ago at Art inthe Redwoods.
This child's wooden shoe form is perhaps my favorite. I found it some years ago at the Flea Market on the hill above Santa Fe on the road to Taos. I was there taking a week long polymer clay workshop with friend Dayle Doroshow and we spent a delightful morning combing the market for treasures and inspiration to use in our class later that day. The shoe form has some carved designs near the ankle and bottom of the foot, and is covered with milagros. I was off the beaten track (what else is new) and found an older Hispanic man selling oddities out of the back of his pickup truck, and just loved this little thing. It hangs in my bedroom opposite the bed so I see it every day. I went back the next day to get more, but he was gone. She who hesitates loses a second chance.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Completion of different kinds

Hubby came home the other day and caught me in a working moment, fingers covered with glue and totally focussed on getting the papers on straight. Below is the finished chest. I like this one, and it will be delivered this afternoon. 
The world seems quiet to me the last couple of days, with hardly any posts on the listserve where I belong, not many emails, no comments on the blog, and then yesterday the power was out until after we went to bed. No phone. No news. Kind of nice, especially on a sunny day. Provokes the thought that maybe no one is out there and I write only for my own enjoyment. Hmmm.

I did get two new foster kittens yesterday, and because there was no power or much of anything I could do, I sat with them on the floor and began to know them. Two orange babies, 4-5 weeks old, a bit scared, hungry, and ready to explore. I think I will go back for another serving of kittenhood.