21 November, 2006

Seeing the Art in Everyday Life

It is kind of sad when you realize that you have missed seeing Art right in front of you.

I think that people get so busy in the busy busy business of life, that we sometimes don't see the natural beauty of an object or the potential forms that an object could possess.

We don't always see the Art in what we do: cooking, creating, loving ... but we have all have Art inside of us... I truly believe that.

A couple of weeks ago, I was in Georgia and visited my great-aunt (who is the last remaining member of my family of that generation). She is in her 90's... i don't know exactly... it's kind of a "don't ask, don't tell" thing she has. (Once when someone asked her how old she was, she stated in a very prim and proper way, "Well, I AM 95 pounds!")

She is very fascinating... like I said, she is in her 90's and she still works an organic garden in her back yard ... I have never seen her wear pants... but she wears a size 4 Mr. Rogers-type tennis shoe. She is a veteran of WWII... she was a registered dietician in the Army... She lived in New York for 5 years before she joined the Army... She once won a dance contest at the Rainbow Room with a man she didn't even know! (They won a bottle of champagne!) ... She wanted to be a scientist when she was younger! ... She hand-collected volcanic ash from Mt. St. Helen ... She makes the best melt-in-your-mouth sugar cookies... She makes Special K cookies... Her house is filled with STACKS of books, magazines, newspapers, banks, knick knacks, artifacts, etc... it's the most wonderful house in the world...

but, I digress... I admire her...most importantly, she sees Art everywhere...

case in point... while we were visiting her, she told me that she had some kindling firewood to give us. Then she showed it to us and told us the story of the firewood: There were 3 chunks of wood that she told me were at least 28 years old ... maybe older, she couldn't remember... anyway, she she had culled these out through out the years when loading her fireplace because she could see designs in them & couldn't bear to destroy them! Sure enough, when we looked again... there they were... one was an eagle... another was a face... the last one was the the "queen of hearts" (ok... i didnt see the queen of hearts... but everyone else did).

It turns out that we couldn't burn them either... the eagle and the face are sitting on our hearth! (I gave the queen to my sister... she could see it)

When we were kids, she always had something to show us (a cicada bug shell, a new cast-iron bank, a leaf, some dehydrated watermelon...delicious...there was always something.

This time was no different:

She said, "Oh, I want to show you something." and started rummaging around... she came back and put the cutest little monkey figurine in my hand:

------for some reason, blogger won't let me upload pics, so here are links to the pics on flickr... i will add them when i can... sorry------


"This," she said, "was carved from a peach pit by your great-grandfather."
She then talked about how he had no formal training... he just took out a knife and carved... and that people would bring peach pits to him and he would examine them and decide if they were suitable for making a monkey. He never told what made it suitable or unsuitable... but all peachpits did not become monkeys.

She treated that little monkey like a priceless piece of art... because it is.

Thanks, Aunt Elizabeth, for helping me to see!

So my wish to you is that you all see the beauty... the Art in every day life. What a gift!
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

12 November, 2006


here are pics of a wallhanging that i am working on...

the center (and first made) handprint represents GOD; and there will be 5 other handprints total that represent the five members of my immediate family. i still have 2 handprints to make. the piece is approximately 3 feet x 4 feet.

i have been working on this wallhanging for almost a year... i work on it in between other projects. i find it very relaxing to just let my hook do what it wants!


Just posting some pictures of the necklaces that I have made so far:

10 November, 2006


Here are pics of my first "commissioned" wallhanging.

This was made for a decoration in a little girl's bedroom. Her mother had mentioned that she wanted something like a "doll that hung on the wall":

I call it "Tookie" (named for the little girl that i made it for, who told me that "pink is my FAVORITE color in the whole wide world!!!"). I have about 10-12 hours invested in this piece (from inception to trim). This is a free-form project... I just fiddled with it to come up with the shapes for the doll and the dress.

I am fairly pleased with how this project turned out... although I would like to experiment with the hair again... having never done this type of project, I was unsure of how to execute it. My original intent was to put beads in the hair, as Tookie always has the most colorful beads in her own hair... but I couldn't get the look that I wanted with the beads that I had around the house... and I didn't feel like running to the store...so i split some yarn and just tied it in.

(Hope you like it, Tookie!)

This was a fun project... i will definitely visit this idea again!

My Jimbo Necklace!

Just wanted to post my pics of my crochet hook necklace. This beautiful hook was whittled by Jimbo! If you are unfamiliar with Jimbo... please check out his blog: http://www.jimbosfrontporch.blogspot.com/

He made a "J-ish" sized hook for me... I have a very unusual grip ***see below***-- so i sent him some pictures of me crocheting with several different sizes of hooks. and he made the hook to fit my hand, grip... and I have to tell you, that is my favorite hook of all time! It is so comfortable.

i have tried brittany hooks... no contest... Jimbo rules!

I created 3 (which is my favorite nuber... weird, i know... but oh well- remember "3 is a magic number" from schoolhouse rock?) flower motifs from amethyst chips (amethyst is my birthstone) and attached them to the hook with 24 gauge beading wire.
Then I added a toggle switch so that i could actually take the hook off the necklace (which is single crochet 24 gauge beading wire strung with different-hued fresh water pearl beads) and use it. The hook was made especially to be a necklace pendant and to still be functional.

*** why i think my grip is so weird:

when i was a little kid, i was left-handed. my maternal grandmother was kind of superstitious and believed that there was something wrong with left-handed folks. she would have me sit on my left hand and eat and write with my right hand.

then when i went to kindergarten, i had a teacher who obviously came from the same school of thought. she would take scissors and crayons out of my left hand and put them into my right.
i guess it worked... i cant write with my left hand anymore... although, sometimes i catch myself eating with my left... it's involuntary... my left hand just reaches... kinda weird... but if i am at a table with another lefty, i can just use my left too... no elbow bumps!

i often have issues with doing things... crochet was really hard for me to get the hang of... although i dont have "correct form", i've learned to adapt... (i also had an incredibly hard time learning to tie my shoes...)

weird, huh?
post script: both my younger sister and brother turned out left-handed too... my mom put her foot down and didnt let anyone "train" them to be righties... I don't know anyone else on either side of our family who is left-handed... where did it come from?

My New Place on Blogger...

I thought that I should start a blog on Blogger since I read alot of Blogger-based blogs and had to have an account to comment on some... sooooooooooooooooo here I am.

I would like this to be a place where I show some of my craft projects. My favorite medium is crochet... but I am free-spirited, so don't be surprised if i bring in some other stuff!

If you want to see some of my earlier projects: go to: http://360.yahoo.com/crochet_cathexis or http://www.myspace.com/crochet_cathexis

Thanks... first post OVER!