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Friday, June 1, 2012

Inch by inch-row by row-fast or slow

Inch by inch,
row by row,
fast or slow,
it’s all the same to me.
I am going make this garden grow…Paraphrase of Pete Seeger's Garden Song from 1979

correction-actually written by David Mallet, but covered by Arlo Guthrie and  sung at a Pete Seegar concert. I originally heard it sung on Sesame Street by John Denver
DSCN0331Chapter 1-
Tapestry weaving 
is one of those things that creates a quiet place that has a tendency to leave one open to invasive thoughts.It’s been strange. For days I have been humming this strange little ditty-just the notes. Some would call this cycling or repetitive word cycling-a thing that won’t go away. It’s  just relentlessly over and over.
        A little like an off the wall mantra-word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation" I could not remember the lyrics-just the sounds and notes. Every time I’d take on some new task. I would think inch by inch. At first, I thought it was a song by Elvis Costello’s-“ Inch by Inch”. I’d had the lyrics in my journal for years. Heavy metal to the core-not my thing, but it described something terribly important at the time. Asa introduced the words to me in another life time.
rip it open wider
let no inch remain
rip me open harder
tear my soul and let it…
molded facts keep faith in tact
so close the text
search within deeper
examine every inch expectation nothing
something you can’t quite…
I burn so clean
why can’t you see.
Inch by inch-lyrics by Elvis Costello
DSCN0341It is so easy to wake up in the morning with dread. Usually, I begin my day with a list of things that I have to do. Note the words have to. Things for the last 6 months have been not so much difficult as fueled by daily rituals, injuries to knees death, Pat’s accident, remodeling, painting,  working with Shelley,deadlines, answering business e-mail, book keeping, house hold chores, that eventually would get in the way of everything I wanted to do-nothing for me.
I have a friend Andrea Furber- who I have known for 50 or 60 years. Andrea writes a blog called the Handy Andy-things I get to DSCN0336do today. reading her blog has become a treasured morning ritual. It’s all about one task she chooses to do each day.
I had an honest to god epiphany about the difference between what I have to do and what I get to do. I am changing my outlook and the way I word things. Words and the way one puts them together really do make a huge difference in the way one perceives things!.
My list when I wake up now is a positive-joyful list of the things I get to do. Sure, the not so enjoyable things are still on the a list, but not the one I wake up to. Makes a world of difference!
DSCN0344From a performance piece from the Franck Studio. By asking everyone who participates receives an incredible hand painted box of happiness. I understand that so far thousands have participated. I am in love with mine!
So I have managed to plan at least until Late September a tripless stay at home summer. I am excited I have until the end of September to do as much weaving and writing as I want daily. I’ll teach the students that come to the studio, but not trae any long distances to teach.  It does mean in October I'll be teaching back to two back classes in Colorado, a workshop in Georgia and a workshop in Mendocino, California.
I intend to finish “AND HE..” by the end of July and have time to do some very small pieces to finally get a little more a head.
I have accepted the fact that as long as I get my inch by inch and my row by row when I weave a day I am happy.

Chene’s idea of summer Bliss-DSCN0245
By the way turns out the ditty was the one I heard on Sesame street when Shane and Asa were little. We used to sing and pantomime it together. A very happy memory and it makes a nice mantra.
That said.
Chapter 2
       In the last issue of Tapestry Topics I wrote an article about Surface in the last issue.  After I wrote the article I realized in  one of those quiet moments filled with invasive thoughts while weaving that I had really not touched on something in my weaving that has become very important to me in the last couple of years.
     This story all started many years ago when a very good friend and mentor-Karen Zimmerman- committed suicide. One of the things I inherited was her sewing threads. She had perfect runs from light to dark in every colour imaginable.DSCN0339
  I still have partial spools left from her hoarded collection.
       Then a few years ago Jan Austin asked me if I wanted her Mother’s sewing thread. I said, yes and a box of threads showed up. I didn’t realize how much these two events were going to colour and invade my thoughts about tapestry. Many of threads that belonged to Jan’s mother were from the 40’s 50’s and 60’s. There were a mercerized boiled cotton and some were Cortecelli’s silk dress maker’s thread. There was this DSCN0338wonderful orange that I had never seen before as I wove it into one of my Kona’ sunsets I became aware of all of its beautiful colours, the feel of the spin, the lack of knobblies in the spinning, the richness of the colours. None of my modern threads-Gutterman, sulkies, DMC’s dual duty or embroidery flosses that I was buying at so kona pinkmany sewing stores had the same feeling of quality or often the same richness of colour. I have gotten hooked on these threads. My husband-Spencer- has an eBay konaOrangebusiness. He does a lot of garage selling to come up with
“Ephemera are transitory written and printed matter not intended to be retained or preserved. The word derives from the Greek, meaning things lasting no more than a day. Some collectible ephemera are advertising trade cards, airsickness bags, bookmarks, catalogues, greeting cards, letters, pamphlets, postcards, posters, prospectuses, stock certificates, tickets and zines. Decks of personality identification playing cards from the war in Iraq are a recent example.” borrowed from Wikipedia
and things to sell. I navigate. We can hit on a good day in the summer 10-20 sales.  We do this one day a week sometimes two mornings a week.  I navigate and plan the route. I started finding the old spools of thread in mint condition at estates sales.  I started buying the old mercerized cotton threads to weave with in my tapestries. These old threads feel luxurious compared to the modern threads I have had to use.
 The next thing I knew I began to think about the unknown women whose things were being sold. Often times the sellers are relatives, friends or estate managers or clearers that didn’t remember what the spools were originally  used for or that there was a time when women made their own clothing and their DSCN0340children’s clothing.
       Often times the things made  were as transitory and as ephemeral as those things described as empherma. Used up and discarded leaving only the partial spool of thread after the garment or whatever was worn out, reused and or discarded. The spools a  reminder of what might have been.  I have started thinking about my Grandmother sewing  my clothes for me, teaching me to weave, sew and crochet for me and her many spools of partially or unused spools of thread thread.  It just feels appropriate that the spools of thread  should be used up and used to create another product that might be treasured or valued as a remembrance of things past, present and future dreams.
That’s it for now!


K Spoering said...

Wow, Kathe! That red rose actually pops into 3-D on my monitor! Gorgeous!

Kathe Todd-Hooker said...

yes, it's very red. It's another peony though, I hope it's as 3-d in person. The warms and cools really work well in making it appear 3-d.