A Year of Listening, Week 8

All rising to a great place is by a winding stair. –Sir Francis Bacon

Genesis I


A Year of Listening, Week 6

Find out who you are and do it on purpose. –Dolly Parton


A Year of Listening, Week 4

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The only questions that really matter are the ones you ask yourself. –Ursala K. LeQuin

A Year of Listening, Week 2

A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time. –Annie Dillard
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section of Dancing at Midnight, textile wall hanging by Norma Colman

Dancing on the Rim of Nothingness



A brain flicker from 2009: I will never know full joy until I learn to dance on the rim of nothingness.

A year or so later, as I was completing this piece, I knew it was an illustration of that idea.

This month, the piece hangs in the member’s show of the Shenandoah Arts Council in Winchester VA.

Concurrent this week, Facebook discussion among users of the narrative lectionary is focused on the story of the binding of Isaac. I am pondering the story from a new angle, from the end of the story instead of the dramatic climax. Abraham had gone to the rim of nothingness. How great was his joy? How great was his joy!

June Morning

Today my hands rinse strawberries in a bowl with holes.
I know the farmer who raised the berries.
I know the potter who fashioned the berry bowl.
This is the community I have been seeking.

I pop a berry in my mouth.
I recall William Morris’s Strawberry Thief.
I value the decorative arts, creative expressions for daily life.
I choose to be both artist and artisan.

Today I am making a funeral urn pall.
I cut and assemble small squares in liturgical colors.
I pray a celebration of life.
Good work calls me and I answer.

A Change in The Weather


The nip in the air here in Virginia is becoming a frost warning for tonight.  I enjoy seasonal change.  It is a reason to change the menus, my walking schedule, and wardrobes.  I have happy toes in wool socks right now.

This week I stitched up three pillow covers from upcycled and sun painted fabric.  Each has a folded flap end secured with a button and wrapped cord closure.  The sofa likes a wardrobe change, too.

What do you for the change in the seasons? Do you appeal to the senses?  What delights you?

Comfort and Joy

Fibergig, the Etsy shop I operate with my daughter Emily, is participating in Christmas in July with the Handmade Circle. My hands are busy with projects out of sync with the weather; my mind actively wanders over its own terrain. Why do I so enjoy making things for the holidays? I get great delight in making art and artifacts every day, but there is a peculiar joy in what I do for the winter holidays.

And I know many of my fellow crafters feel the same. I encourage my readers to take a look at the many crafted items in the shops of Handmade Circle. Locate them easily through this link: http://bagsbyhags.blogspot.com/p/christmas-n-july.html. Emily and I have created a treasury called Comfort and Joy of items from this circle of shops. Do they suggest comfort and joy to you? http://www.etsy.com/treasury/NzMyMTkzN3wyNzIwNDYyMTA1/comfort-and-joy

When I was younger, much younger, my holiday greetings focused on peace and good will. Over the years, there has been a shift to comfort and joy. Even when the family Christmas tree became a winter solstice tree to accommodate a larger scope of belief, the ornaments were about nestling birds and dancing stars. Comfort and joy. That is what I like to share, particularly during the winter holidays. And I often express it through items made by hand. How do you like to share comfort and joy?

Napkins in the Garden

A college roommate taught me to love cloth napkins. Her motivation was not to use paper. My interest was that it was just another good way to enjoy fabric in daily life. I have used cloth napkins in my home for more than four decades, thanks to Sande’s passion for the environment.

click an image to enlarge

Recently I have started to play with watercolor paint for textiles. The sunny days of early summer make my driveway an excellent drying room, and the nearby garden has become the background for photographing the hand-painted flowers. The process and the results are a bit addictive for me. I made and painted 44 napkins in two days! Some of the first fruits were a birthday gift. The others will soon be offered for sale at The Firehouse Gallery, which is the local gallery in my town of Berryville, and at fibergig, my online shop at etsy.

The weather forecast for later this week calls for hot sunny days. Time to paint again.