Hone: Knowing And Maintaining A Tool

I use different scissors for different tasks in the studio just as I use a variety of knives in the kitchen. Practice informs me which tool works best for a particular task.  Experimentation increases the scope of usefulness for each tool I own.

Recently, I have begun to regard my screen images as tools.  This set of little suns was designed for a custom project.  Before I use it for its intended purpose, I want to know more about how it works when repeated, when worked in multiple colors, when overlapped or spaced irregularly on the background.

A morning’s play with screen and paint introduced the potential of this simple design; I think I would like it in multiple sizes.

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Tomatoes On The Plate


My father, a farmer, finished August dinners and suppers by filling his emptied plate with sliced tomatoes. He liberally sprinkled sugar over the juicy rounds, then ate them all. This is a clear childhood memory for me, and my brother shares it.

What I don’t know is if Daddy liked tomatoes or not.  Did he relish his sweet crop or was he eating because there was plenty more on the vine? I am asking too late; there is no one living to answer.

What I learned from my father is to use the resources at hand and to be seasonal.  There are seven bags of fabric, processing dye, out in the garage.  Today I harnessed the heat of early September to turn white yardage into the stuff of fabric art.  It is good work.

Traveling in Spirals: Working Small

I found this forgotten treasure of 5″ by 7″ mats, painted fabric backgrounds matched and in place, in a supply closet last week.  A few days later my sister shared information about CreativeSprint.  I am blending the two together for an April visit into working small.

I first used this format three years ago.  I added cut, fused fabric shapes to the painted background. Stitched accents created a third step to the process.

I will share daily the results of the Sprint.  I am curious what the cumulative gallery and process will be.  I plan to enjoy this visit to small dimensions.

Clerical Stoles for Smaller Budgets

The new stoles for $75 are in our online shop, fibergig, at Etsy.

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Starting point: stack of selected fabrics.

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Prepared for paint, stencils, and screen printing.
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Painted, ready for embellishment, highlights, lining.

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See our stoles at fibergig.etsy.com/shop.

 

A Year of Listening: Week 23

What it comes to is that anybody can win with the best horse. What makes you good is if you can take the second- or third- best horse and win. — Vicky Aragon

These few words evoke great connections for me: my daughter loving an odd little horse, my Grandma Alice combining the remains of Sunday dinner with pantry staples to create a tantalizing lunch, my brother making inlaid wooden boxes from little bits.

I also remember a long-past 4-H foods demonstration contest at the state fair.  Minutes before I was to go on stage in the large auditorium, I discovered a third of my half-baked pie was missing.  This was the pie in which I was to pour the wonderful custard filling. Oddly, the fully cooked pie remain intact in the refrigerator. Momentary panic gave way to the next good idea. I had themed my presentation on the tempting quality of this apple pie.  The judges laughed about how the thief had proven my point.

What gets you across the finish line?  How do you define winning?

 

Farm to Art Initiative: To The Table

Beginning today, fibergig will donate 10% of the sales of our food-related products (aprons, mug mats, table runners, napkins) to local and world hunger efforts. Our heritage includes daily stewardship practiced on a family farm in Illinois. I used funds from my part of this farm to create the craft business I share with my daughter Emily. We are moving farm money through textile art and crafts to bring food to tables. We will contribute non-local funds to ELCA World Hunger.

My parents, Wesley and Juanita Terpening, valued good food and the sharing of it. Wes actively farmed, even on crutches, until his body said no more. Juanita worked in a nutrition program and with the community food pantry to improve meals for many people. Every holiday meal began with her request, “Come to the table.”  Every family meal began with a table blessing. Their grandchildren are now a generation of foodies.

Loss of employment during the economic downturn reduced our generosity. We want to recover the act of sharing good food. You can help. Products are available at our Fibergig shop.

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Gown of Generations

The request came: will you make my wedding gown into a christening outfit?

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I photographed the gown and then gently deconstructed it.

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I cleaned part of the lace and fabric to see if it was safe and if it made a difference.

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The Christening outfit,  boxed and ready for delivery, was debuted in late December.  Today I cut out a Christening gown, 2 bride’s hankies, and an extra surprise.

This project delights me, taking a good garment and the memories of a celebration and regenerating both cloth and joy.  Blessings on those who celebrate.

Working With the Weather

I like to cooperate with the weather instead of resisting it. It’s the farm girl in me. It’s the sensible mom in me. It’s the “be present” mystic in me.

Snow and frigid cold is a gift of time for design and prototype development in the studio this week.

Fingerless gloves knit by my daughter Emily keep my fingers warm. I want her to knit more of these for our fibergig shop next winter. Do you think bright-colored wool is a good addition to a snowy day?

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A Bowl of Providence

Providence.  Not Rhode Island.

Divine Providence. I had not intellectually encountered the concept until my friend Susan shared ideas from her seminary training about 15 years ago.  And I periodically ruminate on them.  This week I heard them in my pastor’s sermon.

I am preparing food for a church council supper this evening.  I could find a recipe and go to the store for ingredients.  I choose to open the doors of pantry and refrigerator to see what is there.  I begin to create.  Fresh vegetables from the garden, rice cooked with curry, a can of pinto beans.  The flavors are melding in a big bowl in the refrigerator.

I will call the dish “A Bowl of Providence.”. I learned to cook this way from my maternal grandmother, known to the world as Miz Alice.  She too was a part of my providence.

 

What are you doing with your providence?  Have you even looked to see what is there?