Saturday, July 07, 2007

Our House- back gable

I was preparing food for the pets when I saw a dark cloud descending, making the early evening sky dense with mist - ery. The air smelled thick and moving through it felt like a slow glid through water. Tree outlines became black against the heavy gray light and a sporadic wind whipped through the leaves shaking many free to swirl in circles descending down only to be swooped up and away again. I couldn't follow their path, the movement was so quick.

Grabbing my camera, I hoped to catch some of this difficult to explain light, but its' automatic settings insisted on a harsh flash of light, ruining the moodiness of that dark, black, down to my feet now cloud.

Moving away from the screened in porch and out the side door into the yard, I noticed the outline of the gable against the watery vapor and snapped the colision of man made precision hallowed by its' everpresent cover. The sky is always there above this roof and it changes its' clothes minute by minute. I miss most of those changes everyday because I am either under it or away from this small summit in the hours of my life.

I am envious of this little peak. It doesn't have to do anything at all but be. The view changes around it all the time. Birds perch on the round tile to sing early in the morning, but I do get to hear their song as I dress for work in the bathroom below.

How the peak experiences all of this is what I want to understand. So far, it has never let on what it does know. I've seen that sometimes the cover of the sky is a cool turquoise, or a hot blue-green. Then there's white, gray, robins egg and cielo blue, too. All colors and weights that I immediately miss because I am ... away. This gable sees and feels and knows the moods of the sky because it is like a sentinel built to oversee this little corner of the world. Maybe by taking this photo I am saying, "thank you" for just being and I hope that beingness is a good experience.

That heavy vapor coalesced right after I got this shot and drops of water splashed on the tip of the gable, cooling it, refreshing it, cleaning it, caressing it. All I could do was witness it, never knowing if this cover of dark wetness was felt as beautifully as I could see it.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Cone Flower Pillow

This is my version of a cone flower. The pillow is like all the others I've been making. The size is 18 inches by 18 inches.
The fabrics are all kinds of beautiful batiks and the ruffle is a black and white stripe.
The background of this pillow is especially pretty. A wash of beautiful colors blending like watercolors and it has a spider web of gold over it that doesn't show up in the photo, but shines very nicely when the morning sun lights up my living room.
I've outlined the petals, cone and stem with matching silk ribbon making this pillow the easiest one so far. Actually, I made it before the "Squirt the Cat" pillow, and was kind of just finding my way with the colors and applique work.
The most tedious part was gathering the ruffle. I've never enjoyed making gathers - all those pins, trying to divide the fabric evenly and making it lay just right.
I remember making my very first project for 7th grade sewing class and we had to make a skirt with gathered fabric at the waistband. Ugh! I remember it being voluminous! I had so much fabric to bunch around that 22 inch waist, I just got really tired of dividing it up into halves, quarters, eights and sixteenths and even more than that, just to get it evenly spaced!
When I finally got it all to fit, put in the zipper and button and tried it on, I yelped when I bent over because I had actually sewn pins into place on the waist band!!! Ouch! I got a "B" and never, ever wore the darn ugly thing.
I'm amazed that the project didn't turn me off completely to sewing forever. But something inside me was fascinated with the idea of laying out a pattern on the straight of grain and actually ending up with a piece of clothing I could wear. I persisted and that summer made several tops - all with gathers along the hem - that looked absolutely adorable with shorts and dungarees. (that's what we called jeans back then)
From that point on, I took my babysitting money and would buy fabric for 50 cents a yard and patterns for a quarter and sewed, sewed, sewed. By high school I was good enough at it to make several prom dresses that I was very proud to wear. I made a wedding dress for my roommate in nursing school and eventually made two for myself.
When I look back on my work these days, I am amazed. I can look at what I've created and sometimes wonder, "who made this?" I mean really, who did this? How could I have been so good at this 40 years ago when I am still wondering, "how shall I make pillows today?"
Do you ever wonder how you got to be so good at something that it amazes you too?