Category Archives: Commission

recap, to remind myself

I’ve done more than i thought, and less than i thought. Still 3 months to deadline.

Top centre detail, moon:

Left and right panels:

Tall figure mock-up, and seated figure:

Seated figure:

Right panel detail:

Right panel (tipped, as it actually is vertical):

Left panel:

Seam treatment:

The whole is 44×46″:

Potassium permanganate, brazilwood, iron on cotton.

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Posted by on April 26, 2017 in Commission, in progress, Tabula Memoria


moon decision made

So handy to live in a digital age 🙂 Hesitant to put needle and thread to the centre, i did this first, and am confident that the top right is the way to go. Some of the sketchies were dismissed immediately, some would work elsewhere on other work, but this gives me a clear idea of how to handle that centre strip.

It needs to be “filled” but VERY discretely, and more “openly” so it doesn’t fight with the rest of the moon, and the rest of the work. The moon needs to be emphasized, but not at the expense of the other elements: it can’t assume more importance than the figures or side work.

My order of threads had arrived last week, so i’ve chosen the Caron Wildflowers #171 Caramel to work that area. It “blends” enough with the colours of the fabric and natural dye processes, but is still alive enough to add a little interest, without being overly visible. There’s plenty, with 2 skeins, to do this and to add the discrete hexagons to other areas of the whole. I may also use it for the standing figure–which has to go on the frame sometime this week and be done!


mooning again

The big one on Tabula Memoria still has me stumped as to the middle visible sectioning.

Hexagons discrete? Holes? A tree? More synapses?

Still a mystery.


pursuing perseverance

I figure i am actually at midpoint with “Tabula Memoria”, which makes me feel better. Mid point still means half again still to do, which makes me feel bad. I’m at Dithering Stage, second guessing, re-ordering threads to replace ones i’ve run out of, and measuring by the inch what goes where and why.

That darned second figure is *a* bugaboo right now. The aborted one is filed, and i’m re-figuring (snarf) how to do it so that it means what it’s supposed to mean. The centre of the top moon is *the* bugaboo though, has me bamboozled–not sure how i want to treat it. What does it mean when a moon is divided?

It’s also time to fill some negative space with some discrete, minimalist stitch for anchoring and to keep it “void” but not empty. My brain is trying to wrap around what it’s saying to me……i *know* what i mean, just can’t express it in words. Invisible memories. Impalpable boundaries. Undisclosed but there. Can something Not Be and Be?

Meow. Not Meow.



Posted by on April 10, 2017 in Commission, in progress, Tabula Memoria


oh sorry, am i boring you?

I keep slogging away at the side panels for this piece, each day ending with me thinking “almost done this part!”, and then seeing it ain’t so. (Don’t get me wrong–i love what i’m doing for this one, but it gets SO SO SO myopic at this end of the needle…)

This morning i realized i can start other areas as most of the piece is side stabilized now with all the stitching that *is* done. Figure One is pinned to the bulletin board, Figure Two is still in my head after i aborted the first attempt at it, but there is another area that’s really important, and that’s the moon.

There will be dense work on this area, but “blending” in, so to speak. Two colourways in floss and perle, i’ve chosen DMC 4140 (Driftwood) to do the darker areas like the rust, and DMC 4145 (Sand Dune) to do the highlights/lighter areas.

I work by committing to something, and the best way to start this area was to clearly mark where the moon is. That’s commitment!

Now i HAVE to work that area, because the marks don’t come out. The moon is off centre, (i can’t abide symmetry!) and that’s something that will be worked with, as i intend to ghost a bit around it— the template (a huge stainless steel bowl for popcorn 😉 ) i used to mark for the circle, was not the same size as the original mark made by the rust and dyes. For the record, yes i do so use pencil, and occasionally fine black micron pens to mark some areas. Intuition is all fine and dandy and “sensitive to the cloth and intent”, but sometimes you have to have a guideline.


While i work this, i can think how to balance the top of the left panel, as it’s empty, unlike the top of the right one!


Posted by on April 4, 2017 in Commission, in progress, Tabula Memoria


perfect perfect light

This is the time of day when light bends and flows, softens the rougher hand, the harder heart.

This is the day of time blinking out of illusion and desire, to touch hand to heart.

Time flickering, day febrile and lustrous, heart flutters and hand trembles.

I will give you the time of day.



walking while chewing gum

I know *how* i’m going to attach the figures to the back ground, having worked that out way back *and* while working the memory hexes.

Now i’ve put myself in a bit of a spot. There’s a LOT of background to work in the centre panel! I was thinking of a third figure, but that still leaves “”huge tracts of land” to not necessarily fill as heavily as the side panels, but they can’t be left too void either. Whether i use something that blends in or not, colourwise, there has to be some treatment in stitch. I do a lot of thinking ahead while working areas, dream about things, in my sleep and as daydreams, and trust that the Universe will unfold as it should when it comes to my handling a needle and thread. I “plan”, but i don’t always follow the plan. I intuit, but i trust sampling and testing as well. There’s no one way to work anymore in this stoodio. However i do the work, i know it will have my flavour, my style, my sensibility, and that’s the best way, however i/you do the work!

If you look at this picture below, know that above the second figure there’s at least as much as the photo shows to the top of the photo (if that makes sense…) of fabric above the standing figure.

Or do i move the figures all down further to the bottom? This photo does show the whole.

Then there’s ACRES above, though it might be easier to focus on a new element for that. Trees? I do like the idea of the top “moon” being more developed *as* a moon, but then how do i tie the other lower ones in?

As soon as i took this photo, i had my question answered. It’s *not” as big or empty as i thought it might be. Lower the figures, (do i need a third one after all????), accent the top moon, treat the two lower moons *somehow*— Nimbuses?

Nimbus means a cloud in Latin, and is found as a divine cloud in 1616, whereas as “a bright or golden disk surrounding the head” it does not appear until 1727. The plural “nimbi” is correct but “rare”; “nimbuses” is not in the OED but sometimes used. “Nimb” is an obsolete form of the noun, but not a verb, except that the obsolete “nimbated”, like the commoner “nimbate”, means “furnished with a nimbus”. It is sometimes preferred by art-historians, as sounding more technical than halo.[39]\

Meh. no, not as a “halo”.

Hmm, i like the second definition here, but not quite applicable:

noun: nimbus; plural noun: nimbi; plural noun: nimbuses
  1. 1.
    a luminous cloud or a halo surrounding a supernatural being or a saint.
    • a light, color, etc., that surrounds someone or something.


  1. 2.
  2. a large gray rain cloud.
    “nimbus clouds

The imagined physical manifestation of your state of mind. Although not of the physical plane, it can be observed through the actions and interactions of the owner. And sometimes, just sometimes, it shines so bright you can almost see it.

“Imagined”, yes, since the crux of the biscuit for this one is Memory, that’s perfect. I shall work on the theory that these are Nimbuses of awareness, fabrication, illusion, perception, supposition, and what time, our brains, and neurological changes hold these to as we age.


Posted by on March 20, 2017 in Commission, in progress, Tabula Memoria