Category Archives: journal: lessons to learn
12th Anniversary Sale!
PS, i going to try to keep posting again, as *I* miss it!Now i HAVE gleaned ideas and techniques to try with other textile arts, kept up with my natural dyeing and do talk to a few people, but i haven’t made anything really since Christmas 2020, at least not that ever got finished. And i used to post very frequently, as much as 4 times a day in the beginning of my blogging (2003!). I used to be rather funny, then i got whiney, then i turned mean and antagonistic, and then i started reading a lot of books and had nothing to say for myself… Looking now i see i have posted only NINE times since the end of May last year………………………………………….
SO, i pledge to post at least once a week–if anyone cares anymore because most of us, self included— are busy on FaceBook, Twitter and Instagram than blogs now, but i miss blogging–it is/was where all the real work was shown, the sharing and the laughs, not just the dramatic staged “LOOK AT ME VALIDATE ME FOLLOW ME LOVE ME LOVE ME LOVE ME” photos with the short pithy or pleading messages—erk, i do
love like them still, they serve their purpose for a variety of reasons.
Crazy still lives here
What a stream of sour months there has been in this household! This “normal” has not been. Teeth bared, claws unsheathed, hackles raised. No blood, no permanent damage, but learning that once a big trigger/doubt/fear/issue/worry is dealt with, there are probably a few more buried to deal too!
Suffice it to say, i won’t go into details, but with some help, things are getting back on track. Even the studio has seen a bit of activity this week. I’ve read over 700 books since May of 2020, and i think my brain is now sufficiently stuffed with enough words that i can focus my focus on Making things, Doing things. ANY Things creative! Sketchbooks have been dragged out, i took an online course on natural printing and the house has actually been “ret up” and is decent again.
I AM actually stitching again, hoping to show a bit of handwork, nothing special, but some prototyping and physical doodling at least. Christmas is not that far away and i’m not sure what’s going in the shop this year for the season!
To that end, i have new listings in the shop–i better have since “Somebody” ordered SO MUCH FABRIC this year!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve “started” again in there with a few scrap packs and some “fat quarters” that have been waiting since the beginning of Sept to be noticed and dealt with, but there will be much more listed as it gets done.
I love these larger pieces (a fat quarter is 18×22″), plenty of scope for making things from, or using as a base/background. In the shop at https://fibrespace.bigcartel.com/
(>insert clever title here<)
I lost several months here on the ol’ bloggeroo—–travel, doctors, eye surgery (lasers!!!!!!!!!!), family time, Black Dog weeks, soul time, summer stuff, but i’m hoping to be back regularly now. Can’t believe i haven’t posted in almost 4 months!
Well, here’s a revelation. Looking through the work blog, i see no big projects planned. None. Not for a few (three?) years. Not even progress on Samara. What does that say? I guess that means i’ve officially lost my license as a struggling Canadian textile artist who wanted to work Big, and say Things. Most of it was just for me, though a few pieces have found homes elsewhere, and my walls are deliberately spare (indeed my whole home is) so there’s no point anymore in the Big Plans. I love my natural dyeing, i like sharing it in my shop and seeing what other people do with it, i like making small art these days, i love all my little plans for little things. Maybe i’ll go back to the time of sharing posts 4 times a day, when all the little things excited me. Because in the end, size does matter. (I obsessed for years about Big Art, one day in 2011 wrote in my sketchbook “well then just do it!”, love what i *have* done, but that day is done. I won’t worry about scale anymore: it really doesn’t matter.) (Some of the old angst still hands on, clutching and choking…)
I’ll try to finish Samara, but since she’s been on the go since 2016, i won’t be holding my breath.
I have many piles however of small stuff. What to do? I’ve started stacking them with new bits of fabric, thread and trims, hoping to kickstart some new ideas—sometimes it takes only ONE MORE element and a thing is done/perfect/good enough (to please).. You can only do what you can do.
Spring dyeing has commenced, trying new combos, a few new recipes. Some of these have been/are/will be in the shop, some i’ve sent to good homes thanks to word of mouth and social media.
I have few words to share these days. It’s as if something in me has shifted: i’d rather Do than write *about* doing. The Crone in me is stepping up and wants to spend more time with the materials. I’ve been, strangely enough in these times of isolation and caution, connecting more with old friends offline. It’s also time and season for out of the house, longer walks with DogFaced Girl, the two of us appreciating small moments of a glimpse of jackrabbit, a pussywillow budding, a violet sneaking from the moss in the woods, the smell of soil as seeds pop up, and finding where tansy and solidago sway, dried but greening at their own feet.
I’ve been dyeing all week:
Swanky Panky: Packs of teasing texture in pearlescent cotton damask, mellow cotton velveteen, sultry silk habotai, crisp cotton and slinky silk/rayon velvet, naturally dyed in madder, quebracho rojo, lac, marigold and eucalyptus with historically accurate processes.
Making piles. Sorting bits. Prepping projects. Skeining threads.
And then it’s time to play!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ice ice no ice baby, snow no, not either
Much frustration the other day: i’ve been experimenting with different techniques and dyes (because some dyes behave differently than others), wanting a little more dimension and visual interest in the naturally dyed cloth i offer in my online shop, and thing just weren’t doing what i wanted/expected them to do.
So i XXXXXX’d and BBBBBBC’d and even XXXBBCD’d and then turned off the damn stove and lights and went to pout.
At the end of the second day, i had these:
Above, lac on madder (silk habotai).
Below, lac on undyed cotton/silk blend (not sure which was the higher content, but i had premordanted for silk).
Below, lac on tansy (silk habotai), hard to see any tansy left!
Below, the truer colour.
Today, i will be testing the method on cotton and linen, expecting “harder” definition, and with other dyes than the lac, on previously dyed and undyed pieces. Hopefully, by the end of Monday, i will be able to share some in the shop!
And no, there is not even ONE bit of snow or ice used in these. That’s all 20 feet away in my wintery backyard, and can stay there. (Or rather disappear in our projected Chinook for this week 🙂 )
And yes, i am keeping the method to myself. It’s up to each dyer to develop and progress with their own techniques. Those who think that artists of any ilk are obligated to share the whole process are sadly mistaken. I see that every day in dye, botanical print, embroidery and mixed media groups with some getting quite huffy when you won’t lead them from step A to B to M to Finished. Learn the basics then find your style/practice/method! I remember asking a local ecoprinter how she had done XYZ and she sweetly smiled, winked and said “Every dyer has her secrets”. That may smack of elitism or Guild nastiness, but it isn’t, and it encouraged me to immerse myself, paying attention to the journey. And i’m still friends with that dyer 🙂
There will be “Broken Kaleidoscope” packs in the shop on Sunday Feb 28th. Not exactly as shown, as the velvets will be different, and I’m not sure how many packs I’ll have, but here’s a heads up! EDIT: Listing open, and going fast!
(drum roll, please) Unknown Sister is back
I love what i do, but it’s time to add a new approach. I had a reasonably successful run as a wearable art designer (Albedo Artclothing) from ’93 to about 2001, and my big big studio was always humming with work. Over the last couple of months, ideas have been popping into my head as to how to translate what i do into something one would wear, fun, bright, unique but comfortable, un-contrived and mixable with a person’s favourite skirt, top or pants, not so over-the-top as to be laughable or “inappropriate” for an occasion, but still completely different from what every one else has.
I have NO idea how long each piece will take at this point of planning. Making art by hand is not the same as whipping up something on the sewing machine or serger, slapping on a few applique and some exotic buttons—not that at that time there was anything wrong with that–it was “of the times” after all, and there were not a lot of truly hand crafted pieces, unless you were one of the 11tybajillion dollar rich persons who shopped bespoke couture somewhere in Milan or Paris or some exclusive by appointment only atelier on a hidden street in Lower wherever……
Yes, there will be machine work to assemble, because the “hand crafted” aspect i’m talking about is the design, the fabrics and embellishments, and the embellishing itself.
AND it’s still going to be with natural fibres and natural dyes, because that truly is my passion in all of this. I’m rarely attracted now to commercial fabrics, and i never wear synthetics as they make me feel strangled, hot and stinky, as they just don’t breathe.
This piece is what started me thinking about wearables again:
I’ve culled other ideas from previous work too, most done in the last 2 or 3 years. I’m also going through photographs of the previous work i did as Albedo Artclothing, because i know there’s stuff there that can be distilled as well, without being re-hashes or cop-outs. I believe it’s just ambitious enough to accomplish but not so much that i get bogged down or lose interest. Waking up excited this morning tells me i could be right about this, as i haven’t felt this way for a lonnnnnnng time!
“Unknown Sister” was a separate online shop and blog for awhile, for wearable accessories, and i decided to resurrect the idea specifically for this again.
Since i have no idea how long it will take to finish something like this as a wearable, i am projecting the first project won’t be done until the end of March. I’ll be keeping a log of sorts about time spent on it, so i can pre-plan future pieces, and re-learn time management (not a strong suit anymore!). Maybe it will be done before that deadline, but that IS the deadline, so we’ll see!
Just a nobody who ain’t gonna take it lying down
I am fucking PISSED OFF. I received a notice this morning that a piece of my ORIGINAL art was removed from RedBubble, due to a “copyright violation” reported. I own the original artwork that is MINE, i have in process shots of it, documentation and sketches and other venues i have shown the art in. I received no prior notice of this but for the shocking email this morning. If in fact, venues allow artists to be removed like this, with no proof from the artist, you are going to lose a lot of your artists. (Of course you DON’T get any notice beforehand: you have no recourse to defend yourself until after the “offending” work is removed.)
In all honesty, i have never HAD a sale from RedBubble, Society6, Print All Over Me, Blurb or any of the million “print on demand” sites. (Spoonflower has been okay however…) That ain’t the point though. Someone or somebody is either being nasty, or is micro-managing something that has nothing to do with them, reported my work as a trademark infringement and BOOM. It’s gone and all i can do is file a counterclaim. Sure i could completely deactivate my account—but that’s cutting off your nose and taking the ball home because no one is playing by your rules. It solves nothing, even if i’m vindicated, and do after the resolution.
*This* is the removed artwork:
Now, HOW THE HELL does this have anything to do with a parody band??????
SERIOUSLY???????????????????? Do you/they really think that any sale of a PRINT of MY artwork is going to affect their bottom line? How petty is that?
My artwork has NOTHING to do with the band in any way shape or form, no reference to them, no depiction, no imagery reminiscent of them, no branding, zip, zero, zilch. You know why? BECAUSE IT’S NOT ABOUT THEM, IT’S ABOUT A MEDICAL PROCEDURE AT THE LEAST, AND AT THE BEST A PIECE ABOUT *MY* SPINE. From the RedBubble site: “A NOTE ON FAIR USE: You might be able to incorporate someone else’s copyright or trademark into your own work, if you do it in such a way that that is considered “fair use” or in such a way that qualifies as another permissible use.” SO, tell me, HOW does this “hurt” the band’s trademark, image, etc????
I didn’t even use the term in a QUOTE parody, satire, critical commentary UNQUOTE use, as it has NOTHING to do with the band. Are they going to sue the Mayo Clinic, doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, etc etc etc who use/d the term? HOW do you trademark that in the first place? As stupid as a Kardassian trying to trademark Kimono for her crap underwear…………….
So, i contacted both RedBubble through their initial email, filed a counterclaim on their DMCA page, left a public message on their FB page, AND left a message on the “group/band” FB DM. If nothing is resolved, i will file a complaint with the BBB.
I’m pretty sure nothing will be resolved, but i can’t just lie down and take this. It’s the principle. In the grand scheme of things, i’m a Nobody: i have no real power, no weapon, am not enriching anyone (especially /including myself) and neither the “band” or RB will truly give a shit or fix this. Basically, i am just pissing into the wind, with no hope or realization of anything but wet pants and anger.
Still, ya gotta stand up for yourself. No one else will.
Edit: Feb 25/21 Of course i have heard nothing from RedBubble, either by email saying they were wrong, not on Twitter, not on FB, not on IG, not by any private message, phone call or letter. I have subsequently filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (which won’t show for 5 days from this date apparently so they can make sure i’m not all sweary and troll-y…..).
Their post says this: “We’re still coming to terms with life after Schitt’s Creek. Thankfully, @bexrocks has got our back with these awesome hand lettered quotes. We’ve partnered with ITV studios so you can have your Schitt’s Creek fan art officially licensed to sell on Redbubble.” Well, that’s all fine and dandy BUT I DIDN’T USE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE DAMN BAND, so why should i/anyone pay for license agreements????????????????
Where have i been? Nowhere. Like most of us. I did manage to get my arse shuffling faster for the Christmas season in the shop, but that stopped mid December, with Dog Duties taking precedence.
I made a plan, yes i did, on the 2nd of January. It
looks looked good, but as of the 28th, i haven’t taken it to heart. As of today however, i’m going to. I like what i do, when i do it, so what’s the dealio? I look at the calendar and all of a sudden it’s the 25th, and precious little has happened. A little has happened, but rare to show and some mostly unfinished. Reading has been the stopper on the creativity bottle (not a terrible thing in itself), but not conducive to any expressed rather than just internal imagination. Might have to pretend the computer is broken, as my escape is all ebooks online though our public library!
The Ragmates2020/DillyDally Coat is still in my stitch corner, and somewhere along the way since August (?), i did do some work on it. I’m going to switch out one section from the sleeve to the back when i saw that most of the work would be hidden on the inside of the sleeve against the body. Shall have to be less flamboyant there 🙂
I’ve been fiddling with Itty Bitty Beaded Bits, thinking the focus might help. Mmmm, i do ♥♥♥ the look of these!
(In the shop!) Two more are still in the studio be be completed!
I’m trying to figure out a way to make my own studio space more enticing too. Is it that the sun doesn’t pour into this one? Oh i miss that sun in my eyes! 🙂
DogFaced Girl has done very well through her convalescence and healing period, with no problems with the incision or the use of the leg. We have concluded however, that Madame is a Madame, apt to whinge and whine, pretending things are worse if she doesn’t want to be bothered! Perfectly capable of going for walks and excitedly bouncing when “go get ready” is mentioned, but oh what a Prima Dona when told breakfast is IN the kitchen and will not be served to her in bed, a mere 10 feet away.
She does need help getting into the car, but that’s a confidence issue with ice and a bit of height.
Not an issue now, that last sentence 🙂
She can easily get into the back of this one, just like coming in from the patio to the livingroom! It looks rather “posh”, and is incredibly sporty, our “Bruce 2.0”. A 2018 Honda Civic CRX SI, we were looking at “new cars” lately because the Saturn we inherited from MIL a few years back is on its last wheels. It’s serendipity that we saw this one and amazingly, got a stupifyingly incredibly clutchthepearlsandsqueal far from a new vehicle would cost deal on it. We knew buying again, it had to be used and that it was something that would have to last the rest of our (driving) lives, because honestly, let’s face it, both of us are not *that* far from retirement age. (And i still haven’t learned to drive and never will now…) The bonus is this baby has only 18,400K on it, was serviced within an inch of “AGAIN you’re bringing it in for care???” in the time the first owner had it, Hondas have fabulous resale value, even years old and both of us are Honda fans.
So, back into the studio and off the arse!
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