New Year, (another) New Start

My introverted side has been in control for a while, but I’ve finally gotten to the point where I’m ready to share things again. It’s not like I haven’t been doing anything

My Cossack Poncho CossackPonchoFull_Fall2015

The “Cossack” refers to the yarn –Sirdar, and free-to-me via someone else’s de-stashing. It’s a dark, blackish-blue with strands of pale turquoise and flecks of copper — great with jeans and got a lot wear in the last few months.


2015 Handmade Gift Extravaganza

This year, everyone on my list got one of these cowls.”Only” twelve in these pics — I made a total of 15, and all done (and blocked!) before they needed to be wrapped on the 24th. (pretty sure that’s a first for me…)


And last — but definitely not least — my new Schacht Flip Loom, a much hinted-for but still unexpected birthday gift from JayZee.

MyFlip25_October 2015

A close up of the on-loom project, a scarf in self-striping sock yarn warp with weft of solid blue fine fingering yarn. It’s done and off the loom now, waiting for me to get up the nerve to full it.



ICAD 2015 has left the building

ICAD 1_Final Set 073115

All 61 index cards, pinned and clipped to the incredibly purple wall next to the art table in the workroom.

Last year — the first time I did ICAD — I was acutely aware of the need to build the habit of doing a card every day through June and July.  I was glad to have Tammy’s lists of prompts and themes as anchors — ideas that I could count on to help me come up with something when my own thoughts couldn’t pin anything down.

This year was different. I knew I could do it; I realized that there was nothing in the challenge that required my daily output to mean anything to anyone but myself. The cards didn’t have to be gorgeous or skillful — they didn’t even have to be good. I used this year’s ICAD as a chance to try new things, to have a new look at old things, sometimes to simply play.

I rarely used the daily prompts; if I liked a theme I went with it for as long as it appealed to me. I played with paints and textures, colors and line. I snipped words and images from magazines and books. I made marks with pens and whatever else seemed like it could, well, make the sort of marks I wanted to make.  I sometimes worked in silence, but more often than not at least semi-aware of the TV on somewhere nearby — in fact, the last couple of weeks I’ve been consciously working interesting bits of dialogue into text.

I’ve learned a bit more about letting go, and I’ve become a little better at recognizing what’s important to me. And I know that creating — making — every day is at the very center of that.

ICAD 2015 has begun…


Yesterday was the official start of Daisy Yellow’s ICAD (Index Card A Day) 2015 Challenge. 61 cards in 61 days (62 if you count your cover card) — a commitment to do just a little bit of art each and every day.

It’s my second year, and if I learned anything last year it’s that ICAD is both harder and easier than it looks.  Harder — because every day really does mean Every Day, even when your life is a mess and you have way to much to do without having to sit down and make some “art” on a @#!%&! index card. And easier — once you realize that your ICADs don’t need to be Art in the Very Important Words That Start With Capital Letters sense. If ICADs need to be anything, they just need to be art in the learning to express yourself at the moment sense — and sometimes in the learning how art can help you deal with the mess and the too much to do sense as well.

  • Cover — Sharpie pens, Moonlight Gelly Rolls
  • ICAD 1, Chevrons — Sharpie pen, colored pencils
  • ICAD 2, Mandala Monday 1 — Flair pens

Imperfect circles


Warm up #8 for Daisy Yellow ICAD 2015: very imperfect circles, drawn in Sharpie with my left hand just to sort of fill the page, then some practice blending colored pencils to fill them in and fine Sharpie pen web background.

Top Ten List


I didn’t quite follow Daisy Yellow’s instructions for this warm up — I forgot about the “use a different writing tool for each one” part. (Perhaps I subconsciously did it on purpose — I am so attached to my Sharpie pens and so not a fan of things that require me to follow directions…) But I had fun coming up with the list, and adding the little icons for each — and couldn’t resist adding in the little bits of humor.

Warming Up for ICAD 2015


I did ICAD — Daisy Yellow’s Index Card A Day challenge — for the first time last year.  It’s a great way to ease back into a daily art journal habit, and I’m going to try to do it again this year.  ICAD officially runs through June and July, but some warm-ups are already posted.  My first one is this elaboration on the haiku I wrote for ICAD Warm-up #2.

[Black Sharpie Pen, and my trusty colored pencils]

Comfort Stitches — Quilt Edition

MQPillowtop_1_03 2015

Having finished knitting the Silk Garden scarf, I’ve turned to another form of stitching to keep my hands and mind active.  In a rare flurry of exuberance one snowy weekend this winter, I pieced together some fabrics from my stash into pillow tops, intending to machine quilt and do the rest of the sewing up over the following week.

And of course that didn’t happen. While it would have been nice to have the finished projects by now, the delay gave me time to consider the quilting, both in terms of what I wanted as a result and what I wanted to get out of the process.  I realized I’ve become more drawn to hand-sewing lately. I tend to look forward to hand-stitching hems of garments, and have even turned some silky fabric remnants into scarves with hand-rolled hems. So hand-quilting seemed the way to go with these as well.

It was the right decision. I love the look of the stitches, their smallness and their imperfection. I have been calmed by sensual details of the making of them — the syncopated rhythm, the movement of the needle, the sound of the waxed thread as it slides through the fabric. This will take longer than the original plan, but eventually these pillows will be complete. And when they are, I will have all these memories of their making.