Gone is Gone

It has been a long time since I posted on this blog, so here is a brief update. I am no longer designing and creating vestments or wearable art, and I have not recently displayed or sold my work. This has been largely because I have stepped back from many parts of my life as I explore how living has changed for me after my transplant and the complications which followed it.

Since my surgeries, we also moved house, and I am still getting my studio organized because the kitchen, living areas, and home repairs took priority after the move. Unpacking and sorting my supplies, I have come across unfinished projects which I cannot resist working on. I also find supplies I had collected for specific purposes, and that leads to more distraction from the organizational task at hand, as I find myself beginning new projects.

We are living through unsettling times. I am grateful to be well during the pandemic, especially since I am in a high risk group. The drugs which necessarily suppress my immune system make it hard for me to fight off infection. Long before citizens were asked to isolate themselves, I was used to avoiding crowds. Being at home also suits the introspective part of my nature.

Sequestering myself during this pandemic is providing me a sabbatical of sorts:  space to think, rest, and create. Of course there are worries and anxiety, but I have to let them go ~ through reading, writing, going for walks outdoors, being in touch with family and friends via emails, texts and video chats. Soon I will be able to work in my gardens. Another important way I remain sane, stay in touch with myself, and feel productive is to work in my studio. There are stories which must be told.

The past couple of days I have been working on an altered book which I began before the move. The photo below is from a section of the book entitled “Shadows of the Past,” and this particular spread is called “Gone is Gone.” The book has many tucked-away places for writing, and envelopes for enclosing small objects.

Book of Shadows, "Gone is Gone"

There are empty pages in the book waiting for images and interactive fun, and I am bursting with ideas. Now I have the time to work on it.

Here’s hoping we all remain healthy, and create ways to find some peace and balance in our lives.

 

Winterfest!

On Saturday, December 16th, 2017, at Chatham’s annual Winterfest celebration, I will be opening a pop-up store for one day only. During 2017 I’ve been reorganizing my studio, and working mainly at altering books. If you stop by 9 Main Street, you’ll see some of that work, finished and in progress.

I’ve also been creating “little things,” as I’ve been recovering from another major surgery. Stop by on the 16th, 10 to 4, to see my one-of-a-kind items – made lovingly, lightly, and locally. Ornaments, woolen goods, and odds and ends from the re-organization of my work-space. One day only! I hope to see you there.

 

Sewing Box and Fairy House.

It has been a while since I last posted here. My creative energy has been focused on small things, using materials close at hand. No more large -scale projects for now.

This is the sewing box I made for my daughter:

Sewing Box Front

 

Sewing box left side

 

Sewing Box Em & Mirror

 

Sewing box drawer, blinged retro pattern

There are more sewing box photos on my website www.sanctuarywithoutwalls.com.

 

FAIRY HOUSE

Another small project was created for my granddaughters: A Fairy House. I gathered pine cones, dried rhododendron leaves, bark from downed birch branches, stones, and more.  The doors are part of a wood napkin holder. I hand colored windows with alcohol inks. The house is illuminated indoors with tiny lights.

Fairy House photos © copyright 2014 Deirdre Malfatto Photography

Fairy House, D2. Out back

Fairy house, angle close-up, D8, porchFairy house side windows, D, 3

The Sanctuary Art Gallery in the Canaan Congregational Church welcomes the public to its opening and reception for the 13 artists exhibiting their works in the invitational show Frames of Reference, on Saturday, July 26, at 1 p.m. Admission is free, and light refreshments will be served.
Free and open to the public.

This Fairy House will be displayed on July 26th, but it may be there longer, depending on my granddaughters! Deirdre Malfatto’s professional photograph of the house will remain on display throughout the show. I do not yet know which photo Deidre has chosen for the show; I’m eager to see it! Please attend!

 

 

Vintage Lace and Silk Cuff

For home handwork (as opposed to studio work) I created a cuff. The body and lining are made of silk scraps from a chasuble I made, the lace is vintage, and vintage shell buttons provide an adjustable closure. Thanks to Gunnell for the pieces of lace she shared with me.

Repurposed woolen mittens

Tucked in a corner at the Chatham Real Food Market Co-op you will find a small sampling of my woolen handwork. These items are made in those moments between working on the banner and taking care of my family and self.

An example is pictured below: a pair of fulled (felted) thick woolen mittens, lined with luscious, soft, purple lambswool from another sweater. The asymmetrical designs on the mittens are needle-felted. Now if we only had some snow…..

Dolls from a vintage pattern

Over the holidays, I worked (as time allowed) on dolls for my granddaughters.

Much of the sewing was done by hand, which meant I could do it from bed. In addition to the clothing you see here, I created miniature sweaters for these two from re-purposed felted lambswool and cashmere sweaters.

The package is still on its way to them, a bit late.

Now I can return to my beloved banner project.

Earth Pages ~ Altered Book

Back in March, I promised to send photos of the altered book I started months ago.

Earth, Water, Fire and Air ~ what you see below are the Earth pages. The book is made from an altered child’s board book, with stamping, collage, painting, chalk, and more. The tabs on the right are part of the original board book; they’ve been perfect for labeling each page. The photo of St. Francis was taken in the garden of a place I stayed near Asheville, NC.

The Water, Fire and Air pages are almost complete, so eventually you’ll find those here as well. In the meantime, backed-up custom orders absorb my time.

If you have made altered books, please leave a comment with a link. I’d like to see your work!

Rabbits

Made (from felted sweaters) in anticipation of a visit from granddaughters.

These rabbits were adapted from a design by Helen Philipps, in her book Simple Sewn Gifts. She used linen, cotton, embroidery floss and polyester stuffing; I used lambswool and cashmere felted sweaters, wool stuffing, needle-felted features, and I added tails (one per rabbit).

The girls discovered their dollies would fit in the rabbits’ straps:  Voila! Bunny-carriers!