Monday, November 23, 2015

Art Inspiration - LIfe 4

"Hello, Dear.  What Did You Do Today?"

This amazing piece came through my Pinterest feed over the weekend.  I'm blown away.  Talk about a combination of art and activism.  The artist is Annabel Rainbow.  Her blog can be found here.  Onto the body is inscribed the following text:

The husband of a busy woman returns home, and asks the question, as he does everyday, “Hello dear, what have you done today.”  The words stitched on the quilt are a blistering response.

Well dear, I worried. I had coffee this morning. Coffee is the second most valuable legal commodity after oil but is largely grown by subsistence farmers and I forgot to buy Fair Trade.
Then I took our grandchildren to school. Did you know that 90% of all childcare still rests on women’s backs.

On the way to the hated supermarket to buy food, I saw that lady from the house by the park in her burkha who everyone says is lonely and abused but can’t tell the police in case her family is deported, and thought about the veiling and seclusion of women and the cult of virginity and the death penalty for women’s adultery, and tried to imagine what it was like to be killed with stones.  I thought of rape and how under Shar’ia law a rape victim needs four male witnesses to substantiate her testimony. In the west we might just say she’s making the whole thing up.  I thought how rape could end if men just stopped doing it.

Then I had my hair done and looked in the mirror and saw how old I was.  When you get old you cease to exist, people just don’t seem to see you anymore. Perhaps I should lose weight or wear high heels to make me taller and show off my legs.  Perhaps my nose needs altering or I could get my ears pierced or my teeth whitened.  This made me think of trying to look nice and how odd this was when 140 million women have been circumcised and cruelly mutilated because it reduces libido and prevents promiscuity.  No, I’ll just bleach and perm my hair and put on false eyelashes and shave my legs and pad my bra, and file and paint my toenails. I’d best skip lunch or I’ll get fat.

I pottered about the garden and planted some lettuce. I thought of the women who make up over 50% of the world’s population yet only hold the title to 1% of the land, and produce more than half its food.  They work 2/3rds of the world’s working hours but receive 10% of the world’s income.
Then I collected the grandchildren from school and took them to cubs and ballet and thought of childbearing and the way fertility can be controlled, like the 35% of all Puerto Rican woman that were sterilized by the US Agency for Development.

Then I paid a visit to that frail neighbour who The Meals On Wheels lady told me about. She’s sad and alone because her family have had to move to search for work and she’s frightened and doesn’t want to go into residential care but she’s in the system and thinks no one is listening.
Then I came home to do the cleaning and the cooking, sort out the clothes and do the washing, and remembered what the Ladybird books taught me in school.

       “Here we are at home” says Daddy.
        Peter helps Daddy with the car, and Jane helps Mummy get the tea.
       “Good girl,” says Mummy to Jane. “You are a good girl to help me like this.”

When I had our children I worked part time for 20 years without sick pay or a pension and tried to nurture you all in sickness and life, and help keep everyone fed and educated.  If an Englishman’s home is his castle why doesn’t he clean it.  Only 3% of PLC Directors in Britain are women and only 4% of judges.  78% of all clerical workers are women, but only 11% are managers.

Then I started to work on my quilt, and you’re reading it now.  Women artists only earn 1/3 of male artists.  So I stopped and made your tea. That’s how I spent my day, dear, how about you?

THIS.  This is the kind of art I wish to create.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Beading my fingers to the bone

J and I don't have to put on our monkey clothes (aka dress-up teaching appropriate clothes) for over a week, due to the Thanksgiving break.


Or, in other words, BEAD DAYS!

Which works out perfectly because our biggest show of the holiday season is the first weekend of December.  And I have LOTS left on my "to-do" list.

These need to be edged and strapped:
Note that gorgeous MakuStudios heart!
Rose quartz, citrine, and a lovely pendant
Really simple setting for a MakuStudios spiral.
Big Mucha collar piece.
I wanted some bead embroidered "show stoppers" to display.  My focus has been on felting most of the summer and fall.  It felt kind of good to get back to my beady roots.  I'm undecided about the Mucha piece.  It's going to be one that people either love or hate.  With a base of garnet 4mm beads, button pearls, blister pearls, and lucite flowers, I think I captured the spirit of the Mucha print.

Mermaid fairy felt collar
 I've had this felted collar in my "to be finished" pile for over a year.  Maybe almost two.  I think I'll add in some pearl drops along the edges, for some extra movement.  

Hoping to finish these this weekend, so I can get to the pile of felted bracelets that's waiting.

Felted bracelet "blanks," just waiting for beads and buttons.
More on the bracelets, next week!  

Friday, November 13, 2015

Turning Inward


Burning Bush, 2015

That season of high color and high activity, as everything shifts into high gear only to suddenly, come to a stop as the weather gets increasingly colder.

Autumn, the season of relief.  I start worrying about how we're going to get all of our leaves raked by the city pick-up date almost as soon as the trees start budding in the spring.  With six maple trees, a birch tree, and about a dozen other smaller trees, there are a lot of leaves to consider.

Almost as many leaves as beads to bead for fall shows.  I start working on arranging the holiday sales schedule in June.  Since I try to expand our sales reach every year, there's a considerable amount of research involved. 

Front maple tree, in all its glory, 2015
Add in all the school stuff - teaching, researching, writing.  Whew.

As of yesterday, the garage is cleared out, the leaves are raked, the snow blower is getting tuned up, all of the jewelry is sent out to the galleries, and there's only a few weeks left of school.  

Back yard maple, 2015
And, me, I'm ready to slow down a bit.  Ready to start dreaming of next year's designs.  I have projects I didn't get to this year that I still want to explore - clothing designs, especially.  Mostly, I can feel myself drawing inward, becoming more reflective, spending more quiet time.  I'm taking an extra half hour to snuggle in my bed, partly because it's warm, partly because it's calm.  There's just a general sense of "Ahhhhh."

What about you?  Do you "shift" with the seasons?

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

In progress

Think I can get all of these done in a week?

Need to get these edged and strapped for two of the final three upcoming holiday shows.

We'll see if I can do it.  :)

Felting has come to a halt, for this week, anyway.  I fell off a curb last Friday.  OUCH!  Banged up my right shin and scraped my palms.  Hurts to stand for too long.  Hoping to get back to felting next week, since the weather is holding.

Better get busy with that beading!