Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Prayer Flags - from my daughter's wedding

When my daughter Liddy & her husband Chris got married in 2004, I and my mom & my other daughter Molly - Liddy's twin) made dozens of what I thought of as "prayer flags" - like the brightly-colored Tibetan Buddhist flags that carry prayers of thankfulness on the winds to the Buddha - to surround them with the love and blessings of all of us who love them so dearly as they walked into this next stage of their life.

The wedding was held outdoors, under the long covered pavilions of our local Farmers Market. No, silly, it was in the evening; all the local cabbages and brussel sprouts and apple vendors had gone home. It was magical - we transformed the space with hundreds of candles and Chinese lanterns and locally grown (from Market vendors) fall flowers, all in the marigold colors that they had chosen, and handmade tablecloths, and the whole scene just glowed with home-made love and celebration. Not to mention Hippie Chic! I strung dozens of these flags, all carrying messages of love and hope and blessing, some meaningful, some rich with quotations from the songs that surrounded Liddy as she grew up, some just plain goofy, all along the sides of the pavilion, with the intent of surrounding them with all the love that followed them in their journey. was all very beautiful and meaningful, but after the wedding most of the flags got packed away in my basement studio, and of course in all the excitement of the wedding I knew they hadn't really had much of a chance to take them all in. This past Christmas, I finally got around to doing something that had been on my mind all along: I joined 4 of them together, added just enough more embellishments to make it seem united, and added hand & machine quilting in a beautiful copper metallic thread (it doesn't show up that well in the pic, but ooo-la-la baby!), beading, and a few doodads here & there, and gave it to them to put up in their place in Philly. I hope that every time they see it, they will remember how much love they are cradled in - and also that some of the thoughts of love that are expressed in it will help to remind them where they started through those married-life days when the troubles sometimes make you wonder "what was I thinking?" You know what I'm talking about!

So that's what this funky thing is. The picture in the upper left corner is a little painting Chris made for Liddy on their first Valentine's Day together, and they used it as their wedding invitation. Doesn't that kinda melt your heart?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Little Art Quilt

Here's a little art quilt I made for my mother for Christmas this year - I'm quite infatuated with it, actually. The background fabric is my very-first-ever venture (well, my first intentional one, anyway, not counting various bleach spots on favorite jeans over the years!) into discharging; I think it was discharged using Palmolive dishwasher gel, painted along the fold lines of the fabric. Or maybe Soft-Scrub with bleach, or possibly a Clorox bleach pen - anyway, you get the idea - not anything too high-tech or artsy! The circles are Dupioni silk, fused to the cotton background. The little piles of squares & rectangles are watercolor paper, variously painted & stamped & ripened in the box where I throw all those things for future use; they have a beautiful metallic sheen, and are very lovely, if I do say so myself. They're secured to the background by some of my handmade paper beads, which are also very special. (Well, at least my mother and I think so...) Then came both machine & hand-quilting, done in gold Kreinik thread, and various random beadings.
Too bad I don't have something more profound to say about it. It just started out as a little sampler, to see how Thing This combined with Thing That. As it evolved, I kept thinking of how my mother is always telling me to "just hang it on the wall and call it art", so that's where it ended up!
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