Friday, December 9, 2016

Unplugged 2

Life has become simpler now that I've limited my use of the internet. I don't even turn on the computer until late afternoon and only check FB once every few days.

I use the computer as a music box--admittedly youtube has some wonderful music. Lately, I listen to piano jazz and jazz trios (Marion McPartland, Bill Evans, Vince Guaraldi, etc.) and my favorite, Stephane Grappelli (jazz violinist). Easy on the ears, good background music.

If you haven't found the lists of the "Open Culture" site (here), it's a wonderful source of good books, music, and film in the public domain--the classics, with links to audio books, and so much more. I have trouble finding time to read as stitching is time-intensive work, however, the audio books solve this problem for me. Right now, I'm "reading" The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells. Very enjoyable. 

In line with my "Finish It" and organize policies to end the year, I created book covers for old loose leaf sketches and pulled the whole mess together with Coptic Stitch bookbinding.  

I knew all that cardboard that I've been collecting would be useful for hard book covers eventually.

While organizing, I am also going through a "digestive" period--trying to absorb all the material I've collected in sketchbooks in order to consider fabric interpretations.

Subjects for rumination from the old sketches:

or animals,

or still lifes.

Or is that "still lives"?

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Unplugged, 1

Incidents like this happen elsewhere, but, this seems typical of Tunisia lately. A couple of weeks ago our internet service just stopped. Mr. M. mustered up all the patience he had and called the company. The lines were jammed, it was a long wait.

When he finally got through, he was told that we had to bring in our Wifi box to get a new one because they were upgrading the technology and increasing our gigabytes--no advance notice.

Several days later we got the new box. Still no internet and Mr. M. spent hours on the telephone over the next few days while the company worked out the kinks. 

Consequently, we spent nearly a week unplugged-- and I remembered how it was before all the technology. Without the chatter from the internet I felt more like myself.

The internet is back again, however, I am scaling back its use. The fact that we seem to be trying to make time go faster, with everything having to happen immediately (Instagram comes to mind) disturbs me. Additionally, I feel like I'm drowning in a sea of images. The interference from all the internet chatter messes with my mind and gets in the way of my own visual vocabulary.

So I will continue to blog here at Multicoloredpieces because I enjoy blogs (that mix of image and text) and the people I have met in blogland. However, I will stop Multicoloredsnippets. Multicoloredpieces will become a mix of the two. My email has changed so that I have only one email account. I'll stay on Facebook (Nadia Mamelouk), however, I'm cutting out Flickr and Pinterest and whatever else I've gotten myself into inadvertently.

In the meantime, I am wrapping up my detour into lettering, for which I made a coptic stitch book. I deeply appreciated Joanne Sharpe's classes as they helped me get through a tough year creatively, however, my own work calls now.

The back is equally colorful. 

I hope you may wrap things up for 2016 
in order to begin the new year with energy and purpose.
Wishing all a Happy Holiday Season! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Jeans Mama, 2

The hole in Mr. M's old jeans got stitched down and the white threads were couched.

It was quite a tangle for awhile

Then, the repair just kept growing up.



                  And down.-->
Until it was finished.

I asked Mr. M if he would like to model his jeans for the photo shoot. He scoffed. Fine with me. I had no intention of letting him wear them anyway.

So I got out my long denim coat from Istanbul and "posed" in the garden.

The jasmine is going crazy.

The pomegranate trees are turning a bright yellow.

And a final closeup.
I had a good time on this adventure. 
I was dazzled.
Ah, yes, there is much to be thankful for. 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Jeans Mama

Until I went to college I suffered from the rule that only boys could wear jeans to school. How fair was that? Why did boys get all the good stuff--like taking shop rather than home ec? (Well, if you understand basic feminist ideas, you can answer that question yourself.)

The inevitable happened: the day I went to college I donned the uniform of the 1970s--jeans. In addition, working with fabric has given me a deep respect for denim, especially old denim. None of those new-fangled stretchy jeans for me.

Consequently, I can't bear to toss out old jeans. I have a nice collection on my studio shelves, besides stacks of jeans that are still wearable in the closets. 

I've used up a little bit of my collection in purses. 

The last few days have been errand days...groceries, waiting rooms, eating out and socializing. 

Yesterday, I felt kind of uninspired to create (a rare occurrence) and empty... couldn't even pick up a needle. 

The Pomegranate Tree wasn't speaking to me, even though I have been working diligently around the edges. 

This morning I ran across a pair of Mr. M's old jeans that needed a repair. I tried them on...they were oh, so soft. They spoke to me. 

Then I remembered a young woman I had seen a couple days ago in a restaurant. Very stylish, wearing jeans that were thoroughly ripped on the front and only held together by the back! Hmmf--scandal! Think of all the possible, beautiful repairs one could do...

Which brings me back to Mr. M's jeans. I asked him if he wanted them repaired in the standard, discreet way. He said I could have them...ahhhh, the possibilities. I went digging in my fabrics.

Here's what's sitting on my sewing machine table right this minute...and I feel so energized! 

I'll be able to get back to the Pomegranate Tree tonight with a light heart and hand...once I get started mending that hole!

Linked to Nina Marie's "Off the Wall Friday."

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Inching Along

My days follow a simple routine so somehow I manage to make progress on complex work, if only at a snail's pace.

This piece has me reflecting on aging, retirement, and how life wears thin and develops holes and tears here and there. And on the increased effort required to maintain good health. 
And how life transforms into something different, something that has its own beauty. My process and my thoughts intermingle as I stitch. 

I feel like this is the hardest piece I've ever done on a technical level, but then again, maybe not...And I feel like this is the hardest part of my life, but then again, maybe not...

Once in awhile the routine gets broken by a drive into Tunis. Last Thursday, I sketched people walking, a baby in the waiting room of a medical lab, a Sultan and clients in the restaurant "Sultan Ahmet." 

<--The Sultan and I. 

The page was "pre-painted," meaning I was going to do something else and changed my mind. All in all, an enjoyable and creative autumn day. 

Linked to Nina Marie's "Off the Wall Friday."

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Feeling Peppy!

The drop in temperatures plus a couple of good storms to clear the air makes me feel peppy! 

So I have attempted to be mindful of my rule for 2016 to finish my work. 
Yesterday, I finished the journal page of the day Mr. M. left the hospital in Paris. I remembered how slowly he moved and the difficulty he had to eat. I am thankful for the progress he has made. 

I have limited my sketching practice to errand days once or twice a week. He drives and I draw. 

The small size of my sketchbook allows me to go from page to page without getting bogged down, gathering material for...well, I don't know, just gathering for the time being until I finish the Pomegranate Tree Quilt (PTQ).

This week, I stared at PTQ hanging in my living room--I had to get it vertical. I took photos. I reconsidered. I fiddled and fidgeted with it. Then I added a few more leaves.

PTQ has been around for 5 years as of November. It's time to finish. "Just 
a bit longer, just a bit longer," it whispers, "I need this and I need that." 

We are old friends. Ok, a few more leaves. But then I'm squaring you up and you better hang straight!

In the meantime, I worked on "He Went to Work Everyday, Then He Retired." 
Or maybe I should just shorten the title to "Retiring"? In any case, I will soon be adding the third of five shirts, and what a tangle it will be.

Just trying to stayed focused and get back on track with my artwork in 2016.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Heat and Buses

Public transportation in Paris is wonderful. Efficient and reasonably priced, it can take you just about anywhere in the region. When public transportation employees go on strike, traffic becomes so snarled that is nearly impossible to go anyplace.

The French recently sold some of their used buses, without air conditioning, to Tunisia. Now in France they probably don't need A/C, but, in Tunisia, temperatures are usually over 90°F for most of the summer, and into autumn as well. How do we solve this problem? Simple solution: Open the windows and doors and drive faster.

That's exactly what I noticed when I took the bus a few weeks ago. Certain employees of the bus company get the choice spot of standing by the open doors. Never mind if the driver should hit the breaks suddenly--heat trumps safety.
Fortunately, it rained last Wednesday; it was a glorious thunderstorm that washed away months of dust. The temperature dropped below 90°F. Autumn in Tunisia is a pleasant time of year. Hot weather will continue, but, it will be less extreme. They may even close the doors on the buses...