Monday, August 26, 2013

Construction Site

From the tall stately firs of the Pacific Northwest to the scruffier pines and fruit trees of this semi-rural region in Tunisia, I have always loved trees. Yes, I'm a tree-hugger. 

They pop up in journals and sketchbooks; drawn in pen, pencil, and watercolors or painted in oils or acrylics.

They occupy a place in my "Garden" theme when I work with fabric. There are whole trees,

branches with fruit,

and leaves.
Yet, none of this approaches nature's act of creation and it now appears superficial to me. What has changed? A long-term project, my Pomegranate Tree Quilt, has taken over my life.

It grew from the seed of an idea two years ago that paralleled the growth of young trees in my garden. It developed branch by branch as my trees poked out their leaves. 

The fruit ripened with layers of stitching. And I ate the real fruit from my trees, admiring their beautiful colors.

The roots spread. 

My tree gained in height and breadth along with the trees in my garden. 

So I feel like I have built this tree bit by bit. It seems to be a more organic process, one that stems from my guts and reaches outwards, a visceral creation attached to deep-seated feelings. Rather than "create", I have constructed this tree from the ground up, from the inside out. Or this tree has dictated how it would be constructed. Each step has demanded serious time and consideration. The end is not yet in sight--pins still hold parts of it together, white spots need to be appliquéd.

[More process photos over at MulticoloredSnippets]

In the meantime, others attempt to construct the Tunisian nation, however the end is not yet in sight. It is a slow and tedious process. Demonstrations take place every night in front of the Constituent Assembly at the Bardo Palace in Tunis. The opposition calls for the current government (that no longer has a mandate) to step down and allow for a temporary government of neutral technocrats to run the country until elections are held. The ruling religious party tries to buy time while they figure out how they can swing possible elections and at the same time grab all major government and administrative posts. Given the overthrow of the religious party in Egypt, it appears that Tunisia's religious party may be counting its days in power. Tunisia is now a construction site...

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

Thursday, August 8, 2013

An Odd Bit of Creativity

Lately, my playtime has been limited to the few minutes I manage to grab here and there. I feel like a pressure cooker without the safety valve, so any odd project serves to give me a few creative moments of relief. 

 An unused planner--OK, it dated from 2001, but, still brand-new--found its way into the garbage. I fished it out to consider the possibilities of recycling it because my purse sketchbook will soon be full.

It's a well-organized planner (isn't that reassuring?) with all kinds of subdivisions that I don't need like "Communication," "Projects," and "Expenses." (OK, maybe I should use the "Projects" section for my To-Do-List.)

What really caught my attention was the compact size that fit in my hand and the telephone section at the back with extra pages to insert. I mulled it over for several days...

I've been putting all kinds of information in my sketchbook (at least I know where the information is) including phone numbers. I need a better system when I'm out and about. What if the planner could do double duty?

So I glued cheap water color paper to one side of the pages to sketch upon and kept one side with lines to allow for text...or additional sketching. 

The page size will require small work, but, I managed to get around 50 pages with the glued watercolor paper.

Then the hole in the front cover (for a small calculator since lost) required a creative solution.

I dug around in my sack of labels, which I have collected for 30 years (and have never used), and found some interesting words.

I regret I didn't use the two watches as eyes--didn't see it...(ha-ha-ha).

Rules for playtime: 
1. Use only tiny scraps in scrap bag.
2. No pinning allowed--just sew it down on the machine.
3. No hand stitching allowed--just sew it down on the machine.
4. One hour time limit.

5. Neither pretty nor ugly, just useful. NO EXPECTATIONS.

That was fun. I LUV my new planner/sketchbook. I almost feel organized, and definitely energetic and serene! Recycling at its best.

And for those who celebrated the fasting month of Ramadan, I wish you a Happy Eid with your loved ones.