Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Biscuit Bandit Strikes Again

Inevitably, the newest addition to the family, Biscuit Bandit aka Bibi, has found his way into my textile sketchbook/journal. It all started when I attempted to sew on The Pomegranate Tree Quilt and he plopped himself down upon it under the warmth of the lamp and promptly fell asleep.

Seeing that the planned evening of work wasn't proceeding smoothly, I took a fabric-covered page from my sketchbook and drew Bibi in his (deceptive) angelic, sleeping innocence.

Then I put on some loud rock music and pinned snippets from my scrap bag to the page in a mad frenzy. Bibi woke up and wanted to get in on the action.

At first, he observed closely. 

Then, in a grab for attention, he gnawed on the presser foot lever and sent the spool of thread flying. 

Despite his enthusiasm, I managed to keep stitching.

However, Bibi apparently does not appreciate Dire Straits and Led Zeplin cranked up to full-blast volume. He stalked out of the room.

But, never fear, on to new adventures.

He knocked a couple pens to the floor in the living room, then sneakily did some reconnaissance at the dining table (off-limits and doesn't he know it!) where I had been painting watercolors.

I later found two brushes under the refrigerator

He proceeded to shred the toilet paper (one of his favorite toys),
 two paper napkins, a paper towel and a kleenex, and knocked over my waste paper basket for good measure.

Then, he tipped over the old laptop, which crashed to the floor and gave up its soul. 

Linked to Nina Marie's "Off the Wall Friday" and to Sarah's "Friday Linky Party."

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Occasionally some of the multicolored pieces of my life come together...once in awhile. For example, I introduced my first-year university students to Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, a play that reflects the human being's inability to control or do anything in an absurd world. However, what particularly caught my attention this time around (it's one of those masterpieces that should be reread every few years...or decades) was the number "two." Each character appears with one other character, linked by invisible bonds. And then, Becket wrote two acts, not the usual one, three or five that make us feel comfortable. Why two? 

Besides making us feel uneasy, two acts are all that is required to show the repetitive nature of the waiting...a third act would be redundant. We are caught in a loop or running on a treadmill. So I have been reflecting on "two."

In the meantime, I began playing with watercolors in a "Rainbow" instruction manual, which I fished out of the trash basket when a brilliant flash of recycling ingenuity hit me. 

One design over two pages appears whole.

One design repeated on each of two pages gives the "eye" look. Two elements that contribute to a whole, like eyes, ears, and eyebrows that give symmetry to our faces.


The vertical version appeals to me more.  I'm breaking that old composition rule about 2/3 and 1/3. After all, Beckett thought "two" had interest.

The construction of a page in my textile sketchbook/journal demonstrates that there is no method to my madness. 

I thought my trusty glue stick would make the job easier, but pins worked much better. An oddball logcabin developed. As the work progressed the fabrics became more and more frayed.

Now, I do realize that easier ways exist to create similar images. You might say, "Well, Nadia, why didn't you just paint onto fabric? Better yet, you could photocopy the watercolor onto fabric." Yes, good points. 

However, the satisfaction of doing this does not depend on the look of the finished work, but on the exploration of what the fabric can do, or what I can do to the fabric. I am not looking for a painterly effect, as such. Rather, looking at the green watercolor paint makes me wonder how far one can push green fabrics and threads.

Another art quilt serves as a frame for this page.

My conclusion? A third element would have balanced the composition. Two elements make me a bit uncomfortable, it's a bit edgy--I think I'll do "two" again to explore the possibilities of edginess. 

And, of course, (need you ask?) I much prefer the textile version.

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

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Cat IS the Hat

A kitten found by a dumpster came to live with us a couple of months ago. Named Biscuit Bandit, but, shortened to Bibi, he seems to be hitting adolescence: he still likes to play, but sometimes he's sassy. And he always wants to be in the control tower.

We haven't had a house cat in a long time. Don't know how long he'll be around as we keep only real cats (not "fixed") who eventually go over the walls to party after the day job of catching mice. We will enjoy him for the time being and not worry about the future.

I am always delighted when I manage to catch moments like this. Digital technology fills me with wonder and gives me a sense of luxury. The abundance of imagery is magical. I usually don't like to draw or stitch from photos, but I may have to make an exception. The idea of the cat hat tickles my imagination.