Friday, January 1, 2016

- Planning to Remember 2016

This year's Christmas ornament turned out to be prophetic:
Rosemary for Remembrance

I have an idea for a new cloth, but it isn't my idea. Rather, it was inspired by the many blogs I read, written by the KINDRED SPIRITS listed in the right hand column just below the Profile, Index, and Search widgets. Every day I look forward to seeing whose posts have risen to the top, wondering what I'll see and/or read next.

The idea is to create a large patchwork cloth over the course of the year, making one patch for each day in 2016 by choosing a color or stitching a word or drawing an image that reflects my experience of that day, sort of like the ornament pictured above. This form of cloth journaling is nothing new, of course, but its expression will be unique to my experience of this year and this place in the Texas Hill country that I now call home.

The spark of the idea was kindled, first and foremost, by Jude Hill, a fellow Long Islander who has written something like 3000 posts in ten years at Spirit Cloth. If you have not taken one of her classes (which have countless video and audio clips), consider that she is offering Spirit Cloth 101 on a donation basis and give it a try. Jude will open your mind to new ideas such as her paperless piecing, which has in turn inspired my own patchplay.

Then there is Judy Martin in Canada, whose latest quilt top over at Judy's Journal is breathtaking in both color and form, the latest in a long line of inspirational works.

Rhonda Ayliffe has delighted me as she spent the past year looking up at the Australian sky ... while Grace Forrest in New Mexico has made me appreciate the wisdom of a daily practice by writing years of her life on Windthread.

I love that Dana in Washington lives the ethos of "the table comes first." While Saskia in the Netherlands alternately weaves tales of the Old Bird King and creates ripples of Kantha across eco-dyed cloth.

Cindy Monte in the great Northwest, faithfully stitched words of 2015, a reprise of her words of 2013 (not to mention that she conjures the most magical boats). Likewise, calligraphic and book artist Fiona Dempster, another Australian, showed me how gracefully words can express peace.

Deb Sposa in California and Mo Crow in Australia, both gifted artists, encouraged me to dare to draw. And Sharon Tomlinson in Texas gave me further encouragement with her Inktense tutorials.

The dyers continually inspire me to keep trying ... Patricia in North Carolina, Maura Ambrose in Texas, Alice Fox in the UK, and India Flint who coaxes color from plants wherever she goes in the whirled.

And there are others who have inspired me to look at life more carefully ... Dee Mallon in Massachusetts with her self-proclaimed outrage, Amy Meissner in Alaska with her keen-edged truth telling, and Velma Bolyard in upstate New York who spins poetic tales with luminous photographs.

There are more besides ... over fifty KINDRED SPIRITS in all. Each one has piqued my curiosity, taught me something new, or simply delighted me with their artistry. Cumulatively, they have enabled me to become more creative and I thank them, wishing them all the best in the new year.

May I be worthy of their gifts.

Addendum: I knew I would forget someone ... Marti in New Mexico does not have a blog of her own, but her graceful words appear in comments here and in many of the other blogs listed above. She, too, is a gift.


Marti said...

This post is just the most wonderful way to begin 2016 Liz. Worthy, oh my yes, you are and here is why: because you and Don so freely bring us into your lives with all that you love and create. Kindred spirits indeed, you and all you mentioned. Have you noticed that within this word, kindred, is this word, KIND.

For me, a non blogger and until about 6 yrs ago, a non cloth person who ran from needle and thread but danced toward dye pots, the acceptance found in this creative community has been so gratifying. At first I tentatively posted comments on cloth blogs wondering if any of what I wrote made sense. Over time what I found was an open, gifted, embracing community of creative women who stitch, dye, paint, sculpt, assemble, write, draw, collaborate to bring music to life with their art, look at their world and bring it to reality. What I found in other words, simply, is a community who share their lives by how they see the world and how they see the world is inclusive and for me, deeply connecting. The quiet joys that I often write about abound here and that is an on-going gift.

Liz Ackert said...

We have a poet in Wimberley named Ray Wylie Hubbard, who sets his wonderful words to music. My favorite quote, from his autobiographical song Mother Blues, is this:

"And the days that I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations ... Well, I have really good days."

Here's to much gratitude and many good days in 2016!

Dana said...

Yes, Marti is right. You and Don are cherished members of my blog community, whose presence adds so much to my days. Thank you for being here. I am grateful for you.

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

you are such a Librarian....

Liz Ackert said...

Ha! Guilty as charged (big, goofy grin)

Liz Ackert said...

Friendships that stretch around the world ... truly it is a wonder and cause for celebration!

Mo Crow said...

love your rosemary for remembrance amulet!

Liz Ackert said...

Thank you ... I love how the resinous scent comes through the linen. Wish there was some way to transmit that, but that's one of the (few) downsides of cyber-community.

jude said...

This was a sweet post. thank you.

Liz Ackert said...

You're welcome ... it was great fun to write.

ARTISUN said...

I truly hope one day to meet you Liz. Thank you for the lovely New Year beginning. Your words create magic as do your fingers. You are a very special friend in my and my students lives. One of my Alumni, Daphne Chiang came to visit recently and besides keeping up with my blog she says she especially enjoys reading your comments, ahhh, it's amazing how words can touch people's minds & hearts.

Liz Ackert said...

Words to warm my heart ... thank you and yes, we will meet someday, I'm sure of it. Until then, I will continue to follow you and your students on Artisun, which has become a much-loved daily practice for me.