Saturday, March 28, 2015

Rock Cairns and The Journey

I spent my morning and better part of the afternoon at a funeral for a wonderful man.  The kind of event where it's impossible to have a dry eye in the house.  He was just shy of 94 and along with leaving behind a wonderful family, he left a lot of positive energy in the world.  And so, I dedicate my quilt to him as a symbol of The Journey.  I can only imagine what it takes to get to the age of 94 but I'm sure there were many blessings and challenges along the way.

And so here it is, finished this afternoon.

The piece uses some denim jeans that so many of us wear when we hike and even when we don't.  They are an ordinary part of our extraordinary days.  The patches of denim are the people we meet along the way.  Each one having it's own color, degree of wear and ability to bend.

The stones are part of my collection of hand dyed fabrics from last summer.  They are in shades of rust and terra cotta.  I like the way they contrast against the color of the blue denim and remind me of days of hiking in the American southwest.

The upper right hand corner has a piece that has been woven from some fabric that I painted with metallic paints.  I am not sure why it occurred to me to rip apart some fabric and weave it but I think of it now as a symbol of how we are all connected.  Woven together as part of something bigger than ourselves.

Finally, I put a label on the back with my official 2015 symbol.  It is a lotus blossom.  It symbolically represents being fully grounded in earth, yet aspiring towards the divine. Which, when I think about it is a great metaphor for the life of Ed Flaherty.  

Thank you for stopping by my blog and reading this far along in my post.  Please feel free to leave a comment.  Please take a moment in the near future to express gratitude to someone who has made a positive difference in your life.  You'll be thankful you did.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Journey of the Seven Chakras

Happy Almost Spring!  I say this as I am enjoying a snow day from work and have just come in from shoveling snow from the third snow event this week.  After a seemingly long departure from making my small art quilts, I have returned.  Yay!  I am so happy to have returned to my studio for the sole purpose of creating without the pressure of producing.

Over the past few years I have begun practicing yoga, which I have come to love.  In fact, with the empty nest came the opportunity to redo our daughter's bedroom and I made it into a space for contemplation, meditation and healing.  I have become a Reiki practitioner and now I have a beautiful space for this practice as well.

I wanted to make the space welcoming but quiet.  Which is different than sparse.  It's uncluttered and peaceful.  So, it with great joy that I created this piece and it is now hanging in that quiet space.  In fact, usually I photograph my work and blog it well before it is hung up.  However, I was so eager to get this  on the wall that I almost forgot to post it.  So, Here it is!

The dimensions are 18" X 37" and the background is made from some much loved family jeans.  I used the pockets, inseams and belt loops for the purses I made last year and so I had a bunch of pant legs folded up in a bag.  I just had to use them.  With the variety of denim colors I tried to make a shading effect as if there were light coming from behind the rock cairn.

I fused the denim to a gray solid to keep batting from popping through and stitched the edges with a zigzag and black rayon thread.  The rocks are a mixture of my own hand dyed fabrics, one commercial batik, one snow dyed fabric and some hand dyed flannel that someone gave me a few years ago.

The title "Journey of the Seven Chakras" embodies three purposes.  First, for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts there is the rock cairn left by so many people who travel along hiking trails.  For me it signifies the journey of meditation, yoga, Reiki and life.  Second, rock cairns are also used for the practice of meditation and show balance and alignment.  Finally, there are seven rocks which corresponds with the seven chakras, or energy points along the spine that are used for the practice Reiki healing.

In the top corner I added a few pieces interesting fabric.  The spiral was dyed, soy-wax batiked and then over dyed.  The cheese cloth was hand dyed.  There is one piece of commercial fabric that I over dyed.  The other two pieces are silk, one dupioni and another type of silk that looks like burlap but is so soft and has a nice natural luster.

The goal with this piece was to keep it simple and quiet.  I love how it fits in my space.  Thank you for stopping by and checking out my work.  Feel free to leave a comment.  Until we meet again, namaste'.