I’d made some paper clay gorgets for my Road to Oklahoma a few months ago and have decided that I’d rather they be made from fibre.
So far I’ve tried needle-felted fleece, collaged ultrasuede and either back-stitch or trapunto onto cotton, satin or felt.
None of them are quite right and I am so frustrated. My husband reminds me that I will work it out. He has seen me in this place many times before!
I love drawing and meditating on these images. I find the symmetry of the designs within the circles very balanced and harmonious.
An amusing thing happened when I had drawn a design onto the back of a piece of felt forgetting to reverse it, so that when I finished stitching it, it was a mirror image. Steve queried if it matters and I said. ‘Yes, it will disturb the harmony of the Universe’.
The movement in many of the designs is counterclockwise. The Muscogee stomp dance is counterclockwise. This is because our ancestors knew that the earth and the sun spin on their axes counterclockwise and the planets rotate around the sun counterclockwise. The Muscogee Way is about finding balance and restoring harmony to the world.
Yesterday I watched a series of short videos about textile artist Sue Stone.
Her mantra is: ‘Be brave, push boundaries, make mistakes’. She advocates going deep into just a very few techniques, making way for exploration and discovery. This makes sense, but I am still figuring out which materials to use. I think that this is the time to step back and focus on another part of the piece where I know exactly what I need to be doing.
The petals on a full blown rose
tremble but do not fall.
-Melinda Schwakhofer, 2017
A waning sickle of moon
and a bright morning star
herald the dawn.
Jackdaws play along the horizon.
I love this time of year when we slide slowly and gently from the bright days of summer into the enveloping dark.
I got through all of the 2016 celebrity deaths relatively unscathed. But when I heard the news of Tom Petty’s passing last Monday, I was devastated.
On Facebook when a musician passes, my friends write about how much they love or admire the person and post their favorite songs from a certain time period in their lives or the ones that have touched them. I am always posting Tom Petty music videos. I have most of his music on my MP3 player and regularly listen to at least one album a week on my occasional drives in to work. At 39:58 minutes, Full Moon Fever lasts just about door to door. We had a late night with friends a month ago and whilst veejaying I came across an entire hour long concert recorded in 1978 on BBC Television’s Old Grey Whistle Test.
I was really touched that a few of my friends wrote on my wall that they thought of me when they heard of Tom Petty’s passing. You see, I’m not just a fan or a mere appreciator of Tom Petty’s music. His music is woven into my life, beginning with the rowdy, rebellious rock and roll albums that came out when I was a teenager. His music and my appreciation of it evolved as I grew older. Tom Petty was a poet. There are so many great songs about the people who fell into and climbed back out of the cracks, and those road journey songs which were never just about the road. His music has been speaking to something deep in my soul ever since I played Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on my new turntable in 1977 at age 14. Hard Promises (1981) and Echoes (2002) are two of my favorite Tom Petty albums which got me through hard times.
Hard Promises is all about doubts and dilemmas, infused with a grey mist of loneliness and a reluctance to let go of the past. I wore that album out the year after my mom died from cancer when I was 16. Similarly, Echoes is a very dark record in which Petty sounds broken, resigned and defeated. I found out recently that we both lost our mothers in 1980 and both got divorced in 2002.
I’m really gutted that there won’t be the ‘next’ album.
I have nearly all of his albums, with and without the Heartbreakers. Just for the record (no pun intended) I don’t have Southern Accents or Let Me Up I’ve Had Enough. I had bought each one at some point, but returned them. They aren’t very good and in fact the band feels that those two are mistakes. They were made and released when Petty was at a low ebb personally and professionally. It shows.
The two others missing from my collection are Mojo (2008) and The Live Anthology (2009). I met and fell in love with my husband Steve in 2008 and a lot of world events that year passed beneath my radar, including the financial meltdown. Just an aside, when we were courting, I sent Steve a link to A Thing About You and he told me he had seen Tom Petty in Birmingham, UK in 1977. I look forward to checking out Mojo and adding it to my collection. Ditto with The Live Anthology. I don’t normally like live albums, but it has Melinda on it, so how can I resist? I’ve listened to a few of the tracks and it captures the energy of their performances.
I’ve seen Tom Petty in concert three times. 1995 at The Hollywood Bowl, 2002 in Raleigh, NC and 2012 in Cork; from the Beautiful People to the Rednecks to The Irish. That last one was amazing because it was their first European tour in well over 20 years. I was lucky to see them on the first night of their tour in a relatively small venue in Ireland.
My Christmas 2014 haul brought me Hypnotic Eye and a Rolling Stone fanzine.
I’ve read the book.
And I’ll have to re-watch the excellent documentary Runnin’ Down a Dream by Peter Bogdanovitch sometime real soon.
So yeah, the music world has lost a legend and I’ve lost my poetic rock and roll icon, but the music of Tom Petty shines on forever, like a diamond.
RIP Tom ❤
This evening I watched a delicate aerial pas a deux, a dance of life and death outside my window.
The poem is a cautionary tale against those who use flattery and charm to disguise their true evil intentions.
The Spider and the Fly
Will you walk into my parlour?” said the Spider to the Fly,
‘Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I’ve a many curious things to shew when you are there.”
Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair can ne’er come down again.”
“I’m sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high;
Will you rest upon my little bed?” said the Spider to the Fly.
“There are pretty curtains drawn around; the sheets are fine and thin,
And if you like to rest awhile, I’ll snugly tuck you in!”
Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “for I’ve often heard it said,
They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed!”
Said the cunning Spider to the Fly, ” Dear friend what can I do,
To prove the warm affection I ‘ve always felt for you?
I have within my pantry, good store of all that’s nice;
I’m sure you’re very welcome — will you please to take a slice?”
“Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “kind Sir, that cannot be,
I’ve heard what’s in your pantry, and I do not wish to see!”
“Sweet creature!” said the Spider, “you’re witty and you’re wise,
How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!
I’ve a little looking-glass upon my parlour shelf,
If you’ll step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself.”
“I thank you, gentle sir,” she said, “for what you ‘re pleased to say,
And bidding you good morning now, I’ll call another day.”
The Spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly Fly would soon come back again:
So he wove a subtle web, in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready, to dine upon the Fly.
Then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing,
“Come hither, hither, pretty Fly, with the pearl and silver wing;
Your robes are green and purple — there’s a crest upon your head;
Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead!”
Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little Fly,
Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew,
Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue —
Thinking only of her crested head — poor foolish thing! At last,
Up jumped the cunning Spider, and fiercely held her fast.
He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den,
Within his little parlour — but she ne’er came out again!
And now dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly flattering words, I pray you ne’er give heed:
Unto an evil counsellor, close heart and ear and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale, of the Spider and the Fly.
– Mary Howitt, 1829