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Saturday, October 30, 2010

HELP! Frustration abounds

Today, the Fast Friday Fabric Challenge was due at noon. Well, I didn't make it. But I'm really frustrated. It isn't as if I haven't been working on it. What you see at left is as far as I've gotten. Maybe you can help.

You see, this challenge was to write a haiku and do a quilt with it. I thought about this while I was at fact, I've been thinking about it ever since it came out. Haikus aren't my favorite thing to do because I think that it is really easy to make them forced, and that is it very difficult to write a good one.

I mentioned in my previous post about the house which had been moved next to and made part of a barn. Here's a corner of it.

One of the things which intregued me about this, other than the round window and the whole concept of what was once a house turning into a barn, was that the barn and the house were covered with grapevine.

The grapes had once been domesticated, as you can see they are white grapes, which I thought was rather unusual. The grapes which were grown on old farmsteads around my home in Michigan were Concord grapes, a wonderful purple skinned variety.

These are obviously white grapes. I was wondering if the choice of grapes was dependent upon the heritage of the farmer. In this area, the majority of the homesteads were German. My home in Michigan (both homes) were settled by people from Connecticut/Massachusetts and New York State (but probably from New England originally, just stopping before winding up in south central Michigan.

Isn't the round window great? The green color is corrugated fiberglass.

You can see where the plaster is coming through the lath, the keys (that's what the smushed out part is called) are mostly still there, even though the exterior siding is partially gone. The reddish color on the bottom is corrugated sheet metal siding.

The grapes have been there so long, the vines are huge and tearing the house apart.

So, I started on the Haiku (supposedly 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables).

Once tended, now wild.
Once Home now shelter, forlorn.
Nature claims her own.

I've worked a long time on this....and I still don't like it. In fact, I worked so long on the haiku, I didn't get started on the quilt.

I assembled the pieces thinking I would start tonight. I'm not inspired. Concept is neat, but when I tried to draw the leaves...well, they just looked weird. So that's when I scrounged around in my box of silk plant parts. Not quite the color I wanted, and the glitter...well, it doesn't quite go with what I was thinking.

Am I being too literal? I want to do something with this, especially with the house cum barn. I'm probably making this too hard. I don't want it to be something I'm not proud of, but I'm really struggling. Comments and suggestions, on both the quilt and the haiku would be greatly appreciated.

Of course, this week has been a struggle. I've been on a dead practically since August. Getting ready for the photo shoot for Meg, going to Montana, getting the Dayton Landmarks stuff together, getting the application for the MVAQN exhibition into the Dayton Visual Arts Center, having a garage sale because I have to clean out the area so that the furnace can be put in, having my friends visit, going to the doctors, going on retreat, preparing for a lecture on quilts and historical fabrics which I gave today, helping my daughter write essays for her college applications.

On top of all this, I found out that I have to start Chemo....again. Dealing with getting the information I need about that. Do I need a port put in? Why haven't I got a date to start, is the insurance hanging this up like it caused problems with my Faslodex shots?

The chemo will not cause me to be nauseous. It will cause me to lose my hair (again!) and is likely to cause fatigue.

All of this has caused me to wonder about what I'm doing. I'm mom to a high school senior, who (thank heavens) just ran her last cross country race. I sell books on Amazon. I participate in two quilt guilds and am a member of a third although lately I haven't been doing much with them. I am one of three people spearheading a sectioned quilt based on photographs of Dayton. I am the Exhibitions chair for the Miami Valley Art Quilt Network which means that I am trying to find venues for us to show and writing applications. I teach a workshop on art quilting for the Batty Binders, I try to participate in the MVAQN's art quilt study group which meets once a month and is going through Lyric Kinard's Art + Quilt (and so far, I'm behind in the exercises and what I have done I'm not happy with), plus, I garden and keep the household running. And yes, I participate in the Fast Friday Fabric challenge which does a small challenge once a month. I want to get my bedroom painted and the area for my Handi-quilter set up.

I am overwhelmed and feel like I'm not getting anything accomplished. I especially feel like I'm just spinning my wheels art quilt wise. I think I have to jettison some things...but what?


Vicky F said...

Hi Lisa,
For what it's worth, I really like your haiku. I think it says a lot about the house/barn. I'm not an art quilter so for me, that would be the most difficult, translating the old barn into the same feeling with a quilt.

I'm sending you thoughts of strength to help you do everything you need to do (sounds like your days are packed).
Take care.
Vicky F

Vivien Zepf said...

Hey there -- first off: good luck tomorrow. Second, jettison anything that doesn't (1) absolutely have to be done and (2) bring you some sort of pleasure. In my opinion, this is the time to be completely focused on yourself and what you want and need.

As for your haiku -- I really like it. I think you might make it easier for yourself by actually printing one of your pictures onto transfer paper and quilting / embellishing that. The pictures are very evocative.

And again ... good luck tomorrow! I'll be thinking of you and sending you warm thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa... first let me say I am thinking of you and hoping for the best for you tomorrow. I agree with Vivien.... this is about you! And I second her idea of printing one of those fabulous old house-cum-barn photos onto fabric, print your Haiku [it is wonderful!] onto the fabric, quilt/embellish as desired.. [ha]...
it will turn out beautifully I am sure!

Michigoose said...

Hmm....never thought about a photo. Hmmmm...

I'm not starting chemo anytime soon. It appears that the "office girls" didn't put my chemo through the no start date until they do, but I'm having a port put in on Wed.

I can't believe that they haven't put the chemo thru....this isn't a head cold....I'm just about ready to move back to Connecticut. I'm really beginning to feel like I'm, as Spiro T. Agnew put it, skewered. Any takers for a long term house guest????

Marilyn Wall said...

Lisa, It sounds like you need to look at all the things you are doing and cut them down to what you enjoy doing the most. I recently decided that I was going to be selfish in my old age and do just the things that I really want to do. As a Mother who still has children at home that won't be quite as easy or you, but think about yourself now.
I really like your haiku and your photograph and I think it will make a love piece. However, don't stress about finishing it soon, give yourself some slack. Think about Lisa.
Good luck tomorrow.

gabriel said...

The thoughts that you drew from the house was interesting and the pictures have character as well. I should hope that I try and take as much from the things that catch my eye. G

Michigoose said...

Thanks Gabriel. I am an extremely visual person, and I take think a lot about what I see. I am often interested in line and texture, and obviously, given my training, historical/social aspects of what I see.

I have been taking all the comments to heart and am going to try a couple of different things with this, including some image transfer. I've been trying to abstract pieces of it...and I may yet do something with the pieces I opened this with. Who knows!

Janice Paine-Dawes said...

Lisa, your photos are wonderful and don't need haiku...can you tell I didn't do that challenge? Anyway, I love the one with the turq. door. Someone had a call for art either on QA list or SAQA having to do with doors/portals and they could be any medium....your photos would be wonderful in an exhibit like this. Take care of your health, and like Marilyn said, only do what brings you pleasure right now and remember you have thousands of people sending you healing thoughts and prayers.

Michigoose said...

Thanks Janice!
I saw the call for houses but I thought she only wanted quilts. I'll have to take another look. I really, REALLY, Really want to do this...and at present, my studio (hah! sewing room) is soooo discombobulated I can't even work in it. I'm trying to get it in order, that and move all my tubs of fabric from one side of the basement to the other so we can have our new, more efficient furnace put in. At least we are not without a furnace!

JYA Fiberarts said...

Lisa, The photos are wonderful and I like the Haiku. I think you are doing an awful lot and would cut out some things. I don't know you, but I wish you the best and would weigh what's most important to you.