Sunday, May 03, 2015

Need Your Help ... Special Words!

(Above:  Working on a picnic table at the Anderson Center in Red Wing, Minnesota.  Little trays of individually cut letters, A thru Z, and the tags I made today for new keys!  Click on any image in this blog post to enlarge.)

HELP ... I need more words ... something other than "The Key to Happiness" or "The Key to Knowledge" or success or faith or hope or "a fast Internet connection" or world peace or a good sex life or the best diet.  I need some more UNUSUAL traits/qualities/abstract nouns/hidden desires/secret locations and other ideas!

PLEASE LEAVE ME A COMMENT WITH YOUR SUGGESTIONS ... or email me at!  Thanks in advance!

I've just finished my second full day at the amazing Anderson Center art residency in Red Wing, Minnesota.  It was a fabulous day ... in every way possible.  First, birds chirp all day long!  It is so peaceful and quiet here that I can really enjoy it whether inside my studio or outside on the picnic table!  Yes, for a few hours, I worked outside in the sunshine ... until I realized that I was getting sunburned.  Who would have thought that might happen during a Minnesota spring? 

So ... what was I working on?  Well, tags for keys.  My installation, The Wall of Keys, is going in August to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, England.  It will be part of the Through Our Hands exhibition.  Although I have easily more than 1600 or so tagged keys, I think I might need more ... maybe 500 or so more.  (I can't have enough! LOL!)  Thus, I painted heavy watercolor paper and tore it into 7/8" strips before leaving home.  After all, I can't make fiber vessels all day, day-after-day while experiencing an art residency.  I need a little break every once and a while.  Tagging keys is an excellent break ... and something that I can do outside!   

(Above:  The Wall of Keys ... as shown during an earlier installation.)

I want to be able to completely fill the space I'm given in Birmingham.  So, I need more tagged keys ... but I also need ideas for these new additions.  Please leave me a comment with your suggestions or email me at

(Above:  Tags for new keys.)

If you enlarge the photo above, you can easily read the tags I made today.  I'll be making tags and attaching them to the stash of keys I brought during this art residency.

(Above:  My studio at Anderson Center.)

Yet, tagging keys isn't really part of my proposal.  Making fiber vessels, exploring the concept of containment ... that's the proposal!  I'm doing that for the vast majority of every day.  Thankfully, I love doing this.  First, I make the cording.  It is made by machine zigzag stitching over 6 - 12 strands of thread and yarn.

In the photo above my Bernina is sitting on an unusual surface.  Why did I chose this place?  Well, I stand to sew.  I've always stood when stitching by machine.  (By the way, Ernest Hemingway stood to type.)  So, I like a rather high table on which to put my machine ... something rather sturdy since making cording requires the machine to run almost constantly.  The machine vibrates quite a lot when used this way.

I was given a double-sized studio space here at the Anderson Center.  One side is obviously for a ceramist.  There's a clay extruder and a slab roller.  The slab roller is VERY HEAVY and is rather high ... perfect for my sewing machine!  The vibrations were causing a bit of a problem ... until I tied my machine to the slab roller.  (Note ... tied to the slab roller's wheel and to some sort of hook on the right side ... Nice and steady now!)

(Above:  Eleven threads and yarns being fed into the cording foot.)

All day I stitched over various yarns ... mostly brown, orange, golden toned, and tans with black thread.  I started this color wave yesterday afternoon.

(Above:  The giant ball of cording!)

By the end of today I had this giant ball of cording!  I have no idea how many vessels it might make.  I forgot to snap a shot of the big ball of pink cording I made on Friday night and yesterday morning ... but it isn't nearly as large as this one.

Today I also had an unexpected visitor.  This little red-tailed squirrel accidentally wandered into my studio.  Almost immediately he got very, very scared and started hurling himself against the windows.  The door was still open ... but he seemed convinced that the windows were the way out!

Maybe he wanted to sew?  Finally I managed to get him turned around and out the door.  It was sort of fun!


Bruce the Great said...

That squirrel was lucky you ran out of words lest it become tagged and shipped to England.

Judy Ferguson said...

I keep a diary of words for titles: here they are: Sunset Tapestry, Reflections, Gardens of the Sun, Denduring, Sea of Dreams, Suspended memories, Lucid Dreams, Vision Beyond Light, Where Friends Rest, Forthcoming Past, Silent Dreams, Peaceful Journey, Softest Touch, Song of the Banshee, Lamentations, Out of the Embers, Healing Sanctuary, Essence, Inner Light, Prism of Time, Sun Fade, Dreams of the Blue Peacock, Solace, Comfort of the Sky, The Gathering, anticipation, Mystical, Window to the World, Resonance in Blue, Enigma, Innocence of the Rain, Divine Embrace, Heart of the Soul, Circle Dance, Secret Place, Radiant Sky, Dreaming Place, Echoes of Shadow and Light,Painted Echoes, Eternal Dream, Ancient Legend, Time Lapse, Out of my Dreams, Valley in the Clouds, Anticipation, Timeless, Natural Elements, Morning Song, Euphoria, One Deep Breath.

Mosaic Magpie said...

Words...Peace, Serenity, Time, Love, Self Worth, Fitness, Contentment, Harmony, Flight, Light, Loftiness, Reflection, Courage, Bravery, Restfulness, Fantasy, Enduring, Enlightenment, Nest Building, Home, Shattered Dreams, Rebuilding, Hope,
Growing, Caution, ...I will keep this in my mind today and try to come up with others...I am certain you have used most of these words previously.

Merrie Star said...

wonderment, mysteries, exuberance, disappointment, heartache, mentoring, defiance, balm, attention, suspense, kitty purring, dark chocolate, ephemeral

Sue Krekorian said...

Look on your FB feed - some have been entered there (and your sisters have been having fun!). Also, solace, realisation, tolerance, assertiveness, style, individuality, productivity, quality.

PJ Howard said...

You can find many suggestions at


Looks like a great place to create!

Ann Brauer said...

I think you may need to think outside the box--key--per, key west, s-key-ter, key--sss. Well you get the idea.

Dee's Diary said...

Nursing, Mental Health, Wellbeing, Reality, Mindfulness, Sleep, Breathing,Resilience, Recovery, Survival,Overcoming,Paperwork, Office Harmony, Agile Working,Development, Nightshifts, Collaboration, Concordance, Visualisation. Very excited to hear you will be exhibiting in Birmingham, I'll look forward to seeing your work.