Full to overflowing

I remember when school began after Labor Day, but nowadays, things get started mid-August …

P started Kindergarten and how did I get old enough to have a grandchild in college?! Not to mention, how did our littlest get to be three already? It all goes too fast …

As for stitching, I finished Abiquiu Autumn

which is on the other side of the petroglyph cloth I made in June …

Together they will now be called The New Mexico Pillow, and spend time next to Triangulation, the first of my Jude-inspired clothworks.

Backing up a bit, here’s what I thought about as I stitched Abiquiu Autumn …

The solid rust-colored cloth, dyed by Malka Dubrawsky at A Stitch in Dye, recalled the layers of rock towering over the road from Santa Fe to Ghost Ranch … rock that slowly becomes the sand of the high desert and the mud-coating of adobes … and every so often, the spires of rock would be topped with crowns of golden stone, the roadways rimmed with chamisa in bloom, and the Chama River bottom lined with golden cottonwood leaves … rarest and best were the glimpses of a thin layer of rock in the hills echoing the blue-green of desert sage. Southwest colors all.

The striped cloth, from sweet linen dresses outgrown by Parker and Ellis, triggered memories of human-wrought works … the etched and painted lines of Native American pottery … the woven stripes of baskets and blankets … the verticality of coyote fences … and vigas, the rough-hewn timbers jutting from the rooflines of adobe abodes.

Through it all, the colors recalled the desert air 6000 feet above sea level … and as I “quilted” the pieced cloth to the backing with Deb Lacativa’s magic threads, I thought of the Zia sun that graces the New Mexico State flag, emblem of the Land of Enchantment …

Don has been in a similar state of mind, having just completed another New Mexico inspired assemblage and a painting of an adobe …

Finally, I did re-hem the linen shirt that supplied me with the rock/chamisa/cottonwood gold, as well as stitching up some linen napkins to practice my hem stitching …

I’ve just started using Bohin needles, recommended by Sarah Woodyard of Sewn Company, which led me to try size 10 sharps and size 11 appliqué needles …

And since Jude is taking a break in September, I’ve decided to sign on to Sarah’s Patreon Workshop subscription to see what else I can learn from her.

Always I am learning …

Wait … wait … I almost forgot the garden pictures that Nancy requested! See if you can pick out the child’s eye views …

29 thoughts on “Full to overflowing

  1. What beautiful grandchildren you have! Their growth does tend to underscore the passage of time, which is always bittersweet.
    Your New Mexico pillow is just right in color and feeling. Mike and I don’t travel especially often, but New Mexico is one of our favorite places. You and Don have evoked it very effectively in your work.


    1. I love knowing you and Mike have been to New Mexico … it’s hard to put into words and pictures never do it complete justice, but I’ll forever keep trying


  2. LA – OMG – talk about full to overflowing – what a post – so full of family, art, creativity and garden – so much joy – thanks for sharing your world. Great hair do, love the boots, wild artwork by Don and so much recorded in cushions – magnificent.Go well. B


  3. Fantastic post .. your pillows are wonderful and Don’s artworks Equally wonderful. Love the oil painting very much. Seeing these pieces sure make me grateful that I got to visit Santa Fe. I can identify totally with your joy .. it is absolutely fantastic having grandkids to watch grow. I can’t imagine not being apart of their journeys. Just do wish they would slow down. Your flowers look wonderful ..


    1. time goes by far too quickly … I was scrolling through Deb Lacativa’s blog the other day watching Charlie get younger and younger while thinking “it feels like he was born just last year”

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a grand post Liz! Love seeing the grands growing up…and boy are they! Even lil E. – such a charmer! And the young man’s new haircut (I remember the whole ‘steps’ thing when my son was young lol). I was just thinking…have I missed an art post and then here you are with these very fine examples of Art! I love how well the two of you meld your making 🙂 And the garden…more beauty! What are those berries? Wasn’t it fun looking with a lower vantage point?!! All around, such fun here!


    1. I so wanted to get E red boots for her birthday, but had to settle for stitched brown leather

      And to your question, those are American Beautyberries (yeah, one word) … I had to laugh when I read the description in the link which ended with “Foliage is a favorite of White-tailed Deer.” Boy was that ever true of the one we tried to grow at the Hill Country house. What a difference a fence in a suburban neighborhood makes!



  5. There is so much joy and artistry here, I had to come back and scroll through again. The GKs and artwork are all so yummy that it wasn’t u til a second go-through that I appreciated the stunning descriptions of New Mexico. You really are a good writer, Liz.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Every time that you continue the story of your grands, I am filled with that special joy that comes from being a grandparent and also grateful for how you share your family so lovingly with all of us. To see the continuous journey of rites of passage each year… third birthday, advancing to each grade in school, the special first day of kindergarten and the special first day of college…life at its fullest, filled with promise, with joy, with anticipation, all lovingly depicted here and always, it is such a happy event to see all of them; happy, silly, creative, lively, loving, children.

    I live in New Mexico but even my connection to this place, is nowhere near as compelling as what you and Don feel and bring forth in your memorable stitching, assemblages and paintings of this place. Your New Mexico creative works are so wonderfully spirit infused…


    1. ah, but your stories told in comments on all our blogs, and the pictures you share via email (more please) of your family and cloth are equally compelling to me … I do envy your life in New Mexico with all its enchantments


  7. I’ve come back because I just checked your other blog, art…fully told to see if Don’s latest creations were posted but not yet:

    The metal sculpture so strongly reminiscent of a New Mexican spirit guardian; to have these in your home is to have benevolent guardians. Don, you have such a a wonderful eye for taking metal bits and swirly coils, etc. and turning them into strong, story telling spirit beings.

    Your painting captures this season of monsoon, skies clouding up yet enough sun is shining on one part of the adobe home to lighten the scene while the other, shadowed, lending a deep richness of color, that ruddy clay color to the adobe…the contrasting sides, wonderfully realistic.


  8. Today is the last day for all of the children going off to Kindergarten. Some of them have been with us since they were babies. Always bittersweet for me, especially the families that have been at the center through multiple children and it’s the last child we will care for. I caught the yellow in the pillow right away and laughed when I got to the hemming. I need to try some of those needles…


    1. Your comment reminded me of the last day of elementary school for 5th graders … there were many tears as the buses rolled out one last time, all of us lined up, waving and blowing bubbles …

      I’m smitten by the Bohin needles … enough so that I’m contemplating a donation to the local library Makers Lab of all the needles I’ll never use again


  9. I think it’s all been said – love and joy of family, stunningly thoughtful and beautiful art, fine stitching and needle tips, and bountiful garden. Life is good. One of my favourite quotes from Michelangelo: Ancora Imparo” – I am still learning… Celebrate and enjoy all the moments!


    1. And I confess, I do like “Life is good” t-shirts … today I’m wearing one that has the phases of the moon with the words “2020 … just a phase”


    1. thank for putting it this way, because it really is that simple … the choices we made worked out and we are harvesting the bounty … big love back


  10. Grace said it, you have a good full life, spreading love & joy, sharing it all with us….
    you know, just that: simply being with the ones you care about, what a gift


    1. I used to hesitate when it came to posting pictures of family here … more recently, I’ve realized how much “being with the ones you care about” really can’t be separated from the creative part of myself

      Liked by 1 person

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