Sunday, November 20, 2016

Old Fashion

Facebook just reminded me that I posted these little girls on my page about six years ago. This is one of my favorite quilts and it was more than 40 years ago when my sister and I ran after butterflies in some similar dresses.

That is just a good a place as any to began reminiscing about the good old days. I was telling a friend how we buy the concentrated liquid of starch, mix it with water and put it in a spray bottle. She said, "oh you do it the old fashioned way."

People are saying that to me more and more these days. My children are constantly telling me that I should watch TV in HD (High Definition). I ask why. They say because it looks better plus you are paying for it and you have a Hi Def TV. I realized that I watch TV like it is a radio with a picture. I mostly listen because I am doing something else while it is on and every now and then I look up to see what is happening. So at this point HD doesn't matter at all to me. I tell them that I can see the future of TV. It is going to be like a hologram where the people in the show you are watching step off the screen and you have the option to interact in the story. My daughter's eyes lit up with delight at the thought.

I first noticed that I was sinking into the world of "Old Fashion" when one of my daughters informed me that an ink pen is now just called a pen. Really? How do you differentiate between an ink pen and a sticking pin? She says you just have to know. So I started calling them pens. Who cares which one? You only know the difference in writing or when someone sticks you with it.

My fate as an old fashioned lady was sealed when I was asked, "how do you store your quilts?" I answered quickly without thinking, in a chifforoll (really a chifferobe). One lady said, "oh Aisha, I haven't heard that word in a long time." Yes I know they are called Armoires now.

My latest reality check is the ability to talk to the whole world on social media in the matter of minutes. Who knew? Everywhere I go my work and my pictures proceed me. I have friends that I have yet to meet and I think that is an awesome thing.

It's a lot of little things that add up to show you that life and the world around you is changing. So for the rest of my old fashioned day, I am going to retire to my studio, listen to some down home blues and make old fashioned quilts. I like that old fashioned slow moving retreat that heals my soul.

Sunday, November 6, 2016


Have you ever been lost inside a task? Have you been lost inside a good book, lost inside your latest painting project or lost while writing? I don't know why we say "lost" because I don't feel lost when I drift away in a project. I know exactly where I am but maybe it is because we are lost to the world.

I often slip away into an art project. Ms. K told me that her mother said everybody should have a hobby as her mother taught her to quilt. Her mother also said, "your husband needs to get his own hobby as well." I think she knew something about having something in your life that lets you drift away to that place that we call "Lost".

When I am lost in my work, it feels like being cuddled in my mother's arms. It is like sitting by a rippling creek listening to the birds sing. I have tuned out the physical world, even the white noise. It all fades away and even the work becomes part of the experience. I have heard absent from the body is present with the Lord. Can I say when I slip into this peaceful place that I have left my body for some divine experience?

I know some artists who have stayed in that grove way too long. Some artist tell me that when they get in that zone, they don't want to come out. They skip meals, don't sleep for days and work until they just have to stop. I have waited too long to eat a few times but never went too long without eating and I can't imagine not sleeping but I do know what it is like to be there and not want to come out until the book ends or the art is finished or the work is done or until all the numbers add up.

I started out putting a few sequins on the R.E.S.P.E.C.T. quilt. Eight months later the hat was covered with sequins and it was exhilarating.

I started by making French knots one at a time until I covered President Obama's head. I don't remember how long it took but I do remember sticking my fingers with the needle a lot.

People have told me that it looks like crazy to them. Who does that? Who spends untold hours making something? Those people just don't know the secret of slipping away into the clouds, doing that repetitive thing that puts your body functions on automatic and lets your mind soar. I guess that is why so many artists say that what they do is therapeutic. Like the time that I spent stitching up and down about a million times to create the wings on "Only Women Have Wings". 
And Now This!!!!
I can say for sure that when I am in that space and it is clicking, some awesome stuff comes out of it. I have spent months working on that one little part of a quilt, only to have that be the sole factor that makes the quilt outstanding. I love it when I can go to that place and make MAGIC!