Wednesday, August 08, 2018


Well, it has come to be-  I have finallystarted a New Blog!  It is a WIP right now, but feedback will be taken seriously so let me know you found me again.
You can access it here:
          Sandy's Missing Muse

It will be more of the same nonsense meanderings, but I miss you all terribly and hope you jump over to continue our journey-  I have files and files of squirrels to keep us entertained!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Bye Bye

removed from the gene pool, but still in MY pool!

After all these years of blogging and 2589 posts (OMG!), I am throwing in the towel.  Blogger itself has made it impossible for me to figure out WHY people can't access my blog any longer-  oh I know some people can, but it's about 1% of my former numbers, so every post is basically me talking to  

I also am dealing with a website I haven't updated for decades (well, maybe just 'decade') and cannot for the life of me figure out how to start transferring my domain to a new platform.  It used to be I learned how to write code to start the first website-  and oh boy, it was cheesy!  But over the years things became very convoluted just as my brain was atrophying and it was harder to follow confusing steps which I found didn't work in the end anyway.  So, oh well...

My so-called strategy is to find a 13 year old kid who can help me wade through all this, but I have at least 3 years, maybe 5 until I have some available to me.  At my age you cannot rely on ever getting there to take advantage of them!  So, since I am so-called RETIRED anyway, I'm letting it all go.  I'm still sewing, still messing about in the studio, but all the noise out there now on the web has me stickin' in the earplugs.  

I guess I will delete my blog folders-  pages and pages of quotes pertaining to art, hundreds of pictures of squirrels, and infinite lists of nonsense phrases for my titles.  I won't even mention the hundreds of folders for the ARTY PARTY that I collect.  I had planned to go on forever with a vision of me pecking out my last missive from my hospital bed.  Nope, I am at my desk sitting in my Louis Ghost chair surrounded by giant tropical blooms I 'macheted' out of the landscape bushes the other day.  And as soon as I post this I will head out to the studio to try to use up more of my sinfully large collection of fabrics.  I have three quilts in the works, one about Murmuration, one about a Shiver of Sharks, and a third that will turn into a cutter for something else. All three are made from Marimekko black and white prints dating back to Design Research in Cambridge from the 60's.  Somebody left it all on my porch one night in a giant black garbage bag, the way I got into this mess to begin with!

Parting words-  if any of you are in South Florida and need some company, give me a call!  If any of you need fabric, come on down and bring your own black garbage bag.  Or if you just want to sit around on a rattan chair covered in tropical barkcloth drinking Keurig coffee, the door is open (email and I'll send directions.) 

And if you really want to be my hero, figure out WHY I've been blogger-banned!  I seriously have tried everything and even asked them for help- never heard a word from that plea.  So, I'll miss you all.  PLEASE DON'T COMMENT HERE-  needless to say I can post but cannot actually access my own blog!  Go figger.  You can find me any time at sdonabed@gmailDOTcom.  Maybe I will send you back a few squirrels, ya never know. With many thanks, again!  

                                     The Artist Formerly Known as:

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

patronizings countervailing bowers

Looks like Sand Rat is back at it!  
Thanks for checking in now that Im not a 'regular' anymore.

“Age gives you the freedom to do some things you’ve never done before. Great work can come at any stage of your life.” (Will Barnet

now, let's find a squirrel:

these look a bit like skunks, don't you think?

I have been spending time at the studio in between guests these past few weeks, and finally managed to get a few pieces made for my on-line collage group.  This is my third year doing it, and probably the last because I am finding I don't get to my own work when these are hanging over my head.  I know, poor excuse, but I really don't need these prompts but I sure enjoy this years theme, 'Destruction'!  For 8 pieces I have used just one collage-  this one which is a combination of my own lino prints and commercial papers more or less imitating the view from our former house:

OK, got that?  Here's what has happened to it~

I still have a few to finish up from this old collage, but the other one I have mailed out is from a different collage from a long time ago, called 'Blueberries' because it's about Maine and blueberry bushes and black bears.
It was a standard Bears Paw block from some junk shop, so I reversed it to the wrong side to see the hand-piecing, and used a pretty sketchy bear photograph. The blueberry fabric was a donation from a member of my old and best crit group.  This wasn't destroyed very much this time around, but from it's start it was about destruction so qualifies.  

And all these are now out of my house, studio, car, and mind and on the way to their new owners.

In Other Areas,  I have finished two shawls, the first one is ombre from black to white and in luscious alpaca.  It's so soft, but when finished it was (yawn) pretty boring.  I wanted to stick a yellow and black border on the edge to jazz it up but  my stitch group whined me out of it.  Instead I had some black and white printed yarn so used that as it's edging.  I was gonna make a mile of iCord but instead just stuck a crochet row around it.  But for now, it's enough.  But I'm not gonna say I won't add that yellow to it some day when my uber conservative advice team isn't looking.

I am STILL working on the two b&w Marimekko fabric quilties, they don't need much more at this point.  The 'Shiver of Sharks' has hunks of lace around the base of all the shark fins poking out of their sea(ms)to look like a little wake, the 'Murmuration' is still thoughts in process.  I am leaning to making several prints of different size starlings so I can layer them together to simulate the way they fold in on each other, spread out, and recombine.  I'm tell you, watching them is so much easier than trying to actually DO them.  But both are somewhat close to being done, just not quite yet.

Then of course, there is the little problem of WHAT to do with my future.  I absolutely need to be messing about with art supplies, but I think perhaps the fabric part is waning.  Sure, I love working out fabrics in a collage, but the tedious steps that follow- the piecing/applique/ stitchery/quilting just doesn't grab me the way it used to.  I do want to do more encaustics but my studio doesn't have an exhaust fan and working with the garage door open only brings in critters and dust.  My 2 windows are fixed so cannot be opened.  I am also at the point that I would love to move some of my bases of operation into the house again, but that does away with a  guest room- not practical for living where everybody wants to visit all winter.  I'll figure it out, either that or it will be too damn late to make a move.  Whatever... something will be done.

This is what I am doing this week.  Being at the pool today was a semi-pleasant break from being in the kitchen.  But never fear-  they were raring to go when I made them get out of the water-  they wanted me back in the kitchen!

Bet you are hoping for a bit of an ARTY PARTY, aren't you?  Let's see what I can find:

For the last twenty years Australia-based artist Shona Wilson has intimately collaborated with nature by building sculptural assemblages that incorporate a myriad of found organic specimens. In her 2016 body of work, Offering, she formed mandala-like pieces from objects such as seedpods, twigs, and bones that were intended as gestures of gratitude to her practice’s source—nature.

                                                                                                                                 aka Sand Rat

Saturday, April 07, 2018

expressionless patchworkers packetisation

Research has shown that the heightened state of a perception in the
creative  mind of an artist is  like a  computer  jammed with too  much information moments before a crash.  Art in these individuals is a disease of too much sanity.           
                                                                                                                                 (Author unknown)

Stiff as a Board Squirrel

Yeah, I know I promise but I've been busy!  Mostly standing by he stove and then walking away to forget I needed to be there!  Eating a lot of burned food, driving around to find interesting things for guests or to find specific 'things' they need.  Today I need to DO the refrigerator from all the extra stuff I bought just in case.  The just in cases never happened and now the things in there nd to be rethought into eatable in a different way.  I hate this part, but hav 10 days before the next group arrives, yahoo!  Last turnover was only one day so too hectic to repeat.  The really good thing is we have had excellent weather since they stated coming so they can be outside and busy.

I will miss Lisa, driving her to the airport today.  She has kept Molly occupied, but the funny thing is that Molly cannot tell us apart and runs up to her to welcome her home, stops in mid-jump-and-fall to see another mom behind her- me!  She begs from her, then turns to me.  Actually Lisa talked me into cutting her bangs yesterday and I just finished when Lisa walked by the Molly went nuts barking since she saw finally there are two of us.  Yikes, poor thing is blind and deaf and is sure a lot more work than orchids!

I am DYING to get back to the studio, have so much to catch up on, so many things in progress and calling for attention.  Hope I can X off a few before kids arrive and want do artist stuff with me.  I am so behind on the monthly group I joined, have many started but nothing finished to send on to it's recipient.  Won't do this again next year because it's intrusive on my time AND I am quitting facebook where we meet up.  Meanwhile, back at the SAQA pods, I quit the one I belonged to because I didn't want little projects every meeting, I was hoping for more of a crit (auto correct wants me to be in a carrot group) setting but it didn't happen.  Everybody was brand new and just not wanting what I wanted out of it.  They all went crazy over sets of colored pencils.  yawn.  ANYway, I am thinking of rejoining the unit down in Boca next time, giving it another try.  I know there are some good artists down there that I might learn something from.  We'll see.

I am needing an ARTY PARTY these days, they are piling up on my desktop and I am in a clean-out mode-  here goes:

Gediminas Pranckevičius a freelance creative illustrator, working and living in Vilnius, Lithuania. His work involves children's picture book illustrations, music album cover illustration, character design, illustration for advertising and so on. 

aka Sand Rat

Thursday, March 29, 2018

setups blastular sedentary

 A man has his distinctive personal scent which his wife, his children and his dog can recognize. A crowd has a generalized stink. The public is odorless.
W.H. Auden

Baybee Squirrels have amazingly big feets!

It's getting harder an harder to keep this up, I keep finding things I 'need' to do before I allow myself the indulgence of a blog entry.  But I got a few things to tell you today so I am writing while my Huevos Rancheros get cooked.  All I had in the refrigerator was a batch of eggs, a couple of poblanos and some moldy cheese so there ya go.

First off, There was an unbelievable lightening storm going on at the end of the week.  I watched it move along the horizon for 15 minutes before it occurred to me to go get my camera.  Out of practice!  Anyway I grabbed it and went up to the second floor balcony where I could get it over the trees.  It went on for over an hour-  I can barely take that much drama!  But here is a short snippet of it as it was headed out to sea and wearing itself out- only 30 seconds so you don't need to go refill your coffee:

This was the night before we went to New Orleans or I would have shown you before this, sorry but I hadn't packed yet and we needed to be at the airport by 6 AM.  I was not ready.

Indeed, my first views were not encouraging

OK, now a chapter about New Orleans.  OMG, the restaurants were fantastic, every single one was such good food, even the more old-style waiters-in-tuxedos places which seem to be a bit out of touch everywhere, but I have to say I so enjoyed seeing that kind of service again.  Even the fancy places in Boston have gotten much less formal.  So we hit a good portion of the old ones, but our top pick was Clancy's which ws 1/2 hour out of the city and a month ao had to give us a 9 PM reservation.  And it was so worth i in spite o the NO fancy pretty horsey crowd-  the 6 top next to us were outdoing each other on their adventures betting $60,000 on a friggin horse and the day they made friends with Jimmy Buffet on the golf course, or at the track or who can remember all the braggadocio?  But I'll tell you it was the second most interesting thing going on, and very loudly!

When we got there, there was a fancy black limo 10 seater bus parked at the front door with a uniformed driver hanging around.  We kind of figured it was some town council dinner meeting or something, but the van was still there as we left and were waiting for our cab to arrive.  the hostess stepped outside and held the door open and a bunch of well groomed over-age rockers, in well tailored brown leather jackets and $200 haircuts, came bounding out.  I said to the hostess that it must be a rock band.  She averted her eyes and said HMMmmmmm and lit her cigarette as the last guy came through the door.  As soon as they got in the bus she relaxed some and I asked WHO?  Seems it was the whole Bon Jovi entourage.  SO, I am bragging to everyone who will listen that we had dinner with Bon Jovi!  Unfortunately he was eating on the main floor and we were upstairs in the wine room...  I missed my chance o play the tambourine like I was forced todo in 1970 on Boston Common- thought for sure they would recognize me from that debut.  Oh well.

Hey, in New Orleans they BAKE their oysters!  I have never had baked oysters and still prefer the slimy raws guys but these were the biggest oysters I'd ever seen, right out of the Gulf they promised!
This was the smallest one, I had saved it for TY but then decided I wanted it more.
This may have had something to do with it-  a Sanzerak (sp?)

Next day TY went to the WWII Museum but didn't like all the interactive 4D exhibits much.  He said there was little he could touch or get close to, and instead loves the WWII museum back in Natick and that's his benchmark.  There you get personal tours from the owner, have to make a reservation to go, and can really get involved. 
Right next door is the Contemporary Art Museum and it's in a warehouse that has been totally stripped down and the interior installed as a mini Guggenheim, a circular format with the original warehouse beams above and the brick walls as the end of the view over the white spirals.  They were having only 2 exhibits there so I got through pretty fast and headed for the bookstore/coffee shop and had a bit of a rest watching the people coming and going, and there wherever few of those.  I watched these guys for a very long time checking their internets and quizzing the poor 15 year old behind the cash register.  Seems they wanted a BOOK about one o the artists exhibiting, Sarah Marshall, and there were none.  

So they sat there and plotted how to get a book, arguing with each other, getting quite snippy, and frustrated.  But they kept drinking coffee and eating pastry so could be ignored for their marital tiff.  I fully support gay marriage but in my head all I can see is WHY?  WHY would anybody ever get married in this day and age (yeah, I know I did- but that was 45 years ago when the 'day' and the 'age' were different!)  Actually the trip to NOLA was planned as an anniversary trip, so I don't have a leg to stand on with this argument, just don't think this is the route I'd take if I could start all over again.  

Moving on-  Didn't get near the Cafe du Monde-  we went one morning and the double and triple lines waiting to get near were 3 blocks long.  

Now maybe Id wait in this line if I could get a glazed cruller, but never got my beignet, not a big problem for me since I did this trip as a carb free experiment.  s we were assessing the line we were standing on stone steps, looked down and the whole stairway was covered in powdered sugar.
It showed much better in real life.

So, time to fly home, we left the hotel (we stayed at the Ace and pretended to be hipsters all weekend-  hard to do at our age.) and got to the airport an hour before boarding so I went to look for snacks-  the only thing I found without massive carbs were a big bag of Chicharones (fried pork skin if you're not grossed out by such things) which have-count 'em- NO carbs   I stuffed it into my carryall where it nestled up against the magazine I also bought.  What a clash or worlds, eh?

The trip home was awful-  it took over 11 hours from the time we left the hotel in downtown NewOrleans to driving into our garage at home.  I was exhausted, and had so much to do to get ready for our Easter family coming in tonight.  I will leave you with one last shot, too close I know, but my new nickname I was assigned by United:

So, I won't be Sandy anymore, just call me SAND RAT.

All my apologies for being bad blogger, SandRat!

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

pentagonal reorganization nippily

“With age, art and life become one.” (Georges Braque)

Looks like he is eating chocolate pudding, wish I were him...

Still futzing around with the Marimekko quilt tops adding shark fin shapes to the larger one, but not sure they will stay- hard to come up with a story that joins sharks with hunks of old black lace, but I AM working on it.  The smaller one needs me to start the hand work but the thought of having to wear the dumb headlamp to thread needles every 5 minutes puts me off.  So, instead I am working on alterations to a couple of blouses.  Don't you hate it when you find something 'perfect except...'.  I'm working on the excepts!  Under pressure here from TR to pick out what restaurants we need reservations to in New Orleans, and I have to meet an old friend for lunch soon.  I hate living frantic, and I do know these are what my daughter calls 'first world problems'. Seems I am no longer able to focus on two or seven things at a time.  "Life sucks and then you die" has hit without the sucks part ever being terrible, well maybe a few times now that I think about it.  I am not ready to die, can still see somewhat if I had a good needle threader dog to help out.  So perhaps the eyesight thing is my full blown 'sucks'.  We'll see.

A little FYI-  tomorrow, is International Women's Day.  Doubt I will get any bunches of flowers for it.  Now, if they celebrated National Women Weirdos Day I just may fill the house!


According to Trevor Smith, who is a cultural collections officer in Portland, Australia, his crochet work used to be a bit flatter. His mother, who “tried every craft craze from the 1960s to the 1990s,” taught him to sew and crochet at a young age. He crocheted into adulthood, making rugs and doll clothes for younger relatives. A few years after completing a degree in sculpture in the early 1980s, he turned to patchwork, quilting, and costuming as his hobbies instead. Sometimes, he contributed his work to local art projects and competitions. After a 25 year interval, Smith’s love of the craft was reignited in 2009, when he created site-specific crochet works for a community project themed around a local swimming hole. He’s been crocheting—often in three dimensions—ever since.

Monday, March 05, 2018

ogun turnover roulette

“The woman I am is the artist I am. There is no difference.” (Isadora Duncan quote.)

Yup, you just can't keep taxidermy squirrels away from me.

Spent a few days in the studio but the list of things-to-do is way longer than I have time for.  Today I did a full 9-5 stint until my toe gave out screaming in pain-  think I might have a wee case of arthritis 'cause I wah hopping around like Mexican jumping bean.  Not gonna investigate because it is just bogus to have a toe in trouble!  What I was trying to do is 'deconstruct' a former collage into something for the Artist Unbound group Im involved with.  I sign on with great enthusiasm and after the first piece is sent out I wither on the vine.  But I have the destroyed collage, not just have to assemble all the pieces into NEW collages that somehow, in spite of the fact I had to destroy them, can be made to look good again.  If anything they sure do fit the theme of destruction.  

So, pictures to follow when I get a few made on those.  Would love to get Feb. examples out asap, and Mar and Apr at the same time.

MEANWHILE, back in the cement box, I've been cutting up old Marimekko black and white fabrics and keeping to random for the most part.  Ive done two different series of blocks joined up and finished the borders on both today (after finishing sewing most of the blocks together first!  Wanna see?  There are going to be big changes coming but I guess it's good to see how good they are coming so far.  I intend to do fancy kanthan and machine stitching  after I let them sit on my wall for awhile getting ready for renovations to come!


#1 needs an additional border to contain it, #2 needs the stitching which will be based on some African fabric I've had for years.  Probably almost as long as the Marimekkos!  Ignore the dog with lipstick center both of #1-  I was playing.  Would like to come across another odd piece of black lace too for that one.  #2 has some outcuts of the pink an gold African batiks, but I need to just use the lines in it for inspiration for the stitches.  Whatever, I am at least AT the studio and not watching Netflix lately.

Yesterday I went with a friend to Four Arts Gallery on Palm Beach where they were having an exhibit of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave's work where she copied (or 'interprets') famous dresses and makes the copy out of paper.  There were three big rooms full of them and it was an outstanding exhibit.  Our noses were pressed to every part trying to figure out what the hell she did to make a filmy paper into perfect lace.  She even had shoes and hats to match each outfit.  AMAZING work.  Here are some samples, the first, to the left looked for all the world like heavy taffeta, while others, like the two below harkened to linen with braid trim.  Even the hat next to the day dress was twined from paper.  There were plenty more in every conceivable style, even some costumes designed for the Ballet Russe.  If you are planning on being in the Palm Beach area in the near future, you must stop by-  entry fee is a mere $5-  not bad for a two hour ramble through studying the work!

Sorry abut the phone shadow, but this was a photo of the original dress from the 1600's with the write up about it, the one directly above is a close up of the neck piece, while the third up was the copy. Yes, even the pearls are made of paper!  What a feat.

Parte' de Arte'

This collection I have amassed for your entertainment is self evident-  it has to do with knitted garments for critters.  Some are adorable, not so much a few others.  Enjoy.

My toe for cutest


Probably used double pointed needles

And my winner is the PENGUINS

No, just no.