Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thinking in haiku. . . . . .

About six months ago something got me thinking about haiku.  I know very little about the form other than the 3 line syllabic pattern of 5 - 7 - 5.  But my interest had been peaked and it seemed to set itself into my imagination.  I began to write some haiku in a very free flowing, non-scholarly way.  It was just for fun.

I wrote these as they presented themselves and copied them into a notebook of their own, dating each one or each group.  The subjects are mostly daily activities, family events, memories, feelings . . . . all very personal, none very deep!

After some time of writing these I went back and read them as a group.  They had become very journal-like and had a certain cohesiveness.  Though still very light-weight, some speak nicely to things of importance to me.  I like what has happened with these.  There is definitely something of me in the collection.  I share some at the risk of ridicule but remember, I do not claim to be a poet!

Some examples of the light hearted:

April snow showers
Disquise the approaching spring
So May will startle.


A weight goal in mind
Favorite foods and mochas
Replaced by pretzels.


Not a party girl
Love the idea of it 
More than the event.

An example of one written about work, these sometimes reflect my frustrations:

Do you see the sun?
My workday is fluorescent
Years of seasons gone.

I recently read a short piece by Jane Hirshfield called The Heart of Haiku about the Japanese poet Matsuo Basho, famous for his haiku poetry.  Indeed some of the examples of his work are breathtaking.  The Japanese haiku form differs from the English and certainly does not translate into the 5 - 7 - 5 syllabic pattern.  But it is amazing what a poet can do with so few words.  Just the very essence of an idea!

A Basho haiku:

The cicada's cry
Soaks into stone.


Even in Kyoto, 
Hearing the cuckoo,
I long for Kyoto.

I love these.  Sparse, but so powerful.

This whole exercise feels as though it has stretched  an unused part of my mind.  It has opened me to a different kind of creativity.  I feel that stretching like this makes me more receptive to new ideas in general.  I will never be a famous poet but it has been enlightening and fun.  And I am still writing haiku but I promise I won't inflict any more of my poems on you all.

I encourage you all to try your hand at a poem or two.  Maybe haiku or another form, just try it . . . . you will be surprised at the results.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

More about denim . . . . .

As promised in the past post, here are the finished denim coasters.  This is one of my favorite threading on the loom, a grouped thread pattern that holds many possibilities for variation.  I like the way these turned out and I was able to enjoy weaving outdoors for this whole project.  Not many of those days left here in Minnesota!

Are you hooked on denim, too?  Have you noticed that it seems to be ever-present in our lives?  I begin to get a little nervous when my favorite pair of jeans get a little too worn looking.  Admit it, you do, too!  In most of our family photos, one or more of us are wearing blue jeans.  Jeans are worn to every event or gathering except the very most formal.

You can buy denim bags, denim home accessories, denim jackets, skirts, jumpers, shirts, etc.,etc.,etc.  Of course denim has been around and used in these ways for many years.  There is nothing new about any of that.  But it is amazing how timeless it is!  We just keep reinventing it, updating it and pushing the denim envelope (I bet someone makes those too)!

I have been inspired by denim in the past and have tried my hand at a variety of projects.  There is always a ready supply of used denim to be upcycled!

This rainbow warp woven with recycled blue jeans was done some years ago.  One length of this was made into a bag that now belongs to Celia.  This remaining piece has never been transformed into a finished product but still makes me smile.  It is bright, but soft and well-used feeling - a flashback to my hippie days?

Celia was inspired to patchwork this piece of denim fabric together.  Someday she will decide what the perfect use is for this pretty blue cloth.  Isn't it charming?

Celia and I put together lots of denim pockets.  These have fabric backs that flap over the front and
can be decorated with fun closures and added handles or straps.  We had lots of fun with these.

Of all the styles of bags that I have made from denim scraps, this type, with patterns machine appliqued on the front panel, is one of the most fun to make.  I actually have one more that I am working on now.  Never have enough bags!

These placemats were woven years ago, used frequently and are soft, faded and yummy.  I guess that is  one of the things we all like about denim - it just gets better with age.  That is certainly one of the reasons I keep working with it.

All of these past projects have made me a bit nostalgic for the days when Celia was here and we had time to create together.  Lovely memories.  Perhaps there will be time for this again.  I'll keep collecting  denim, just in case.

Enjoy your favorite blue jeans!  But don't panic when they need to be replaced - save them and make something fun.