The end of the tunnel...

So, here they are, the last hours of the year...
Get over there save and sound...!

"Die Zeit verrinnt. Die Spinne spinnt
In heimlichen Geweben.
Wenn heute nacht ein Jahr beginnt,
Beginnt ein neues Leben."

(Joachim Ringelnatz: Silvester)

Time elapses. The spider weaves
in secret textures.
When a year begins tonight,
a new life begins.


See you...




Late but not too late I started on my
mini quilt of the month for December today,
thinking I´d like to do something resembling
a plaster wall slowly crumbling away with time
- for that´s how the last weeks felt somehow...
Not to have it all in grey on grey, I dyed
a piece of cotton - inspired by this - with
an avocado pit...

... then intensified and secured the creases,
sewing the patch onto a piece of grey cotton.

It´s thawing... Well, why shouldn´t the chance
for white holidays be prone to friability, too...
I quite like that, actually (as I like the german
word for friability: Bröckligkeit...)


When on my couch I lie... or: UFO news

Puuuh, another one ticked off...
This here I started last spring, with intentions
long forgotten, but obviously in a daffodil mood...

“For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.”

(William Wordsworth)



Only 6 left... isn´t that amazing, how the days
dwindle down...?

"The word NOW is like a bomb thrown through
the window, and it ticks.”

(Arthur Miller)



Thinking about making poems for stitching yesterday,
I remembered one I wrote some years ago just around
this time of year, and dug it out. I wrote it after
having traveled (which normally I avoid at all costs)
by tram to the eastern outskirts of town.
It´s not the kind of poem one´d want to embroider on
a doily, I´m willing to admit…
But, to avow to my revived ambitions, here it is:

In der Tram

Skladanowsky- via Friedrich-Engels-Straße.
Leute, Autos, Laster, Straßenbahnen. Wir sind alle
Reisende nach anderswo.
Wer sich eben jung und lustig fühlen mochte,
ahnt nun wieder, dass er zweiundfünfzig wird.
Penny, Lidl, Extra, Truxa-Bier, Sporteck, Bärenhöhle.
Reparatur von Unterhaltungsautomaten.
Schöne Bescherung (ein Filialist, der totgeborene Blumen
handelt, wünscht uns das in Rot auf Gold).
I´m dreaming. Die Tram ist ziemlich voll.
Häuser neben Häusern. Verteidigen inzwischen einen
Streifen eignen Grund.
Fliegengitter. Man weiß ja nie. Vogelhaus
mit Knödeln für die Meisen.
Schneemann aus Folie, der
selbst gesetzt den Fall, es schneite) nicht
nachher zerränne wie die Träume.
Aus oberen Etagen türmen Weihnachtsmänner, schlaffe
Säcke auf den Rücken.
Just like the ones I used to know. Die Tram wird schneller.
Plakate rufen auf, für´s Krisentelefon zu spenden
(Vor 2 Jahren brach er ihr Herz. Gestern 2 Rippen).
I´ll be coming home for Christmas. I´ll be coming home
to you.
Die Tram ist da.

Skladanowsky- via Friedrich-Engels Street.
People, cars, trucks, trams. We´re all
travellers to somewhere else.
One who might have been feeling young and merry
just before, regains a sense of turning fifty two.
Penny, Lidl, Extra, Truxa beer, Sporteck, Bärenhöhle.
Slot machine repair.
A nice mess* (a chain store, dealing deadborn flowers,
wishes that to us in red on gold).
I´m dreaming. The tram´s quite crowded.
Houses next to houses. Defending each a strip
of ground by now.
Fly-screens. One never knows. Birdhouse with dumplings
for the tits.
Foil snowman, which (even so there´d be some snow)
wouldn´t vanish later like the dreams.
From upper floors skedaddle Santa Clauses,
shouldering slack sacks.
Just like the ones I used to know. The tram speeds up.
Posters ask for donations to a crisis hotline (2 years
ago he broke her heart. Yesterday 2 rips).
I´ll be coming home for Christmas. I´ll be coming home
to you.
The tram´s arrived.

(* in German, schöne Bescherung means
nice distribution of presents as well
as a nice mess)


Infinite loop or: finished UFO

Back in August I started this by writing poems
on fabric, tea dyeing it, cutting it in strips,
and putting them back together...

Now (which I dreaded and long postponed)
I machine quilted it in rather awkward swirls
and loops - which wasn´t all that bad, actually...

... onto an old, tea dyed kitchen towel...

...repeating the words in an infinite loop (feeling
like being in one myself, or is it a rat race...?)
as a kind of border...

It´s this poem by Robert Pinsky. Can´t say it
feels too good though, butchering people´s
poems for one´s own purposes, which makes me
aim a bit more determined at taking up
writing again, trying to produce my own
material (somehow, somewhen, somewhere...)

“If you know what you are going to write when
you're writing a poem, it's going to be average.”

(Derek Walcott)


Bits and scraps

Attempted to sort out the mess on my
desk, pondered - as always - how small
and ugly a scrap or bits of books should
be to be thrown away, couldn´t bring myself
to throw them away, made little piles instead
and - inspired by this - sew them together...
(no good light - click pictures to enlarge them...)


Under way

I´m beginning to like that bulky UFO thing,
which now is named Gamble...

... although I have difficulties working
on big and heavy pieces - there´s a constant
slight inflammation in my wrist joints (ah, yes,
the years are showing...), so I can´t hold
one hand underneath the cloth for a while without
increasing my troubles.

But this one is going to be finished...

Meanwhile it helped me forward by providing
a Word of the Year for 2010 - which will be


or, in long version: WAY/WEG (in German WEG can
mean both way and away...)

And so, considering these facts, I decided -
inspired, of course, by this and this - to prepare
part of a mothholed wool scarf by covering it with
a layer of soft linens to become the base of
a Long Cloth I´m going to make...

... an arthritis friendly solution, it´s shape
already being a WAY... I might as well use the
scarf´s rectangular pattern as a (hidden) grid...

"Life is to be lived. If you have to support yourself,
you had bloody well better find some way that is going
to be interesting. And you don't do that by sitting
around wondering about yourself.”

(Katharine Hepburn)


UFO stories

Here´s one more long time Unfinished Object
I´m aiming to get rid off...

I´m still fond of the white crosses and the curves,
but never liked the fabrics much to begin with. Then
I once tried to machine quilt it and failt...
The crosses all of a sudden made me think of playing
cards, so I started covering unwanted areas with
wool patches, adding playing card symbols...

...and writing

Either way it´s a gamble (quoting Dolly Parton...)

Which leads over very nicely to UFO story No 2:

No empty trunk, I´m sorry to report. Made two sales
yesterday... No one else did more, as far as I
could see. A lot of cake, coffee and "Glühwein"
were sold, though (which´s overwhelming, rather narcotic
odor plus beginning boredom drove me off the premises
two hours early...) But I had quite a good time
at La Bastellerie on a dark and
wet Berlin december afternoon, crocheting,
chatting, meeting a blog acquaintance in person...
I´m offering workshops there next year - that´s how I
came to know about the trunk show and decided to give
it a try (but wouldn´t wish to make a habit of that
kind of thing, it just isn´t worthwhile - it hardly
ever is from all one hears and reads, a pity...)


An announcement...

Thought to myself: when, if not now...?! -
and produced some more or less seasonal items
to (hopefully...) sell (no, that´s NOT a misprint...)
coming sunday at La Bastellerie, which is a recently
opened Berlin D.I.Y. shop, run by two energetic
and charming ladies...

D.I.Y. Trunk Show
December 6.
2 - 7 pm
Lausitzer Straße 13

There´ll be 14 local designers with 14 suitcases,
filled to the brim with one-of-a-kind handmade goods...

Also, Berlinerinnen und Berliner, kommt hin...!



Thought to myself: if you think you have
a lot to do - do something else.
That´s the result (I call it Noli me tangere...)

Still like the idea of little printed
hands clapping - or slap, slap, slapping...

"Cheap, made to travel they throw their tiny
drumbeats out in stereo from the bed table
to the work station. They fill the room
with a music of ticking, only just out
of synch. It could be maddening,
Poe's buried heart, or that spinning toy,
a shuttlecock, ratcheting over nylon cord
slap, slap, slap. Or the body's racket
in the blood, the slow tock of sex undone.
It soothes, they do, soothe, the ping-pong
rhythm of their second-clapping hands:
red line, a vein between this and that."

(Crystal Bacon: Between the Beating Clocks)