Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Winter Solstice Story

"Ann's Tree" - my gift from Jackie of 'Blissfully Imperfect', because I had the temerity to say her tree-post inspired me to spill a poem (perhaps a better phrase would have been a 'tree-whisper')

It is amazing how blogging draws people together from around the world, generates online friendships that otherwise might not have happened, if it were not for what one posts. So it was with me - not my post, but that of Blissfully Imperfect; I left a somewhat flippant comment - well, it wasn't meant to be flippant, but Jackie's response challenged me to deliver words inspired by her tree-post. And so, as so often happens, you set up a dialogue through emails and sometimes snail mail. I wrote Jackie two tree-whispers, and to my astonishment, and absolute delight, she sent me not only the fabric tree that had so inspired me, but a beautiful hand-made card as well.

And look closely: what had been Tree 4.00 and then 4.1 is now inscribed as "Ann's Tree"! I had to know more, how and why did this series of beautiful fabric creations come into being?

Jackie is a 'process explorer', and recently, as she says in her blog: "several somethings have clicked together to result in my trees: a desire to create on a more daily basis; a need for completion; a growing pile of fabric surface design explorations; a fascination with 3D constructions; a love of minimal form."  Right now she is creating her 12th tree and all - except 'mine' started out as white fabric which she "dyed, over-dyed, painted, stamped or batik-ed in layers to get the final look.  Sometimes I'm cutting and pasting, sometimes I"m strip-piecing, sometimes I create the fabric specifically for the project, sometimes I stitch in layers and cut back to reveal beneath." 'My tree' is fashioned from Bali and African batik fabrics which is why I think I loved it so; Jackie says she was "drawn to them by their visual texture and colour".

So much skill, such imagination. I study this magical creation, and more words spring to mind, a final tree-whisper, to say 'thankyou'.

Tree 4.1 ("Ann's Tree") is dancing, pirouetting, like leaves blowing in a wind coloured as rainbow

And so "Ann's Tree" - a gift, and for me a celebration of the winter-solstice - sits on my desk, takes on a personality of its own, and has prompted so many poem spills and word-whispers that my notebook overflows with forest scribblings. And all because bloggers the world over trigger a wealth of creativity, and friendship.

P.S. Did anyone see the total eclipse of the moon this morning (7.40am GMT) - evidently the first time for 400 years that this has occurred on the solstice. It was too cloudy here. I went out to shovel snow instead!


  1. Here in Lancashire, the sky was clear until it was time for the eclipse ! I really like Ann's Tree - inspiring

  2. Just beautiful! such a beautiful way to start my morning. Inspiring words and inspiring art.

    The snow is still falling here in New England and it looks like a winter wonderland on our farm.

    Happy Solstice to you!

  3. Your thoughts on the inspiration sparked by blogger friends is 'right on."
    I find that I am more often "spilling" words onto scraps of paper--it remains to be seen whether they will resurface on an untidy desk when I want to rework them.

  4. What a beautiful and generous gift! And, curses, forgot all about the eclipse - suspect it would have been too cloudy anyway.

  5. Oh my, what a lovely tree... equally lovely words. Happy Solstice to you, Ann!

  6. The eclipse started at 1:40 here, and what few high clouds we had did not obscure the glorious view. Even saw a few shooting stars from the Ursid shower. Orion was Her splendid companion.

  7. Here on the Pacific coast the eclipse began around 11:30 pm, but alas, clouds and a thick marine layer prevented any sight of it. Guess we'll need to wait for another 400 years!

  8. How nice to see inspiration shared. I hope you have a safe, happy and above all warm Christmas.