Wednesday, June 7, 2017


This morning, while removing the mushrooms growing by the front porch, in hopes of doing so before our pup discovers them and deems them interesting enough to taste

(because my mushroom knowledge is woefully lacking and I have no idea if these are harmful or not),

I once again paused to wonder...

I am the only one who looks at the underside of mushrooms 

and see pages upon pages of books

just waiting to be read?

And an umbrella every now and then?

Friday, June 2, 2017

Santa Fe Retreat 2017 - And all the rest

Once again Radiant Light Art Studio has worked its magic on me.

From the first step through this lovely weathered gate,  

 the energy and warmth of the place can be felt.

Storm clouds have circled the studio all week, providing breathtaking views as well as

much needed rain for this dry land.

One of the noticeable differences between fall (our usual time here) and spring, has been the ceaseless wind. The week was ushered in by strong winds that the neighbor's flag totally unfurled and acting as a weather vane.

Jennifer Coyne Qudeen, detail of work in progress, 2017     

At some point, I wondered if it were possible to stitch the wind.

With so much zigging and zagging happening, my machine decided to have a bit of fun and throw in a tangle of threads every now and then.

Jennifer Coyne Qudeen, detail of work in progress, 2017

The story tiles and studio muse chatted 

Jennifer Coyne Qudeen, detail of work in progress, 2017

and filled me on what to do next.

Jennifer Coyne Qudeen, detail of work in progress, 2017

Sewing breaks were spent doing asemic (or arsenic as the auto-correct on my phone thought best on an Instagram post this morning) writing on paper and cloth. One such break lead me wonder if I could make the zig zag stitch resemble writing

Jennifer Coyne Qudeen, detail of work in progress, 2017

before returning to stitching the wind

Jennifer Coyne Qudeen, detail of work in progress, 2017

and circles.

52 story tiles were sliced, rearranged, stamped on and stitched with 48 of them making the cut.

One of the highlighta of this visit was meeting Marianne of Over the Rainbow blog. Back before Pam and I ventured to Santa Fe for the first time, Marianne was kind enough to recommend restaurants and places to visit. Each year since has had her traveling while we're here. Thankfully, our schedules finally coincided. What a lovely time we had!

All is now packed and the studio feels a bit empty, wistful...or maybe it's really just me. Time here is special and I am thankful for it and for being able to share it with Pam. Until next year...

Monday, May 29, 2017

Santa Fe Retreat 2017 - Story Tiles

Way back in 2010, I took a big piece of black linen and painted it white, added a tad of yellow, stamped a story within a story and then added other surface design elements before cropping it several times. A post from January 23, 2011 shows my thought process along the way as well as 88 of the 106 story tiles.

All this time, the tiles have rested quietly in a bin in my studio closet. Once or twice a year, I take them out for a few days and ponder just what the next step is. Ideas have played hide and seek with me...until I decided that they were the perfect thing to bring to Santa Fe to work on. If you follow me on Instagram, then you know that I've been

Jennifer Coyne Qudeen, work in progress 2017

stitching circles,

Jennifer Coyne Qudeen, work in progress 2017

Jennifer Coyne Qudeen, work in progress 2017

and lines,  

Jennifer Coyne Qudeen, work in progress 2017

Jennifer Coyne Qudeen, work in progress 2017

stamping and 

Jennifer Coyne Qudeen, work in progress 2017

writing stories. 

Jennifer Coyne Qudeen, work in progress 2017

I've been cutting and layering, 

Jennifer Coyne Qudeen, work in progress 2017

trying to decide which is really the front

Jennifer Coyne Qudeen, work in progress 2017

and which is the back.

Jennifer Coyne Qudeen, work in progress 2017

I've set a challenge for myself - to see how many story tiles can be finished during my time here. In the process, the thresh hold of my comfort zone is being tested. It feels good to stretch and push my creative play, to think what if and then find out.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Santa Fe Retreat 2017 - Madrid

Yesterday, Belinda, the owner of Radiant Light Art Studio, invited Pam and I to join her for lunch at a little restaurant in Madrid (pronounced Mad-rid) which is an old gold mining town turned art/food haven.

We dined at The Hollar, which is a funky dive of a restaurant with eclectic art gracing the outside and old photos of (what I assume is) the town during its gold mining days. Don't let The Hollar's exterior fool you - the food, which is Southern food with elegance, is amazing. And this is real Southern food - fried green tomatoes and the best crispy shrimp and grits that I've ever had.

 quilt on display in The Hollar

As yesterday was still very windy, we opted to eat inside. Those dining outside were treated to Madrid's own Cactus Slim and the Goat Heads. Their Facebook page lists the group's genre as Eastmountain boogie rock. Smooth voiced, songs reminiscent of the old rock standards, it would be fun to sit and listen for a while.

As we set off to stroll through town, we pondered the shoes hanging from the electrical line over main street.

And then the mailboxes caught my eye

 as did the thriving cacti,


fun signs

and the zebra on the roof.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Santa Fe Retreat 2017 - The first few days

Greetings from the land of endless sky. Pam and I are back in Santa Fe, having our annual retreat a bit early this year as I'll be teaching a class during our usual week in October.

We've discovered a few differences between May and October - the wind has been relentless so far and the sun rises earlier. I have managed to miss the glorious sunrises so far and am considering setting an alarm for tomorrow morning. 

The landscape itself seems greener and more energetic than in October. Roads and paths are bursting with color. A lot of the blossoming plants are very low to the ground - to be safe from the wind?

I must admit that my first day here was one of self-indulgence (read that as pure laziness). The couch beckoned and provided the ideal spot to read and watch the sun play with the tree outside the studio door.

Their frolicking combined with the sun sneaking in through the skylights provided quite a light and shadow display. 

At some point, I mustered enough energy to do a bit of asemic writing in my travel journal

which lead me to wonder what would happen if I wrote on one of the story tiles that I'd brought to work on.

And with the rolls of Canal Paper that had been purchased from Artisan on our way from the airport patiently waiting for me to put them to use...well...

the call to create 25 feet of asemic writing was just too strong to ignore. Over half of the roll has been written on and I am pondering what type of marks to add. Stay tuned!

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