Tuesday, April 1

my advice: stare at what you love.

I like bugs. I just finished making The Black Ant Dress - yes, it's all black, with six pod pockets (two rows of three) cascading down the sides. No pictures yet. I don't think anyone will mistake it's wearer for an ant, but it is what I had in mind as I made it. Insects, six legs, etc.

I spent my formative years gently lifting logs and rocks and staring for a long time at whatever was there - the shiny shells of ants, the velvety bellies of orange newts, the gold foil of toads' eyes.

I was kind, except for a phase during which I was certain that toads would be happier in my elaborately built housing than they ever could be in the wild. Oh, and there was a pet grass snake that I tried taking for walks wearing a red yarn leash. Don't worry, he escaped. But for the most part I just watched.

It's still surprising to me what an important place these creatures hold in my imagination and that now, years later when I finally dare to call myself an artist, they are there waiting for me, their colors vivid, the smell of damp black dirt still fresh.

There are good reasons to spend time staring at things you love. What you are attentive to becomes part of you, and stays with you, with no effort on your part. I'll try to remember that the next time I'm tempted to watch tv.

You're also staring at a handmade stuffed dung beetle, Danny, with dung ball, from etsy seller weirdbuglady.