Welcome to my World

Welcome to the domain different--to paraphrase from New Mexico's capital city of Santa Fe which bills itself "The City Different." Perhaps this space is not completely unique but my world shapes what I write as well as many other facets of my life. The four Ds figure prominently but there are many other things as well. Here you will learn what makes me tick, what thrills and inspires me, experiences that impact my life and many other antidotes, vignettes and journal notes that set the paradigm for Dierdre O'Dare and her alter ego Gwynn Morgan and the fiction and poetry they write. I sell nothing here--just share with friends and others who may wander in. There will be pictures, poems, observations, rants on occasion and sometimes even jokes. Welcome to our world!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Creative Fires

One of the attributes of Brighid, a major deity in the Druid/Celtic pantheon, is fire in/on water. This is an interesting dichotomy which I may discuss another time. I'm talking lately with a few folks who are interested in joining the Tuatha de Brighid (TDB), an independent Druidic group operating on line. I am no expert or really able to instruct but I'm posting things and leading some discussions. More on that later too.

Today I want to talk about that Creative Fire--the real fire in the belly that drives writers and most artists to let the words and images out of their heads to be enjoyed by the public. It's a gift, a blessing and at times definitely like Heinlein's Harsh Mistress. It is often more of a compulsion than a wish or desire! What surprises me is how many women (I suppose men too but more familiar with the distaff side among my friends) are writers but also have a number of other creative hobbies--everything from silver-smithing to sewing, painting, etc.

I have to plead guilty to totally failing to limit myself to even a dozen hobbies and interests! I'm all over the place. Pencil sketches of some of my long-ago 'heroes' hang on my bedroom wall; a bulletin board is covered with necklaces and bracelets I made--everything from malachite set in silver to all kinds of beads, and another rack, made of plastic canvas, holds many pairs of earrings. Yes, I love jewelry!!

Then I  sew. I learned on my late paternal grandmother's old pedal Singer machine--a real antique I gave to my daughter-in-law who refinishes old furniture and she loves it!--by making fancy western shirts starting at about thirteen or so. I guess my daughter's wedding dress is the most elaborate project I ever tried and it turned out better than her marriage which ended tragically.

Then a few years ago I turned to quilts or more accurately coverlets or comforters since I do not do the actual quilting, sewing through the layers in an elaborate design but just 'tie through' with yard or cord.. I was inspired by a now-deceased friend and author who was both a great quilter and writer, Jan Minter of East Texas (RIP Jan). My first was a simple nine-patch square pattern I made for my own bed with scraps of fabrics from a zillion of my projects and things my maternal grandmother had made for me when I was in school. It's my 'souvenir' spread! I still use it but need to do some repairs soon as a few seams are giving way. Here is a picture of it above right. I had enough blocks left over to do a lap or as I call it nap robe too, roughly the crib size of 48x60. From there I went into themed pieces, starting with a California King sized bed cover for my brother, done all in railroad prints:. Never again that big--it was a huge job in all regards and cumbersome to complete!! And I just realized when I looked at the large version of the pic above--it was completed just over five years ago--Aug 27, 07!!

Mostly now I do smaller pieces for nap robe/wall hanging/decorative throw uses, mostly in themes. I've done some that we gave away in drawings on Book Brew, my once-a-month writer-reader party at Coffee Time Romance and More and others I've given to friends. The latest was special and went to Florida to a dear friend who loves the sea shore and its creatures and shells! Another quirk of my work is they are always totally reversible--no plain tiny flowered print all over or solid color or muslin on the 'back'!! Here is the front and back of the sea shore one. I like the first side the best and called it 'front' but that is kind of optional!:

Now I am working on another for Coffee Time and my Book Brew event for December. One side is Christmasy and the other for the rest of the year but it's 'beefcake' on both sides, with hunky guys flaunting bare chests and come-hither looks! I don't have pictures of it yet but will before long.

And who knows what I may be driven to tackle next--I go in spurts of doing first one form of art work and then move to another, usually go back to prior things every so often. I'm thinking now of maybe trying water colors or going back to sketching or even making 'paper dolls' as I did for many years ago  when I thought I might want to be a dress designer. That never came to be but I did try ideas which I later made as real garments on paper first.I even sold a big batch of my old ones on eBay before my first of several moves back in 2008. The collector who bought them was delighted and took them to some shows and conventions. That was almost humbling!!

Anyway, please comment and tell me what results from your special fire in the belly! To tie this discussion back to Brighid and TDB, one of the three mysteries or tenets of our doctrine is The Art. That term is used in a much broader way than simply the paintings or sculptures in an exhibit, the words of a poem or story or even a song. Art is anything you do in the spirit of love and giving/sharing from your inner self that you can make or do! Fixing a meal, even a humble task like cleaning the house or working in the garden can be Art and you can dedicate those labors to the Deity or Power of your choice as a 'love gift' and offering. But traditional art forms are included as well and I do generally credit and dedicate my handiwork to Brighid and The Godde or overall Deity that I know created us and all and watches our slow progress to the point where we can eventually merge our purified and enlightened spiritual energy back into the whole.


  1. Beautiful post...beautiful quilts! There is so much I want to say, but the words are so jumbled from the emotions. Perhaps Brighid wants me to "feel," rather than "say" the words.

    Thank you! :)

    1. Isn't the seashore quilt gorgeous, Mary? I absolutely love it. ;)

    2. Beautiful post, Deirdre. You are many-talented and truly blessed with your creative skills. The seashore tapestry/quilt is just breathtaking and very, very special. And so are you - I'm blessed to call you my friend.

      Love the other quilt, too.

      On your topic, before deadlines, I did watercolors. I also was an avid gardener in Germany. Flower garden and a herb/vegetable garden that also included berries and fruit trees. I canned, dried, baked, did all kinds of neat things with the harvest from my garden.