"The Food Scales / Justice." Detail view and statement.

by Susan Shie Contact me

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The Food Scales / Justice.  Detail view. ©Susan Shie 2008.


"The Food Scales / Justice: Card #11 in the Kitchen Tarot.”  2008   87.5"h x 78.5"w     #360    Peace Cozy #24
Begun 7-19-08, fiinished 8-30-08. Full view.

Materials:    Whole cloth painting on white Kona cotton, fabric paint.  Cotton machine thread,  Nature-fil bamboo and organic cotton batting.  Perle cotton embroidery thread. One flameworked pink Buddha Girl bead and one green temple Buddha Boy bead.
Techniques:  Freehand drawing and painting made with airbrush and fabric paint.  Small journal writing made with airpen and fabric paint.  Machine quilting with Mettler cotton thread.  Hand stitching (just on the border) with DMC perle cotton.

This is my second remake of one of the 22 card quilts for my Kitchen Tarot, because I’d gotten stuck on the little piece I’d started for the Justice (#11) traditional card in 2002 and was hand stitching on in 2006, when my fingertips got very numb. That piece is still stuck with about half of its very tiny hand stitching done. It would take four months to finish this much smaller piece, so I decided to start it over, using my current methods.

So this piece is my 2008 version of the same iconography:  the pretty, antique food scales from our beloved Wooster Food Co-op in the middle, and us having our bedtime snacks around it.  Only now, we don’t have food at bedtime, which we DID have in 2002.  Now we still drink our box merlot – thus the toast, same as in the original piece.  But no cookies, cheeses and crackers, etc, floating around us.  And now there are only two of the pets we had in 2002 still alive to be in this 2008 version:  Tulip and Marigold, who was a little baby back then.  Now she's 10 and we have two other cats, who are Otis and Ome, the almost two year old kittens.

In this piece, I’m holding an airpen in my left hand (only because I have my wine goblet in my right hand. I’m not left-handed.)  And I’m drawing this very piece, so you see it as a line drawing, upside down.  But you can tell what it is.  Jimmy’s got the tiles we’d just put down our 60’ long hallway, down his pantleg.  In fact, the many turquoise colors of those tiles are what inspired the color scheme of this picture.  I put the Peace Cozy (my surprise patch that I add at the end, when the quilt is all done) on Jimmy’s knee.  Some good peace for Jimmy, who really deserves peace and harmony in his life.  Maybe some muscle comfort, since he’s getting old enough to have aches and pains to deal with … and he won’t do yoga!  ;)

In Jimmy’s right hand is a fudgecicle, and he’s bumping it with Eva’s fudgecicle, her very first one ever, that he introduced her to this Summer.  Eva sits in her Buddha Girl pose, wearing a very girly Buddha Girl outfit, and her favorite pink crown of roses in her hair.  Eva’s into this big Princess stage!  She’s very good at it.  Below her are her adorig subjects:  Mike and Gretchen.  I put Gretchen’s pink Fiesta Ware teapot on the other side.  I love that thing. Eva's holding Squeak and Squawk, the twin possum finger puppets.

There are pies on the food scales here, as I use pies as my symbols for gifts and blessings.  One pie on each side of the food scales, and a giant pie for us to stand on, that all hold the blessings of peace and honesty.  The many eyes on this picture remind us that justice is what comes from our souls, where everything is true honesty and fairness.  Power to the People, who deserve to live a safe, clean, just life.  Fair pay for a hard day’s work; safety for our families; enough to eat and a good shelter to raise our children in.  Freedom to us all, to make our own choices about our own personal lives.  And then, may we all pull together to heal the Earth and bring harmony to the whole world family.

The Justice card traditionally is very Libran, very into balance and karma.  So that’s what it says on the scales.  We may not get what we want, but we get what we need.  Or so they say.

My diary writing on this piece is a mixture of our home life, the presidential race between Obama and McCain (finished it before McCain picked Palin, so there’s more to be said, a LOT more, on the next piece.  Gotta get busy on that!)

I put a Statue of Liberty in the top left corner here, to remind me of what our country is all about, and also as a nod back to my Pressure Cooker/Tower piece of 2006.  I made a bird sitting on Jimmy’s left arm, and later wrote on the bird, about Jimmy’s uncle Maurice Conway’s life, as he died during my making of this picture.

I really like the colors in this piece, but think the next one will be very much about greens, more than blues.  It’ll be a personal landscapes themed piece, for fitting our WAGE show theme. 

May you enjoy a lovely and peaceful time with your loved ones each night before bed, sitting together, watching the telly or whatever you love to do.   Just find that time to be happy together, if that’s what you like, like we do.  Jimmy and I will have been in love for 32 years soon!  Wow!

May you have great love and great kindness and great patience and great wisdom in your life.  Be peace.

--- Susan Shie 9-21-08, after a seven day power out, courtesy of Hurricane Ike in Ohio, eager to get this next piece going.

Turtle Moon Studios: Outsider Art Quilts and Paintings
Susan Shie and James Acord

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