Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Nuno Felting with Vintage Lace

I seem to be indecisive these days in my artistic direction. This is unlike me. For many years I was pretty steady at pursuing a goal, choosing my path, knowing what I wanted to create and staying on that path. Now I feel I'm doing a bit of this and a bit of that and not finishing projects before I'm off to something else. Buying supplies for projects before I've used previous bought items. So unlike me, I'm confused. I loved creating the faux scripted "poetic" scarves and ribbons and will continue with other ideas using this technique, but I'm also experimenting with nuno felting using vintage lace curtain panels and other bits of lace and am liking the outcome. I took photos of the scarf. Do you like the frayed edges of the aged curtain panel I have left exposed?

I feel torn between things to do, too many ideas, wanting to do too much... and I want (need) to create some new classes to apply to teach and that takes a lot of time. If it's rushed then the items don't turn out so well and I never feel confident creating a class around an inferior item.

Tomorrow I would like to walk into my studio and be able to pick up something I have already started and finish it, not get distracted with creating something else to start because I have a new pattern I bought, or the pile of laces I have stacked up and are so inviting, the painted cigar box that I know houses the experimental silk flower ornaments to adorn garments with, well you get the idea. If I can't concentrate on a goal then by the end of the day I don't really accomplish anything except generating more ideas, I need end results and not more ideas.

Am I an overachiever? Should I be satisfied with what I do accomplish? Do any of you ever feel like you're in this position? It's not that I feel stuck with the creativity, just not following through and that is puzzling to me.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

"School P.E. Uniforms" an article

I feel like this post should be titled (as Monty Python says) “And now for something completely different”……..

I have been involved in an ongoing writing class and was reading back some things I had written and thought I would share this with you. Please feel free to let me know if you never want me to share my writing with you again :).

The prompt was to write about an article of clothing or shoes that you loved or hated that describes who you were at the time.

School P.E. Uniforms

When I was in school we were required to take physical education everyday. I hated it. I didn’t hate the physical part of it just the timing. It took so long to get dressed for school as it was. I had a short bobbed haircut and the style was to tease it up and then hair spray the bejesus out of it. I applied heavy eyeliner, pancake make up, and mascara to the lashes (which needed the use of an eyelash curler), and frosted lipstick. Really I did all that. Dresses were mandatory clothing for girls, which meant wearing a garter belt and hose.

P.E. was an hour long class most of which was taken up with softball, archery, bowling, track or exercising to the “Go You Chick Fat Go Away” recording after which you were sweaty and we were required to take showers which took up the rest of that hour. The gym teacher would inspect you to see if your body was sufficiently wet enough to be given credit for showering. Showering was part of your grade along with the use of deodorant. The gym locker room always had a thick haze of hair spray and spray deodorant and I imagine that alone contributed 50% of the ozone layers decline.

Now comes the dreaded uniform - blue chambray, one piece jumpsuits that snapped up the front, had a fitted waist with pleating on each side for the bust and hips, was sleeveless, and had short pants. The pleats had to be ironed neatly in place and the collar starched. It was a pain to wear and a pain to prepare. Again it was part of our grade. Our tennis shoes had to be white with our initials on each one across the toe facing outward so the teacher could read them.

To try and have all this together, exercise, shower, get dressed, apply makeup, and fix hair was a task to do in an hour! All the girls complained. Maybe this was an extension of Home Economics? All young ladies should know how to iron, launder, and be presentable?

Those uniforms were ugly, especially on me when I only weighed 90 lbs. and had stick arms and legs. Furthermore we had to dress and undress in front of each other. I was shy when it came to this. Many of the girls were already forming breasts and wore bras, not me. I begged my mother to buy me training bras (did I think that would help my breast form, is that why they called them training bras?) so I would be like the other girls and not so embarrassed. I wore those types of bras through high school until my senior year when Gloria Steinem and the ERA advocates told us to burn them. My mother was incensed at me yelling “All those years I spent money on bras for you when you didn’t need them and now you should wear one and you refuse”.

It was about the same time that the school changed it’s policy to allow girls to wear pants to school, including jeans which became the rage. I believe they thought pants less offensive than the mini skirts we were wearing. The dress for P.E. eventually gave way to shorts and tee shirts, but not while I was in school.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Faux Script Scarves and Ribbons

I've been busy since I got home from my visit to Texas. I dye painted four silk scarves and faux scripted on them and I worked on a batch of ribbons, hand dyeing, painting, and faux writing on them. I just finished listing them in my etsy shop with the exception of two of the scarves which are to be gifts. I also designed some fabric pieces with the writing to incorporate into some clothing ideas I have.

I visit a couple of shops when I was in Wimberley that I just loved. The decor was one I felt like I could live with or a great environment to work in! One shop was Circa and the other was Brocante. When I walked into River House I was delighted to discover an old friend worked there. I took photos and it inspired me to think about display of items, in my booth when I do shows, when I photograph things, and even just to have around in my studio.

I spent some time playing with ways to display my ribbons. I found some little booklets I made years ago in a class I took with Traci Bautista and tied some of the faux scripted ribbons around them. I also got out a book cover I made in another class with Albie Smith and tied a ribbon around it. I got out some vintage thread spools and wrapped some shibori dyed silk ribbons around them.

My friend Michelle and I at the River House in front of "The Stairway to Heaven".

It's a beautiful spring day here which lifts my spirits and makes me want to be in my studio but at the same time I become distracted by the garden calling to me to prepare for planting. This means weeding and adding soil amenities and checking the irises to see if blooms are forming yet. I worked very hard last year with my son's help to create a garden path with gravel and pavers hoping it would deter the gophers but no such luck. The path is in upheaval and the varmints are reeking havoc! Urgh! Sigh ....... such is life.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Thinking of Home

This photo was taken by my friend Devra on our walk.

by the side of the road
alongside a stream of clear water
in the shade of a willow tree
I paused for what I thought
would be just a moment
~by Saigyo (1118-1190), a 12th century poet~

I've been away on vacation for a week but heading home tomorrow. I walked along the Blanco river yesterday with dear longtime friends on a beautiful sunny but blustery day. We saw a sharp shinned female hawk circling above us and fussing because we were standing under the tree where her nest was. We soon moved on down the bank. I've had a marvelous time here in the Texas Hill Country where I used to live for almost 12 years.

Tomorrow I'll be home and ready to work in my studio. I think I have spring fever and am ready to create. I've opened my etsy shop again, taken off vacation mode.

Hope everyone is having at least some spring weather in their life!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Hand Painted Faux Written Script Scarves

I just listed the silk scarves I've been working on the last few days in my Etsy shop.

I showed some images of these scarves in my previous post and will add the ones I finished today at the end of this post.

I start with a 100% habotai china silk scarf and color wash the background then add faux written script with fabric paint. When scripting I am actually writing song lyrics or poems so sometimes a legible word will pop out and be readable but mostly the writing is suggestive only. This made me ponder - if you write down words of a poem or a passage or lyrics do the word images imbue the essence of what is written even if it's unreadable or does the essence and significance only apply when the words are read? Does the design of the fabric absorb the feeling of the words? Perhaps this is a bit esoteric to contemplate but it made me wonder. Whatever, I feel the end result is whimsical and unique and they make me happy to create.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Hand Painted Silk Scarves with Faux Writing

I've been in my studio and it's past dinner time. I won't be fixing the chicken but something a little easier and faster. When I walked out of my studio this was the site I had to stop and absorb. I've lived on this mountain for almost 16 years and the beauty of it still takes my breath away. The twilight reigns over the valleys and hilltops as the lights of Santa Cruz begin to twinkle below. I once asked my father-in-law, who lived on this land for many years, if he ever took this view for granted and he said "on no because everyday is different". He was right.

I finished some of the faux writing scarves and plan to put them for sale in my Etsy shop but I think it will be in the morning before I do this. I'm ready to call it day and relax with a glass of wine and fix a nice cob salad. But I'll leave you with the photos I took. I'm really happy with these scarves.


Alameda Flea Market Things I Did Buy

I've been busy in my studio creating some painted silk scarves with the faux writing on them. I plan to finish a couple of them this morning and post them in my Etsy shop. I'll be back here to announce them and have some images too.

In the meantime here are some photos of the things I did buy at the flea market. I'm real excited about using these items in reconstructing garments.

I did buy the delicious sausage on a bun complete with mustard and sauerkraut.

I did buy the mini donuts in a paper cone. Actually Char treated me to the food since I did the driving but I did consume.

And here are the textile items I bought from various vendors. These are going to become something fabulous if I can recreate the ideas I have in my head!

I plan to go back next month and visit this flea market again.