Monday, August 30, 2010

Another Punch of Color

Continuing on my redecorating adventure, I made this pillow cover from a print I have had for a at least five years. Yes, I really do have fabric / stuff in my stash that old. It is a beautiful print on fabric by Judy Buswell which I sewed to a blue/teal fabric.

Now, I will buy or make a new art piece for above my fireplace. A new lamp and shade should just about complete my redecorating project. Unless......? I have a friend who recently moved to Guatamala and has told me about the beautiful textiles she found there. So...., maybe the next redecorating will be the vivid colors of Guatamala and Mexico.

A Punch of Color

The pillow cover in the background was cut and sewn from towels I found that matched my color scheme. I also made bench cushion covers with them. I wanted to add a punch of color because I realized I would soon tire of looking at just two main colors. The pillow cover in the front was made from commercial fabric that has been discharged with a bleach pen. I placed a sketch I found beneath Plexiglas then following the outline of the sketch I traced on top of the Plexiglas with a bleach pen. The squiggles on the side are made free hand with the bleach pen. I let that set a couple of minutes then placed the fabric over the traced sketch and gently patted it down a little. When the colors appeared I liked I removed the fabric, washed it out, let it dry and stitched around the design. Can you tell its a nude? This piece was put away for a while until I decided to pull it out for this pillow cover.

Redecorating From My Stash

I have been wanting to change some of the colors in my living room for some time. It was okay but I was getting tired of the dark colors, mostly browns, golds and greens. I wanted something brighter and decided to go with a blue/teal color with chocolate colored accents in a geometric pattern for these two pillows.

These pillow covers are simply made from cotton fabric in my stash. I decided to make covers for the existing pillows in case I wanted to return to the previous design someday. The old throw pillows fit into the envelope covers. I didn't have to find a place to store the former pillows and they remain available for the future.

I also bought ready made draperies in the blue/teal color and sewed a band of chocolate brown trim across the top to coordinate with the pillows.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Winter Shirts

This is a photo I took of a marble statue in our garden. Keeping with the winter idea, below is a poem I wrote a few years ago. It isn't autobiographical,well, maybe a little. But I have never been to Minnesota. The poem came from my memory of living in West Texas where winters can be harsh. Many days I pulled frozen diapers from the clothes line and hung them all over the house to thaw. It was a great day when we finally bought a clothes dryer.

Winter Shirts

My mother took care of my father's shirts,
the ones that froze on the line during Minnesota's blue Winters.
The ones that smelled of sweat and cigarettes
she washed by hand when electrical lines froze and snapped.

The grey and black with red piping,
light blue oxford cloth with extra starch,
Saturday night polyester,
white linen with button down collar,
quilted plaid flannel ones.

The same ones she laid over chair backs in front of the stove
to thaw, and ironed every Wednesday night since they married.
The shirts she hung carefully in his closet
according to color and sleeve length.
It was the shirts she watched him remove from the hangers
and throw on the floor that made her realize
her life had become a series of unappreciated repetitive tasks.

It was those shirts she took from his closet,
folded neatly in a pile behind the house,
set ablaze, and burned to a cinder.
As she watched twenty years of her life
rise in white clouds of smoke
against the icy Minnesota morning,
it occurred to her she had not felt that warm in years.

Winter Scenes

It is hot and dry in Texas. The thermometer hit 105 degrees two days ago. So I thought I would post some pictures of the last time it snowed in the Texas Hill Country where I live. What year was that? No matter. Just looking at the snow makes me feel refreshed.  The top photo is one I took of a angel statue in the courtyard of our yoga studio.Then tropical birds in Texas snow? They look like they are enjoying themselves. They are a little "plastic"!

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Year by the Sea and Other Musings

I recently checked out a book at the local library. A Year by the Sea, by Joan Anderson. Quoting the inside cover, "An entrancing story of how one woman emerged from a stagnant period, finding the energy to renew her marriage and the courage to persevere in the living of an unfettered life." The post title of the book is, Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman.  There are many pearls of wisdon and insights that hit home.

When I came home with my stash of new reading material I decided I would do nothing that evening but stretch out and read. I had nothing that had to be done; nothing urgent tugging at me to be fixed, cleaned, or managed. As I relaxed on the sofa with A Year by the Sea I began to feel very uneasy, feeling guilty for taking time for myself. After reading one page I went upstairs, cleaned up my closet then scrubbed and cleaned the bathroom. Now, that didn't have to be done but I felt I had to "earn" the right to indulge myself. Suddenly the anxiety was gone as I had "paid" for my priviledge.

Where does that "stinking thinking" come from? Chances are from many years of putting everything and everyone elses needs and wishes before our own. I dare say Im not alone in this situation, but, I had thought I had out grown it. I had to laugh at myself.

Joan Anderson touches on these feelings in "A Year by the Sea". In describing her feelings of guilt for leaving her old life for a year on Cape Cod she says, "There's a price to pay for such self-indulgence. I stand here holding freedom in one hand and guilt in the other---." She talks a lot about taking risks and making changes in our lives stating, "Doesn't change occur only when we stop living the expected life?"

I doubt that I will ever totally eliminate those feelings of guilt or not being worthy enough when I indulge myself, whether it be time for myself or buying something unnecessary and outrageous. But, being aware of this behavior is a step in the right direction. I can say now, when I catch myself feeling those pangs of guilt I stop and think how inappropriate they are and laugh a little.

A few years ago I tore a page from a magazine and still have it tacked up by my computer. It is an anonymous quote. "When you die God and the angels will hold you accountable for all the pleasures you were allowed in life that you denied yourself." I read it daily.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Softer Side of Art

It has been a while since I created a post for my blog. What can I say? Life has been busy. I do want to post some pictures from the invitational fiber art show at the Kerrville Arts and Cultural Center that was from July 1-25. It was a great show with many talented fiber artist participating.

This  is Mary Lee Tennant who does wonders with fiber. Here she is demonstrating basket weaving.

Debbie Geistweidt stands beside one of her beautiful landscapes. She thread sketches/ paints traditional Texas scenes with a unique eye for detail.
Lisa Kerpoe stands between long pieces of her hand dyed, monoprinted and many other fiber manipulations I can't even begin to explain other than it draws you in to the design and colors.

If you ever get to Kerrville stop by the Kerrville Arts and Cultural Center. There is always a great art show going on and it is a lovely venue.