Friday, 31 December 2010

A Post for Rice

I have been so excited by Rice's blog and her inspiring way of altering clothes. She has an artist's creative and zany sensibility that makes me feel free and happy. I wrote her an email yesterday begging her for more posts on refashioning. She kindly obliged.

Unfortunately I am nowhere near her level of clothing alteration creativity. She has been doing this for yonks. But in the spirit of reciprocity I am going to post my humble beginnings that are still in process. Who knows, maybe she will help me with some ideas (hint hint.)
I like the shape and fit of this black t. But I never wear it because I don't like wearing black on top. I thought I could brighten it up with some beading.
I like it better, but it is rather tame.
Here is a shirt I have had for a few years. I only wear it around the house because of the dowdy shape. I love the colour and the fabric, a lightweight tightly woven cotton.
Here is a top a friend gave me. It has beautiful delicate embroidery and I like that it is blue. I am really feeling like wearing blue. But it is a large and I am a small, and again it is shapeless. (Rice notice my unselfconsciousness about the poor photo, haha).
I am not certain what I will do with these, so I took off the sleeves. I am considering shaping both shirts by taking in the side seams. Then I might put the sleeves back on, a bit shorter than before. Unless I come up with a better idea.
This shirt will stay sleeveless. I am not sure what to do with the length, it either needs to be shorter or much longer. Maybe I will add the sleeves onto something else.

a Suggestion for the End of the Year

I have a suggestion for the end of the year. Even if you don't read this until 2011, you can still do it.

New Year resolutions can be good, but even better is to give yourself credit for what you have already accomplished. My suggestion is to write a list of what you accomplished over 2010.

Be kind to yourself, give yourself some credit. It can be achievements at work, your personal life, spiritual life, all areas. And nothing is too small. Has some relationship in your life improved? Have you become more creative? Have you created pages in your art journal? Are you less afraid in some area? Have you gone forward with a health challenge? Achieved more self acceptance? Recovered from a heartbreak? Exercised regularly, or just more? Been helpful to someone? List it all, however small.

The truth is, we don't actually know what is little or big --
so I suggest you write it ALL down.

Give yourself some credit for what you have done this past year.

By the way, I wrote my list this morning in bed. It feels good.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

the Question of Cosmetic Procedures

The whole cosmetic procedures/ botox/ whatever has come up the past few days. I do next to nothing cosmetically. I wear little or no makeup, I don't dye my hair, I don't even have professional manicures or facials. I just try and be healthy. So kind of funny to have such relatively radical stuff enter the thinking. My guess is that the pressure to look 'good' is just so in-your-face in our culture, it is hard not to have some twinges as we get older. I am 51.

What started it was the other day I was clearing out files and ran across some old photos when I was in my mid-20's. It can be a bit of a shock to remember that you ever looked so young. And so good. (and in my case, sad, but that is another story.)
Gee, even the shape of our face changes as we age.
Anyway, it was just there in my consciousness when the next evening there is a program on cosmetic surgery. It is a reporter trying out all this stuff, botox, laser - she doesn't actually get to the knife, but she does get 50 injections of botox! And a full on laser treatment, blood oozing from her skin. But it works. She looks younger and prettier.
And you know how it is. I am not seriously considering it, but I do pull up the skin on my lower jaw and see a bit of that 26 year old return. Sigh.

Then this morning, eating my breakfast across the table from my DH of 22 years, I think 'how would I feel if he got plastic surgery to look younger?'
And I know right away that I wouldn't like it. Why? Because I love this face, this person, that he has become. He may not be as handsome as when we met, but the truth is that I love him more than I did 20 years ago. And I would miss the face he has now.

It isn't until later in the day that I think 'what about loving myself that same way?' Do I love myself who I am now? Would I feel the same sadness to see her gone for some face younger and prettier?

You know, I am happy to say that I am pretty sure I would.

Monday, 20 December 2010

a New Drawing

I was working on a new (to you guys) drawing today. It still has a way to go.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Another Dye Job

Gee, stuff has been happening, but no pictures to show you so I haven't posted.

I had a model over to my studio last week to take exploratory photos for my new series. She is a student in my Art Journaling class. It was great. She was open and unselfconscious - unusual for someone who doesn't usually model. We got some exciting photos. By exciting I mean that they excite my inspiration. I am not much of a photographer so they aren't necessarily exciting to look at. Some actually look kinda silly. But I look at them and see the painting I will create.

I did some more dying over the weekend. I dyed a skirt I bought at the markets a few years ago when I was really into fushia pink. I think I said before, I have a lot of fushia pink clothes from that time and I am really over it. The other thing about this skirt is that it was too long. It hit halfway between my knees and ankles, a dowdy length on me. So before I dyed it, I shortened it to just covering my knees.

It surprises me, how much the length of dresses and skirts matter. A few inches can make a huge difference in how they look. I also lengthened a denim jumper by 2". I feel like I can wear it unselfconsciously now.

Here is the skirt before dyeing:
Here it is now:
It is a time of inspiration for me. I am thinking how to refashion clothes, and planning for new paintings. I haven't really figured out how to share that with you guys. Any ideas?

Monday, 13 December 2010

Sale Remnants

I bought these remnants on sale today at a shop that makes children's wear. I have been looking for bits and pieces for refashioning my clothes with. Remnants from the fabric shop are more fabric than I want (I just want bits) and too expensive. I have been looking for good stuff at the thrift store, but haven't found anything.
I like these because they are high quality and have cute designs. Some are already partially sewn, but I can take them apart if I need to.

I am considering making the semi-circle with ruffles in the middle into an apron. I think would just have to cut a bit off the back and add a waist piece that ties.

The striped piece on the right is very stretchy and already sewed into a tube. I could just cut it into and have leggings. I probably won't do that.

The polka dot is also stretchy and the rest of the fabric is woven. Check out the kids on a may pole in the screened borders, one white and one red.

I got the whole lot for $5.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Secret Art Journal

I have begun a secret art journal. It is for my new series of artworks. Don't tell anyone.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

I didn't Mean That Short!

I went for a haircut Monday. I asked to go a bit shorter than last time. She was cutting away, and it was looking good, like my first short haircut about 4 or 5 months ago.
Then I made a comment "this is about the shortest you could go...". I meant it like 'you wouldn't want to go any shorter than this'. I don't think she answered but soon after that, she went back and cut more off one of the side thingies by the ear. I was a little surprised but she is a good hairdresser and I trust her...
Then she just kept going. I guess she really had to by then. You cut it off one place and then it has to all has to balance up. It wasn't a mistake, she did it on purpose. She seemed very pleased by how it turned out. I was speechless.
Later, I was wondering, did she take my statement about not being able to go shorter as a kind of challenge?

My husband likes it. That helps. I don't think it looks bad, maybe I will get used to it?

Monday, 6 December 2010

Refashioning my Clothes

I really like the idea of refashioning clothes. Unlike a lot of people I don't have loads of clothes - probably because I don't enjoy shopping. But I do have a fair amount of old clothes.

I love the idea of recycling clothes instead of buying new stuff. It could be recycling my old stuff or clothes that I find at a thrift store. It all leads to less stuff in the world.

But I especially like the idea of refashioning clothes because it is another way to be creative.
The top shirt is one I found in a thrift store. It fits really well but I think the black and white check is pretty boring. I love colour.
The shirt below it is an oldie of mine. I like the fit but I wore too much pink a few years back and am mostly over it. I folded and stitched the shirt as an experiment.
I plan to dye both shirts with some old purple dye I have had for about 8 years.
This is a t-shirt I am experimenting with. I bought it in the menswear department for $10. I liked the design on the front, but that boxy t-shirt shape is horrible.
First I sewed up the sides for a better fit, then I cut off the sleeves and the neckline. When I took the photo, I had just sprayed it with some fabric dye over a stencil. Here is a post where I talk about the dye that I used.

I don't think this t-shirt will ever be a favourite, but I am enjoying trying stuff out.
This is after the dye bath. The stitched shirt didn't really happen. The stitching on the front doesn't show and on the back it looks more like a botched dye job. Which I suppose it is, haha.

It doesn't really worry me. I think the stitching could work if I used thicker thread. I might try it again on a different piece of clothing.
Finally, the checked shirt. I love it! you can't see the checks in this photo, but they are still there. Now it is a black and purple checked shirt. I am sure I will wear this a lot.