About to head back to the studio to make patchwork bags from vintage scraps given to me years ago by Russell Corbett. From his grandmother’s stash. I think, upon studying them, that many are commercial production scraps…20 layers in one cut of a shape that can only be a neckline or armhole. Dress-weight cotton prints from the 30s or 40s, it looks like, and I swear that some of these prints I’ve seen reproduced. These are not reproductions.
I have ideas to pursue.
Today in my studio, I am feeling at home. In my body, in my room, in my space, in my head. That’s a big thing, sometimes, to feel at home. The RLA took some photos of me yesterday to submit to a charity calendar thingie, and I do not like to have my photo took. Years of being behind the camera and in the darkroom have left me convinced that the belief that that the camera somehow steals your soul is not so far-fetched as the rational would have one believe. Even though I wanted to do this, it was hard for me to do, and to let someone else have the camera, even someone I trust as much as the RLA. Two of the resulting shots are quite lovely. They do not steal my soul so much as admit a glimpse of how I am seen by my husband, who just happens to be one of my oldest (it goes without saying my dearest) friends and a very fine artist. It is a very heady thing to be a muse.
I can’t remember the last time I saw myself like this, if ever. Maybe the photos I had taken when I was thirty, of my back and shoulders, hair up, head turned and profile back-lit. Pre-tats, pre-chicken neck, pre-surgical scars. My father kept a framed copy on his dresser. In the photos from yesterday, you can see some wrinkles and some grey. I am turning 59 next month, and my 50s were a hard decade. I earned this face and this body and looking at this photo, I find am very much at home in both of them. I didn’t know until I saw the photo how much at home and at ease.
I have so many ideas for work, and as I am sewing a large quilt, my mind keeps working on these other ideas. I have to keep a note book next to me so I can sketch and write or else I may forget the details.
Or perhaps more accurately, I have yet to find it. Today’s multi-tasking includes cutting and pinning a larger-than-queen-sized quilt from fabrics that I won over the internet in the 1990s and the first decade of the 2000s. Yeah, it’s been hanging around waiting to be born, what about it? It’s not like I’ve had a lot of time, y’know? And now that I do, I am finding it hard to not just sit on the back deck with a cup of coffee and stare at the bird feeders and the squirrels having their way with the seeds. At any rate, in order to keep some sort of sanity while I do that cutting and sorting and pinning, I have stepped in my studio to write this entry.
That led to a few moments of felting as I waited for my laptop to boot up. And when I put the heart down on my sewing table, it picked up the colors of the lonely, still unfinished colorwork sock that has been riding around in my knitting bag for a year or two itself… And the sunlight fell on both in such a lovely way, through the filter of the creeping ficus in the lattice over the koi pond just outside this room, that, well, I had to stop and take a photo of it before the light shifted.
Quite lovely, non?
But I digress. Since I can say what I like, now, I’d like to say this: Oh, little boy who is my nephew’s friend, don’t worry. It’s going to be fine. You’re fine. In fact, I predict that within the next five years, you will find yourself the sweetheart of the MENSA sorority. You rock on with your unstylish mop of long hair, and your rumpled shirt. I saw the competition at the bar mitzvah, those preening little boys in their suits, thinking that they rocked the world… You, my pet, you are the real thing, though you may not even know that yet yourself. Don’t let anyone ever change you.
And now, I must go back to the quilting squares. They aren’t going to cut and sort and pin themselves, you know.