I made a present for someone with a birthday this week (who doesn’t, fortunately, read this blog). Someone who likes blue.
My Better Half came home from an estate sale a few weeks ago saying, “there was a lot of cool stuff there–you should make me a list of things you want me to look for at tag sales and auctions, in case you aren’t with me.” Art supplies and old kimono fabric, said I.
He looked crestfallen. He had seen both within the previous two days.
It was too late for the kimono fabrics, which apparently went for a song at an auction, but I did get to go back with him to the estate sale selling art supplies, and picked up some wonderful big brushes, some old books that can ethically be cannibalized for projects, and a whole heap of canvases–the whole lot for $5.00. Sometimes these sales make me sad, but at this one the grown son of the artist (his mom) was genuinely happy to have her art supplies being carried off by people who appreciated and were going to use them that I didn’t feel so badly.
But the kimono scraps stuck in my head, so I started surfing for them online, and . . . voila: I bought the first of what I hope will be many. This one started life as a sleeve, probably in the mid-20th century, and over the last day or so I transformed it into what I think is a quite elegant scarf.
The fabric is silk crepe de chine with a pattern of what might be highly stylized clouds, but might also be ripples in a pond. Either way, they’re lovely, the fabric is in great shape, and I was able to find a nice silky crepe in a contrasting color (a sort of storm-cloud blue-gray) that works either way to use as a backing for it.
I took the top picture yesterday when I was starting the (hand) sewing, and the bottom one this morning after I finished it. I took them in different rooms and in different weather, but the top picture gives a better sense of the actual color, which is slightly grayish. Looking at both pictures, though, shows the slight difference in the pattern–one side is sort of a negative of the other. I debated long and hard about which side to have show, and involved everyone in the family in making the choice. In the end, Second Child pointed out that it was a win-win, as the two sides are equally pretty.
And, honey, you picked exactly the right thread color when you went to the fabric store with me, but I still don’t get that you don’t get that a scarf doesn’t have to be wooly and warm to be desirable.
I’m busy making things like crazy. Several things that might be long-term projects or trial runs for long-term projects are on the drawing board. In fact, there are so many plans in my head that it’s making me a little frantic.
Maybe one of these days after I get over what still feels like a frenzy of ideas (though perhaps that in itself is a good thing I should hang onto) I’ll settle into concentrating on one or two media. Or approaches. But for now I’m just pulling ideas out of the air as fast as I can net them.
Sometimes this feels a little crazy making. A long daily walk keeps me sane. Even though we’ve had a run of cold and wet weather and it feels like summer (a cool-ish, damp-ish one) only just arrived a couple of days ago, there is much beauty out there and the colors and scents are almost overwhelming in themselves.
Yesterday was a good day for colors. Every one imaginable:
I restrained my impulse to gather a few out of each garden I passed and stopped instead at a roadside stand on the way home so I could bring part of the riot home to my office:
. . . between a woman and her new printer–can it last?
So far the honeymoon is sweet. This thing does everything but make the beds.
Just a quick post, mostly so I can play with the new printer’s scanner to show off the results of an impromptu after-dinner session of stamp carving. It’s lilac season, you know?
Challenged by other blogger friends, I’m going to try to post every day this month, and to post about as many different art forms as possible. Fingers crossed.
And a little May posy for you in sumi ink and watercolor:
The first day of spring found me . . . heading back into the mountains where the snow and ice still maintain their foothold.
Still glazed with ice, Cooper Lake from one side:
And the other.
But on Saturday, a warm window of opportunity for an afternoon break. This is me, lying on my back on a warm bench in the sun with my feet up.
It was a good place to be.
While I am actually loving the days on which I drive Second Child to school ahead of the bus and then get to go straight down to the shore for an early walk, today I quite began to long for the solstice, if only to have it done so the days will begin lengthening again. I know we still have Some Winter ahead of us here in New England; we always do. The turning of the calendar, though, makes a remarkable difference to me. Somehow coping with the snow that I know is still to come (and it’s not even the snow I mind; it’s our loved but drafty old 18th century house) is easier when there’s more light.
Today I dropped S.C. off at about 6:30 and made it to the beach just a few minutes later. It was still honest-to-god dark, with a faint pinky-blue glow to everything. Like the boardwalk:
and even the pavement in spots. The utility companies’ markings for gas and water and sewer lines looked like brilliant and playful grafitti, as if someone had been playing some kind of nocturnal sidewalk game.
It was pretty darn dark. Much more so than it was at the same hour even a couple of weeks ago.
Gradually it got lighter . . .
and lighter still:
But still everything had a remarkable blue cast to it, as if the light were being filtered. The ripples in the sand–the tide was low, low, low–were blue:
The water under the bridge over the tidal inlet was a flat, sere slate color. And so were my gloves. And the rocks at the water’s edge. And the bridge railing.
It was all quite wonderful, though. Maybe I can appreciate a few more days of growing darkness before the light comes back again.