Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Prim Pumpkin Idgie...a friendship story

Sometimes people show up in the most unexpected spots of time.  They throw their coat over a puddle and let you walk over it.  This is the kind of friend Idgie is.  She is my latest Prim Pumpkin bit of love and I am happy to share her with you. 
Idgie has a warm smile and welcoming eyes you can tell her your secrets and they will go no further.
Her hair is a wispy bit of mohair and is the finishing touch.   Idgie's hair is spun from a happy angora goat who lives as a pet on a farm in Georgia.  Inclusion's are stitched into her locks... I added a touch of the purple linen to it.   Idgie has the spirit of a traveller one who adds things to her being as she goes.  a pearl here, a bit of linen there....   Idgie has an earthen yet impish quality that I find endearing.
In her hand, a stray guinea feather, a gift from a fellow maker friend, Drucilla- I have an affinity for feathers, I always have.  When Grandma and I wanted to name our shop, we thought about the things that inspired us most. Wings, feathers and nests were at the top of our list.... yes, there was an actual list : )  The other component of inspiration was the old Victorian cupid imagery.  So, our shop was called Cupid's Wing....

 Bringing us back to the feather in Idgie's hand,  when I place the feather in her hand.... the story Idgie Threadgoode told came back to me.  I've always liked the movie Fried Green Tomatoes...

The story Idgie told was this "One time there was this lake and it was right outside of town. We used to go fishing and swimming and canoeing in it. And, see, one November, this big flock of ducks came in and landed on that lake. And then the temperature dropped so fast that the lake just froze right there. And the ducks... they... flew off, you see, and they took that lake right with them. Now they say that lake is somewhere over in Georgia. Can you imagine that?" - Fannie Flagg

When I created Idgie,  I thought she'd look wonderful in a pair of purple pants.  I had a scrap of Irish linen; I think it may have been a tablecloth.  I love the substantial feel of the linen.  I prepared a dye bath and left the fabric to season.  I was greeted with a lovely hue... just what I was dreaming of.   The collar was an afterthought,  I once again made a bath for the scrap and it dyed a shade or two brighter.

In the photo below, you can see her hand nestled in the wisp of hair...

As Idgie came to be,  I thought of friendship. The rarity of it.  The true nature of it...  How sometimes you can meet someone and know they will be part of your story and you will be part of theirs...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Prim Pumpkin Calavera

 I hope she is one of the top 5 things that make you smile this Sunday!
 As promised, I am happy to share with you my finished Calavera.   She began as a vision- pairing the colors I wanted to use, the raw fabric and the iconic Catrina imagery.  I get lost sometimes in the texture of an art doll. The posibilites are endless and as I looked at the selected pieces before my I knew this Catrina was going to be soulful and special. 
I was able to employ fine fabrics that I had held on tight to... for something special.  The vintage fabric held stories from a previous lifetime.  The bodice was constructed from a vintage quilt made of silks and fancy fabrics of the time.  All pieced together, the quilted piece made me think of what the fabriscs had been and what they ment to the owner.  Were they bits of family heirloom dresses, cut and stitched so very purposeful as to create a decor piece that the owner would be able to see everyday?   I like to think so....
Calaveras are always a journey to create and on this journey I met a new friend.  Artist, Drucilla Pettibone helped bring my vision to life by collaborating with me on the aspect of hair.  Drucilla and I were on the same page, which made creating magical. 
Her hair has vintage lace tied in as well as tiny ceramic bones stitched in.  I created a feathery hat of sorts for her.   

The top of the bodice is accented with silvery vintage beading.  Just the right amount of sparkle.

I added an accent on her back as well. 

Frilly underpants were quite the necessity.  The Prim Pumpkin Calavera is now available via eBay Click here to see her auction...
Thank you for looking!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Pricilla Sprout in Swaddle

Each day, I strive to create a lovely life.  A balance which includes nourishment from the studio and creating a home.  When I think of the art of making a home my mind drifts back to old issues of Victoria Magazine, the ones that introduced me to a graceful  woman called Tasha Tudor.  Tasha embraced the complexly simple ways of artful home keeping.  Keeping the balance is a kind of magic.  Tasha Tudor happily created her 1830's era home and cared for her family, while writing and illustrating over 100 books.  She made it look easy, lovely and easy. 

Tasha Tudor, please click here to learn more about her... 

In my creative process, if our home is a mess of chaotic static, I cannot make art.  What I love is to put creative energy into our home.  Sometimes when I spend time in the kitchen sleuthing missing spoon or wiping up the stray coffee splashes, the energy I have given comes back into my soul in the form of inspiration.  
This weekend found me giving some love to the house; cleaning and purging.  During this giving of energy,  I was gifted with a return of a burst of creative spark.   I finished an art doll that had been on my table for a bit.  Her name is Pricilla Sprout and she is swaddled in a hand dyed bit of linen. 
I feel like the weekend was a productive one.  Pumpkins were created, windows were washed,  my family was given an extra dose of love.  I loved taking time seasoning my life!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Prim Pumpkin WIP

It's a happy August day and I long for the sweetness of Autumn.  Fresh apple cider and home made donuts are the stuff I crave.  Things are very busy in the studio.  As I create, I am careful to hold back some pieces for a show I am doing in October.  It's so hard to build a band of rouge pumpkins with the impending wedding and all!  About two years ago I made an art doll to celebrate Dia De Los Muertos- Day of the Dead and I have been waiting so patiently for the inspiration to take hold for another one.  Day of the dead is traditionally celebrated in Mexico. The holiday allows families time to  honor those who have passed away.  For those who celebrate actively, remember those who have passed away is a way of respecting their memory.   I read an explanation of Day of the Dead that I really liked it said "Many participants believe a person can experience three deaths.  The first death is the expiration of the body.  The second occurs when the body is laid to rest.  The third and final death takes place only if and when the departed is forgotten. 

I started my first Calavera Catrina art doll of the year a couple weeks ago.  These are WIP photos, she is coming along very well and I can't wait to share her finished photos with you. 
 The design work on her head is all free hand, she is primitive but this is the look I enjoy! She honors a lady of dignity, someone who nursed many wounds from that of a broken heart to a scraped up knee.  She is vibrant and while she was on this earth, she was a ray of light. 
A wee pumpkin seed was finished last week, crops are good around here!  She is hand sculpted with fiber arms!
 I like how her stem greets me with a wicked twist! I accentuated her swaddle with vintage hand dyed linen and old buttons. I think she will debut on etsy, not sure yet though.