I remember the very first Inspiration Book I ever made. I cut out tiny pictures of toys from some catalog. Probably the Sears “Wish Book” because that’s the first catalog I remember, and it wouldn’t have been at our house, but at a friend’s whose family actually purchased things from Sears in spite of the fact we lived in Spain…don’t get me started, and then I glued them onto little pastel colored squares of paper from a little pad of pastel colored papers. And boom! Inspiration Book. Both my taste and my technique have, I think it’s safe to say, improved since then.
These pages are some of my Fall inspired spreads. The food, the clothes, the interior design, the art and craft ideas, the party plans, and gift suggestions. I love that stuff. Sometimes I’m satisfied just glueing the dang pictures in the book. They’re mine now. I can live in them in my head any time I want to curl up with the Inspiration Book and a cup of Pumpkin Spice Latte. Which is pretty often lately. Happy Fall!
I have the whole upstairs to myself. It’s two rooms with a skinny hall between, and on the West end I have the studio where I play with all things paper. I have stacks and stacks of years and years of Martha Stewart Living (I have EVERY copy ever published and am therefore bound by some sort of blood curse to renew annually in spite of my taste having veered dramatically away from hers), W, Sunset, Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, O, Bon Appetite, as well as catalogs from Sundance, Pottery Barn, Anthropologie, Crate & Barrel, West Elm, and The Vermont Country Store. All of which are fair game for my scissors and glue stick when I’m composing my Inspiration Books.
Like my Sewing Studio, this room too will be going through some changes. I’m moving my drawing table with the angled top which is meant for painting into the new space I’ll be sharing with Mike, and a flat top table in instead which will work much better for spreading out my papers and journals and glue sticks and scissors. I also have a bunch of craft papers which are in my painting studio and they need to be moved into this one. I especially love the Asian ephemera I get at the Orient Market on Emerald Street.
Next time I’ll show you some of the things I do with all this paper I hoard. I’m a paper hoarder. A paper hoarder, and a visual junkie. Stick with me and it could get interesting!
I’m one of the lucky ones because my mom is an artist too. She’s the one on the left. She has given me space, both figurative and literal, my whole life to make art. For the past 12 years or so we’ve been meeting at her studio, on Fridays, to make art. Hence the clever name for not only this post but for the actual “event”.
Other artists join us. Marilyn, in the middle, and Terry, on the right, joined us today. Rory was there too, but she kept threatening to do a striptease and I’d like to keep this blog family friendly so “Bad Rory!”, no picture of you today!
We haul over our sketch books, our paints, our beads, our pom-pom makers, our glitter, whatever we need for whatever project we are working on that we can actually haul to mom’s studio and we engage in a little parallel play for a couple of hours. Sometimes we discuss art. Sometimes we discuss kids, or men, or politics, or chickens. We talked about Marilyn’s duck today. She’s pretty fond of that duck!
Here’s a picture of me at an Arty Friday from maybe 10 years ago. Can you tell in that picture I am GROWING OUT MY HAIR! It’s true. See that book title pointed right at my sorry little bozo ear muffs? People, that says it all. Hairstory repeats itself.
I love STUFF. I love second hand stuff. I especially love second hand stuff that no one else has seen as having any potential and then transforming it into stuff that everybody HAS TO HAVE! Squeal when you read that.
Pretty much everything I make in my Sewing Studio would fit that description. The patchwork quilts I Kantha stitch:
The Pom-pow blankets (did you catch that? pom-POW? Because they knock you out, they’re so dang cute):
The tacky tourist tapestries I turn into painted, sequined pillows Anthropologie should be knocking down my door to license:
When I think about it, the idea of change, or transformation, is pretty central to what I do. With my art, to my home, with my life in general (though I’m having some issues when it comes to changing my hair). The goal is to change it up. Make it better. Not just different. And that kind of change is “bean by bean” change. It’s gradual, which is not to say you can’t make substantive change in a short amount of time, but “owning” real change is committing to the learning curve. Which is hard for “Action Girl”. I heard that.
So, I’m going to strap on my Zen guns and give the gradual change learning curve a shot. Pom-pow baby. Pom-POW!
I’ve been growing my hair out for weeks. Months actually. I do keep adjusting my desired end goal which, if you ask my hairdresser, means that my cut keeps getting adjusted as well, and I keep getting sent back to the drawing board. This is beyond frustrating. I am actually losing sleep over it, which will come as no surprise to some. You know who you are.
Yesterday I went in for my haircut after 8 weeks of growth which I had begun to think of as my “haystack” phase. I was very excited to be getting this cut which would, I was sure, finally provide the shape I’d been growing “into” all these weeks.
Are you surprised to read that this did not happen?
No, I didn’t think so. But I was! I actually believe this sort of thing (like getting my hair right, or creating an interesting blog/website) is all going to work out, and when it doesn’t…. I get pissed. And when I get pissed I become “Action Girl”.
So this morning when I was writing my daily pages at 5:15 am (because I couldn’t get back to sleep) I began thinking about how I am beginning AGAIN to grow into the look I want for my physical being on the same day as I am beginning to grow into the virtual presence I want to bring with this blog/website. And starting with a look at where I am now makes sense to me.
I thought I would start with a tour of my studio spaces, beginning with my sewing studio, especially as they will be in a state of transition over the next weeks and months as well. This room as you see it here will be moved into the room which is directly below it, and in addition to being my sewing and jewelry making studio it will also become my year round wardrobe and sartorial staging arena. (Big Ass closet.)
Meanwhile this is where I sew my Tourist Tapestry pillows, pile my Pom-pow blankets, box my buttons, and sequins, and odd bits that end up included in shadow boxes, or dangling from earrings or sewn onto juju dolls.
This is where I’m inspired to record it and share it with you. It’s a full-circle kind of deal.
Here’s hoping this full-circle deal doesn’t apply to the whole haircut thang, because if I end up back at the drawing board again in two months, or four months, I’m going to look less like a woman with a new short haircut, and more like one of these birds with the scissors stuck through her head. “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!” Now you know I’m old. Sorrynotsorry.