Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Little Alters Anywhere

I had my first class.  It was a small, slow start, but I really enjoyed myself and the brave soul who decided to come to my class that I called "Little Alters Anywhere".  I made mine as a reminder of what I'm trying to do with my classes.

As mentioned earlier, I was laid off and consider myself in some ways unemployed.  I went to a  thing run by the NY Public Library about the stress of being unemployed long term.  I met many people unemployed for over a year.

The presenter didn't really handle the stress described by the audience and just pitched the standard job hunting techniques and was pretty un-empathic about it too.  I actually started feeling rather anxious about it all and was dismayed at tears welling up.  I tried to blink them away but as usual that didn't work.  I wondered how many others there felt the same, and it's been only a couple of months for me.

I felt even more ashamed of myself for feeling so upset compared to so many others I sat with.  Searching for a tissue I found the box I'd made earlier that day.  I was surprised by how much comfort it brought me.  It even stayed with me when I woke up this morning hopeful and ready to get to work.  I thought this class up for everyone else.  It looks like it helped me out as much as anyone I had hoped to reach.

Monday, June 28, 2010

My Very Own Fairy Godmother

I made this purse to go to a black tie event.  I had a dress, but that was it.  I needed accessories and fast! And of course, I had no money.  When the person taking me called and asked what I was doing and I told him, he said it sounds like I am being my very own fairy godmother.  At the time, I was impatient with him.  I think I was more than anything, disappointed at having to be my own FGM, again, as usual.

What did he know, he just had to come home jump in the shower then his tux and was ready.  He was a pretty sweet guy though.  And we had a great night out.  He made  me feel like he was the most lucky man there.  I realized the real work of an FGM isn't for me but for everybody.

So, to the nuts and bolts of it, for I can tell you, there is absolutely NO magic involved.  All that's needed is an ability to take what's on hand, okay, keep good stuff on hand, and when needed, know what to do with them.

Earlier, I had been to Bendel's on some retail therapy.  Looking is free!  In a catalog lying on a table was a picture of an evening purse that captured my imagination.  They were giving them away so I took it home.  I liked it so much I'd ripped it out and saved it.  I wondered what it would be like to have such a thing, to have an event to bring it to.  What must it feel like to have that look back over my shoulder?  I wanted to be her, not a super model, just someone capable of drawing the kind of attention I felt toward that picture.
I got out the picture, collected stuff, cleared off my worktable and set to work.

All told, a little bit of shopping in the garment district and an hour or two of work and it was done!

I was worried that everybody would see through my DIY make lemonade from lemons getup (I'd made my dress too but that is for another post) to only to find that I was one of the best and most envied women attending.  It was a bit scary, actually.  It turns out they were all intimidated when I told them I was a costume designer and heard about some of the things I'd worked on.  So I fessed up and told them it was all fake, I made it myself because I was a broke working artist.  They changed from being envious to admirers. I smiled to myself and thanked my FGM.  I should have trusted her all along.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sewing Oasis Outside

I really wanted a dishwasher, but the building I was moving into only had a unit with a terrace in my price range.  I know, life should always be so difficult!  So, I've been busy making it into my outdoor room on a shoestring.  I'm lucky to have a Good Will Superstore close by.   It's been a nice reprieve from all the hours I'm putting into the computer.  Now all I need is some lemonade.  I hope to have a sewing bee out here soon.

I found an old wicker chair that I plunked down $35 for.  The quart and a half of green outdoor paint it took to seal it well cost more!   Two Coats.  It got soaked yesterday in a thrilling downpour and came out just fine.

I made this pillow from the scraps leftover from a big millinery project.  For an opera I made about 20 or so turbans in this beautiful stripe.  I couldn't throw away the pieces so I matched them to make this pillow.  I love purple and green together.
I found these white trash cans at a bargain department store for $2.50 and drilled holes in the bottom, snuck some gravel from the parking lot (please don't tell on me!)  The Hostas are from Home Depot for $6.50 and the herb and swiss chard are from the Union Square market, all together about $13.00.
I found this solar powered light at Ikea and couldn't resist.  It isn't really good for sewing but it's nice to read by on a hot evening when indoors are still a bit intense.  The table was another Good Will find for about $10.00.  I thought about painting it too but ended up just touching up the black.  I have some nice tablecloths if I want some color and this is working goodstand in for a photo display table.