Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Time for a little textile therapy

If enough of us misfits band together, we could get those uppity spa people to offer us textile therapy—when aromatherapy simply isn't enough. 

Oh, what Eve was missing, wearing her fig leaf uniform. I'm not sure it would've been Eden to me if I couldn't have my soft-to-the-touch, springy when crushed, wild, mysterious, shape-shifting fabric collection to stroke and stash in secret places.

OK, it's really just a pile of old clothes.

That's what the eye can see. My heart sees this: endless possibilities. Clay in my hands. Canvas to recolor in a hot bath of dye. Suncatchers to photograph as the warp and weft undress in the light. Rivulets and waterfalls of texture, barnacles, underwater stalactites, shark's teeth and sea urchins. Sources of inspiration that pierce my brain with startling suddenness.

Don't even get me started on embroidery, appliqués, pleats, pintucks and crocheted lace. An orgy of manipulation by the most skillful of hands. I am a wanton worshipper.

When you meet a garment for the first time, this is how you would look at it:

And you would be perfectly rational.

I don't see things that way. I see this piece the way that picture up top looks. Same shirt. Shot from below, close to the sleeve.

Here's this lovely lavender blouse, outdated in its shrinkydink style. It looks like a fierce warrior's armor to me. Or like the peaks that egg whites form when beaten into a frenzy.

It could find a new life as a scarf or the collar of a new (remade from old) top:

Look at the marvelous coral pink ruffle on this old T-shirt.  Such insouciance. Someday it will play a starring role on...I'll have to wait for it to coyly whisper the answer to me.

I found this forest green velvet skirt during my latest forage at the local thrift store. It could be an off-shoulder blouse...

Or a drapey bodice...

Pair it with this wide flounce of shimmery copper, and we have a gown.

A gown from a bedskirt and a people skirt. Scarlett would be proud.
One last picture:

This one really is from a curtain panel. Frankly my dear, it's the best damned use for it. Why waste it on a window that few get to see?

I don't even need music when I'm playing with my fabrics. They sing to me. I don't want to miss a single note. I am restored to wholeness.


  1. We've come a long way since fig leaves. (Thank goodness.) You have a wonderful imagination! :)

  2. Yes we have, Kenya, and good thing, too, since my imagination cannot stretch enough to wax poetic about fig leaves. Delighted you came!

  3. It's the fourth eye, I think. We have two eyes to see the world as everybody else sees it, a third eye to peek into the inner spaces of our consciousness and a fourth eye that enables us to see concretely what others may not even begin to imagine.

  4. It takes a different level of creativity to have the kind of 'sight' you possess. Thanks for sharing your vision!

  5. Gorgeous! I love the Scarlett gown best :D

  6. Locke—A fourth eye! You mean when they call bespectacled kids "four eyes" they're not really insulting them? ; )

    Joy—Glad it didn't make you cross-eyed to don my eccentric eyeglasses for the day.

    Sam—the gown would look absolutely stunning on your svelte frame! Man, I wish you were local to my area so you could model my more elegant creations-to-be.