I’m back!

I’ve been buried in wool, thread, buttons and whimsy.  Just completed four commission pieces.  What fun!

The client, Rosalie.  Her mother worked in the NYC garment district and was a phenomenal seamstress.  Rosalie brought me a silver and black knit suit her mother was working on shortly before her death. Her mom would likely cringe at my stitchery.

I’ve been taking sewing lessons, so my skills have improved…sort of.  The three little purses below include mom’s knit and her jazzy buttons, Grandma’s “funeral sweater”–a black wool sweater she always wore to funerals, and cashmere Rosalie chose from my vast collection of shrunken sweaters.  One bag is for Rosalie, the others for her cousins.

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The bumblebees had to go on the back so as not to compete with the blingie buttons.

The big purse below includes the same stuff as the little ones, but I added shirred seams from the shoulders of the suit jacket.  That is the “wrong” side of the fabric.

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Again, bee needed to be hidden, so it’s on the pocket under the flap.

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The back of the bag gets really wild.  Rosalie gave me a blue cufflink that had been her dad’s.  He sounds like a marvelous dandy.  He put on a smoking jacket each evening after work!

Rosalie wanted me to incorporate some argyle from my collection.   This purse got pretty wild.

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Now, on to clean up my workspace and get back to coloring all the illustrations in Shel Silverstein’s “Falling Up.”  It’s a Christmas gift for grandkids. There are one-hundred-seventy-nine pages.  I’m on number twelve…

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What I’ve been up to

You know how it is when you haven’t talked to someone for a long while? There is so much to say it’s impossible to cover all the bases, so you just don’t bother to call?  That’s how this blog is for me.  Too long away from it.

But once again my fan grumbled, so here I is.

Fun stuff: We had a visit from my darling daughter Mo, her handsome husband Stephen and ADORABLE two-year-old Tate.  We went to the Lowry Park zoo with them, and then to Disney World.  Fun to see that place again through the eyes of a child.

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Jim opted out of It’s a Small World.  Smart move.  The song has been stuck in my head for over a week.

They traveled to the East Coast, played golf and went to a Mets game with Stephen’s parents, John and Jane.

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Late in the week, they all came back here.  We enjoyed dinner on the patio and had an interesting time getting to know their friend Matt.  He’s a scout for the Yankees.  Fascinating listening to his experiences.

Did you know a first-year major league ballplayer makes $520,000 a year?  Shoulda’ played baseball.  But no.  Instead, I make purses.

Speaking of purses, I continue to be obsessed.  Every day packages arrive from Ebay–sweaters to shrink and chop.  Neighbors have begun to bring me buttons, brooches, bags of wool.  I opened my Etsy shop yesterday.  beatricebeevintage.  There are presently nine items listed.  I have two more to drop in today.

Then I’m sitting down to start another.  Not much else is getting done around here.  And that’s fine by me.

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Screen Shot 2018-03-09 at 12.14.56 PM copy.jpgScreen Shot 2018-03-09 at 2.10.52 PM copy.jpgThis is half of the vintage jewelry I’ve got awaiting new life.  The other side of this bag is equally loaded.

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Since this photo was taken I’ve finished this little number. The black wool was neighbor Rosalies grannies “funeral” sweater.

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Now, back to the sewing machine.  My handy dandy little “Brother” brand.  Jim thought I’d never use it.  Ha!

 

 

 

Adventures with wool continue.

Today I’ll be working on my second kooky purse. It is a commission piece. I was asked for black with bright funky colors. Since I have not a clue what I’m doing, I priced it right.

I spent much of yesterday making little roses out of hot pink cashmere sweater seams. Today the process continues. I’ve decided to decorate both front and back. Yay, a “reversible-versatile-pursible.”

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But before I resume, I have a mad scientist experiment in the works. You may remember that last year, for twenty minutes, I decided to reinvent myself as a doll maker? So, I chose to buy art- supplies-I didn’t-need-with-money-I didn’t-have. I hopped online and purchased cool fibers for doll hair. Mohair, Alpaca, Tibetan wool.

 

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This little lady has Tibetan wool tresses.  I named her “Mariposa”.  She was adopted out. Now she spends her days sitting in a hair salon, watching women pay big bucks for locks her color.

 

However, since I have the attention span of a fruit fly, I moved on. I exiled the fibers to a box in the corner of my shoe closet. For months they lived there next to a small styrofoam bowl containing three incomplete scary shrunken doll heads.

 

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The blue-eyed head used be atop Mariposa’s neck.  But it was so tiny she looked like a pitiful Zika baby.  I decapitated her and started over.

 

This morning I fished out the hair wool, stuffed it into knee-high pantyhose and tossed it into the washer on “steam cycle” along with the brown wool sweater I scored yesterday.

Prior to Super Bowl Jim tried on that rarely used pullover. It’s a Nordstrom purchase from his days as a regular customer there. Back then, each time Jim walked into the men’s department, Louis Salesguy vaulted across the service counter to wait on him. Jim loved him some Nordstrom’s. Louis loved him some Jim.

Sadly for Jim, the sweater was too small. When he stepped into the kitchen and saw the gleam in my eye, he knew that pullover was going to be way tinier before the week was over.

“Into the washer with you,” I howled!

I also tossed in two random wool squares I worked on during Super Bowl. While (sort of) watching the game, Erika, Lynda’s darling German mom, taught me a new more efficient way to knit. Last night when I woke at 3 a.m. I practiced until finally, happily, sleep overcame me.

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Ah! The steam cycle just ended. Time to shove the wool research experiment into the dryer. Then off to play in my “studio,” aka mixed-use-messy-guestroom.

For your viewing pleasure here are a few more shrunken heads.  I didn’t craft these.

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What’s on my drawing board

New Year, new creative passion. I am having a blast buying wool sweaters, skirts, and coats then tossing them into a hot washer and dryer and turning them into wee-teeny shrunken doll size clothing.

I plan to chop them apart and turn them into wacky purses. This is a great thing because I can incorporate the mountains of other art supplies I’ve accumulated over the years. I have jars of beads, piles of fabric, an ocean of buttons, and an extremely patient husband who supports whatever wild imaginative flight of fancy that strikes my interest.

Yesterdays finds–

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The first weird purse includes a vintage handkerchief that was part of my former Etsy inventory, a wool scarf I began years ago for my son but screwed up casting off, random blue beads dug outta’ my bead hoard, a navy wool sweater Jim donated to the cause, and a silver bumblebee charm because all my artwork gets a bumblebee.

 

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You can kinda’ sorta’ see the bee on the upper right near the strap.

 

Why the bee? Because I once read scientists cannot explain how a fat fuzzy bumblebee can keep itself aloft with such small wings. It’s impossible. Every time I complete a creative venture I feel as if I’ve overcome my own impossible odds.

Now, on to iron my miniature cashmere sweaters, hack them apart and begin making more whimsical handbags.

And I have to give this house a lick and promise in preparation for book club tonight.  We are discussing Imbolo Mbue’s Behold the Dreamers. Good read. I have to skim it again today. I’ve read several other books since then. My gray matter can only retain teaspoons of information these days. The joys of getting old.

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Elderly is good because people expect weird and sketchy from the aged.  I’ve got heaps of weird and sketchy.

Somewhat related blog posts:

Knit Wit

I’m Back!

Wonderful to be Weird

The War of Art