June 30- July 17

I recently read that though many legitimate dreams may seem unrealistic in the moment, there is no reason we shouldn’t continue to pursue those dreams or at least dare to dream.

I have been having a recurring vision. Firstly, I’ve been intrigued by body painting: using the human body as a canvas for art.

Just imagine my entire body spray painted silver, gold or multi metallic swirls and over it I wear the clear plastic slip dress. I could also stand on a matching pedestal and be a live sculpture.

Or….

Again, gold, silver, copper body wearing the tee shirt knit from one continuous yarn and twirling while someone unravels the piece

“I’m most likely to be that old woman topless on a beach somewhere with a couple bottles of beer and her dog. I’ll be a very happy old woman because I found my happiness and it’s absolutely under the sun by some water.” adapted from a quote by Audrey Leighton. Happy Birthday to me! Last year of my 30’s.

Vintage dress, a real find at my friend and coworker’s shop People Places Things.

The new dress required a slip so I made one. I have been saving pieces of lining from the other garments I cut up, so I pieced them together for this bias cut slip. Sexiest thing I’ve ever worn!

This leather came from a deer in our field that gifted us with a freezer of meat and material for clothes. First time I’ve ever had a hide tanned and turned into leather, extremely happy with the result. Processed in Michigan, the drape and feel is so luxurious! Waiting for just the right project.

Making my own clothes is supposed to be my passion, my gift to myself, my soul enriching hobby. But sometimes, like preparing to have an art show, it becomes drudgery. I need to just follow my heart and make this suede wrap skirt (leather courtesy of an old couch). If it doesn’t wake me up before dawn calling me to the studio I shouldn’t be doing it!! I’m not giving up on my show, I’m just going to take it slow and easy.

Latest inspiration board.

Working title June 10, 2019

Finally finished both prototypes, a wrap skirt and a deep v backed top. Both made entirely from repurposed fabric.

Details: back stitching the seed stitch fabric to the stretch denim sleeves. The mitered edge and criss cross embroidery stitch. Then by poking holes in the fabric I did a single crochet stitch waist. This piece was practice for a whole dress. For the dress the skirt would be knit down by picking up the edge of the crochet waist piece.

The wrap skirt was made from different denim jeans pieced together. I machine sewed the basic construction and finished the raw edges with a real tight and wide zig zag stitch on the machine. I then hand topstitched every seam.

This slip dress is being made out of an old shower curtain liner that we then used for a painting drop cloth. I’m been brainstorming and playing with different paints, wondering how to embellish it. This is one of the art show garments.

Latest inspiration board. Stella McCartney, Ulla Johnson and Katharine Cobey. Ms. Cobey’s knit creations are out of plastic garbage bags and wire.

Another source of inspiration are music lyrics. Like Brian Setzer’s song The Footloose Doll: ” Just look at that chick in the silvery dress. She’s got a cool tattoo and her hair is a mess, but every single guy in the joint is just watching her dance!”

And Walk The Moon’s song Shut up and Dance: “A backless dress and some beat up sneaks. My discotheque, Juliet, teenage dream.”

I like to create myself into an image of the women described in songs.

I leave you with a quote.

“I think everything in life is art. What you do. How you dress. The way you love someone, and how you talk. Your smile and your personality. What you believe in, and all your dreams. The way you drink your tea. How you decorate your home. Or party. Your grocery list. The food you make. How your writing looks. And the way you feel. LIFE IS ART.”

-Helena Bonham Carter

Spring 2019

Small sounds

The constant buzz of honey bees

gorging on maple blossoms.

The pops and crackle of my camp fire.

Birds, oh the birds!

Whistling, twittering, screeching, chirping, humming.

Peeper frogs, the very sound of Spring itself,

little amphibious lullaby.

Pond water gently lapping on the bank.

Brought to life by wind and rain.

My little work alter, paying homage to the energy and spirit of New Orleans.

Next:

Wrap skirts. My friend Rose gifted me that beautiful brocade fabric with Fleur de Lis’ and bees. Of course you all know about me adopting the “fleur” as “my” symbol but also my husband is a bee keeper! So how absolutely perfect is that!? I want to make a skirt with it but I must practice, so I’m doing a scrap denim skirt first.

Japanese inspired, dolman sleeved top from all upcycled material. Including porcupine quill embellishment.

The sleeveless funnel top I was knitting with VHS tape was curling so bad in stockinette stitch that I had to start over in garter stitch.

Some early fashion photos! The one on the left is me in pre-school, I remember I didn’t want my picture taken but they made me so I made a funny face! The other is one Christmas morning. I remember feeling very luxurious in both outfits.

My most recent inspiration board.

And…what am I listening too?

A playlist I made up called My kind of feelings. A combination of Tab Benoit and Santana, and Whitesnake radio!

Gaining focus

Working on my art show pieces. Tentative title: “Material”. Fleshing out my artist statement as well.

The first piece made from strips of various blue used tee shirts. Dolman sleeves, Japanese influence, including red stitch detailing. My first success in machine sewing interlock fabric. The second piece is a funnel neck sleeveless top out of VHS tape. The third will be an elegant day dress using repurposed material in a variety of mediums: sewing, crochet, and knit. Bodice pieces cut from a seed stitch mans polo shirt found in a free pile on the side of the road.

Finished my first vest. I got a gift certificate to Joann’s from our neighbor and bought this vest pattern and fabric. Note the beautiful buttonholes!! Many more in the future. Vests and buttonholes!

People stare at me.

My husband says it’s because I’m so sexy,

he’s a nice man like that.

I think it’s because they can see

how awkward I feel.

– J G BRYANT

Always inspired by the hot ladies of the eighties.

I am an old soul,

susceptible to having doors held open

and courteous, fond farewells.

A beguiling, antiquated courtship.

Niceties, manners and chivalry,

a chair pulled out, a kiss on the hand.

Flowers, multitudes of flowers.

Treat me like a queen,

Love me like a man.

J G BRYANT

Atticus xx

Truth.

My son, knowing no concept of judgement or embarrassment sees many a dance party when I should be doing dishes and folding laundry.

Devastating Lovliness

Standing by the door

frequently crave this darkness

swathes me like a cloak.

-J G BRYANT

“Finished” the corset dress and the lace wristlets just in time for our Valentine’s dinner date.

Shot on site of the Bryant Stove Works Thorndike, Maine. Also, finished my Japanese dress made from old bed sheets.

The Sun’s all fire

Sun’s love intense for the Moon

The Moon’s like Water

– J G BRYANT

I need to now get serious about pieces for an art show and work on my proposal. I also have the Knitmaineia fashion show to get ready for. A friend’s voice asking me, “when will you have a show here”? Keeps echoing in my mind.

My mom was into macrame back in the day. This except from one of her instruction books has unique bead ideas. She made exceptional bread dough beads. I thought these may be utilized in my art show which is fleshing out to be about fashion and material sustainability; turning trash into treasure, reusing raw materials instead of always producing new.

There is nothing quite as romantic as a Hemlock grove.

A secretive, shadowy grotto.

By little bubbling steams and moaning,murky ponds.

Their elegant,slender needles on boughs that shroud the landscape like dark lace.

– J G BRYANT

Working title February 3, 2019

Immersed in poetry. Lyrics and music by Hozier, prose by Atticus and Jewel. Writing my own in my head during my walks, then making their way to paper. Ultimately a resurgence of creativity in the atelier.

Finished enough French seams to add the beaded neck binding.

Came up with a new outfit idea inspired by AnyOldIron from Nashville, Tennessee. I was thinking of buying one of their sequined jumpsuits during my southern pilgrimage. Alas, that price is a little prohibitive, but…I can make something similar!

Born under the sign of Cancer

I am drawn to sparkles

They resemble

Sunlight on water.

– J G Bryant

Sash making. What I find both frustrating and interesting when using repurposed fabric is dealing with and working around flaws. Take these holes for instance, I embroidered over them. Little details like these only add to the character of the garment.

These Frame denim jeans are handcrafted in Los Angeles. I purchased these at Nordstrom Rack in Boston for a RIDICULOUSLY low price. But, the time has come to customize. Flares will become skinnies. Then they need a dye job. Patching and embroidery may become involved. I’ve contemplated “punking” out one pair with randomly placed repurposed zippers.

I stand naked in front of the mirror

Squinted eyes scrutinize

Every detail like an art critique.

This is soft and squishy

I wish my breasts were better shaped

My ankles are nice.

Am I beautiful? Do I think so? Does anyone think so? Do I even care? Why do I care? What is beauty anyways?

My inner woman’s consciousness monologue to my inner psychologist.

I feel the stares

Do they think I’m ridiculous?

But nobody laughs, nobody scoffs, nobody says anything.

– J G Bryant

The big 4-0

In just about a year and a half I will be 40 years old, and I couldn’t be more excited!! I haven’t had a birthday party since I was a child, and even then it was hard because we were all on summer vacation from school. Living in a rural area if you didn’t have a car you were at the mercy of other people’s schedule as to when you could see your friends. For my fortieth I am planning one whopper of a party! Of course that means also planning the outfit that I will wear at the party.

I will be head to toe SILVER. Silvery/gray satin slip dress worn with an aluminum chainmaille mantle, white gold leather clogs and silver nail polish. I want to be radiant and resplendent! Maybe even my hair will cooperate and produce some more silvery-gray for the occasion.

I’m extremely committed to growing older with beauty and grace. I walk EVERYWHERE, I practice HIIT yoga, eat SUPER cleanly, and am continually engaging my mind in new activities and situations and listen to non-fiction audiobooks. I don’t get all worked up about the fine crow’s feet wrinkles around my eyes or the Shar-pei creases and age spots on my forehead, it’s more of a general feeling of wellness, fitness, agility, energy and intelligence that I focus on. Though I do try and keep my skin well hydrated.

In short, turning 40 is not a moment I dread but one to look forward to and celebrate!