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.

Back in the saddle again.

My Fleur de lis

The symbol of France and French royalty.

The symbol of New Orleans, Lousiana and Florence, Alabama.

The Holy Trinity.

The brand of prisoners.

Maybe courtesans too?

A Lily.

A Iris.

I am a French woman, strong and proud as a queen.

I love New Orleans, and God too.

I’m a little bad.

I’m a little good.

That’s what my Fleur de lis tattoo means to me.

odAomo is the creative-outlet-turned-design-brand of Dr. Sophia Aomo Omoro. Born in Kenya, Dr, Aomo came to North America to finish her education to become a ear,nose and throat surgeon and settled in New Orleans. Her designs are brought to fruition by 6 women in Kenya, and fabric is sourced from independent Kenyan textile distributors. All being paid a living wage. You can read more about this remarkable company on their website odaomo.com The above skirt and pants are from her store in New Orleans.

Mignon Faget is (in my opinion) THE quintessential New Orleans jeweler. As you can tell she is inspired by what she sees everyday, and everything that represents New Orleans and Louisiana. See and read about all her collections at mignonfaget.com

A little shot of Mardi Gras.

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The warm sun on my face,

the perfect antidote to the cool breeze across my body.

Walking three miles for my morning coffee.

J G BRYANT

In delightful anticipation of future projects that combine different compositions of textile.

Current state of affairs. Books, journal, sampling, and work in progress

……………………………………………………

A shoulder to lean on,

a hand to hold.

I don’t need them.

I will cry my own self to sleep,

and in the morning, be fine.

“Call if you need help.”

I won’t.

You’ll just have to show up.

– J G BRYANT

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” I hope one day, I’ll look back and think, yes… I made my life a living art.”

-Audrey Leighton Rogers

New Orleans 2019

Walking around the old neighborhoods of New Orleans was like getting plugged into an electrical outlet. The city pulsates with art and inspiration. Everywhere you look there are painters on the sidewalks and parks. Mimes, live sculpture performers, psychics, tarot card readers, and fortune tellers. MUSIC, music of all kinds pours out from every door, crevice and open space. There’s live music and music from the stereo or someone’s sound system.

Symbolism runs deep and is plentiful, fleur de lis’ are EVERYWHERE and there’s a encyclopedias worth of stories behind its meaning. Crescents, New Orleans is known as the crescent city as it is shaped between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain, so there are a lot of moon symbols around. The colors Purple, Green and Gold also dominate the scenery. Purple stands for justice, green represents faith, and gold for power. Even the trusses of the Mississippi River bridge or Crescent connector have been used in local jewelry design.

I can’t believe that I was so overwhelmed I forgot to have any pictures taken of me in my outfits, that I made just for this trip! I will highlight some of the local artists that I supported in further posts.

(Photos from Pinterest: Gourmet Traveller and Tracy Emanuel from National Geographic. I saw some of these folks, I just forgot to take photos!)

Street musicians in Jackson Square

looking like 19th century, foggy, sooty London

Play their gypsy music

while the dog sleeps in a guitar case.

Ragged, black clothes.

Funky hats,

multiple tattoos.

Dark and dingy

against the background of colorfully painted

buildings and gas street lights.

I drop a dollar in the tin.

They love to

play their gypsy music

while the dog sleeps in a guitar case.

J G BRYANT

Sitting at the cafe

in my black sequined gown.

Eating beignets

and drinking Cafe Au Lait.

Getting white powdered sugar on my black lace gloves.

J G BRYANT

Palmettos spiking

out of the bayou

like Egyptian fans.

Wild pigs rooting

in the distant foliage.

Spanish moss draped over massive oaks

like exotic dancer’s scarves,

moving to the music: clicks and chirps

of shorebirds’ songs.

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

A new year of rare and precious beauty

I’m scared of stupid stuff. Like putting in a zipper, zippers intimidate me. Knitting fairisle short rows also makes me quake in my clogs! So I should devote this year to create garments that incorporate these very elements and do a lot of it!

I love these sweaters! But I shudder at the thought of even starting. But, I want to be that woman; I mean, just look at her! She looks so peaceful, confident, and free, enjoying every second of the beautiful day.

I’m into rad knits, fringe and tassels. I’m not sure I want to add any bulk to my short, little body though. The Honeycomb Henley is designed by Norah Gaughan.

I am going to knit (and model) this sweater (out of the book Loop-d-Loop) for the next Knitmaineia fashion show. One of the reasons I haven’t written so long is because I’ve been busy spinning the yarn for this sweater, and that takes time away from knitting and sewing! I plan on this being the project I work on while traveling in the south this March. I could never be brave enough to wear it with nothing underneath like the picture.

I have managed to get some done on the black corset dress for NOLA. I have decided on French seams to protect my skin from the scratch of the sequins. I am literally sewing each seam 3 times! But it is so worth it. I’m also thinking about creating a reverse hi/low hem line. As in, slightly above the heels in the back and almost kissing the ground in the front. I believe it will give the illusion of a ball gown but I will be able to walk without the risk of stepping on the hem. Something to fiddle with. Then there are the black lace fingerless gloves that go with it! I had to go down 2 needle sizes to achieve the look I desired but I’m happy with them now.

I bought a poetry book for my husband for Christmas hoping to encourage more romantic dialogue, well….. instead there was a lot of eye rolling and bland expressions. Oh well, I like it. In fact, I would like to embroider one line on a top, like the one above. This quote is very popular for tattoos.