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!

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

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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

Lola in NOLA

Super moon: February 2019

” She wore moonlight

like lingerie.”

-Atticus

No light

but for the moon and stars.

Soak in the heavy darkness,

silent and alone.

I am calm.

the world outside?

Serene.

– J G BRYANT

My road trip project will be a knitting project. I’ve been furiously spinning the yarn, and knit up a sample to see what needles I need.

The “old English lace” stitch reminds me of my maternal grandmother. Pure French/Canadian, we were very close. I would sometimes spend the night with her in a bed that had a brass filigree headboard. I have always been a very early riser. In the morning I would be awake, but not wanting to bother memere; I liked to trace the pattern and feel the texture with my fingertips. Entertained me for hours.

I’m addled and torn

worship, reverence I seek.

Just a little more.

– J G BRYANT

In New Orleans I will become Lola and Lola is getting this here tattoo.

Fancy trim.

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

Winter doldrums

I’ve been going through some hard times lately. An unexplained restlessness that flairs up from time to time. It’s been extremely cold so physical activity is virtually non existent. My projects have become a chore to be completed. I don’t feel like working at the job I love, but when I’m home I just want to go out! This is nothing new, a phase that ebbs and flows. Lack of sunlight, cold weather, and big, seemingly never ending projects are all contributors. That’s why I haven’t posted here or on social media for weeks, I’m a well tapped dry (for now). I sound depressed but I’m not, just transformative growing pains. That saying, this is what I have managed to accomplish.

Taking a much needed break from the French seams on the corset dress. This Japanese pattern I love because it’s simple, elegant and versatile. I’m very pleased with how the blind stitching on the hem of this lining looks. Much nicer than a serged or zigzagged edge. Playing around with a tear drop (more like test tube) opening in the back. Fabric was old bedsheets!

This is th completed opening, same pattern different garment. A little messy there at the bottom of the slit. I’ve tested the new one and it lies much neater and flatter.

My man Luke, taking advantage of a snow day, started testing out ring and weave options for my 40th birthday mantle/collar. This is the one I approved. It’s a modified Japanese weave. We played around quite a bit with it. It looks much better stretched out with gravity doing its work rather than laying horizontal like this. But you get the idea. This is stainless steel.

This woman Dorrie Jacobson has captivated me! She’s 84 and a former playboy bunny.

I sometimes get so caught up in planning for the future that I forget to enjoy the present. It’s my goal to retire a millionaire and also grow older with grace, beauty and wellness. I am ACTIVELY working on these goals continually. I got so inspired seeing how Dorrie has evolved: she’s active, involved, I would assume in relatively good health, SEXY, and CONFIDENT. I want to be there right now! I have to remind myself I have 45 years to go! I mean, that’s longer than I’ve been alive already. Same with my investing. My mantra needs to be slow and steady, and live a little in the here and now. As long as I’m taking small daily steps towards my goals everyday I’m confident I will get where I want to be and at the right time.

Some more Dorrie inspiration.

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I’ve also had the good fortune to come across a musical artist that has really touched my soul. Hozier, is the name he goes by and his music is poetry. His most popular song: ‘Take me to Church’ I love every line but especially, “My church offers no absolution, She tells me ‘worship in the bedroom’. The only heaven I’ll be sent to is when I’m alone with you. I was born sick, but I love it. Command me to be well. Amen, Amen, Amen.”

“I’m almost me again. She’s almost you. I wouldn’t know where to start, sweet music playing in the dark. Be still my foolish heart, don’t ruin this on me.”

Hozier Almost (sweet music)

” A cure I know that soothes the soul, the soul impossibly. A moment’s silence when my baby puts her mouth on me. And it’s easy darling, I need a remedy. And the reason comes in the common tongue of your lovin’ me. ”

Hozier Moment’s silence (Common tongue)

I know, they sound like every other sex and lust saturated lyrics, but there’s something about his voice, guitar and over-all feel that sets him apart from the rest. I haven’t stopped listening to these three songs for a week now! Over and over again!

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.