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.

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.

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

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!

For the love of lingerie

I’ve been dragging my heels regarding this confession. But here it goes…[deep breath in….gusty exhalation]. I love lingerie. I mean, I may as well wear a tee shirt that says, “will work for shoes and lingerie.” I pay bills, contribute to our retirement accounts, some groceries and gas for my car, but every extra cent is saved for shoes and lingerie.

“Real elegance is everywhere, especially in the things we do not show.” -Christian Dior

“Lingerie is NOT about seducing men. It’s about embracing womanhood.” -Dita Von Teese

“Without foundation, there can be no fashion.” -Christian Dior

There are four lingerie companies that I feel passionate about, Cosabella, Aniela Parys, Fleur du mal and Cadolle.

Aniela Parys, originally from Portland, Oregon is now based primarily out of Barcelona, Spain. She hand makes many of her articles from dead stock (leftover fabric that goes unused by the mill or brand that fabricated it. Be it because the fabric turned out blue when it was meant to be purple, the brand ordered more than they could use or they simply decided it wasn’t right for the piece for which they intended it, deadstock fabric is any textile that’s sitting around as a leftover without plans for future use.).

Now Cosabella is more mainstream. An Italian couple relocated for work from their homeland to Miami, Florida. While her husband was away at work, Valeria needed something to do! She started exporting a selection of Italian made garments to sell in Miami. As other European companies started outsourcing their manufacturing to cheaper countries, Cosabella began producing their own line of lingerie (thus eliminating the middle man) in Italy. Where they are to this day!

Fleur du mal is about dressing up and undressing (that’s their tag line!) . A little edgier then the other two, an e-commerce business with a studio in Soho NYC. I also love their description of goods, “Feminine, chic and slightly subversive.” The founder, Jennifer Zuccarini used to be the design director at Victoria’s Secret before going off on her own. I have never bought a piece of hers yet, but I like looking at them.

Another company I draw inspiration from is Cadolle. Cadolle is THE Parisian lingerie house, Herminie Cadolle literally invented the bra in 1889.

“Lingerie is a woman’s inner, secret glamour.” -Alice Temperley

This is the start to my exploration in lingerie making. There is so much specialty “equipment” ! Look at those tiny pins (game changer right there). I found sewsassy.com as a resource for special elastic, stretch lace, stretch satin, hardware and software. I picked a few things up at Joann’s but selection was limited.

Alabama Chanin baby doll top. Imagine this in different materials: leather, satin, lace trim, a black sequined bodice with a light weight flowy leather “skirt”.

“The first thing you put on in the morning and the last thing you take off at night, make it good!” -unknown

I love being a woman, what feminism means to me

I had an awkward adolescence. Filled with the desire to appear more capable, I adopted a masculine demeanor. I was a “Tom-boy” to the extreme. I dressed in boys clothes, I buzzed my hair, and played tackle football at recess. People were always asking if I was a girl or a boy.

It has only been recently that I came to realize the power in being a woman. Because self confidence and self love is an evolutionary process. I still HATE being short. I’m frustrated that despite my training I can’t jog any faster than a 10 minute mile. I hate my food cravings, and slips of will power regarding food. I wish I could lose 5-10 more pounds. I still have a hard time accepting compliments.

Despite all that….

What I love most about being a woman is how men treat me. Most men look at me with a mixture of amusement and admiration, and treat me with an uncanny respect.

“It is a man’s job to respect a woman, but it is a woman’s job to give him something to respect.” -unknown

I used to get annoyed when a man would help carry something, or open a door for me, etc… like it was an insult, like they thought I was weak and helpless. I’ve come to realize it’s just a sign of respect, akin to bowing to a queen.

“An independent woman doesn’t need a man, but still prefers a gentleman who could take care of her, ravage her in bed, and put her in her place once in a while. And watch how she’ll move mountains and make room for you in her life. “. -britta.who

My best friend KelLee always wears long skirts, and almost always wears a head piece because she is a devote Catholic. She has been amongst some nefarious looking folks, people she was initially frightened to walk by. She was put in an unavoidable situation where she had to speak to them and ask for help, it was all “yes ma’am…your welcome ma’am…anything else I can do for you ma’am?” This is a perfect example of a woman being feminine and some public’s response to her.

I have met a few misogynistic males and I don’t try to change their opinion of me or women in general. I just ignore them and refuse to interact with them, they are not worth my time. Men that don’t respect or like me I don’t associate with, their loss, not mine.

“Truly powerful women don’t explain why they want respect. They simply don’t engage those who don’t give it to them.” – extramadness.com

I feel blessed to have such healthy, positive relationships with men.

“I love men, for all the ways they are different from women.” -Veronique Vial

It seems strange that an essay titled I love being a woman would be mostly about men but it’s like the Foreigner song “I guess it’s just the man in you that brings out the woman in me. ” ( pronouns switched for my purposes)