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.

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

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!