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

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.

Fashion is instant language

“What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today, when human contacts are so quick. Fashion is instant language.” samman_prajapati

The chainmaille shrug is finished!

More chainmaille inspiration. For a future project? [wink, wink]

I ordered these TiroTiro earrings in early November because her lead time on made to order was up to 3 weeks. On December 19th I still hadn’t received them, so I sent her an email kindly asking of their status. It turns out weeks ago they were marked already shipped, and on top of that one of the styles had been recently discontinued. She offered to refund my money on that one pair or replace it with another style (any cost discrepancy would be on her). I picked a replacement pair, and since I had really wanted to wear them to a big family Christmas party on December 22, she overnight FedExed them! I’m still in awe at her customer service and eternally grateful for all she did for me.

Still experimenting with non-traditional materials, and newly influenced by this company I was recently told about, Tonle.

I borrowed my rigid heddle loom back and started weaving with denim strips cut from discarded jeans. I’m thinking about making a kimono style jacket with the material. We received new pillows for Christmas, so I started spinning the stuffing from our old ones to use as warp on another weaving project. Polyester pillow stuffing warp and VHS tape weft.

I leave you with photos from Tonle’s website where they used mountains of textile factory waste as a backdrop.

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!

Always inspired

I’m sometimes asked if I get inspiration from fashion magazines. My answer? Not really. I get inspired from Instagram, Pinterest, and folks I see at work. Here are a couple examples:

The last two are from a magazine though! But you can see what sorts of things I’m looking at. I like the idea of painting on clothes, that’s been going on for a while but I’m conflicted because I also like solid black. I love making entire outfits one color but all different textures; black velvet, with black leather, with black lace, with black denim, black jersey, black satin, with black beads or sequins, oh ya!

All denim outfits. Instagram inspiration. I’m planning on making a pair of jeans with random zippers all over, I’ve started saving zippers off the clothes I’m repurposing.

Working on the pattern for the second NOLA dress. A maxi length corset dress. And my new cards came in today!

Started the trim on the new Christmas jacket. Made from repurposing a huge, ugly, gaudy blazer, found on the free pile at our community center and leather remnants. Gold thread, herringbone stitch on embossed patent leather.

Husband Luke fitting me for my chainmaille bolero! He’s working on it again! Aluminum rings from The Ring Lord in Canada.

First NOLA dress. The skirt is made from repurposed curtains that I bought for a dollar at a yard sale, then dyed. Bodice is only basted onto the skirt, but I had to put it on and dance a little!! Can be worn with or without the corset, although the corset ensures no wardrobe malfunction will occur while boogieing to a zydeco street band in the French Quarter, LOL!