Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Beginning of MY "Wedding Season" - 2010

All at once, it seemed, in the summer of 2010, my friends from college and the life beyond began to get hitched. I had experienced a similar rush directly out of college of Kentucky friends from childhood. That, however, I could explain as a regional fluke. But my liberal college friends? I was certain they wouldn't beat me to the "altar". (as if it were a race!)

Both brides of the summer of 2010 were old roommates of mine. For Alison, I made a quilted table runner featuring paper umbrellas like the one that we had hanging in the dining room of our 5th street apartment. We spent many nights having family-style dinners in that room, candles lit, bottle of wine between us. I hope the runner makes appearances during such - and more romantically inclined- dinners throughout her marriage.
Sam and Jon's summer feast wasn't a wedding per se, but I couldn't miss the chance to embroider these dish towels with leaping lambs. I imagine these towels will clean up some of the tastiest messes in the world.

Inspired, in part by my mother's habit of crocheting a blanket as wedding gift, I began my own tradition. I started embroidering and sewing gifts for my friends and family. Call it cost-saving, call it off the registry. I call it personalized. I hope that the things I make end up being around for years, and not in a drawer but covered in stains from overuse.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Wedding A Month - April Edition

As Promised. I am unsure if one has been opened yet, so I won't post pictures of that yet. Amy & Scott had a fantastic wedding full of excitement and exuberance that I associate with the two of them. The ceremony included (amongst other charming bits):

1. A walk down the aisle to "Be My Baby" - one of our college band's (The Quick & Dirties) most requested songs.
2. A dog ringbearer.
3. A flashmob brass band playing a rousing version of R. Kelly's "Ignition".

I decided it was NOT rude to give a wedding gift to my friend Eli, another Beloit guest at the wedding, 8 months after his North Carolina wedding which I was unable to attend. His bride and he had a farm wedding and I wanted to capture the simplicity and beauty of some of the pictures I saw from the event in a small embroidery. It wasn't until Eli opened their gift at the reception that I found out Amanda had spent months collecting blue Ball Jars for decorations.

The image also reminds me of summer nights of collecting lightning bugs in a jar and watching them blink lazily, on and off on and off, from my bedstand as I fell into sleep.

ON ANOTHER NOTE: (pun intended) A song has been driving me for several months now. It often plays on loop on my computer and when it's not playing there it's looped in my head. When a song acts like a virus in your body, I tend to believe there is good reason for it.

Evidently, I heard it over a year ago for the first time but didn't pay attention. The occasion was a dormitory desk shift with one of my best friends at Interlochen. We were sharing songs that were moving and shaking us at the time- an easy thing for music to do when your heart is primed by the loneliness that ResLife jobs create. I guess that, like I do when I'm overwhelmed with my own emotions, I didn't so much listen to her but wait until I could play her MY song. (I'm sorry, Juliet. I'm working on this.) Either way I did discover the song this winter, just in time. Maybe it wasn't time for me to hear it last winter considering I obviously wasn't ready to listen to it.

The song is Ryan Montbleau's :: "75 and Sunny" Listen to the whole thing through, the sound of it is repetitive, yes, but the lyrics are so potent. One verse is especially important to me:
"And I’ve got a best friend. She don’t drink or smoke like I’ve been known to. She’s got religion. She’s a one-woman dynamo and lights up every room she goes to. She says the light that’s there won’t go nowhere, no way. She don’t spend every second smiling, but she’s learning something exciting every day.

She’d rather be 75 and sunny than 29 with a chance of showers all the time. She’d rather be old as dirt than new as any $9 bottle of wine. Or to be thawed at 35, mama, stoned with her back to the wind. You better believe she’s living for the moment but her moment is the whole damn thing."
I hope people see me, know me and still think of me in this way. I'd like to be known as someone pressing to see the positive in each situation- someone who carries a light that no one can extinguish. Not just an artist, teacher, musician or aunt but an advocate for hope and and good will.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Wherein Art Fulfills Me

Forget everything else. Forget the time that's lapsed. Forget any promises I made to you or to myself. The only expectation I ever plan to hold myself to is to not give up. Today, that is shown by a half-thought, half-paragraph intro to a post about nothing much at all. Nothing much but something I can be proud of. And that's really something.
I am still a lady mostly unemployed, unfortunately. But my time fills itself well. I am busy with friends, with family, with church, but most intentionally with projects. I do love projects. As someone who has had several short trysts with unemployment before I have learned some decent coping tactics. I haven't found a cure for the restlessness or the frustration. BUT, I have found a way to secure some relief: MAKE THINGS.

After my community college course was over (Oh, by the way, I got an A.) and I had completed my video, I felt great need to have a new assignment to set my sights on finishing. Lucky for me, I've got a new set of deadlines to meet during the spring/summer season of - have you guessed yet?- WEDDINGS!

March belonged to my college pals Liz and Andrew. They are one of the all time greatest couples ever. I couldn't just get them something off of their registry. A soap dish wouldn't cut it as a representation of my love of their union. These complementary, customized aprons and "famous food couples" cotton dish towels did the trick. And dying the fabric, designing the images, researching fonts, and embroidering kept me busy and feeling productive for the better part of a week.

Take that unemployment.
Stay tuned for April's installment- coming soon!
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