Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A New Day---Perceptions!

Hello there!  I hope you are having a wonderful day, and if not, remember, tomorrow is an new one, with new chances and new opportunities.  I'm taking on a personal challenge of changing my perception.  Often in this world we go through some tough stuff.  Maybe we go through a lot of tough stuff, and it beats us up and beats us down until our perception of the world and all that is in it has changed into something not so wonderful. 

Remember being a kid, and the pure innocence of it?  How easy it was to forgive and forget and move on to the next amazing discovery of what life held? 

What does it take to live life that way?  An open heart, and open mind, and so much love that when it's trampled upon, 'we hardly recognize anyone has done us wrong.'  Paraphrasing a little from the Bible there:) 

Now, what's the point of putting myself out there and talking about these and other personal things on my blog?  What's the point of opening up myself to ridicule, judgment and the like?  I say, what's the point in living inside a box and feeling like what I have to say does not matter and does not count?  There's no point to that.  There is no value in it.  What is valuable?  Living a well lived life...helping others, communicating feelings that we all share...but sometimes don't like to bring out into the bright light of day.  What is VALUABLE?  Living each day in a STATE OF GROWTH.  When we are growing, we are becoming the best of who and what we are.  When we are not growing....we are stuck, and sometimes we are dying.  Just look at plants, animals, the environment surrounding us!  If we cannot learn from the growth of nature, then we are surely a blind and dying species.  Nature teaches us balance in life.  If there were no balance, we would have no environment in which to grow and thrive.  Now there's a word for you.  Thrive.  When something is thriving, don't we just love to watch it?  When we see things thriving---taking life to the next level---we become intrigued, amazed, astonished, and inquisitive as to what other mysteries lay ahead that we might discover.  Further, when we begin to think and act in just these ways, we begin a journey where we are growing and may one day also thrive. 

And so, the journey that is the rest of my life begins anew today, because I say so.  Is it impossible to change our minds?  I say, nothing is truly impossible so long as you believe.

Have a great day...do something different...do something for yourself or another to make you feel good...something that will last, not a fleeting pleasure (i.e. a chocolate bar!)  Live in the moment, making the moment count towards a new and better future. 

Photos courtesy 'Dreamtime Photos'


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Decorated Wire Dress Form!!!

A wire doll dress form that my terific hubby bought for me up in Canada. It was just a plain wire form...unpainted.  Later when I was back in the states, watched marathon episodes of Project Runway, and made this beautiful doll dress form.  It was so much fun to make, and she's been hanging around the house for a while...now she's ready for a home.  If you love her like I do, email me and let's talk!!!  Fabric has been wrapped around the wire form all over the bodice.  Strips of handmade papers were torm and sewn on for the skirt, with many other ephemera added.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Geisha Doll Commission Finished Today!

Here she is all finished!  First, the hair was sewed on.  Next, a flower was fashioned from a larger pre-made flower.  Beads were sewn into the center of the flower...and a comb with hanging pearls was made (ends soldered) for the opposite side of her hair.  Two small square swatches of fabric were added to the top of the piece so that the handle could be attached.  I do have a couple of more things to do to it though:  I have to sign the piece underneath her kimono at the bottom (with free motion stitching)...and perhaps sew her a name under there, and finally, a solid piece of fabric or felt will be sewn to the back so that all the stitching I've done will be hidden. 

I must say that a lot of fun has been had in the making of her.  She has also turned out just as lovely or maybe even a bit moreso than I had imagined:)  If anyone has any NAME IDEAS FOR THE GEISHA please let me know in the comment section below!!!

Thanks,  Cynthia

Friday, June 3, 2011

Geisha Doll Continued!!!

 Started off pleating and gathering ripped strips of the red and gold fabric to make the top part of her kimono.  Sewed these down, then dyed, ripped and added the long strips of creamy gold fabric from the waist down.
More strips of fabric were layered and sewn at the waist.  I am LOVING HER, I must say!!!
I hope to finish her tomorrow. 

Have a great one!


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Working on a Geisha Doll Commission!!!

Hi there!  I've been diligently working on my geisha doll commission for several days.  I kept trying a few different prototypes before finally coming up with something that I thought worthy of pursuing:)  You see, I had no clue how I was going to make the 'doll'...but figured out something I think suits my talents best...so the doll will be the best I can offer my friend and customer.  I also love the organic process of letting things come together, rather that totally planning them out from the beginning.  All this fiddling around---and you end up with something really original.  That's a terrific part of the puttering through until you find what works.  It's also a little jog for the brain...a brain teaser so to speak...like, ok, what now?

At this point, her face is not done, but I am happy enough with it to wait until later to tweak it!  This is just a loose piece of muslin fabric.

In this step, I placed the face on the master piece of fabric backed with batting and free motion stitched an outline around it.  I left room at the top of the head for some stuffing to make the face stand out...a little more doll-like:) 

The neck was then outlined with thread as well (still free motion stitching) and a little stuffing was put inside.  The bottom of the neck was left open. 

Since the geisha's head was so large, I had to double the length of the piece.  So I made an exact copy of the first piece of heavy muslin backed with bamboo batting and sewed it to the bottom of the first.  The plain fabric was then stamped, heat set, and a wash of gold colored acrylic paint was put over most of the fabric.  The unpainted part will not be seen once the doll has her kimono attached!

So, that's it for now.  Stay tuned!!!!

Have a wonderful day!


What is Upcycling?

"Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value."  Online Source

I guess I called the purse I made in the previous post 'upcycled' because the actual generic 'starter' bags I bought were pretty useless to me...until I mixed them with 'scraps' of fabric to make something new, beautiful, fun and useful.

So, if you're like me and have seen this new word 'UPCYCLED' hanging around town, well, now we all know what it means:)

I personally LOVE THE IDEA OF REUSED, VINTAGE, RECYCLED, REPURPOSED ITEMS.  By now I think a lot of us in America have been made aware of the fact that we produce most of the world's garbage.  We've become a 'throw away' society, where we let developing countries take the consequences for the vast amounts of garbage we create.  We pay them to take the responsibility for our actions.  Who was is that said, "To whom much is given, much is expected..."???  Or something like that.  We have had so much for so long, but I don't think America as a collective is making good and responsible choices with our wealth.  Greed is a huge factor in our society today.  Do you ever stop and look around and wonder why so many are so greedy?  Why does 5% of the population own 95% of the wealth?  How is it that we have let this happen?  Does it even sound right when you say it?  Of course not.

That's something that I have come to realize about nature lately...something they mentioned one day on the Oprah show;  nature doesn't take more than it needs to survive.  If certain elements in nature took too much, there wouldn't be enough left for the circle of life to sustain itself.  As with our bodies, nature, all parts of life itself...there must be balance.  Balance sustains better living, imbalace does not.  It's really that simple and we all know this deep down inside....so why is there such a great imbalance in the distribution of wealth in our country?  It doen't make people happier...that has been prooven. 

So what's the answer?  A personal best.  Do your personal best to live the best life you can.  Do what you can every day to recycle and reuse items.  Make a conscious choice about the products you buy (likewise who and what you are supporting), how much use versus waste you get out of a product, --buy local produce when possible (it's also better for you), make your own compost (it's easy and the soil will be awsome for future potting).  It's amazing how much you can reduce the amount of garbage you and your family are putting in a landfill.  Mother Earth will thank you...and you'll feel better about yourself and your life, knowing you are contributing in this way. 

We don't just turn around one day and our lives are everything we ever wanted them to be without some work, some thought and a continual effort.  We also need not expect everything to change all at once...being unhappy when it doesn't.  This is the great thing of life...the JOURNEY.  There is no pot of gold at the end...the pot of gold is what we make of it right now---IN THIS MOMENT. 
I'm off to find my little pot of gold with a friend for lunch right now.  A little art talk, a little sushi....it's all good.

Have a Wonderful Day!