It’s Friday morning. It’s sunny (and cold) and it’s going to be a fab-u-lous day: I’m having brunch Bruce and Annabel and tonight it’s a champagne dinner with Robin and Beverly.
People have either noticed and commented or asked me a question about the baking I am not doing—especially since I had just completely outfitted my kitchen, finished courses and bought incredible cookbooks. I tell them the knowledge and equipment will do me well for the rest of my life.
I used to read avidly, too. And I remember once really enjoying watching TV. A love of those activities may return. I am absolutely certain I’ll be baking lots again but right everything changed this past April and I am going with the flow.
There’s a really strong case to be made that I am still the same person I was before my breakdown but on the inside, its completely different — not worse, not better: Different. And I think the bigger change is not my relationship with food; it’s my relationship with solitude. What was once anathema is now my preferred state. Hmmm.
What works best for me now, is dressing my ladies. And something interesting is happening that I really like.
I started out making dresses that allowed me to do rote things: the zillion pearls, the tissue and plastic feathers. And next, after the apron, is wheat. But the wheat dress has become the “depression” (as in dust bowl) dress. However, I do not want to name a dress the depression dress because it is intended to celebrate a love of life.
I wanted to do a wheat dress because of my inaugural motivation: a meditative-like pursuit of a simple repetitive task: Gluing wheat kernels. But then came the story about a depression bride and I started thinking like her.
What might she — a hungry, penniless Oakie — use to make her wedding dress? And so I started thinking about using drying fruit and I may use popcorn. The dress has become far more than its materials. The wheat dress has more personality than any of its precedents.
This afternoon, my plan is to take my sampler —probably over one hundred hours in production — and drown it in soapy warm tea. I’m hoping the tea will age the whiteness of the threads a bit. Then I’ll roll it in a towel and rinse it before drying it flat and hoping it retains its legibility.
If it works, I’ll be well on my way with the apron. It will remove all my alignment marks and tighten up the fabric and text thread. If it doesn’t work, I will have to sew the text again — for the third time.
I’ve looked everywhere for paper to use with which to make the apron skirt but I couldn’t find anything suitable — even online. So I am making it by printing it on my printer. It’s actually awesome for my purposes and I like that I am “making” it myself with cheap computer paper.
I work better when my place is as tidy as it can be — given that I am using it as a studio. I like to clean up thoroughly every morning before I start making a mess again — and I often clean up again during the day.
Yesterday I did so with a vengeance. I wound up seriously cleaning my desk surface, even re-gluing the mat that covers the surface of my desk where I work all day — the desk surface under my keyboard. — to the desk. It had been warped forever and I’d adjusted by extending my arms and typing on a surface farther from my body. It was awkward, but is no more and it is supper fabulous to be able to type on a stable keyboard again. Yum! I love my office.
And I love my condo right now and where I am, so close to the city’s best restaurants and very short walk to several dollar stores, two huge craft stores and Opus, the fine art store where I used to work. Oh — and the park!
I realize isolation is not right for me and I don’t miss the garden when I have my ladies to play with.