Sunday, September 16, 2007

Free Form Fiber Art Gone Awry, Diane Arbus, There's A Snake On My Keyboard, and Wynken, Blynken & Nod...

I work from awkwardness. By that I mean I don't like
to arrange things. If I stand in front of something,

instead of arranging it, I arrange myself.

~ Diane Arbus ~

Well, it's been a peculiar time for sure. As I have written as puglings are entering the fold at Dragonfly Cottage I have started a new small business called Haute Couture Pugwear. I own the url, have the business cards printed, and am in the process of having the business name trademarked. It's been PUGS AWWWWAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY here and I've been having a ball. But then something else has been happened. It
all started with a magic shoe.

On my Women's Artistic Soul list, a wonderful list that is in it's fifth year, we have a number of delightful exchanges. On of them is a freeform exchange. Any mediums, crochet, knitting, weaving, spoolknitting and more. We have been doing it since last January and exchange pieces with a new partner every month, the goal being in the end to join all of the pieces with our own work and come up with a wild something-or-other. We've had lots of fun. Then came August, and I swear to you I've no clue what happened.

The Freeform pieces are flat, albeit with a lot of texture and raised design but my little piece turned into a, a, well, ahem, it turned into a shoe. I've no idea what came over me or how it happened. Poor Deb, my partner, (and who took the photos for me because I forgot to photograph them ahead of time! Thanks Deb! And these I have edited to make clearer and more true to color...) must be at a complete loss as to what to do with it. But you see, when I start to work, my brain cells wander out into magic lands and I've no clue what or how it happens or where I'm being led. With the tiny shoe I started crocheting a hot pink circle and as you can see, it quickly took on a life of it's own...

The little pink crocheted
circle that became a shoe....

Then as I got near the top of the shoe I switched from yarn to crochet thread and a small crochet hook and crocheted a lacy light edging around the top of the shoe. I had no idea why, but the shoe was communicating with my subconscious. You can see it here from the side...

You can see the orange and white crochet
thread at the top of the shoe. It became an
open lacy area perfect for lacing a shoelace
through. I made a cord/shoelace using a
Small Wonders Spoolknitter, from the
Crone-Findlays, and only used 3 prongs to
make the cord, and added an antique
turquoise bead at the bottom of each for
weight and a little pizzazz...

Finally I sewed on two vintage buttons in different shades of pink to be shoe buttons to complete the look but there was something missing. I needed a sock to make it complete. I used a Blue Fairy Mighty Mama spoolknitter from the Crone-Findlays and spoolknitted a hot pink and green sock. You can take it in and out, and it's purpose is to hold tiny notes with your dreams and wishes in it so that while you are sleeping your Magic Shoe might sail off with Wynken, Blynken and Nod, my favorite childhood poem, to a magic land where your dreams and wishes could come true.

And now I must share with you the magical poem from my childhood that set me a-sail on a lifetime of dreams from a very little girl and still unto today...

A Dutch Fairy Tale by Eugene Field

1937 edition illustrated by
Feru Bisel Peat

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe---
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
Into a sea of dew.
"Where are you going, and what do you wish?"
The old moon asked the three.
"We have come to fish for the herring fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we!"
Said Wynken,
And Nod.

The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe,
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew.
The little stars were the herring fish
That lived in that beautiful sea---
"Now cast your nets wherever you wish---
Never afeard are we";
So cried the stars to the fishermen three:
And Nod.

All night long their nets they threw
To the stars in the twinkling foam---
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
Bringing the fishermen home;
'Twas all so pretty a sail it seemed
As if it could not be,
And some folks thought 't was a dream they 'd dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea---
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
And Nod.

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,

And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies

Is a wee one's trundle-bed.

So shut your eyes while mother sings

Of wonderful sights that be,

And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea,

Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:

and Nod.

And so you see I didn't mean to make a shoe, but Wynken, Blynken, and Nod took me there, as they have taken me on so many journeys inn my lifetime. Which doesn't in the least account for the snake...

So there I was, engrossed in the most captivating movie called Fur, with Nicole Kidman, Robert Downey, Jr., and others, about the life of famous photographer Diane Arbus. I am just fascinated by her story and want to read a lot more about her, but a funny thing happened to me on the way to making a piece of pugwear. Gee. I really don't know how these things happen. I had been working away on a spoolknitter and making a cord on a cordmaker and truth be told they weren't to have anything to do with one another, and there I was engrossed in the story of this young woman who came to photograph all manner of really odd things for a photographer. Circus freaks, and little people, and dead people, and all manner of other things that people find frightning and turn away from, but Arbus was touched by them and found them beautiful. And I was touched by her and her relationship to her subjects, and then I realized, when I wrote the quote at the top of the page, that perhaps Arbus had influenced me. What is one of the things I am afraid of? Snakes. Not common garden variety snakes, and I'd never kill one unless it was poisonous and about to harm someone, but snakes in general give me the heebeejeebees.

Well, there I was, working away, more lost in the movie than paying attention to the fiber art, and all of a sudden I had finished and was watching the fascinating features after the movie and I looked down and yegods, there was a snake on my keyboard....

She told me her name is Cassandra, and that she was sunning herself on my keyboard and had no intention of moving anytime soon and I'd best just go take my nap until she was done which I suppose I shall. She doesn't look as though she's going to meander off anytime soon. I shall go take a wee little voyage into the magical land of Wynken, Blynken and Nod myself for awhile, and let magic happen there in the land of Nod, where surely it always shall. And Arbus was right. As these odd things appear in my life from shoes to pugs to snakes, it's not business to figure it all out, but to let it come into being and help arrange me. I guess I won't just be making pugwear. There is magic coming through my hands and no one is as surprised as I what will come out next...

As I have said, it is a time of great transformation and change in my life. I hadn't known I would be accompanied by magical shoes, a wild photographer, snakes and more, but then one never really knows, do they?
So I'm off to my nap with 2 black dogs, and when I get up I shall be back to work. Somewhere along the line whimsical pugwear will surface. Until and around all of that no telling what else might find it's way into being, but then that's none of my business. I just let my hands go and let my fiber art arrange my morphing self into one thing after another. There are lessons in them all... Let the world lead you when you're not looking. There's so much magic around us...


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HEYOK said...

Ahhh yes - the magic comes through us AND Wynken, Blynken and Nod. I've been running around hither and thither and it's so nice to return here for latte and such a wonderful post!
Blessings, David

Maitri Libellule said...

David, it's so good to see you honey! Isn't Wynken, Blynken and Nod just so magical? It was read to me when I was a young child and has lived on in my memory forever. It's one of my favorite poems. (My other is "He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven," by Yeats!) And come here for a latte any old time. I can warm you up a scone while Henry makes the latte!



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