Material Witness will focus on extreme textile process. Images will be posted here showing the history of my work, new work, developing projects and inspiration.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Little Red Capes

I have just been out finishing up shopping for the holidays. Didn't get it all done but got inspired enough to come home and make something up for my great nieces instead of buying them.
Lovely, little red melton wool capelets with riding hoods to keep them prancy and warm!

I want to make one for everyone I know.

I am wearing a black cape this year and love how cozy it is. It always freaks out shop owners though. My honest self doesn't steal unless you count roadside rusty bits and the occassional snipping of plant material. They are worried about me because I am large and wearing a cape and see millions of items being shoved up there. I never do but am dreamy and walk around slowly seeking random inspiration and I am nearly six feet tall and that scares them.

The best thing I have seen in the last year or so is the warm crocheted collars in colours for wrapping icy necks, knees and wrists. Practical and lovely.

Still trying to chase the ghosts of Christmas past away. Tim woke up all worried about everything almost all night long. I will drug him with Baileys and hot milk tonight so I can get some sleep. Nothing else works.

Crashed into an old man today with my blind side and looked at him and realized he was a younger work buddy from a few years ago. Huh...this agey thing.

Got the rates for my new workshop and it is ginormous. How thrilling. Now I have to finish my show and figure out what is erotic about hives anyways. Other than the fact I worked as a weekend shampoo girl at fourteen for free hair cuts and scrubbed an old prostitute's BeeHive.
Her hair was so hard from hairspray that it was like washing wood. Head lice were petrified in it. She became my project because I was so fascinated and horrified by her.
She came back every week and requested me and I provided a remarkable service. She left me huge tips and gave me twenty bucks at Christmas. She also told me she had a job for me if I ever wanted it and I thought she meant that I could be her personal shampoo girl.


Quinny, who is in grade one and who worked for me at the gallery this summer sweepin' and tidyin', cut her bangs off this week. Down to the root. With pinking shears. The day before her school Christmas concert. She is thrilled with the look and says it feels like she wanted it to. "Just like cat hair!" She also went to get her ears pierced after much begging and has now got to the felt tip marker stage a few times before she takes off in terror. Not one earring hole but the apprehension is killing her. She is going to try again this week. A born textile artist to be sure.

I got my ears pierced at thirteen. I went with my friend Carole Card to give her support while she was getting pierced. We had forged notes from mothers. Forgery was a specialty of mine.
Carol asked me to sit in the chair and get mine done so she could watch. I was terrified but felt obligated and not remembering the "if your friends jump over a cliff doesn't mean you have to go first" adage. I yelped when the punch went in and Carole took off out of the Mall and down the road in horror. I had to endure the next ear puncture and tears and fork over my Christmas money. I also had to figure out how to explain it to my strict parents how it was I didn't make it to class that day and got holes in my head instead. I avoided the conversation altogether until infection ensued. Holding your hair over your ears constantly may be less than subtle body language that something is up. Carole still didn't have earrings on by high school.

My thirteen year old son paid me back in kind. He was talking to me long distance on the phone. I was working up in Fort Nelson and he was home with Tim. I was trying to maintain some level of connection. I was accused of"Long Distance Nagging".

"OwwwOwww" quietly sucked through teeth was all I heard. "What is the matter?" I asked. Not wanting to know but panic strickened. "OwwwOwww" was the response a little louder and an explanation that the needle was rammed into and caught in his ear cartiledge. The needle came from the floor and he used an old bar of soap to clean it. I nearly fainted and Tim happened on the gory scene to do a first aid rescue. Self surgery Son was an infected mess for a month.

Life presents so many creative possibilities.

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