Friday, August 23, 2013

The Beauty of What Isn't and a Woven Pillow for the Patio

 Life continues to bounce along at break neck speed, which necessitates that any personal crafting be geared toward short, easy-to-interrupt projects.  It would be delightful to have languorous, expansive blocks of time to work, but THAT is just not happening in my world lately.  The little pillow pictured at left proved just the right Crafty Fun for when I am crazy busy, but find myself with an available five minutes here and there.  It can be picked up and put down without counting stitches or losing my place and is easily transportable.  Best part, the mindless rhythm of the weaving is very Zen and provides good pondering time.  Perfect!  It took me a month or longer to finish, but only because I worked on it so intermittently.  It could easily be completed in an afternoon.

Weaving seems to be my obsession of the moment and I was engaged in some Google Image Time Wasting when I came upon this incredibly awesome rug from the Free People Decor Blog:

Spectacular, isn't it?  You can get the instructions FREE on the Free People Blog.  They suggest making the round loom from cardboard, but I chose to make mine from wood so that it would have a longer shelf life.   I will definitely be having another go at this project as I ran into some technical difficulties that I would like to see if I can correct.   My intention was to make a Big Ole Runner for the long hallway that runs through my house....but then I started to think on it a bit.  I have five dogs.  They are finally all housebroken---even Sophie!---but we are contemplating getting our next foster rescue puppy and a rug like that would be calling out to be peed upon.  Hmmmm.

I persevered, even though I wasn't thrilled with the colorway I was using.  I was determined to use materials already on hand...rope  lying about the shop and some of the poorly spun yarn from my first efforts at spinning.  I figured if it didn't work out, I would lose only a bit of time, rather than a chunk of change.  The colorway made me want to ditch the project halfway through, but I thought of my friend Meryl, who says that "If you are not happy with your project, you are simply not finished with it yet."  Words of wisdom, for sure, and I figured that maybe I just wasn't finished.

First time efforts are always a challenge, but they are important for stretching personal boundaries, so I kept weaving...and grew happier with the colorway.   Maybe this rug was going to happen after all!

I persevered...but then I started thinking about Cooper.  He is our most anxious dog.  He was a foster rescue  that proved too damaged to be adoptable, so we decided to try to Love Him To Mental Health. is that working out for us?  You be the judge!  We adore him but he comes with challenges.  Surely, the different textures would make this just the sort of rug that Cooper would go for the next time a thunderstorm rolled though.

Hmmm....I was starting  to rethink the whole rug concept when I noticed that the textile was not going to lay flat.  Damn. This rug was simply not going to happen.  Grrrr. I put it away in frustration and one day I happened to glance at it and saw that it was a pillow.  Seriously....the edges were curling in and it was obviously a pillow....I just hadn't seen it at first.

I re-purposed an old sweatshirt to make a  pillow form. Fortunately, I am rich with pillow stuffing stuff, thanks to Cooper.  The tapestry is attached to the pillow using a simple crochet stitch.  The crochet flower center covers an unsightly pucker and a Swarovski Sew On Crystal Stone adds just a touch of sparkle. VOILA!   I love seeing it  on one of the chair just outside of my studio----I only hope that Cooper doesn't notice it!

It is funny, the tyranny of expectations can be a real downer and even blind  us to the joy of what IS.... all ya gotta do is tweak your expectations a bit.  This piece was determined to be a pillow,  so I adjusted my vision, and got something pretty cool in the end.  Different, but cool, nonetheless.

The Pillow Epiphany reminds me of the  Stevie Nicks Jacket That Wasn't .   I had fallen in love with a Shambolic Felt Jacket made by my friend Marlene Gruetter.  It was ethereal and flowing, light and airy...simply gorgeous....evocative of the sorts of costumes worn by Stevie Nicks back in the day.
I made arrangements for Marlene to come to Florida for a workshop and got ready to get all ethereal and such.  Except that it didn't work out that way.   A heavy hand with fiber and a lack of experience produced a heavier jacket than I had anticipated, so I got something else....equally wonderful but very different.  I vowed to try again another day and went about living my life.

One day a package  note, no explanation. I opened it and laughed through misty eyes.

Inside I found a Stevie Nicks Jacket...

                                                   ..... and a Tambourine.

I sure do love you, Marlene.

 Friends make the journey a whole lot more fun.


  1. I just watched your segment today on the create your style! It's wonderful to see so many people accomplishing their dreams...whatever they may be! I am taking your advice and realizing each person needs to find their own niche I have been creating for many years and enjoy all of the opportunity it offers me. Your creations are so colorful a bit whimsical and elegant, thank you for sharing your advice and talent!

    1. Wow. Peggy! Thank you for your lovely words! You hit the nail on the head about the opportunity offered by creativity. The process is a gift on many levels as we navigate from initial conception to well planned execution. We creative types are lucky folks, indeed!