Thursday, March 31, 2011

2KCBWDAY8 Wildcard – Embellishing

Uhm In the interest of full disclosure (ie sharing waaaaay too much), I'm doing the Wildcard option today because the Day4 topic "Whatever happened to your _____?" is not my kinda thing. I never keep track of things I make for other people and the stuff I make for myself that actually gets used are socks and my nasty-ugly-walked-barefoot-through-crushed-glass-in-a-wild-cactus-patch-in-winter feet tear through those too quickly to justify photography.


2KCBWDAY8 Wildcard – Embellish the story

Embellishments come in all types and forms. Some are more than purely decorative and form a practical function – pretty buttons are as much part of holding a garment together as mere decoration, and some are just there to give a piece an extra ‘something’. Blog about an embellishment, be it a zipper, amigurumi eyes or applique patch which you are either saving to use or have in the past used to decorate a project with. Write about whether you are a very minimalist kind of knitter with classic lines and timeless plain knits or whether you love all the bells and whistles or sticking sewing and otherwise attaching decoration to your pieces.

I am a loud creature by nature. Love bright colors and shiny sparkly things except of course when I don’t. “Inconsistent” is the word I hear used most often and I am strangely okay with that. Why do the same thing the same way twice? That sounds to much like work – chain gang sledgehammer smashing big rocks into little ones type work. I prefer that my work day be neither Dickensian in its constant soul-crushing repetitive mindless automaton sweat-shopery nor Orwellian in its level of overbearing supervisory interference cum guidance. I kind of like being a flake. But I draw the line at being called “childish”. I am not so much immature as easily filled with wonder and awe.

So, yes, I have a child-like fascination with baubles and gee-gaws. Not only do I have bags of buttons yet do not sew but quite a few of those are novelty buttons shaped like all sorts of fun things. Have a few beads too although I don’t consider myself a jewelry maker. I just like color and shine and texture.

Most of these embellishment items I purchased when taking a stab at being a mixed media person. I don’t paint or bring myself to tear up books so I find that I never could quite find a niche in that world. But I did use all sorts of things I never used before, like pipe cleaners. Oops. “Chenille stems” – my bad. I showcased the gloriously malleable fluff factor of those stems as a detail alongside my crochet appliqué motif creatures (I haven’t settled on what I want to call them.):

Alex in Wonder Land
(should be Land of Wonder -
we are still a litigious society)

I really like the way this turned out but was alone in my enthusiasm. Still, I often do things merely to amuse myself. I added the Alex piece to my collection of books. Come to think of it, I seem to reserve most of these embellishments for use on my books:

Roses Are Dead

On the Fence About the Fence

Postcards from Home

Particularly the spines. I’m not about to leave an unadorned open grid of a spine just hanging out there in dead space. And my usual form of detailing and embellishment would hinder the free movement of those pivot points.

I do like to include a lot of detail in the construction of my pieces, and that usually means adding lots of structures created out of thread:

Ides of Uh Oh

Still, I hold on to and often add to the beads and buttons and little doo-dads because they strike a chord in me. They are the toys of my adulthood. I know that for myself, when I stopped playing with toys of any sort, I started to stagnate and fester from within. Depression with the big, clinical “D” was the diagnosis. The view was pretty dim from the bottom of the crevasse I dug for myself when I tried to became a productive and mature member of 9to5 society. Crochet was the way out.

I started by refamiliarizing myself with the how of stitching and then stepped up to teaching myself filet crochet. Just made things to see if I could make them at first. I was never really aware what was happening, but I was having fun playing with crochet thread and kept going slowly but steadily and kind of crocheted myself a rope ladder out of that abyss. Sure medication helped, but they will always be external - elements being put into me to stabilize me and turn me into some semblance of a functional citizen. Crochet comes from me, is me. Let’s me know that I am alive and that I can touch the real world. I can make something funny, beautiful, silly, painful, meaningful, nonsensical. I can make a small noise in this world. A tiny dent in the fabric of reality. And that is a hell of a huge reason to love crochet.

So, I treat embellishments like my playthings - reasons to smile and be sarcastic and ... well… be me. Crochet was my first toy-for-life and it is the grandest embellishment I could ever hope to include into my life and work.

'Nuff Said, True Believer

Hook On!

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