Saturday, February 17, 2018
Yesterday was the annual Craft Fair here at FOY, and again, just to be perfectly honest none of the Daisies was awarded “Ultimate Grand Supreme,” which would actually be known here as: “Best In Show.” If you happen to be a fan of the reality show, “Toddlers and Tiara’s,” this reference would have some meaning, but if not, just know that the comparison is funny. Really funny.
As I drove up to Hays Hall to drop off and set up Dads and my entries, I happened to be on the phone with my dearest daughter. I mentioned that I was heading up early to beat the rush at the sign in table. She laughed and told me that she needed to let me go so I could pay my “big entrance fee,” (there is no fee – again a throwback to the TV show) and that she hoped I had my hair adequately fluffed up, and my makeup and flipper under control. That show was truly a guilty pleasure, along with “Dance Moms” which is so close to dance studio life that it never shocked us to watch it. What doesn’t kill you does make you stronger. And, if by chance you happen to be a previous studio comrade and think I am referring to a shared experience, I’m probably not. But, I have digressed. Monumentally gotten off topic.
So, back to the Craft Show. Dad entered a braided rug that he made the first month we were here. His entry completed, he then began another rug, which was the one he worked on at his demonstration table during the Craft Fair. Dad and his rug braiding have become quite an item at this event. It is not unusual to see a crowd of very intense crafters surrounding his table anxiously wanting to know how he does what he does.
It has been my heartfelt wish that his braiding efforts would earn him an “Ultimate Grand Supreme,” but alas there is no competing with the quilters. One of them takes home the “Best In Show” every year. Be that as it may, this year Dad received a BLUE RIBBON in his category…..that would be FIRST PLACE! His category, “Large Crafts 20” or More,” had a LOT of entries. He was happy and that made the rest of us Daisies happy. The two previous years had gotten him two 3rd place ribbons, so this, the third year, happened to be the charm.
For my entry, I stitched up a couple of heads using a pattern that I found online, (from Carrie Bloomston of such-designs.com) which I call “See Me,” but what I really wanted to call, “See Me As I Am.” Although my point of view is aligned with inclusiveness and acceptance, unfortunately, I would have to say that not everyone on this little “island” feels the same. Additionally, I am acutely aware that those folks are most certainly NOT going to change their mindset based on anything I may or may not say, do, or stitch up. Perhaps this is one of the “benefits” of aging? Make your mind up and leave it there. “See Me,” the androgynous, pierced, tatted, and brown hand-stitched heads, provided a subtle message, if only to me. Retaliatory stitching for being subjected to “Faux News.” And again, I have gone down the rabbit hole of digression, or maybe it’s just time for me to head home.
In the interest of detailing my technique, I used coffee grounds to dye the felt to approximate skin tones. Since these pieces won’t be washed, I didn’t concern myself with making sure the dye “fixed,” or wouldn’t bleed if they got wet. It’s hard to make that happen, so I didn’t do it. I stitched everything together using embroidery floss. After they were stuffed with polyester fiberfill, I embellished them with things I have collected or found here at garage sales and also with a gift of “diamonds” given to be by a FOY neighbor.
I like making these small 3-dimensional pieces, as they tend to “come to life” as they progress. And maybe, what I’m actually saying is that whereas most artists plan their work, I let my work (vex the Hell out of me and keep me awake at night) errr……..”unfold without the constraints of a rigid end result.”