Tuesday, January 31, 2006

My Name is Cathy and I'm Not a Pack Rat.

Get a load of this:
dig my floral skin, baby
This corregated cardboard ensemble came into my world nearly 30 years ago. It has survived numerous moves, countless disasters, and endless abuses. It has housed homework, vinyl albums, and fabric. It is tired and ready for a little shuffle board....maybe a nice blended care facility with optional group lunch and organized crafts.

Yet I cannot let go. I've never dreamed of life without these boxes. They have been part of my sewing room since 1989 and part of every zone of my personal space since my mom and I picked them out--probably at K-Mart or Hornsby's all those years ago.

I surveyed the floor plan of my sewing room tonight, looking for their new home. I found none. I felt dismay.

Let it stand for the record that I'm in complete denial about being a pack rat. I don't think I am. Mom says I have inherited a pack rat gene from a strong history of forbearers. The box storage in question is clear, touchable evidence that I might hang on to stuff past it's life span. Yet I refuse to believe. Say it with me: I'm Not A Pack Rat! I'm Not A Pack Rat! I shall will my not-pack-ratness into being, just like Dorothy willed herself back to Kansas. We must grab hold the reigns of our destiny and forge our own reality! Yes!.....At least until tomorrow morning. Maybe if I wake up early, I can sneak them back into the room before my Darling carts them to the burn barrell (oh no!). Promise not to tell, okay?

There was a brief bit of fern progress:
Baby steps here
You probably can't tell in this shot, but there's a considerable amount of satin stitching...note the spring green line on the inside of the ferns. I stayed up waaaay too late last night working on this and was back at it today after the kids and I finished school...and after my power nap. God bless The Power Nap.

My recent forrays into collage art have left me puzzled and unhappy mostly due to lack of flatness. I want the surface to be a bit puckery---as an aged quilt---but evenly puckered so that the whole work hangs flat on a wall. The serious buckling of late comes mostly from heavy duty free motion embroidery. I've been using free motion to secure edges, thinking it would be quicker than a more traditional satin stitch. This time around, I'm satin stitching---not too tightly---and am happy. It is taking far less time than I thought and I like the look. It will be a perfect base for the next step---thread painted shading. And with everything securely stitched, I should be able to hoop this with no problem.

There's only two glitches so far (stay tuned--there's sure to be more):
1. I didn't prepare this surface properly for such detailed work and am having to repin and adjust as I go.
2. I suck at satin stitch. Hopefully that will change as I develop my chops....and a machine tune up wouldn't hurt either. Here's a closer shot of the stitching:
you, too, can satin stitch this badly!

Maybe, if we get school done early tomorrow, I'll get to the shading part. That's gonna' rock!


Anonymous said...

You ARE a pack rat and you will fight the pack rat gene for the rest of your life. There is no rehab for pack rats. It's a box! For God's sake let it go! Mom

Anonymous said...

You ARE a pack rat and you will fight the pack rat gene for the rest of your life. There is no rehab for pack rats. It's a box! For God's sake let it go! Mom

Emily said...

At the risk of offending Mom, who is a lovely lady, I vote keep it. That floral print! Do you have an attic you could tuck it in if it doesn't work right now in the sewing room? You can always throw it away later.

Pack Rat Em (still missing my college fridge with all those cool stickers I put all over it.)

Anonymous said...

I owned that exact same floral print thingie many, many moons ago! Not being a pack rat, mine was gone out of my life a long time ago when it really started to sag. However, I kind of wish I was a pack rat sometimes, because pack rats seem to be, by and large, more creative than us neatniks.