Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's not art if it's useful...

I've been making Christmas presents this year, which has been a scary process.  I only have one friend (I think) who would appreciate a pot holder made out of patched overall pieces, so I had to change my ways for the rest. Some of the ideas have come from a year's worth of blog following, which has meant a fair amount of agonising over being derivative.  I also adjusted my choice of materials - my construction skills are dodgy, so I had to compensate with finer fabrics and papers.  I've had a metre  and a half of vintage linen mangle cloth in the collection for a while, left over from a little puppet restoration project. It was about $45 a metre from The Growing Suitcase in Beechworth, and seemed like a wickedly decadent purchase at the time. I find it so luxurious to handle, which is interesting when you think that the fabric was so work-a-day when it was made.  For a while it graced my wooden ironing board and I really treasured it, so cutting it up was a bit frightening.  Sewing it into useful things made me feel a bit better, and I hope the people who receive them enjoy the waxy feel of the linen.  Cutting the scraps into useless things that have been "done, done and done" by a thousand other crafters was almost breathtaking and the end result looked so familiar I was downright cranky about it. Walking back in the rain, from a late night visit to the main homestead, I saw the useless things hanging, illuminated, in the heart of my house.  The wonky Christmas lights were flashing in another  window.  "Deceptively warm and festive," I humbugged to myself as I opened the door... and realised I had not been deceived.

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