I had to laugh at myself yesterday. For a few days, I have been traveling up and down our staircase with a yogurt-container filled with Oyster Bisque paint, happily covering over chipped paint, smears, and — horror of horrors – even dirt that could have been removed with a little elbow grease.
Then it hit me. I’m whitening the stairs.
After months, and more months, of wanting to do this, planning to do this, hoping to do this, and NOT doing this, the exploration of white* just let it happen. One stair at a time.
As for the shrunken and distressed muslin curtains, which I made when we first moved in here, I no longer feel compelled to replace them (with curtains made with PRE-WASHED fabric). I am loving that gap. Look how it allows the light to glow through! I am loving the darkened rim of the hem. And I am especially loving the holes where daily life and sun have worn the fabric through.
I am not even trying to understand why I love the worn curtains and am not loving the chipped off paint on treads and balusters. I don’t have to be consistent in these matters, do I?
*in the ‘What-If’ online class over at Spirit Cloth
P.S. This is my 500th post. Am I supposed to celebrate?! 500th post, and second EVER, from my laptop.
For many years I resisted upgrades to our graphics software because learning one’s way around a new-ish program takes time and is frustrating. Invariably these ‘upgrades’ take perfectly acceptable features and make them more complicated or just switch them up in ways that undermine automaticity. I’m a big fan of automaticity. And, yes, that’s a sign of impatience and laziness.
It had gotten to the point, however, where I couldn’t even find answers to simple “help” questions online because no one talked about our antiquated version anymore. It was time to buck up or buckle down or stop bucking the trend, and place myself, happy or not, back onto a learning curve.
That’s why I didn’t post yesterday. Too busy figuring out how to resize pictures again.
And now, it is time to make dinner (I’m thinking — wilted cukes, shrimp cocktail, and a big salad with bitter greens, including watercress). So, a little photo story ensues.*
I’ve done a series of thread sketches based on a photo of my younger son skateboarding. Here it is, pinned to one of the back windows. Given this current exploration of white, I played with the exposure bar to lighten up the scene.
He’s doing (so I’m told) a ‘hard flip’ and yes, he landed it. The photo is a little bit old –taken sometime AFTER he broke his left arm the first time but BEFORE he broke it the second time. I study the torso pitch and the folds of denim and the outflung arm angles as an artist – what goes where? and how do I capture that sense of a body flying in a controlled sail off a set of stairs to the pavement below? As a mother I am using it to remind me of his strengths. Strengths such as — remarkable kinetic gifts, the willingness to land and land hard, and unbelievable persistence when learning something he cares about.
dirty damask – from black walnuts, maybe?
damask-backed sketch on the floor
The above sketch was photographed on the floor. Shot this way, the charcoal blotches are not very visible at all. But, below, see how visible they become when the cloth is pinned up onto glass, with light pouring through.
damask on window
black thread on linen, pinned up on glass
‘wrong side’ with pencil marks is my preferred side – here against a window
side-by-side, the mintons forming an ‘implied’ nine patch
and — ah!!! — how freeing it is to paint
and then scribble in that paint with a pencil!
Something Mo said about ‘light coming through’ got me thinking about how each and every needle puncture creatures a teeny avenue for light. Some of the recent things Jude said about clean and dirty whites were rattling around in my mind selecting the blackened damask… but more, actually, I was thinking about something she said less recently about how even when we cover up a section that has been worked and perhaps beautifully so, that section does not go away. The energy of it remains. With respect to the blackened blotches sometimes showing, sometimes not — I think about how they are always there even if not visible.
And now it is time for bed! Dinner did happen in between start and finish. And so did input on a Gatsby paper. And American Idol (Lazaro? Top three?! Are you shitting me?!)
I must stop before I embarrass myself any further.
* Again, this is a response to and inspired by, the goings on at Spirit Cloth and by one of my boys.