Saturday, February 26, 2011

Japanes usually = better

Let's start off from a lovely corner. Unearthed from a much loved folder here's a picture simply named 'corner'new'orleans'. I will not dwell on its provenance, there's nothing particularly special about happening upon a photo article and 'stealing' all the pictures for future salivating reference one sad lonely night in bed. All I'll say is that it's a lovely decadent corner I'd easily trade four corners of a room in my house for. Just imagine me sitting with legs dangling over the egde of this unearthed corner in space. Ok, maybe I should have taken some breakfast before daring to write this post.
Here's a brooch I just finished for a friend. My aunt generously donated a bagful of 80s and 90s earrings and in a bid to satiate my greed I set my dirty paws (I use glue and paint you see) on them to come up with something as a belated birthday present. I don't usually do belateds.. I'm the kind who's always on time with 'things'.. but luckily for myself and those close by I'm relaxing substantially and therefore, for example, I've stopped chiding people for being too late for appointments (sometimes!). Back to the brooch.. a piece with an art-deco twist on Gaddaffi's uniform adornments which have been regaling our screens of late. I loved it and wanted to keep it as much as I wanted to give it away.. and that's a sure sign that I'm happy with the result!
Carla reference number one: thank you for forwarding that lovely article from Vanity Fair about the new fuhrer's wardrobe!

And now to the intended fulcrum of the post.. and to Carla reference number 2: old japanese posters from a link that the aforementioned kindly forwarded to me yesterday evening in between bouts of assignmenting on her part. Why are the japanese so good at everything they do? These posters and many more are currently featuring, on rotation, on my desktop and I think they're impeccably designed. The one below is from 1928 for the Kyoto Grand Exposition to Commemorate the Showa Imperial Coronation and the one above is a sheet music cover for 'Rejin' from 1930. I'm currently waiting for a pair of embroidered pillowcases I had asked a very capable Sarah to design in the Japanese style for me; complete with curly text and other lovely bits. I'll upload a picture (as I'm sure she will as well) the minute they're ready. I know you girls are busy with university stuff so hip hip hooray for Sarah and Carla. You'll come out victorious at the end..

And just because even mantels have aspirations.. this picture is my mantelpiece's aspirational picture. we are slowly getting there but we must make sure no one dares leave unopened bills or stray stationery lying about. Balance is key and a couple more visits to the flea market wouldn't hurt anyone, I'm sure. Save for my pocket, as I do not know how to haggle and will never learn!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

(*aaaaa) background is back!

Thank you Alex for the technical help and here's a poem I read yesterday.. a fitting piece by Baudelaire which, surprisingly enough, managed to escape me all this while.
(*by 'fitting' I mean particularly encapsulating of the current theme in my creative and imaginary/parallel life)

A Une Madone

Ex-voto dans le goût espagnol

Je veux bâtir pour toi, Madone, ma maîtresse,
Un autel souterrain au fond de ma détresse,
Et creuser dans le coin le plus noir de mon coeur,
Loin du désir mondain et du regard moqueur,
Une niche, d'azur et d'or tout émaillée,
Où tu te dresseras, Statue émerveillée.
Avec mes Vers polis, treillis d'un pur métal
Savamment constellé de rimes de cristal
Je ferai pour ta tête une énorme Couronne;
Et dans ma Jalousie, ô mortelle Madone
Je saurai te tailler un Manteau, de façon
Barbare, roide et lourd, et doublé de soupçon,
Qui, comme une guérite, enfermera tes charmes,
Non de Perles brodé, mais de toutes mes Larmes!
Ta Robe, ce sera mon Désir, frémissant,
Onduleux, mon Désir qui monte et qui descend,
Aux pointes se balance, aux vallons se repose,
Et revêt d'un baiser tout ton corps blanc et rose.
Je te ferai de mon Respect de beaux Souliers
De satin, par tes pieds divins humiliés,
Qui, les emprisonnant dans une molle étreinte
Comme un moule fidèle en garderont l'empreinte.
Si je ne puis, malgré tout mon art diligent
Pour Marchepied tailler une Lune d'argent
Je mettrai le Serpent qui me mord les entrailles
Sous tes talons, afin que tu foules et railles
Reine victorieuse et féconde en rachats
Ce monstre tout gonflé de haine et de crachats.
Tu verras mes Pensers, rangés comme les Cierges
Devant l'autel fleuri de la Reine des Vierges
Etoilant de reflets le plafond peint en bleu,
Te regarder toujours avec des yeux de feu;
Et comme tout en moi te chérit et t'admire,
Tout se fera Benjoin, Encens, Oliban, Myrrhe,
Et sans cesse vers toi, sommet blanc et neigeux,
En Vapeurs montera mon Esprit orageux.

Enfin, pour compléter ton rôle de Marie,
Et pour mêler l'amour avec la barbarie,
Volupté noire! des sept Péchés capitaux,
Bourreau plein de remords, je ferai sept Couteaux
Bien affilés, et comme un jongleur insensible,
Prenant le plus profond de ton amour pour cible,
Je les planterai tous dans ton Coeur pantelant,
Dans ton Coeur sanglotant, dans ton Coeur ruisselant!


To a Madonna

Votive Offering in the Spanish Style

I want to build for you, Madonna, my mistress,
An underground altar in the depths of my grief
And carve out in the darkest corner of my heart,
Far from worldly desires and mocking looks,
A niche, all enameled with azure and with gold,
Where you shall stand, amazed Statue;
With my polished Verses as a trellis of pure metal
Studded cunningly with rhymes of crystal,
I shall make for your head an immense Crown,
And from my Jealousy, O mortal Madonna,
I shall know how to cut a cloak in a fashion,
Barbaric, heavy, and stiff, lined with suspicion,
Which, like a sentry-box, will enclose your charms;
Embroidered not with Pearls, but with all of my Tears!
Your Gown will be my Desire, quivering,
Undulant, my Desire which rises and which falls,
Balances on the crests, reposes in the troughs,
And clothes with a kiss your white and rose body.
Of my Self-respect I shall make you Slippers
Of satin which, humbled by your divine feet,
Will imprison them in a gentle embrace,
And assume their form like a faithful mold;

If I can't, in spite of all my painstaking art,
Carve a Moon of silver for your Pedestal,
I shall put the Serpent which is eating my heart
Under your heels, so that you may trample and mock,
Triumphant queen, fecund in redemptions,
That monster all swollen with hatred and spittle.
You will see my Thoughts like Candles in rows
Before the flower-decked altar of the Queen of Virgins,
Starring with their reflections the azure ceiling,
And watching you always with eyes of fire.
And since my whole being admires and loves you,
All will become Storax, Benzoin, Frankincense, Myrrh,
And ceaselessly toward you, white, snowy pinnacle,
My turbulent spirit will rise like a vapor.

Finally, to complete your role of Mary,
And to mix love with inhumanity,
Infamous pleasure! of the seven deadly sins,
I, torturer full of remorse, shall make seven
Well sharpened Daggers and, like a callous juggler,
Taking your deepest love for a target,
I shall plant them all in your panting Heart,
In your sobbing Heart, in your bleeding Heart!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Fruitful follows Colourful

Yes.. a fruitful Monday follows a Colourful weekend.
I shall limit my 'bla' to make space for more pictures.
Above & in clockwise order: A handmade carpet from morocco and my comfy bright red moroccan slippers, a blue 'lunch-box' bag I found at the flea market yesterday and a lovely shell!

Today's job interview made me re-consider abandoned projects. I do not want to keep running out of time. Here's an antique lampshade I painted gold.. it needs work and so I'll be devoting myself to it completely as soon as the opportunity arises. We pray for 'soon' but realistically, we're speaking of months here!

And a pair of skinny green cords I just finished.. hot off the press and ready to go.
This is what Crayola and a (relatively speaking) deprived childhood did to me .. it gave me Crayola-eyes .. I begged for a Polly-Pocket but I only got colours.. and somehow I'm glad it turned out this way.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

to ink, to sew or to just dive under the quilt(s)

When I was younger I was set on getting tattooed in all the prominent places but then, as it usually happens, you grow up and you thank the heavens you didn't 'do it' just then. If I had I'd be stuck with a huge back piece of dubious roots and significance.. a couple of fishbone armlets and something silly round my bellybutton. However, this doesn't mean I'm at all comfortable with the fact that I haven't got something done yet. In the past I blamed this lack on several things, but mainly my being a control freak around anything I deem myself capable of doing slightly better, given the time (yes, at one point I was convinced I'd wait till I learnt how to do it myself.. mistrustful bitch!) But really and truly.. the real issue all along must have been the pain and the pennies. To cut a long story short, now that I have a pay and painkillers to rely on I want to embark on my lifelong ink plan.. I want to ink my legs.

But where to start!!? I now spend my breaks from work sketching to-size ideas for my first two pieces, amusing teachers and students who happen to walk past the art-room.

But I hurry, and blab on.. It's been a while.. It's been a very long while.. and it's been stressful and demanding on my poor constitution.. (yes I romanticize my persistent cold and hay-fever for sheer aesthetic reasons) Since the festive season, the general tone of affairs has been very 'post-', a whole month flew by, February caught me unawares as I desperately tried to re-organize sewing projects and life in general. I keep forgetting that it's really and truly no use trying that hard. Then again.. dresses have to be sewn and real people with brimming diaries need to be appeased. And something somewhere in this process pleases me and I keep at it.

... And when I thought the transition period between one major concept and another couldn't be any longer and any more trying.. a brainwave hits me as I head home on the bus, and suddenly this best-feeling-in-the-world feeling translates into several ideas and I get off the bus a happy girl. I know what my next mini collection will look like.. I've visualised most of it in one of those beautiful split-seconds that used to happen to me regularly before I hampered myself with day-to-day obligations. But I am grateful for each time. I am excited for what is to come.. I realize that the sewing of much needed curtains might have to be postponed yet again since moulds have to be made and slip has to be poured and much ribbon cut and placed and twisted and...

Aaa. pictures of some stuff I've finished..

an upgraded 'discarded' cardi for myself cos one just cannot safeguard their credibility unless they wear their own stuff (actually.. it's safe to say it was a case of 'just about time I did something fo myself for once')

A cosy knit skirt with yoke and piping detail.. cosy rule(z)!

A leather skirt, my first project in the material and the label says the rest.

Another upgraded jumper because addiction to this 'quick-fix-project' thing is so hard to resist.

I thought I should leave you with a small, not too revealing ideas-plate for my upcoming project.. but I changed my mind. It's a tiny baby in its big cot.. give it cake.. let it grow.. all in due time. Hope I live through this cold to tell the tale!! (*insert a wholly unjustified 'bbbrrrrrrr' here)..

Instead I'll leave you with a picture I fell in love with. I lifted it out of a very interesting photo album someone I know keeps.. I didn't ask for permission and for this I am sorry.. but this bird here is special.. I want to be him when I grow up.

Note to self: do not abandon dreams of learning how to tattoo.