Tuesday, December 14, 2010

new home, new life

Since I last published a post in this blog, I've crossed several state lines, had dinner in Chicago with a brand new friend that left the train in Cleveland, and now I live with the man of my wildest, craziest, out-of -this-world dreams. I arrived a week ago, and I can honestly say that every single day I am more in love with him. I am happier than I've ever been, and I have finally reunited with the very best part of me.

jarring a shirt

putting yellow dye on all the white spots

My first morning in The House of Leo, as it is so lovingly called, began with a very hearty breakfast and two strong cups of coffee. He loaded me with caffeine and nutrition so I could get to work on finishing what he had started for me before I had arrived. The top picture shows what it looks like to "jar" a shirt. After tie-dyeing I soaked a t-shirt in amethyst dye. I'm not sure why I didn't take a picture of the finished product because that one really rocked. You'll just have to take my word for it. And the same thing with the second picture. It was a massive piece he tie-dyed with a huge mushroom in the middle, planets in the corners, and a two-legged peace sign. It is by far the most amazing peace sign I've ever seen even though it is missing a leg.

To give you an idea of what I've done with Dan's fabrics, here's a sampling.

This is made from t-shirts he tie-dyed in the 90s. The handle is cotton fabric he dyed, and I cut it into strips and braided it. The flower is made from the same cotton fabric with the center being a scrap from a t-shirt.

This purse is made from two sleeves off a t-shirt. The fringe is scraps from several of them as is the flower.

Here's a sampling of flowers made from his cotton dyed fabrics with centers cut from t-shirt scraps. They're going to grow up one day to be decorations on purses, clothing, etc., but for now they're sprinkled throughout the house.

Looking at this still takes my breath away. This is a detail photo of a skirt I made from his t-shirts. I have a hard time taking my eyes off the colors and designs in the fabrics. It's like falling in love with him over and over and over. And, what a lovely trip that is.

I love these skirts! They are amazing to look at and, oh my gawd, they twirl! When my daughter was little and I would make her dresses, the number one criteria was that they twirled. The twirling factor is still monumentally important. If they don't twirl, I'm not sure they're worth wearing. Just sayin'...

Our relationship started out (I think) with the fabric. Hm... the more I think about it, the more I think it started out with the eyes, then the smile, the voice, the laugh... well, I know for sure that the fabric factored in there somewhere.

Now I have a pile, a stash, a plethora of Dan Leo's tie-dyed fabrics to cut up. Just typing that statement made me weak in the knees. What I haven't done yet, and can't wait to do, is some thread-painting with his designs. The pieces he's made for me keep that little hamster running frantically in the wheel inside my head. For the first time in years, I want to enter shows again. I want to stretch again and again and again. There's so much to experiment with, so much to see what could be stunning and what's gonna really suck. (I found one experiment so far that fits that bill.) However, the ones that suck will just challenge me to see what I can do to "unsuck" them.

After typing that last paragraph, I decided to take a little break and walk around a bit. When I got back to my computer at the school where Dan works, this is what I found.

ah... nuff said

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