"Grab your coat, and get your hat
Leave your worry on the doorstep,
Just direct your feet,
To the sunny side of the street."
-- Dorothy Fields
I am posting new hats throughout the week at Enjolive. I am pleased with the new collection. Each chapeau is as individual as its future owner. They are sassy, sweet, warm, and colorful. Check frequently to see the latest addition.
I received much positive feedback while at the DIY Trunk Show last weekend.
I loved all the the smiles. What a job! I get to knit and sell fun things that keep folks warm and make them happy.
For those of you in the art world and attempting to make a living as an artist, did you catch this article in the New York Times? It gives me hope and once again reinforces that I am on the right track.
"It's sad for a girl to reach the age Where men consider her charmless, But it's worse for a man to attain the age Where the girls consider him harmless." -- Anonymous
I was looking for a quote on sorrow and came across this one. Instead of poignancy, I bring you a giggle. Today was hard. There wasn't anything special about it except I couldn't share it with Mom.
What to do when feeling blue? At A Cup of Jo I came across this link. I love the list, but add a few ideas of my own.
Take a bubble bath.
Read a mystery - I love the fact that the problem is always solved in the end.
Read a mystery while taking a bubble bath.
Knit a hat and give it to a friend.
Make some jam.
Bake cookies using that newly made jam.
Eat all the cookies.
Plan a dinner party.
Give and receive a hug.
Take a deep breath and shout Rats!
"Other things may change us, but we start and end with family." -- Anthony Brandt
Yesterday I took my mother's clothing to the charity shop. I was doing okay until I got in the car and caught the scent of her perfume. I had a complete and total meltdown. Everything has been moving so quickly, that I get little time to think, process and reflect. I wish I could have held onto her clothes a little longer, but the house needs to be sold and I have no where to store them.
It's been such an odd process going through all of Mom's things. Some items remind me not of her, but of my Gam, Mom's mom. Other things are so uniquely connected to Mom that just a glance of them brings back a flood of memories. Today I sorted a closet I had been dreading. Little in it belonged to Mom. Most of it was mine. To be specific, it was a closet full of letters friends and family had sent me over a 10 year period of time. I tossed out a few items, but I finally resigned myself to the fact that I couldn't emotionally handle sorting and tossing such a collection of treasured mementos. How do you pitch the letter your mother wrote you during your first week in college or the picture your friend sent while living in England? Mail is a such tangible reminder of times past with each letter written holding traces of the other's hand.
I have the same trouble with photos. There seems something sacrilegious and downright taboo about tossing photos, even fuzzy ones. I don't believe a photo captures the soul, but I still find the process of tossing a photo in the trash unsettling. Some photos are just too precious to relinquish given their antiquity. The photo above is of my great grandmother Katherine Lindsay (hence my namesake) at her 2nd wedding. My great grandfather had died when my grandmother was not even in elementary school. I have her thin slip of a wedding band that I wear when I feel I need to call on the women of my family to get me through trying times such as these.
"We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself" -- Lloyd Alexander
Stroll on over to my Etsy shop Enjolive where all hats are on sale at 20% off! Each and every one of them is hand knit by these nimble fingers in a selection of yarns from merino to alpaca.
My studio table is overflowing with new hats yet to be posted. I am getting ready for the DIY Trunk Show November 22nd from 10-5 at Pulaski Park, 1419 W. Blackhawk in Chicago. Get your craft on and check it out!
"Memory is a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose." -- Kevin Arnold
When under stress the first thing to go is my memory. I have been trying to remember every detail of my mom, but there is so much I can't recall. It's depressing.
Today a curator reminded me of a memory I had forgotten. When I was in graduate school and working on my series #74-12036, I used rejected hospital linens as my base for embroidery. On these stained and worn linens, I made rubbings of my nude body. I inked myself with black acrylic paint, had a friend lay a sheet over me and then remove it to see what traces transferred to the cloth.
I was more than slightly uncomfortable when asking a friend to assist, so when I needed more sheets I asked my mom. Well you can imagine the hilarity of the situation. There we were in the family basement, me butt naked and covered head to toe in black paint. Mom laughed so hard she got the hiccups. By the time she had caught her breath, the paint had dried. We eventually made a dozen or so rubbings, one of which I used in the above piece. If you look carefullly you can see the whisper of an embroidered skeleton made to life size.
It's going to be hard packing up Mom's house, but the burden will be lessoned by my aunt and cousin joining me from Alabama. I am looking forward to seeing them with more memories to share and relive.
"Promise me you'll always remeber: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." said Christopher Robin to Pooh -- A.A. Milne
Day by day I feel a bit more like myself, but not quite the same self, a stronger self with greater perception into what I need and want as well as what I can actually do. I canceled my participation in the Streeterville Artisan Market knowing that I did not have enough inventory prepared, let alone the energy to sell with a smile. But today I woke up and have been knitting all day. It feels good. Hopefully I can get enough inventory ready for the DIY Trunk Show and Etsy.
Steph at Vlads the Bat Attic tagged my blog. We've been sharing emails and packages for nearly two years. Her latest package was waiting for me the day I returned to Chicago after Mom's memorial service. Be sure to check out Steph's blog. She makes incredible jewelry. I am always amazed by her ability to make polymer clay look like stone. Her buttons are equally fun and now grace one of my sweaters. (Note to self: take photo of aforementioned sweater.)
In a tagging you must provide 7 random details about yourself, so here we go:
1) I love dark chocolate. Not milk chocolate. Not white chocolate, but the lovely bittersweet stuff.
2) I love to knit. Okay, this may come as no surprise, but I love to knit as a hobby as well as a profession. Best of all worlds in my opinion.
3) Lavender is my favorite scent.
4) I dream of living in Grasse, France which is the perfume capitol of the world and surrounded by mile after mile of lavender fields.
5) My next door neighbors were born only 50km from the town in Romania where my daughter was born. How random is that?!
6) I hate to exercise unless it's useful like gardening, shoveling snow or raking leaves.
7) I am rejoining the gym this weekend. Really. I swear!
Now for a few bloggers whose blogs I love to read. They never fail to inspire me-
There are many more I would include on this list. Just check my side bar.
Thank you Sandi of Urban Space for the lovely photo taken in my studio!
"Grief fills the room up of my absent child,
Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me,
Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words,
Remembers me of all his gracious parts,
Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form;
Then have I reason to be fond of grief." -- William Shakespeare
Today's my birthday. Mom would call first thing to let me know I had been born. Instead friends from around the globe have been calling and sending packages. Tonight several will be joining me for dinner at Mom's favorite Chicago restaurant Cafe Lucca. I keep thinking of how lucky I am to know so many remarkable people and to have the great fortune of calling them my friends.
With each phone call and email another memory of my mom is added. My uncle's assistant even wrote to let me know how my mom would call her in Boston to let her know there was a storm advisory and to get going home. That was my mom, always thinking of others.
I am looking forward to dinner and some laughter. I've been feeling rather stunned as I look at the rows of boxes in my house, each packed with Mom's belongings. I can't quite get to unpacking them. The mess is beginning to get on my nerves, but I don't have the energy to start tidying up. Well never mind, I know time will help. In the meantime, my daughter gave me the latest Gnarls Barkley album to get me moving. I love the music. I hope you enjoy it too.