Monday, October 31, 2016

The Things that Came Home With Me

I flew in to Comox last night, after spending a month in New Zealand. I don't know about you, but part of the fun for me of travelling for me is hunting for treasures, both inside the shops and outside. Often I can't tell you in advance what the treasures will be. It's not as though I go with the idea of looking for a specific something - rather, I am waiting to be surprised. So I thought I'd write about some of the things that came home with me after this trip. Last time I blogged I wrote about woven Maori kete bags I saw in Te Papa Museum. Soon after that I was on the lookout for a modern day version, and later in the week I found these. Of course I had to bring a few home with me.
Having already stitched through the wool blankets I had found in "op shops" (the New Zealand version of thrift shops) last year, and loving the feel of the needle gliding through the wool, I was on the lookout for more blankets, after all NZ is famous for its sheep and their wool, and these are the three that accompanied me home this year. The bottom one will be used just as it is, but the first two are rather worn, and are destined to be filler in my next hand-stitched works.
My shell collection grows a little each time I walk the beaches of New Zealand, and I found a few more on this visit. The challenge now is going to be how to use these in my work. I am intrigued by multi-media art, especially when found objects are incorporated into them, and must find out how to drill through them without breaking them. I can't help thinking that they'd be a great contrast to use with indigo fabrics. Stay tuned . . .
And already waiting for me in New Zealand was the largest of these three suitcases, all of them bought in a country that hasn't disposed of these older, heavier versions of our modern suitcases. (At least I haven't had much success in finding any in Canada so far, but please let me know if you have a source for them.) I imagine them filled with collections of something or other, or of stories or a combination of both - I'm really not sure right now - but there's something about these worn and well-travelled yet obsolete valises that pleases me enormously. For now they will sit in a corner of the studio for me to enjoy just as they are.
These fabrics did NOT come home with me, but were brought home to me by my husband David, who was in Uganda working on a Widows Garden Project at the same time that I was in New Zealand. They're terrific "real wax" fabrics for me to add to my collection, and I'm just thrilled. All in all I'm very happy to be back home again, as well as with my treasures, and am hoping that the coming days will see me being more disciplined about putting in time in the studio. Jane Dunnewold is a strong advocate of this, even if it's only 10 minutes, but stresses in her writing how important it is to do something each and every day, and there's wisdom in this, I'm sure. 

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