Sunday, November 4, 2012

When Life Hands You a Lemon, Part 1


Maybe you’ve heard this one before. "When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade." Having taken a road less traveled (how many Americans do you know living on farms in Tunisia ?), this motto comes frequently to mind—I probably drove my kids nuts with it. Lately, it’s become literal. Here’s my lemon crop.

Fortunately, I learned a simple lemonade recipe last summer. Now, I’m not one to give out recipes and I would not presume to tell people how to cook. I’m a Happy Eater surrounded by Finicky Eaters. That is to say, I don’t mind fast food hamburger joints (to please the grandkids) and if someone takes the time to cook a meal and put it in front of me, I’ll eat it no matter what. It’s the thought and work that count. On the other hand, I can recognize fine cuisine and resent going to an expensive restaurant and getting mediocre food (happens frequently). My own cooking is simple and done from scratch with fresh produce and some of my own spices.
I have rosemary,


and thyme,













and sage, which intends to take over the garden, 












and bay leaves (would that be a bay tree?).

After this digression, the lemonade recipe will have to wait, because my sketchbook/journal takes precedence. Although I know how to draw, it doesn't interest me that much because I'd rather spend my time stitching a labyrinth. However, I've been experimenting with sketching on fabric, which began here. And that, my friends, might be the best of both worlds. Of course, this is not an original idea--take a look around the internet--but, I'm re-inventing the wheel for myself.
It occurred to me that I could sew a piece of fabric to a page in my loose-leaf sketchbook/journal (loose-leaf so that the pages can be removed to work upon).










I chose a quiet piece of fabric from a 
men's shirt, then went out to find a couple of scarce lemons left on a tree.
I added more fabrics, and traced over the drawing with a black permanent pen (like a sharpie).
Then began the fun part of free motion sewing. I went several times around each form with black thread to suggest a sketch-y look, after which I wrote the words with pen and sewed over them.





                            So maybe I could reconcile myself to the idea 
                    of keeping a sketchbook/journal on a more regular basis. 

21 comments:

susan christensen said...

Love seeing your fabric sketch and process Nadia! I am agog at the wondrous fact you grow these spices - imagine the garden smells so good in the sun. Happy Sunday from cold wet Alaska and your friend sus

Becky said...

Oh my, you're a tease! I was starting to drool in anticipation of a good lemon aid recipe!! The lemon picture and fiber art piece are wonderful though!! I was extremely spoiled (but didn't know it) living in New Orleans for years, where you could get an incredible meal for very little money. After I moved away, I can totally relate to the mediocre food for a hefty price experience.

deanna7trees said...

i like your idea of sketching on cloth with pen and needle. i start a watercolor class this week so i might add some watercolors to that idea as well. love they way it turned out with the journaling just below it. grand idea.

Connie Rose said...

Love your garden-influenced stitchery. And the colors in your bowl of lemons. Bet they taste wonderful, too!

Caroline Heinrichs said...

Inspired from a nasty storm, art blooms in all the best places! Well done Nadia! I love your work, some day when I have more time...I'll try some of your techniques. Very inventive.

Reading your blog is like a breath of fresh air!

Carli

Gurli said...

Lovely work. When I saw it I thought of the first work of leslie gabrielse. Sad to read about your crop.

Roxanne said...

Your lemon sketch is delightful!

Eva said...

Aren't men's shirts wonderful to quilt with? I love the relaxed and transparent look of this piece and the clever way you use the fabrics.

Merilyn said...

Your poor lemons look a bit worse for the hailstorm, but I imagine still ok for eating/making into lemonade! Love your sketch in fabric and embroidery, you have created another delightful piece of work, nicely done!!!!

rtquilter said...

Another really fascinating post, nadia! You are SO creative - and resourceful. Well done!!

Mo Crow said...

this is brilliant Nadia love the looseness of the lines and the way the materials are laid on has such a sense of freedom & that is hard to achieve with stitching. Your years of working with cloth & knowing your machine combined with a great sense of line and colour really show here!

libbyquilter said...

i love seeing the process within your photos and think it's magical the way that a few pieces of fabric can be collaged together to make "lemonade"~!

i hope we get to see more fabric/stitch sketchbook journaling as i think you're pretty good at it and am inspired by your page.

:-)
libbyQ

bj said...

I love this journal idea! I'm joining a new group of stitchers known as the "Greatful Thread" --- they do fabric journals, collages, etc. I'll refer them to this blog post :o)

The Idaho Beauty said...

Yes, an interesting approaching to keeping a sketch journal. Like the lemon sketch a lot.

Susan said...

Thanks for the positive feedback on my blog. Your blog is WONDERFUL and makes the traveler in me want to visit your beautiful country. Love your quilting too. Any time leftovers and scraps are used, I'm generally interested, but your designs would capture my attention even if they weren't constructed of recycled materials. Beautiful ... simply beautiful.
Susan

Kahna said...

Ok. Let me set a few things straight: My mother FINALLY got the lemonade recipe from me because I was getting ready to leave for the whole year w/o her actually even WANTING to learn how to make the lemonade (since I delivered it to her freezer every other day!)... and excuse me? You are NOT a picky eater? If you REJECT spicy food, that makes you a picky eater! Every time you walk into my house you tell me you are on a diet and you pretty much don't eat much of what I cook... and I know I am a good cook because 'normal people' LOVE my food (well, I don't count my kids in that category!) But... Mom, dear mom, you are a finecky eater because you do NOT eat Harissa or ANYTHING spicy! har har har!

Rachaeldaisy said...

I love that saying. And your lemon stitchy sketch is wonderful. What a great combination of two mediums. Enjoy making lemonade.

Sarah said...

Nice idea to sew your sketchbook journal but sad to lose so much of the crop!! Still hope theres enough for lemonade? Expect we'll find out in part 2!

blandina said...

I do love it.
I can not draw, but I can copy an image. With this technique I could add some originality to my work, and feel less of a cheater.
Thank you Nadia!

Anneliese said...

Simply lovely - Again the little quilt - it is so beautiful!

Jackie said...

This is so lovely. Your whole blog is fascinating, your home, and your work.
It must be fascinating living in Tunisia. I don't think I could cope with the heat but you make it look very inviting.
The mosaicss with the swirls on a green background are gorgeous. Do you use broken tiles? The colours work really well.Thank you for sharing.