Sunday, March 24, 2013

Perhaps a Purse, 2

Tunisia possesses a small leather industry, mostly for the benefit of tourists. However, occasionally one finds interesting purses and bags. Many years ago, I would eye them with envy and sadness because I couldn't justify the expense for something that I was going to throw around and wear out rapidly (I'm rather negligent of my purses. They take a beating). I would feel sorry for myself, woe is me.......

Then one day my fabric stash stared back at me and said "You've got what it takes to make purses, lovie." Which made me realize that I could have a plethora of purses and test out ideas as well. So I figured out how to make a simple bag (about 11"x15"/ 28cm x 38cm) and asked the local carpenter to make me sticks with holes in the ends (12"/30cm long) to run the straps through.
I sewed appliqué on strip piecing made of old shirts.

I painted on fabric, and combined with strip piecing. Love those pinks.

I made one for my mom to take to her spinning events.

My favorite is in black and white with colorful appliqués. All the fabrics came from flea market clothing. Recycling at its best. 

tried out another design with painted fabric left over from another project. A useful tote. Lately I have been feeling envy again. My bags have aged (read that as, worn out and ragged) like the one below. Yet, I like its soft greens, which have been beaten into mellowness. It will probably get recycled into another piece
However, all sorts of beautiful fabric bags and purses may be found in magazines, books, and online, making me turn green with envy. The time has come to test out all the purse hardware that I bought in the States last year and up my game.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Lost & Found

It's certain, Spring has sprung. Nature is sporting a fresh cloak and occasionally offers a beautiful, sunny day. The wild daisies have gone wild thanks to a couple of cool, damp months.
After finishing the pomegranate segments, a break seemed welcome and why not some spring cleaning in the studio? So I got industrious and put my sawhorses in order (where I stack my quilts so there are no folds). 
Well, after that exercise, my studio should be renamed "The Lost & Found." A tally of what I found:

A fabric sketch that I had framed with dark green fabric. This now requires hand stitching and might get finished as it is small (about 14" square).

A cheerful wild thing--I'm laying down fabric (just pinned for the moment) and covering a rather large sheet of newsprint. Eventually, I'll stitch down the bits and pieces, a sort of appliqué or collage. No idea where this is going, but, in a week it should be covered. I'm tired of having all these fabrics out and all over. 
Don't be fooled--this is t-e-d-i-o-u-s.
A couple of rectangles that I pieced together and quilted while doing my bathrobe (here) and that I had totally forgotten. My original intention was a purse. 

When I traveled to the States almost a year ago, I brought fabric to embroider for a purse. The stitching part is finished so this project now requires attention.

Enough of spring cleaning--I could lose myself in my studio. That's why it's a lost and found. 
Now I'll go smell the daisies...

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Consider a Tree: It Leaves

Further news : After Chokri Belaïd’s assassination on Feb. 6, the Tunisian Prime Minister announced that he would form a new government of independent technocrats (which the opposition insists upon) to run the country until elections could be organized, thus putting aside his allegiance to the ruling religious party. His party did not support him and sabotaged his efforts, thus requiring him to resign.
           The ruling religious party then proposed the Minister of the Interior to become Prime Minister and form a new government within two weeks. When a Minister of the Interior moves up, it usually signals something worse to come. Although the new Prime Minister attempted to find new alliances and partners among the opposition parties, all refused except for the two parties that currently form the ruling "Troika" alliance and have high stakes in the government. Last Friday, the Prime Minister announced his new cabinet of 30-some ministers, which will undoubtedly increase up to the preceding 80 ministers (!) once the cabinet is approved by the Constitutional Assembly. This new cabinet can be described as totally incompetent for the job of running a government. Musical chairs comes to mind. Supposedly, independent technocrats filled key ministries (Foreign Affairs, Defense, Interior, & Justice), however, it is common knowledge that those people actually favor the ruling religious party and are therefore not independent. So childish.
            In the meantime, international banking institutions are turning their backs on Tunisia as rankings sink, inflation continues to push prices up, unemployment continues to rise, salaries continue to stagnate for those who have jobs--with the exception of the Ministers and Constitutional Assembly members. There remains little hope that the government of the ruling religious party can affect any sort of change or improvements, and, even more worrisome, future elections for a permanent government are not being planned. The country continues to limp along in a netherworld of "transition."

And so, I bury myself in my art. I finished stitching on the twelfth and last segment of pomegranates. 
Stitching on the pomegranates inspired me to play with thread just for the fun of it in my sketchbook. 
Ahhh, those shiny threads. An abstracted pomegranate (or a red ball)--pure pleasure. 
Pomegranate leaves provided the next idea for the sketchbook. 
However, the political scene informs this page. It reads: "Inept Tunisian Ministers should consider a tree: It leaves." 
Difficult to resist playing with words. At this point, that may be all that Tunisians have...words....

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Spring Garden 2013, 1

The narcissuses have been blooming for the last couple of weeks.

Wildflowers cover the fields. 

The apple tree that bloomed in December hangs on tenaciously to its apples. I tried one--they taste terrible. Very bitter. A bitter tree.
I'll trim all the apples off so that it might blossom again soon.
Despite cool, rainy weather, I try to get out in the garden to work. If not, I work on plant containers. I finished three mosaicked containers--two olive oil cans and one paint bucket (in the middle):

I played with different design elements: circles, medallions and stacked squares. Now they need to be planted.
The kitchen patio has become a nursery. 

Succulents are stick-in-the-muds. Just break off a branch and put in wet dirt. So easy. Consequently, every container in sight has been planted, including a couple pairs of old tennis shoes. 

I tried covering a plastic container with bamboo from the garden.

The tie is from my sack of seams that I cut out of flea market clothing. I then turned to 2-liter plastic water bottles cut in half and glued on bamboo. 

Admittedly, they don't have durability, maybe a couple of seasons, but they add interest. 

And sitting on the grass in front of my house--an old toilet and bathtub. A sink will soon join them because a friend decided to remodel her bathroom and she knows I recycle. Man, am I going to have fun! If you should be wondering what I'm going to do, consider my bidet.
Yes, Spring is finally here, my favorite time of year.

NB: Blogger is playing tricks on the font...I give up.