Sunday, January 8, 2012

But there's no hookah-smoking caterpillar...

I don't really like Saturdays.

Oh, I don't have anything against the day, but it doesn't mean the same thing to me as it does to the rest of polite society. I don't work a typical "day job"; I don't go to school; but my husband and children do, so Saturday is their "lazy day". For me, though, it's an interruption of my routine, it's noisy and messy, it's coordinating everybody's schedule and plans and shopping and t.v. time and playtime and......

So I hide in my workroom. Or I shop for costumes, or hang out in the kitchen - not all day, just for a couple of hours, just enough to keep calm and carry on. I enjoy solitude, the peace and quiet of alone time; I guess that means I like myself enough that I enjoy my own company. (Here's one of my dirty little secrets: I like Mondays!)

I really thought I would work on my creations during the quiet times at home, and that will probably happen as the year progresses. But the kids were off school the last week of December, so I needed some time to decompress and regain my daily dose of solitude when they went back to school this past week. In fact, I didn't start Friday's creation until late in the evening, though that was partly due to lack of an idea.

But Saturday - I had no problem coming up with the basic idea, a fabric and woodframe box. The woodframe box originally had handkerchiefs in it, with clear plastic pieces in the openings - you know, to make the handkerchiefs look "fancy".

A box?
We see these boxes every year during the Christmas shopping season - very basic items in overdone packaging, so the socks or handkerchiefs or wallet don't seem like such a last-minute, lame, "I guess I need to get you something" gift. I didn't purchase them as a gift, though; I needed handkerchiefs for a play, the packaging was just a bonus! I deliberately kept the woodframe, thinking "Wouldn't this look nice with pretty fabric?"

The top fabric does have meaning for me. My godmother, my mom's sister Anne-Hede, started making batik prints while she was in treatment for alcohol addiction.
A big part of her Kur (German for "cure", as in a spa facility) program was taking up activities that kept her hands and mind busy, and this was where she learned the batik technique of creating pictures on fabric with wax and dyes. Anne-Hede passed away in December of 2000. I have most of her batik prints, and am slowly finding ways to display them. There will be more of these prints showing up throughout my year of creations, as a way to honor Anne-Hede and her work.

Most of the batik prints are vertical in design, so choosing which one to use was decided by the horizontal nature of the box lid. I like toadstools, they're a common design element in Germany; reminds me of all the times I've traveled there. After I figured out the top piece, I chose some plaid fabric that coordinated with the print colors.

Box and 'Shrooms
Of course, red velvet was a must for the box interior! I had fabric left over from the red velvet shrug I made on NYE, just one more element falling in to place.
Some fusible heavyweight interfacing to bond the fabrics together and give them the necessary stiffness, a little hot glue and gold trim to finish the cut edges and hold the panels in place, and sparkly gold fabric paint for the interior edges.

Et voila! - a pretty little box, ready to hold a treasure or two.

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