Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Shisha Stitching: The Trickle-Down Tie

The Trickle-Down Tie

Label on back of tie

Having trouble understanding the 2017 Republican tax bill? No worries — the latest item in our false product line helps explain how it works perfectly (while also serving as the ideal accessory for the heartlessly capitalistic). Coins in various denominations have been artfully attached to a thrift store tie using the ancient Indian art of shisha stitching, commonly seen on traditional mirror-cloth. We start with a quarter for those at the very top and then descend down through dimes, a nickel, a penny, and finally, for the truly poor, absolutely nothing.

How it works
If you want to stitch your own trickle-down tie, google "shisha embroidery" and start practicing. You'll be seeing more of my shisha work soon. Meanwhile, some detail photos of this piece:

Friday, December 15, 2017

The Longfellow, Williams, Milne Memorial Nightshirt for Fractious Young Women

This post could just as easily be called "Big Fun Fooling Around with Upcycled T-shirts." It began with an extra-large man's T-shirt from the thrift store. The lace edging at the hem and the added collar came from the Oakland Museum White Elephant Sale (in that last 60 minutes when you get all you can stuff in a bag for a dollar). The lace polka dots were cut from Tennessee Williams' mother's curtains. Yes, they were really her curtains, and I've used them before in these projects: 1) Rise and Shine: Tennessee Williams' Mother's Curtains; 2) Rise and Shine II: Working with Scraps. These curtains are an endless source of material and entertainment. As I continue to fool around with T-shirts, you'll see them appear again in my next post. But for now, let's focus on the fractious young woman's ensemble:

Fractious Young Woman's Nightshirt

I also had fun during this project with a vintage alphabet printing kit. The focus was on quotes about fractious young women, including Longfellow:

Detail of key words from Longfellow's poem

The ribbon edging the lacy hem is printed with key words from Longfellow's classic, "There Was a Little Girl."

THERE was a little girl,
And she had a little curl
  Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good
She was very, very good,        5
  And when she was bad she was horrid.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Detail of key words from A.A. Milne
"The collar contains key words from one of my A.A. Milne favorites: "Rice Pudding."

What is the matter with Mary Jane?
She's crying with all her might and main,
And she won't eat her dinner - rice pudding again -
What is the matter with Mary Jane?

What is the matter with Mary Jane?
I've promised her dolls and a daisy-chain,
And a book about animals - all in vain -
What is the matter with Mary Jane?

What is the matter with Mary Jane?
She's perfectly well, and she hasn't a pain;
But, look at her, now she's beginning again! -
What is the matter with Mary Jane?

What is the matter with Mary Jane?
I've promised her sweets and a ride in the train,
And I've begged her to stop for a bit and explain -
What is the matter with Mary Jane?

What is the matter with Mary Jane?
She's perfectly well and she hasn't a pain,
And it's lovely rice pudding for dinner again!
What is the matter with Mary Jane
- AA Milne

From Tennessee Williams' quote

And finally, because my mother woke me up every morning of my childhood with the cry, "Rise and shine!" accompanied by a pull on the window shade which rattled up to flood my bedroom with an unwelcome glare, I used a Williams' quote from "The Glass Menagerie," using the key words to edge each polka dots fashioned from his mother's curtains.

“Every time you come in yelling that God damn "Rise and Shine!" "Rise and Shine!" I say to myself, "How lucky dead people are!” 
― Tennessee WilliamsThe Glass Menagerie

While the concept began as a nightshirt, when my little six-year-old recipient put it on it seemed like such a perfect dress for everyday use that she has been wearing ever since.

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