15 Oct

Breast Pockets

Fiber and mixed media artist Melanie Testa has embarked on a conceptual art project which she hopes will raise awareness of real women and their choices about dealing with breast cancer and in particular foregoing reconstruction after surgery. Read more specifics on her blog here.

Breast Pockets

These are my contribution to the project.

Breast Pocket -- detail

The red one is in honor of my quilt mom Gerrie who is a “half-flattie.” She’s a redheaded free spirit, hence the color and the bird (not to mention her Portland connection so I could “put a bird on it!”). She also loves aspens and the mid century aesthetic, so I’ve tried to convey a bit of that.

Breast Pockets

While the project is primarily to raise awareness about the option not to reconstruct, I made a pair of pockets in honor of my aunt who did choose reconstruction. They could also be for two of my dad’s girlfriends who chose reconstruction. If I thought about it hard enough, I could probably come up with even more women I know who have been affected by the disease. I think this whole project is for them.

Breast Pocket -- detail

My favorite though is the BDU pocket in honor of my mentor Elaine. I chose the older BDU uniform since that was the style Elaine wore when she served. She chose reconstruction after her double mastectomy. But just as she modeled for me the practical and compassionate way to lead family members in an army unit, she also represents to me all the service members I do not know personally who have battled breast cancer at the same time as they train for and fight our nation’s battles. I suspect that these women reflect women as a whole and have chosen many options from chemical treatment to lumpectomies to mastectomies to reconstruction or not.

If you are interested in contributing to Melanie’s project, please comment directly on her blog. She’d like to collect 1000 pockets by October 22nd.

18 Aug

Bonus Art Content

You’d think there was nothing going on here based on my lack of blogging. Actually, I’ve been immersing myself in art and am therefore spending too much time at the sewing machine and drawing table to blog about it.

Day 2

I promised myself when I moved that I was going to find a life drawing opportunity — both to practice my drawing skills and to expand my practices into something other than just fabric. I mentioned last week that I went to a drawing session at the McGuffey Art Center, and I returned this morning for more. I’ve been pleasantly surprised that my skills are not as rusty as I had expected, and I really like what I came home with today. I don’t know if it’s due to more practice, or if a model with chiseled tennis arms is just easier to draw. Either way, I’ll take it.

Day 1

In a chance coincidence, I also won a free spot in Melanie Testa’s online “Dream Journals” class. She’s given us many different techniques to try and we’ll see where it takes us. I’ve not had much experience with watercolors, so this is a good learning opportunity. Also, it’s got me drawing something every day (in addition to the once a week figure drawing), and you just can’t beat that!

Flower Painting: day 6

If that weren’t enough, the chopped quilt is progressing nicely, and I’ve finally started in on another apron.

Another Apron

This one has a ton of machine embroidery which requires me not to actually do much, but to be ever present to swap threads or repeat the motif before the laptop goes to sleep and severs the connection to the sewing machine. So, I’ve been working on my painting/drawing while sporadically hopping up and down to tend to the embroidery. The kids start school next week, so things could really get moving then!