Monday, November 26, 2007

The story behind this card goes something like this;

10 years ago this month I was given a sum of money. My dad wanted me to invest it. I bought a very good serger instead. My dad was kind of disappointed at first but then, I just kept making all the clothes for my family and became good enough that I started a small seamstressing business. My dad has since changed his mind about my choice for investment.

When I first started out with my serger I made every mistake in the book. I'm this way with almost everything which, I think, makes me a really good teacher. There is no mistake my students can make that I haven't already made. Just after I got my serger, I bought this beautiful cherry red piece of border print rayon. I felt really guilty because I couldn't really justify the purchse except that I loved the fabric. It wasn't over the top expensive, but it was a time when anything un-budgeted was pricey. It had a very asian/indian feel and real movement. I made a long skirt which I wore to death I loved it so much.

I also cut out a long-ish (I'm so short it looked especially long on me! :D) tunic style top. I hand made frog closures for it and found perfect brass asian coin buttons. I assembled it. While I was serging around the neck, attaching the collar and the facing to the tunic, I didn't notice that the back of the garment was getting caught in the serger blade. When I held the garment up to check my work there was a 6" gash straight down the centre of the back. I was nearly sick - that was made worse by the guilt. I walked away from it for a few days - I could harly stand to look at it. Then I saw my scrap pile. There was still some border print left. I cut an exaggerated yoke facing and sewed it over the gash. It drew a lot of attention to the area, and it's the part I got the most compliments on.

Note to self; when really big screw-ups happen fix them in such a way as to appear that it was the intent all along!

I teach this philosophy in all my sewing and stamping classes. My kids know it and believe it. My daughter had the exact same thing happen on a side seam of a dress she made. The dress was pink seersucker. We patched it with blue teddy bear fabric, by putting patches all over the dress in addition to patching the gash. While we were at a needlework show, she was invited to take part in a young designer fashion show because the dress was just so darn cute and she made it herself (she was 9 or 10 at the time) and she was wearing it.

With this card nothing was turing out the way I wanted. It started off as another card for Sharon Johnson's designer paper challenge, but I had 2 cards in my head at the same time. I was going to sponge the edges of this beautiful paper that I love so well, and tie gold ribbon on it - voila! Beautiful and done! But the stag kept pestering me from the other card in my head, so I stamped the flourishes from Basic Grey's new stamp set Winterland and the said 'Oops! This is not what I meant to do!' Then I over stamped the flourishes in a green like the paper. It really looked terrible. I stamped the stag since it was all his glorious fault anyway and I nearly crumpled it up and pitched it. Stupid stag!!!

Then, I stamped the sentiment and thought, ' There is just no one I dislike enough to send this ugly thing too - poor paper that I love so well...' I sat there and then remembered my philosophy that has gotten me through all my screw-ups before -- draw attention to it - and lots of attention! I grabbed my copper zig painty pen and dotted the green berries with it. Not bad! Balances the heavier brown of that stupid stag and the sentiment. I dotted the lighter berries with my frosted lace stickles. On the verge of lovely. Then I got out my trusty white sakura gel pen and started outlining the lighter stamped flourishes. Better. Then I could see where there were unbalanced areas around the flourishes, so I free handed it. Then it was very light in that corner and very dark in the other corner so I frosted the stupid stag, but then he didn't look stupid anymore - he looked almost handsome, but I still didn't forgive him for getting me in this mess in the first place!!! I frosted the sentiment too while I was at it, and that's when it all came together. The sentiment and the stag both look dimensional on the paper.

I mounted the now lovely image on some bazzill french silk brown, then on bling string of pearls. A contented *sigh* escaped and I made amends with that handsome stag fellow.


Pat S. said...


Velta said...

This is BY FAR one of the most elegant cards I have ever seen! I only wish I had thought of it :)

chriserendipity said...

Loretta, you just made me chuckle and smile so much, reading your entry! You sound like such a fun person--lucky people who get to be around you! BTW, I LOVE your *handsome fellow* and what you ended up creating!


Lynda said...

Hi Loretta!
I LOVE ALL of your work but this card is just FABULOUS!!! I just love it and have wanted to comment on it for a while! Take care!


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