Monday, May 19, 2008

hands on

I suppose it's partly because of reading the wabi sabi book that an overhauling mood is upon me. My clothes closet got done. I mean completely emptied, sorted, and only what I absolutely want and wear back in. All other piles disposed of properly. Almost.

Following the flow, after looking for that quilt in storage in the barn, I suddenly had 3 tubs and one trunk full of fabric and quilt pieces in the house.

I sorted by color.

What will I do with all this fabric, now that I don't quilt any more? My hands and wrists are weak now, and they ache if I do too much close needle work.

Oh, looking through the folded cotton fabrics took me down Memory Lane.

Dresses, doll clothes and a Wizard-of-Oz Dorothy Halloween costume I made for Lesley.

Old curtains, even some from Istanbul (that small yellow and taupe flowered print in the yellow pile, which was in our kitchen there). I need to tell you the story behind this fabric some day.

Old pieces that were my mom's, like the two doilies on the same pile, which I remember from my childhood.

Silks and linens from Thailand, China and India, brought as gifts to my parents by the foreign students who lived with us when I was in high school.

Even a sari that must have been given to my mom, although I don't recall her ever wearing it. I'd like to get a blouse made for it and wear it myself.

We had many Indian friends, and they were so generous giving gifts to us.

I found this skirt at the bottom of one of the bins, a sorry place for a treasure whose value I can't even begin to understand. I bought the British (Liberty, I think) fabric somewhere, in the States I think. I took it with me to Istanbul and had a tailor make it into a skirt that I wore and wore. As I hold it in my hands now, I think it may be one of the most precious things I possess.
Oh, and look what I found googling "Liberty fabric": J Crew came out with Liberty fabric skirts last year. Styles always come back around, eh? And oh by the way, this is one of those full skirts I was admiring earlier from the Paris show. Won't I just be the cat's meow wearing this vintage skirt (if I can lose about 1 inch from my waist)?

I think I know what I want to do with some of the fabric: braided rugs.


Sharon said...

Again you've made the most simple of things beautiful and inviting....very Zen. I love seeing all of your beautiful fabrics. Braided rugs sound like the perfect solution.....all of those colors combining. And you've definitely inspired me to do a little long over due tidying today!

Ginnie said...

I can just imagine the memory lanes you have gone down, dear Ruth, with all these fabrics. Seeing them and touching them! Braided rugs always come in handy, I know. I can see some in your atelier. And I can imagine what Lesley must be thinking as she drools over this post!! :)

Now that we're sorting through Donica's mom's things, I, too, am in a sorting mood. I want to really get rid of stuff, as you said, and keep only what we use or what's soulful to see. The rest of the stuff will be someone else's treasure at Good Will. For sure! Thanks for the inspiration. :)

Sandy said...

Well this was a heck of a colorful beautiful post! Makes me want to bring out the sewing machine, the phantom one that doesn't exist here any longer. Makes me want to get my paints out and splash beautiful colorful flowers all over. Gorgeous photos Ruth, how DO you make even piles of fabric look like masterpieces with your photo lens.

How do you make known the unknown...?

What will this fabric end up evolving too?

Such a cool post.

Anet said...

Gosh Ruth, this is like treasure!
I loved hearing the memories that go along with these fabrics. Braided rugs are wonderful. But then could you just let people step on them?
With all the memories... maybe just with out shoes on.

Sandy said...

forgot to say your closet looks so organized. I've been doing drawers and corners!

Ruth, toddler toes and chick is the cutest photo I've seen in awhile.

Drowsey Monkey said...

That's so organized it scares me! I'm a very messy person...very messy! I just saw a documentary about messy people & was going to do a post about it later in the week.

Ruth said...

Ah, thank you, Sharon.


Boots, good idea for l'atelier. I am finding the process of weeding therapeutic and meditative. I think you will too with D's mom's things, if you have that intention.

= = =

Oh you are so sweet, Sandy! You make my blogs so worthwhile. I'm glad you like the perch photo! Enjoy the process of organizing your drawers and corners.


Anet, that's a good point about walking on them. But we always take our shoes off when we come in, so maybe I didn't think of that. Wool is actually much better for braided rugs. And after starting one today, my wrists are sore, and so I don't know if I'll be able to do it. :(

= = =

Oh, dear Drowsey. Please don't stop being you, don't stop being messy if that is what you want. I will be most interested to see your post about the messy people film. But let me say to you, that had I done this organizing before these last couple of years, it would have been scary and about control and I think for the wrong reasons. NOW, it is coming from this place of desire, out of the heart of me that is enjoying the process. If I see other people's messes - or even my own that still abound! - I don't have a cow or anything. I don't want to be like Julia Roberts' husband in "Sleeping with the Enemy" and I don't think I am. It isn't obsessive compulsive. It really is the most zen place I've been. It's really about respecting things, honoring them, and this is how that is working for me. Long live our differences!!

Ruth said...

Drowsey, came back to say . . . that was kind of presumptuous of me to respond that way, as if I knew what was scary to you. When I look at the top photo, it's true it could be scary, and it makes me laugh now!! It's such a balancing act, isn't it? Doing what makes us happy, and sometimes people can relate to it, and sometimes not.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Ruth, What a treat for the eyes... all those colors piled together .. unassuming... there beauty is... just as special lying like that... than if they were cut up to create something else... they already have a life...

Ruth said...

Gwen, thank you, the colors and textures give me a lot of pleasure too. I think of them as artist's pigments; they'll go on shelves where I can see them and pick out the colors I want to design something. I just have to figure out what it will be!

Anonymous said...

You have beautifully organized those clothes and I am sure, you will create something special about them.
I have started many times to organize
old clothes and fabrics, but every time hours have gone with memories and they are still in the cupboards.
Perhaps my daughter- in- law will put them away, because she doesn`t have any feelings for my stuff :))
But I start today once again, thanks to you.

Ruth said...

Leena, I know what you mean. And yeah, we might all get to a point where our children have to do this for us. That's one reason I want to get things weeded and organized now, so my sweet Lesley and Peter don't have to do it, the way I did for my parents.

Bob Johnson said...

Ruth you have been to some cool places and have aquired cool stuff. My wife has the same tastes as you, would love your silks and linens from the far east.

Ruth said...

Bob, well your wife has very good taste. :) Does she have a blog? :D

Drowsey Monkey said...

lol ... not presumptuous at all. I do get a little un-nerved when everything is in it's place. My sister's cupboards are like a work of art. They annoy me HA! They do! I wanna mess 'em up! She won't let me tho, LOL.

Ruth said...

Drowsey, I think she should give you a cupboard you can play in, maybe the pots and pans!

lolly said...

tablecloths; napkins; covered napkin rings; placemats -- for crockery, glassware, vases, in different shapes; collaged artworks framed; lampshade covers; table runners; tasselled curtain binders; coffee table covers under glass, collaged or not; cushion covers; settee/banana lounge fabric; hammocks; side curtains only for very large windows; material as gifts to special friends/family for their use; and so on.

Ruth said...

Lolly, is that all??

Seriously, those are some very good suggestions. This I know, I won't get rid of the fabric, I couldn't part with it.