I was skiing last Monday for my last runs this season. I find that one of the most relaxing places to be is on a chairlift alone in the sun when Mt. Holly is just open and barely anyone is around. I was listening to my music and thinking about what work I had finished to enter into the Small Expressions 2021. I didn't enter last year and consequently I missed the deadline by a day so I didn't enter this year either!
Still, this new piece struck me out of nowhere and I just had to make it. I've been working on the Leaf Me Alone series which has begun to have even more meaning through this pandemic. I feel like wearing my masks 40+ hours a week should have a little bit of a "6-feet, back off, leave me alone" resonance. Why...I should make a Leaf Me Alone Mask to go along with the series.
I wanted to use the original draft of the Leaf Me Alone weavings for the interior fabric. I knew exactly where the fabric that I could run through my printer was in my studio but I had never used it before. I created a blue and green version of the pattern in Photoshop. While reading all the directions for the printable fabric in great detail, I printed it out while gritting my teeth and waiting for my printer to jamb up and screw up the fabric. It didn't mess up at all, it printed out great!
I thought i was done with my mask patterns but there I was stitching another mask lining together, with my newly printed fabric. I wanted to make the words pop in the fabric, so I spent my free time during my lunch breaks and evenings embroidering the Leave Me Alone. I made sure it looked good from the opposite side also, I knew I'd want parts of it to show through the leaves.
I already had the beaded leaves made; I've been making a lot of them in preparation for the leaf panel on the large Leaf Me Alone panel. Making beaded leaves is really never-ending. I just had to create the fabric leaves to give it an even combination and lots of texture. The stitched leaves go faster than the beaded leaves, but not by a while lot. I went through my fabric scraps and all of the sheer fabric pieces that I found were part of the installation I did for River Terrace Church, "Hope Flows."
I had Sunday off and I thought that I'd get the leaves all stitched together and the piece finished that day. I pushed and stitched all day. I didn't realize that the exhibit entries due April 15 was actually April 14, midnight (this is why I usually send in work a week ahead so I don't screw up the deadlines). I finished at 2am, slept for 5 hours, got up and took photos now that I had the daylight. My heart sank a little when I realized that the exhibit had closed already, but it'll be done for next year. And I can send it in to other exhibits.
Honestly if I had realized that i missed the deadline I may not have kept going so late and it may have gotten thrown into a bag to be finished later...which I then sometimes loose interest. I was very tired at work the next day but I'm glad it got done and it's good to know that I can still pull a late-nighter if I'm really inspired to do so.
*Sidenote, this is not a protective mask, it's only one layer of printed cotton fabric and the top layer is open, sheers and beads.