Sunday, August 13, 2017

Flirting With Fear












   Since I began taking blog pictures, “on location,” I’ve noticed a rather disturbing habit of mine.  I seem to be drawn to settings that are rather spooky.  Originally I simply thought of these places as, "gritty."  However, upon further consideration, I now acknowledge that it may not be a wise idea to traipse around town alone in search of cool abandoned settings.  At least that’s what my boyfriend keeps telling me.
   Despite my annoyance at his harping, I have to admit that when I photographed the above pictures I was a tad creeped out.  I’ve been admiring the exterior of this derelict building for quite some time.  Each occasion I drove by I thought, “Man, the color and texture of that wall is good.  I should stop and get some photos.”   However, I could never coerce myself to actually halt my vehicle.  I still don’t understand why.
   Finally, one day I saw a window of opportunity.  I was prepared to drive by, yet again,…(one has to wonder what the neighbors think of the oddball woman in psychedelic garb trolling the area)…when I noticed that there was a mother and two children playing at the usually desolate neighboring park.  I reasoned, “It has to be safe if there are families nearby!  Besides they’re in screaming distance if I need help.  That little girl looks pretty bad ass.  I could toss her that broken bottle lying on the ground over there and we'd have ourselves a fighting chance! ”   
   As a result of this thought process I was able to muster the nerve to stop and photograph the above pictures.  However, I'll admit I was uneasy the entire time.  There was just something about this location that scared me.  I mean, it couldn’t have been due to the fact that it’s in a rather run down area of town.  Nor could it be because it’s on a fairly isolated street that’s proximity is very close to the State Penitentiary.  Again, I really can’t figure out what was giving me the wiggins so bad. 
   Despite the ooky vibe, I took my pictures that sunny day with the sound of children’s laughter in the background.  I felt ridiculous for the fear I had previously felt…until I realized my soundtrack of merriment was gone, and I was suddenly alone in a not so great neighborhood, taking glamour shots in front of an abandoned building that nobody knew I was at.  As I cursed myself for loosing track of my surroundings I wondered, for the second time, if the same car with a crappy muffler was circling the block repeatedly. At this time I snapped the last picture shown above.  When I posted this image earlier on Facebook I had one friend make the comment, “What’s so scary over there?”  While I’m still not certain my choice of setting that day was wise, I am pleased I was able to translate a feeling of narrative through this shot.  I'll state it's definitely one of my favorite self-portraits.  
   In conclusion, I’d like to reassure anyone who is worried about my stupidity that I’m usually extremely careful about my surroundings.   In fact, I’m so careful one could easily claim I’m paranoid.  Did I mention I have an air horn and Mace with me at all times?  Interestingly enough the Mace is designed to double as a nunchuck…because I know exactly how to use one of those.  It was a gift from an ex-boyfriend of mine who apparently was also concerned for my safety.  Come to think of it another old boyfriend gave me a small finger knife…you know, in case I had to stab someone.  Also, who the hell gave me that air horn?  I know I didn’t buy it.  Huh…what does all of this say about me?  Perhaps next time I’ll stick to boring old pictures in front of my barn door.  I don’t suspect I’ll have to nunchuck anyone at home…unless of course, they’re annoying me.
-r.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Patchwork Prima Donna












   It’s probably no surprise that I’ve always dreamed of being an expert seamstress.  Okay, maybe the word, “always,” is stretching it a bit.  To rephrase, it’s probably no surprise that every time I flip through fashion magazines and see clothes I have absolutely no hope of ever owning…due to a serious lack of monetary funds…I wish I was more capable with my sewing machine.  I want to clarify that this last statement doesn’t mean I have no abilities when it comes to sewing.  However, I have to admit that my talents lie in the more, “artsy/craftsy,” realms, rather than professional tailored pieces.  However, I am fortunate enough to have an extremely talented mom that can handle those types of projects for me.  As a side note, I must now brag about the pair of pants my mom just finished making for me.  Let me tell you, "these babies are amazing!"  I simply showed her a picture from, “Vogue,” of what I wanted and she cranked out the most adorable pair of pants I’ve ever owned in my life.  Of course my original intention was to have this big unveiling of them through a blog post, however these pants deserve some pregame hype.  I seriously can’t wait to wear them out on the town!
  “Whew,” okay that was exciting.  Returning to the topic at hand, I find it an unfortunate occurrence that my own mother can design and execute an outstanding piece of clothing and all I can seem to do is put patches on things.  I guess it’s a darn good thing I’m naturally drawn to the Boho trend, otherwise I’d be pretty underwhelmed by the hodge-podge designs I constantly come up with.  The fantastic thing about patchwork is it can be a crazy crapfest of color and design and still look totally intentional.  In addition, the other convenient thing about patchwork is there seems to be no standard of quality.  In fact, the less professional these projects appear the more legitimate their Boho credibility becomes.  In other words, it’s okay for a hippie’s clothes to be trashed.
   The pictures above display an example of some of my sewing handiwork.  I bought these thrift store shorts many years ago and decided to soup them up with a random selection of fabric I had lying around my craft room.  If one was to look closely at these shorts they would notice a lot of ragged edges, crooked stitching, and even some rather shoddy fabric bunching.  However, I would argue the lack of my expertise simply makes these shorts better.  I guarantee my amateur abilities definitely make this piece one of a kind…
   …except, this one trick pony has two more pairs of shorts that are fearfully similar.  In addition, I have several jeans and many coats and blazers I’ve put patches on.  Could it be that I’m that excited about patchwork, or is it simply my sewing skills limit me to this one look.
   Sitting here now, gazing over at my old issues of fashion magazines, I find myself sighing at the idea of all of the illusive clothing I’ll never own.  I daydream about sitting down at my sewing machine and designing my perfect, one of a kind, wardrobe. Suddenly I wonder, "why I can’t have it?"  I grit my teeth and think, “You know what Rayna, you can totally have it!  Now sit down and figure out these freaking instructions!”  I start to cut out my patterns and notice Cheetos have a nasty habit of staining paper.  I pull out my supplies and consider for a moment that the, "wad," method is possibly not the best for storing fabric.  I start to load my bobbin and realize I have a nasty knot halfway through…good thing I can just cut off the string and continue loading straight over that mess.  All the while I’m wondering why Nag Champa dust is covering every surface of my craft room.  Yes, I simply cannot fathom why I can’t produce a quality piece of clothing?  Luckily, I have hope that even the dirtiest hippie can be taught to clean up by her mother.
-r.