And, unlike many people who begin a project with a clear vision of what they want to portray or accomplish, my muse plays hide and seek during the process. Often she'll trick me: some "must have" embellishment just doesn't fit, so I try something else, then something else again, and Wham! She jumps out! Other times, things develop naturally, step by logical step... just clicking along until I encounter a roadblock or a experience a lightening bolt of creativity.
I work MESSILY. I must be surrounded by a sea of inspiration in the form of every possible piece of lace, trim, fabric, bead, sequin, button, jewelry - ANY potential inclusion. So, after gathering my pictures and sketches, I gather the materials.
Lace, buttons, green trims
Pink trims, more lace, bling
Still more lace (I love lace!!), threads, beads (metal containers in upper right)
My work station is NOT a pretty sight when I get going. I sit in my wing chair, have an empty upholstered sewing bench in front of me, and work surrounded by mess. I love it. Not pictured are the piles of books on the floor. Also - see that remote? It's to my boombox; I often listen to music while working, but when I get in a groove, I don't like to get up and down to fiddle with disks, volume, etc.
One of the first motifs I decided on was a girl walking a French poodle. I figured I could either stitch or bead the poodle, but the prospect of creating a girl or woman from scratch daunted me. I had this little wood and wire girl that had been attached to the front of a greeting card I received several years ago. She was hanging on my studio wall, just right in view..... my muse suggested I use her! Here's the "before"...
I drew the lines on her dress to show my DH where to cut her dress with his bandsaw. If this girl was to become a young lady in Paris, she needed something more stylish. DH cut off the flare, I gave her a haircut, painted her blouse off-white, and gave her a black lace skirt with a gold belt. Inspired by Susan Elliot's June Bead Journal lady (check it out here), I made her a fashionable hat (instead of a mere beret!) and placed it mysteriously over her eyes. I left the wire legs and arms as they were.... we have to have some use for our imaginations, don't we? Here's the "after":
In my next purse post I'll show you the Eiffel Tower beginnings, working with lace in various areas, seam treatments and various placement dilemmas.