The first time I saw the shirt it was hanging in my boyfriend's (now husband's) closet. It was a light (I think they used to call it stone washed) denim - the perfect color, heavy but not too heavy, big but not too big, and it looked good on me, everyone said so. I just knew that this shirt and I were going to have a love affair. There is something about wearing your boyfriend's shirt. Women I don't have to explain it to, men I probably can't - after all they rarely want to wear out clothes. Wearing your boyfriends shirt implies intimacy, ownership, belonging, and care. It's sensual and sentimental. It's makes you feel good. The transfer of ownership isn't necessary, it's always his shirt, but you have claimed it, you have exclusive rights to it, and eventually it lives only in your closet. A permanent borrow.
Nine years later and it's had an illustrious career as a fashion statement and passion statement. It's traveled to 3 foreign countries and logged many hours by the painting table in the basement. It doesn't owe either of us a dime. I was thinking that it was just about time to retire it. And even thinking about what I could make if I cut it up and used it's fabulously soft threads in a sewing project... but I don't know. It's so comfortable and comforting, maybe a patch or two, a zig zag here or there and I could wear it just a little longer...just a little longer...
I haven't been out walking in the nature preserve near my house since before Christmas. First it was Christmas crazies, then we went to NC to see the kids, then I had a bad bout of bronchitis/asthma issues, then there were snow days and minus three degree days and putting down floor days and a few can't get moving days. But this morning Phil and I headed out early. We go in the back way that leads to the path that circles "Little Pond." Picture a lolly pop - we are walking up the stick - and just before we get to the candy we see this... Now entering wonderland...and we did. A winter wonderland in white. The boardwalk takes you out over the pond. The water wasn't that high but it looks as if some of the boardwalk sunk. You might not remember my post about "What stops you?" and we were determined to keep going but as we ventured out there was an ominous cracking sound so we turned around mid-cross - comforting ourselves with the fact that no one else was even out there (not a car in the lot - very unusual) and there was hot coffee waiting at home.
I have always loved hearts but thought them a bit sappy until I saw some painted by 1960's pop artist, Jim Dine. He painted them in crazy ways, different colors, raw edges, splotches and drips, flat, dimensional, in oil, acrylic and pastel. Some of them looked like they had been through a lot, just like most of our own hearts and each one of them makes me smile. There they are, one of our most recognized symbols of love, in all their messy and unrepentant glory reminding us that we all have one (literally and figuratively speaking) and we best use it while we have the chance.
So, just for today, I will try, with all my heart, to do everything with love.
Happy Valentine's Day! Love, Cat
~Red heart by Jim Dine (internet image) and blue heart by me.
I have waited a long time for this! The old floor just wouldn't come clean anymore. It was past its time. Maggie was willing to help. Not just for quilting anymore. (quilt square ruler) When you are tired even my jokes are funny... My new definition of a good friend, someone who will spend 40 hours on their knees. Thank you Richard! Warm, clean, perfect. Ready for company! Maggie gives it her snooze of approval!
Every year I pick a word, a word to think about, a lens to look through, something that makes me dig a little deeper into what it is that has meaning for me.That information comes in bits and pieces, like grace notes, and enhances being here for me.
This year my word is “value.”Merriam says that it is a Middle English word associated with worth, and the past participle of Latin valere - to be of worth, to be strong. It has to do with the relative worth or importance of something, the relative duration of a musical note or the relative lightness or darkness of a color. "If of thy mortalgoods thou are bereft,
and from thy slender store
Two loaves alone to thee are left,
Sell one, and with the dole
By Hyacinth's to fee the Soul."
So this year with be filtered by what what is of value, what relationship I have to that and how will that value show up in my life and art; intrinsically, metaphorically, and literally. I don't have all the words for it yet, but that is what this year will be about finding value and making it my own.
I have been reading Judith Jones, The Pleasure of Cooking for One. Judith is the woman who had the foresight to publish Julia Child's first book Mastering the Art of French Cooking, along with other's almost as famous. The recipes in this book are delicious. I haven't made the souffle on the cover yet, but it's coming.
Here's a picture of an individual pineapple upside down cake that I tryed out before making it for company. It was delicious and the larger version was a success. I set the table, made tea in a pot, watched the snow come down and was rather pleased with the afternoon tea & yums.