Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sounds of the day

Arvo Pärt - Hymn to a Great City...

this is what I hope the new year is going to be like

Monday, January 3, 2011

Parcel from India, Kaftan.Sarafan Greeting Cards and a Game of Secrets

Some months ago I received this parcel from India containing small pieces of vintage saris. I don't know what impressed me more - the sari pieces (which were even prettier than expected) or their packaging: a piece of cotton casually stitched (with a needle and thread, naturally) at one side to make it into a bag the right size. I studied, treasured and kept the cotton bag with the stamps on one side and the address written by hand (naturally) on the other side in a very attractive educated handwriting. The numbers on the stitched side must be reference numbers.
I also took a photo of the transparent sari pieces airing in the back yard, they looked delightful flowing in the wind.


I got around to using some of these precious pieces (hurrah!) along with some of the kimono fabrics from my collection...
Although I like paper as a medium in craft I dislike working with paper myself as I feel it less friendly and flexible than, say, fabrics. Besides paper cuts may be vicious. After seeing lots of Christmas cards recently I decided to experiment with paper and make my own cards. And here is what I got so far. My cards are simple, a little naive, straightforward and honest, at least that's the way I see them.

Brown paper cards with hear-shaped inserts from kimono silk (the ones on the left and right) and an old spare piece of fabric for mending from a vintage nylon dress (in the middle)

The silk is attached to a piece of linen cloth embroidered using running stitch which 'quilts' the fabric like in a traditional Indian kantha, forming raised surface and repeating a particular form, shaping it .

The idea to make these cards must have come from memories of the game of Secrets which we all played as children. I (like millions of other children in my home town) spent a lot of my spare time outdoors playing with my neighbour friends. We knew every corner, every step, bench, rock, curb stone, tree, bush, every nook and cranny of the grounds around our block which provided innumerable hours of fun to all of us.

Here is how you play the Secrets game: first you collect a few small treasures such as a particularly pretty or rare piece of chocolate wrapper, a dandelion flower, a leaf, a stone, a feather, a brightly coloured bottle cork, a wing of a butterfly, etc.. Then you have to find a piece of glass, not too big and not too small. Then you find a suitable location for your secret, where you dig a small hole in the soil, line the bottom of it with your shiny paper, and then arrange the rest of the treasures in a most attractive way, then lay the glass down and cover with soil. And then came the most satisfying and breathtaking moment - digging out with your finger a little window revealing the arrangement underneath. Then you take a note of the place and visit your Secret to admire it, to refresh it with new finds, to share with friends. Or sometimes you couldn't find it anymore...