Frida’s Heart for a Friend

My colleagues and I exchanged Secret Santa gifts, yesterday. I was lucky enough to draw the one name of the bunch who I knew EXACTLY what to get! K and I are both HUGE Frida Kahlo fans. We share the same favorite painting, and the tattoo I wanted to get from it (a heart from The Two Fridas) she already has on her chest. What are the odds?!?!?

It’s safe to say that it was DEAD easy to gather up a little package of Frida delights.

Starting with Frida tats!


Rounded out with a set of postcards (of such beautiful quality they’d be perfect to display) and a book of art stickers.
Frida Loot

Art Stickers

Postcards

Finally, at the last minute, I decided that a plush representation of that heart we’re both so drawn to would be just the thing.
Hand Knit Heart

Knitting anything, on limited time no less, was a big gamble as everything I’ve tried lately has turned out wrong. It would appear that the curse is broken!! I’m pretty proud of this thing!! And even more in love with my coworkers after they included a Festivus pole in our party decorations. Just for me :D

Festivus!!!

I’m really fortunate to work with such awesome people! This last year has been so much fun and so rewarding. I’m already looking forward to our next party!

Happy Festivus and Chrismanakwanza to you all!!

MMMay Rewind & Some Guest-ing

We’re going to rewind on MMMay a bit.
This is MMM.D11

MMM.D11 :: Feeling Frida

I wore my one of my Frida tunics, accessorized with humidity frizzed hair, to a friend’s graduation celebration on Saturday.

MMM.D11 :: Feeling Frida

I was quite breezy and comfortable ;o)

MMM.D11 :: Feeling Frida

I also wanted to direct you to my Me Made May guest post over on Kollabora.
I had so much fun writing about my April 30th/May 1st mixup, lol

Dudes, I have SO much sewing planned! Well, at least sewing related packages arriving! HA. By Hand London’s Victoria, Megan Nielsen’s Cascade and Tania, Mission Maxi (the last three were my Mother’s Day gifts ;D) and there are a handful (or two) of pdf patterns calling my name!

My fellow #sewcialist and I have decided that this is supporting women entrepreneurs and therefore totally acceptable!

Carmen & Geoffrey

Yesterday, in my dance fever post, I included this photo of Carmen De Lavallade and Geoffrey Holder.

I posted it, even though they were not dancing, because I knew that they are both dancers.

Their impact on that world is massive and eternal. More so than I even knew at the time. Truthfully, before I read about Carmen & Geoffrey the documentary on Shadow & Act, I had never heard of her and only thought of him as my beloved Punjab from Annie.

Well, cut to last night. With that dance post heavy on my mind. I needed something to watch while I (finally, after much procrastinating) ironed the kids clothes for the next day. I clicked over to Netflix and put on C&G because that gorgeous picture of them was still on my mind.

WHAT A FASCINATING STORY!!

I was riveted to the TV! I stayed up, waaay too late, because I simply could not wait until the next day to see the film in its entirety. There should be classes taught about these two. Seriously. The amount of work they’ve done, barriers they’ve broken and longevity they’ve maintained is truly astonishing. There are, to me anyway, parallels in their lives and those of another powerhouse couple: Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. While Carmen and Geoffrey continue to enjoy a long and happy marriage, and Frida and Diego did not, their creativity, talent, drive and equal levels of success in their respective fields is quite similar.

Very few artists are appreciated and celebrated in their own lifetime like these four were. Carmen and Geoffrey have stacks and stacks of awards and accolades. They branched beyond dance and performed in film and theater productions. Geoffrey is an amazing gifted painter and director. Shows that he choreographed in the 60s and 70s are still performed. Carmen has taught throughout her life and at over eighty years old, she still dances and performs. Often.  Learning about these two should be required for all artists for their lives are a lesson in staying relevant and happy. Their loyalty and support of one another is rare, too. Geoffrey was still calling her his goddess and muse at nearly 50 years together. Carmen still a frequent subject of his paintings. She still performs work he choreographed, wearing a dress he created just for her.

If you have a Netflix subscription, consider watching this beautiful film about these two extraordinarily interesting people and the highlights of a life lived completely on their own terms.

Must Go :: MOMA

Thanks to fellow instagram member Ancora Imparo, I now know that there are TWO Frida Kahlo paintings on view at the MOMA!!! I can hardly wait to actually see her work in person. I took a picture of little Frida, and her crew, to celebrate. More handmade dollies live on the shelf above this one, too.

Frida & the handmade doll Gang

There is also, in case you couldn’t tell, quite an odd selection of reading material represented here, lol. I mean, The Rock Says, Bridget Jones’ Diary and Twilight in a stack with Anna Kerinina, The Best America Short Stories compiled by Salmon Rushdie and The Color Purple is sort of hysterical. Guess which of those I haven’t read yet…

My writing books all live here as well. I have more arriving tomorrow.

 And these to check out with the kiddies.

I really, really like new books ;o)

Self Portrait as Frida Kahlo

At the start of they year, when we were asked to name themes for the upcoming challenges, one that immediately sprang to mind was a creation inspired by art. This idea came from my near obsession with one artist in particular. I first encountered Frida in a rather round about way, it’s all a bit of a mystery. I can recall finding artist and blogger Elsa Mora while researching doll making. She had created a doll house of Frida’s home Casa Azul and spoke about her connection to the artist.

Though I had encountered her before, I was suddenly ravenously curious about Frida. I researched her online and I borrowed books from the library. I watched documentaries and the feature film about her life. I even made a doll version of her so that she would be by my side.
Frida!
The art, life and sheer presence of Frida Kahlo have by this point influenced so many other aspects of my life that my sewing should hardly be left out.

Frida the woman and her artwork are difficult to separate. Most know for her self portraits (she did paint other subjects occasionally) they are, in fact, one in the same. Having studied her work, her life and art a bit I had some knowledge of her paintings already, and some definite favorites (The Two Frida’s, What the Water Gave Me, and Viva La Vida) I thought to pull inspiration from one of those works. Verdant greens, deep blues, red, whites, blood, gore, death and life. But just before I read the list of upcoming challenges, I purchased this book and found my inspiration within its pages.

Self-Portrait with the Portrait of Doctor Farill

In this painting, Frida is not featured in the customary heavily embroidered garb of her personal life and many of her paintings. Rather, she is simply attired in black and white. In the book there is a photograph of this outfit beside the painting. It is sort of eerie as it is missing the artist, the woman herself.

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Something about the tunic called to me. I decided I would make it. Just like that.

I looked to my patterns and sewing books, and found the perfect substitute in the Japanese pattern book Drape Drape One. I used pattern no. 15.

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What a relaxing experience it was! No fitting woes at all when you’re making a tunic! It should even transition to my real life wardrobe well. What a feeling! Lol

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The inside is gorgeous as well. All serged and neatly pressed for the seams. For the skirt I used a vintage Simplicity pattern (4018) I purchased from Etsy.
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I will definitely shorten this, though. Unlike Frida, I quite like showing my legs ;0)

I was so high on sewing ease juju I made a bonus project!

Tunic W (for Wanett!) from Stylish Dress Book One. I substituted ruffles for embroidery, as one is doable in a weeks time and the other is nor, at least for me. The inside of this one is neatly finished with my serger also. So, that’s three(!!!!) never before used patterns done in one week! You see how Frida inspires me!

The Facts | Art Challenge
Fabric | The same white fabric from my Gal Friday blouse (might have finally used it up), blue cotton shirting, black cotton sateen
Patterns | Pattern no.15 from Drape Drape One, Simplicity 4018 skirt pattern, Tunic W from Stylish Dress Book One
Year | ALL over the place! 1950′s to present!
Notions | Mostly thread, one zipper and a bit of interfacing for the skirt
Time to complete | A few of hours a day over three days or so. That includes tracing the patterns and cutting. Not bad.
First worn | While getting my Frida on for these photos.
Wear again? Yes! I love them all!
Total price | Really can’t say. The fabrics and patterns were all in the stash. The books cost about $50 together, but contain many other patterns. Simplicity 4018 was $6. I’m fairly cheap, so I know the fabrics didn’t cost much. I’m also wearing my vintage store find Enzo Angiolini booties from The Urban Jungle $15. And Sew Weekly meet up flower from Oona! With paper flowers my twins made in Pre-K ;p

Even more pics here

Sneaky Peek

At my Frida inspired creations. Yes, you read that right. Creations!

These made use of two pattern books that I have in my library, one of which was used for the first time!

That’s all for now :0)

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I mostly wanted to post on leap day. Cause I am lame, haha.

For putting up with me, I will leave you these links to my pinboards, where new and awesome stuff has been filed away for the future.

My Style Mission

For the Home

&

Kid Stuff

Upcoming Sew Weekly Themes

Look at what the Sew Weekly theme for next week is!!Creations inspired by ART!!! And, for me, ART!!!=Frida!!

I’ve been perusing these books for inspiration. They are providing a bit too much, I think.

I am bursting with ideas! I’ve had to check any number of wild plans and have thrice stopped myself from ordering some heavily embroidered fabric or brocade that is not my style. I love Frida, but I don’t think I want to dress exactly like her. And I KNOW I don’t want to sew things that I will not wear.

The key word here is inspired by her art. But with Frida, she is her art! Literally! How can I separate Frida the woman from her paintings?? They are one in the same.

The Lady Herself:

Source: aaa.si.edu via Wanett on Pinterest


And some interpretations of her style

Source: wardi.dk via Wanett on Pinterest

Source: ozonweb.com via Wanett on Pinterest

Source: darksideofthebroom.blogspot.com via Wanett on Pinterest

I’m not so jazzed about the Pantone challenge, if it means I have to use that tangerine color. I don’t care for orange…. I have never seen even one episode of Mad Men, but I have, of course, read tons about its style. I have the perfect pattern and fabric for that one. Let’s hope the mojo is there, too.

Art Immersion or Distraction?

Hey. I think I’ve discussed my tendency to procrastinate via absorption into other interests? Yes? I thought so. I have apparently kicked into overdrive with TWO things to avoid. The Sew Weekly and School.

I’ve been reading, my favorite diversion. More Austen continuations and the lady herself. Reading from Darcy’s perspective made me want to read P&P.

And I’ve been reading about Frida and ordering Frida calendars and stickers and then I ended up with a HEAP of other artists in the cart. We’ve been immersed in art over here. This book is so beautiful.

As is the story of Diego ordering Frida’s dressing area sealed for 50 years. This book has me thinking of bumping that Casa Azul trip up the priority list a few notches. Frida Kahlo is such a compelling figure. I know I am certainly not the first to become enchanted with her and I will not be the last.

Anyway, school avoidance hasn’t been too bad so far. These courses are taught by the most laid back of profs, so there’s been no heavy lifting yet. The Sew Weekly on the other hand, I’ve been out of the game (so to speak) since I was Gal Friday-ing it up. I cannot get a rhythm going. A harmony between school, sewing, parenting, wife-ing, me-ing.

On top of that, my Saturday’s are busy again with dance and drumming (piano was full) lessons. That little extra bit of busy and a waxing and waning appetite equals I’ve dropped weight. Again. I don’t want to spend time making something for it to fit for a few months and then be too small….And for me, losing weight always brings back my gangly pre-teen I’m too skinny body issues. Which sucks. Seriously. I recently tried on 10 pairs of jeans before I found some that fit right.

What do you guys sew during weight shifts??

Well, I have to work on something for school now. A SWOT analysis of Krispey Kreme. I don’t even eat their donuts! Lol Wish me luck.

Bienvenidos a mi casa, Frida!

I bought myself two Frida painting prints! They are 8×10, framed (behind glass) and were only $5 each! I love art school supply stores ;)

These two beauties will live in my room, I think.

Self Portrait Between the Borderline of Mexico and the United States

 

Frieda y Diego Rivera

They had more the first time I saw them in the store. I want them all, in particular The Two Frida’s and What the Water Gave me. Elsa just posted about viewing The Two Frida’s in person!! This may be the only time in my life I wished to be from Cali. I would love the visit Casa Azul. One day…In the meantime, there are tons of books to read about Frida and this pretty calendar to get some prints of her work  on the cheap.

Do you have a favorite artist?