Thursday, March 19, 2009

I have a secret weapon...

As a fabric artist who strives to make her work look old, worn and deliciously weathered, I have gotten pretty creative through the years with ways to accomplish said weathering. From burning, to coffee-staining to simply leaving it out in the elements. But I have one trick that I can't really take credit for, but I take advantage of it just the same. I have a dog who loves fabric as much as I do. She's a funny little part Corgi, part terrier (and even a little Lab) named Fiona, "Fi" as we call her. She has spent her life (all 5 years of it) lovingly by my side, which means she's a studio hound.

We got Fiona from my sister when she was 4 months old. The first time we left her alone to go out to dinner she experienced rather extreme separation anxiety and basically ate the slipcovers off the sofa in my studio. If you've watched my HGTV segment in the video section of my website, you have seen this lovely sofa with fabric covers designed by yours truly. The scene below is what we came home to that evening. We called it a Fi-asco. My poor Chocolate Lab, Josie, was traumatized.

Thus began Fiona's love affair with fabric. Whenever she wanted to play tug she would snatch a piece of fabric from by piles. If she needed a nap, her place of preference was usually the cubes in my studio where I stored my fabrics.

Then she got particular and I got my secret weapon. She began selecting, and yes I mean actually looking through the fabrics and choosing the one that caught her eye. The beloved fabric of the hour became the fabric of the month. She took it everywhere with her. Up the stairs, down the stairs, out into the yard. She played with it, slept with it and generally adored it.



At the end of the love affair of threads, she would suddenly abandon it and select another. What she left behind was a tattered, hole-filled, frayed and funky piece of cloth. Now what do you suppose I could do with THAT? Perhaps wash it, coffee-stain it and turn it into art? You betcha! My studio assistant came across one of Fiona's Fabulous Fabrics in my stash one day and said admiringly, "I like this piece. It's so old." I swear Fiona looked at me and winked.

16 comments:

sheryl freudenberg said...

Hi KC I had to laugh out loud at 'Ki'. She must be a really big source of inspiration. I got to meet you at your Canyon Rd. Gallery a few years ago and fell in love with your quilts. So glad to see you here in the blog world. Best Wishes.

The Junkin' Yaya said...

OMG....I am laughing so hard, I almost peed in my big girl panties! :)

I have heard of being "inspired", but my friend...you & Fi definitely take the cake on this one.....xo...deb

Lelainia N. Lloyd said...

OMG! *dies laughing* Now that is hilarious! Your poor couch! Fi is gorgeous, btw. Her eyes are so full of spunk and personality.

You should read (if you haven't already) "Marley & Me"-the Lab in that book went nuts and did stuff like that. But please, don't go see the movie-it was traumatizing for anyone who has ever owned a Lab. The entire theatre was sobbing and I was devistated for days after, even though I had read the book and knew how it ended. Hollywood had to drag the inevitable out and it was excruciating.

I will have to see if Indy has any distressing talent. I was pulling fabrics out of my trunk this evening and he was watching with great interest. He even tucked his beloved tennis ball in the tray inside when I wasn't looking. Maybe he was angling for a trade?

Heart of a Cowgirl said...

The best secret weapon EVER!

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

and to think all this time I've been chastising my dog for ruining fabric!

Gretz said...

She is so beautiful ;-)
Pets bring such joy don't they? ;-)

Little Brown Sparrow said...

That's it! I need to get myself a dog. Right now the only secret weapon I have are a few pairs of scissors that are so dulled they basically 'chew' through the fabric. Gives a great savage edge!

DebbieOverton said...

KC you were right, I did get a kick out of it. Thanks for the email! Getting ready to head over to the flea heaven I told you about. Have a great weekend!

mrsmorris said...

She is SO adorable! And what a character. Our lives would be so empty without dogs. I always feel sorry for people who brag about their no pet environments - like that's a good thing????

Nelly said...

As a huge dog lover, I just love your story. Quite a unique pooch you have.

grittyartsstudio said...

That last picture is a hoot!

somethingsublime said...

I came to you via Deb Trotter's blog. Well...the terrier in her blood explains a lot! How hilarious! Gotta love dogs...

The Rustic Victorian said...

She "is" an artist, nature does the best work. She even looks like an artist in her scarf. There is a new line with dog spit in it,,what will you name it? Too funny.
Marcie

Sara~Graphic Pretties said...

How funny!! LOVE IT!

Mary said...

It is nice to know that some of your "special" fabrics are naturally altered:) Fiona is adorable...Great post!
Mary

SCREAMING FOR CHOCOLATE said...

This is so hilarious....

Love it

Coco