For most of my adult life I have had a serious love affair with coffee. I have a cup in my hand four or five times a day and have been known to rush home to make a latte before I go to my relaxing Japanese hot rock massage. High strung some called it. I just liked the ritual of it. The smell, the warm cup in my hand, relaxing with my thoughts...sipping calmly while a hundred creative ideas moved through my head like coffee beans through my fingers. Whenever I would see a cabin tucked away in the Rockies of the state I call home, it was dreaming of having a cup of coffee on the porch that made the cabin inviting. What good was a majestic, snow-packed mountain in your view if you didn't have a place to sit and have a cup of coffee while admiring the big rock? I even made it a thread running through the novel that I had published in the late 90's. On the day HarperCollins called to offer to buy my book, my editor specifically mentioned she liked the "thing about the coffee." I stopped by my local coffee house to celebrate on the way home.
So it made perfect sense to me, when I began to experiment with the idea that would become my life's work that coffee would be the ticket to making my fabrics look old. Not that I have anything against tea, but it's just too civilized. Afterall, I was putting women in britches with rifles in their hands on my art. Tea-stained? I don't think so.
When it comes to coffee-staining nothing is safe from me. I have a HUGE restaurant stock pot that I fill with instant coffee. I could dye a Volkswagen in that thing. And let me tell you, when you add the heat from an iron to fabric that's been coffee-stained...well, Starbucks has got nothing on me. I dunk canvas, fabric, trims, tablecloths, pieces of bedspreads and quilts, paper and old hats covered with flowers. I save the threads from the bottom of my washing machine that come off the canvas that I wash. They go in the pot white and come out in a wonderful shade of...how do I describe it? We'll call it coffee.
Now if this sounds like something you would like to do...making new things look old and turning them into art...watch my blog. In the next two days I will be opening up my KC Willis Collage Camp for early registration. This will be a video workshop series that you access from your computer in your own time at your own pace. I will be there every step of the way to answer questions and offer encouragement and feedback. I promise you we will have fun! I also promise that you will never look at coffee the same way again.