Thursday, April 2, 2009

Coffee, Tea and Me

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.

11 comments:

suziart said...

You are so fun to read!! I am a tea drinker, feel the same way you do about your coffee. I try and try to develope a taste for coffee, I like mine to taste like coffee candy, but can't stomach too much of that sweet necter. I think the coffee thing stems from my past early childhood memories of traveling the super windy country roads of WV and had horrible car sickness, so my folks used an empty coffee can for me to get sick in all the time. Well, that strong coffee smell always made me get it all out, so to speak.
Now I love the wonderful rich smells of all the coffee shops and hate that I can't enjoy that beloved beverage!
Anyhoo, had to share, hope I didn't make you nauseous...love your blog and so glad I discovered it tonight!
XoXo, Suzi

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

what a great introduction to a video class!

(does coffee stained fabric ruin your iron?)

The Rustic Victorian said...

A "Book", ????? What, Where,?? I had no idea. Do tell. Your video should be fun. Have you ever made tea or coffee stain the thickness of paint,,,painted with it,and sanded when dried? I call it Teatar, OR, taken an electic razor to the nap of textiles? Ageing fabric is so interesting, so many effects. I look forward to the video.
Happy Friday KC
Marcie
PS..I hope the order comes to day.

Robin Thomas: A Nest With a View said...

I love your coffee-stained brain...

Mary said...

O.K. after reading your post... i now have got to go brew a pot! Looking forward to the video class!
Mary

Halo Hill said...

I love the stuff too! I adore coffee. I adore the piece of art work I bought from you! Thank you for sending it so quickly too! I put it in a temporary place in the bedroom, but love it so much, and might keep it there for awhile. I'll send you the link when I post the pic on my blog.

You are sooooooooo talented!

Hugs,
Sheila

Heather said...

Mmmm...sounds delish. I would probably be nibbling on my coffee-stained creations ;)
I even love just walking down the coffee isle of the grocery store...

Deb Rowe said...

KC! I'm HERE! It has only taken me since 2002 when I ripped 3 pages out of a magazine that were alllll about you and your work!!! They are so beaten-up, ripped and wrinkley now...I have gotten them out a million times to look at... I am soooooooooo excited to get to participate in the Collage Camp....AND I have copied your badge to my blog. (Ohhhhhhhh...I have so far to go but I just know I will grow from this artsy experience! I'm jazzed and READY!!!! Such a fabulous opportunity to share online as well and meet others who are interested in the the same things...
Sunshine to ya from Kansas City!

Deb Rowe

Thistle Cove Farm said...

What a great idea about the classes, I wish you the best of success.
? re. the videos...I don't have the bandwidth to download the videos...is it possible for me to go to the library and download them onto cd's so I can look at them at home at my leisure?

KC Willis said...

Thistle Cove-E-mail me at lipstickranch@yahoo.com and I'll tell you how we can do this. Thanks!

Linda M. said...

Hi KC, I'm one of your new followers. I just found you through Lovey's piece on Crescendoh. Your love of coffee got my attention. I really enjoy coffee too. My favorite place in the grocery store is the coffee isle. I also enjoy your writing style and would love to come back in the new year to take one of your classes.