Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My Secret Weapon. Reprint.

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.

13 comments:

layers said...

as one who loves worn, torn, weathered papers I think you have come up with an ingenious way to get your fabrics worn and torn-- and cute way to.
do you think I could get my dog to go around wearing pieces of paper? :-)

Lisa said...

Precious!

Nancy said...

FEE "FI" FAUX OLD FABRIC!!! Way to go Fiona!

Dorthe said...

It is wonderfull KC, well, maybe not alwayes, but seen from an Art -angel just wonderfull, such a cute dog, and such wonderfull materials you are left with.
Hugs, Dorthe

Sharon said...

Oh I am laughing so hard. Teddy my bichon has his favorites too! I have some tucked away with the label "Possible KC Projects". Oh my. LOL Sharon

Heart of a Cowgirl said...

Learning the tricks of the trade from here mama...what a smart girl!

Renée Gandy said...

I just LOVE this.. what a lovely dog..:) I have a delightful little dachshund (Little big Man) who has similar habits.

Charlene said...

What a HOOT Fi is! My little Ms Priss would never dream of such goings on. But, this made me laugh.

MB Shaw said...

What a wonderful story. If only I could get my cats to do something so creative, tee, hee.

pattyb said...

So...can we just mail our fabrics to you to let Fi have at it?!

Jane Jeffress Thomas said...

I desparately needed this tonight. We had to put our sweet, sweet dog down today and many tears were shed. This made me laugh and I so badly needed that. Thank you. Yes, make something artistic out of the shreds. LOL

Leslie Avon Miller said...

This is fabulous - go with what you have rather than fight it! My cats will shred my papers - some times I don't find that too charming, maybe I better think again.

Rhonda said...

THAT IS HILARIOUS - that was the best laugh I've had in awhile.