Sunday, August 22, 2010

Doing ...

As I wrote in this post, "I do not need to think, I need to do. I need to follow the doing and see where it leads me."

About which my friend Rick asked, "So, what are you doing?"

Geesh. Accountability? What's that about?

But I replied, "For the moment, I'm doing those things that I really don't want to do, but that are necessary. However, once those things are accomplished, I'm also making it a point to do at least one creative thing each day.

Nothing major right out of the gate, but I view it as a locomotive that's been at rest for a long time. It starts out creaking and groaning and it takes a while for it to get up to speed.

But once it's moving, it's damn near unstoppable."

So yesterday, after sleeping in until the luxurious hour of 7 a.m., I put on a whole pot of coffee, fired up the laptop, and called my mother, to whom I hadn't spoken in several days. She came by for coffee and toast (she made bread), and I emptied my dishwasher and did up the dishes that I do by hand, and then did up a few more, post-toast. Mom went on her way, and I puttered around the house, and thought about what my creative pursuit for the day should be.

And I decided that since I'd had the idea a month or two ago but hadn't followed up on it, yesterday would be the day that I'd go and find fabric to make a pillow for the latest addition to my TV room, this very comfortable number, which is named, I do believe, after Angelo's dog. Or Ted Baxter from "Mary Tyler Moore," perhaps. Either way, as Angelo would say, good times.

I had been poking around online for pillows and wasn't finding anything that made me want to enter my credit card information. (There are a lot of flat, matte, solid-color pillows in the world. So, so boring.)

There were a few that piqued my interest, but really? An accent pillow that costs $99? No thanks. And P.S. Greed is a deadly sin. Didn't the people who decided on the prices for those pillows see "Se7en"?

Anyhoo, I decided to take my creative-yet-frugal self on a hunt for a fabric remnant. Which is what I did. One doesn't need much fabric for a pillow cover. And I rummaged through a bin of possibilities, pulling out a few options, but ultimately dismissing all of them: wrong scale, too similar to other patterns in the room, toile.

(Note: I love toile, still, even though I think it was widely overused a few years back. But the ivory-and-red toile remnant I found yesterday didn't please me. The scale was off, the scenes were "meh," and really, toile does not belong on Angelo's very 1940s-style chair.)

So, I wandered among the bolts of fabric, finding nothing that jumped out at me. So I wandered around the corner to the larger bolts of upholstery fabric and found myself bored.

Until my eyes fell upon this:

Which reminded me of this:

(Which I just stole from this post so: Photo credit: Angelo Surmelis.)

When I saw that drawing – which he self-deprecatingly describes as a "doodle" – I mentioned that I thought it would make a fabulous fabric.

So I was very pleased to happen upon my paisley situation, and even more pleased when the nice fabric-cutting lady laid it out on the counter to measure a yard for me and I saw the reverse. I hadn't even looked at the reverse. And I love the reverse as much as the right side. So my plan is to make a two-sided pillow.

I mean, yes, all pillows are two-sided, but my pillow will feature one side of the right side of the fabric and one side of the reverse side of the fabric, so that I can have two looks on Angelo's groovy chair, which is modeling the fabric in the image above, showing the right side on the left and the reverse on the right. (Angelo, if you don't know, is my muse, which is kind of his job, since he's Greek, but he also inspired the shortbread necklace. And for that, I will be forever grateful.)

I'll have plenty of fabric leftover. (Perhaps I'll get into the throw-pillow business.)

And with the kidney pillow form I bought (kidney as in not shaped like a kidney but a horizontal pillow to go behind the small of your back), I spent less than $25. (The fabric was on sale.)

Of course, I didn't think to pick up thread, too, so I'll have to see if I have any that will work, and if not, make a run to the store today to buy something appropriate.

So today's creative task will be the actual sewing of the pillow cover. (And possibly framing the images I've been meaning to get up on the wall in the guest room.)

Other doing will include reading and updating my to-do list and possibly grocery shopping since it is getting increasingly difficult to combine the foodstuffs I have on hand into anything remotely edible.

But for the moment, the most important doing is getting another cup of coffee. Because coffee enables every day's doing.


Blogger Tom Erdman said...

Just a question. Why don't you make pillows?

12:34 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

I'm making one today, as a matter of fact!

But I don't think a throw-pillow business will support me at this stage.

I might keep making them for fun and friends, though. Maybe someday I'll hit the craft-fair circuit!

12:36 PM  
Blogger Tom Erdman said...

hmmmm. You might be surprised. You might want to think bigger.

2:39 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

It's not that I'm thinking small, it's that I don't see a business in buying fabric and stitching up pillow covers. I read a story recently about a woman who launched a line of pillows, but she's designing her own fabrics, which is what makes her line unique. I am not a textile designer.

I like doing little house-y projects like this, but my fortes are writing and baking. I'll play to my own strengths.

Though I thank you for the encouragement!

2:49 PM  
Blogger Tom Erdman said...

The conversation's not really about pillows, it's about vision and potential. You have both.
My point is there is opportunity everywhere. Pillows are just the vehicle I chose for today, because that was what you were making. I was talking with the other day and guess what they were looking for...pillows! And, like you, we don't do pillows, at least on purpose.
But, we do make furniture for a certain, fedora wearing, bald guy. One day, you might hear the story about how that happened. But, it might have been at the urging of a friend.
I do love your writing. And, enjoy the pillow on the chair. It looks great.

3:11 PM  
Blogger Beth said...


OH! You're that Tom!

Hi, Tom!

A certain fedora-wearing bald guy has mentioned you, of course.

Thank you for the kind words. I won't argue that I have vision and potential. What I need is more stick-to-itive-ness. I get bored quickly. But I suppose if I had a business, I could busy myself with different things every day.

In any event, lots of interesting things are swirling about of late. I'm confident that they're all coalescing into something really cool.

Nice to "meet" you!

3:17 PM  
Blogger Tom Erdman said...

Nice to "meet" you as well. Hang in there.

4:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been searching and searching for the right fabric for an entry bench cushion. I am in the field of architecture of definitely have an emphasis on the interiors portion. Interior Architeture Design i guess. HA! I designed our house and hubs and FIL are building. It's quite contemporary with minimal detail but I brought in enough wood to make it more homey and less "cold" with all the cool neutrals. ANYWAY... I wanted to get away from the solids in the ntry... solid dark gray tile and solid white walls, and solid red wall inside the bench recess. I wanted something a little more on the organic side and had been googling paisley upholstery but I am just not finding much! I LOVE this fabri, more specifically, the dark with the white. It's been a while since you posted so that fabric may be long gone...

9:40 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Hey, Anon:

I bought it Hobby Lobby, and the last time I was there, the bolt was on clearance. I didn't buy any more fabric since I didn't know what I'd do with it, but I'm kind of regretting that now. I may pop by and see if it's still there.

9:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I should have put my name rather then anonymous. I am Melanie and live in Fairbanks, AK so I am lucky to have a joanns! I didn't know Hobby Lobby had fabric. Last time I was in a hobby lobby was in college in the lower 48 7+ years ago. If it was on clearance, I am afraid I may be SOL. :-( Rats. It's (roughly) 48" wide and 24" deep but the pad is like 4" deep. I don't even know how much i need. My Mother in law would be making it and most likely knows. I have samples of other ones but I wish i could have my hands on this stuff! Thanks for info.

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mel again... I love how the pillows came out! Just makes me want fabric more! And actually, I would love to have MIL make pillows for sofas in same material and tie furniture together!

2:14 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Nice to meet you, Mel.

It's upholstery fabric, this paisley, so I believe it came on a 54" bolt, so you'd only need 2 yards-ish for your bench cushion, I'd think.

Next time I'm at HL, I'll see if it's still available and report back.

2:22 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

OK, reporting back, Mel. I was in the mood to drive somewhere while blaring Springsteen, so I made a trek to Hobby Lobby, where I found the bolt of the paisley just sitting there, waiting for me. There appeared to be a lot of fabric on it. I asked the nice lady at the cutting desk to measure how much was left, which she did: 6.25 yards.

So I bought it all.

If you want it, it's yours, kid. As someone who has searched in vain for fabric, I know what it's like to see something you like somewhere and not be able to get your hands on it.

Email me at bethkujawski at gmail dot com and we'll chat there instead of here.

7:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am emailing shortly...

~Anon Mel

1:34 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

That made me laugh out loud this morning! See you in email!

6:15 AM  

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