Thursday, April 30, 2009

Some Beautiful Art, An Emerson Quote, and A Small World

I fell in love with Viola's mixed media art when I found her blog through One World, One Heart this past January. (She has a second blog, too: Shabby Chic Inspired, for mixed media home furnishings, which I love equally as much.) Several weeks ago Viola posted this beautiful piece on her blog, and I decided to buy it for myself: my own graduation gift to me.

The quote is by Ralph Waldo Emerson: "The years teach much which the days never knew."

I found the quote so inspiring because of my upcoming graduation. Going to college as a mature adult was, for me, as much about discovering what I already knew as it was about what I was newly learning.

The wall hanging is about 9" x 6" and has been created with layer upon layer of gorgeous antique fabrics, trims, buttons, paper, and of course the antique photo and the quote on fabric. It's all sewn down and stitched intricately, to perfection. I am just in awe of her talent!

Viola doesn't have a shop, but all of the artwork featured on her blog is for sale. So I emailed her to purchase it, and discovered how much we had in common! She lives with her husband and 2 cats very near where I spent the bulk of my time in Germany, outside of Cologne!

Viola offered to send along some paper ephemera from Germany when she mailed my wall hanging, but imagine my surprise when I opened the package to find not only the paper but all of this as well:

I was so surprised and overwhelmed by her generosity! Thank you again, Viola, for sharing your art and your inspiration, and you friendship, with me!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pop Culture Craft Challenge: Rod Stewart!

I just know I'm going to get flak from folks over choosing Rod Stewart as my inspirational Rock and Roll Hall of Famer for the Pop Culture Craft Challenge! But, I'm used to it. When I was a tween and teen my father would groan out loud at the mere mention of Rod's name. If Rod came onto the television in his presence, my dad would cringe and cuss and fuss! It was all that stick-up hair and the eye makeup - not to mention the tight pants. (My father could have been the inspiration for the song, "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits...but that's another story.)

I was a fan not of his pop music, but of Rod's oldies -- songs from the time he spent with the Faces and Jeff Beck, and from his early days with Ron Wood (who I always thought looked like a negative image of Rod - same face, but dark hair.) I had all of his old albums. I loved him for songs like this:

Other favorites of his ballads are "Reason to Believe" and "You Wear It Well"; the latter contains one of my favorite lines of all time: "When the sun goes low and you're home all alone, think of me and try not to laugh." (I may have that put on my epitaph. It was the quote I chose for under my senior photo in my high school yearbook.) But, that was music of his that was well before my time. By the time I was old enough to listen to his music, Rod was releasing his albums "A Night on the Town" and "Blondes Have More Fun", and he'd crossed over into his flamboyant, pop music stage. Beyond those albums, all was lost. I feel bad that many people younger than me know him only from songs like "Young Turks", and from all the remakes he's been doing for the last decade or so.

I do love some of his pop songs, like "Maggie May" (which is why my yellow Lab has the name she does...), and will always consider "You're In My Heart" a classic. Did you know he's singing about his love of the game of soccer? In concert he usually dribbles a soccer ball onstage while he sings it.

Rod Stewart was my first concert, ever, in 1979. Even back then, being a Rod fan was uncool in my culturally sophisticated home town, but I didn't care. The concert was his "Blondes Have More Fun" tour, and it was a night I'll never forget! I was 14 years old and I came home with a shirt that said, "D'ya Think I'm Sexy." My mother flipped!

When he briefly reunited with Ron Wood for his "Unplugged" tour, I went to that concert, too, and it was wonderful, and redeeming. And, he made news just a few days ago when he surprised Jeff Beck on stage in LA. It was the first time they'd shared a stage in 25 years!

Anyway: about the Challenge: Have you ever noticed how large Rod Stewart's nose is, or how knobby his knees are? He is one funny-looking dude. That first time I saw him onstage, he turned sideways and ever since seeing that profile of his, I've come to characterize him in my mind's eye as a large, colorful, spectacular bird.

Thus, my Pop Culture Craft Challenge entry is my vision of Rod Stewart as a bird, complete with large beak and knobby knees, and dressed in the colors he wore on stage for the 1979 "Blondes Have More Fun" tour:

I made this stuffed Rod Stewart bird using fabric, feathers, beads, ribbon, wooden cut outs, paint, thread, and glue. It's the only one of its kind and it expresses my feelings for the Rod Stewart of my youth, and all the fun I had listening to his songs and watching him prance around the stage and shake his behind like, well, one crazy bird!

I'll leave you with the Maggie song - Rod and Ron are achingly young in this video and it is really worth watching!

Thanks, Missie Zee, for the fun!