Checking In and Painting Curtains!

Most of you know that my life is very much taken up these days with caregiving for both my Mother and my husband. I have blogged about it here. But after a bit of time I removed those posts. I struggle with writing about my husband and his illness on line. I think that he might feel that it is an invasion of his privacy. Actually, I know in my heart that he would feel this way.

So even though the actual role of caregiver and the emotions and thoughts I have related to my husband’s illness define in large part who I am right now, I feel that I must refrain from sharing about these subjects here on my blog. It will be hard and confusing as the boundaries between who I am and his privacy will often be blurred.

Lack of time and this confusion have kept me from posting here very often. But I have worked out a work schedule (of sorts) for myself that may be something I can keep up with.

Anyway – the deal is that I like things to be linear. I like things to flow from beginning to end – leaving little out that comes in between. This too has kept me from posting. Simply because so much time, so many events and so much work in the studio have gone by. Do I recreate the past from the beginning? Do I start in the middle? Do I start now and go back – then move forward again - moving fluidly back and forth through the timeline of my life as it is today?

And how do I approach posting? I used to think of the blog – my blog – the same way I thought of my column - back when I wrote a weekly art column in my daily printed newspaper. It was a piece of writing I worked on for the better part of a week – thought about, wrote, researched, wrote again, reviewed and edited. Any piece I wrote for magazines was of course approached in this manner.

But most people blog in much the same way they journal. Just write – don’t edit – just write. Okay, so maybe they edit a little bit. I understand now that because of the lack of time, this is how I should approach writing for my blog. Writing and publishing in this way will be another hard thing for me, as I like what I put out into the world to be polished, professional, well-crafted and perfected. I am counting on the fact that my lack of sharing very much at all over the past two years has perhaps actually been harder. We’ll see.

Anyway – here we go.

 Curtains hanging in the dining room.

Curtains hanging in the dining room.

Last year we spent the better part of the year actually living in my new gigantic studio while we had the house worked on. We hadn’t done much of anything to it since we built it 27 years ago. Money was always tight and we were busy with work and raising the kids. But now the youngest child is in college. We are getting older – and his health isn’t great. It just seemed like now or never. So, we moved out – had the place painted, had the wood floors and ceilings sanded and refinished. We put in a new kitchen and handicap master bathroom and finished off the walk-out basement into a guest room. It was a great undertaking. Once we moved back in I started making and sewing things for the house. I had actually never done that! Oh, I had decorated but I had never sewn curtains and pillows. I had never even made a bed quilt before!

I must say it has been fun. And my husband has loved it! Really loved it!! It felt like we were young again creating a living space together – newlyweds nesting.

I started with curtains for the French doors in my living room and dinning room. We live in the middle of the woods and don’t really need curtains for privacy. But I like the way they look hanging on the wall at the sides of the doors. They kind of dress them up a bit and add color and texture. Plus, any opportunity to live with more cloth always makes me happy. But the truth is that I am terrible with measurements and really, really didn’t want to actually make curtains.

I found some lovely 100% cotton sheers. I bought white ones and set about painting them. I have a 4-foot by 12-foot table in my studio for painting fabric. I used Jacquard Dye-na-flow in spray bottles for the yellow. The images were made with my stencils and stamps using Pro-Chemical and Dye Pro-fab textile paints. And I might add that it took forever to paint all four panels!

 One curtain panel on my painting table in the studio.

One curtain panel on my painting table in the studio.

 Three stamps I used.

Three stamps I used.

 One of the stencils I used with a palette of paint and the stamping brush I prefer.

One of the stencils I used with a palette of paint and the stamping brush I prefer.

 Close up

Close up

 One panel hanging on the studio clothes line.

One panel hanging on the studio clothes line.

 In the living room with Julian.

In the living room with Julian.