Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Call of the Wild

Last week, I finished reading Jack London’s Call of the Wild.  The story follows Buck, a sled dog, and his journey through the deep Yukon wilderness.
 Before bed each night, I set down my book, closed my eyes and drifted to the wintry northern woods.  I imagined cold air, still and perfectly soundless, except for ice crunching under my feet.  A clear and bright sky illuminated the snow covered trees and my breath.  Millions of gleaming stars and a full, heavy moon glowed along with the electric current of the aurora borealis and I felt like the only living creature for miles.  The feeling has been lingering all week, calling me to watch the stars at night, walk on the trail, and to create things that tell of wilderness and winter.

To make this cozy arm cuff, I decided to try something experimental.  I poured a little bleach in a cup and used a brush to “paint” tree branches on the navy blue fabric.  This technique worked flawlessly; the color lifted immediately from the cloth and there was no bleeding or smudging.  I’m very happy with how crisp and bright they look.  The three wooden rectangle shapes and the button loop are repurposed from an old belt found at the Salvation Army.  The "belt" actually consisted of two leather cords and nine of the wooden squares.  It caught my attention because I think its similar to the traces worn by sled dogs.  I am overlooking the fact that it was designed for a lovely lady with Blossom's style to wear in 1992 over her denim jumper.  A moss colored vintage button secures the cuff and at the last minute, I decided to add a tiny dog on the inside.  Chunky, rough looking jewelry isn't normally what I'm drawn to, but I like this feel for the winter accessories.

In elementary school, my weekends were filled with trips to the library on my bike, reading everything I could find from Encyclopedia Brown to books about magic tricks.  In high school, I enjoyed reading thought provoking literature, such as To Kill a Mockingbird and Shakespeare –but I only read required books for classes.  In college I read Cliffs Notes, and now it seems like my reading is limited to instructions, recipes and emails.  Last year I made the goal to read more books.  I have (veeeery slooowly) been working my way through the The Observer's list of The 100 Greatest Novels of all Time.  Call of the Wild is the ninth book I’ve completed.  I’m now reading Jane Eyre and consider myself 10% finished with the list. Yaaaay!  Each book gives me new ideas and inspiration with a fresh outlook on my art, relationships and surroundings.  I'm happy to bring reading back into my lifestyle and excited to see where it takes me creatively.  

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