Friday, August 26, 2011

In The Beginning

I'm reposting one of my early blogs from two years ago since I know many of you viewers hadn't found me yet.

Let's go back a few years ago to when my crafting first took wings.

My mother who had had a good liberal arts education was determined to have artistic children or at least provide us with every opportunity to express ourselves artistically. We had family projects at the round clawfoot kitchen table.

  Whether it was playdough, clay or paints and paper, we were given free range to create. She didn't feel particularly artistically talented herself but she always seemed to be involved in crafts too. I think she knitted over 200 sweaters during my teen years. She crocheted and did the ubiquitous 70's crewel embroidery on burlap. She was more comfortable following other's patterns and then she became a veritable machine at cranking out items.
 We entered into a business relationship as I would bring her crocheted rug yarn purses to high school to sell. They were $4 each and I got $1 for every one I sold. (Record albums or concert tickets ran about $5 each those days!) Frank Zappa, Jethro Tull, here I come!

 It was then that I began my first hobby of embroidery. Embellishing jeans was all the rage. I had one pair of super bellbottoms that I got at age 13 that I started on as the wear began. Layers upon layers until we had to add side panels as my 107 lb body shaped into a tad more womanly shape. (Well, I was pretty much a stick even after I filled out another 10 lbs. I was sometimes still mistaken for a boy as a teenager) I also didn't have much confidence in my own drawing abilities and used other people's images as my patterns for my patches.

 What I really liked to do was make patches for my friends for their jeans. I would work on my patches for several days after school and give them as random gifts to people that I thought were special. (usually boys, I think)

 What you see here is my first real body of work. They are better preserved since there's not a chance that I could fit in them these days. These jeans are over 40 years old now although the embroidery is a young 39 year old or thereabouts.


  1. hello Kim! Got your comments and email. Lucky you to be retired and having a summer and winter home. Lovely work!

  2. What an amazing mom you have to have passed the love and appreciation of art on to you. Your embroidery is incredible. What a great start into the arts.

  3. The bird is particularly great. I've done a few very satisfying patching and embroidery projects of my own over the years, but nothing as reet and advanced as these!

  4. Wow, this post brought back so many memories...I remember my sister adding peace signs to her jeans...

    What amazes me the most is that you still own these jeans and how cool that is as they are stitched with such enthusiasm that only a young teenage girl can muster... I especially like the bird...nice handwork for a young girl.

    Now I'm off to enjoy you and your blog...blessings - Julie

  5. Great post - thank you! I really enjoyed reading it! Love your jean patches!

  6. Thanks for the trip back to the 70s when folks were still "trippin'" all the time. Only wish I'd saved my jeans, too. I loved every stitch of embroidery I added to my jeans. Bell bottoms! All those peace and love signs. I was too young to be a hippie, but I was fortunate to be around to catch the embellished jeans and Holly Hobby waves.

    Oh, what a lovely blast from the past. :) Your jeans worthy of a place in the Smithsonian. :D

  7. WOW . . .what a great pair of bell bottoms, and how proud you must of been of these. Mine only had a few embroidered patches on them, and how I loved them! It is great that you still have them! Was wondering if the little journal I sent your way has made it yet. I am hoping so, as I mailed it quite some time ago. AND yes fall has definitely arrived in the North - school starts for daughter #2 tomorrow. Also meant to say how beautiful the enamelled beads are! Lovely work!

  8. I can see you around the tables with play dough, one of my favorites! Love thes jeans, you need to make new ones...xox

  9. Those are super cool patches. I was a teen during the punk years and I used to live in black wool army jackets and combat trousers to which I added zips, rips and chains!


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