Monday, March 16, 2009
Dancing the Zig
Rounding out her new skills, Isabela helped me with some layer pinning on the "Folk Dance" quilt. Eleni helped too, but quickly became more interested in the case of T-pins.
On my hands and knees, I was reminded of being 19 and preg with Juliana (who affectionately refers to me as "Preg" these days so I have a hard time ever finishing the word anymore). I was attending the Ringling School of Art & Design and had taken on a painting to earn some extra money. I was commissioned by my former HS drama teacher (who swore on my acting potential) back home and it was for a 3x5' watercolor of orchids. Thats big. Anyway, if you've ever stretched watercolor paper, you know that its ideal to staple it to a wooden board after its been soaked, er that's one method anyway. After securing a roll of heavy duty watercolor paper in the appropriate size, I embarked on figuring out what to staple the paper to and where I would find the space for this in my tiny little dorm room. Now mind you, as a pregnant art student, in addition to constantly being asked to model for figure drawings, I also had bestowed upon me a certain amount of mmmm sympathy(?) er- respect(?) er something- was never really quite sure. Maybe just attention. Mostly good. Nonetheless, I summoned my floor's room advisor for help and she let me in on a little secret. An unoccupied dorm room on my hall where I could work on the painting. At Ringling, our dorms, old as they were, formally acted as a swank hotel from the 20's era complete with stucco outer walls and hardwood floors and other charms inside. I had found my wood to staple my painting to.
Simple and ideal as that sounds, spending every night for a month on your 7 mos pregnant hands and knees on a hard wood floor working on a painting, was not so ideal. I don't care how young you are. But the important thing to me now, and then, was that I had a purpose. I wanted to make enough money to buy Jeff an acoustic guitar (have I bragged of his talent?) for Christmas which was coming only weeks away. So there was no question as to whether I was going to do it, the question was just how. And I found a way. Bruised knees, aching back, tired and all.
I went home for Christmas break, barely able to contain my excitement after spending weeks away from him (900 miles away, before we were married). He was meekly in awe of his guitar and he gave me a lovely dress. It was this really cool multi-paneled dress in all different prints that he somehow knew I would like, and I did, so much. Only I was 8 months pregnant and a maternity dress it was not. As soon as he left, I tried it on anyway, and cried. I cried at not being able to button all the buttons, and tried to stand certain ways in front of the mirror to imagine what the dress might look like once the belly was gone, and convince myself and the dress that it would work and would be just beautiful and just like a 19 year old.
After getting up from a much softer floor this morning(quilts are nicer to crawl on than watercolor paper and staples) I shared this story with Juliana who was hanging around in the studio before going to work. She couldn't believe that I had cried when I tried on the dress and I couldn't believe that my crying surprised her. Of course I cried. We then scoured the closets looking for the dress, 'cause she wanted to wear it today. Haven't come across it yet, but I know its around here somewhere. She did manage to find another that I had bought right after I had her, and wore that one instead. She looks beautiful in it.
And of course I cried!!!
"Folk Dance" quilt pattern coming tomorrow!