The first version of O, My Heart was a Journal Skirt I did years and years ago and took with us on a road trip--I can't even remember which one--where we ended up in the Stampington offices in Irvine, California, and the skirt went to Jenny Doh in a trade. I don't think I'd even gotten to wear it yet when she fell in love with it. That one had a beaded-and-sequined red Valentine heart (you know, as opposed to the anatomical heart on this second one), and at the time I swore I'd never do something like that again, where I covered every single inch of something with beads.
Never say never. I know.
Yeah, you know it: I kept thinking about them.
I avoided them for the next couple trips to San Angelo--I just didn't even go near the shop. But then, finally, I gave up. I thought, "Gee, maybe they're on sale!" You know? And it turns out that they were, indeed, on sale: 10% off.
I think having sales where things are 10% off should be against the law. I mean, really: why not just say it's on sale for 3% off? Or 1.5%? It's like a sick joke or something.
But I bought them anyway. Sure, I felt guilty. Sure, I dithered around about doing it. The EGE is absolutely no help. He says, "It looks great," when I try them on and then, when I can't decide, he says, "If you want it, you should get it." This time he sank the hook in really well by adding, "You work hard for your money; you should get what you want."
Goodlordalmighty. Why do I take this man shopping with me?
People say, "Oh, you're so lucky he buys you clothes!" and I just look at them. He doesn't buy me clothes; the man's no fool. You can't buy someone else clothes, not if they're, oh, just the tiniest, teeninsiest bit picky. Sure, sometimes he'll take something away from me as I'm getting ready to pay for it and buy it for me, but mostly he just encourages me to buy stuff my own self. I have never, ever heard this man say, "You don't need that. You have some just like it already," never mind that this would almost always be true. He doesn't think it's his place to be The Closet Police.
Lord knows someone else needs to step in and do that, then.
But never mind. So I bought the red one and this grey one, and it didn't take long before I knew what I wanted to do to the latter. It did, on the other hand, take a long time for me to work up the spunk to do it. I knew before I started that it was going to take way longer than I wanted to spend, and I knew much of it was going to make me gnash my teeth.
I started out finding drawings of anatomical hearts with a Google search. I saved half a dozen, and then, after weeks of putting it off, I traced a rough outline of one--I blow them up on the monitor to the size I want them, tape a piece of paper over the glass, and trace roughly and very lightly to get the general shape. I adapted it to get some arteries without having too many, and I had to make sure they weren't too thin to make into an appliqué. I wanted it realistic but not overly detailed. After I got it the way I wanted it, I went over it with a Sharpie, flipped the paper over and went over the back side with the Sharpie (to make the reversed lines nice and dark), and then I taped it onto the storm door (my version of a light box: I had a huge oak light table, years ago, and it took up so much space in the living room that it was unusable: it was always piled with stuff: books, bags, stuff that needed to go into other rooms). I finally gave it away to an artist friend). I taped a piece of fusible webbing over it and traced the reversed image, and then I ironed that to the back of part of a thrifted red t-shirt (make sure you don't get it over any part that has a logo). Then I cut it out and ironed it in place on the grey top, pinning first and trying on for placement and then NOT ironing the part that went over the front seam: that makes a definite crease, so I try to avoid adhering the appliqué to the seams by stopping a little way on either side.
Then I set about beading it with bugle beads. Oy. This took FOREVER. I'd work on it a little every morning, but it was just too tedious to do later in the day--I don't like to bead at Starbuck's because there's always the possibility that I'll tip over the beads, and there is no WAY I'm going to pick up stuff off that nasty floor. I have watched those poor children mop many, many times, and let me tell you this: they make ME look like An Expert Mopper Person, and I can count on two hands the number of times I've mopped a floor (unless you count the six months I worked for a vet, and then I think I mopped every morning--after he taught me how, that is: he had real trouble believing I was in my 20s, married, and had never even filled a mop bucket, much less wielded an actual mop).
But never mind. Where was I? Thinking about mopping made me need to go lie down.
Oh, the beading. Forever. The tough part was figuring out how to make the beads flow to accentuate the shape of the heart. There was one spot where I had them going up when they needed to curve over, and I had to rip them out and start over. And then at first I had them spaced around the edge, and when I realized--with much chagrin--that I was going to have to bead it solidly, I had to go back and fill in the gaps with seed beads. Having seed beads that matched was the only thing that saved me, esp. as I got toward the middle. I had thought I'd do those three circles with seed beads and sequins, but the further along I got, the more I realized that that would just look as if I'd gotten lazy. It was solid beading or nothing.
So I gave in and started taking beta blockers. Now, please, no scary stories about these! I don't want to be taking them, but I also don't want to waste away into a pale husk or have my poor heart wear itself out. I took the prescription to Mendez, my regular dr. of over 30 years, and we discussed everything, and blah, blah, blah. Other people's medical stuff is beyond boring, isn't it?
The good thing is that the drugs worked immediately, lowering my pulse rate and letting me not think about my pounding heart for the first time in forever. And in the process, I think I discovered something else: all my life I've awakened many times every night, usually every 45 minutes to an hour and a half. I've always done it, and it just seemed normal. I'd noticed that when I woke up, my heart was pounding, but I figured it was from a nightmare I didn't remember or from the shock of suddenly being awake. As soon as I started taking these drugs, though, I started waking up only once--at the most, twice--every night, something so odd that I was pretty astounded. And now I'm thinking maybe it wasn't that I woke up and that that made my heart pound, but that my heart started pounding and woke me up. It certainly seems possible. I'm sleeping a lot more, needless to say. I go back to see Mendez next week; I'm doing some other stuff because this is The Year Of Learning Not to Worry, but that's a story for another post. This one was *supposed* to be just about O, My Heart II, instead of about memememe. Sorry about that--but it's interesting to know the back stories of things, I think. For me, they're often my favorite part. So here we are a week before Valentine's Day, and all I'm thinking about are hearts of every kind and shape and form. It's just a really good thing I'm burnt out on heavy beading or I could easily see some other heart-related project looming in my immediate future.
Thanks for coming by--I hope you feel inspired to go alter something in your closet. Or bake a cake. Or go plant something--it doesn't matter. Go have fun!
glue it tuesday: week 14
13 hours ago