"Enjoy the process, expect some disaster, shout out loud at the wins, embrace the happy accidents, see the curve balls. Learn."
... because I have a creative disaster to share with you.
A couple of weeks back Gina @ Clutterpunk posted about the Warm Women project, making scarfs for Karen women on the Thai/Myanmar border as they head into winter. I thought it sounded like a great idea.
But how to make the scarf? I cannot knit. My grandmother gave up trying to teach me to knit when my younger brother "got it". Apparently I am a lost cause to knitting hence my great pride in now being able to say I can crochet. However my crochet skills are perhaps not up to producing a scarf on a deadline. I'm enjoying taking my time with the crochet - it is a way for me to relax.
Sewing a scarf seemed like the obvious solution. Perhaps it was even as early as this that the project started to go awry, for it struck me that I had no idea what the scarf would be worn with. Surely these women would want to be warm and co-ordinated! So my typing fingers quickly trotted off to google and some pretty simplistic research was undertaken.
I learnt that Karen women typically combine the Hse with a longyi. Good good, I thought to myself, a scarf will work well with that.
I learnt the symbolic significance of colours used in Karen clothing. Red signifies bravery, blue represents faithfulness, and white symbolises purity. Great - I can work with this.
I learnt that images of serpents representing evil are often worn on clothing in order to damn Satan. Oooo yeah. This is good information I thought to myself bobbing my head up and down as I read. I am going to make one cool Karen scarf!
So the time has probably come to share with you the scarf to date:And this is when I should have stopped. It is a warm and tasteful scarf with a simple zig-zag motif common to Karen culture. The colours in the embroidered motif are blue, red and white.
But no... I had to take it just a bit further.
Having undertaken my initial research I was taken with the idea of the blue, red and white. But I was horrified at the idea of how these same colours are so synonymous with the United States and in turn the west. So it had occurred to me that if I mixed the colours then I'd be making hues that were blends of the key elements: bravery, faithfulness and purity.
Out came the mixing spoons...
... a wax crayon and a screen ...
... and this is the result... the reverse side of the scarf:
(too long to get it all in one shot & yes one end is yet to be sewn closed)
The maroon colour I bought on a whim because it reminded me of the colour of female monk's robes.
This scarf is a disaster. So busy. So ridiculous. Possibly an insulting appropriation and abrogation of another culture's traditions. I wouldn't wear it, unless of course I was really really really cold... so that now raises some questions: Can I/should I send this scarf on to Warm Women? Or should I send them a scarf that I do wear? (There isn't really time to make another)
... or is it that because he is so horrified by this fashion disaster that he wants to rip it to pieces with his claws?
*keep it simple stupid
To see some creative success head on over to Kirsty's to check out the action.