Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Small But Significant Discovery

I distinctly recall a conversation I had with a close friend, around a century ago. She had been debriefing after a traumatic day of work, in the intensive care unit, of the local childrens’ hospital. Then she asked how my graphic designer day had been: “Oh...uh, you know the empty white spaces between the letters of a word? Well, depending on the letters, sometimes it looks too big or too small and I have been making them look about the same. It’s, er, called kerning.” Now, not for one minute will I ever make a nurse. But it did put a perspective on things.

The birth of three children and the nuttiness involved with achieving anything half efficient since, has also contributed a smidge extra of that perspective stuff. These days, while still battling with the perfectionist/uptight/control freak gene, I am bemusedly surprising myself, at the balls I'm letting pass through to the keeper.

Recently, I happened across a lovely scrap of fabric that screamed CHICKEN LEGS. Arriving home in time for the witching hour, I chopped onion, adjudicated tired, hungry bickerings and without paying much attention, reached for the back of an envelope and scribbled this:

Two hours later, the bickerings were in bed. I cut straight into the fabric without nutting out a pattern first. Nothing awful happened, the sky did not fall – and you know what? Not worrying is a whole lot of fun.

Below isn’t what I ended up with. The Chickummyjig coming to terms with the egg-laying thing, over on the sidebar, is the first. This one was made for PANDA’s Night Off Night Out. Aunty Cookie has been organising some crafters into action. Incidentally, Aunty Cookie makes that lovely brown fabric with chickens printed on it.


AmyP said...

I am a printer and had a remarkably similar conversation with a friend of mine who happens to be an emergency pediatrician. He had to tell the family of a two year old that she had leukemia. I couldn't get proofs out to a client on time. Hmm. That was a lot of years ago, but I'll never forget the perspective it gave me.

Oh, and by the way, your chickens are super-cute!

urban craft said...

I love it's little stripped chicken legs!

Gina said...

I'm loving the stuff that people are getting out there for PANDA. And I love that motherhood can cause us to make some changes for the better (such as letting go of perfectionism).
Super-cute chickie.

Anonymous said...

Don't you just love those back of the envelope moments that work, especially when you don't refine, refine, refine the gorgeousness out of the idea?

And I think good kerning is a specialist art; right up there with brokering world peace and curing cancer...

Angus in Northcote said...

The best art is the truth perceived in chaos. The gift of the artist is to perceive that truth and the craft of the artist is in having the skill to capture the perception in a particular medium.

Brack opens tomorrow at NGV. Our dishwasher repairman not withstanding we plan to be there after a slap-up cafe breakfast.

Dragging wife away from keyboard: Angus in Northcote

Cindy said...

Sometimes the craziest moments bring out the best ideas I think. The chicken is super cute.

Loz and Dinny said...

bloody gorgeous! I say cut without patterns again, my friend - living life on the edge clearly suits you.

Jess said...

Sneaking in a comment before my mother Sonata!

Love that chicken... she looks so perplexed!

Anonymous said...

He is soooo cute, you just want to pick him up and cuddle him. You had better come up with a Mrs. to keep him company. Well done, I would love to be able to do that.

the little travelers said...

so cute! i find that whenever i make a pattern i stop right there and never make the real thing. no patterns is so much more fun! love him.

thea said...

I can't believe I've only just found your blog!!

Your work is fantastically inspiring and I spastically LOVE the chickens!!!!
Super awesome work, I'll be coming back in future.



Deborah Raymond said...

After finding your previous post and pattern for this cutie, I made 2 and discovered that they were perfectly adorable without any alterations. I tend to find inspiration for something I want to make and use it as a springboard to create my own version. This one needed nothing more!
I also love how I can find inspiration halfway across the globe from myself without even leaving my chair!

lisette said...

LOVE, love, LOVE the chicken!!!!