Sometimes the camera tells a story. Sometimes the camera is the story.
While exploring in some antique stores on Friday, I found some treasures. Bits of lace, buttons, old hand embroidery.
And photos of unknown folks with a story to tell.
Jim found a treasure, too. A miniature 35mm camera with leather case, original box, and paperwork. He enjoys giving these tools new jobs to do, running a roll of film through them, letting the camera tell stories again.
On Saturday, he took it to a local shop to get a new battery. The store owner, George, said, “I remember an occasion when I worked on a camera exactly like this one time before.” It was at a gathering hosted by Phil Walden in the 1970’s. A fellow came by with a camera like this in his hand, profanely exclaiming that it wasn’t working properly. George asked what seemed to be the problem, adding, “I work on cameras, I can look at it for you if you like.” Taking the offered camera, making the necessary adjustments, George got the camera working and handed it back. Andy walked away and continued photographing the social event.
Years later, the two men’s paths crossed again in New York. Andy looked at George and said, “Don’t I know you from somewhere?” After hearing, “I repaired a camera for you once in Macon, Ga.,” Mr. Warhol muttered, “Oh, yeah,” as he walked away.
My indigo dye pot has seen action this summer with fabric and notions. I found a big bag of wooden buttons in an antique store and wondered, “will these take dye well?” For a $3 investment, I thought it was worth the risk. The payoff was spectacular! I suddenly had a tray filled with blue buttons drying on the back porch.
I love buttons almost as much as I do fabric and love to find old buttons of bone, horn, or wood to add the perfect note to projects. These that went in the dye pot were NOT antique treasured wooden buttons. They were machine-made for craft projects, just hadn’t been used and were being sold for a song.
After that success, I decided to try dyeing some threads. I have dipped some embroidery floss and some perle cotton. It adds a little more personality to know that I’m stitching with something unique.
So my latest finished piece is called Blue With Blue on Blue. I appliquéd the melons onto a vintage linen tea towel, then did minimal machine quilting around the appliqué, and attached the dyed buttons using dyed floss.
This turned out to be a fun project which will generate memories of hand stitching, dyeing, and playing every time I see it. It is now keeping company with another couple of favorite pieces in an out-of-the-way corner that almost no one sees. But I see it. And I like it!