Monday, April 12, 2010

The Best-Laid Plans

It was supposed to be a weekend of therapeutic relaxation. Piero and Luca left on Wednesday for a four-day ski trip and I was going to celebrate the completion of nine pieces (and five months of stitching) by watching movies, taking outrageously long bubble baths, seeing a friend or two and being as unproductive as humanly possible.

On Wednesday night, I poured myself a glass of tartly sweet raspberry Lambic...

...watched a PBS special called "The Buddha" narrated by Richard Gere...

...and crawled between crisp, lavender-scented sheets at 9:30pm. Absolute bliss.

My vacation was short-lived.

At 2:30am, I awoke with a start. A fully-formed poem had come to me in the middle of the night. At first I tried to ignore it, but the words became louder and more insistent. Was this some sort of sadistic joke my brain was playing on me? Why now? Each sampler takes me 60 to 75 hours to complete. My framer had given me an absolute final deadline of Monday to have all my pieces in. Four days away.

Over and over the words resounded in my head.

Finally, I got out of bed to write them down.

"On The Price of Beauty"

Fill me, plump me,
Smooth me out,
Inject me with
a girlish pout.
Keep me spotless
and unmarred,
Just put it on
my credit card.

By the time I had finished, I could envision the entire layout, motifs and all.

My decision had been made.

On Thursday, I sewed from 6am to midnight.

On Friday, I sewed from 9am to 9pm (minus 45 minutes for a supermarket run to purchase protein).

On Saturday, I sewed from 10am to 10pm (minus a fifteen minute break for the One Kings Lane sale.)

On Sunday I rose at 4:30 am, worked through sunup, took a brief mid-morning blogging break to report on the OKL sale, and plunged my needle into burlap for the very final stitch at 2:30pm. My back ached, my fingers ached and my retinas were threatening to go on strike.

But it was done.

By the time you read this, I'll be racing to the Valley to drop the final piece off at the framer's.

And then I'm going to watch a movie, take a bubble bath, see a friend or two and be as unproductive as humanly possible. Lying on the sofa and staring at the ceiling sounds pretty good too.

Back on Wednesday (maybe Thursday).


Joanna said...

I like your poem. Very Dorothy Parker!

The best weekends are those in which I am as unproductive as humanly possible. Glad you enjoyed yours.

Jane said...

Oh dear. If you feel the urge you have to do it, don't you.

I really love your pieces. They are kind of Jane Austen meets Gore Vidal meets Oscar Wilde. I am fascinated by how they will be framed.

I really hope the show goes well, I have no doubt it will be a raging success. I would be there if it didn't involve flying across an ocean and a date line.


Anonymous said...

You are unbelievable. In the best way possible, of course.
I love your poems and wish you loads and loads of luck at the show.

Debra said...

I LOVE this piece! I love all of your work! I too wake up in the middle of the night with great artistic revelation. I do hope the rest of your free time will be spent luxuriating in long bubbly soaks...with a glass of ~ bubbly.

Tammy@InStitches said...

I love it ! Now, if you could only find a way to embroider in your sleep too......

24 Corners said...

Congratulations and WOW!
When the muse strikes there is no turning's the blessed bane of the creative soul.

Here's to above and beyond completion...and many happy hours of blissful, perfectly filled, highly deserved nothingness.


Anonymous said...

i want that one! there is a perfect spot in the apothic for it....

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I love it!
Have you tried Bag Balm for your sore fingers? Works like a charm. Enjoy the well-earned bubble bath!

Vava (aka Virginia) said...

Bubbles galore,
Fill the tub high.
Lisa needs a soak,
Or else she may die.
I hope you got at LEAST one soak in. Your discipline and work ethic blows my mind! Love that poem....

nicole said...

you. are. talented. WOW!!! I love it! such great words, made greater by the way in which they're displayed! bravo.

Acanthus and Acorn said...

Beautiful! Treat yourself to hand and back massage!

I love that you dream the poems. My very best ideas and work have always come during sleep. I have such fear if I didn't dream that I would have to find another profession.

Emily said...

It was worth every minute of your time! Genius! Jane is right. You wit matches all of these people rolled into one! Good luck with the show Lisa!

And cute poem from Virginia!

Mrs. Blandings said...

Bravo and hooray! Now, RELAX. A little.

Jessica Thor-Miller said...

Genius! Wishing you inimitable success at your show!


balsamfir said...

Perhaps it's something in that drink. Try a different one and see what happens. Wonderful piece.

Kate F. said...

Funny, of all the poems I've seen peeks of so far, I think this one might be my favorite! Crazy that it just popped into your head like that--nicely done and congrats on the show!

helen tilston said...

The morning breeze has secrets to reveal - do not go back to sleep
words of Rumi.

Your beautiful poem and embroidery was well worth the sacrifice of your planned leisure time.

Bravo, take a bow and relax on your beautiful leather chair

P.Gaye Tapp at Little Augury said...

I can't wait to see these framed, another element to reveal! pgt

Ivy Lane said...

Wowww~ glad you at least got the bubble bath in!! the poem...excellent!!!!! the piece you stitched it on... brillant!!!!

pve design said...

What if I told that I spotted a spelling error,
jk- "just kidding" - I love it! You are totally unfaceable! A force to be reckoned with!

AlwaysMe said...

I just love the way you write. And sew. Perhaps it was a combination of the Buddha and lambic that put the poem in your head? Whatever it was, your story was inspiring. As you are. It will be a wonderful show.

jane said...

Oh, that is absolutely gorgeous and genuis! And it's been a while since I've put the hours in you've just done - but doesn't it feel incredibly satisfying at the end?

Well done you.

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Huge compliment, that DP comparison. Thank you.

Love those three people so much!

Thank you! xx

Trying to get the kid sorted out so I can take a long bath -- but may have to wait until he falls asleep to do it!

Wouldn't that be lovely?

24 Corners:
Yes, that was a voice I just couldn't ignore. It would not be silenced...and now that it's all over, I'm glad I listened to it.

Come to the show... xx

Pamela Terry and Edward:
Have not tried BB. Will order some tonight. Thank you, lovely one. xx

Your poem slays me. I love it. And you. xx

Nicole, Mrs. Blandings, Emily, Modern Traditionalist:
I am feeling very grateful for your kind words. They are taking the backache away!

Kate F. and Acanthus and Acorn:
So strange, those dreams, aren't they? You can try and try during the day to think of something and get nowhere, and then as soon as you close your eyes and your brain relaxes, THERE IT IS. Crazy.

I'm trying a St. Germain cocktail tonight. I'll let you know.

Helen Tilston:
That Rumi poem is exquisite. And you're right, now that the work is all over, I'm so glad I did it!

little augury:
The framing is going to be very simple, just stretched upon a frame. The gallery and I decided that it would be more practical to let the buyer decide what kind of frame they want instead of spending a fortune on each one. I have two pieces in my house that are framed in totally different ways: one in a gilt, Rococo frame that's totally over-the-top and another in a wide pale wood architectural drawing-type frame. Both work wonderfully well and impart a slightly different personality to the pieces.

Ivy Lane:
One bubble bath down, another one coming up tonight..!

PVE Design:
You are TOO funny!!
I actually did have a couple of horrific moments with that last piece that I didn't blog about and that involved hours of extra work (apparently, when you sew for 16 hours, you get a little bleary-eyed -- who knew?!). I made a stupid mistake in hour three and didn't notice it until hour eight. I allowed myself one minute to cry and then started ripping out stitches.
But all that's over now and there's a cocktail in my immediate future.

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Always Me:
Very perceptive. Perhaps the Lambic and all those PBS visions of nirvana DID spur my brain to start slumber-dancing.

Jane: It DOES feel good. I'm utterly exhausted and drained and slightly personality-less at the moment, but happy that I accomplished on Sunday something that I thought was unaccomplishable on Thursday. xx

Rebecca June | Sea Island Drive said...

Totally worth it!


Rebecca June

Amber said...

Oooh, I love the glorious exhaustion that comes only from working so satisfyingly long to resolve a creative urge. Sometimes the antithesis of reverie is the tonic we truly need.

My favourite motto: The harder I work now, the better it will feel when I stop! Here's cheers to the bubbles, wonderful blogchick!

froogal said...

My idea of heaven would be hours on end of stitching, with a little Lambic thrown in! I am amazed that you completed another stellar piece...I love that row of syringes across the bottom.

Karena said...

I adore your needlework, what a great poem!ou are one that makes it happen...go girl!!


Art by Karena

Unknown said...

Although I missed seeing you .. I am so happy to get to see the finished piece. Congratulations!!!

Penelope Bianchi said...



skirmishofwit said...

The finished piece looks fantastic so was clearly well worth that final push. Glad you can enjoy some well-deserved rest now though.

jules @ The Diversion Project said...

wow, that is incredible!! love, love, love it.

you were a needlepoint machine!
hope you're keeping it for yourself?!


1 Funky Woman said...

Pure genius! I adore it and I want one!

Shandell's said...

Just stumbled upon you blog. Your work is incredible. It reminds me of 18th century pieces I used to find when I was dealing in vintage textile full time.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

haha -you made my morning - LOVE that poem!

Cashon&Co said...

okay, that is FANTASTIC. I am going to have to post your awesome poem and refer them your way of course, because you have to read the whole post to truly appreciate it! I am a needlepointer and I can really appreciate all the work you did, plus the poem is GENIUS!

materfamilias said...

Wonderful description of the creative process! The 10% inspiration can come at the most surprising times and the proverbial 90% perspiration often pushes itself into the least convenient times. Clearly, the finished product is well worth the inconvenience, but I do hope you find some time to put your feet up and enjoy some quiet time soon to recharge your batteries.

Cashon&Co said...

ps. i forgot to ask, is it okay if I post your picture in a write-up with links to your site? thanks!

L said...

The poem conjures up a sort of life here in my Midwestern small town that I cannot even imagine. I mean, we have credit cards, but I think we'd have to go to the big city to get some plumping.

I love the pink lips and little syringes.

If only my husband would take the boys on a trip. Anywhere. I haven't been alone in my house overnight--EVER. Not in ten years.

The muse knocked and I'm glad you were able to invite her in!

A Gift Wrapped Life said...

I happened by your blog and must say you are an incredibly talented and patient woman, your work is exquisite. I like it here so will add you to my follow list. Sorry about your weekend relaxing plans but looks like it was a highly creative break. All the best.

Unknown said...

You should bathe in champagne or donkey milk to soften those calluses on your fingers which surely have come about after your incredible collision with night time creativity....LOVE that poem and it's amazing realization!


Chrissy said...

Totally worth the elbow grease! sometimes the last minute additions to a show are the best, and help complete the vision. Well done!

Mystica said...

I love the sampler. Hope you got to do the bubble bath unproductive part as well

Easy and Elegant Life said...

When the muse whispers it's best to listen. When she shouts... well! I agree with Joanna, you should enter it in the Dorothy Parker competition.

I hope you've had a wonderfully unproductive day.

Cool Stuff said...

Lisa, are you kidding me?? It's the stuff of divine inspiration.

You sound like me when I have a new idea for story. I usually wake up around four, and finally give in to inspiration.

It always flourishes when I'm slumbering.

Good for you!! It looks amazing!!

Style Court said...

Lisa --

It's killing me that I can't be there to see the show. Hope there will be a little exhibition catalog, maybe?


opera glass said...

Fabulous! I cannot wait to see these framed.

Kelle Dame said...

Holy bajeezes! i love it! Happily following! Great work!

Dumbwit Tellher said...

You are good, real good. Enjoy you last days of R & R, you certainly deserve it!

Cheers ~ deb

Susan's Snippets said...

Lisa -

Thinking about you, my talented friend, and all you are trying to get done!!

please have fun

katiedid said...

You are remarkable my dear! I am trying to figure out how I might get down to your show! I cannot stop thinking about it!


Unknown said...

I am rendered speechless by your energy and your fantastic creativity and wit!!!!!!

Angie Muresan said...

And this is why I like you so! You are a genius, Lisa!

Unknown said...
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