What to do when you don’t want to do anything on your “To Do” list

What happens when you’ve spent all week working on things on your “To Do” list and you just don’t want to do one. more. thing?

You make yard art : )

Inspired by several ideas I’ve seen floating around facebook-land (and no, I didn’t save them anywhere except in my brain so I sadly can’t share them with you…right now…I’ll find them again at some point but that isn’t today) I found myself wandering down Main Street yesterday, looking at the different colored shiny magnolia leaves laying about. Was it because I didn’t feel well earlier this week that these shiny objects held some fascination? Or were they just pretty?

I picked up a few to bring home to contemplate. Somewhere late Saturday night I got the idea to make a dress using chicken wire as the base and then attach the leaves, dark ones at the hem and the bright yellow at the waist. I had no idea how many leaves it would take, how long it would take or how I was going to attach them but hey, I had a vision and who needs to worry about details when one has vision?

I pulled out a mannequin, grabbed a hunk of chicken wire and made a skirt of sorts : ) I used the ribbon for a drawstring waistband and pinched the cells of the wire close together near the waist to shape the skirt.

Then I sorted the leaves by color:

Light to dark, this is most of one full grocery bag that I collected on my walk with Romera this morning.

I still had to figure out how to attach them. I tried staples <snort>. Don’t use staples. Then I found a spool of thin craft wire. I cut 2″ pieces, bent the piece in half and stuck it through the leaf and twisted it around the chicken wire. Perfect! Starting at the bottom I worked my way up to the waist, took about 2 1/2 hours and I had to run down the street for another bag of leaves. I’m now the crazy neighborhood person who hunts for “stuff” under trees, picking up and keeping some leaves and leaving others. Whatever : )

For the bodice of the dress I merely pinned leaves to the mannequin. I decided not to glue or sew anything. The whole point is to let the leaves do whatever they’re going to do; dry out, crumble and fall off, it’s all good. When this piece is “done” it will go back to the earth from whence it came. Or into the green can.

Right now she is just hanging out with the chickens –

Amelia came over to check her out…

…as did Pouff ( left side, about half way up).

Chloe was more interested in the cats.

It worked out more or less the way I wanted it to. It’s quite a statement!

Just for the fun of it here’s the side:

And the back:

You can still see the bow that is holding the skirt on/up : )

And finally, just because it’s cool, the inside –

I have all the photos done, I “just” need to write the post for making a pair of dance trunks/short/underwear using NO elastic. It was one of the things on my “To Do” list that was making me groan. Maybe tomorrow…

For now you get a dress made with no thread : )

41 thoughts on “What to do when you don’t want to do anything on your “To Do” list

  1. It’s incredibly beautiful! I hope it stays in shape all summer — it looks like you have a visitor from another world.

  2. Ummm, OH WOW! This is just the most gorgeous dress EVER! I want to wear it! Can you wear it? Might have some issues sitting down, but I don’t have to sit down. Sitting down is for the weak πŸ™‚

    • You COULD actually wear the skirt easily, there aren’t any sharp edges, it would just be a little stiff. The “top” is just the leaves pinned to the mannequin BUT if you made a simple bodice you could hand stitch the leaves on. They’re quite pliable at first and if you didn’t try to move too much, like dance or play basketball, you could easily do cocktails and small talk for a few hours : ) I’m working on a corset made from twigs as we speak…

  3. Reminds me of the leaf dress that Chloe Dao did in Project Runway (Season 2?), but much more dramatic and better use of colour! And I also love the idea that it is an evolving work of outdoor art. You’re a true artist πŸ™‚

    • I loved Chloe’s stuff! Thank you : ) Yes, it is doing it’s thing out in the garden as we speak, which is get dry, brown and brittle BUT it is still pretty. Now I’ve got ideas for doing at least 4 more “statements” like this…

  4. Stunning! The colors are amazing!

    And it reminds me that I want to make my own version of one of those J. Peterman holiday catalog covers with an evergreen skirt hung with ornaments and a bark bodice.

    • Thank you Laura! Now that you’ve said that I had to look up the J. Peterman catalog covers and Wow! If you do the one with the evergreen skirt I’ll do the one with the red leaf skirt : )

    • I’m taking photos of her everyday to see how she ages. I’ll post a little “movie” of the process in the next few weeks. Good luck with the re-styling challenge, I’m loving the whole thing : )

  5. So wonderful! This made my day. I might have to think creatively about what would hold up to our almost daily afternoon thunderstorm. Or perhaps just let it be and create anew whenever the mood strikes.

    • I think it might be fun to make something and see what the weather does to it. I’d construct a “form” using wood and chicken wire, maybe burying the wood in the ground so it doesn’t blow away, and then have at it. Now that I’ve done this one I’ve got ideas for at least three more : )

  6. BEAUTIFUL! Truly one of those rare things that makes me appreciate the internet so I can see a little piece of loveliness and think about you having the idea and bringing it into being. Thanks!

    • You’re quite welcome Stephanie! Sometimes I just type in random things into google images to see what happens. I’ve thought of three other “outfits” I’d like to do this year so more to come : )

    • It’s that thing we used to do on the big yellow pad in the shop, with lots of works and stuff that we’d try to get crossed out by the end of the day/week/show…

    • Absolutely!! You have a standing invitation, any time you’re out on this coast, to come hang in my back yard : ) Some days those to-do lists just suck the life right out of you.

    • Thank you Lana. I’m photographing the aging process to see what it does. Think I’ll put that into a short “movie” in a few weeks.

  7. WOW! This. Is. Gorgeous. And so clever! It’s reminded me of t=something I read years ago about Victorian ladies and how they used to preserve Autumn leaves with gelatin (or something) so they would enjoy the colours of autumn all through winter; yours is much more eco friendly though!

    • Thank you Juliet! I briefly wondered if there was any way I could EASILY preserve this and then thought “No, it just needs to do what it’s going to do” so we’ll see how it ages. I’m taking pictures of it every day and will post those in a week or two. But I also had the idea to try this in the fall using the fall leaves : )

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *