Sunday, 19 September 2010

Abstract Challenge: 'Red' and 'Buttons&bows'

February's Challenge was Red:
A simple word and a simple abstract design. I layered black, sheer red and red flecked with gold. Using the reverse applique method, I sewed random curves and then cut away portions. I added the 'hairy' yarn to the edge.
The May challenge was 'Buttons & Bows'.
That phrase brings to mind the song sung by Jane Russell in the Hollywood Movie, Paleface. It is a slick story about a gorgeous show girl in a western bar with Bob Hope and Roy Rogers. In 1956, Doris Day played the role in the movie, Calamity Jane. The song tells of yearning to return to 'civilization' where, "I'll be yours in buttons & bows".So ... how does Calamity Jane fit into this picture?
Martha Jane Cannary Burke, better known as Calamity Jane (May 1, 1852 – August 1, 1903), was a frontierswoman and professional scout with the US Army. She was best known for her claim of being an acquaintance of Wild Bill Hickok, was a sharpshooter and did horseback tricks in his Wild West Shows. She was also a woman who exhibited kindness and compassion, especially to the sick and needy. She had two children, but didn't raise them. There are stories and myths about this woman who fought for the respect of men in a man's world.
Martha (Calamity Jane) was brought up in the east and her family moved west. Both parents died she was 16. Martha Jane took whatever jobs she could to provide for her five siblings. She worked as a dishwasher, a cook, a waitress, a dance-hall girl, a nurse, and an ox team driver.
So, how does the child fit in? Little girls are dressed in 'Buttons and Bows'. How much of that little girl lives in the adult? Under the buckskin, is she still there? I doubt that Calamity Jane yearned for fancy clothes and a soft life.
A question for you: How much of our childhood remains within us?

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