Sunday, August 1, 2010

Reminiscence: The Weeping Mulberry

The new challenge word popped me right to this spot in my memory. As a little kid, we lived in a neighborhood where there weren't any kids my age, so I spent a lot of time on my own, mostly reading. One of my favorite places was under our mulberry bush, especially in the spring, as the berries slowly began to ripen. It was almost like my own little house outside, where I'd read or daydream.

As I thought about how to show you that, I sat down cross-legged on the floor (not an easy thing at my age!) and held a sketchbook, and asked my hubby to take a photo of me. That was the only way I could figure out how the legs & feet would look. In fact, the shoes are my red Keens that I wear most of the summer.

When I was a little kid, I had wild and wooly reddish hair (now I have w & w gray hair). My mom never knew quite what to do with all of it, so she mostly pulled it into braids or just two large puffballs.

I read up on mulberry bushes or trees, and was reminded that they have a deeply grooved bark, so that little piece of fabric I found in my stash seemed perfect for the job.

I experimented with several ways to show the weeping branches, maybe to indicate some ripe berries, and finally settled on this batik which has a variety of yellows, greens, and purples on it. I cut little strips with an "organic" edge and sewed them into the top of the piece, but just let them hang loosely from that....hoping they'd show a bit of shadow in the photo, to suggest the feeling of being "hidden" by the mulberry bush, in my own private place.


  1. Hi Sue,
    I love your piece. Your younger you looks so content in the shade of that tree and I love the way the strips hang down and cast shadows. Great job.

  2. What a delightful piece and so nicely executed.

  3. Ah...your piece takes me back to my childhood and reading at the base of the walnut trees in our garden. I love the batik veil - it works perfectly.

  4. Very interesting piece... I like the meditative quality of the young reader. The tree bark is very realistic. The hair is adorable!! so is the little 'you'. The batik veil is just right for hiding behind. Very nicely done.

  5. Sue, your piece made me smile. Memories of happy summer days, hiding under the willow, hoping no one would see me. Thanks.

  6. Oh yes, your piece looks great and gives me memories of my hours reading - your place looks very inviting.
    How did you make yourself? did you paint or piece?

  7. Takes me back to reading as a youngster but think I stayed in the house. Funny what ones remembers.....
    You conveyed the youth and innocense of the age very well. I see contentment. Good job.