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I’m Not "The Crazy Old Lady with 100 Cats"

August 4, 2008
Putting my time where my mouth is (see previous post), today my art is a line of designs for clothing and accessories. It’s called 97 Cats…More or Less, because, you know, people always talk about the crazy old lady with 100 cats. Most of the pieces have this name on the outside somewhere because Italians love English writing on their clothes and bags which makes no sense.

It began with my general inclination toward buying plain clothes, solid colors, basics. But I bore even myself. I was tired of my clothes, but if it’s in good shape, why get rid of it only to be buying something else? However, if it’s already too dull to wear, that gives me absolute license to do something to it. Its fate couldn’t be worse than neglected in a drawer.

So out come the Jones Tones (fantastic fabric paints available at Dharma Trading) to meet with old T-shirts for a second chance at love. Starting with simple, iconic (yeah yeah, I’ve heard the word has been banned by newspaper editors as over-used to the point of homeopathic dilution, but literally, how cool would it be to see 97 Cats in a desk-top theme?) line drawings, the first pieces were born:

Now, doodling on old or inexpensive clothes is one thing, but it would take more confidence to lay out my brand new $50 PacSafe purse and put the paint to it. This bag is awesome for wandering cities, uber secure (as described in detail on their website), and I wouldn’t carry another ~except my larger version when I just can’t go without a sweater, water bottle, umbrella, phrasebook et al~ but while its stalwart character is deeply embedded, the poor thing lacked charisma. Jones Tones comes through with… dare I say it? flying colors. It took to the nylon like brown on rice and is so flexible, not stiff and cracky at all.

What’s in your closet that isn’t really “you”? Giving to charity is always a great option, but if it’s still a keeper, you could make it fabulous, dig it for a while, then circulate your art to the less fortunate. Who wouldn’t love finding that one of a kind, hand-made piece in the thrift store?


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