Sunday, March 15, 2020

Welcome to the Gayborhood, an altered cross stitch

 (Above:  Welcome to the Gayborhood, an altered cross stitch.  Framed:  16" x 26".  Click on any image to enlarge.)

Charleston, South Carolina is a major center for tourism. Many will take a carriage ride over cobblestone streets to take in views of the harbor and to slowly pass by the colorfully painted houses known as Rainbow Row.

(Above:  Charleston's Rainbow Row.)

Over the years, I've framed countless cross-stitches featuring some or all of the thirteen buildings. There are still several patterns readily available on-line. Some of the designs use different colors for the structures. I'm guessing that paint colors did change over time.  The history of these buildings is rather interesting.  Frankly, I find the Wikipedia listing much more interesting than any of the cross stitches ... but that's probably because I've seen too many patterns and spiked pastel shades.  Plus, I know that only a wide angle lens can capture the whole street.  The human eye can't really take in the entire expands from the sidewalk on the opposite side of the narrow, two-lanes of East Bay Street.

(Above:  Welcome to the Gayborhood, detail.)

For me, Rainbow Row has never been much more than a busy street in Charleston, a nightmare to navigate while driving a cargo van.  (I had a framing client whose office was just off Rainbow Row.  Driving and parking in Charleston is not a joy ride.)  Beyond a geographical location, Rainbow Row was for me an equally dreadful cross stitch.  Few cross stitch clients wanted to understand the efforts/costs needed to correctly frame their work.  (Sticky boards are NOT acid-free!)

Honestly, I never considered any of the cross stitches of Charleston's Rainbow Row to be "vintage" but that is how the patterns are now listed on eBay!  I never thought about altering one of these cross stitches ... but apparently a dear friend had such a cross stitch, saw my altered vintage pieces, and donated this piece (done by a distant aunt) to my stash.  My friend even suggested the words!  How could I possibly resist?  I had a great time adding a little rainbow and a pride flag too.  For me, Rainbow Row now has a wonderful new association!  I loved transforming this cross stitch!

1 comment:

Ann Scott said...

Love the new association and that flag! We can put a man on the moon...So when will sticky boards be made acid free?