Issue 20: Kite Tails from A Broad

So the season for outdoor flying is over….well at least it is for me. As a completely devoted ‘fair weather flyer’, I wouldn’t be caught dead flying in anything less than sunny and warm windy days! Commitment goes only so far, and I believe that those who fly in anything less than optimum conditions deserve to BE committed!

The last festival I attended was a wonderful gem of an event hosted by a small group of committed and committable fliers on Whidbey Island in September. We had a sunny warm and wonderful weekend, and my leg is still recovering from tripping over an iron ‘fireplace’ in the campground!! As a wet fall season descended on me, my kites laid in various states of disarray all over my garage floor. Since it wasn’t flying weather, I kept telling myself to finish all the half done kites lying around. But no matter how many times I cleaned up my studio in order to get to work, it quickly degenerated into a horrendous mess again as I struggled to deal with years of accumulated scraps.

The Queen of Scraps (me) has the homestead up for sale, and is planning to ‘downsize’ and move south….well two hours south to Victoria, BC. Downsizing own’s life is not easy if one is an inveterate COLLECTOR of everything under the sun, and have been so for over forty years. So I decided to tackle the boxes of scrap ripstop that I have collected over the years from Kathy Goodwind, Don Mock, Dick Barnes, Prism, and too many more to even mention. The biggest problem were the 100 pound boxes of scraps that I picked up in Seattle last year from Prism. Most generously, they loaded these four foot high boxes into my van, and grinning, waved me to the border!! When I got home, I could barely get out of them out of the van and I soon realized that there was no way I could deal with this quantity, so I packed huge garbage bags full of scraps and delivered them to grateful elementary schools for their art projects.

This STILL left me with boxes and bags full of scraps. Don Mock’s scraps are nice and large, but all needed ironing….which I spent several days doing.

Kathy’s scarps are wonderful, large pieces, sometimes with up to 30 layers of fabric stapled to each other, and a pleasure to cut….however limited in colours. Dick Barnes (Pizazz) scraps were wonderful colours of Porsha, but always smelled mouldy. Well we know it never stops raining on the west coast. Prism scraps, while all in wonderful Icarex, showed great economy in cutting, and were so small as to be almost unusable for me.

Surrounded by all this stuff, I reverted to my panic mode of construction and started cutting and sewing spinning baskets. I soon went from panic to manic mass producing non stop!!!. I ran to the nearest Wal-Mart to get swivels, and wiped them out. I headed for the local sport stores and cleaned them out as well. I kept on sewing, and sewing and sewing…I think I now have about five hundred of the damn things now!!! At least they pack down easily, and will be easier to move than the boxes of scraps!! What will i do with them???? I dunno!

I guess I will have to get a booth at the next fair and sell the damn things!

I finally ran out of steam, but was still confronted with a ton of freshly ironed scraps. Since there were no more swivels left in town, I decided to switch to making pocket kites. So far I only have them cut out, but I am still chugging along!! These are great to back pack with, and are great ‘giveaways’. Winter is a real down time for me, and mass production is easy.

Creativity seems to die as the cool weather moves in and I start dreaming about travel to warm places – the Caribbean, the South Pacific, the Equator.

There is wind out there, I know there is. And sunshine. And places to fly kites, where they have likely not been flown before

My kites are screaming to get to work, so its time to follow the wind, and head out for a new adventure, my backpack loaded, and I only have to choose which kites to take.

I know where I am going, however the first person to guess the ‘highest point’ from which I plan to fly my kites this winter will win a set of whirly baskets and a ‘rod bra’ for a twenty foot pole to fly them on!!! Maybe I’ll even throw in a few pocket kites as well.

Keep posted for future “Kite Tails from A Broad” …


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Author:Elain Genser

Presently a resident of British Columbia, travel and kites have filled Elain's life for many years, sharing her art with children, flying kites on the steppes of Mongolia, the mountain tops of Bolivia, the beaches of Easter Island, the Galapagos and other beautiful locations.

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