The words on the two sides of these grungy, highly-textured leggings are from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. I've learned that this book is in the public domain and therefore I can, without hesitation, use the words in my unique designs. What a perfectly delicious find, and one - I might add - that Alice herself would surely, most certainly approve of!
In a minute I'm going to come back to this story of the little girl who took enthralling adventures. (If you don't enjoy stream-of-consciousness back-stories, please stop reading right this minute. Your doing so will increase the likelihood that you continue to - if you do in the first place - like me. And enjoy my site.) But first I want to tell you the other fun connection I have with the title of this artwork. My friend Alice Bachman is an artist. Quite a good artist, in fact, and though I don't spend nearly as much time with her as one would hope, given my high regard for her, I think she's quite an incredible person. At the beach last summer, we had ourselves a wee adventure, in fact, that allowed us - while sort of getting lost - to share all kinds of fun personal stories from times before we knew each other. Maybe not as interesting as those of Alice the fabled little girl, but we had no complaints.
My friend, Alice the Artist, has, quite simply, an incredible pair of legs. Conveniently, she also has one of the most fun wardrobes of any women I know, and can rock a pair of black and white print leggings like few can get away with. I'd already named this pair of leggings before I realized the double meaning behind my declaration that "Alice Has Great Legs" and loved realizing my "accidental" coincidence.
Now I'm going to tell you a long, rambly story about my relationship with the story of The More Famous Adventuring Alice. Of course more recently there was a 3D movie that starred the most memorable Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. It was, strangely enough, the first 3D movie I've ever seen. I saw it with my ex, to whom - oddly enough - I referred in this very website just today, in the Back Story about the Printed Muserie project... and his daughter. Who just started college. Aaaaagh! Speaking of boyfriends: the one I have now, and plan to keep, often attracts the attention of strangers (women, of course,) who come up to him and ask if anyone's ever told him he looks like Johnny Depp. Though less the Alice's Friend version and more the pirate version. Who ever said you can't have your own adventures in your everyday life?!
The main back-story, though, is not about boyfriends at all, but instead is about my relationship to this classic tale of a little girl whose adventures were so fantastical that they were rumored to have been conjured by the influence of opium or something similar. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is among the most important books I know of, when I consider my knowledge of children's literature. It's left a fairly big impression on me. Oddly enough, I've never read the actual book. Yes. I have an English degree. Today it seems wise to put the classic on my personal reading list. But today, too, I'm going to continue reminiscing about my odd little relationship with Little Girl Alice Who Adventures.
Instead of reading this book, I have, instead, watched the movie. With a guy whose name I can no longer recall, but we're going to call him Mark. My recollections of the movie are always and forever tied up with memories about where I was and how I came to be watching this movie with Mark. (As well as eating the shrimp dinner he so graciously-if-not with ulterior motives, I eventually realized, prepared for me.) And generally getting very creeped out and wanting my parents more than I had ever want to see my parents in my 20 something years, before or after. Those were tricky times, the early twenties.
I now have Go Ask Alice - White Rabbit running through my head. Which, prior to the aforementioned non-date with the aforementioned creepy guy, I never recalled hearing. He was shocked and a little judgey that I had never seen the movie and, too, that I wasn't more familiar with the music of The Band That Changed Its Name So Very Many Times Who Can Possibly Keep Up? (But who am I to judge anybody for changing their mind about anything whatsoever? I mean, seriously.) And in case you're wondering, the band was - I've just learned - called Jefferson Airplane at that phase in their incarnation. You can have this song running through your head too, if you like. Just click here!
For quite a lot of years after the non-date that I should never have been on in the first place, which - incidentally, took place in a town about 100 miles from where I lived, that tidbit being only one of the reasons the whole thing was so traumatic, I couldn't hear this song without getting cold chills and wanting to call my parents just to check in and feel safe again. To be clear: he didn't do anything to me. I was not abused in any way, shape or form (as they sometimes say,) nor remotely harmed. But the clarity I gained that night, in all my youthful innocence, that I had put myself into a position that could have gone so terribly wrong was never forgotten. And is, fascinatingly, forever wrapped up in the story of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
How, I wonder, does one wrap up such a story within a story within a story? Perhaps by saying that somehow, more than 20 years after seeing this movie and discovering this haunting song I now quite enjoy, I have the much-welcome skills to enjoy creating graphics that feature the very words of this "fictional nonsense" and making one simple, tiny contribution to the massive collection of creative expression that was spawned by one (not even his real name) Lewis Carroll. That he was a mathematician just makes it all the more fascinating in its hat tip to how delicious it is to me that things just don't fit into tidy boxes.