As a child, one of my favourite books was Red is Best. The story features a young girl named Kelly who is arbitrarily enamored with anything red, finding those items to be superior to their differently coloured counterparts. For example, she thinks her red mittens are better than her brown ones, not because they’re warmer, but because they make better snowballs. Also, her juice just tastes better out of the red cup, as opposed to the green one.
This book is one of the many that I remember reading back when I was young. I remember liking the fascination Kelly had with colour, and how determined she was to describe to her mother how all of her things that were red were the “best” in some way, so that her mother would understand. Kelly was simply describing her favourite things, though our favourite things are not always necessarily the “best” things.
For my project, I thought it would be interesting to share some of that connection to favourite things through a project involving embroidery and old photos. There are a number of items in my life that I really enjoy, and consider to be my “best” things. Items that come to mind are my blue rain boots, my favourite coffee mug, and of course my cat.
The idea is that I would take a number of old photos from the Toronto Archives, and incorporate my “best” items into them, sharing those items with others. I could embroider the shape of my boots onto the feet of a person standing in the rain fifty years ago, my coffee mug onto the desk of a former mayor of Toronto, and my cat onto the couch in the sitting room of an family that gathered together decades ago. The reason I’d use old archive photos is because they are available to the public with no copyright issues, and they also hone in on the strong connection of nostalgia to my favourite things.
This project would open my eyes up to more of my favourite things, perhaps things I hadn’t considered favourites before, so I’ll have that connection to the subject matter in addition to my childhood connection to Red is Best. The project is very personal and reflective in nature, which I think will make it fun to work on.