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Peaches for Peach-Sheets

by Leah Morgan, CCAP

My nickname is Peach-Sheets. Although this may be surprising, this is not due to my peachy disposition and only very partly due to my peach-like complexion. This name came to be, much to my chagrin, in my mid-thirties when I was hosting a party and telling my friends about one of my “hippie” art projects that I worked on over a span of about 10 years. I was really into the Grateful Dead, velvet, bead work, and embroidery when I was a teenager and as most of you already know, I was an incredibly young mom, so I had plenty of time at home in the evenings to be artsy.

My childhood 80’s bedroom décor consisted of an odd shade of pale green gingham wallpaper with a peach teddy bear border. I was unreasonably obsessed with teddy bears and unicorns as most little girls were in the 80’s. My waterbed was outfitted with several dozen Gund teddy bears and queen-sized peach sheets that were perfectly colour coordinated with my very peachy teddy bear wallpaper. As I grew up, I grew out of the teddy bear and unicorn fetish, but those peach sheets traveled with me to my first few apartments with my young babe in tow. By this time, in the early 90’s, the Grateful Dead was a very prevalent influence in my life. We would travel around in a camper van outfitted with blue velvet walls and follow the Dead around pretending we lived in the 70’s. Beading and embroidery were all the rage back then with the Deadheads, so I learned to bead and embroider like the best of them. This little pastime morphed into quite an obsession when I wasn’t on tour, and thus my peach sheet project was born.

Embroidery detail

One night, after I put my babe to bed, I asked my best friend, Emily, to come over and trace the outline of my body with a sharpie onto my beloved peach sheet. I then began to sew a multi- coloured, velvet patch- work quilt all over my sharpied self, and bead crystal, chakra mandalas and sew them onto the corresponding chakras on my peach sheet body. I was really into chakra’s and crystals during this time in my life (this is another story unto itself). The next phase of my peachy project was to draw waves and fish with cryptic symbols in their bellies at my feet and dusty rose snow- tipped velvet mountains in the background with a huge beaded and embroidered sun in the top left-hand corner. This entire project took me almost 10 years before I got sick of it and stuck it in a velvet patchwork bag and left it to collect dust in the basement. It is worth mentioning that I had dreadlocks at the time and when it was time to shave them off, I put them in a grocery bag with the intention of sewing them onto my patchwork head as the final touch of my peach sheet piece.

Peach Sheets

As I was recalling this glory project to a room full of my flabbergasted friends, they begged me to get it out of storage and show them my weird peachy creation. By this time, it had been stored on and off for over a decade, been peed on by cats in the garage, and had seen better days. But I succumbed to my friends’ wishes and got it out for their inspection and approval. By this time everyone was laughing so hard no one could even speak, and I can honestly say they were laughing at me not with me. And so, from that day on I have been Peach-Sheets. It continues to be an ongoing joke among my friends when I get too weird, and I have received my fair share of peach coloured gifts since then.

Despite the ongoing jokes at my expense, I feel proud of my peach sheet. It represents a time when I paid a lot of attention to what felt important to me, and I think it’s a good reminder to stay true to your course no matter how long it may take you and who may laugh at you along the way.

Suffice to say, that these days, I am thrilled to have peaches growing on my very own peach tree on my very own farm. I am taking it as a sign that I am coming back to my roots in this life path that I have chosen. Who knows, maybe I will even finish my peach sheet project in the years to come. Maybe by the time I die it will finally be finished and it can be hung as a centerpiece at my funeral and told as a funny story as part of my eulogy.

Leah Morgan, CCAP


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