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Sunday, February 28, 2021

WELL I DIDN'T DO IT - READ NEXT POST TO FIND OUT WHY!

Every time I send an email, I feel really bad about not updating my blog so I am going to try to remedy that.

Since the virus has descended on us, I have had more time; however, I get less done.  Not sure why other than just thinking about what our new normal is, makes me feel like I am in a dream that we are living in.  Nothing in our lifetime has affected our total way of life like this has and it takes a bit to get used to it.  Especially for folk like me that do well in a challenge or a deadline.  For a while there, having all the time in the world has made me less creative although I was working on a few new things outside in undercover of the overhand in my dye shed.  I do love working out there - it is my happy place for sure.  Surrounded by the fragrance of the garden, smells of the pluff mud when it is low tide, and watching the birds dart in and out give me such pleasure, not to mention "Steve" our resident skink who scurries around from time to time - I scare him as much as he scares me. When I hear the little pitter-patter, I know he (or she???) is around.  This skink is a reptile, - he has a colorful coat at times and a longish tail.  I think he either lives under the shed or in the stone wall we built but even though I would never want to touch him, he is harmless enough and I'm sure joyfully consumes bugs so that is a good thing.

In the meantime, I have decided to withdraw as a member of the Maye River Gallery at least temporarily because of virus safety concerns.  The gracious ladies of the gallery agreed to have me there as a guest so I'm happy for that, as I really admire and appreciate them all.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

LEAFY EXPERIMENTS







This time, it is creating a donation piece for our local community.  We have a very dedicated group of people who give of their time and resources to support a local elementary school and I like to contribute to the annual auction.  While I am not quite ready to share pictures of my donation yet, I have already wet-felted the background of a wallhanging that is quite large. It has lots of texture including luscious curls and pieces of silk that I have either Sumi painted, dyed and or de-gummed.  

I had an accident (won't go into details but suffice it to say, it held me back a bit) and it has taken a while and I am getting back to normal.  I'm forever grateful to the ladies at the Maye River Gallery for their support and understanding - one in particular offered right away to take my place and work for me when I couldn't.    

In the meantime, my Ya-Ya sisters (remember that great movie?) visited - we have been friends for 30+ years and saw that movie together years ago, we shared memories and had some great laughs.  I made them each a fascinator and we had such a great time together reminiscing.  



About a week later, our eldest daughter and her husband came to celebrate her birthday and it was magical indeed but never long enough so there hasn't been a lot of opportunities to work.

Well back to the wall hanging:  I do love details and finding just the right finishing touches is my job this week - since my piece does have some Sumi ink painted silk and was inspired by the Japanese textiles that I love so much, I want it to have lots of interesting things to look at but keep it simple at the same time.  So the theme is nature although I haven't given it a title yet); my love of leaves will come into play once again.  I experimented making skeleton leaves and would have continued today, except I ran out of propane for my outside stove.  But can I say that I'm in love?  oooh nature, nothing is better and I am so amazed that the color and the veins of the real leaves mimic my silk hankie maple leaf that I stitched some time ago - they will be incorporated.  Of course, I had to add just a tiny touch of dazzle.

And of course, I need to mention my teaching trip to Scotland - WOW!!!  Such an exciting time and everyone was so kind to and made every effort to make a memorable time.  My Heart Belongs to Scotland but I do LOVE the USA.  

Thursday, July 18, 2019

BRANCHING OUT

For the last few days, it's been an adventure creating the felt for the Tree of Life wearable art - still not sure what it will become but having fun with the colors and the details; yes I do get lost in the details.  Its best not to rush it, but wet it down, let it dry and wait until the next day to determine what is needed.  At the same time, I want to get to the cutting and sewing so I have to discipline myself to know when to stop!

Branches connecting and leaves added - the tree is on the right.

This is the second piece and I may do another but will have to wait to see how my pattern will fit!  Butterflies, dragonflies, blossoms and lots of silk; even a sequinned and beaded butterfly - anxious to see how that felts up.  I have done it before and the last piece embedded in the wool and made it look like did all the beading.  Ready to felt!!!




Saturday, July 13, 2019

TREE OF LIFE

The inspiration for the next sample is this gorgeous piece of printed silk chiffon and since I love and appreciate trees so much, I decided that the theme for this garment will be named after this 'tree of life.'   I felted a small sample and dyed some silks but since this is only the beginning, who knows where it will take me.  I always love to work with fabric where I can use the front or the back after felting and cutting it up.  My preference is to always begin with a monochromatic palette and then add punches of color so, in that vein, I overdyed several pieces of silk that I had in my stash in greens and turquoise.



This little guy decided to be my helper while I was dyeing outside!  He kept an eye on me to make sure I wasn't shirking although he made me take longer because I loved watching him!


Oh, the greens and turquoise blues!  signifying the people of the world coming together 

FELTING INSPIRATION

So excited to have been invited by the Scottish Felting School to teach there in August.  My Butterfly wrap was selected for my two days teaching at the school.  I see lots of silk chiffon dyeing in my future - lots of blues and violets!





KLIMT VEST

The week after the Felting School, I will be teaching what I love doing best.  Creating felt, cutting up, then stitching creatively stitching together again.  As always, inspiration comes from a variety of sources, I just have to begin working and then the magic begins.  I had a piece of clothing from a thrift shop (yes, as a 'textile saver') I'm always scouring for interesting pieces of silk or blank linens to dye.   

My inspiration for this vest came from one of Klimt's most favored paintings, 'The Woman in Gold.'  As I studied it, I became very excited about the background; the detail is amazing and provides so many opportunities for inspiration.  I decided to do swirls, 'eyes' and doodads of all sorts and it was such an enjoyable experience.  If it was going in any way to represent Klimt piece in any way, it needed some gold, so out came my trusty old friend - Pfaff 1475 CD (creative designer).  This machine came out before the popular embroidery machines and can perform all sorts of fun functions from inputting your own text, to stitching out fancy delightful stitches, either stand-alone or in a string.  Gold metallic stitches were added for strategic touches and for the finishing touches, a piece of leather that had been dyed with flowers and it was just the perfect color with a silk covered wool ball button.

The most difficult part was the swirls, created from a rolad of silk and wool, gently rolled to the pre-felt stage before being cut.  That wasn't easy as I learned that the roll was way too thick to cut and made it really difficult to slice thinly enough - everything imaginable was tried from heavy duty rotary cutter to shaving with electric hair razor but by that time my fingers were yelling at me!  However, I didn't panic but waited until the vest was finished before using my sharp little applique scissors to shave off the tops and that worked!








Tuesday, April 30, 2019

LEATHER WORK AND BITS AND PIECES

I've wanted to learn to print on leather since I first saw Bahar Bozaci's work late last year - I planned to take her Skype workshop but then I broke my foot and it wasn't possible; however, last week I had the pleasure of learning from Bahar and am thrilled with the results.

Making the prints is one thing but creating something was something else.  I'm not one to just blindly jump in, rather I read and ponder all the possibilities as well as gather recommended supplies.  I was prepared to have to punch holes and do all sorts of maneuvers but this leather is so soft and my Brother Nouvelle 1500 did a superb job of sewing it; I'm just thrilled.  

Some of the supplies you will need are leather needles, plastic clips (you can't pin leather), double sided tape which was a godsend to hold pieces together.  I bought the really thin tape which worked like a charm and of course some doodads to fasten things together - there is a myriad of choices out there so you just need to determine your function.

So I made a bag and lined it with interfacing/bonded Dupioni - I don't think I would use that again, but I had it on hand but not in love with it, I will use something softer next time.  Since it's for me, it's fine!  





 Since I was left with lots of scraps that were too nice to go to waste, I decided to do the same thing that I do with my leftover felt pieces and stitch them all together to make a piece large enough to make a wallet to match my bag!    (Don't know about you, but whenever I get a new bag, I always must have a matching wallet!) There were some holes to cover up and some strange angles.   I wasn't sure how to do the lining since the leather is so thin it needed body; however, I knew that all those cutouts around the front edges would be a problem.  The answer?  why a piece of felt of course - felt doesn't ravel and I was able to cut around it.  I had an indigo botanical printed piece in my stash, not quite the color I would have selected - but it was the correct size and for this purpose, it worked!  I also added pockets inside for my driver's license, credit card, etc.

 Let me tell you, I really winged it as I had no clue how to do it but didn't want to waste those tiny pieces.  The one problem that I had to overcome was that the magnetic closures I had would show on the right side - more scraps to the rescue, I just covered those areas up with another tiny scrap glued on.  Since this is a learning experience, I will find out how the glue holds up and if I have to stitch later, no problem.

Monday, April 01, 2019

HAGUE LINKER

For the past several months, I've continued experimenting with machine knitting and figuring out the most professional way to put the pieces together.  For my recent coat, since the knitted front panels were too narrow, I found just the perfect dyed lace, wool, and silk in my stash that matched the colors perfectly so I Nuno felted to add to the front sections; it turned out really well and I stitched them together using free motion stitching.  I'm in love with it!

However, now that I have a better idea of how wide to knit the pieces next time, since I'm more interested in cut and sew for machine knitting than shaping on the machine, I did some research as to the most professional way to join the knitted pieces.  Hands down, it appeared that the Hague linker is the way to go and I found one on eBay which was shipped from Nevada (they are manufactured in the UK).  The seller has very good ratings and has been very responsive to questions, but something must have gone awry during shipping as it is hit or miss - sometimes the needle will catch the loop but more times than not and it just won't work properly.  The seller even had a new needle sent from the UK to me but it is still not working. I'm really sad about this as I, as well as my husband, have spent countless hours researching and setting and resetting the needle so at this point unless I can get it to work, it will be quite useless to me.  I will be contacting the seller to help come up with a resolution.