10/31/2010

Halloween...where?



Me as a tattooed lady one year for Halloween

Here in France Halloween is not really celebrated. Too many people here view it as a commercial holiday and have no interest in it. If you are lucky you might see a few children wondering to and fro, hoping to find someone with some candy. Occasionally you will find a store that actually has a selection of costumes and decorations, but for the most part it just isn't happening. I miss it, a lot. When I lived in Seattle it was all out craziness. Everyone I knew dressed up. There were costume parties on every block. Decorations galore! It has always been my favorite holiday and my friends and I would sometimes plan months in advance for our costumes. My favorite one was the dark fairy costume I made with the mini skirt made from iridescent taffeta leaves, black fish nets and combat boots. It was a blast!
So today I guess I am feeling a little bit homesick. I am wondering what everyone will be up to, what they dressed up as and anticipating great photos on facebook later this week. I am finding comfort though in my studio. I come in here and find myself surrounded by the things I love. I have been so hard at work and I see it in evidence everywhere I look:


The scarves hanging on the door patiently waiting their turn at the sewing machine,
which is patiently waiting for...


My new walking foot! It finally arrived :)


Piles of velvet squares sorted into packs, waiting for their photography session.


And pretty little pieces waiting to be made into tarot card bags.


I finally have these two finished and mounted on velvet, all they need is a session with the sewing machine, ties and tassels.

So I may not have Halloween this year..again, but I have this wonderful studio full of beautiful materials to play with to my hearts content. I let a little spookiness shine through with my last few pieces and that was fun!


10/26/2010

And we pass into autumn


The days are growing shorter and the leaves are finally starting to change color. The heat is on and I keep my blanket on my lap while I work these days. I love this time of year though. Mother Earth prepares for sleep and I see long quiet days ahead of me. Time to create. I no longer cringe at the thought of the holidays. They are not so hectic here. The crazy shopping frenzies are behind me.


I have still been busy with the last dye batch . In fact I still have things waiting for their dose of dye but all in good time. I have wrapped piles of floss and took lots of pictures and I am happy for it, but my mind is turning away from all of that. I find myself looking at my pieces that are waiting for my attention. "Soon" I tell them.


Last night I played with this little piece. It is fun and I like it. Soon it will also be mounted on a silk velvet bag...a place for someones treasures.
10/22/2010

Explosion of color

I have been working myself silly here, so much so that the days have just flown by. I was kinda shocked to realize that it was Friday already and I hadn't posted here all week. I went a little dye crazy...well actually a LOT dye crazy, and I'm not even done yet. I still have a pile of ribbons in the soda ash waiting their turn on the dye table. I have spent days ironing and photographing. I have made a promise to myself though. Once this batch is finished I am done for awhile. Seriously. I hadn't planned on doing this batch, I really wanted to get to sewing two weeks ago but realized I needed to dye more velvet for tarot bags or steal some from my shops inventory. Since I am trying to build up my inventory that didnt make sense. Then I sold a bunch of ribbon and gauze so I decided I needed to dye more of that too. Next thing you know this happened:


and this happened:


and I'm not even going to show you all the gauze and charmeuse and velvet...LOL! Just take my word on it, this studio is like an explosion of color right now. I have to say though, I am LOVING these silk ribbons. So pretty! And some of my new floss colors are just dreamy. I worked on a new method to try dyeing 8 skeins at once instead of 4 and I was quite happy with the results. I dont know if it will work as well for stripped floss but it does for the mottled effect. This is good news because some of my customers are interested in several skeins of one color lot and now I can provide them with ones I know are an exact match.

This last pic is for my sis. She wanted to see Old Man Sun and Star Dreams side by side. Quite a contrast if you ask me. I am still resisting ripping up Old Man Sun. I do think I just need to leave him alone for awhile. There are certain things that I am definitely changing but I think it might not be so drastic if I wait for awhile. I like a lot of it so...later.

Have a great weekend everyone!
10/17/2010

Dye experiments and more quilting


I have been busy at my dye table. First off I decided to make color samples on velvet so I have a reference point. I will be working up combination recipes also. I like the convenience of quick mix colors but I started with a few colors and learned to combine them into more, and I like to have a nice list of known colors that I can make in an instant. I will never stop my experimenting and love just throwing colors willy nilly and seeing what comes of it but there are times when I want a bit more control. So this has been one project I have been busy with this week.


I also did a color experiment on this piece of flannel. This is wonderful thick soft fluffy flannel. It is a double weave and a double wide cut. I have decided to make some nice warm scarves from it and wanted to gauge the color depth to know how to proceed. I was quite happy with the richness of this piece. Flannel does seem to lend a dreamy note to it though, doesn't it? I ripped off four scarf lengths to dye, the first one going to my dear daughter. I think they will have a fringed edge all around, the sides being about 1/4 inch and the ends longer. I washed them and though they seem to matt enough to keep the fringe from fraying I am wondering if I should stitch them anyway just to ensure they stay in place. Cotton isn't wool for sure so I guess it is better to be safe than sorry. Anyone have any experience with this type of flannel?

I also ripped a pile of velvet, cut lots of ribbon and gauze, some quarters and some scarf blanks. I never did get any input on different sizes of gauze so I will continue with those two sizes for now. I have a nice batch of all of them washing away right now in the machine. I cant wait to see what comes out!

Lastly, I have been spending my evenings quilting on this. I am really enjoying this piece and the peace that comes with it!

Hope you are having a peaceful and creative weekend!
10/14/2010

Variegated Embroidery Floss

I made a small sampler (by small, I mean REAL small) to show people how my variegated embroidery floss looks as a cross stitch or as an embroidery stitch. I just used a few simple stitches, chain stitch, feather stitch and cross stitch. I then posted this to my ArtFire blog. I plan on posting short articles over there dealing mainly with my hand dyed items and possibly a series on the different types of silks. Still pondering over that idea. Anyway, feel free to wander over and check it out if you are curious how they look stitched up. I just realized the other day that I have shown lots of my stitch work here with my threads but since I don't cross stitch anymore people haven't seen how pretty it looks with that method.
10/11/2010

Star Dreams WIP




Spent this last evening quilting on this piece. It has grown quite heavy but the work is still soothing. I love how this is turning out. Each stitch is another peaceful moment. I look back at the last several months, how scattered I have been, and feel that my thoughts, just like this cloth, are finally coming back together.

10/09/2010

Full moon out my window


This is my latest little piece. I had a lot of fun making this. I fell back into the groove quickly, and found myself happily stitching away without a care in the world. I love how this came out so far and can't wait to see it mounted on a piece of velvet with the edging around it. Another silk velvet bag in the making. I plan on doing several different bags this next month or so. I really enjoy these little stitch works. The piece of velvet I used turned out perfect for this full moon piece. A soft glowing pale yellow. I made enough of this color to make squares for my velvet square packs. I will be including it in some of the color schemes. Those will be coming soon to my new shop!
Have a great weekend everyone!
10/07/2010

Star Dreams and new work


So I spent the evening dreaming of stars and stitching new things.
It has a calming effect on me. My body is still sore and my thoughts
still tangled but I am working in the right direction I think.


I have pushed too hard and expected too much
and now it's time let go of the expectations, take some time to just sit,
relax and enjoy the cloth and the thread.


I like these two pieces. They both speak to me, and that's what I want.


I don't like when my work is silent, This is driving me crazy and
I often have thoughts of tearing it to pieces.


Parts of it I love, others I hate. It seems so garish to me right now.
I have left it on the board until it speaks to me again.
10/06/2010

Introspection

I am in a bit of a melancholy mood today and can't seem to shake it. It started out by waking up to a pain day, after going to bed from a pain day yesterday. Then going into the studio and turning on my computer to find that it died again last night. Did I not learn my lessons the last time? Why have I not backed up my files for over a month? All my plans, schedules, photos, notes, etc. Gone.
Most of all though, is this nagging feeling that has been following me around for awhile now. What am I trying to accomplish here? Why am I doing what I am doing? Does what I do have any feeling behind it at all? Does it really say anything?
I pick up one of the pieces I have been working on but put it right back down again. What am I trying to do with this? I hang it on the board to look at it. I go to the next and don't even bother to pick it up. Everything seems stale right now, and none of it says anything to me. Some days I wonder if I am even an artist, or just a fake.
10/02/2010

Slow stitching



It has been quiet here. Hubby drowses on the couch, healing slowly. I putter around trying to make sense of my vast pile of To-Dos. Yesterday I spent the larger part of the day setting up the new shop and starting to list but in the evening I turned to my cloth.
This cloth has brought me much solace. The slow regular stitching bringing comfort and peace in this time of much distress. When I look at it, it calms me.


I have been wanting to work with these methods for awhile. I love the crisp regularity of tiny pieced squares (not added yet, I will post a pic with these soon), the lovely patterns and texture created with the kantha stitching and the bold contrast of the wrapped pieces.

Hope you are all having a peaceful and creative weekend <3
10/01/2010

Things Are Looking Up!

My honey returned home yesterday and I finally quit holding my breath.He is a little worse for the wear but nothing time wont heal. I have him plumped up with lots of pillows upon the couch and it is good to see his face here again. It is a lonely place, this house, without him here.


I have tried to keep busy as much as possible even with this upset. Today was the opening of my new ArtFire shop. I will now have a shop there just devoted to my dyed fibers. It is still bare bones but I will be adding all my items there a bit at a time. I think it will help to keep my hand stitched items and my dyed items seperate.


I also just finished unwrapping this lovely bit. I just love it!


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