Tuesday, August 30, 2011

In Need of Some Whimsy

I feel that in light of all that is going on in the world right now, along with a certain collective sad 6th anniversary that is today, and another 10th one soon approaching, I should, (artistically) be doing something somber and meaningful, (which I have in the past) but right now, for the sake of my mental health, (which in all truth easily slips into sadness) I am in need of a little whimsy... and I feel guilty needing it, but need it I do, and I am heeding that need.

If you too, are in need of a smile, then I hope these help...

Little Green House Camper

Little White Cottage

Little White Trailer

Little Beige House


Friday, August 26, 2011

Embroidered Rocks???

No they're not rocks, but they look like it, don't you think?!

This week I found myself happily strolling the beaches of Cape May, NJ. gleaning for treasures washed up by the sea. There seemed to be an abundance of solid pieces of broken shells, whose edges were worn nice and smooth.

At first, I collected them as I loved the soft faded color variations found on each one. After I was back home however, I got the idea to cover some in batting and fabric, using them as a base for some small decorative objects, such as these rock buttons...

They feature reverse applique, raw edges and fun embroidered elements!

The shanks on the backsides are macraméd...

I decided that each button would be better off with two shanks, as I really prefer my buttons not to flop around, but if desired only one shank could be used as they are very sturdy.

Here's another example of embroidered fabric buttons made with inner cores of sea shell ...

This pair sort of look like exotic pea pods from another planet! The inner shell core makes the buttons lightweight yet solid, so they won't lose their shape. The various shapes of each shell fragment makes each button unique.

Once again, these buttons feature two shanks each...

Now, if you are a purist, and prefer your buttons round and with one shank, never fear, as we have that, too!

Instead of using a shell fragment as it's core I simply used, (what else) a button!

But back to the shells... as I said they were all collected this week along the beaches of Cape May, NJ., (a place very near and dear to my heart) where there is now a mandatory evacuation in place as it braces, along with much of the East Coast, for Hurricane Irene.

This embroidered talisman was formed over a heart shaped shell fragment, reminding me of what is important, as I want to lift my heads to the heavens and say, "Please, enough". I can only hope and pray for everyone in its path, that Irene continues to change course, moving farther east, back out to sea, and that people and property will be spared.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Stitching with Soft Faded Colors

Summer is starting to wind down and the colors in my yard are starting to fade. These two newest works in my "Patched Work:Rimmed in Red" series seem to reflect a bit of this late summer color pallet...

This first one revisits the idea of several patched layers...

It features several vintage fabrics, including the vintage linen base and that cute little flower print, as well as a couple of lovely shot cottons.

Lot's of fun embroidered elements on this one!

This second piece is very small, a mere 1.75" x 2.5".

Like previous pieces, it's also made from vintage linens and shot cottons, and along with the hand stitched touches, this one also has a cute little vintage mother-of pearl button.

For more on these works please see here and here.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Fun With Nature and New Work

Seeing as summer will be over before we know it, I thought it would be nice to do a post related to nature.

This week found me playing around with the possibilities of spinning dead leaves. Yes, dead leaves! (Dead Day Lilly leaves to be exact.) It all began when I was drooling over the beautiful yarns at Habu Textiles, admiring some of the unusual fibers used, and wondering, "what if?..." as I am prone to do.

Now, I am no expert in spinning, (I only tried it once briefly, twenty years ago in an attempt to spin wool) and I imagine my dead leaf string may appear pitiful to a true spinner, but in my novice and humble opinion, I think the results are lovely!

The spinning was done on a drop spindle, which I bought for under six bucks all those years ago for that one brief attempt that ended in total confusion, as I had no idea how a drop spindle worked. Ah, but now we have the internet, and information on anything and everything is only a click away. After a few google searches and you-tube videos on paper spinning, (yes, you can spin paper how about that?!) I felt ready to give my leaf experiment a try.

And here are the results. The con's to my attempts were that the leaves broke easily, and I was never able to get more then a satisfactory yard or so. The pro's to my attempts was that it was fun, expanded my creativity, and increased my curiosity! Along with those benefits, I now have some unique, jute like string which I can use for decoration, weaving, stitching... who knows. For now I just like how it looks wrapped around the rock and shells!

And on another note...

I am happy to report that I am staying on task with my "Rimmed in Red" series. (And that's a big YAY! for my generally ADD self.)

This one is the 6th in the series, and numbers 7 and 8 are just waiting to be mounted and photographed.

If interested in learning more about this work, please see here.

Have a happy weekend, everyone!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

New Work - Series Continues

The "Patched Work - Rimmed in Red" series continues with 3 new pieces...

All the work is untitled, but for simplicities sake I will refer to each one in the order done. This piece, which can be found here, is the 3rd in the series.

I enjoyed stitching these odd little lines!

And just like the first two pieces that I showed in my last post, (both of which have been sold) these works are each hand stitched to 140 lb. cold press watercolor paper, signed and ready to frame.

This piece, which can be found here was the 4th to be made.

Quirky little bits of stitching make me happy!

And last, but not least, the piece below, which can be found here, would be the 5th in the series...

The light was fading at this point in shooting the work, and I apologize for the variations.

I know the series is called "Rimmed in Red", but I am taking some allowance with that... as long as the thread is in the red family, such as this pinkish thread, then it's okay to use!

More pieces are in the works, including some more that are multi layered like the first piece in this series, and I will post them once they are finished.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!