Friday, February 12, 2021

Painted Paper Patchwork Barns


I meant to post this several months ago when I first made these, but alas I never got around to it.
Better late then never though, so here we are and here we go...

My last post, oh so many months ago, had me sharing some stitched and quilted barns I was making out of vintage fabrics. I loved making those, but they were really hard on my hands as they were very thick in some areas. I was having to use a pair of pliers just to pull the needle through in those thick areas! Eventually my hands just declared, "No more!" And so, I had to stop.

Trouble was I still had barns in my system and very much wanted to keep stitching some. So I sat down and thought and thought about how I could hand-stitch barns but not cause so much pain to my hands? Then I stopped thinking and just listened and watched what popped into my mind. 

(That is very much my creative process.) 

And what I saw were these painted and stitched paper patchwork barns.

I got right to work, watercolor painting small bits of torn watercolor paper, (I use 140 lb). and stitching the pieces into various barn shapes, hand-stitched together with 12 wt thread. 
Much easier on my hands and very satisfying to make!


After playing around with a few samples I decided that the stitched barns would look nice on painted backgrounds, which you see here in all of the photos. However there was still one element missing... 
I wanted the colors, the paper, the surface, to have more... oomph! 

I thought some more for a bit and then I remembered seeing some oil painters on Instagram who used cold wax medium in conjunction with the oil paint. Those works always catch my eyes as they seem to have such depth and richness to them. But would cold wax medium be compatible with watercolors?

I did a quick Google search and found that cold wax medium could be used as a final coat for watercolor paintings. Perfect-o! So, I got me some of that cold wax medium and gave it a go 
and then fell in love. 

In the photo above and the 3 photos below, you can see the soft sheen and luminosity achieved by applying the cold wax. Once dried and buffed, it truly gives the watercolors that beautiful richness and depth I was hoping for.




To complete the paintings I mounted them, (via hand stitch) to another sheet of 140 lb. watercolor paper, so they can be easily framed, (or if a framing procrastinator like me, propped up until one get around to such matters.) The finished pieces sort of remind me of tiles and contain so many elements I love, from subject matter to color to patchwork and stitching...


So, out of one road block, caused by hands that said, "No more stitching these thick fabric barns" a new creative path was forged through thinking about possibilities and listening to the answers that popped up.

How wonderful!


All of the barns shown have been sold, 
however, I do have a new batch made, that I haven't shared anywhere yet 
and will eventually list in my Etsy shop


For now though I am just laying low, staying home and avoiding going to places that don't feel safe. And unfortunately that currently includes my local small post office, (which makes me so sad as I love the post office and try hard to fully support it). But alas, last time I was there over the holidays, face masks were not being worn by most of the staff, and that's just a deal breaker for me until things settle down and/or I can get that coveted vaccine. 

(And yes, I know there are ways that you can print labels and ship without having to do it in person but I am not that savvy on the process and really do enjoy the act of doing it myself.) 

One more thing on the subject of face masks... if you are reading this and are in the "no face mask camp", (as are so many of the folks that live in my area are) and are now feeling a tension boiling up and/or eyes rolling in your head over my concern for all of our safety and wellbeing, (something that face masks have been scientifically proven to be effective in)... please, keep it to yourself... 
I don't need to know. We simply disagree. Strongly. 

~ ~ ~
~ Breathe ~
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To each of you, (if anyone is even still out there reading my semi-neglected blog.... hello???) Stay safe, stay well, stay creative. As Einstein said, "The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when one contemplates the mysteries of eternity... Never lose a holy curiosity."


 xo




Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Stitched Textile Pictures: Barn Series

Back in April I began a new series of stitched barn textile pictures. Not surprising that I decided to focus on barns... anyone familiar with my work knows how much they inspire me. But I seem to especially turn to them in times of trouble. As I walk or drive past them, I've always felt that they whisper to me their own stories of happy memories, along with times of struggle, hardship and survival. They truly are like friends to me, and help me feel like I am not alone as I make my way through this life.

As for the stitched barns below, each one is made from vintage grain sack material, and bits of antique fabric salvaged from an old quilt too far gone to repair. Some also have bits of vintage book cloth, as well. All have been machine and hand stitched. Once finished, each one is then mounted, via hand stitch, to a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper. 

The first batch of 8 have already sold and I just listed the second batch of 8 today in my Etsy shop. Below are all 16 in full, along with some detail shots, too.

PS. I hope everyone is hanging in there and doing ok. These are difficult times for our country. Again, anyone who is familiar with me, knows that I am aghast at our current administration. Stay safe and well. And VOTE! xo

Barn no. 1

SOLD

Barn no. 1 - Detail

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SOLD

Barn no. 2 - Detail

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SOLD

Barn no. 3 - Detail

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SOLD


Barn no. 4 - Detail

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(with eleanor)
(some are really small!)

SOLD


Barn no. 5 - Detail

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SOLD

Barn no. 6 - Detail

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SOLD


Barn no. 7 - Detail

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SOLD


Barn no. 8 - Detail

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SOLD

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Barn no. 9 - Detail

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SOLD


Barn no. 10 - Detail

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SOLD


Barn no. 11 - Detail

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SOLD


Barn no. 12 - Detail

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Barn no. 13 - Detail

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Sold


Barn no. 14 - Detail

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SOLD


Barn no. 15 - Detail

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SOLD


Barn no. 16 - Detail




Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Faded Memories

This blog post immediately feels inadequate to me. How do I post something without acknowledging what we are collectively going through right now? And yet, anything I say feels so insignificant in the face of it all.

I wish I had wise words, comforting words, words that maybe could make you laugh for a second and momentarily forget the pain, the fear, the sadness, the confusion... but I don't.

The only thing I have is my compassion for whatever it is that you are going through...

If you are a medical worker on the front lines, risking your own life to save the lives of others, sincerely I say, God bless you and protect you. You are doing an amazing job.

If you are one of the many workers, such as my husband, who is still called in to work and you find yourself in an environment that puts you at risk and seems to undervalue the service you provide, sincerely I say, God bless you and protect you. You are doing an amazing job.

If you have been laid off from your job, and are not sure if your job will ever exist again, such as myself, finding yourself in an odd state of limbo where one day blends into the next and you feel unproductive despite having more time on your hands then you ever had before, sincerely I say, God bless you and protect you. You are doing an amazing job.

If you are a parent of young children, possibly juggling work from home along with childcare, homeschooling, housework and meal prep, and increasingly find yourself understanding why some species eat their young, sincerely I say, God bless you and protect you. You are doing an amazing job.

xoxo

The rest of this post is me just showing you some pics of the piece I recently completed. It's a small piece, (14" x 16.5") started months ago... one that I would just pick up here and there and add a bit of stitch before putting down again, and now it's finished...


"Faded Memories"
Made from vintage grain sack fabrics and bits of book cloth gleaned from the covers of vintage books that I have had in my possession for 30 plus years... It was time for them to be repurposed...


Some small holes in the cloth gave me a place to mend...


Machine and hand stitched,


And patched together...


And that's all I got.
Stay safe. Stay well. 
xo


Monday, December 16, 2019

Shunned Series



In my mind a did a blog post just about a month or so ago... in reality it was 8 months ago, and here we are with just a few weeks left in 2019. So, with that realization, I figured it was definitely time to do one last blog post before the new year.

While I've made a couple of quilts between my last post and this one, (both of which can be found on my Instagram feed, I thought I'd share with you what I've been most recently stitching.

Small stitched works visually inspired from the local worn and weathered barns that I photograph on my phone as I go from here to there, in Northern Lancaster County and surrounding areas, such as these two...





Each was stitched while contemplating that, (and those) which are rejected, discarded, abandoned, deemed unworthy... But which deserve love, respect, honor, dignity, and understanding. I also pulled from personal memories of rejection, as well as reflecting on the Amish practice found here in Lancaster County of shunning those in the family that choose to forge a different path.  And from those contemplations, all I can say is this...

We all have faced rejection and we have all been the one that rejected. We have all been judged, and we have all judged. We have all had love withheld, and we have all withheld love. That alone should give us compassion. Everyone is broken to some degree, and everyone is in need of some tender mercy. 

Having said that, (and warning... I'm about to go political here) I admit I'd find it hard to give that mercy to some... including the person who now occupies the White House. However, should he ever grow a heart, or at least a moral compass and truly ask for forgiveness, then that is what I hope I would do. Until then, I hope his is a one term presidency, or better yet, a less than one term.

Below are the 8 pieces I've stitched so far in what I am calling my "Shunned" series. I may finish with one more, or keep going. Don't yet know. 

The photos were all taken in various natural light and aren't the best, so have a bit of mercy for them.


"Fragile"

Stained and scorched vintage grain sack fabrics and bits of vintage book cloth.
Machine and hand stitched.
7" x 4.5"



"Broken"

Stained and scorched vintage grain sack fabrics and bits of vintage book cloth.
Machine and hand stitched.
3" x 3"




          
"Hidden"

Stained and scorched vintage grain sack fabrics and bits of vintage book cloth.
Machine and hand stitched.
5.75" x 5"



"Labeled"

Stained and scorched vintage grain sack fabrics and bits of vintage book cloth.
Machine and hand stitched.
7.5" x 6"


 

"Exiled"

Stained and scorched vintage grain sack fabrics and bits of vintage book cloth.
Machine and hand stitched.
6.25" x 5.25"



                                 

"Discarded"

Stained and scorched vintage grain sack fabrics and bits of vintage book cloth.
Machine and hand stitched.
8.5" x 4.25"





        

"Homeless"

Stained and scorched vintage grain sack fabrics and bits of vintage book cloth.
Machine and hand stitched.
5" x 5.25"



"Omitted"

Stained and scorched vintage grain sack fabrics and bits of vintage book cloth.
Machine and hand stitched.
5.5" x 5.75"


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Wishing you all the best for the New Year.
xo