just messing around

I “re-found” a treasure! When my MIL died, the place was full of everything from 73 hand towels, make up from the 70’s, shelves of laboratory glassware from a pharmaceutical company she had worked at, etc etc etc plus a sewing room full of mostly synthetics, bland colours, and truly useless bits. (We donated/distributed amongst family/charities/dump a full TON of her stuff!) I did however find a bag that contained a couple good handfuls of 2 deconstructed wedding dresses–and the overlaid laces are cotton, which i put In The Safe Spot–and lost it for several months!!!!!! Quite fragile, i had to be very careful while scouring and handling it, but it is LOVELY. (And OH the gunge that came out of it, eeeuuuuw!!!)   I see my European friends quite often showing off their “brocante” (second hand market) finds and obviously they are able to score a LOT of old linens, lace, embroideries and trims, whereas here in Canada, they are either long gone into other reconstructions, destroyed by time or snapped up at outrageous prices by collectors, so a find like this is very lucky.

(One thing i thought odd though was that the sleeves at the armscye seam  had a thin uncovered very sharp wire enclosed! There was an apparent bloodstain there as well, so can only guess a weeping bride or a frustrated MIL trying to get it out!)

I threw some with other cottons in my 2 year old dried tansy pot (um, that would be just the tansy 2 years dried, not the pot 🙂 ) and just about screamed: look at that ORANGE!!!!

BUT, i do know that what you see in the dye bath is NOT always what you get on the fibres. (I’ve had a purple dye bath dry to green, for instance!)

I was right however about the colour but did however get a reasonably medium to deep yellow this time, as for a couple of years for some reason, my tansy was giving weak colour. (Perhaps because it was picked from a ‘contaminated” area, an old gas station?)

Also combined older pots of lac and madder:

And quebracho rojo!

working with velveteen

My new favourite type of cotton!

Cotton velveteen has wonderful texture, is firm but malleable enough to manipulate and soaks in natural dye in vintage ways. (It takes a LOT of pre-dyeing steps to get it to absorb dyes correctly, due to the nap.)

 

Oops, put the wrong size of coral moon on the end of the top row–better go through those storage jars and check sizes! This was my sample piece, and i see a few areas where my measurements were a *wee* bit off. Three colours of velveteen used in above and two in the second piece below:

 

Much better seam matching, and the silk velvet circles are even across *their* colours.  These two chunks are 8×10″. I haven’t quite decided yet whether they need some simple embroidery or some beading to accent the circles.

 

Crazy still lives here

What a stream of sour months there has been in this household! This “normal” has not been. Teeth bared, claws unsheathed, hackles raised. No blood, no permanent damage, but learning that once a big trigger/doubt/fear/issue/worry is dealt with, there are probably a few more buried to deal too!

Suffice it to say, i won’t go into details, but with some help, things are getting back on track. Even the studio has seen a bit of activity this week. I’ve read over 700 books since May of 2020, and i think my brain is now sufficiently stuffed with enough words that i can focus my focus on Making things, Doing things. ANY Things creative! Sketchbooks have been dragged out, i took an online course on natural printing and the house has actually been “ret up” and is decent again.

I AM actually stitching again, hoping to show a bit of handwork, nothing special, but some prototyping and physical doodling at least. Christmas is not that far away and i’m not sure what’s going in the shop this year for the season!

To that end, i have new listings in the shop–i better have since “Somebody” ordered SO MUCH FABRIC this year!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve “started” again in there with a few scrap packs and some “fat quarters” that have been waiting since the beginning of Sept to be noticed and dealt with, but there will be much more listed as it gets done.

I love these larger pieces (a fat quarter is 18×22″), plenty of scope for making things from, or using as a base/background. In the shop at https://fibrespace.bigcartel.com/

 

Next on the list for embroidery ideas, LACE! From the ever wonderful Dover Books copyright free editions.

 

(>insert clever title here<)

I lost several months here on the ol’ bloggeroo—–travel, doctors, eye surgery (lasers!!!!!!!!!!), family time, Black Dog weeks, soul time, summer stuff, but i’m hoping to be back regularly now. Can’t believe i haven’t posted in almost 4 months!

 

Well, here’s a revelation. Looking through the work blog, i see no big projects planned. None. Not for a few (three?) years. Not even progress on Samara. What does that say? I guess that means i’ve officially lost my license as a struggling Canadian textile artist who wanted to work Big, and say Things. Most of it was just for me, though a few pieces have found homes elsewhere, and my walls are deliberately spare (indeed my whole home is) so there’s no point anymore in the Big Plans. I love my natural dyeing, i like sharing it in my shop and seeing what other people do with it, i like making small art these days, i love all my little plans for little things. Maybe i’ll go back to the time of sharing posts 4 times a day, when all the little things excited me. Because in the end, size does matter. (I obsessed for years about Big Art, one day in 2011 wrote in my sketchbook “well then just do it!”, love what i *have* done, but that day is done. I won’t worry about scale anymore: it really doesn’t matter.) (Some of the old angst still hands on, clutching and choking…)

Good enough.

I’ll try to finish Samara, but since she’s been on the go since 2016, i won’t be holding my breath.

I have many piles however of small stuff.   What to do? I’ve started stacking them with new bits of fabric, thread and trims, hoping to kickstart some new ideas—sometimes it takes only ONE MORE element and a thing is done/perfect/good enough (to please).. You can only do what you can do.

 

 

 

THREE days left for discounts!

My fabrics and threads are all naturally dyed, with historically accurate products and processes. The soft and supple natural fibres i use are perfect for hand stitching in applique, as embroidery bases, for cloth weaving, Boro, piecing and small projects like cushion panels, bags, inserts for clothing, wall art, textile jewellry and 3D forms.

THREE days (including today) left for SALE in shop. ENDS June 17/21.

Please read the sale listing for information on how to apply discount codes for each category. If you can’t make it work, discount will be refunded from your invoice. As always, any extra shipping will be refunded, whether from multiple purchases, or a single item. ———> The shop is HERE. <———  🙂
FybreSpace will be closed from June 18th until July 9th, for a much needed break. That means NO purchasing allowed at all until i come back, because i figure no one will want to wait 3 weeks for something to be shipped to them!
Summer is here and i need some summer 🙂 Have a great one, you Lovely Blossoms!
All listings available will be shown instead as “Coming Soon” as of June 18, and go live again on the 10th, so keep yer eyes peeled!

 

 

 

 

Summer SALE!

https://fibrespace.bigcartel.com/

Please read the listing itself for advice on how to add the discount code to your basket. Don’t add this listing to your cart A. that’s why it’s priced at a thou (as place holder!) and B. it has nothing in itself to do *with* the discount code 🙂

I will be constantly listing through this period, so keep checking back. Don’t miss out on what you want either though–whatever is already listed when you check, is all there is of that item.

 

Mossy Banks

Calgary has FINALLY greened up completely: no brown highway verges, leaves budding and fuzzing, flowers just starting to pop. I’ve been craving these fresh colours, and whipped up some dye pots to accomplish that as well!
All in the shop now 🙂
Luxe threads for stitching along and on Mossy banks! A mix of wool, silk and silk/wool in clear crisp greens and yellows dyed in historically accurate processes with osage and logwood.
 

 

What could be better than an amble along the riverside, finding little secret coves and mossy banks to sit on and dream? As the wind sways miniature willow stands, you daydream, floating in the clearness.

This pack includes silk noil, cotton velveteen and silk/rayon velvet, solid and streaked and mottled, with osage and logwood dyed in historically accurate processes, giving elegant calming blues and soft Monet mossy yellows and greens. (Note, threads are not included, just to give you an idea of depth of colour. Threads will be in a different listing!)

shop update, and silk working tips for stitch

Good morning, Blogland! (How many blog anymore anyways?) (How many people subscribe, then just let the email go to the spam folder?)

I’ve been in the last month or so, trying to keep the shop fuller with offerings, but that darn old “word of mouth” has meant most of my sales have been “offline” in a sense! I’m not complaining though as my naturally dyed fabrics and threads go further around the world 🙂

I have right now a listing for small “decks” of silk velvet in varied colourways. But wait, what? Silk is too difficult? NAHHHHHHH!

It *is* a slippery animal, but there are a few tricks you can use to wrangle it. I prefer hand stitching it, whether that’s piecing chunks together, or adding cut shapes as a form of applique. The simplest way to handle it is to underline/stabilize it with either a thin cotton (think lawn or fine muslin, harem cloth is too shifty), or if you prefer even more depth to your stitching, a piece of cotton flannelette. (Yes, that stuff your jammies are made of, your winter sheets, and the soft soft baby wear and diapers that Mae Junior is in.) When you stitch on this combo, the depth can get quite “crunchy” and shows more shadows and highlights because you are compressing the fabrics more—delish!

The diamond above has been backstitched then whipped, and gives you a very tactile surface, visually and haptically! You can also see the white cotton flannelette i used to back it for stabilization.

If you are piecing silk velvet, give it time 🙂 Pin, pin, pin–i use regular pins rather than silk ones but make sure yours are SHARP and fine. I use two lines of running stitch at the seams, with small as i can get stitches. Brush the right side seam line lightly with a soft toothbrush to fluff up the pile. (Note: i still stabilize for simple straight seams, it gives the weight it needs for handstitching the seams, and to prevent creases and bias distortion.)

Above pieced velvets in this moon for the background. Remember also to “open” your seams on the back (just finger press them, no ironing!!) or you will be stitching through 3 layers instead of 2, and possibly have a bulge or hard spot there.

Also pieced, a little more difficult with curves,but you can plan out and draw on the underlying layer to show the seamlines for stitching.:

Don’t plan on getting too intricate with the embroidery! Covering velvet densely (in most cases) doesn’t let the velvet work its magic, and isn”t that the point? Also, if you have to rip out stitches, be aware that there may be a visible line through the backing: sometimes you can hide it a bit with a damp toothbrush riff. If that doesn’t work, try to work in the same line with a different stitch/colour/ply, but keep it simple.

Are you champing at the bit yet? See the all five of the colourways available in the shop! Affordable, large enough pieces to play with, delicious combos!

 

By the way, these greens from mossy to deep moraine were created without indigo! A little dye magic in the pot with weld and logwood!

As always, i refund any extra shipping paid, whether on purchases of multiples, or a single.

And these are available too!

colour fields

 

 

Spring dyeing has commenced, trying new combos, a few new recipes. Some of these have been/are/will be in the shop, some i’ve sent to good homes thanks to word of mouth and social media.

I have few words to share these days. It’s as if something in me has shifted: i’d rather Do than write *about* doing. The Crone in me is stepping up and wants to spend more time with the materials. I’ve been, strangely enough in these times of isolation and caution, connecting more with old friends offline. It’s also time and season for out of the house, longer walks with DogFaced Girl, the two of us appreciating small moments of a glimpse of jackrabbit, a pussywillow budding, a violet sneaking from the moss in the woods, the smell of soil as seeds pop up, and finding where tansy and solidago sway, dried but greening at their own feet.

new threads, and the hunt for the elusive lavender

YUMMERS.

Below lac, brazilwood (sappanwood), and onion, and combos:

 

A comparison of the previously dyed onion:

Some of these will be in the shop, announcement to be made when listed 🙂 Obviously being as delicious as they are, i have reserved some for a special person: ME!

The onion gives greener tones initially, but there doesn’t seem to be much difference when overdyed. My lac and BW however were a stronger WOF for these babies, so deeper shades resulted. YUM!

These are from previously used dyebaths, after doing cloth. I don’t waste a drop! From Lac, the natural dye that shows up in searches as anything but a natural dye: lac, lac with iron, and eucalyptus:

These above are included in a new fabric pack in the shop.

And a combination of the two (because with natural dyes, purple/pink and yellow don’t always make mucky brown):

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is euc-and-lac-and-combo-b-1.jpg

 

I have had through my dyeing days (years now, wow!) ONE skein of lavender thread. I don’t remember what i used, but i suspect it was cochineal, and the thread was silk. I’ve been partial to lavender as an accent with rust and neutrals since the days when i first started all the hand stitching. The ones i used below are commercial, but there’s no reason not to try for a natural version. The purples and lavenders on the fabrics however IS natural, from Brazilwood, and i covet those various shades!

Mother’s Heart, 2013:

The a Difference Between A Plum, detail, 2013:

Strange Soul Take Flight, detail, in progress, 2013:

(2013 was a very productive year…..)

The Mini Goddess Moons, 2018, lavender leaves on 3 of them. (These are *completely” done in natural dyes, both fabric and threads.) I like the way the lavender gleams amongst all the stronger natural dye colours.

 I suspect it’s time to get the cochineal out and try weaker solutions to get that glowing shiny shade!