circus bird

That’s me, just home from “my stylist” (hear that swoony yet snotty accent? 🙂 ). I’m not sure if it’s a circus tent top, or an exotic bird, but i LOVE it. Pink and blue over dark cherry.

For the record, i loathe selfies, so that’s all of me you’re going to see– the topping ,the brain, and the eyes.

The boss however may have a shit fit, but hey, it’s my hair, and hair grows. (I *mean* the boss too, not Greyman who likes this sort of thing, strangely and happily enough!)

Advertisements

being “organized”

My friend Heather over on True Stitches asked how do others keep their immediate working area clean and organized? (We’re not talking the whole studio space, just where you do *most* of your work, for those of you who use “hand” methods.)

HA. My stitching corner “stand” is most often a jumbled pile of various threads, whether in use or not. It also attracts stray earrings, dog hair, pins, cat hair, thread labels, dog and cat hair and old fashioned dust. And dog and cat hair. Once a month (whether it needs it or not 🙂 ), i DO clean it up.  Usually when things start falling off the back, or between the stand and the couch, or won’t fit anymore because there’s already too much stuff in it… And presently, i am not sure and don’t care about whatever is in the bottom drawer….

To the right of the stand is my homemade niddy noddy for winding thread skeins, and a large board that i dream of Greyman attaching to the top of the stand to extend my space, *someday*………. i need more room for more crap after all. And dog and cat hair.

THIS however is my Best Friend.

Bought 6 or so years ago at a cheap department store (probably a Zeller’s or Giant Tiger or V&S, can’t remember as that store is now gone), for the magnificent sum of $8.00, i just can’t work without it. A lap table, it’s wide enough underneath that i can sit with my legs crossed, extended, or doubled up in agony ’cause my hip is bothering me again. It’s high enough that i don’t need SuperPower glasses to see what i’m doing (though i wear the Just About Super ones), holds scissors and marking tools out of the way for safety and for easy use, and has space for thread ends and bags of threads. I have to have a lifted area to work on, as arthritis also affects my shoulders, wrists and right thumb, so not dangling stuff over my capacious lap is paramount. I do clean this out after every use as the spaces regularly fill up with bits and scraps and the ubiquitous you know what hair.

And i never ever EVER use the armrest of the couch as a pincushion!!!

 

 

in which i publicly humiliate myself

Because we’ve all done Stoopid with a Capitol 9 at least once………

“Normally” i would have thrown this in the unfinished pile where it would have sat forever, but the lace is too precious to me to “waste” it. And i *have* gotten much better at (im)patiently pulling or cutting out mistakes, because the initial idea is good. When they lack in interpretation though, cut your losses, or cut the threads!

Firstly, the lace puffed up and made itself look big, trying to scare me. I do believe i forgot to iron the underlayer (Lazy!) and a wrinkle in there resulted in this lofty attempt at escape.

What’s REALLY sad is that though i had a very clear picture in my head of how she would look when worked, i didn’t stop for any consideration on HOW i was going to do that, and just Started. Dear GAWDZ but this is Horridatious, looking as if an inexperienced newbie or a 4 year old got hold of it. I have done trite work, i admit it (we all honestly have) but this? Not only trite, but badly worked–NOTHING to do with what the figure is/says, NO beauty in any of that working, and seriously, i am embarrassing myself horribly by showing this. Is it any wonder she’s holding her head in her hands???? She’s wailing!!! “What have you done to meeeeeeeeeeee???”

I picked out ALL of the interior stitching. I slit the lace and flattened it down–nothing anywhere says that can’t be done, or will detract from the work. I don’t know about you, but there’s nowhere in my contract that says i HAVE to do something ONE way or it’s Wrong! I had to also soak the whole thing to let the resulting holes and pulls Relax. (Relax, Baby: i’ll still respect you in the morning.)

I had this bright idea to use several of my naturally dyed threads, and while the colourway would have worked, it took too much away from the figure, putting focus on the threads instead. I have gone to my commercially dyed threads in rebuttal 🙂 As i’ve always said, colour is colour–yes, brown is too a colour!—and i’m not about to get all precious about just naturally dyed, so all my “bland, boring, beige” browns in all their glorious permutations are being hauled out.

I’m off to appease the Stitching Gawdesses with a cup of fresh coffee, small sweet biscuits and a sacrificial thread loaded needle or two…..i already gave blood, sweat and tears…………

what to make when you can’t make, “figuratively”

I find myself unable to just sit, and think. Or not think. I have to accept that sometimes my mind *is* in low drive, for whatever reason, but i’m also one of those who *have* to keep my hands busy, so i’ve turned to “finishing” small things that have sat around for aeons.

At times like this, i often look to old work, whether sketch or textile, and found two small bits that were based on a 1975 pen and ink. The first is a little happier than the original at least! A bit to do in the top corner and maybe off to a new home for someone?

All naturally dyed threads again (some in the shop), and approximately 5×7″. I cropped the original below, sparing you the other portion of the teen angst sketch it was then 🙂

A smaller one (also still being worked on):

That figure was also on “How the Light Bends”, the piece that was accepted for the SDA “Materialities” conference/exhibit in 2015, so she’s been around the block a few times.

“How the Light Bends” 2015 rusted cotton, ecoprint and potassium permanganate dyed cotton, hand embroidery, fabric manipulation, 26×21″

However……these have led to this:

I dipped some of this treasured “lace” in potassium permanganate, and being a nylon base , it soaked it up. (I think it’s nylon, i know it’s definitely NOT a natural fibre, but it’s had pieces dyed in brazilwood, indigo and walnut and they all “took”! Some nylons will take up some natural dyes.)  I’ve been eking out this fabric for 6 years now, and will be quite bereft when it’s gone. I found it at the local thrift shop, a shower curtain cover, and it’s almost a signature fabric. (Now that i think of it, why couldn’t i make my own with a sheer and some soluble???) I started stitching on this (other than the outline), and have decided already to rip out what i did!

This figure was also the basis for work on “Tabula Memoria”:

I don’t really do well with abstract, or fields of just colour or just shape, so i think the figures will be on the worktable for awhile. They’re easy to read, fundamental to most viewers for interpretation and even when the same, *not* the same. (And i’m still looking for the blue figure from the previous post, in a “safe spot” no doubt, just like my wedding ring which i lost last week…)

And i need to do some self directed workshops again 🙂 Quite frankly, i seem to be repeating myself–and i don’t mean the re-iterations above! I’ve  let go by the wayside the experiments, making mistakes and messes, and throwing things together in serendipitous mixes. Every day now i have a moment of “i’m not doing this anymore”……….

 

why do i bother???

It was all planned out in my head, but the needle and thread sampling did nada for me. Went back to the work blog and zipped through all the photos, and tada.

This figure (never attached to anything, from Jan 2016)

on this PP dyed cloth

and logwood threads

and this strip that came from aborted work (two photos because it’s too long to photograph easily)

with this manipulation on the PP

yes

’cause apparently planning is taking a hit lately, so i’m not going to waste time, just jump in.

“In progress” un-named.