it (all) is what it is

Marigolds, indigo. I’m not that fond of yellow usually, except as smeeny accents, but if ya make ’em, ya should use ’em.


I slapped some paint on a couple of pages of my sketchbook, and there are tiny areas that got my juices going a little bit. No ” damn the torpedos, full speed ahead”, but small can be a reboot of sorts.


Finished, for a friend:

Thank goodness for small mercies, as i have the attention span of a gnat right now. Just sticking with small steps.

And also a teeny at 2.5″ square!

In the shop too πŸ™‚



DD, part 3

Remember scale, visually and physically! I do like these dainty details, but i’d like them to be stronger. But i don’t like that indigo circle because it’s too strong!

I’m thinking too those deeper “grey” diamonds need only MINIMAL stitching as they are actually purpley ecoprints.

I still want the slightly aged effect i got with my first Suzani inspired piece:

Have to find the rest of that indigo cotton i used above. *That* is more the effect i want, a bit fadey, uneven, softer, more vintage. The deep indigo velvet i used in the top photo is beautiful, but i’m preferring more the “weaker” and the “mistakes” i’ve done πŸ™‚

I need to do a quick sketch or two to size up motifs. I usually do a printout of this and pencil in ideas, though i don’t always follow it slavishly. It’s kind of a free association exercise to see what i *could* do when i can see the whole.

this from that

This week is all about stitching. It’s all fine and dandy to dye the fabric and the threads, but if i’m not working with them too, it’s kind of like shopping and stashing :), stuff never seeing the light of day again.

Monday was the beginning of the week of stitch, this:

from that:

Some Lumiere stencilled indigo, a bit of osage and indigo, and beads. A limited colour palette can be as stimulating as one with many colours!



new velvet moons

It’s almost time to dye a new batch of colours for this silk velvet, as i slowly work through offcuts and scraps!

Learning to handle this slippery fabric has taught me a lot as well. It has its limitations–i can’t work intricate shapes or teeny weeny pieces, and certain manipulation techniques just don’t co-operate, but the pleasures abound for piecing, embroidery and beading. And after having moved so many bead containers recently, i realized i really should be using them!

A bit of embroidery and beading still to do on the upper right side to balance it a bit as well.

I love the high contrast of these colours, that old complementary colour theory thing. Oranges and reds against blues has long been a favourite of mine, so i may do a few of these πŸ™‚ (photo below, “Hoodoo Sky” in progress, 2009)

I have 2 more colourways planned as well, indigo against chocolate and mango, and indigo against blush and coral:

studio time finally, and a shop update

This past week i have said to hell with unpacking boxes, shuffling furniture around and organizing things in our new home. I finally got down into the studio and had fun!

Digging through the silk velvet scraps for the elf mentioned in a previous post, had me wondering what to do with all the dinky teeny itsy bits. If you love velvet and other luxe fabrics, you get that–no small left behind! πŸ™‚ And when they’re naturally dyed, they are even more precious!

And yes, they DO come as PAIRS πŸ™‚ Hmm, might be cute Christmas ornaments as well!

This weekend however, the two of us will be descending to the depths, and getting laundry appliances moved around, a laundry sink and water filter hooked up, tools settled into shelves, and the last of my studio stuff IN the studio, out of boxes, bags and piles. Once that is done, i plan on settingΒ  myself a schedule of sorts to get work done, the serious stuff (Samara, poor Samara!), and some more fun things as well.


a gathering of intention

I know some of you would rather see me posting photos of my embroidery, but please bear with me: summer is the best time for me to do my naturally dyed fabrics, for my own use and for my shop. The shop supports my handwork, so it does all eventually balance out πŸ˜† I have a few scrap inspiration packs available now, and you’ll find them decent sizes to work with at a reasonable price- — *and* i tell you what #botanicaldye #plantdyes i use, unlike some listings elsewhere. This ensures that your purchase is something that is not going to fade, because i use only proven #naturaldyes , and that it is dyed correctly, according to historical use. I unfortunately see on Etsy especially, teeny weeny scraps being sold for outrageous prices with no indication of *what* “plant/botanical/vegetable dye is being used, so they don’t even know what they are buying! Some of it literally looks like old garbage scrounged stained bits you’d find by the train tracks. Not in my shop!

Anyhoo, i am starting to get back to some embroidery, in fact champing at the bit to. There are many too many UFO’s lying around here, all started with excitement, small things that should have/could have been finished by now, if i set myself a schedule. Time management the last couple of years (honestly) has not been a strong skill, or one much used!

I do however like to think of my excursions for stash building and the shop, as “reading breaks”, a time when colour can become important as the base for new work, or to jazz a jaded effort that went PLUNK.

Samara of course is important, but i also want to get back to more of the “suzani” style work. I really enjoyed this and the subsequent paring down of design.

This was the latest “start” of a suzani, untouched since the last week of June:


Not terribly exciting. But then i looked at the pieces of silk velvet recently dyed, and i start to drool:

And cottons too:

I *may* have to dis-assemble the start, and re-piece! I want to have the irregular shape the first one had (not exactly the same of course, but the general idea), a happy accident in sewing diamonds together, and to go larger as well.

The first one:

Now i’m off to do the “re-design” and piecing!

PS There are a couple of velvet scrap packs in the shop at the moment πŸ™‚