Christmas 2020 Moons, UPDATED

ALL are created as original works of art, from my own naturally dyed fabrics and threads, and then hand embroidered and beaded, as OOAK pieces. This year, many of the small pieces include a small easel for display, as they don’t do well on a wall, due to their delicacy. Dyes used include indigo, lac, madder, cochineal, quebracho rojo, marigolds, onion, eucalyptus, cutch, all done with historically accurate long lasting processes. Listings will commence Sunday, November 22nd.

If you see something you like, but it is sold out, i can approximate–remember, i said One of a Kind, but i do “series” also, so similar works can be produced. Please email me through the Contact page either on this blog or on the shop site.

Pick, girl, the roses

“Collige virgo rosas”, a Latin phrase found serendipitously on my birthday yesterday–i’m a Virgo, though i don’t believe in that either :)–it loosely is a carpe diem style saying for young people, but any of us can stop and smell the roses.Ā  This will be the second of the Ensphere series. (First was “Sotto voce” in a previous post.)

I fell in love with these velvet dots when i was working on some of my moons a few years back, and woke one night with a whole series in my head. Of course, in daylight, all i remembered was lots of dots and Latin. I’m no completely dotty Yayoi Kusama, or a minimalistic Judy Martin, both of whom i admire greatly, for/from different perspectives, or a very organic Jude Hill, another of my absolute favourite artists (I’m sure you all know who she is, an article i wrote about her here), and circles crop up an immense amount it seems in Women’s Work (as the trope is….). I think with enough years put into one’s work, one eventually experiments with simplicity, and this is my time.

It’s not just the tidy shape, it’s the colours, textures, depth and light effects.

My start:

Look at these colours, swoon, natural dyes on silk/rayon velvet:

Madder, cochineal, and quebracho rojo, threads of cotton, silk/wool blend and silk in cochineal, madder, quebracho rojo, and no doubt some indigo with tansy, solidago or osage, for greens.

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!



laughing at myself

First project of the year, a little test for scale, motifs, use, this needle book is for me.

5×4″, indigo, madder, cochineal, tansy, osage, sandalwood, quebracho rojo, linen, cotton, silk, naturally dyed “*orts”, beads. I won’t show you the inside: apparently some 4 year old snuck into the studio and worked that part! šŸ™‚

I had grand plans for this little work, thinking i could make multiples and offer them in my shop, enticing people with price and portability. HA! If i actually charged what that *should* be, no one would pay the price. A common problem many makers have, either inadvertently, or deliberately, is actually pricing the true value/worth an object has cost in terms of time, skill, design and materials, assembly, and in my case, the dyeing of cloth and threads, and hopefully a small markup for profit. This Thing took the same amount of time and work as one of my larger moon pieces! Would *you* buy a $100 needle book? Nope, me neither.

At least i know my new indigo vat is working though and i *did* cull some ideas for other work from the making and thinking time!

*Orts are the left over short ends of threads (or teeny weeny scraps of fabric) used in other projects.

no scrap left behind

I come from a long line of Sensible Savers and Scroungers. While most of my line put the scraps in the ragbag, and none were really stitchers, small pieces came in handy for cleaning with or patching. I learned to sew on a machine when i was 5, creating barbie clothes (of course) (though my Barbie wasn’t a true Barbie, just a knock off) with scraps saved from Mom’s making of our pyjamas and shirts. In my early early teens, my uncle Ron did window dressing for big department stores as part of his Arts program, and brought me bags of bits i didn’t even know existed: pink sparklies and gold lame and screenprinted trees and red fake fur. (Shoulda seen the hotpants i made from those!)

When i became a single mother, i scrounged old clothes from the Free Box at Gordon House, a neighbourhood community organization in the west end of Vancouver–BLISS! (And wow, it’s still around, in a shinier location now, with a thrift store instead.) There were barkcloth muu-muu’s, “old lady suits” of metallic brocades, Hawaiian print shirts and plenty of odd 70’s cast offs that no one would be caught dead wearing in the 80’s šŸ™‚ I STILL HAVE SOME PIECES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I made a LOT of patchwork then, having discovered quilt magazines too. That was a skill no one had in the family either, with the exception of ONE quilt made in the 30’s by my Great Grandmother, which i still have.

Now these velvets, these natural dyes, oh my. Seems such a waste to toss the little bits, and realizing as i was cutting more moons, that there were still “useable” bits. So iĀ  made *more* moons *from* them, and i have a list of other little things i’d like to make too.

That was the first batch above, but then i started really piecing, using some of the off cuts from them:

(Two of the three from the “Thorntree” series, still in progress, these will go on backgrounds as well.)

Of course, with velvet’s slurki-ness, some scraps are too small, so they will either be stitched raw edge on something else, or (becoming a neurotic masochist), i will hand stitch. There IS a limit though šŸ™‚

But then i remembered these from 2012, which became the “juice moon” series:

OMG how would these look in VELVET????????????????????????

I think there’s at least one more series with that idea, and then i must rest–and get back to some Samara stitching–lots of ideas for *her* background. (No bling though šŸ™‚ )



new moon series

Well, number one is done and i surprised myself: i thought i had started this a week ago, but from start to finish was only 2 days! Faithful readers (all 3 of you….) will know i’m not of the “mindful” set, but being in the zone sometimes is helpful šŸ™‚ I prefer to think that commitment to a craft is better than any “connecting with my ForeMothers” Hooey!

Of course, i posted first on my IG and my FybreSpace FB pages, with this, asking about the orientation:

embroidered silk velvet moonsThough i had worked it with the upper left orientation, it was the least favourite. Someone made me laugh by comparing it to the SW “Death Star”. The lower left makes me seasick! To me, it’s like looking through a porthole on a (sinking) ship! Most preferred the two right side orientations, so i decided whomever gives this a good home gets to choose the orientation.

One thing about the new studio space is that to get true colour representation, i have to photograph in the livingroom, at the right time of day!. Yesterday’s photo above is a bit saturated at 430PM, so here taken today are the true colours 9AM (Time of day and conditions can make or break shots of your work):

hand embroidered silk velvet moon artI do use a lot of “spot” lighting downstairs, an OTT light, a gooseneck with high wattage and the studio lights of course, especially when beading, and most of the embroidery gets done upstairs in the stitchin’ corner on the couch.

Very happy with this, and now on to the other two i have planned!!!


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 šŸ™‚ (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: