Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Beading and couching go on

I've started adding in couching to this green and purple section. I love green in my surroundings, just look at my house,but in art I find it a difficult color to work with, tends to go all heavy and sort of sad (did you know that sad actually means heavy??? as in sad-iron, etc., where was I, my inner etymologist took over there for a minute). 

Anyway,I'm lightening up the green with couching in gold braid, using a medium green floss, two plies, to secure the gold. And there will be more couching,maybe more beads, I'll see how the couching looks before arriving at that decision.

Friday, December 27, 2013

The Big Stitch starts to take shape

Showing you a couple of details from different parts of the current big stitchwork, which will frame out to 16 x 20, I think, once it's stretched on artist's stretchers.  Currently it's stretched and mounted on a heavy backing, 17 x 30

from its first iteration on exhibit, and I've left it on there to keep it stretched while I work.  This makes beading and stitching a bit more difficult, because you can't do a stabbing motion -- it all has to be surface movement, which is a bit hard on the fingers, but it's working out okay.

It's starting to get to the stage where I think I know what I'm doing.  The major shapes are shaping up as I go, with beading and couching, some gold work, some floss, but the painted original I think I'll leave alone, and just make my adaptations with beads and thread. 

This one is too big to take in to stitch in meetings, though, so it has to be a homebound item.  For stitch-in purposes, I am about to stretch cheesecloth over a frame as one layer of another piece, this one a bit smaller and more portable, as a support for the sea wrack pale green crochet I showed you earlier.  There will be pearls and amber in this one, I think, as well as various other ideas.

And since this current big work is a piece destined for my April exhibit, where the same concept will be rendered in different media,it will probably be paired with a great big watercolor I painted years ago, and need to find a big enough frame for.  Similar concept-- large yellow marsh flower and a lot of green foliage. 

I painted this without any particular flower in mind, just the impressions I retained from walks around the marsh, and was surprised when it was exhibited and a naturalist friend identified the flowers and foliage! I was nearer to nature than I realized.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Beading mojo gets going

I've been mulling over what beading to do next, and have rescued a stitched piece which I now realize would do very well with beads and sequins to give it more presence.  When I stitched this I wasn't doing beading, so it never got in there, but now I realize it's a natural.  Here's a detail of the beginning of the new piece. Beads and dyeing and stitching and painting are all happening together.

Oh, and I made a handy discovery after I finished up the candle display for my birthday dinner -- tea light containers make great bead bins! right size, easy to use without tipping beads out.  No lids, but no matter because I sit the containers in a plastic inch deep tray (was a box frame, now repurposed) in a shallow drawer and so far it's working fine, easy to find what I want without pawing through tiny plastic bags.

Voices and Faces of Plainsboro exhibit

For a great exhibit, with the Dollivers thrown in as a bonus, do go here

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Seasonal stitching, ahoy!

With my ficus tree obligingly playing the part of Christmas tree, here's an ornament soon to be on its way to a nice family who always does a tree.  

Here you see two sides, with white on black stitching on black aida cloth, and gold thread whipped round the edge, and the other side is good old red felt with a beaded and goldworked simple star.  Something vaguely scientific about this star to my eye.  Anyway, I hope they'll like it.

And NOW I can get to my artwork which has been hanging fire.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Positively my final purse on this or any other stage

The pursorama is winding down, and my weary old digits need a rest cure before picking up fine stitching, otherwise I'll be snagging it at every turn.  This one I really like, and the recipient is local, so no trip to the PO this time.

This incorporates a goldwork and beaded butterfly you might have seen before, appliqued onto the front pocket,  Indian metallic peacock blue beads, yellow and gold whipstitch, and a knitted handle. 

Three pockets, and, right before I stop making purses I've finally managed to stitch an entire one without having to rip back when I realize there's a stitch right in the middle welding the pocket shut!  even though I had a little card slid inside to prevent this, oh well.

One of my correspondents suggested I sell these purses online...well, maybe not!  special requests, perhaps, but not an etsy shop.  I do have one more seasonal project to whip out, but then art will resume. At least that's my plan.  

But the Season of Purses has been a lot of fun.  And a lot of readers have suddenly decided that using old pockets this way is good for them to do, too, always a happy point.

Friday, December 6, 2013

My tribe

I offered a little challenge the other day to blogistas at Field and Fen, to share who was their tribe, the people ,in history or still living, with whom they felt most in tune, or who had influenced them, and suggested five was a good number.

In the course of doing my own today, I realized my offering belonged as much in here as there!  heavy emphasis on art.  So if you want to pursue this, go here 

And join in on your own account, if you'd like to!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

When Art Books are Artworks

Sometimes you've just got to have print books, and these two are my birthday and Christmas gifts to me!  one is the catalog raisonne of the current Metropolitan Museum's Interwoven Globe, a massive show of textile art.  

I couldn't make it into the city with my friends, a long planned trip, not yet up to a full day in the city, in crowds, so this is my consolation prize.  The cover is itself fabric backed, a lovely artwork in itself, and a wonderful representation of the exhibit.  If you want to know more about that, go here

And the other is a much more modest but equally lovely buy, a book on Japanese Folk Art, published in the early 50s, a collaborative work  of the two main proponents of the Japanese folk art revival, Soetsu Yanagi and Hugo Munsterberg. Yanagi founded and directed the Japanese Folk Art Museum, and really liked how Munsterberg presented this material.

The jacket and end papers are Japanese paper, and the illustrations are about as good as they got at that period.  Not the amazing resolution of pictures we're used to but still a great book  to handle as well as read.  This one, too, has a fabric hard cover.

So I thought you'd like to see, and maybe browse the Met exhibit, too.

The purse curse strikes again

I'm beginning to feel like the Lady of Shalott.  The Curse Has Come Upon Me!  everything I start turns into a purse with a friend's name on it...here's what may or may not be the final purse for the time being until my fingers recover, hand sewing on denim being heavy lifting.

The handle is a repurposed, but brand new, curtain tieback, courtesy of Judy's care package, the purse is of course three denim pockets, sourced from Freecycle, the blue wooden beads are from Judy, the back shows a lovely gold stretch cord from a long ago box of candy, which has been waiting patiently for a home for the longest time. 

I got that last idea from Erica Wilson, in a youtube video, where she was demonstrating goldwork and needed something big enough to see on camera.  And the blue overstitching which is subtle in real life and practically invisible on camera, is from a trove of embroidery flosses donated via the local library, knowing I'd use them.  I did buy my own needles.

So here's today's output, before I get on with all the other ideas I'm trying to get to.  One of them being a wool dress I'm in the middle of altering to make a duster coat, halfway there.  Except I just noticed I'd already cut out a couple of sets of pockets ready to make up into, oh no, purses.  Oh.  I do like the designing and beading and doing very incongruous stuff with denim.

I remember in one of Peg Bracken's great cookbooks, she talks disparagingly about some ingredient or other, saying it's too high flown, "like sewing diamond buttons on denim pants."  I remember also thinking, well, she might be a very good comic writer, and a good cook, too, but she doesn't know anything at all about design and cutting edge.

The friend this is destined for knows all about irony and I think she'll get it.  And enjoy it.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Denim and mohair and pearls and bling

Another purse came to pass this evening, shortly to be on its way to an undisclosed destination.  This one has four parts: two big pockets, and the small one on the front is in fact two pockets, one behind the other.  This is that small pocket you find inside the front cargo pocket of your jeans.

The strap is knitted mohair, very nice to hold and stretchy enough to sling on your shoulder if you like to do it that way.  Or you could pretend you're the Queen of England and sling it on your arm for your official royal portraits.  I'm using these knitted ties as purse straps and they work very well.  I knew there was a reason I got on a tie knitting tear a while back there.

And there are pearls, and tiny blue glass beads and Indian metallic thread couched on.  Great fun to do.  I must find my thimble if I'm doing any more denim hand sewing, though.  My fingers are pretty peppered with needle backups.

Anyway, here's a front view and a back view, or you might say a frontispiece and a backispiece.