Sunday, 11 August 2019

how looking at combinations led me to a lot of work! and a very long post.......

after helping CL-down-south tidy up, cleverly combining this with a visit to my parents and a long lunch with friend E, whom I've known since we were 8, I journeyed home with a humongous bag full of sample fabrics! dabbling with the colourful squares, Jude's lessons in the back of my mind as per usual, seeking out new 9patches, mixing and matching very different materials, I came to realise I would have to wash the new batch before being able to use them: shrinkage, coating, fraying etc had to be dealt with.....and once I started down that road I was in for it big time!
'cos now there was no excuse not to tackle the already present fabrics from Catharina, hanging mostly unused in my so-called Linen Library
First I had to cut away the plastic foil or paper edging along each individual piece that prevented some cases I also had to cut each piece off the backing

 above unwashed, below washed, dry and ironed
- the silk flowers are from Jude, goes without saying -

then there followed a series of multiple short wash cycles in the washing machine, matching colour as much as possible with same colour; then everything had to hang out to dry! but before that I had several laundry baskets full of moist, clean pieces  where I had to cut away the threads that had come loose and I made piles of oblongs and squares.....

if I'm honest there were moments where I despaired, such was the Herculean task I had set myself, or so it felt at the time.....

finally they were dry enough to iron, I ironed each and every one on both sides; some found a spot in the renamed ClothLibrary

others were laid out on the studio floor in piles according to pattern
so even more fondling and holding and getting to know the quality of the cloth

some I hadn't properly noticed before: birds, flowers, china vases jumped out at me

I am going to have to find workable storage space for my growing stash

leaving work bench as empty as possible!
looking forward to that 

the linen and linen/cotton all in one pile

Nest, nestle, nesting urge
  1. settle or lie comfortably within or against something.

    "the baby nestled in her arms"

    synoniemen:snuggle, cuddle (up), curl up, huddlenuzzlesettle, lie close, burrow;
    snug down
    "he nestled up against her"
    • (of a place) be situated in a half-hidden or sheltered position.

      "picturesque villages nestle in the wooded hills"

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

working title: The Bird Quilt, or how sewing has led me to the next chapter of my life

Brandi Carlile 'Wherever is your Heart'

 The Bird Quilt, what there is now; scrolling downwards and see how it evolved in Time; yes I know still a long way to go............
once again I'm following an online class over at Jude's Small Cloth
if you love working in cloth and don't yet know her, visit her site and prepare to be amazed and/or blown away, I highly recommend joining her class!

a moon from Jude
this patch determined the size of the patches in the 9patches sewn here

As I grow older, I continue to learn; amongst many things I have come to understand that if I want to grow as an artist (and as a human being) I must accept and embrace what works for me; for example I'm not one for measuring and one of the things we are learning in class is working with 'puzzle patches' an inch means even less to me than a centimeter, and so here are the cardboard squares I've traced around the patches I have been working with; so even though the numbers don't add up, they work for me...
as can be seen in the photo above, the patch on the middle left was too small so I added another small strip to make it fit; as I am pretty cavalier about measuring it does mean I have to often add a strip or two here and there

As Bob Ross always liked to say 'we don't make mistakes, only happy accidents'

rough sketch made in the middle of the night when I woke up and could sleep no more, I have, of course I have!, deviated from the plan,
another one of my working methods

our house guest for a couple of weeks, a Springer Spaniel aptly named Springer
she has one switch: she's either on or off

I am seriously considering getting a Small Springer for me now, she is such a delight to walk with

the magic of thread

lucky break in my life, or how many signs do I need? after having had a minor* mental set-back a couple of weeks ago, I yet again fell into so many supportive arms: my husband, our sons, my GP, a favourite cousin, a therapist, friends, even a job coach! the road ahead is uncertain, but I feel very positive and am now totally committed to making my Art the main focus of my working life, this is my dream and it has been for so long now and it is now going to be the reality of my life, so here goes  woooooosshh 

* compared to last year #

Saturday, 20 July 2019

on the right path

Imagine my surprise on finding a letter from Threadcrumbs in my mailbox yesterday, and then upon opening it finding yet another much smaller blue one within; wondering what it might contain, I excitedly tore it open to discover these  soft treasures: 9 Silk Summer Flowers from Jude! I smiled a huge smile; I felt sooooooo happy and grateful.
I am now wondering, fretting even, about how I might use them, feeling a slight trepidation: not wanting to waste them by not using them and not wanting to ruin them by using them the wrong way. 'Oh, don't be a pussy, Saskia', Frog murmurs, 'What can go wrong?'
He's so right of course, albeit not very subtle.
Feels like things are converging for the better. How serendipitous: the plant below finally blossoming after many years in this pot and me having taken a photograph just a couple of days ago, buying a new one last Thursday and the stamp on Jude's envelope: all the same plant, Echeveria.
How I have been dyeing with colours these days, realising how much I need colour to brighten up my life.

gifted beige linen/rayon trousers in a bundle, just before they were dyed in dye-remnant from the two blouses further down below

new plant


after dyeing and rinsing: the commercial dye-remnant turned out a lot paler than I had previously imagined, I do like it though

two blouses had become too dodgy-smudgy looking with the natural dyes, so I wasn't wearing them anymore and I therefore decided to over-dye them with commercial dyes, as I have been having great results with Dylon Navy Blue on old and/or second-hand items of clothing; first effort was a night of wicking in a mixture of Dylon Tulip Red/Navy Blue and something or other Violet; too purple and pink for my taste, especially around the collar, did not like that at all! So, after a thorough wash and having added Jeans Blue to the brew, they had to endure yet another night's wicking and turned out dark and gutsy, this was more like it.

I love the Turneresque landscapes

I also like how the natural dye results still manage to shine through in places

all in all a success

me wearing the pants today with a jumper which once was a pale beige and which has had a NavyBlue treatment as well!