Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Journal and Stitch

I used some deconstructed screenprinted fabric I made last year on the outside of a journal today, and put vibrant decorative paper on the inside of the cover, which is made from timtex. The bottom photo of the stitch piece I've recently begun was taken with the morning sunlight streaming onto it, causing the rosy hue.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A New Start

I've cut and pinned some of the newly dyed fabrics together, ready for stitching...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Second Dye Lot

I'm pleased with the rest of the dye results from today - except the marble technique, which made the purple piece too busy. The top photo shows a small portion of some dyed cotton embroiderie anglaise - at least I think that's what it's called. The second and last photos are linen and the third and fourth are silk charmeuse and silk velvet shibori. The last linen photo was a beige to begin with and all the others began as white or cream.

Another Dip in the Dye Bath

I've been doing some further dye experimentation - the top photo has large marbles wrapped inside the linen piece I dyed yesterday and was taken before I dipped the part with the marbles back into a dye bath. The second photo is a scrap of silk velvet that I've discharged to test drawn lines, sequin waste, a wood block, and a door stencil. And the pink and white linen is my first Sekka shibori attempt - folded into triangles and just two corners dipped. I have numerous other samples in the dye baths right now and hope to post results later tonight once they are batched and rinsed.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Rolling the Dice

I've been wanting to dye for some time now, and when I found some stained linen napkins in a thrift shop, that added fuel to the fire. Just a quick experiment with a mix of three colours as I was heading out the door, leaving me with a surprise to open when I returned home. There is nothing quite like unwrapping dyed cloth - this piece reminds me of dice and I'm happy with this gamble!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Pinks and Blues

The sky this morning mirrored my design dilemma and I found myself asking:If the sky can do it, why can't I? After I discharged that blue velvet from the last post, I fell in love with the pinky beige colour it turned in the center and I began to gather fabrics together to combine the velvet piece with various values of the pink colour and small bits of blue. However, the discharged velvet just doesn't seem to fit with what I've put together - even though the center is of the same colour. When this happens, I try for a little while to make sure that my idea really isn't working - and then I let it go. There will be another fit for the blue velvet.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Velvet Eclipse

I couldn't resist trying some discharge on a cotton velvet scrap left over from some drapes I've been hemming. The colour removal extended beyond the circle, almost like an eclipse. I like how fuzzy the edges are up close - mimicking the feel of the plush.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Salish Journey

The exhibit of Pacific Coast Salish art I saw today at the BC museum was entitled 'S'abadeb The Gifts', and what a gift it was! Weaving, basketry, carving, and other art forms as well as film and written information about their history and culture right up to the present. The photo above is not from the exhibit and is a carving I already have that is of unknown origin. Photography wasn't allowed at the exhibit and I wanted something that catches a flavour of today and I thought of this. I liked a quote by a Salish elder, who said that for the Salish, looking at a pile of mountain goat's wool was like looking at the vault in Fort Knox! The spindle whorls they used to hold the spun wool are associated with the weaver's spiritual helpers and had fascinating designs. There was a dress made of woven cedar bark which was incredible. I also like how they added animal images to their tools to evoke qualities such as precision and speed, and how each family had their own songs, stories and art to pass on to next generations. Being included in a story was important because if gave individuals a sense of belonging - I like that. And I especially appreciate how they incorporated ritual into their lives and their respectful behaviour to each other and all beings. There were also more recent Salish art pieces, such as an etched glass spindle whorl and paintings. What an inspiring journey into Coast Salish art and culture.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


'Winter Flower Dreaming'
Seeds in the dark
earth, alive and growing
some unseen
some closer
one first.
What will spring from your belly
as Winter releases her hold?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


After sewing silk ribbon over the outer raw edges of this cloth and adding a silk dupioni backing, I think it still needs something - more of a pronounced focal point - so I'm trying needle-turn applique for the first time with this orange blossom. A 'first' is in keeping with the theme of new flowers emerging.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Letting The Light In

When I hold the stitching I'm doing up to the light from the window, the pink silk from the underside glows through in places, and the colour reminds me of a photo I took of the sky one morning last week, so I combined them into a single image. Every day we have a little more light now. The second image shows the densely stitched backside and I've combined it with a photo of me reflected in a puddle with a few leaves floating. Inside meeting outside and the space between is like a keyhole for me to open and enter.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Going in Circles

I'm interested in how stitching in a circle on the silk creates a small mound - a three dimensionality begins - whereas straight stitched areas lie relatively flat. Or - when pushed down, the circle-stitched area forms a dip. I think of the formation of mountains and valleys, as I see where my needle takes me next.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Winter Flower Dreams

Today when I was about to sip my tea, I went and got my camera instead when I saw the amaryllis reflected in my cup. I'm continuing to stitch flowers and the pale pink one on the faded kimono silk seemed in keeping with the reduced colour of the season. Later while out on a walk, I discovered this real flower - a little pale, but undaunted by winter.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Flying With Intuition

When I had this cloth ready to begin stitching a few days ago, my eye was caught by some silk ribbon in a package in my studio and when I placed the ribbons by the cloth, I saw a great colour fit and decided to keep them out for whatever possibilities might emerge later. Today I first randomly dropped the ribbon on the fabric, then deliberately placed it, then suddenly thought of weaving it through the cloth and realized I'd have to cut slits in the fabric to do so. Well. Unexpectedly I felt myself resist and think that I couldn't do that because it would leave scraggly raw edges and couldn't possibly look good (even though the piece already has many raw edges). So I went away for a bit to reinspire myself and once I returned, cutting into the fabric became even more insistent and then I had a different idea - what if I was to cut a blossom shape out to reveal the under layers? Before I could change my mind, I just snipped the cloth in several places and added some stitch - and I like it! Making that cut is such a small step, yet it illustrates something of large importance; allowing myself the freedom to fly with intuition and not getting ahead of myself with judgement. Part of working more deeply is recognizing new layers of resistance, how I might move through them and then taking action.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Following the Muse

I've added a few lines of stitch and am using a vibrant pink, sumptuous (and slippery!) silk charmeuse layer underneath which I am hoping will peep out in places. Pink for pure joy inside at serious play.