Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hand Stitch

Maybe it was the colourful sunrise and the energy of the wind today that inspired me to reach for the crayons.
The waves were wild at the beach.

And I found some sea lace:

Later I did some 'hand' stitch.
A second hand on the top left of Palace.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Soul Fire

A dragon has alighted on Palace of the Soul, roaring out creative fire and setting the cloth ablaze. It is the Year of the Dragon - a fierce creature that commands respect and seeks the pearl of great price. I once named my black, serpent-slim cat 'Draco' after the dragon constellation.

I had chosen to add this fabric I dyed because I saw a dragon in it, which I used as a rough stitching guide.

Dragons are unpredictable and wont to fly off into the blue, just like creativity follows its own mysterious and surprising path.

And soon I will be into the blues, too, with the online Indigo Dyeing course taught by Glennis Dolce. I have been gathering a variety of unusual supplies for that and am looking forward to where it takes me when it starts next week.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Today's Dye Crop

This one reminds me of a clock and the loud colours could be an alarm going off in the morning! I much prefer the softer shades of this, although it's not really to my colour taste, either:

And these were my wipe up cloths so no dye was wasted:

Mainly, I just wanted to try working in my old studio space which is now so much more spacious to move around in. I will need the extra room for the online Indigo Dyeing class I will be taking in a few weeks.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Other Side

If you heard a loud whoo hoo today in the late afternoon, it was me... My studio space is now complete! It's been about two months of chaos and less time available for working with fibre, so I am very happy to move on.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hearts and Flowers

I like how there is such a value contrast within the folds of the hem of this faded table cloth material and I had been anticipating using some of it. Some areas have a softer fade. The heart is silk satin I dyed. Palace of the Soul is now covered with fabrics and three quarters basted together. I am eager to remove those last pins so that I can add detail.
I like the 3D fringe of this part and I may add other colours of frayed fabric to enhance that.

I have cleared my table and will focus next on completing organizing my old basement studio, which is going to be where I will do more dyeing experimentation.

Last week I had an opportunity to learn a new stitch - only I decided not to count and just to eyeball it and see what happened. Even though it's not a correct interlaced double herringbone, I enjoyed myself and like the results and can see how I could alter it in many possible ways.

And I received year three of my blog in book form in the mail - I like having a hard copy for quick reference and to remember where my muse has gone over the course of a year.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Hand Made

I like to make most of the cards I give - and I had been longing to use my pink snow dyed fabric. When I was a child, my mother made some of my clothes, including some shorts with straps and a bib and although most of my life I have not been a sewer, I have saved items of clothing that held special meaning for me. Mom had severe rheumatoid arthritus, which makes the embroidered butterflies she put on the front of the bib even more special. As well as transformation, butterflies remind me of her. And they seem joyful to me - so light, beautiful and free. So I will add them to Palace of the Soul to honour nurturance and these other qualities.

The wonderfully curling bark I pictured in the last blog post, gave hardly any colour to some silk I wrapped with it and steamed, so I used some onion skins to add a little more colour and will keep over dyeing it until I am pleased with its markings.

I also had a little drawing fun and while I may not stitch these, they would be very simple to do.

The track lighting is now up in my studio, as it was quite dark and not really useable after dusk. I've also expanded out into my old studio, moving paints and dyes, stamps and stencils and all kinds of things to the drawers and shelves vacated by my fabrics, which are now upstairs. Still lots more to do before it's complete, but when it is, I'll be feeling like this:

Monday, February 6, 2012

Unicorn Dreaming

I came across this peeling bark yesterday, with it's intriguing texture revealing successive layers beneath. This was my mother's trunk, which was locked when I first received it, until the day my son came to ask me what was inside it as I sat making a major decision about my life direction - which track to take for my Master's degree. After telling him I did not know, I suddenly pictured the key to it being inside my mother's old sewing box of buttons. I went and checked, and indeed there was a key which did open the trunk to reveal alot of my childhood art work. I decided I would choose the creative expression track for my studies in Transpersonal Psychology.

Earlier in the day, I had been thinking about the symbols on Palace of the Soul - how my unicorn is made of old thin jean material I used to wear and how nearly all the other fabric in the cloth is new - scraps and bits of different materials, but the only used cloth is a piece of old linen tablecloth I snow dyed and handkerchief I natural dyed - both without any personal history for me. I cleared my various stitched cloths from the top of the chest to hang about my studio and looked inside at some of the art, noting this painting of a unicorn I did when I was a child and remembering I also wrote a unicorn poem when I was twelve:

And there was this copper etched print I made in highschool, with its rainbow horn like the one on the unicorn on Palace of the Soul.

And here is the portfolio I stitched back then, to hold the work I made:

At one time, I imagined I would breed race horses and had a page of names all beginning with 'Unicorn' ready for my future foals! So the use of the old jean fabric for my unicorn on Palace of the Soul 'fits' right in as it's a symbol that has been with me for a long time.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Extending Reach

Just a wave today from this hand I've added to the bottom of Palace of the Soul. There will be another one at the top of the cloth. I've woven largely lower contrast fabrics into the dark base because the reaching hand speaks to form rising out of formlessness, images out of the unconscious and the mystery of making. I have also added shelves to the new studio area - and moved more fabrics into it, as well as my threads - and the design walls are up and covered with flannel. I'm so pleased to have Palace of the Soul out on my big table to work on, now.