Monday, April 30, 2012

Loving the Questions Within

Blogger has changed formats and while I've 'refreshed' my blog, I'm still getting the hang of  the differences in posting.  I have completed embroidering a question mark for each year of my life and secured the panel on Palace of the Soul, adding couched strips of some indigo dipped cotton around the edges.  It will be hidden under the butterfly panel, which is like a lid.

I did a bit of indigo dyeing - and I expect to be pretty immersed in an online class I am taking, called 'Contemporary Woven Boro 2' with Jude Hill.  Lots of action there as participants are gathering and the momentum is building.  I have no plan of what I'll make as yet, but that will unfold.

Monday, April 23, 2012

How Sweet It Is

The Camas are in bloom and the dandelions, too!

I only have to step out my door for an abundance of fragrance - everything is blossoming and a walk around here is intoxicating!

So much beauty to take in.

I'm back to stitching Palace of the Soul.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


More blue dabbling today with some larger stitched pieces as well as small ones. I like how there is an implied motion, here - like the bird figure is moving it's wings.

And I especially like this linen with it's varied lines:

And here is one on wool:

Small experiments that continue my learning, because that's what I love to do!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Blue Miracle

This dip was the 'star' of the day. There is just nothing like opening a carefully prepared and lovingly tended indigo bathed bundle and meeting it for the first time - love at first sight!

It's completely overcast and raining outside, but I still got in some moon watching. And why not an indigo shibori doily?

This cotton is folded and tied.

Tomorrow can't come too soon :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Unpredictable Blues

I've been trying out a few more ideas with indigo. The ombre was part of our last class lesson and I was trying for a nice even gradation of values.

I had plans for this one that did not work out, but I will try to get what I'm after using another method.

And a cloudy moon - not quite what I was after, either!

I also dipped this leaf print the other day after not using the vats for some time and got a mixture of turquoise and green - although what's pictured here is wet and more vibrant than the actual colour. The leaf prints really darkened after dipping, too.
The unpredictability of the vats ensures my ongoing curiosity about what will happen next?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Where There's A Will...

I was at the 'Consider the Lilies' fibre art show on the weekend - set in this lovely church with its lily-flooded grounds. These lilies found a way to grow in spite of adverse conditions. That is always a source of wonder, for me - and of inspiration.

These arbutus were also determinedly continuing to grow while clinging to the cliff edge and reaching for the water.

And here is another type of growth I saw - hanging onto it's tree host and defying gravity.

I have been feeling my way towards growth - I decided to line a jacket I had sewn last fall, taking apart a shirt to do it with. The conditions weren't ideal, because I don't have much experience with this, the shirt was smaller and the outer jacket pieces were already put together, so after much figuring, cutting and sewing, I decided it wasn't going to work satisfactorily, and I took the lining all apart again. I tend to just jump in with an idea and it doesn't always work out. But even so, I learn and grow through the doing - even if it's as simple a lesson as 'I won't do this again'! I will still salvage the jacket by finishing the edges with fabric cut on the bias and the inside seams are sealed with a serging type of stitch from my machine, so that will have to do!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Spring Fever

I have been feeling restless for new growth. A few days ago I got out my crayons and choosing colours as I felt drawn to them, I made lines without thinking about it - or so I 'thought'.

But then I had an idea to try closing my eyes, choosing crayons without knowing the colours and drawing without seeing the page. I felt much more attracted to this one and surprised at how controlled it made my other 'spontaneous' one look. Sight changes alot. Or maybe it's more where I direct my sight - in-sight or outer sight.

I remembered a piece I did a few years back, called 'Soul Map' where I used intuitive stitching - listening to inner prompts for each choice of stitch and creating a pattern from that. Here is a close up of part of that:

I decided to try stitching with my eyes closed to see how different that might be. I threaded some needles laying them out on either side of my cloth and closed my eyes to feel into where I wanted to stitch and how. I did open my eyes after the first few stitches to check my tension, but then realized I can do that by feel. I noticed design thoughts creeping in - desires for it to be pleasing and I did open my eyes briefly a few times - partially to check how much thread was left on the needle because I wanted to leave enough for a knot on the back - but I might have even done that with feel - relying on sight is an ingrained habit. As part of a personal growth exercise, I once went an entire day blind folded and I remember my surprise when I was easily able to know which of my clothes were which when I got dressed, just by touch.

So these are my inner pathways - a much slower process than doing this with crayons and again, a less controlled look with eyes shut - or really, a different perspective.

Wrapping Up

The wild lilies are blooming everywhere and Easter is over. I used coffee, tea, onion skins, plants, fruit juices, spices and silk scraps to dye eggs with this year.

Only a few blue dips to share - this one has indigo dropped on it from a squirt bottle:

And here is one I folded and tied:

I also tried other resists with indigo but it's been over a week since I've used the vats and I'm more interested in stitching right now.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Something Boro-ed, Something Blue

More eggs - it's that time of year. I got this book in the mail last week from Japan,

so I thought I'd make an egg using a few of my indigo fabrics with other snippets. I have further stitching I want to do on it, but the surface is covered - a little challenging because of the uneven shape of an egg.

And here's one of the other pieces from the vat today - not sharply defined but I can fix that another time:

Making a whole basket full of cloth eggs might be nice...