Stitching away the Blues

I am stitching away on this Breastplate. I guess this is called a running stitch, I just pick up a few threads and then continue to stitch, maintaining a similar length of stitch for each. It creates little dots on the back of the work, which is very pleasing to me. So far I have used 4 different colors of hand dyed threads, and I love that I figured out how to eliminate the white spots in the dyeing process. 

My mother and I have a road trip planned for the weekend, we will be going to a craft fair. I am happy about this on so many levels. I need to get out of the house for one. And generally, I have been depressed and down lately.  I need a jog from normality. So, I am packing my bags, bringing my stitch work and hightailing it.

Off to make coffee and pack my bags!

Print and Stitch

I am happily sewing away over here, working three Breastplates at a time.

This Breastplate is the biggest of the seven. If I were to decide to wear them, rather than consider them an art object, this would be the one. Each of the Breastplates were made by ‘eye’ they are supposed to be clothing ‘like’. I love the shapes so much, I keep dreaming up new versions, with different cloth. But when I designed this one, I specifically cut it so that it would wrap around the sides of my body and ‘fit’.

I printed it using a stamp bought from Colouricious. This is my first time using these stamps and I must say, OMG. These are wonderful stamps. I now want more.

I am using my hand dyed threads to stitch and embellish the stamped shapes. I am using thread colors that blend nicely but show up well too. Nothing that might conk you over the head, but beautiful, embellished stitch. I printed this Breastplate in an asymmetrical manner, and the printing goes up the left breast.

I am loving each, beautiful, stitch.

Quiet hum.


I am changing the surface of this Breastplate by stitch, differences in stitch and thread quality as well as scale. This is the first application of stitch that I can see so far. This first application of stitch is hand dyed DMC 6 Strand embroidery floss.

My plan for this Breastplate is large stitch, geometric designs, 6 strands…

As I look at it from here, I wonder if I might use 2 strands in the breast portion, cutting the thread scale down. I think it would create a nice contrast.

Remember I bought that 500 gram cone DMC 6 Strand Embroidery floss, last month. That was money well spent. I may continue to dye threads until I run out of the cone, it won’t be long now. I have been dyeing threads in groups of 48, so my stash is growing exponentially. It is fun to watch, to open the orderly boxes of floss and look at the colors within.


 

I have my eye on this ebay item. I have not bought much on ebay, never direct from China and I don’t know what to think of this type of purchase. So I keep looking at it. Have any of you bought a similar item?

Right now I have an affection for wooden spinning tops. I went to etsy and found this store. I am in love with these tops. I want every single one and all of the top related items!  

My Mom and I will be going to a craft fair next weekend. I will wait to make a purchase, but that man’s tops are tops!

Breath of Fresh Air

Last week I took myself out for a much needed day on the town. I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art where I stumbled upon what is probably the smallest exhibit there, Gems of European Lace. It took me about 5 minutes of trying to locate room 599 before asking a guard where the room was. When I finally found the room, I was quite pleased to be alone in it.

OMG. Usually when I go to a museum or gallery, it is my hope that something will affect me deeply. I hope to be able to have a physical response to what I see. I shed some tears, I was so deeply affected. 

One of the pieces on display was presumably used and worn by Marie Antoinette. I took photographs of every single piece. I tried to imagine who might have made the lace, man or woman. This needle lace piece? Those hexagonal supportive stitches that hold the piece together? 7 stitches per bar. Um. Wow. 

Ever since I was a child, I have held textiles, lace, embroidery, crochet, cloth, the items that are considered ‘feminine and female’ in the art world, in high reguard. I mean, just look at the story told in the lace above. Angels, a fountain, birds, flowers, tassels, bugs. All the good things, represented as a story and wearable too.

Experiencing a hand made item like this, one that is as old as it is, makes me want to be a better artist. It gives me something to  strive for. It might also suggest that I need to employ an army to get all the things I want to, done!

I am dyeing threads and trying to work all of the kinks out. See the threads in the box? The manner that I dye threads creates these white undyed spots (that show up as lightly colored flecks), which occurs every 6 inches or so. This week I am working on eliminating that undyed spot. It takes alot of time, because I am dyeing thread in groups of 48 colors. I think I figured it out, but, I need to wait for this last batch to soak and dry before I can confirm this.

And because I need something to embroider, now having gads of colors and thread options available to me, I started making what I am calling Breastplates. The rabbit from earlier this week is part of the Breastplate at lower right. I will stitch, sew and print these plates for some time to come.

The party begins.