HandWork

As some of you may know, I have not been able to work at my sewing machine for many months now. However, my hands have not been idle. Today I took some of my handwork to our local food co-op. These consist of small things I can work on (usually propped up with pillows!). In these short sessions, I’ve had great fun making “jewelry” items from unusual objects. And it’s good to use the “stuff” I’ve collected, giving it new form.

Below is a bracelet I sold today. First, using a knitting spool, I made a denim-colored cord from blue wool, then used beads and springs, (as in hardware from your toolbox), and finished it off with tassels.

Springs and Wool Bracelet

Springs and Wool Bracelet

IMG_1309 Springs : Wool DetailAs I create these little things, I will share some of them here. Then perhaps someday they will have their own page.

Here’s a teaser. Next post: the tiny terrarium necklace.

IMG_1330 Moss necklaces

Vintage Lace and Silk Cuff

For home handwork (as opposed to studio work) I created a cuff. The body and lining are made of silk scraps from a chasuble I made, the lace is vintage, and vintage shell buttons provide an adjustable closure. Thanks to Gunnell for the pieces of lace she shared with me.

Repurposed woolen mittens

Tucked in a corner at the Chatham Real Food Market Co-op you will find a small sampling of my woolen handwork. These items are made in those moments between working on the banner and taking care of my family and self.

An example is pictured below: a pair of fulled (felted) thick woolen mittens, lined with luscious, soft, purple lambswool from another sweater. The asymmetrical designs on the mittens are needle-felted. Now if we only had some snow…..

Dolls from a vintage pattern

Over the holidays, I worked (as time allowed) on dolls for my granddaughters.

Much of the sewing was done by hand, which meant I could do it from bed. In addition to the clothing you see here, I created miniature sweaters for these two from re-purposed felted lambswool and cashmere sweaters.

The package is still on its way to them, a bit late.

Now I can return to my beloved banner project.

Earth Pages ~ Altered Book

Back in March, I promised to send photos of the altered book I started months ago.

Earth, Water, Fire and Air ~ what you see below are the Earth pages. The book is made from an altered child’s board book, with stamping, collage, painting, chalk, and more. The tabs on the right are part of the original board book; they’ve been perfect for labeling each page. The photo of St. Francis was taken in the garden of a place I stayed near Asheville, NC.

The Water, Fire and Air pages are almost complete, so eventually you’ll find those here as well. In the meantime, backed-up custom orders absorb my time.

If you have made altered books, please leave a comment with a link. I’d like to see your work!

In Process ~ A Special Banner

A tree, leaves, spirals, fruit, human hands – this is a detail/close-up photo of a banner I’m working on for a church. After it’s been presented (November) I’ll be able to post a photo of the entire banner.

This has been in process since May. It makes my heart sing to work with colors I love and symbols that are important to me.

Made of cotton fabrics via applique´.

The Crow Worthy Award

Today I was awarded the Crow Worthy Award by the blogger and needle-arts wizard at Whimseytopia. For a larger view click the crow image on the right sidebar (scroll down).

She wrote:

“The Crow Worthy Award:  It’s not just about attracting attention, though it is distinct enough to be identified in a crowded sidebar. Rather it is more about complimenting you who have shared your stories, photos, knowledge and, most importantly, kindness with your heartfelt blogs.  It’s a way to say thank you for the funny stories, the friendship, and all those words of wisdom sent as comments and emails. . . .That’s it; just a way to say thank you, I like you, and I hope you keep writing your wonderful posts.”

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And many thanks to you, for thinking of me! Visit Whimseytopia to see the marvelous creations there.


Living this art thing

Ever wonder about this thing called “creativity?” How people actually get ideas, do the work, and share it with others? Today I came across this blog post that has some spot-on daily-living advice for creative people. It’s by Austin Kleon, and it’s worth a visit.

Here are a few quotes from it:

An artist is a collector. Not a hoarder, mind you, there’s a difference: hoarders collect indiscriminately, the artist collects selectively. They only collect things that they really love.

Your job is to collect ideas. The best way to collect ideas is to read. Read, read, read, read, read. Read the newspaper. Read the weather. Read the signs on the road. Read the faces of strangers. The more you read, the more you can choose to be influenced by.

Step one, “do good work,” is incredibly hard. There are no shortcuts. Make stuff every day. Fail. Get better.

Step two, “put it where people can see it,” was really hard up until about 10 years ago. Now, it’s very simple: “put your stuff on the internet.”

So let me (and AK) know what you think about what he has to say.