Still just stitching

Just to stitch.

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All folded in.

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And embellishments begun… Love how this white on white cross stitch looks and feels.

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Maybe some beads next!

Oh and I joined Instagram. My goal is to keep the same amount of internet time even though I’m engrossed in everyone’s textile art on a new shiny place. Hmm. Maybe tomorrow I’ll be good. Today, not so much. ūüėČ

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Stitch Doodle

It is done. I’ve published my Stitch Doodle collection on Etsy.

It’s not very ‘collection’ in that it’s a selection¬†of doodle cloths that I’ve made to test ideas over the last few months,¬†but there’s a little cohesiveness tis one of the items. I learned from them, and I like them, and it’s weird to put them out there for sale.

So I guess they are still test cloths in a way. Testing the waters on Etsy.

This is the kind of thing I’ve for sale there:

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Selling embroidery – thoughts

I’ve not posted for a while, but I’ve been almost constantly stitching. Stitching for fun, learning new techniques and making pieces without any thought to end purpose or function. This has been enjoyable, but my stitch journal is bulging and some of these pieces are beyond samplers, so I thought I might sell some.

So. I’ve spent the last few weeks backing, stuffing, lining, photographing and uploading to Etsy. On Monday I’ll pass the publish¬†button on each piece and see if it comes of anything.

But it means the usual struggles and doubts. Which pieces are worth selling? I like them all, but will anyone else? How many photos to take? They were really just play pieces, will other people mind the quirks? The deliberate exposed knots, the softly teased raw edges? And the biggie: what to price things?

I don’t really know the formula that answers any of these. I’ve been posting pictures on my Facebook page and Tumblr – and a few people seem interested. But interested enough to buy? I guess I’ll see. I often feel like textiles live in a world where lots of people like it enough to look, but not to buy.

Maybe I’m wrong and just full of doubt as I prepare. Or maybe online is the wrong place. Maybe a tactile medium needs to be in a rocks and mortar shop/gallery. Where people can touch and drape and see how the silks catch the light and the beads sparkle.

Well. I’ll see how this goes and maybe approach some shops. There are some beautiful handmade/crafty shops around where I live and in country Victoria that I would LOVE to have my pieces – but then I’d have to be serious and maintain¬†a proper stock level and branding.

Getting ahead of myself.

Monday first. Lets see if I can even do the thing.

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Still stitching

… despite the heat. Four¬†days of sweltering heat, 37C, 35C, 41C, 38C. Not sure what that is in Fahrenheit for those in USA. 100 or so? Around that. Hot. Too hot to feel like stitching, too hot to feel like anything much. But there is Christmas stuff to be done, so it’s being done. Early every morning, as early as can be, to beat the worst of it.

This morning out early-ish to go to the market. Brekky on the way at our usual haunt, because sometimes ‘eggs is nice’.

The light through the glasses on the cafe¬†table looked pretty to me. Or maybe it’s just that a glass of water is a damn fine thing when it’s 34C at 9 in the morning and you’ve already walked a few km.

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And this plant was on our table. It has little plants growing on the edges?

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And then to the market. Despite our best efforts we were still too early for some¬†of the places to be open. Most of the fruit stands were set up, but some of the delis and shops weren’t going yet. The organic grocer we needed for fresh cream/milk had a big ‘OPEN AT 10AM’ sign taped to their door. So we sat at a table opposite the florist and watched people pick out their Christmas flowers. Then we bought our stuff and walked home. It was 37C by then.

I ordered a tree to be delivered on Tuesday. Yay, Christmas tree!

And this afternoon I discovered that the dining table was a much cooler spot than the couch. So I moved there and stitched and stitched and stitched.

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To finish this so I can post it.

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To mum.

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It’s okay she doesn’t read here ūüėČ

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It’s to tell her I love her. Even though Christmas, and I’m always here and she’s over there. I’ve finished it now and it’s wrapped, along with other bits, to send to her and the family for Christmas.

And the weather finally broke. It rained and rained. Now it’s only 20C. Maybe tonight I’ll be able to sleep ūüôā

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Pattern and the power of making

I’ve been thinking on and off for a few years now about how important *pattern* is to me. How I’ve always loved knitting, crochet, embroidery, beadwork where there is a rhythm to it. A repetition that is meditative.

But also about how I like coincidence in my life. How spotting a pattern in events or my surroundings is pleasing.

And also about how pattern can sometimes be made stronger by breaking the pattern a little, by way of pointing out where the pattern lay. By creating a feeling of discomfort in the broken pattern. Or a feeling of comfort in breaking the pattern maybe, to break the monotony.

There was an art installation on an open field beside a¬†road, back in Tasmania where I’m from. I’m not sure if it’s still there. But it was a scattering of red shapes. Just oddly shaped objects laying around on the field. But when you got to a certain spot on the road then =bam= all of the shapes lined up from that ONE spot and spelled a word. And the you blink and they are just shapes again because you’ve moved on. I don’t even remember the word. But I do remember a¬†powerful feeling and a definite change in the way I thought about pattern, because the connection between all of those random shapes was¬†completely invisible until you reached that one spot.

My thinking that emerged from that installation:

  • That the ability to spot a pattern could depend *entirely* upon your point of view.
  • That pattern could exist but you would never see it unless you moved.
  • That connections between things could be unseen but very strong/meaningful.
  • Juts because YOU don’t see a pattern doesn’t mean it’s not there.
  • Just because YOU don’t see a pattern doesn’t mean someone else can’t as they have a different point of view.

And on a meta-level:

  • That art could change the way you think about the world.

Some of this may seem very obvious, but I never realised these things before that installation. It changed the way I viewed the *power* of art. Of making. Of expressing ideas.

And today I read this: “thinking about design and repetition and how interrupting a rhythm makes a personal statement about being there.”¬†(from here:¬†http://spiritcloth.typepad.com/spirit_cloth/2009/12/thoughts-on-same-and-different.html) Yes. So so close to my heart.

And. Once, along time ago, I read that some cultures value the ‘deviation from perfection’ in textiles/art as it says something about the maker. And even deliberately put ‘imperfections’ in repeating patterns to achieve this. I never understood this, but my thinking has changed and I can now value this. My thought is that there¬†is often only one way to follow ‘a pattern’ but an infinite number of ways to deviate from a pattern. And now Jude’s words guiding me back to the thought: making the choice of where to deviate is the bit that’s personal.

Okay so many words today, but I’m thinking a great deal.

Maybe it’s because I’m working on this piece, a festive pattern I bought to make table decorations for Christmas:

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It’s been a *very* long time since I worked on a purchased pattern rather than my own thoughts/design. It’s allowing my mind to wander.

And dessert last night:

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Icecream and frozen yoghurts I made. And berries I picked myself.

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Cat dreams

Backed and quilted. The texture really shone this morning in the low light.

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I sighed as I felt the softness of the red and orange damasks from Deb. Now that they are quilted down, they are soft and strong. I am so pleased.

After a trip out early to the market, I wrapped the edge of the backing around the whole cloth and stitched it down. Now it feels whole and done. Ready for gift-giving as a bookmark. I played with rolling and unrolling it.

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I also decided to add some thread beads to the moon, it just needed some more texture. Using Jude‘s technique of sewing in the ‘in between’.

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And from last night, some weaving.

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Curls and stairs

I’ve been working on this piece over the last couple of days.

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I needed to go to the city yesterday. While there I visited one of my favourite places, the Nicholas Building in Swanson Street. It’s a glorious small building, with an old cage lift, internal arched stain glass ceilings and little details everywhere that surprise. It also has four GREAT shops: Buttonmania, Maria George beads, L’ucello and Kimono house. I visited the latter and bought some vintage japanese fabric. If you’re a crafty person visiting Melbourne, you HAVE to visit this building and venture upstairs.

And THOSE stairs.

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So beautiful.

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Still going…

It’s been hot and humid for a few days. The blueberry plants seem to enjoy this, but I don’t.

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Javi has been struggling to stay cool. But then he does keep pressing himself into the warmest places in the apartment. The windows are hot.

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I’ve been stitching. I’ve been embellishing the bird book pages in an attempt to create a sense of place for each bird. And I’ve been naming and ‘verbing’ each bird.¬†To suggest¬†story, but not with any planning, just going with it. And not to over-tell a story, but to allow a child to weave their own.

I admit that I put myself through hell embellishing Walter. That brown sheeting is so tight, it’s not fun to hand stitch.

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And I don’t usually do this, but I have another project on the go. One evening when the light wasn’t so crash-hot, I started randomly piecing some scraps. And I liked the base it created.

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Then I thought it was such warm, dark colours: maybe it’s a place a cat could curl up. And dream. So that’s what this is becoming.

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I worked on it some more last night, now the dream is twining more and there is a moon.

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Fruitful

This morning: some fruit picking in brilliant sunshine.

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Home with a bounty. Raspberries, youngberries, loganberries. We will eat some fresh, some will go into frozen yoghurt. Yum.

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And back to birds this afternoon. Beautiful fabric from Deb, I don’t even know how to explain how perfect it is. Bright and soft and textured. Stitching between eating berries and drinking wine.

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And a package arrived from Dharma trading. Fabric samples and harem cloth. Precious, soft things.

Now I have enough to keep going.

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White and colour

Today. Stitching in white.

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And in the background, a beautiful pile of soft, vibrant fabric from Deb Lacativa. Soon to become birds and critters.

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