Keeping on

A few days with stuff going on and some health issues, so making small stitching progress.

I’ve been working on my free-pieced piece. I have an idea for embellishment that highlights the meeting points. I’m enjoying it so far, even if I am taking it slowly.

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Or maybe *because* I’m taking it slowly.

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Enjoying the details.

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Enjoying how it’s just happening and taking me along with it.

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Birds are on hold for a bit. They will be back.

And I’m still working my way through Small Journeys. I don’t want it to end.

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Rabbit moon

Well. I’m not happy with where I took this.  I’ve embellished the moon much more, spirals in the sky worked well, but the black grass around the figure… not liking it. So not sure if I will continue.

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But i AM happy with this so far. Just… joining things. Scraps. Making them into something bigger.

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I have a plan for this. A simple one. I will start tomorrow. Many stitches.

And I’ve found that randomly piecing CALMS me. I love it. I don’t know, I never expected this.

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Lazy day

Today was kind of a lazy day. I started immersing myself in Small Journeys and spent some time stitching scraps together as I listened and watched.

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With Javi pressed up against me, as he has been for days, and is right now. Sigh.

As I’ve been reading stitching blogs again, I noticed people talking about their ‘cheaters’ and wondered what on earth they were talking about. It dawned on me that it might mean the cheap glasses you can by in pharmacists here. I googled around and yes! You can buy magnifying glasses-glasses and that’s what people meant.

Okay. Well I’ve been struggling with my lighting/magnifying set up for a while now. I have a light stand with a magnifier on an arm, on wheels. I also use a small LED headlamp if I want a quick splash of light but don’t want to wheel over the huge contraption, but I didn’t have a portable magnifying solution.

So yesterday, the man and I went on our usual Saturday morning market shopping expedition and stopped off at the pharmacy on the way. And Oh MY goodness. I bought a pair of glasses for $20 and they are marvellous! They even came with a hard case and a big cleaning cloth.

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So I got right back into doodling some tiny trees and symbols on my doodle cloth and the ‘cheaters’ are grand. Everything is so crystal clear in them, it’s AMAZING.

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The other thing that’s grabbed me again is the ‘Art of Manipulating Fabric’ tome. There are some techniques in there I’ve been playing with on a small scale. But in doing so I made this little surf board thing out of fabric scraps and the batting out of a men’s tie.

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It’s become my ‘needles in use’ pad. Which I like. Small and useful is good. Maybe I can make brooches with my other experiments… hmm….

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Doodles

Just this today.

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Marking time.

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The satisfaction of pairing

Today was a bit more productive, I am very happy with this bird from this morning’s stitching. His name is Mr Swampy.

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And that’s it for the bright fabrics I own. His body is beautiful blue silk from SpiralDyed on Etsy. I only have one piece and it’s blue, so at the risk of making too many blue birds that’s all I’ll make from this fabric, for the book. The blue/green stitches down his front are also from SpiralDyed. I would order some more (thread AND fabric) from them, but they are on a break at the moment. It was my first purchase, so I only bought a few bits. But I’m VERY happy with their products.

And so I felt at a bit of a loose end. I surfed the blogosphere and re-watched some of Jude’s Feel free videos. I watched her video of free piecing and was reminded of her most recent ‘stray’ cat piece, made from small scraps that she joins.

I stared at my small bundle of scraps and decided to do some what-iffing of my own. I just pulled out my little collection and spread it out on my board and just played with colour, joining as I felt I liked.

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I’m really pleased with my combinations. And now I’ve begun a little stack of bases and possible figures to make into something larger later. Some of the details leapt out at me as I went.

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And now I have fewer scraps. It feels good. And it was something easy and mindless to do while I boiled the christmas pudding and made dinner.

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I love the little dimples of the basted pieces.

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And I also realised that I accidentally made double the pudding mix I usually do. OOPS. Two full basins and just as much still in the bowl. Looks like I’ll be steaming puddings tomorrow too. Ah well, they make nice gifts, and they mail well.

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And inspired by reading Caro-rose’s blog, I pulled out this old piece and blocked it out so I can frame it.

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And for some reason laying in bed this morning, the light on the ceiling seemed very beautiful.

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It was a good day.

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Boids

This morning was a long walk to South Melbourne market, around the lake. And then back home, around the lake. About two hours walking on a sunny morning. The flies were horrendous on the way back. It’s a bad year.

Once we were back from our treks, I felt inspired to stitch some. I’m trying to lift some of my duller fabrics with bright threads. I worked on this little fellow. He tells me his name is Egbert.

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So I have three pages with recognisable birds now.

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My plan is to stitch their names onto the pages (e.g. Egbert Marchbird) and then the babe can make up her own stories for each of the characters.

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After the names, I will stitch a ‘ground’ of some sort for each.

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I’m still not happy with the fairly dull colours I have in my fabrics, but hopefully that will change soon. I’ll keep on stitching in the meantime. Gotta keep going :0)

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The sky this evening portends a very warm night.

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Hopefully I can sleep, I’m not keen on heat at night. And last night was a disrupted one.

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Pudding

Almost no stitching today. Nothing worth sharing here yet.

But I did start Christmas cooking.

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Just mixing today. Steaming tomorrow. The apartment smells like heaven.

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Flat

Feeling flat this evening. Not sure why.

Sitting on the floor as his royal highness stole my stitching spot when I attended to the laundry.

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I’ve ordered a Fat Baggy! Which is exciting, but I think it’s partly responsible for my ‘funk’. I’ve started to talk myself out of making too many more bird book pages ‘until the magical fabric arrives’.

Well I do have a couple of pieces of brightly coloured fabric (no I mean literally a couple, in case you thought I was joking). So I made two little bird body beginnings. This one is well under way.

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I’m not happy with the wing though. Not enough contrast. Hmm. I may add another line of darker green stitching under the wing to see if that helps.

I’m tossing around whether or not to stitch little names for each bird. The idea is for the book to be for a baby or toddler, read with a parent. For it to be very textural and rugged. But to be fun and bright and silly. So I have some silly words I think I may stitch around each bird, so that adult and child can read together and come up with their own stories, and touch/play with the birds. I’m also thinking each page will have a ground (or branch or water or whatever) that I’ll suggest in stitch that will also be quite tactile. Still thrashing that around.

Despite all that thinking, I’m not doing much ‘doing’. Maybe tomorrow will be a doing day.

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Soft Spring evening

And just now. The warm Spring sunlight on the buildings, and treetops. And the Sky.

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Just as I took this a flock of corellas flew by, warbling their joy in the moment. White against the golden sky.

And my little balcony garden.

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Birds marching

Tum tee tum tum.

I started this project with a plan: a series of silly birds to make into pages. I’ve already deviated from the plan. I’ve drawn a series of bird shapes (or potato shapes or circles or whatever) onto some fabrics.  I’ve prepared some little pages and I’m just blatting the bird shape onto the page, and appliquéing it down. Like this.

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Then I’m either stitching little features on as I go. just as the needle takes me. Or I’m taking a photo and sketching some ideas out. (Thanks eternally for this idea, Jude.)

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I like this marching bird and his crazy bill. Not sold on this diving bird.

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I’m learning a lot about the fabrics as I go. This black cotton is soft and almost sheer. Lovely to work on. The pale brown is an old sheet… Which would be fine except the threads are SO tightly woven together, the needle doesn’t like it so much. Not sure what to do with the rest of the sheet if it doesn’t like being stitched…

Yesterday was a farmers market morning. And among other prizes, I came back with the most beautiful little bag of chat potatoes. We basically never have potatoes but I love them. Tonight I baked them, with whole garlic cloves, and asparagus spears. I made a herb butter. There was red wine.

Potatoes. Such creamy perfection.

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