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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 😉

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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 🙂

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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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Face cloth finished

Lots of images today. I like the details that emerged here, so here they all are.

Front and back:

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And then each of the characters.

Wild cat

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Pensive Incan sculpture man:

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Magnificent flame mane:

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Trapped in TV:

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Shirt shirt man:

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Ciao babe cat:

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Thinking catbear:

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Suave cat:

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River woman:

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Electro shock cat:

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Crystal rock man:

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Twigface:

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Then some detail shots, because I love the folds, and the texture and the meetings between characters:

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So that’s that. Much credit to Jude Hill’s teaching in the Feel Free Spirit Cloth materials. Her words and examples have changed the way I think about cloth, stitching, textiles. This piece feels like very baby-steps for me; I am very much looking forward to expanding my thinking and doing of ’embroidery’.

Onto the next piece! I won’t be blogging for a few days as I’m away in the mountains. Taking my pens and pencils away with me to brainstorm in the quiet moments. 🙂

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Getting wilder… and time sinks

Last night, Sue from Tortoise Loft posted about some new needlework she’s working on, inspired by images on Flickr from an embroidery book posted by the Internet Archive. I headed over to have a look, and then spent WAY too long just scrolling through page after page of old book illustration images. Not just needlework, but botanical drawings, diagrams, photographs. There are 53000 pages of book art there. (I didn’t not scroll through all of these… 😉 It set my mind racing with ideas. Some of the textures in old illustrations just fill me with a need to make…

But I need to finish my face cloth first. Face cloth. We used to use one of the in the shower/bath when I was a child, to wash our faces…

In any case, I mainly worked on my flame-lion, content keeper of majesty. He has a much larger, more unruly, mane now.

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Just the top and bottom to finish on him.

I’m finding working ‘in the hand’ to be a real delight. These tiny stitches, so dense, strong, solid – they change the nature of the cloth as you work. It’s addictive.

So much time woven into so many tiny stitches. Satisfying though, mainly because I’m learning so much as I go. So much still to learn…

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Thinking, drawing and cats

Warning: many images in this posts: cats, doodles and ideas.

This week, I went to the Cat Cafe in Melbourne with some friends from work. You can read about the cafe here, but for the purposes of this post, I’m just going to throw some photos I took while I was there. It was a strange experience, but the cats were beautiful.

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Okay that’s enough cats. 😉

This week has been more of a thinking week than a stitching week for me. I’ve been mucking around with my ‘electronics’ pieces, adding little components as I feel the whim. This is fun, but I’m in the midst of thinking about something larger – more significant and closer to my current line of thought.

Confession time. I’m a doodler. I have lots of ideas when I’m doodling but they are lost in a million different work notepads. So I’m going to start to keep my doodles in one book that I take with me everywhere (including boring meetings).

This is the kind of thing I doodle:

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Repetitive, rhythmic, patterned but also organic.

So yesterday I went to the library in search of a book about cell biology, and started browsing. So many inspiring textures and images:

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I sketched as I browsed and now I have a myriad of ideas that I can’t wait to stitch.