Total Pageviews

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New Moon

I could have called it "The Pie" , "The Pillow", "The Round Thing", "Flying Saucer". All too tacky. But I had just finished "Nature", the cushion shaped as a leaf. I was thinking to keep this more gentle, I should call it by a more spiritual name. Then the thought came. New Moon. I will be using only rare batiks. The piping is done in silk, and the button is covered in kimono silk. That certainly doesn't sound like it should be called "The Pie". It is a simple little thing and feels really nice in the hand. There is something very irregular about it. Everything is always so perfect. Has to be so perfect. I like this one.

The Knot

The green is not to my liking. This is "The Knot" pin cushion. It is this plump little thing that is so very charming. I was sitting in my chair one evening trying to figure out a piece of hand work and there was a knot in my stomach as I struggled to get it right. I always go through this. I worry about my work. Whenever I tell people that I worry that my work will not be "acceptable" , I always get this return stare - "from you?!!!" Everyone thinks I am such an expert at everything. But I am not. I am constantly learning new things.

So here I was sitting with this knot in my stomach and I put it to fabric. Why not? Another cushion. These are the two greens that I am struggling with trying to get the green to come out right in the photograph. Believe it or not, both are the same cushion sitting on the same piece of paper.

This is the red version. At the end of each knot I have attached a button covered in kimono silk. The cushion itself is made from rayon chirimen fabric. The "new kimono fabric". We have a lot of it at the store. I would love to buy a yard of each, but it is not in the cards.

Just a bad series of pictures. This is the turquoise version. If I tilt my screen, I can actually see the true colors in all of these.

The first ones I made are below. You can see that they are not stuffed full. When I first made them I thought they couldn't be stuffed any more than that. Then I made one for a woman at work , Nancy, whom I adore, who helps me pick out batik fabrics for quilt projects. She does this on her own time and I thank her by making something for her. So I made her a knot. And I stuffed it very very full and found that I could barely tie it, but tie it I did and it looked fabulous. Forgive me, but it is like the difference between looking at Hugh Heffner and Johnny Depp. Know what I mean?

It just makes me giggle. I am still giggling. I am a woman after all.

In another space

I am remiss. It certainly has been awhile. I have been clearing things out, getting things done, earning some extra pennies, and concentrating on "The Store". I have sold a couple of cushions here on the side and one in the store. It got round to - OK. Now I have to figure it out for myself. I have been waiting forever for someone to come along who would set up the store for me. So my very very clever niece Caroline came along and said she would get it together. She set up eight items and then let me know through my sister that she had to end because she was very busy and I would have to finish the project myself. I think it took me three solid days to figure it out for myself. Denise, my sister, said she would help if I needed. But when I get stubborn, that's it. I hunkered down with ten pots of coffee and a pack of cigarettes and figured out how to size down the pictures, describe them, price them, re-price them, on and on and on. Everyone says - it's easy. Just follow the steps. Huh.

So now I am designing new ones, getting the photos taken. What I don't understand is, I put a cushion down on a white surface and when the photo is taken, the white comes out yellow. I cannot get green to come out green. I took a hundred pictures of this one green knot and I can't get it to look the same green as what it is. ehhgh. It ended up that my phone took a better green on it, so that is what I'll be entering.

I am trying to be peaceful, but everything is upside down. I am here today. I have no idea where I will in the coming week. My sister and I are floating beneath a dark cloud and nothing is certain.

I have to move back to New Hampshire but I have nowhere to stay. Who do I ask. When I left to come here my spirit was completely disassembled. I have spent seven years coming into this wonderful self that I am now. But leaving to return on such short notice is removing a bit of my confidence.

The spirit is at risk.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

I've been thinking

You are not alive

Unless you know

You are living!

Written on the wall of Mondigliani's studio

There is so much in preparation. I have never taken the time in my life to understand certain things. Let us take the camera. "Stop the car!", I would shout. I could see the tree with tremendous form, out there in the field before the backdrop of the late day sky scape. Stop the car and take out the camera. I could even direct the photographer. But I could never take the picture. No, that was always someone else's job. Shoot it! Shoot it!

So now, I must become the photographer and it is frustrating. Lights. It is all about lights, isn't it. I can make the most beautiful things in the world, but if the lighting is wrong, how will I present them?

I know that once I figure it out, it will become easy. I know. I know. It is just tat getting there is so exhausting to me. I can do anything with a spool of thread and a piece of fabric. But technology? I just shut down~~~~~

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Pin Cushions

"The Needle Minder"

These lovely little things are about three inches long and are filled with very fine beach sand. You keep them at hand when you are doing hand work for holding your pins and needles. They keep your needles clean and smoothe. I don't know about you, but I munch a lot when I am sitting in my chair at night working my threads. And how often do my needles get a bit sticky? That is why I created this little jewel. Some are made from cottons and some are made from intricate pieces of embroidered taffetas. Price?

The Crystal

I think for the most part, I will be making these three-sided pyramids in smoky black batiks. These fabrics are difficult to find. I have a few and will have to be on the look out for more. I want the color to depend on the beads that come out of the top. Other than the needle minders, all of these pin cushions are filled with crushed walnut shells. So they are heavy. They stay where you put them... The crystals are about four inches tall and are quite sturdy.

The Flower

This is the most expensive cushion. It is made from vintage kimono silk. It is about five inches in diameter and has eighteen pieces. Then it is bound in beautiful rayon threads with a spider web center. It is an exquisite cushion worthy of exquisite hands.

The Bath

This shape I designed from a picture of a bath tub I kept seeing in design magazines. Whenever I saw the picture I would get the same feeling of relaxation as I get when I am sitting in my chair with my handwork whether it is knitting, embroidery, or stitchery. The top will always be blue water. The sides of the bath are silk taffeta, luxury. Indulgence. The bath is also lightly beaded around the edge.

Tailor's Chalk

I have special chalk that I use whenever I am marking someone's clothing to be hemmed, taken in or let out, altered in some way. I love the shape with the rounded points. The real chalk of course is very flat, but I raised this so it would have depth for your pins. The top is a black toile and the sides are silk dupioni. It is lightly beaded around the edge.


Who does not love the shape of a leaf! It is such a natural hold in your hand. When I look over at it sitting by my sewing machine I have to stop to realize that it is just a pin cushion. It looks like a sculpture. The shape is so gentle. The top and bottom is of Dupioni silk and the sides are a leaf print. Then I have beaded a vein down the center. It should always be so.

The Ottoman

If you were sitting in the living room of a grand estate, you would probably be resting your feet on an enormous ottoman looking somewhat like this. It is just this huge piece of furniture that can only fit in a huge room. It's heavy and it just invites your tired feet to rest themselves upon it. My cushion is made completely of embroidered taffeta. It is lightly beaded around the edge. Just as luxurious as the real thing. Imagine your pins resting round this flower!

So, these are the pincushions I have designed so far. I still have about five more drawings to put into form so far. Every time I turn around I think of a new one. I want my pin cushions to not look like cup cakes, pocketbooks, chickens, dogs, tomatoes, high heels.... Do you know what I mean? I want these cushions to have a more thoughtful nature to them. Cushions with some dignity.

I would love to hear your thoughts, suggestions, ideas.

Bluebird bag

This was a long project which was mostly done at home. It is the first time I used DMC Perle cotton for embroidery. I have embroidered a lot over the years, but I have always used the standard floss and wool. This pattern called for perle cotton.

The detail came out very tight. I used a very tiny stitch so that it would hold longer due to the amount of friction it would have to endure being a bag. The perle cotton held up really beautifully while stitching. Now I want to do more projects using it.

Bluebirds nested in a cherry tree. I may embroider this again for Karen when she chooses the fabrics she wants to have. Amazingly, I didn't use a hoop to do this. With the stitches being so small, the fabric just sat on my fingers really steady and that is all the tension I needed. A great project for traveling. It will be a great display for the embroidery department at the store.