Wednesday, August 31, 2011

lace, trimmings and delicate stitching...

I am thoroughly enjoying Karen's class 'embroider, embellish, create'. I just went out to buy some more floss. With all that I have, I didn't have the colors I wanted to use here. I found some lace that I couldn't resist so I bought a bit of it. Here are a couple of pictures to give you a taste of what we have done so far.

floss, lace, white pins and tailor's chalk
my first section is all basted and ready for embroidery stitching
 I'm hoping Karen will repeat this class in the future so that those of you who missed out can take advantage of her teaching this beautiful technique. I'm also hoping for an advanced class sometime soon after this one. I'm always thinking ahead.

...and wishing for a speedy recovery of power for those of you who had a close encounter with hurricane Irene and are still without your normal services. There are lots of us wishing we were close enough to help you out in getting back to normal.

Monday, August 29, 2011

bundled avocados...

I posted about Peggy's idea of dyeing with an avocado a few days back. Check out her post here. I just couldn't wait to try it. I did mine a little differently and hope I can hold out because I'm already wanting to undo the bundles. Here is what I did:

I soaked some habotai silk and silk organza in vinegar water
I cleaned out the avocado skins and shaved off the top layers of the pits (they immediately turned orange).

I sprinkled the shavings onto each piece of cloth and wrapped it around the pit and put it inside the skins. I turned one of the skins inside out. I then wrapped each one with with cheesecloth (in case it fell apart in the water) and tied it with string.

I dropped the 2 bundles in boiling water for 2 hours and then let it sit in the water for awhile.

I put the bundles in a tightly covered glass jar and put it outside in the shade.
 and now the hard part....just waiting...for weeks, if I can hold out that long.

Karen Ruane's class started today and I'm already loving it. Hope to show you something in the next post so stand by...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

things are calming down...

Was happy to hear on the news that the east coast is now in tropical storm mode and things are calming down. Hope all of you affected are doing well. We in central Texas would give anything for some of that rain.

I'm doing better with my spinning practice but couldn't wait to try using it in knitting so I prepared a small hank, soaked it in hot water and hung it to dry. It made a larger piece than I thought it would. I like the unevenness of it so if I never get real good at spinning, that will be ok with me.

Karen Ruane's class, Embroider, Embellish, Create, starts tomorrow and I've been gathering all my white cloth, lace, trims, etc. I'm anxious to get started. I think she has a couple more openings if you're interested. Class registration closes sometime today.

I'm sure you've noticed that my blog format is quite different. I had no intentions of changing it but when trying to fix just one thing, I hit the wrong button and my old blog was gone. I'm not quite happy with this one yet so it will be getting some tweaking as time goes on.

Friday, August 26, 2011

gathering feathers...

Jude has been gathering stitched feathers for the Magic Feather Project. I have started collecting actual feathers. Maybe a feather book will develop. There are so many beautiful patterns. I never realized this until recently. My glass jar holds feathers from friends who have shared some with me.

roosters, doves, flickers, pigeons

turkeys, just love that curved rooster feather
My friend Anita gathered some feathers from her yard and shared some with me. Can anyone identify that
 top striped feather?

feathers from Anita
Couldn't capture the beauty of some of the colors with the camera. Click on the images for a closer view.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I just watched this video that Linda Mathew's posted on her blog and would like to share it with all of you. I think all of us can relate to some of what Brene Brown says. If you agree, why not pass it on.

and I found Peggy's post this morning very interesting. A unique way to dye cloth with an avocado. Check it out here.

Monday, August 22, 2011

adding to the magic cloth...

I pinned this picture of a bobbin lace leaf to my lace pillow and laced up one for my magic diaries cloth. It was a challenge but I think it turned out okay. It's stitched on real well so I don't think it will catch on anything.

I did the lace pricking right over the picture. Lots of ad-libbing here.

Otis is over the moon that his sock feathers arrived at Jude's place.

Otis convinced me to cut up his socks to make these feathers.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

nice markings from acorns...

I had forgotten that I left some cloth pieces in the acorn bath. It's been about 2 weeks and I like what happened to them. One of the silk pieces has some nice markings. I believe it's from the broken up acorns  where the innards touched the cloth. Will try a bundle next time to see if I can get markings on more of  the cloth. Click on the image for close-ups.

silk with acorn markings

silk upholstery, cotton, and silk

more feathers received in the mail...
I had ordered some hand spun mohair with lace bits from Drucilla and she was so kind to send me two beautiful feathers from her flock.

rooster feather (long & bendy) and turkey feather

Learning to Spin...

I tried on my own with books and videos but I just couldn't get it. I went to a Spin Express class at Hill Country Weavers in Austin yesterday and now I understand how it works. I just need to practice a little bit each day. You can see I actually have some spun yarn on my spindle.

a basket full of roving waiting to be spun
Karen Ruane of Contemporary Embroidery is FINALLY giving an online class called, Embroider, Embellish, Create and it is going to be fabulous. So check out her blog and consider signing up for this class. All the information is on her blog and here.

I'm sure you all know about Jude's Magic Feather Project. There has been lots of feather information flying around lately. Here is a review of a book on feathers that promises to be a good read and a link where the author talks about the book on NPR.

And Michelle of Ms. Uncertainty Principles has a great feather related post today. So check it out.

Enjoy your Sunday.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

a little mending...

with patchwork stitches to be able to continue wearing a fabric t-shirt that is stained.

a kind of four patch

I finished up a few pieces to send to Wendy Golden-Levitt for the children. Check out her blog. She does amazing work.

and some of you might be interested in this. coming soon to PBS or you can order the DVD.

Friday, August 19, 2011

A New Basket

I was with my quilt bee friends yesterday at another basket making class. I've been looking forward  to making this basket and knew it would be a challenge. It turns out that the challenging part was not the center design but the swirl design traveling up to the top. There are a few mistakes but I'm very pleased with how it turned out. It measures 11" in diameter and is 5" high. I'm going to try and replicate that center weaving with fabric.
And...I would love to try and make a little square basket with the same design. Maybe at the next class.
Here are some photos.

And something special in the mail from michelle in NYC...

a lovely card, some beautiful feathers, dried geranium, and a delicate lace edged hanky
Michelle will be making a feather to send to Jude for the Magic Feather Project.

And I've heard that Otis has sent Jude a feather.

Monday, August 15, 2011

an Otis sighting...

Jude mentioned in one of her lessons that it's nice to have a large cloth around when you're not working on it. The magic beast cloth I'm working on hangs over a comfy chair when I'm not stitching on it. I like to see it when I pass by. I also get lots of different ideas as I look at it each time. The very beginning stage was hard but things are moving along now. I kind of know where I'm going next. This is just the center so it will be a project I'll be working on for a long time. Can you spot Otis? Click on the image for a closer view.

just hangin out -- can you spot Otis?
feathers are everywhere--that bulge on the right is actually the lions paw. still needs lots of stitching.

Friday, August 12, 2011

"Look", said the feather...

"it's a rainbow. I wonder if this rainbow will be my friend". Feathers don't see rainbows the way we humans do. They appear to feathers as concentric circles of color.
Click on the image for a closer view.
hand dyed silk on wool; circles are thread beads colored in with Pitt pens, it measures 4"x6"
Another feather on its way to Jude for the Magic Feather Project. There's a free workshop there and you don't even have to sign up. Check it out. Everyone needs a little magic in their lives and it's for charity.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

You never know...

what will happen when feathers collide with rainbows. This one is for a friend who is healing.
The background is wool from an old tie. The blue is silk dyed with the colorhue dyes.  It measures 3"x5".

If you ever thought about travelling to Japan, you might want to check out this brochure. It promises to be an experience of a lifetime.

Monday, August 8, 2011

who woulda thunk it...

Acorns make a nice brown color on cloth. So happy that there are others around with all this information--namely Jude and India. And I also learned that the inner part of the acorn is edible and that there is such a thing as acorn flour.

acorns and some cloth in a stainless steel pot
I let the acorns sit in the water (preferably rain water if it rains where you live) for one week. Then I heated up the brew to a simmer and dropped in the cloth. I simmered for about 2 hours and just let the pot sit for about 24 hours. Some of the cloth is still in the pot but here are a few pieces already washed and ironed.
silk with some shibori stitching

silk that was previously bundled with eucalyptus leaves and then dropped in the acorn brew

I made a basket a few weeks ago.  I made it very plain because I want to decorate it somehow with cloth or lace or....haven't really decided yet. But before I do that I wanted to darken it some so I prepared a tea brew and left it in the bucket for about 30 minutes on each side. I like the color.
Now to decide how to decorate it. Any suggestions?

before and after the tea dye
didn't want to waste the tea dye so I dropped in some cloth and twill tape
In my last post I told you about Jude's Magic Feather Project. Well, she has posted about it on her blog and is even offering a FREE Whispering Feathers Workshop. You can read about the project and the free workshop on her blog. Check it out. It's a worthwhile charitable event and you will love the workshop. You might also want to read this. It is about the effect cloth has on children.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

a collision course between a feather and a rainbow...

Jude is collecting feathers for her Magic Feather Project.

i've started journaling again here and there and that should say 'a feather for Jude', not a leaf

 A feather was on an unavoidable collision course with a rainbow. The feather was left a skeleton filled up with bits of the rainbow. The rainbow didn't mind and the feather was grateful. All stitched on an old piece of silk from Japan.

this feather is on its way to Jude for the Magic Feather Project

some silk dyed with eucalyptus leaves.

i will bundle this again for more markings
Click on the photos for close-ups.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


"A dream you dream alone is only a dream,
  A dream you dream together is a reality."
                                     John Lennon

I love this.
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