I recently came across the gorgeous work of embroidery artist Nanda Gajarawala. I love the bold colors and the geometric quality of her work. Growing up in India, she says that birds always inspired her - and they still are prominent in her work. Embroidery artists seem to be extra creative about what they base their work on. Nanda uses mosquito netting as a canvas to hold her stitches.
Cranes In Love
Be sure to check out her website here and view the photos of her work in higher resolution - the stitching is beautiful!
Remember the ceramic buttons Charlie and I got hooked on making (see this past post)? We spent last week busily glazing and anxiously awaiting opening the cooled off kiln! I should've had the camera ready to snap a picture of her face - she was amazed! For that matter, my face probably looked just as amazed.
Now it's time to get busy sewing and put these buttons to use!
I can remember loving rocks ever since I was tiny! They filled my pockets and my "treasure" boxes. And I still keep my eyes peeled for interesting ones when I'm on walks. The thought of making rocks from fibers fascinates me and the work of these fiber artists is inspiring me to make some of my own.
If you've never come across Ronel Jordaan's work be sure to take some time looking through the website here. Not only are the felted rocks amazing, but they're put together in such creative ways. This grouping has felted succulents stitched together to make an accent pillow.
This rug made from felted rocks looks so comfy and cozy! You can find out more about it on Yes, I Made That here.
I've seen crochet done around rocks, but doing it around the multicolored felted rocks is something new! These were created by Ontario artist Mary Ellis. I found these on the ShopMidland site. These rocks use vintage crochet, however you can crochet right on rocks - CrochetRising has links to several good tutorials.
These gorgeous turquoise inspired felted rocks were created by artist Lisa Jordan. She no longer sells her rocks on Etsy, but does have a good tutorial on her blog here on how to make them yourself. And this tutorial on the Magic Onions website shows you how to put cool veins in your felted rocks.
I've been having too much fun experimenting with dyeing different types of yarn with indigo! If you've never tried dyeing with it before, it's an easy entry into the addicting world of dyeing. See this past post here. This time we used Jacquard's pre-measured kit with pre-reduced indigo crystals. Super easy! You just need a 5 gallon bucket with lid, water, something to stir with, and lots of things to dye. We soaked the yarn and shirts we wanted to dye for about an hour, mixed everything up, waited about 45 minutes and were ready to go!
In my past indigo adventures, I just dyed silk and cotton. They don't need mordants - the indigo binds well with the fibers. From everything I read, wool was also supposed to do the same .... it didn't. We rinsed, rinsed, rinsed, and rinsed some more and still had lots of blue coming off and blue hands. So on the off chance it would work, we tried soaking one of the worst offending skeins in white vinegar for about 10 minutes and then rinsing well - it worked! No more dye came off.
Because of all the rinsing before we discovered this trick, most of the skeins are on the lighter side of blues. I'm anxious to try this again and do a vinegar soak sooner to see if I can get some really dark shades.
So we had a whole drying rack filled with wet wool - a lovely smell! Charlie actually liked it .... she says it "smells like life." Awesome!
And for her very first indigo dye session, she helped make a swirled shirt. See here for swirl tie dye instructions.
I've been getting side tracked on all these summer projects, so it looks like "Christmas in July" will be "Christmas in August" again this year! Hopefully not in September .....
Happy Creating! Deborah