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
I've been really inspired by berries lately - the raspberries are ready, blackberries almost, and I can't seem to stop buying flats of no-sprayed local strawberries! On my "to do someday" list is learning to make berry beads, so I finally sat down and gave it a go.
I used this tutorial from the Crimson Moon and after a couple of unsuccessful tries, decided to follow her advice and make my first bead with two different colors of beads ....
I had success!
Now I have to figure out how to work them into either jewelry or maybe an embroidered crazy quilt square.
I've recently become fascinated with marbled fabric! My plate's a bit full right now for trying anything new, but I'm definitely enjoying looking at what different artists are doing. The work of these two women is beautiful and their websites have a lot of interesting information about the process.
Natalie Stopka works with paper and fabric, creating books and scarves. See her website here for lots of examples of her work and a schedule of where she's teaching classes. And it's not marbling, but be sure to take a look at her book of nature prints here. Gorgeous!
Suzi Soderlund's marbled fabrics are wonderful! I love the colors and variety of patterns - in fact she has a really nice description with examples of the different types of patterns used in marbling on her website under the Fabric Designs tab.
And Clare McGibbon has a great looking tutorial on the Etsy blog for this marbled scarf. It's so straight forward I wanted to put aside everything I'm currently working on and start marbling! Soon ...
Charlie and I have the clay studio up and running and we've been busy making buttons! I'm going to need one large button for the cardigan I'm working on and didn't find any I liked on a quick search, so decided to try my hand at making artistic ceramic ones. Charlie got hooked on the idea of making one's own buttons and has been industriously turning them out since! I'll give you a peek of hers when they're glazed.
With some of these I'm using Duncan's EZ Strokes and multiple layers/firings and some I'll use glazes. Hopefully one will be perfect for the sweater!
Come back for Part 2 when we finish glazing and firing!
If you're in the US, chances are you'll be watching fireworks this weekend! I love them and have tried many times to recreate them with fibers - sometimes successfully, more often not. It's tough to get down the movement. These three quilting artists captured the feeling of fireworks in different ways.
Japanese artist Mitsue Yamada's Fireworks in Full Bloom - Summer in Japan is gorgeous! I really like the horizontal lines along with the circular fireworks - lots of good interest and texture. And a great way to show the fireworks' color reflecting on the water.
Judy Niemeyer designed this paper pieced quilt, 4th of July, using batik fabrics. Some of my favorite quilts use batiks and they work perfectly here. The pattern and kit are on her website here.
Linda Nelson Johnson used hand dyed fabrics over a great commercial print background for her representation of fireworks in Fourth of July. The metallic thread stitching and buttons add nice texture and depth.
And if you have the materials on hand, you probably still have time to embroider these fireworks on something to wear tomorrow. The pattern and instructions are found on Craftfoxes here.