Yesterday I released a new Youtube Video with the same title.
Go check it out!
There are a few other key factors to interpretive hand stitching, improvisational hand stitching, expressionist hand stitching or whatever else you might want to call it. I think all of these are good descriptors of my process when taking a piece of linen and starting to stitch on it.
The first few stitches
However at a certain point, composition plays a key role in how the piece evolves. It’s not enough to just stitch and hope for the best. Without a good composition it can look like a bunch of disparate parts, each might be lovely taken on their own, but they aren’t necessarily interacting well with one another.
More stitching added…
Another common issue is that one part can take over, drowning out everything else; this brings its own set of challenges. Or perhaps the whole thing is stagnant. There’s not a great deal of movement, so it’s important to know when these things are happening and why. Without knowing why, it is nearly impossible to remedy.
Once the large X was removed the two half moons in the upper right and again in the lower left began to dominate
The trick then is to resolve the “divas” and figure out how to turn the volume down or remove them. In this case, I had to remove it. Between the shape and color it was too much. Except that when it was removed, I was faced with a new challenge.
Piece without the darker shapes
So that’s where I am right now. I’m sitting with the challenge of having removed three domineering shapes. Taken on their own, they were fine, but when seen as a whole they were dominating. Except now the piece isn’t grounded. It’s lost some of its vigor. Partly that’s due to the removal of the color, which lended a great deal to the overall piece. So now I have to figure out how to pull it together, give it some excitement. And this is how it goes. There’s a kind of ebb and flow that inevitably happens when working on a piece like this. Take away some aspect and suddenly there’s a new set of challenges.
The key is to not give in to discouragement. To keep going no matter what. To keep trying new things. Thinking out of the box, pushing the boundaries of what I know how to do, trying something I’ve not tried before, test out other colors or reintroduce a color I’ve removed and see how that shifts the conversation.
This is the process that is interpretive hand stitching. Where one idea leads to another and another and another and on it goes.
Yesterday I released a new YouTube Video: My Top Ten Favorite Threads For Hand Stitching.
As a follow up to that video, I’m adding my favorite materials to use, as well. Click on any highlighted text for more information.
Pat Pauly’s gorgeous hand dyed linens. My absolute favorite thing to stitch on is 100% linen and Pat Pauly’s gorgeous hand dyed linens are the best, most unique and above and beyond anything else that’s out there on the market. Pat is almost always sold out of her linens as the demand has been fierce, however, if you want to learn how to hand paint, stencil and screen print your own, take one of her workshops and you can learn to create your own. As a quick aside, I have a brand new workshop that I’m offering in 2022, which features fabric kits made up of Pat’s linens that she is specifically making exclusively for my workshop. These linens are only available to those who sign up for the workshop! Very exciting.
“Flow” using Pat Pauly’s hand dyed linens.
2. Mulberry Bark. I love layering my linen with Stef Francis’ Mulberry Bark. I stitch directly onto it. Some people have said they soak it in water, but I don’t. I prefer to pull it, bunch it up, stitch it down and let it be.
5. Stef Francis Sari Ribbon It comes in a huge hank! I couch it, ruch it, scrunch it, twist it, use it to wrap other things in it and then stitch on it. There is no end to the things one can do with it.
Wrapping with Silk Sari Ribbon
6. Old T-shirt. I love hand dyeing an old t-shirt and then cutting it up. I did a video on how to do this. See below.
7. Silk Velvet It’s fun to hand dye your own, but Stef Francis also carries some beautiful silk velvet in gorgeous colors. If you want to get really creative, you can emboss your silk velvet, as I did in the photograph below. I like using wooden stamps, like these.
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I just can’t tell you how thrilling it is to go to my website and write a new blog post! For those who may be confused, last week I was still posting on my old site, which now is housed under the umbrella of my new website! I know, I know, I’ve already talked about all of this at length and I’m not going to do another post all on the fabulousness of my new website, however I just have to say that as I sit here typing this I’m silently bouncing up and down and squealing with joy. Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! It’s been such a long time in the making!!
So. Now that I got that out of the way, what are we going to talk about?
Oh! Before it slips from my mind, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter. It’s just to the right of this post. ❤️
The other thing that leaps to mind is that I just released a new video on my YouTube channel.
This video begins with an 8 minute riff on life, aging, Merlin, facial recognition, the results of my MRI and whatever else flew into my mind as I was recording. So yeah, there’s that. However don’t despair, I did some stitching too.
In other news… okay there IS no other news. This is my life in a nutshell. It’s evidently a very, very tiny nutshell. 😂 So I will add a few videos of other people’s lives that came up when I went to schedule this video. The first is my favorite Golden Retriever, Bailey and his new best friend.
And then I had to share this one, because going to Africa to see the gorillas has been on my bucket list for decades now.
I wasn’t familiar with Keith Urban and his music until I saw this pop up and hit play while waiting for my video to finish uploading. How great is he? And Nicole Kidman? Love them both.
Enjoy the weekend everyone and don’t forget to check out my upcoming workshops!
Yesterday I had to have an MRI because I’ve been getting headaches that often wake me in the middle of the night. I was quite sure I was fine, but it’s a precaution and being an adult and all, it seemed the responsible thing to do. So off I went feeling I’d prepared myself adequately. I don’t care for small, enclosed spaces, so I knew I was going to need to practice breathing and asked for something to put under my knees so my back didn’t begin to hurt. I believed I was on top of the situation and lay down, dutifully putting the ear plugs in and began counting my breath. Except once I was in the machine, I could feel my jaw shaking. As in uncontrollably and I was so freaked out that my jaw was doing this weird thing that I seemed to have no control over, I became convinced that it was so bad it would make my head move and ruin the imaging, which only made it worse. It took everything in me to breathe in and out, count my breath and eventually my jaw calmed down.
The upshot of the whole thing is that I’m fine. Perfectly fine. My neurologist called yesterday evening to tell me all looks well, “for someone your age” which of course gave me pause. “What does that mean?” I asked a bit defensively. He explained that you expect to see a few tiny white dots in “someone my age” and that this is also common in those who experience migraines. Evidently I have a couple of those white dots and also a tiny cyst, which is not in my brain at all, and is about 4mm. So another MRI in about a year to make sure that doesn’t grow. All in all the news is excellent and blood work is all good too. Whew. I knew I was as healthy as a horse.
After I returned home the skies opened up and the rain came down like some sort of end of the world scenario. That was when I decided to do a livestream, which you can see here if you care to.
And then I had to do a lot of work on my website, so I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening writing copy, learning how to input new workshops into my workshop schedule and create images for the workshops.
Every now and then when I needed a break I’d work on the piece below, which I’ve fallen in love with and that is inspired by plant and human cells. Pinterest is great for finding amazing images of organisms, cells and plant life that have been put under a microscope. I have a whole board where I’m saving such images.
My mother and two of my brothers are scientists: a chemist, an astro physicist and a bio-chemist. I was never very good at science, but I do love looking at the microscopic images of organisms and cells. They are things of such exquisite beauty.
The photograph below is of a coronary blood clot, horrible, but if you remove what it IS and just view it as an image, it is incredible.
Which took me to viewing images of brain cells. Talk about inspiration!
There is beauty in just about anything if looked at through a different lens. ❤️
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Please browse and look at our patterns available. We also offer Workshops! ~Ariane