A documentation of the process… I’ve come to rely upon this documentation as it helps me figure the next step out. So this is how it began when I arrived and then I realized – Oh! I can create something SO much bigger!! Once that idea hit, I took all the other stuff off and began adding fabric. In fact, I doubled the size of the original piece, which was very, very exciting!!!
An idea occurs to me: I can go bigger!
Bigger it is!
Now I have to find a sewing machine so that I can piece it together…
And then I took another photograph once it was all pieced, so that I could put it up on my computer to annotate it. This step is crucial and one that I’ve come to rely on. I find it makes all the difference in the world as I can literally draw on top of the photograph, delete, play, try any number of things, play some more, move shapes around, see what I think, before committing to anything.
Where do I go from here? Annotating makes all the difference in the world!
Testing the annotated ideas…
Continuing to look, play, try out ideas…
Stepping away. Zooming back in, stepping away… this is all part of the process.
Adding a bit of blue in the upper left corner.
Who knows?! And that’s all part of the fun of the process. Adding, moving, playing, trying out other ideas…
It’s time for lunch, and then I will return and play some more, but all in all I’m loving the process and enjoying the movement of this piece. The trick is to keep going and not allow oneself to get bogged down with doubt! Continuing is key!! And loving every moment helps as well.
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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My mother hasn’t sent me anything in a few days other than requests for rain, which I’ve done my best to accommodate, but I only have so much reach when it comes to the weather. Speaking of which, it’s in the upper nineties here in New York City for the next couple of days and then will plummet into the mid to high seventies before rising back up. At least this is what we’re being told by meteorologists, who have the cushiest job ever, in my opinion. What other career allows you to be completely wrong more than 50% of the time and still hold onto your job? So much so that there are even a whole bunch of memes out there, like this one.
But all of this hot weather means that staying inside continues to be a good idea, which means, hand stitching! Here’s what I’ve been working on.
I’ve mentioned this before; my husband and I start the morning off with a reading of some kind and then discuss whatever it is we’ve just read. Today we read about relationships using thread as a metaphor, which was kind of perfect for someone like me. This quote was particularly appealing for obvious reasons.
A strong rope is made of many threads. Looking at one point on the rope, we can focus on the detail of a single thread. But when we look only at a single thread we cannot see the big picture.”
The More We Find in Each Other by Mavis and Merle Fossum
And, of course, I immediately thought about my stitching and how I love using lots of different threads and other elements to enhance and add interest to a piece that I’m working on. In particular I thought of Gimp, Silken Chenille, and Viscose Ribbon, three threads that are challenging to work with, but that add tremendous texture and interest to a piece.
In a relationship it’s often the challenging parts that can bring growth and welcome change to both people if they’re willing to show up for the hard work that’s required. I thought of how the foundation of my marriage is our love and the threads are all the moments we’ve spent together, some more challenging than others. But like those challenging threads, they are woven into the fabric of our love, making that fabric all the more interesting and ultimately stronger. Oh, and a sense of humor helps!
Okay, I could go on and on about all of this, but then I wouldn’t have time to tell you about my ice dyeing experiment. This was all inspired by Nancy who was in my Improvisational Stitching Workshop. She had a really beautiful piece of fabric, which I asked her about and she told me that she had ice dyed it. Now I have to say that for the most part I haven’t loved the ice dyeing that I’ve seen, so I’ve never been tempted to try it, but Nancy very generously wrote out instructions and gave them to everyone in my workshop. All my ice dyeing attempts were using her instructions. By the way, I have urged Nancy to sell some of her beautiful ice dyed fabrics. When she gives me the okay I will post where you can purchase her fabrics.
So… my little foray into ice dying is ongoing and was somewhat successful. I say somewhat because some of the pieces came out nicely, but others were not to my liking at all. Those will need to be redone or perhaps I’ll paint on them, I haven’t decided yet. Part of the problem was I ran out of ice. As in right in the middle of sprinkling the dye onto the fabric. Now one could argue that seeing that you don’t have enough ice right off the bat is probably step #1, resulting in STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND GO GET SOME ICE, however in my case it was more like – huh, I don’t have enough ice, then think about how that means I’ll have to put on shoes, remove my apron, gloves and mask (not the kind we’re now used to wearing because of the pandemic, but the kind used when working with toxic chemicals) and then go look for my son so that I can ask him to run out to get ice. Wait for said son to dutifully do my bidding and while waiting get impatient and sprinkle more dye on. Eyeroll. Impatience is NOT a virtue. I know this, and whenever I give in to it, I always, always, always regret it. So I skimped on the layer of ice and ended up with some not very attractive streaks of color before my fabulous son reappeared with 4 bags of ice, having had to go to a couple different places to procure it. What a wonderful son!
Another problem was that my disposable pans were way too small, resulting in more of a tie dyed look than I was hoping for. As in my husband’s comment when I unfurled the first piece and said the words every spouse hates to hear, “So what do you think?” And his response, “Oh yeah, you’ve got some seriously hippy dippy stuff going on there.” Needless to say this was NOT the reply I’d hoped for, but the bold, unvarnished truth is always difficult to hear.
I’ll post a video about all of this later, but for now here are a couple of photographs of the pieces that were sort of successful and a few that I really, really liked.
What will I do with all of this fabric?
I have no idea.
PS: For those of you who didn’t see my most recent Youtube video of Richard and my Mother’s Day walk and our surprise encounter, go watch this short video! All the reasons why I love living in this vibrant, wonderful city we call New York!
I’m sitting here in my workout clothing sans sneakers typing this as I didn’t dare put on my regular work “uniform” for fear I would never honor my Spin Class reservation that begins at 11am. And while we’re on the topic, I just have to say, workout bras are truly a form of torture. You just haven’t felt discomfort until you’ve shoved yourself into one of those. Yes, yes, I understand the need for keeping everything in place while exercising, but seriously, I’ve become so used to comfort this past year, this feels positively barbaric. Curious about my workout routine, you’ll have to watch the video I’ve posted one paragraph below this one. Spoiler alert: I don’t have a “workout routine.”
But I am not going to get side tracked. I’m not. My friend Pat Pauly has posted a brand spanking new workshop to her already busy schedule. It’s a Line, Shape, Setting virtual workshop, which I’ve signed up for and it is July 20th & 21st. If you want to sign up for it, hurry! As it will most definitely sell out soon. Click ‘here‘ to learn more about it and to sign up. To see more of Pat’s fabulous work, click ‘here‘. She’s pretty fabulous. By the way, those scarves I always wear? Yeah. Those are all from Pat. As is the gorgeous linen fabric that I’m doing some improvisational stitching on in the video below. Oh, and by the way, that fuchsia colored cording that I’ve couched? That’s silk sari strips from Stef Francis. I just adore all their products.
I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed that I will be able to announce something fabulous in my next blog post. I thought I would have been able to announce it last week, but alas life got in the way of my best laid plans. I’m just hoping all falls into place in the next two days. We shall see.
Welcome to my store!
Please browse and look at our patterns available. We also offer Workshops! ~Ariane