First things first… I know you’re dying to know if I have continued my “workout” routine, which I posted about on Tuesday. Thanks to all who laughed along with me on that. I put the word workout in quotes because is it really a “workout” when it’s just for 10 minutes? I’m going to say YES! And yes, I have. Every single muscle in my body aches. How is that even possible after just 10 minutes? Seriously. What have I been doing for the last two years? Oh, right. NOT exercising. At all. So there’s that.
Next up: France!! I’m starting to get seriously excited, which is saying a lot because I was already excited before, but now I’m in a kind of twilight zone of over the top excitement.
The Chateau where I will be staying for two weeks.
There’s still lots of things to do, figure out what I’m taking, pack, figure out how I’m going to fit in a couple changes of clothes amongst all my stitching stuff, get some Euros. I’ve got packages to mail to people who’ve enrolled in various workshops. By the way, The Improvisational Stitching Workshop only has ONE spot left, so if you’re thinking about enrolling, do, before it’s sold out. And the upcoming Stitch Along has only a couple spots left as well. That’s the one where we use my improvisational stitching techniques with creating buttons of all kinds and adding them. I’m just starting to learn how to make Zwirnknopf and Death’s Head buttons to add to the Dorset Buttons and will be teaching both as well! Who knew buttons could be SO much fun?!
Combining Improvisational Stitching with Button Making!
This is an example of a Zwirnknopf Button.
I haven’t attempted a Death’s Head button, but will be learning how. All of these various things are things I’ll be bringing with me to France to practice and play with. And then there’s the big piece which I’ll be layering and painting on.
Did I mention that I’m going to be visiting the Catacombs in Paris? Now I don’t remember ever hearing about the Catacombs when I was living in London and visiting Paris more frequently, but something popped up about them while I was looking for thread shops that might be still open, and I thought – what? Catacombs? I’m all in! So I promptly booked a tour of them for the second day that I’m there. Death’s Head buttons, catacombs… I’m noticing a theme here.
And then there’s the Aiguille en Fête which will, miraculously, be going on JUST as I’m there. Aiguille en Fete basically translates to Needle Party and there will be all kinds of exhibits, demonstrations of thread, fiber art, etc. I am thrilled. Absolutely thrilled. Beyond thrilled. Pretty much beside myself with excitement. AND where ever and whenever possible I’ll be shooting video, recording and posting back to my Patrons, in my FB group and on my Youtube Channel. I’ll be busy!
Have you been thinking about doing some Improvisational Stitching, but feel it’s a bit daunting? Do you also LOVE Dorset Buttons and wonder how dorset buttons like the ones pictured below get made or if you know how to make one like this, do you wonder what you’ll do with it?
Well, in my upcoming Stitch Along, I’m combining these two ideas! We will be thinking out of the box, applying elements of my improvisational stitching style with dorset buttons that are beyond wild. So if you like this idea, sign up because there are still some spaces left. AND I have thread and fabric kits made up, that you can purchase as well.
In other news… here are my new business cards and notecards just in time for my upcoming trip to France!
My new business cards and notecards!
I was awarded a 2-week artist’s residency at the Chateau d’Orquevaux, which is about 3 hours east of Paris and about 3 hours west of Basel, Switzerland. I have a vague memory of driving through Verdun heading south with my parents when I was in my early twenties, so I’m guessing I’ve been in this part of the world before, but that was a long time ago! I’m very, very excited and will be taking my new piece that I’ve just begun working on and that I talked about in this video (which I made for my Patrons and is unlisted, but you can see it here!)
And here it is after I annotated and moved things around, sewed the left side piece down and took away the upper left bit, as it seemed unnecessary, at least for now. This piece is BIG! At least big for me. It’s about 40″ x 52″.
A little humor first thing in the morning is like a little gift of joy. So I was thrilled when my friend sent me this video. Too funny and exactly the sort of thing my mother used to send to me. She would have loved this. This one’s for you Mom. Please know this is silly and meant to be funny. If you don’t find it so, move right along.
In other news, my new workshop line up for 2022 is up on my website! If you’d like to take a look, click ‘here‘. I’ve added a couple new workshops that also have both fabric kits AND thread kits that will be a lot of fun. Both the Dorset Button Scissor Case and the Dorset Button Glasses Case workshops have both fabric and thread kits that can be purchased when signing up for the class. These kits are only available to those who sign up for the workshop.
An Example of the Scissor Case Fabric kit
Another Fabric Kit for the Dorset Button Scissor Case Workshop. Notice the little mirrors!
One more Scissor Case Fabric Kit
Scissor Case Thread Kit
And here are a couple of examples of the Dorset Button Glasses Case fabric kits, which include two different linens for the main case and the appliqued “wave”, a cotton lining and and a microfiber lining that is specifically for using with glasses, the wool for the shapes and a fleece interfacing.
Example of the Dorset Button Glasses Case Fabric Kit
Another Glasses Case Fabric Kit
And here are the threads for the Dorset Button Glasses Case. Aren’t they beautiful?!
And then there’s The Basics Workshop, which is really for those who are somewhat new to all of this. We begin with the basics, literally. We discuss needles and thread, thread weights, and the different types of fabrics one can stitch on. I’ve put together lots of really beautiful kits for that workshop, which has everything, literally everything that you will need for the workshop, including needles, the wool applique threads, embellishing threads in 8 wt, 5 wt, AND 3 wt as well as a skein of Stef Francis’ Texture Selection and so much more. I also added lots of fun things to play with, ribbons, beads, different types of fabrics, dupioni silk, my own hand dyed silk velvet and other things in lots of different colorways! Here are just a few of them.
The Basics Kit
The Basics Neutral
And finally I managed to make my favorite cookies: Ginger Cookies, not to be confused with Ginger Snaps. These are chewy and fabulous.
Ginger Cookies, which everyone in my family said they didn’t care for, but I made them anyway and they all changed their minds!
Here’s to changing our minds, savoring new things and enjoying one another.
Yesterday I launched my latest design, Making Waves: A Drawstring Bag in my Etsy Shop! I also made a short video for it. My instructions are very, very detailed. I include everything from how to begin, to how to stitch this bag together and film all stages of the process. YouTube videos demonstrate every step so you can follow along. Each video is embedded within the instructions using Hotlinks. As I spend, literally, hundreds of hours video taping, editing and posting each video before embedding it within the instructions, my downloadable patterns are a bit more expensive. Not much. A little. People tell me they are well worth it.
This project began as a Stitch Along with a group of 17 hand stitchers who signed up for the class, which took place over Zoom. Over the course of 8 weeks we stitched this bag together and had a blast doing so.
A couple of people have asked me whether I will be doing this class again, so if you’re interested let me know as I will do it again, if there’s enough interest. The Zoom classes consist of eight one-hour classes although I would be open to doing a five-day workshop with classes running a 3-4 hours each. You can use your own threads or opt for a thread kit. If you choose a thread kit I will need to order in advance and we will have to wait until everyone has theirs to begin. This can take anywhere from one to two months, depending upon availability of the threads and how many people want kits.
I am also beginning a new design, which will be another Stitch Along, meaning that I will be designing this project as we go! What’s fun about that is that each week I unveil a new part of the design, which is fun and exciting. Once I have the basic background concept designed, I will post more about it. Right now I’m in the midst of throwing a lot of different ideas around and seeing which one I like best as well as determining which will make the most sense to add a lot of embellishing to it. As with the Making Waves design, I will be incorporating a great many different techniques and materials, such as hand dyed t-shirt scraps, hand dyed cheesecloth, wool roving, Dorset Buttons, beading, ribbon work and other fun things like that.
I’ve been busy. My Zoom class: Making Waves ~ A Drawstring Bag, which was an eight week “stitch along” is concluding today. We had SO much fun! I cannot show the finished bag in this post, but I will in next week’s post when I will also launch it in my Etsy Shop. Very exciting. Oh, okay, here’s a sneak peak…
Then a couple weeks ago my friend Pat Pauly sent me some amazing hand dyed linens that she did and I was just astounded once again by her artistry. She does such beautiful work! If you have any interest in learning how to paint, stencil and mono print fabric consider taking one of her fabulous workshops. She is a terrific instructor and has a great sense of humor. Her workshops are a blast.
Oh, and did I mention how much I love Pat Pauly’s silk scarves, which she hand-dyes and sells? I wear one every day. Seriously. That’s not an exaggeration. In the YouTube Video – A Snowy New York City that I posted on Tuesday I’m wearing one and pretty much any other video I’ve posted in the past few months you can see me wearing one of them. I have a few. Okay, in truth, I have SIX. I know, I know. I totally have this under control, I promise. I do. Really.
In the above photo I’m wearing one of Pat’s silk scarves wrapped around three times AND my brand new glasses, which, wow, what a difference!! (I promised my mother a photograph of my new glasses. So here you go, Mom AND you’ll be pleased to know I’m drinking lots and lots of water. I love you.❤️)
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!!
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Please browse and look at our patterns available. We also offer Workshops! ~Ariane