I’m knee deep in writing instructions to various projects that I’ll be doing workshops on. I have to admit I don’t love writing instructions. It’s kind of tedious, exacting work, but it has to be done. Also it’s been kind of grey and rainy out, so one must grab the sunny moments to venture out when one can. I’ve decided to break up the monotony of instruction writing with a little walk. Spring is in the air, and though it’s still a little chilly out there, the flowers are beginning to bloom.
I thought a little stroll in the West Village would be fun. There are still a few cobble stone streets left in New York City and the West Village is one of the places where you can still see them. So off I go, and while I’m at it I’ll get the blood work done that my migraine doctor asked me to get. It’ll be an adventure!
This Thursday I’m hoping to be able to share some exciting news, but until then I thought I’d share this video and besides there’s zero chance I’ll get any footage of bear cubs while out and about in the West Village! For those of you who might be wondering, my mother did not send this to me, but I think she’ll enjoy watching it.
I have a couple pieces I’m working on simultaneously at the moment. One is a piece I began for my Improvisational Stitching Workshop. We are having SO much fun! As I was working on it, I decided to do a video on one way I like to create organic looking shapes. That video is premiering at 1pm EDT today, so if you’re around, come join me as I will be watching with you and can chat as we watch. Typically I go online a few minutes prior to the release time so that I can chat with anyone who is waiting. The Premieres are lots of fun and a way to connect with each other.
Another piece that I’m working on is what I thought was going to be a Stitch Along and then got stuck and decided to play around with a few different ideas before I committed one way or the other. That piece is just beginning to take shape. So far so good. I talk about it and begin working on it a little in the video below.
And then finally I’ve got another improvisational stitching piece that I’m just beginning and that is much larger than what I have done before. It measures about 44″ x 36″. So exciting!
In other news we continue to steam ahead on my website, which we’re hoping will be up and running by the end of this month. And I’ll be adding some fun workshops, a newsletter and lots of other things, so stay tuned!
By the way, that silk scarf I’m wearing in the photo at the top of this post? Yup, that one. It’s made by my friend Pat Pauly, who does the most gorgeous work. If you aren’t familiar with Pat’s work, go over to her website. She’s fabulous!
First things first. My mother sent me two videos this week and both are too wonderful to not pass along.
The text within this video roughly translates to: “What an animal concert: The Cologne pianist Thelonious Herrmann came up with this unusual idea. He took his piano to the Koln Zoo to play among goats, monkeys and giraffes. Many zoos are closed due to the COVID19 pandemic. He hopes to collect donations for the Cologne Zoo. Usually the young musician travels all over Europe with his piano. He has already toured 18 countries with his project “Stadtgeklimper”. Incidentally, the music for the zoo animals was composed by himself. The sea lions seem to like it in particular!”
And then there’s this. Adorable…
And finally, I have some spaces left in the Dorset Button II workshop, this coming Wednesday, March 31st from 2-5pm EDT.
Dorset Buttons Gone Wild Part II: Wednesday, March 31st 2-5pm EDT. $60 This includes a recording of the entire 3-hour class that you can refer to whenever and as often as you like.
This workshop is for those who’ve already taken the Dorset Buttons Gone Wild Workshop and/or have a good working knowledge of how to make a basic Dorset Button. We will NOT be going over the basics, but instead will be going rogue, incorporating all kinds of other materials as well as changing the way we make the spokes so that you can make “tree-like” Dorset Buttons, as well as more abstract looking buttons.
For those of you who are interested in either workshop you must send payment via Paypal, Venmo or Zelle using my email address: email@example.com.
I am also teaching an improvisational workshop! This is the YouTube Video I did about it, which includes a little about my design background.
I’m doing a Dorset Buttons Gone Wild 3-hour Workshop via Zoom. (It will be recorded and uploaded to YouTube, but will only be available to view if you have purchased the workshop. You can reference the entire workshop later or whenever you like once the workshop is over.)
When: A 3-hour workshop: Saturday, March 20th from 2-5pm EDT
Cost: $40.00 – I accept payment by check, through Zelle, Venmo or Paypal using my name: Ariane Zurcher and email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell me in the comments how you are paying so that I can make a note of it.
The workshop is limited to 30 people, first come, first serve. I have 19 spots left, so reserve your spot now!
What you’ll need and what you can expect:
Have at least a few rings to make the Dorset Buttons: https://amzn.to/2PyqNH3 whatever size you like and a couple different threads. I recommend 3 wt and 5 wt threads to begin and then a few specialty threads such as 4mm silk ribbon, Aurora, Oriental Linen, Soft Cotton, or whatever else you might like to try. For the first couple you might want to use some thread you have lying around that you don’t care about to practice.
#18 Chenille needle and/or #24 Chenille depending on the thread weight you want to use. A tapestry needle will work as well, and you will also need a Milliners Needle so that you can experiment with making some wrapped stitches on the Dorset Button. We are thinking out of the box, so think about what else you might want to add!
I will demonstrate a number of different variations on the traditional Dorset button, incorporating lots of different materials and threads that I think you’ll find exciting and different! You will have completed at least one or two Dorset Buttons by the end of the workshop. ❤️
*Optional: For those of you who are really adventurous, I suggest purchasing, if you haven’t already, my glasses case and/or scissor’s case. If you choose to go this route, prep the linen, with the lighter color linen wave and whipstitch on the wool circles as the instructions describe, so that you are ready to apply your Dorset Buttons to the wool shapes. I embellished the background as you can see below. If you are signed up for the workshop and would like to embellish as I have, let me know in the comments and I will send you instructions.
Don’t forget to leave me a comment that you want to reserve your space and then proceed to payment.
Later today I am doing a livestream on what to do with those odd looking Silk Cocoons. A lovely follower of mine sent me one a few months ago and I put it aside, not sure what to do with it. Then someone in my Facebook group: Ariane Zurcher Stitching Circle asked what does one do with such an interesting and weird looking thing. I replied that I had no idea, but I had one sitting next to me, still in its little bag. Another helpful soul then suggested (dared me) that I do a livestream demonstrating. So I am, because I can’t let a dare suggestion like that go unheeded. If you’re curious, tune in today at 1pm EST.
I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love making Dorset Buttons. And like so many things that I fall in love with, I went head first down the Dorset Button Rabbit Hole and have yet to reemerge! So much so that I just taped and uploaded another Dorset Button video, which will be premiering later today.
Last summer I made my first Dorset Button video, but this winter I decided to make another, slowed down version, and then did another that is a deep dive into the dorset button and variations to it. That video is available to all my patrons who are on my Patreon page. It covers: how to secure your dorset button once you’ve created one. What to do if your thread runs out in the middle of making one, how to make all of the variations shown above, like the tree and creating stitches on the outer rim and using different threads and thread weights. So much fun!
The Dorset Button popular in the 1600’s was replaced by machine made and mass produced buttons in the 1800’s. However many of us who love to hand stitch also love the dorset button. It is not only a fully functioning button, it is also decorative and therefore can be used in a variety of ways. For my mother’s Making Waves: A Drawstring Bag (which I just sent to her yesterday) I used almost a dozen dorset buttons to embellish it. I love how it turned out, and hope she will too.
For my next design, I’ve been playing around with lots of different ideas and one of those ideas is how to use the largest plastic rings I have with some variation of the Dorset Button. I haven’t figured it out yet, but I’m going to keep playing and see what I come up with.
In the meantime, here are a few more close ups of some Dorset Buttons I’ve made in the last few weeks.