Sunday, October 24, 2010

Two Bears Floating

Two Bears Floating

Two Bears Floating was a dream to create. It is the simplest  design I have made yet. It was such an enjoyable process. The colours are as clear as crystal and the tonings worked well, I think. (You can tell I am pretty happy)!

I am getting better at eliminating clutter.  I feel that each time I begin a storycloth I am more more confident trying out, arranging and re-arranging. I can 'hear' myself thinking what I want the focus to be, what color and type of fabric, what effect I'd like to create. For example, the two sets of horizontal stitches at centre bottom took some working  through. I didn't want any markers that took away the effect of free-floating, yet I wanted some little grounding point, formalised so it suggests human dwelling. I also wanted to pull the two pieces of cloth together, to provide an achievable 'bridge' between the two bears who seem to be floating inevitably away from each other. This is also why I added the birds at centre top - just a little, but I think strong, tie between the two floating bears. Marks that make the hope that the bears will get back together, more certain, if that makes sense.

They are each six inches by three inches and together form this week's storycloth. Any honest feedback is appreciated. Really appreciated.

At close of weekend needle I had begun the backing cloth for my next cloth. A wintery one I think.

Happy stitching everyone, Gilly

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fabric Store versus Op-Shop

Washed and ironed store snippets.

I decided to experience buying cloth from a fabric store instead of limiting myself to op-shop purchases. I enjoy op-shop buys because there is such a good chance of finding interesting and unique fabrics. The down side is the bulk of items to deal with and store once I bring them home. As a result of my visit to a fabric store I found some great advantages in buying fabric thus. It was easier to find exact shades I was after, if I was attracted to a small design aspect I only needed to buy a small yardage, and the cost was not high when only buying a fragment. Overall though, I loved assembling the little pile of color and design. I could look at this little pile happily for the rest of my life. This pleasure reminds me of the immense satisfaction I derive from organising stationary items in drawer or on a desk. Fabric store shopping doesn't replace the thrill of the really great op-shop finds but it certainly does enhance the range of fabrics from which to choose just the right one for the task at hand. Plus it was really good fun - better than choosing a cheese from a Paris 'fromagerie'. That is saying something! I did learn that when washing these fabrics I need to put them in a little bag to minimise the huge tangled mess I had. Any tips regarding this?

At close of needle I had nearly finished my second bear cloth. I will post it soon. I am pretty happy with it. The two together do make a stronger composition just as Janet Bolton comments in her book, Patchwork Folk Art.

Happy stitching all, Gilly

Tangled mess after washing.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Crossing Paths Homeward

Crossing Paths Homeward

This is Crossing Paths Homeward, my storycloth on this Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. There are fragments of cloth dyed with brown onion, wolf lichen, and rust. It is four inches by three and 3/4 inches. This is my first try at a small dwelling in the background. It has taken hours of looking, trying, shifting etc. Hours of pleasure. Well, of course, this is to be expected and is integral to the overall enjoyment of cloth making. This piece satsifies something within me. It has elements which allow my mind to wonder about the who, where, why and how. It has some personality but not so much that disallows a viewer from imagining their own tales about the characters, place, and time. This is my  design, but includes elements which are completely attributable to Janet Bolton. This storycloth is my favourite so far. There is a small, bearded figure with a walking cane at bottom right. I 'm not sure how clear it is on screen. He is crossing paths with an outgoing whale, as both continue homewards.

At close of Thanksgiving needle I am very thankful.

Happy celebrations Canadians and happy stitching everyone, Gilly

Monday, October 4, 2010

What to Add?

What to add?

To date, I have sewn this ram and cat onto cloth and do not know what to add next. I have tried a sun and some flowers. But I am really at a loss. I think one of the reasons for my confusion is that while this piece is a small cloth, at eight and a half by five and a half inches, it is actually about twice as big as I have been working with. It seems there is so much space, and my propensity for clutter is overwhelming all sensible thought. Hahhaha.

Any suggestions most welcome as I am struck immobile over it.

On a lighter note we went rafting with sockeye on the weekend. It was such a beautiful and exhilarating experience that I thought I'd share a happy pic.

There were a couple of jokesters on board.

We had a great weekend. I returned home after rafting alive with retained sensory impressions - colour, texture, smells, intertwining shapes, sounds of the river and human laughter. Plus I was suffused with a sense of reverence for the sockeye journey, somewhat torn over whether we should have been there at all. I do not see a huge division between humans and other animals.

At close of weekend needle I was still considering future moves over the ram and cat cloth.

Happy stitching, Gilly