Monday, July 18, 2011
And she gazed at me with her earnest eye and questioned reproachfully;
Have you forgotten the many plans and hopes that I had for you?
The career, the splendid fame, and all the wonderful things to do?
Where is the mansion of stately height with all of its gardens rare?
The silken robes that I dreamed for you and the jewels in your hair?
And as she spoke, I was very sad for I wanted her pleased with me…
This slender girl from the shadowy past, the girl that I used to be.
So gently rising, I took her hand, and guided her up the stair.
Where peacefully sleeping, my babies lay innocent, sweet, and fair.
And I told her that these are my only gems, and precious they are to me;
That silken robe is my motherhood of costly simplicity.
And my mansion of stately height is love, and the only career I know
Is serving each day in these sheltered walls for the dear ones who come and go.
And as I spoke to my shadowy guest, she smiled through her tears at me.
And I saw that the woman that I am now, pleased the girl I used to be.
- Author Unknown
Sunday, June 5, 2011
A few weeks ago I was asked to do a comission project: a mobile for a nursery. A friend of a friend wanted one and... long story short now I'm making her one. I'd never made any owls before, only birds from the Spool pattern. But I found some super cute illustrations of owls for inspiration and made my own pattern and came up with this! Here is my test bird and I think she turned out so cute.
The mobile is for a boy and I was sent fabrics they had picked out. Just a word of advice, if you ever do a comission piece, always have the person pick out their fabric. There is no chance you will ever agree on colors, patterns, anything. Trust me.
I made 3 extra owls for a diaper cake they wanted to decorate. And then a flat version for a bib decoration.
Friday, May 27, 2011
I decided to try using elastic thread to make a smocked/shirred dress for my daughter to wear this summer. I followed Dana's instructions from her blog MADE. Both versions I made were from tank tops that don't fit me very well. This blue one was too big for me, and is consequently too big around for my daughter. The yellow tanktop is too small for me, and the dress came out too small for her too!
Just cut off the straps, turn down the top edge, do your shirring, make a big hem, then sew the straps back on only much shorter. Super easy! And super cute! Can you believe I haven't taken a picture of her in it yet?
I ended up giving the yellow one to a friend whose daughter is smaller than mine. And the blue one looks fine, she just has some room to grow.
Monday, April 18, 2011
I was teaching Gustav Klimt's portrait art to my junior high class last fall and was inspired to paint a family portrait just for fun. When I was teaching my students, I really stressed Klimt's style of blending the person with the background. So I had a little fun with this one. Can you tell I was lazy and didn't want to paint the rest of the table?I looked up some old fashioned family portraits for inspiration, this was one of my favorites. I staged a photo session to use for reference. I wanted us to look like an old-fashioned family, but not from a specific time period. Just sometime in the 1800's. I wore my wedding dress and put a huge comforter underneath to poof it out. I might try another family portrait in a couple of years in another artist's style. Maybe N.C. Wyeth...
Monday, April 11, 2011
Monday, April 4, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
I feel the need to make clothing that tells a story. When I wear a garment, I imagine places I could travel to and adventures I could have in it. In my Inheritance dress, I can picture myself climbing ancient trees somewhere in Europe, maybe I’m sailing the Mediterranean… Although I might imagine incredible adventures about this garment, I will still wear it in my normal, everyday life. Clothing that is made to wear in everyday life, yet has a unique and extraordinary quality is what excites me. I could make an evening gown, but I couldn’t wear it whenever I felt like taking a walk down the street. I find myself embracing Anita Mayer’s idea of wearing something magical and unique every day.
There is something magical about the word inheritance. It conjures up thoughts of finding a hidden treasure; like a gift of something ancient. At first glance the fabric seems plain, but it has a surprising subtlety of iridescence that gives rich depth to the cloth. Like it could have been from a royal robe unearthed after centuries. For me this ancient gift takes the form of a new life through faith in Jesus Christ. I have recently been studying with my church Paul’s letter to the Colossians and this passage had an impression on me: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Being so immersed in making clothing, I am always intrigued by the role of clothing in the Bible. During our discussion, we talked about the ancient custom of putting on a new garment when receiving an inheritance. Believers in Christ have been made God’s children and thus receive His inheritance, so we put on the new clothing of serving Him with joy. When I wear this garment, I want to be encouraged to show compassion and kindness, no matter what adventures life brings. I want to be reminded of the hidden beauty of God’s kingdom and my identity in Him. That is the real story being told every day.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
I'm trying pattern making again. Of course I'm self-taught so it's all a guessing game and past results have not been pretty. Ah, the challenge! This time is different because I'm using a shirt/tunic that I own to "rub" the pattern from.
I absolutely love this tunic. It goes with everything. It can be dressed up or down. And best of all, I can nurse the baby in it because of those handy buttons in front. I can't remember if I've ranted on here before about how my wardrobe pre-baby was all pull over dresses and, well, that just doesn't work when you're nursing. So this was a great find last summer and I want to duplicate it with my handwoven fabric.
Making this pattern has been very time consuming. In the picture above you can see the three different versions of the front bodice, from left to right, 1) traced from the flat garment, 2) traced on the dressform, 3) combined the two and retraced on the dressform. I was checking and rechecking the measurements--"measure twice, cut once" turned into measure 50 times, cut once.
Here is a "mock-up" that I made to check my pattern fit from fabric I had laying around. It came out surprisingly well with one major problem. As you can see in the above picture, the neckline is completely stretched out and wonky. And the button placket is not centered at all! Sometimes I will make the buttons off center on purpose.... this was not on purpose.
Friday, February 25, 2011
I wish you could reach through your computer screen and feel my cloth. It is by far my favorite thing I've woven just because of the sumptuous texture. It drapes beautifully and feels like a textured silk. All 3 1/2 yards of it!
Washing it was different than I usually treat handwoven items. I have sewed with machine made tencel fabric before and so I knew that if you let it drip dry it feels like cardboard. But if you put it in the dryer--voila!--it turns into the loveliest softness.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Winter has been busy! I've begun a new weaving project which will end up being yardage for a garment to be entered in this garment contest at Handwoven magazine. Whew... I'm worn out just writing about it. Considering I started working on this before Thanksgiving, it's taking longer than usual, although Christmas kind of got in the way of working on it.
I wanted to share some of the things I'm doing differently with this project to help it go more smoothly than the tartan did. First of all I got myself a lamp to clip on the loom, as you can see in the picture. Don't underestimate the importance of lighting!
The other plan for this project is that I will be able to tie on to the warp threads again after I cut off the fabric. Basically that means I won't have to take each thread and put it through the reed and the heddles again, I'll just have to tie a new thread on to the old ones. Another reason why I chose the German Bird's Eye pattern--it has 5 different treadling patterns. In the picture above you can see what you get when you do the plain weave treadling. It's sort of a plain weave with a group of 3 every 1/2 inch or so.