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Painting with Spinach?

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Over the holiday break, I began, or perhaps it is more accurate to say that I returned to Hand Stitching. I used to use sewing machines, but at this later time of my life I crave more quiet, stillness, reflection time. Hand-stitching.

How it began...I had planned a baby shower for a dear artist in our community, and wanted to gift her something that had some handwork. So I purchased two pieces of fleece in cute patterns and proceeded to add a blanket stitch around the edges. It was mesmerizing to have this deeply relaxing and fun handiwork to do each evening when the couch called my name.  When the two blankets were done, I wasn't!

One thing led to the next, and I discovered something called Slow Stitching. It's really nothing new at all, but it's hand sewing done in a very intuitive manner. No planning, no turning edges over, stitch with a running stitch only, or add a few embellishments. It's basically a way to merge scraps of fabric into one piece. Japanese Boro and Indian Kantha....go google those and you will read about the roots of this practice.

Anyhoo, I was feeling badly that I hadn't painted over our break, then realized I had been painting after all. Just with a different media. And you all know how I love my mixed media!

As well, I have written most of the 2023 Art Classes curriculum, too. And sent out a few batches of paintings to new homes.  It wasn't the most relaxing holiday vacation, but it sure was FULL. Can't wait for classes to begin again next week, I miss my artists, and our flow of mutual inspiration. Care to join us?

The first piece - just a little foldover pouch.

The second piece - a little needle book. 

I sewed my momigami papers instead of fabric this time. A bit fragile, so I added Dorland's wax to hopefully preserve them a bit. 

So the above was created out of necessity......one uses different needles depending on the size of your yarn and thread. Oh yes, another reason to thrift!!I found fabrics at thrift stores, came home and laundered them, then proceeded to cut off arms and buttons and collars, and harvested what nice fabric swatches I could. Ebay was a great source to add to my floss and thread supplies. It's Color, it's Composition, it's Values, - omgosh, I Am Painting!

Here's the latest project - another pouch

I just have to figure out how to get a zipper inside....by hand. Even back in my sewing machine days, I never liked putting zippers in.

the composition - placement of parts, values of light and dark, the color harmony is achieved thru the turmeric dye i made and dipped into. 

the melding into one piece of fabric, THIS is the meditation

and i even added a little pocket, just for fun. I just need to get the zipper in this one.

And just for some adorable cuteness, here is a pin and needle cushion. 

And then i thought, oh my......i could dye my own fabrics!!! 

Always having a fridge full of veggies that was the next exploration. Spinach, red cabbage, turmeric, beets. So much to learn but for now just wizardry, or is it alchemy, in the kitchen. Very irregular results, but i got Color - so I count that success. A couple of dye batches.....

That's it for me for now....back to painting. 


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Be Creative. It's Good for the Soul!
Blessings, Joanie

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