I found a large unexpected box in my vestibule last tuesday morning.
Magnificent and inspiring treasures from Stephen Szczepanek. I spent the rest of the morning having a marvelous time, unpacking it very, very slowly. So much to think about.
There is a fascinating post on The Sri blog right now about stitched amulets. I didn’t know about this practice and Stephen writes about it beautifully, it begins ” In Japan, there is a certain magic associated with stitching”.
I love an assignment. This week I’m giving myself a fun mini assignment and you’re invited to participate if you like. The subject is “little mysteries”. The only rules are: that I take a photo ( with my phone) every day that feels a little mysterious to me and post it on instagram. Pretty easy. I have an extra busy week working on orders from my shop and wholesale orders for catbird, BHLDN and Fortuny. I try to encourage myself to experiment in at least small ways regularly and I think that it’s even more important to do that when I’m very, very busy producing. It’s also very easy not to do when crunched for time so I made this a fun, easy and for me, very appealing assignment. In case you’re not instagramy I’ll update this post with them as well. I’d love to see your little mysteries and if you like you can use the hash tag #littlemysteries or leave a link to your photo in the comment section.
Here is little mystery #1
Continue reading “little mysteries – a mini creative assignment” »
Color, courtesy of Sri Threads – a deeply inspiring pallet.
Stepehen (of Sri Threads) is traveling in Japan right now – I love following his travels on his blog and facebook .
Stephen Szczepanek of Sri Threads has fabulous timing and he’s also pretty psychic about what I might be needing. His packages are always a surprise and they always seem to turn up at a moment when I’m in need of a boost.
This gorgeous collection of scraps turned up a few days ago and I’ve already begun a mini collection of Sri toadstools, little owls and spiders. Please join the shop mailing list if you would like to be notified when this collection is available.
You can see more of Stephen’s treasures on his blog and the Sri Threads facebook page.
I spent last week in the Adirondack forest, by a lake. The house is called Road’s End and it is among other things, a former turn of the century cure cottage.
There are lots of sleeping porches ( to facilitate the cure) and I used this one for my work room.
It was glorious and I sewed a ton. And when I wasn’t sewing or sleeping or swimming or reading I hiked up things. The views were spectacular.
The view from Whiteface Mountain – a frightening 3,676 ft.
And I collected twigs and whittled some beaks.
The beaks were for two songbirds I finished and photographed there – here’s a peek at those:
It turns out vacations really are good for people. I don’t take vacations. I barely take breaks or days off- partly because it needs to be that way (so far anyway) and partly because I like to work and partly because I’m pretty compulsive. I did make things and sew my ass off but there were breaks and activities outside that and there was almost no internet – that may have been what was really vacationy. What a relief. A discomfort too – but less so after a couple days.
I came home with an organized and clear head; motivated and with something that was puzzling me figured out – I’ll tell you about that tomorrow.
This was a great dress, it was ruined in such magnificent ways. I’ve been making things with it for almost two years and it still has more to give – transparent silk chiffon, a little more lace and bits of shattered silk - not sew-able but perfect for tiny corsages.
I wish I had spent more time photographing it when it arrived so I’m giving it a last hurrah now – it’s last breath in it’s original form.
I can hardly believe I’m included in this book – it is magnificent in every way. I think Olivier Dupon has created something very special. In less expert hands this wealth of information might have been overwhelming or the spirit could have been lost but Olivier presents it with simplicity and real elegance – you are never distracted from the central idea: that this is a book about love of craft, process and materials or Olivier’s true affection for the subject.
Find the book: http://www.thamesandhudsonusa.com/new/fall11/551585.htm
on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-New-Artisans/108346249261751
Olivier’s blog: http://dossier37.tumblr.com/
“This book captures the new mood – a return to a preference for the unique and the handmade. Design expert and acclaimed blogger Olivier Dupon has sourced the cream of the contemporary design world from all over Europe, Australia and the United States, profiling 75 artisans who use craft techniques, rather than mass-production methods, to create stylish, whimsical, covetable objects. Hundreds of colour photographs feature a huge variety of crafts, including art, ceramics, furniture, glasswork, jewelry, lighting, metalwork, papercraft, textiles and woodwork. Complete with a directory of products, and Dupon’s personal recommendations for inspiring shops and websites to visit, this is the perfect resource for discovering unique and beautiful objects made by new, talented artisans from all around the world.”
This antique gown arrived a while ago. I think it’s Edwardian but it was definitely reworked at some point - it has fasteners and hardware and repairs that were added later. I guess it has had many lives.
The peach silk is almost all shattered, it’s torn, stained and many of the seams have let go but the gauze, sheer silk lining and lace are still strong. First I’m making a bird.
Two really – one from each lace and tulle sleeve. And maybe later today a little boat with gauzy sails and little peach silk flags.
Finished! snowflake and ashton
This dress turned up here in brown pieces – I’m not even sure how it really goes together. I soaked it for days and days and then had lots of fun pinning it into a dress shape. The under and over skirts are weighted and the overskirt has a lovely tulip shaped hem.
I’m making some things from it now – I’ll show you next week. I’m also working on a new kind of little boat -they’ll be finished and in the shop next tuesday .
Stephen Szczepanek of Sri Threads sent over another surprise package of magnificent things. Exquisite, inspiring things, thoughtfully chosen and gathered and kept for me that just magically appear on my doorstep. Here are a few highlights.
There are fragments of garments with wonderful surprise linings.
And beautiful wear and eccentric mending.
I already have owls in progress and I’m thinking about using the blue silk bits below for spider bustles and some new flowers I’ll show you soon. Thanks you, thank you Mr. Szczepanek!