I started working on a new pattern in October.
It’s a long process for me – experiments and trial and error – I enjoy it immensely. I make piles and piles of prototypes and duds – learning a little bit from each. It wakes me up early and keeps me up late. This is the first finished lamb:
A Fortuny lamb – he was auctioned in November at The Littlest Lamb gala here in NY – The Littlest Lamb is an incredibly inspiring organization – they ‘re building an orphanage in Egypt.
The next lambs were made from vintage tablecloths.
I love vintage linens and I very particularly love vintage linens with roses. I had 2 that wanted to be lambs – both had some staining in areas making them not so desirable to use as tablecloths – otherwise I would have saved them for the country home I will ultimately have.
I also used a depression era drape I found upstate last summer and one little black lamb is made from edwardian garments. I’ve finished a little flock now and they will arrive in the shop tomorrow 12/18 (noonish EST).
Whenever I post about creating a new creature or pattern I always get a ton of email from people who would like to do the same – looking for a course or a book. I haven’t known of a great resource until lately: Abby Glassenberg has written a comprehensive guide to sewing in 3 dimensions and I’ll tell you more about it in my next post.
week 50 in my “this is where i am from” year long project:
I had a serious puppet phase. For years I got a marionette for Christmas every year, made some myself and my father made me one, a king. He also made me a theater from a dishwasher box, it was covered with classic 70’s striped contact paper and I painted scenery on an old window shade and sewed costumes for the puppets.
Exciting news! The Squam art retreat offerings are live on their website. I’m teaching a class in September called “Wild Beauty” – creating botanical experiments in textiles. You can read about it and all the other classes here:
Pre -registration is open now.
I taught at Squam in 2012 and it was a wonderful experience – I’m so excited to go back.
week 47,48,49 in my “this is where i am from” year long project:
Well there has been an interruption hasn’t there – Weeks 47, 48 and 49 will be the weeks that never were. Hopefully I’ll back on track next week. I hurt my back on the 18th and I tried to ignore that because I really, really didn’t have the time or patience for my back to be hurt. That made things much, much worse until everything came to a grinding halt on the 20th. I’m nearly better now and dealing with the work overload mess this interruption has caused. This experience has gotten my attention. I’ve been working at a ridiculous pace for too long. I need to change things in a big way going forward. I’ll share that with you as I figure it out – right now it is 0% figured out.
And I I wanted to show you these – a couple weeks ago I posted a drawing of a clothespin ballerina ornament I made as a child – I made the drawing from memory – but my sister found the ballerina! It was packed away with family Christmas treasures along with another I made that I had forgotten about.
I think my dad must have made the ballerina arms for me and the soldier’s arms are wooden coffee stirrers (do they still make those?) – maybe you know someone little who would like to make these.
week 46 in my “this is where i am from” year long project:
I spent the entire day doing small careful drawings and writing a course description (both top secret projects I’ll share a soon as I can ) so I needed to do something looser this evening. I would have loved to have done nothing at all – but thats the whole point of a personal assignment. And I was glad to be painting after a little while – it was like a counter stretch to my day. This is the stream deep in the woods with a haphazard little foot bridge crossing to the hill covered with blueberries and the high tension towers.
week 45 in my “this is where i am from” year long project:
I made these ornaments when I was small – I think the same year. I don’t have them anymore and I wonder if I remember them accurately and I wonder of they are wrapped in tissue in one of my sister’s attics – I would love to see them.
The ballerina was made from a clothespin and her costume was a scrap of pink tulle and ribbon. And the little camel was made from brown flannel or felt maybe and he had red blanket stitch all around and sequins on his blanket.
I made this painting for the class I’m taking with Lilla Rogers Studio. My assignment this week was to create wall art in a limited palette and incorporating at least one word and botanical imagery. I made myself miserable for 24 hours and then I had a marvelous time for 24 hours.
I’ve finished a group of new things and they will be in my shop tomorrow (11/1) at 2 PM (new york time).
week 44 in my “this is where i am from” year long project:
My Mother’s sewing machine. A White Rotary, I think it was a wedding present. It’s the machine I watched her sew curtains and clothes and dolls and toys on. It’s the machine I learned to sew on and it’s the machine I sew on today. And because it’s almost Halloween I’ll tell you a spooky and entirely true story about it:
In December of 2006 I had just begun my solo enterprise – I had lots of orders and deadlines and on the eve of one of those very important deadlines I was still sewing furiously very late at night. With a long way still to go the machine suddenly stopped and a chunk of metal rocketed past my face. I found it across the room – an essential part of the machine – no sewing without it – and it was broken. I tried to fix it but nothing worked. I have a drawer full of bits and pieces that I saved from my Father’s workshop, things I used in dioramas and assemblages - bits of metal and rubber, knobs, washers, gears, springs etc. I thought maybe I could cobble some temporary solution together from those. Another hour of frustration and no luck at all. Exhausted, defeated and ready to give up I pushed the drawer closed and it stuck halfway, I pushed again and it stuck again, I pulled and it stuck. I gave a great big angry pull and the drawer flew out and what had caused it to stick also flew out and landed in my lap: to my amazement and disbelief it was a replacement for the broken sewing machine part – the exact part – identical but for the color. Not similar, not “good enough” the EXACT PART in perfect condition. I snapped it in and it worked beautifully, that night and all the nights and days that have followed.
week 43 in my “this is where i am from” year long project:
I’ve been thinking about my Mother’s treasures lately. This tiny perfume bottle had real gold flecks floating in the fragrance – you could shake it like a snow globe and they would swirl around.