Sunday, March 1, 2015

Purging has stopped!

I've gone as far as I can with purging and cleaning. I wish I could totally finish that project but LOTS of snow on the ground is forcing me to hold on until I can hold a big yard sale. At least it's organized and staged for a sale when the time comes. I am so ready to be rid of so much! A lot has been given away but a lot can be sold so that is the next logical step. Movin' on..............

Above you see my first attempt at a beaded shibori cuff. While it reeks amateur, it looks pretty good with a black leotard top and some jeans and has garnered some really nice compliments. It has a lot going on.

 The silk charmeuse is one I have dyed myself. I didn't do any pleating treatment, just folded and stitched to a base of peltex before I started. The peltex had a drawing on it of the swirls and lines I envisioned.

This was a really fun project but very time consuming. That was only because I attacked this with all the newbie enthusiasm I could muster and a definite lack of skill and experience. That being said, I really like it and have worn it a few times. I can't wait to make another "cuff".

This is what I am playing with for my next cuff adventure. It will use another hand dyed by moi, some pleated ribbon and who knows what other beads and goodies. If nothing else it will be glorious to work with these colors and textures. This is work I do at night while putting in a bit of TV time. It doesn't supplant my machine time as I generally don't sew in the evenings. Learned that lesson the hard way!  My next machine project which I hope to get going on this afternoon will be using this:

This is authentic barkcloth that I have been gifted. The print is H U G E. I wanted to show off the print but did not want the basic tote bag. I found something  that I think will work. It has a contrasting band at the top of the bag. I auditioned a  lot of options for that and none worked. I needed something to work with the strong print, size and color of the barkcloth and everything I tried just looked weak. Then I found some heavy weight home dec linen. It has more texture but I will also add some quilting to balance it all off. Time to get cutting! ..................Bunny

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Yippee! Loom Learning!

I am excited. I am going "loom learning". I will be taking a class in three weeks. It is two full days and will take place the NOA Gallery in Groton, Mass. I am so excited and it is my birthday gift from my hubby.

  Courtesy NOA Gallery, link in purple won't work, click on the Noa Gallery link above and scroll down. 

 I can't wait as when it comes to tapestry my mind is a book of empty pages. I am really looking forward to the class, the wonderful silk fibers and other items being supplied for the projects as well as meeting the President of Mirrix, Claudia Chase. It appears we lived very near each other in New Hampshire, small world! She is a reknowned weaver.

Are any of you taking any classes soon? I do know Kathy Dykstra is teaching at a big heirloom event I believe coming up in Texas.  Claire Meldrum is now teaching picture smocking through SAGA, Smocking Arts Guild of America. Anyone else teaching or taking? I find classes can really inspire, expecially when learning something quite new. I would love to hear if any of you have plans or are taking any sewing type courses soon.........Bunny

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Prettiest Dress I've Ever Made

Terry met my brother Bill after he did a stint in the Armed Forces. Luck brought him to Germany when it could have sent him to Da Nang. He came home, wasn't sure of the direction he was headed, and took a job at a hospital not far from the house. Terry, her mom and her sister all worked at the hospital. She was 14. You could do that back then. If you knew the right person, you could work before the age of sixteen. Nobody told and Terry was a very hard worker.  Bill and Terry quickly became good friends and eventually fiances. They married, moved away and Terry simultaneously worked on her degree and getting pregnant. Seven was her lucky number and that pregnancy didn't fail like the other six. She and Bill were blessed with a 2 1/2 pound baby girl who grew to be cherished by both. They had no other children as it wasn't in their cards and Terry was just too drained to try any more. They were content with their beautiful baby girl. She was so tiny and so loved when she entered this world.

Life went on. They bought their own home. Terry graduated. Bill moved up the corporate ladder and the baby thrived. Our large family watched. They were the best of best friends. You could just see that long happy road ahead and the type of relationship whose complimentary strengths could weather anything. One night, just after putting their six year old to bed, Terry popped open a beer can. Before she could snap it all the way back Bill looked up and saw her collapse on the floor. She was instantly gone from a massive aneurism at the age of 32. Life changed,  for Bill, their little girl and our entire close knit family. The Thanksgiving dinners at their house stopped. The annual summer clambakes went away. Life had its way of happening  and all was changed forever.

A bit about Terry...she was a professional level tennis player. She would murder any and all of my six brothers out on the court. But they loved her and loved sparring with her. She was the most competitive person I have ever known  and on that court, there was no mercy. She was also the kindest person I have ever met. Terry was very pretty, athletic, smart and ever so kind. She also never wore a skirt in her life, other than her wedding gown. One day she started planning her parents anniversary party. It was to be a big fancy affair. She gave me the ultimate compliment. She asked me to make her a black velvet suit. It's jacket would have scallops along the center front and hem. The skirt would be a simple knee length A line. Terry did nothing fussy. I was so honored and took a while to absorb that I would make the only skirt any of us had ever seen her wear. This had to be gorgeous. And while I was at it could I make something black velvet but little girlish for her daughter to wear to the festivities too? I was on this like white on rice.

Terry's suit fit her lovely figure just right and I was so proud to see it on her. But her daughter's dress, now that was special. It was the same black velvet as the suit. There was a simple bodice with a back placket and raised waistline. The sleeves were quite full and long. There was no collar to detract from  the embellishment. I had seen the most special child's dress in Sew News, back in the day when it was a newspaper. The bodice had random widths and lengths of bright colored ribbons, silks and grosgrains,  woven across the front. They released at the waist into a hypnotic swirl of color that any little girls would proudly twirl. Against the black velvet, it was breathtaking and Terry was thrilled her angel would have such a special dress. The big event came and went. It was a night that would be remembered many times in the years to come and the two of them were so beautiful that night. Life settled back in. About three weeks later Terry passed away. She is buried in that black suit and her angel's ribbon bedecked dress is tucked right next to her. It is still and always will be the prettiest thing I have ever made...................Bunny

( As you can imagine, this post has been simmering for years as I often think of our dear Terry. As you probably know, bouts of purging/cleaning can unearth hidden treasures that trigger deeply felt memories. I came across this yellowing Sew News page that was folded and tucked away with all the other accumulations. It was time to write. I dedicate this to all of you who have a star missing in your universe. Thank you for letting me share this with you all.....Bunny)