Paper Embroidery

Have you ever tried embroidering on paper? It’s fun but a bit picky. Once a hole is in the paper there is no going back.

This week I did a little embroidery on watercolour paper. Turns out that it is, hands down, the easiest paper to embroider on that I have ever tried. I used an awl to punch the holes (after placing the paper on a piece of leather) and used only a variety of outline stitches. I think it is simple but effective.

It’s a long time since I hauled out the watercolours but I think it’s not too bad. Continue reading “Paper Embroidery”

Simple Crafternoon Pleasures

I taught five beginners to crochet today!

Today was an awesome day. It didn’t start well, but it improved rapidly.

On my way to teach at my Crafternoon group, while getting on my first bus, I stepped on the hem of my brand new dress and it tore in several places. Luckily, I had my needlework chatelaine pinned to my apron and a good assortment of thread on me. So while waiting for my second bus I sat on the grass under a tree and mended the holes.

People walking by looked at me as if I were performing an arcane bit of magic.  A needle and thread! What is she doing? Two minutes later a quick and dirty repair job was done. I got a huge kick out of the teens trying to figure out if I was actually sewing or doing a bit of performance art. It was a small but real pleasure.

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A Stitch in Time, William Henry Margetson, 1915.

Continue reading “Simple Crafternoon Pleasures”

Baba’s Current StringThings

Here is what I have been working on this week…

Here is a quick round up of what I’ve got on the go this week…

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A Pretty Peacock Blanket for Miss.B.
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Blocking a new piece of thread crochet, a pattern-free mandala or doily.

Continue reading “Baba’s Current StringThings”

Visible Mending: The Beauty Of Broken Things

It’s been a hell of a overcomsumption party, but the fun is over and the guests are puking in the bushes outside. It’s time to relearn the wisdom of Making Do and Mending.

The Japanese have a really beautiful set of aesthetic traditions that, to me, are the exact opposite of the frantic, febrile spasm of over consumerism that the world seems to be caught up in. We are literally consuming ourselves to death.

One of the most beautiful and healing of these concepts is wabi sabi.

Wikipedi says, “Wabi-sabi represents Japanese aesthetics and a Japanese world view  centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”.

“the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry,  asperity (roughness or irregularity), simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy.” (Wikipedia)

Those are such beautiful concepts. There is a coolness, serenity, naturalness and acceptance that feels like the exact opposite of anxiety in these concepts. Now I am no expert at all, but I think I really get this right down to my bones. These are my guiding principals as a craftswoman. Continue reading “Visible Mending: The Beauty Of Broken Things”

O Crochet Sai a Rua Yarnbombing

Clearly the product of a crochet craftavist’s happiest hallucination about a trip to an alternate crochet circus universe. Wow.

Without a doubt this is the most fantastical excursion into a surreal crocheted reality ever. I think my favourite part might be the lovely lace parasols of the stilt walkers. Or maybe the woman filling her crochet grocery cart with crochet food. What a fantabulous yarn bombing. A must watch.

A lovely little yarnbombing video that’s relaxing and enjoyable to watch. Take a few minutes to breathe and enjoy! The stilt walker’s umbrellas are my favorite. See photos on Facebook

via O Crochet Sai a Rua Yarnbombing —

Crocheting My Hyperbolic Coral Reef

I was immediately caught up in the wonder of the intersection between non-Euclidean geometry, feminism, crochet, and environmentalism, and I set out to make my own Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Garden.

I have a crochet coral reef in my living room.

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A Few Corals

My Coral reef is full of tiny sea creatures, mostly sea turtles, octopuses, and snails, because I find them the most fun to crochet.

When kids come to visit, I like having something completely indestructible for them to play with. It’s extra fun when they find a tiny albino sea turtle hiding inside a sea-weedy coral. Very often, a guest will pick up a coral to play with and sometimes I send the coral home with them. Everyone should have an encounter with a coral garden I feel.

Continue reading “Crocheting My Hyperbolic Coral Reef”

Michelle’s Tokyo Show!

Michelle is my extremely talented twin from another mother. Look what she’s doing!

Michelle is my extremely talented twin from another mother. She lives and makes beautiful art in Tokyo. (Almost literally twins, we share the same birthday and in fact are both turning 50 this month.)  Look what she’s doing on her birthday!

I am so proud of her. Click through to take a peek at the three pieces she will be displaying. They are incredible.

Mazal Tov Michelle!

 

Three of my drawings will be in Zen at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum in Ueno park from August 22-29, 2016. After the Abstract Narrative group show at the Artcomplex Center of Tokyo, I was contacted by someone who saw my work and wanted to know if I would participate in a large group show…

via NEWS: The Zen Show — Viewed from the Outside

Does Anyone Else Rescue Abandoned Craft Projects?

Finding a half finished and abandoned craft project always makes me so sad…

Finding a half finished and abandoned craft project always makes me so sad…

I always wonder what happened? Did the crafter just get bored? Or did someone’s mother  get old, and in the process of sorting their stuff out, a son or daughter decided to donate a half completed project?

I always feel that there is a tragedy there.

Continue reading “Does Anyone Else Rescue Abandoned Craft Projects?”

Finding Treasures

S0, as you Winnipegger’s may know, Wolsley’s Neighbourhood Bookstore and Cafe is closed (temporarily I am POSITIVE). I encourage action!

Anyway, I just read this wonderful post about finding fibre-love treasure in second-hand bookstores ad thought to share it with you.

Two of the best finds I ever made at the cafe were ‘Plain and Fancy: American Women and Their Needlework, 1700-1850’ by Susan Burrows Swan (found last week!) and the ‘Woman’s Day Book of American Needlework’, by Rose Wilder Lane. (Yes, Laura’s daughter!) It still had it’s companion box of patterns too!

Have you made any amazing finds second-hand?

A good second-hand book store is a pearl beyond price.:-)

The Sweaty Knitter, Weaver and Devotee of Other Fiber Arts

I enjoy roaming the aisles of used book stores.  Over the years I have found some amazing HandweaversWorkbookbooks for very little money.  Recently I came across a 1956 edition of A Handweaver’s Workbook by Heather G. Thorpe (originally published 1936, reissued in 1974).  Not surprising given its age, the book is hardbound, and the pages are printed on heavy acid-free pages. It is also in perfect condition, nary a pencil mark! What a find!

Browsing through it, I was impressed by its thorough yet not overwhelming approach to introducing weaving.  I learned some interesting facts I’ve not seen newer weaving survey books or learned in a weaving class.

Did you know (I didn’t!) that …

PorteeCrossThere are different names for crosses on warps made withe a paddle dependent upon their position:  The first cross at the end of a warp is called a porrey cross; the second cross is called…

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Chatelaines: The Original Multi-App Mobile Device!

My Chatelaine isn’t as pretty as the Victorian ones, but it’s just as handy.

Continue reading “Chatelaines: The Original Multi-App Mobile Device!”