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July 2012

June 2012


I don't think I would have found this book on my own but as it was set for my book club next month I sort it out.  Firstly I tried the council library, I found I was 157 on the waiting list.  (Must be something about  this book.)  So then I ordered a copy from the U.K.  It arrived yesterday and I don't seem to have had a lot of sleep since then.  It is called "The Hare with Amber Eyes" by Edmund De Waal.


I love minitures, so when I found it was about netsuke my interest was peaked.  Then I got carried away with the story.

The beauty of the carvings just blew me away.

Look here for a slide show of images.

I then went looking to see if this art form still exists, it does and I found this wonderful article in "The Japan Times."


I think the price of these pieces would be far outside what I could afford but I can still look or even purchase a cheap replica.


Making do

This dress was made during the war years when the maker couldn't buy  fabric so she sewed together pieces of lace that she did have.


It was worn over a pink satin slip to dances when the owner was about 17 years old.


I love the buttons on the back,


and the small shoulder pads.


My friend Jenny was asked to repair the dress and they sent her the lace that was used to make the dress back in the 1940's, so I assume it was purchased sometime before 1939.


That lace is in pristine condition.  No wonder she has hung onto the dress, it must have been a labour of love.

On the back

I was admiring the work of a friend, Joan, and looked at this book cover for a week before I realised that she had used the back of a stitch.  The book cover was stitched on canvas and she just turned it over.


She used the wrong side of mosaic stitch and clever lady that she is, didn't use a variegated thread rather just picked those colours that were close to each other.


It is such a clever way to use up old coins and make a memento of a trip to Scandinavia.

Cooking and just living

I have an addiction, Surfing, the web that is.   I find a website I like and wander through the links.  Sometimes I find nothing when I open the box other times treasure.  Here is one of my treasures.

This is a cooking site from Sweden by Sanna Fyring Liedgren.   


Not a lot of print, but what there is is in both Swedish and English and great cooking videos with English sub-titles.  Here is Australia our citrus growers have just dumped most of the crop of oranges because the juice manufacturers are able to buy concentrate cheaper from overseas.  I keep thinking of all the muddled juices I could have made.


A sculpture or a painting?

This piece was huge and it wasn't till I saw a photo of it that I realised it said the word lover.  It was by Rose Nolan.


The light comming into the interior space was quite magical.



The open ends framed a changing view of the city and people passing by.


And there was something very tactile about the stitching,


and the layering and cutting of the hessian.


Another piece to inspire some embroidery.

Another exhibit

I don't think I have seen so much yarn in one place.  There were two parts to this exhibit.  The one behind glass.


And a free standing sculpture.


This one you could walk through, touch and smell as it was impregnated with essential oils.  The beautiful perfume was an added extra.

But again it was the details that were fascinating.




And when you walked inside it was just like being inside a yarn tree.


Interestingly all the yarns seemed to be synthetic.

A bit about the artist.


An interesting piece of art

When we visited the GoMA gallery last week there were a group of paintings by   Monia Tichacek  that really grabbed me.  From the distance the paintings just looked like very pretty arrangements of blobs of water colour.


I have no idea why I went in close to have another look, but I was just blown away with the detail that appeared when I did.




Rather like when you put a drop of water under a magnifying glass.

I think it was this painting that made me look again at the others.


It just looked like a watercolour of a rural scene.  But when I looked at the detail...



I wonder if I could achieve this in an embroidery?

TAST 2012 June 19th

Week 25 Cable Chain Stitch

Again, not a stitch that I think I have used.  So I had a play around with it and found that I could manipulate it in a number of ways.  Firstly, by increasing the wraps around the needle it reminded me of beads, so I shortened the length of the chain to accentuate this.  Then I lengthened the chain section to see what would happen there.

I have had an idea of embroidering a woman with neck rings, like the Kayan people in Burma but as this stitch could be made to look like beads I decided on an African woman. 

I drew a rough portrait on the wrong side of the fabric in pencil and then stitched the outline on this side in stem stitch, which became a back stitch on the right side. I used 2 strands of embroidery cotton for the hair, using a colonial knot for the bottoms and then a French stem stitch for the braids.  For the beads I used the cable chain stitch. This was stitched in a variety of silk thread, using one or two threads to get different textures.  

I think I will call this one beads.


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