Traveling in Spirals: What is Inside That Stole

I am making stoles for inventory this week. As I repeat construction tasks, I become more aware of these well honed practices.  Rarely does any one see what is inside of a stole.  I include interfacing.  The black fabric in the first photograph is a synthetic blend which contributes crispness and body to the stole. The white example below it is white flannel, often used to interline custom draperies.  It makes softer edges while adding body to the stole.  I often include a drapery weight at the hemlines so that the stole will hang well on the wearer.

 

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Outside views show the artistry and symbols supported by the internal craftsmanship.

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Advent Interlude 3

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Let every heart prepare him room.

Some years, preparing room is as simple as changing the sheets in the guest room.  Other years, the room has been renovated.  But this is a year that requires an empty space.

The tree is decorated.  Presents are wrapped.  Packages are shipped.

I need this empty little stable with its one wandering sheep as a vision of empty space.

Ease for the Journey

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This stack of drawers on wheels accompanies me to craft shows and art demonstrations.  The new straps serve two purposes; they keep the drawers in place and create a carrying handle.  The virgin voyage is this evening.  Not all creativity in the studio is artistic.

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There is a new designation for this production drawer: quick completion.  Projects that need an obvious and speedy finish are here for warm up and cool down action in the studio schedule.

Bunny business

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Fibergig, our Etsy shop, invites conversation about our products. This week Sarah admired a linen pillow, but it didn’t match her needs. “I want it to be easy to wash and larger, perhaps a square.”

I agreed to play within those parameters and present several possibilities. The original pillow is in the lower right of the photograph. A cotton pillow front with printed pattern is on the left. I made two more similar to this.

While I was on the bunny trail, I painted a white onesie and hat featuring our sweet bunny with spring blooms. I also took a more contemporary approach with a larger bunny and purple dye, paired with a tie dye hat.

Sarah will decide if my efforts match her needs; we agreed that she would be under no obligation. The rest of the items will be in this shop soon.

A Gift for the Groom

I volunteered to paint the groom’s tie for a spring wedding, and yet I had never painted a tie before. I assembled paint, tools, and the tie. I sorted through what I know about Jeff: energy and composure. Here is the result.

For whom would you want a tie painted? What words would you choose for inspiration?

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Working With the Weather

I like to cooperate with the weather instead of resisting it. It’s the farm girl in me. It’s the sensible mom in me. It’s the “be present” mystic in me.

Snow and frigid cold is a gift of time for design and prototype development in the studio this week.

Fingerless gloves knit by my daughter Emily keep my fingers warm. I want her to knit more of these for our fibergig shop next winter. Do you think bright-colored wool is a good addition to a snowy day?

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Hit the refresh button and head to comfort zone!

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Hit the refresh button and head to comfort zone!

Mid-week there was a great amount of reverse stitching (also known as ripping) in the studio. Neither design nor construction technique was working. When I rip many stitches one of two things happen: either I repeat the sewing step with more care, a different thread, a new machine setting, or I have an aha moment to a new approach.

Thursday I picked up some of Emily’s hand dyed yarn, which is available at our fibergig shop on Etsy, and began to couch it to the chasuble. I love to couch yarn, and using Emily’s is true joy. I am on a path to completion.

Repeat

The fun part of selling do-its in person is asking folks what verb they would choose to put on one. A few weeks ago I watched a gentleman carefully pick out dance, begin, create. “What would you like to see on a do-it?” I asked. “Repeat,” he responded quickly.
“Repeat? May I ask what you do for a living?” I was surprised by his verb. It was one that had never occurred to me to use.
He chuckled, “I teach dance.”

What a beautiful gift of a word he gave me! I have been pondering it. I see how important it is to my studio work. Repeated techniques. Repeated motifs. I recall my joy of seasonal life, a repeat I share with community. So I put the word repeat on a do-it. And repeated it a few more times. These are being shipped to a good teacher. More will become part of the shop inventory for fibergig at Etsy. One will hang in Studio Three 17.

A do-it is a small tag made of fabric, thread and yarn. It serves as a whimsical reminder of a desired action, which is handwritten with fabric pens. What verb would you like on a do-repeat 003 (640x480)it?

Affirmation: A little Salt

Recently I had three craftsmen in my home installing a new heating / air conditioning unit. Their comments on the amount of visible fabric generated conversation about craftsmanship, the joy of problem solving with mind and hands working in concert. In a few moments we affirmed each others’ vocations.

Many years ago, an employer told me I was worth my weight in salt. I retain her quick remark, made in the midst of some hectic retail work, as a page turner on days when I doubt what I am doing. I appreciate that this was not a compliment, but an evaluation. Most days, she preferred gold; she made jewelry. But when there is cooking to be done, a little salt is often desired.

Who has smiled over your work space? Who has described your worth? What do you do with the affirmations?