Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Thank you, Seam Ripper Santa!

What an unexpected surprise to find this beautiful seam ripper in my stocking.
Our neighbor turns wood and makes many beautiful objects.
And he is generous, too!
It is made of four woods and is about 7" long.  It feels wonderful to touch and, because of the diameter of the handle, it should be more comfortable to use.
I may see about carrying them in my shop: stay tuned!  

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My other Me

Recently, I started another blog devoted to the fiber artist in me.  www.ChristieMinchew.com will be a place where I have photos of my wet-felting, weaving, cloth wall hangings, and all things related.  www.SweetbriarStudio.blogspot.com will continue to have posts about sewing ideas and tips, new patterns I've designed, announcements regarding my etsy shop, www.SweetbriarStudio.com and showing you what others have done with my patterns.
So, come on over and see what My other Me is all about!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dusting off the old weaving loom

I bought this Frame Loom several years ago for a sweet $25.  I have a floor loom (4'x4'), but I wanted to do some very small weavings and that loom was overkill.  
I finally got this one out, dusted it off and started in.  
First, to measure out the warp.... 
Oops, I'm a bit rusty, so I made a couple of mistakes.  No problem, I'll just undo what I did and start over....
 And in my haste and idealism, I created a tangled mess. About 3 hours later (yes, I'm that frugal that I couldn't bring myself to just throwing it away), it was ready to put on the loom.
Oh boy, oh boy, this is going to be fun!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

She is fast!

Linda, the inspiration for my "Eco Shopping Bag" tutorial, is definitely the over achiever.  She has already made her first shopping bag... and only 7 more to go!  I love to see photos of what people have made from my patterns and tutorials - Fun!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Eco Shopping Bag Tutorial

I have officially jumped into the video pond with my first sewing tutorial on how to sew an unlined shopping bag. "Linda" asked me if I had a pattern for something like this and I thought it would be the perfect excuse to learn a little about making a video.  So here is the video... and here is the pdf file for the supply list and instructions to accompany the video: Eco Shopping Bag Tutorial .  Learning is fun - yea!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Knitting Heaven

My friend, Kory, is going to a special wedding this month - her son's!  So, dutifully, three of us got together and made a supreme sacrifice.  We sat around one afternoon eating cheese, fruit and chocolate and drinking a little wine while Kory gave us a fashion show of all the dresses that were contenders for her mother-of-the-groom look.  We successfully picked a great dress...but it needed a scarf or jacket to complete the look.  One more sacrifice coming up!  I'd knit if she bought.  So off we went last Saturday to my favorite local yarn haunt, "Yarns, etc",  and picked out these fabulous yarns - 5 of them. 
I love to knit and love an excuse to knit for someone else...especially when the yarn is beautiful and the pattern is easy!  I'll be back later with a photo of the finished scarf.  It has a surprise ending :) 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Patching things up for Louise

My girlfriend, Kim, has a cute 8-year old "puppy", Louise.
Louise liked the bedspread on Kim's son's bed soooo much...
 she ate a big hole out of it!
So Kim and I put our collective creative heads together and...
sewed bits of fabric from a suit of Kim's husband...
and now the bedspread is sportin' a fine, handsome patch.
And Louise has reclaimed her rightful position as queen of the house :).

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Unforgotten in cloth, felt and stitches

For a while now, I've been wanting to combine the various media and techniques I've learned into one piece. I challenged myself to do just that in this piece entitled "Unforgotten".  Inspired by the poem by Robert Service, I wet-felted the background and then added details in fabric and stitches to render the written into the visual. The images can be enlarged by clicking on them.

I know a garden where the lilies gleam,
And one who lingers in the sunshine there;
She is than white-stoled lily far more fair,
And oh, her eyes are heaven-lit with dream!
I know a garret, cold and dark and drear,
And one who toils and toils with tireless pen,
Until his brave, sad eyes grow weary – then
He seeks the stars, pale, silent as a seer.
And ah, it’s strange; for, desolate and dim,
Between these two there rolls an ocean wide;

Yet he is in the garden by her side
And she is in the garret there with him.
Poem by Robert Service
merino and corriedale wool roving, cotton, linen, embroidery thread, beads, cord, hand wet felted, machine and hand stitching

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Xylem : Stitched

The life of a wall-hanging: 
From inspiration...
From "Heaven and Earth", published by Phaidon
to cutting and swirling and piecing and stitching...
to finished hanging...
to its debut at the "Come Out and Play" art show...
to sending it off to a new home :).
Adios Amiga!

Friday, August 20, 2010

In the Studio: felting fun

I'm getting ready for the "Come Out and Play" Sculpture and Art Show that starts next Saturday (August 28th).  This year, I'll be adding some new pieces including hand-felted bracelets.  So the last couple of days have been spent making "coils", and today I started beading them.  Here's my very first one:
I was stumped as to how to make these adjustable and not have some dangling end underneath - horrors. I finally came up with this twist, literally, of wire that can be raised and lowered to tighten over the end where it fits the best.
I'm excited!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Discovering an Inspiration

I'm excited!  I love it when I come across something and, all of a sudden, my brain starts going bananas with inspiration.  What a fun feeling.
I've been going through a book I bought recently: Collage Sourcebook.  Many artists are featured including their techniques.  But one kept catching my eye.  And then I read an essay by her on her creative process.  I could identify with so many things she said...or I aspire to become that kind of free artist, an artist whose creations are the outpouring of my heart and my soul through my hands.   The artist is Deborah Putnoi.  And her website has so many encouraging and inspiring words and works...even for those of us who "can't draw".  I especially enjoyed her Journal pages.
I'm ripe for the picking on this, too, as I am starting to do more collage or assemblage with fiber-related materials. Yea for inspiration! :)

Both images are from Deborah Putnoi's site.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Geometry is my friend

The last class that I took from Peg Gignoux was called "Finding Your Personal Geometry" and here is the result: my first all-but-finished wall hanging. I had so much fun 'working' on it, too.  The only thing left to do is to put the finishing touches on the sides and back.  
The best part of this class was discovering that I absolutely loved the design process and the meditative cutting and arranging and hand-stitching.  I am newly encouraged to find my inner artist :). 

cotton, linen, taffeta, organza, silk, pearl rayon cording, multiple colors of thread

Friday, July 9, 2010

Xylem Series - In the Beginning

I've been having fun in my studio for the last few weeks coming up with a new wall hanging to have for the Art Show I'll be doing starting in August (more on that later).  My inspiration for this piece is an image magnified 2,000 times of conifer wood xylem cells*.  It has a very uneven, repetitive geometry that looked interesting enough to springboard from.  Using some of the techniques I learned in my last art textile class, I sewed and cut and sewed burlap, suedecloth, cotton and organza to make 4 long segments that will make up the background cloth.  And now, I'm appliquing organza, cotton, suedecloth and felt in swirly dollops down each segment.  The hours have gone by enjoyably with each stitch.

* From "Heaven & Earth: Unseen by the naked eye", published by Phaidon