Medicine Bags in the Studio

Here’s an idea I’ve been working on since January. These things take time and this one had to simmer awhile.

I’m creating a line of Medicine Bags. The size is about 4″ x 6″.  They’re good for little things like toiletries, essential oil collections, handmade soaps… This idea is going to let me work with some interesting variations, using different fabrics and different surface designs. So here’s the first one.  This design came up when I bought a new deck of Tarot cards that needed a home. They’re made from collage blocks. I layered small pieces of really cool fabrics like silk, chiffon, gauze and panne velvet and sewed them all together with something sheer on top. It’s a nice analogue for Tarot where there are layers of meaning to consider. Then I bordered and lined the bags with a fabric that blends silk and cotton. And Voilá, the best of silks and cottons to surround and protect my cards. The pictures show the same bags, but the two sides are different. 

 

I’m already working on two more designs, one with eco-dyed muslin and another with a different selection of hand dyed fabrics. Each group is going to be really different. I’ll keep you posted.

Be Yourself

More of my TextTiles.

I’m a quiet person, not given to expressing opinions in public. These pieces really let me voice my thoughts.

The next step for these designs is to turn all of the TextTiles into notecards.  They’ll end up in the catalogue on my web site.

I like this one.  It’s a quote from Oscar Wilde.  This starts when you’re a teenager and it takes courage to outgrow it.  We’re all under pressure to live up to something or be someone else.  But it’s the same thing as lying.  When you be yourself you don’t have to keep track of what you’re pretending and who the real you really is.

This one follows logically.  It’s takes a lot of work to stretch your thinking to allow yourself to be yourself.  Just like any exercise, it’s worth it in the long run.

FYI about the process. The silhouette on Be Yourself is mine. It’s the first experiment for a series that finally became Faces. Techniques are a combination of reverse appliqué and embroidery.

The butterfly is another experiment in a technique of slashing the fabric and including pieces when it’s sewn back together.  The chiffon on the butterfly is all on the surface, attached only in the seams.   I finally got it all figured out and refined in the Fairy series. There were three that I finished but I only have one of those left.

I hope you like these.  Maybe they speak to something in you too.

Live Large

I’ve got something to say.

My focus these days is on sharing ideas. Things I want you to think about… If you’re not already.

Sing, Dance, Love, Live. You’ve seen this one around but have you really thought about living as if today was your last day? Last chance to get it right? To say what you need to have heard? It’s a really big concept! 

And the concept of letting go, what an idea! All the things you can’t do, can’t fix, can’t change, absolutely can’t control. Think about how much energy you’d have left over if you let go of all of those! 

Just some stuff to think about.

FYI about the process.  I’ve gone back into my stash and started pulling out UFOs.  Unfinished objects, samples, experiments, proof of design concepts, all kinds of things that were too cool to part with but haven’t had a home till now.  I’m looking at them to underscore some of the philosophical things and interesting quotes that have been accumulating in my mind.  It’s like archeology in the studio.

And I’m looking at these unfinished things as a canvas to try some of the really new concepts I’ve been working on too.  It’s like basic research in any field.  It brings out really unexpected synergy.