This is my favorite thing to work on these days.
This is my favorite thing to work on these days.
I hoped to finish ten new embroideries this summer, but it looks like I’ll have maybe three. I did embroider a lot, but I started a large self-portrait and I really enjoyed doing really small stitches and taking my time. The hoop is 35 cm in diameter. It’s my favorite embroidery I made thus far, I’ll probably frame it. I stitched it on cotton canvas that I have dyed with onion peels and turmeric (it’s from the same old bed sheet that I used for sewing a blouse.) I used the sewing machine with a thread in a very similar color to the canvas for larger surfaces (like the forehead), but I stitched most of it by hand. I like the “watercolor” effect this embroidery has, even more so in reality (the photo makes the lines just a bit harsher).
When I finished it, I was kind of sorry to lose such a pleasant way to spend my free time, but I have already started another, very detailed, embroidery.
This is something I made as a school assignment in June, but also something that I was interested to make, anyway.
Our world and it’s starry sky that is almost lost to us.
It was quite demanding on my eyes to work on such a dark canvas, and I was on a deadline, so I was quite stressed at some point about the outcome, but in the end it turned out ok. The “stars” that are placed in the shape of Ursa minor are a string of battery operated led lights, sewn in the back of the canvas.
It’s summer and so hot these days and it seems hard to me to find the motivation to do much. I almost finished some job related things and now I am free to do whatever I want, but somehow the days pass and I don’t do much. Summer is often like this to me, I feel locked out from myself, with a foggy and scattered mind. So, for now, I will only post some new things I have found, in a rare visit to the flea market, online and in a vintage shop I visit quite often.
This is a pretty needlepoint bag, in a really good shape. I’m not sure if it is from the twenties or thirties or it’s something newer (the sixties?) made in that spirit. I am actually inclined to believe it is from the twenties, but never really used or something. I will keep it in my bag, holding embroidery stuff, when I go to work in the park (I do this sometimes, meeting friends in the park and stitching while we talk and it’s one of my favorite things to do).
This is a lucky flea market find, an Egyptian scarab ring, something that I kept hoping to find. It has Egyptian hallmarks, but I didn’t research them yet. I think it’s from the forties of fifties.
Another pretty ring, made of bakelite and some sort of silver alloy.
And a snake, found online.
I added another piece to my Art Nouveau collection. This is a brass necklace with mother of pearl (a very cheap flea market find).
And a cute brass dog ring.
I started this embroidery a few months ago, but meanwhile I had other, more urgent, things to do, so I postponed finishing it. I worked on it these days. I saw a beautiful huge pink moon sometimes in January or February, while the sun was still setting and the buildings still had an orange glow. I didn’t take a photo, but the image stayed with me and at some point I made a simulation of it in photoshop to use as a reference image for an embroidery.
I really liked working on it, slowly, in short sessions. Also, I practiced machine sewing for the sky, something that I needed to do at the time when I started the embroidery. But slowly stitching by hand stays my favorite thing to do.
This was another school assignment. I’m not sure for what could this be useful, as long as you cannot wash the fabric without it loosing its shape, but it was a fun experiment nonetheless. I used some stones my friend from work gave me. She brought them from the seaside in Greece. I think that the fact that they are so calcareous helps the fabric keep its shape, some of the chalk like dust form the stones staying in the fabric.
I tied the stones in the fabric, I put the fabric in boiling water and I let it boil for an hour with two spoons of turmeric and 250 gr of vinegar. I let the fabric sit in the water for 2 days, then I let it dry without taking out the stones. Actually, I let the stones there for weeks, because I wasn’t decided if I want them out or not, but I think that just letting the fabric with the stones in it till it is perfectly dry should be enough. The fabric keeps its shape perfectly and the colors are quite pretty.
This blouse is something I partially sew by myself as a school assignment, but also as something for myself to wear. My friend helped me with some of the sewing, but I made a lot of things by myself, too (I copied the pattern, I cut the fabric and I did some of the sewing). Also, I dyed the fabric (an old cotton sheet) with onion peels and turmeric and I embroidered the text. So, I can say I did a lot of it :).
The fabric is really nice, the old cotton has a softness that only something that was used for a long time gets. Also, I like the color that turned out after dyeing it. I lose some of the color with each washing (even if I fixed it with vinegar and I wash it only by hand in cold water), but still it becomes paler and paler. But, at some point, I can dye it again, because the embroidery thread I used is synthetic, so it won’t be affected by the dye. But, for now, it’s fine.
I embroidered on it a text in my handwriting that you can see only if you come close enough and you make an effort to read. There are random thoughts that I had while working a lot at home during this spring, but if you don’t read them, they are just a vibrating color and texture. The text, roughly translated, says: ” …the small noise that the needle makes when it goes trough the fabric…I listen to the news and a sea of anxiety and despair overflows…sometimes, hope…when you get closer to reaching the age of forty, everything is the same, only you judge yourself a little less harshly…and getting legitimization from others is much less important…sometimes…this body that carries me through the world so well…maybe there is some more ice cream left in the fridge… ”