A Daily Blog on Textile and Garden Adventures

9. Aug, 2020

I am now inserting some small beads around the side of the pine needle basket. This is my first piece to get to this stage and I can see that my stitches are not very straight going up he side but overall I am quite pleased with how it is coming on and I have learnt a lot with this. I sit at night, after dinner, and add the layers of pine needles. It grows quite slowly but it a slow and meditative exercise. I have found there is a "shiny" side to the pine needles and I am concentrating on having this side out. Who knew there were so many details to be learnt from a simple pine needle

8. Aug, 2020

Wow I am humbled. Last week 5 344 people visited my site. I know I do a lot of different art work compared to some people but that is a lot of viewers. When I start to get a bit stale (or lazy) I think well I need to have something to put on the blog so what will I work on today. With the online Art and creativity programme it is a bit the same as I need to log my hours on any project to insure I am staying engaged so the blog has been a good lead in to that. The blog was never about public exposure but to keep me honest in my studio practice so that I made sure I did do something creative every day.
I have gone back to this pine needle basket now I have the longer pine needles and it is progressing much more quickling. I am coming up the sides now and just about ready to try and insert some bead windows into the basket

7. Aug, 2020

So here it is stitched and mounted onto watercolour paper with a mat board frame around it. I have left the ragged top and bottom edges as a tribute to my developing free way of working in this media. So the top two spreads and the bottom are monigami papers, the green and piece at the bottom left are hand dyes or prints and the piece going in a diagonal line is open weave burlap. apart from the French knots in white on the burlap all the stitches are simple stab stitches

6. Aug, 2020

I havent finished the Cas Holmes stitching yet because i got so excited about finding a pine in Brooke Parke that I can use for my pine needle weaving. I have an old pine needle woven box that belonged to my Grandmother. It is about 150 years old and I have chosen as one of my Art and Creativity projects to learn pine needle weaving. In NZ there are lots of radiata pine forests as the trees grow quickly for use in the timber and paper pulp industries but other pines are not so common. I think the one in Brook Park is a Ponderosa (yellow) pine. I was well aware that the pine needles I was using were significantly shorter than the ones Nadine Spiers was using but I had no idea where I could get others. Whe I took Rusty for a walk we went a different way because I was considering bull rush as an alternative and there was this large pine tree with lots of needles on the ground waiting to be collected. You can see the difference in size from the above photo and the pine needle weaving grows a lot quicker with the longer needles but doesn't look any different to the earlier weaving. I did try dying some needles but the colour uptake was not significant and I like the natural tone in any case. By the time I had washed the needles and sat them in the slow cooker with oil and then dried and rolled them in paper towel to keep them straight I had done for the day. With the sorter needles I had to add to the bundle every two stitches, with these i can get quite a few stitches before I need to "feed" the bundle. I have two pieces on the go - an oval box and I free form piece. The oval box is more about getting techniques right but it is coming on nicely. I am at the stage of finding out how to add beads into the openings I have created. One thing is for sure eco art is never short of challenges

5. Aug, 2020

I have started to top stitch this with hand stitches using simple stitches - straight stab stitches and colonial knots on top of the open burlap. I placed some fine black net over the top half of the piece to integrate it a bit more.