A Daily Blog on Textile and Garden Adventures

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.

4. Aug, 2020

Here I am trying to decide which momigami papers plus a few fabrics I will use to create a small landscape using this process. You can see I have chosen the blue Christmas bauble paper and the purple and silver lace paper at the top. Both of these papers had a shiny finish so when crumpled they reflect the light quite differently. At the bottom I have placed some cream with a white fleur pattern. the green and the print at the bottom left are pieces of hand dyed/printed fabric from other experiments. I never through away my experimental pieces because even though you may not be happy with them initially, they can come into being just the right piece for something else. The green is such a piece. The print on this was very muddy looking but in a landscape piece like this that is an advantage. I have added in a small piece of open weave burlap that I acquired for another project but i thought would give this piece an added texture. Cas's challenges are always interesting in that they often lead to unexpected personal shifts in perspective

3. Aug, 2020

This weeks Stictch club Challenge used Momigami (a Japanese word meaning crumpled and paper) with workshop leader Cas Holmes. Like me Cas works with a lot of recycled/refound materials and this week she is working with momigami. Any paper can be used but that with long fibres works best. it is rolled and crumpled in the hand sometimes with a little bit of oil put on the hand if it is drying out too much from the paper crumpling. I used some small pieces of gift wrap above and I have put the original paper and the final crumpled paper next to each other so you can see the difference that breaking up the fibres and how the light catches the paper makes them look. These will now be worked into a small landscape piece

2. Aug, 2020

I have been wanting to do more stitching directly onto leaves for a while now as I have an idea of how I want to mount some leaves and Haf Weighton"s challenge from last week's Stitch Club challenge seemed a good way to start as I did not want to make a "medal" to honour essential workers in Covid. I chose the word resilience which is hand stitched just above the hydrangeas. We all need to be resilient in this changing world we now live in. I should have used a darker thread most probably but this worked at least as a prototype. I used net to support the leaf especially because at this time of year these plane leaves - which were everywhere in the park behind my house in the Autumn - are a bit brittle now. I also sprintzed the leaf with water. I stitched through the leaf and the net with a blanket stitch all the way around and then I stab stitched the hand written work. the Hydrangeas were some I had stitched through an organza sandwich in the late Summer. Once the stitching was don, I trimmed off the net. I need to go back and either trim again or colour the edges of the net black with a marker pen . I have stitched these eaves previously but always in an organza sandwich to support the leaves. Resilience seemed a good word as the leaf itself has had to be resilient to take this treatment