Sunday, January 14, 2018

Boro stitching

Got my visible mending vibe on again. While working on another teacup, I was inspired to take a break and make some mini embroidery hoop necklace pendants using boro stitching.

Boro stitching is an old Japanese technique used to extend the life of household linens and clothing. Patches are not necessarily sewn all around the edges. The running stitches hold everything in place beautifully and make layer after layer of mends and new fabric.

Using repurposed denim, a stack of vintage feedsack scraps I got from a flea market in Louisburg, Kansas, and 100% linen thread, I played with doing tiny Japanese boro technique. 

I love how they came out. The tiny stitching was a lot of fun but required a major attention mode.

And then, I couldn't help but make a tiny quilt, too, hand quilted with a cotton batting backing.

They're all in my Rabbithorns Etsy shop tonight.  

And what am I doing tonight? Hoping it snows again. I woke up to a winter wonderland. Snow is my favorite thing.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Visible mending and tea

All the comforts and simple pleasures of life came together in this fabric teacup. 

It's hand a machine sewn and shows off a sampler of visible mending handwork techniques while reminding me - it's probably time for tea. When isn't it time for tea?

It's the size of an actual teacup, so why not hang it up alongside the other cups in your display? There is a bit of delicate wire in the handle and rim for easy hanging, but the cup is soft and when squished (as I do with everything I touch) bounces back into shape.

It's one of a series of soft sculptures that will be in my revived Rabbithorns Etsy shop. This one is just listed today.

I've already pulled out a luscious piece of cream wool fabric to make another cup. Yum!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Thrift Score - what's old is new in January 2018

This was a week of utter delight in the world of sifting and thrifting. I'll just leave these photos here and let you imagine all sorts of re-uses for these wonderful treasures.

What did you some up with? Just want to position some on shelves or frame a few pieces? I know! That would already be amazing, wouldn't it?

There's a local craft fair in March that will be focusing on shabby chic junkers, repurposers,  and hand-makers, so I have high hopes that the Jello molds can be turned into something artful. There's also a local arts festival in April I am working towards. 

One of the art projects will be made from that doll sweater. It has seen better days and is a visible mending dream. 

As much as I'm enjoying found objects, these four large and three small tubs of wool fabric can't be ignored. Erica, of Nine Patch Quilt and Fabric in Nevada, Missouri, had it sort of dumped on her and she was more than happy to see it go elsewhere. It's already being channeled into a new pattern. You can see the work-in-progress on my Instagram - #sweaterdollstories.

Any great thrift scores in your week? This is a great time for it. People just want to clean out the old and get all new. Silly people!

Monday, January 1, 2018

New year, new mends

With temperatures falling to below zero, I count my wool sweaters as close a set of friends as any humans I know. But it seems every single one of them needs some kind of mending.

And what is mending if not a task to be accomplished in the comfort of the favorite chair and with a reward at hand for a job well done?

Oh yes. I've stocked up on candy canes so I can enjoy them into spring.

Here a cashmere thrift store find with a small hole gets some love in the form of a woven heart. Mending = Love.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Hey New Year, it's still Christmas, you know

As Christmas winds itself up to its sixth day crescendo, I scan the horizon of the new year coming. Christmas is falling now towards Twelfth Night. It's only the middle of Christmas, but the Gregorian calendar is forcing me to stop and consider new beginnings even before the old things are stored away. 

There are fairs to prepare for, local shops to fill, and an art show looming. The online shops - yes, there are two of them - are being cleaned out, reorganized, and stocked. 

And the goodies - oh! the goodies I find at flea markets and antique shops. Yesterday's discovery was a laundry line of doll clothes that will become art projects. Washed and ironed, the task now is the discover the stories within them and stitch these into the fabric of their past.

Who doesn't love a simple palette like these little treasures? And longjohns for dolls? Does it need a little bum flap made from vintage feedsack? 

And then there's this little plaid dress. Did you notice the two different edgings on the collar? And then there's the hand stitched button holes. These leave me breathless in their beauty.

Are you ready? Have you put Christmas away in favor of resolutions and new planners? Don't give it all up yet. It's still Christmas, you know. There are still gifts in the present tense.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Meet the O'Lanterns

The land and its outbuildings are coughing up more treasures as we tear down walls, remove layers of flooring, and dig out the crawl space under the house.

Housed between the two sides of the rotting dry wall of a shed behind the house, there were dozens of printing mats, short for matrix. These are heavy cardboard sheets steamed over typeset newspaper pages so the words and images are made in impression. The cardboard is rolled and covered with lead to produce lead drums that fill in the impressions. The drums are inked and used in rotary printing of pages of the newspaper.  

One of the pages has a date of June 1956.


 And then the walls gave us critters. One whole skeleton and somewhat mummified squirrel and two more skulls and a spine and ribs.


But the land gives us more. Meet the O'Lanterns. Pumpkins for carving and smaller sugar pie pumpkins for eating. Seeds and string removed for baking tonight, baked with brown sugar, butter, nutmeg, ginger, and clove. Seeds are drying for snacking later.

Little friends visit and the pecans fall. 

And just before sunset, one last treasure of the day is discovered between lost pages of time on the land.

 Just in time for a creepy Halloween.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Another batch of aprons

In the delicious mad dash to create fabric and stitchery "babies" for a local shop in town, I have had to absolutely reorganize my fabric hutch and supplies. 

It may not look different from any previous photo - except I now know where everything is. Because I have twice the amount of fabrics I did a couple of months ago, supplies were displaced to other areas and all the fabric is not in the hutch.

The lampshades are for mobiles. I've been taking the fabric/paper off and wrapping them and adding doodads. Some are too lovely though and will be embellished as is.

Windowsill collection.

Mr. True Love is building me a simple work table out of some plywood he bought to make himself a workbench for his man cave. It should be ready in a few days and I'm thrilled. When I did mainly hand work, the folding table I have was plenty of table, but with aprons and machine sewing going on, I need more work area to spread fabrics on.

I took a few more aprons to Mary's shop but forgot to take photos of them. But here's probably the last batch for awhile, hot off the press and ready to deliver.

These are all made from pillowcases and a sham. Vintage bits and bobs, table scarves, handkerchiefs, lace, tea towels, quilt blocks adorn them. 

Just in case it's spring in your hemisphere.

Poly/cotton pillowcase, linen napkin, cotton handkerchief, linen table scarf.

What an elegant sham. Rich colors and a bit of quilting and lacy bits.

Cotton and linen fabrics, cotton lace, otton ric rac.

I like the country, vintage, and cottage look. 

Cotton fabrics, linen napkin and tea towel, cotton embroidery.

The quilt piece came like that. Someone must have already taken apart a hand stitched quilt top using feed sack squares.

Poly/cotton fabric, cotton fabrics, linen table scarf, cotton doily bit, synthetic lace and ribbon.

The embroidered teapot is one of 34 embroidered squares I bought in a pack awhile back. It was likely supposed to become a quilt all together but had never been pieced.

I love the vintage fabric in the ties. I have about 2 yards of it and I'm wondering what to do with it. The green napkin is a pocket.

Cotton fabrics, linen napkins, cotton doily, cotton lace.

The large ruffled bit is a folded silk handkerchief. 

Poly/cotton, linen table linen with cotton embroidery, synthetic lace, silk handkerchief.

If you see any you'd like to buy, I won't be taking them over for a couple of days. Email me and we can arrange it. They are $25 each plus shipping.

Art aprons must be hand washed and hung to dry.