Mandalas and Celtic and Free, Oh My!

Someone on one of my other lists asked the other day about mandala patterns. I frequently do this -- someone will ask something and it piques my interest so I go off poking about to find patterns, information, etc. One of the sites that I found had this free pattern -- a lovely Breast Cancer Ribbon pattern. Ink Circles has several other free patterns available, and the site is well worth a visit.



Ok, this is an example of shibori. It's a type of Japenese tie-dyeing. There are several kinds of shibori. This pic here illustrates a particular technique called kumo shibori, a pleated and bound resist which makes a spidery design. Gorgeous, no?! I don't necessarily know what I'm talking about but the result is cool and I'm learning about different types of resist. I think this one was wrapped in a particular way around a [bamboo?] pole and then bound around before being dyed. I can't wait to try it!

The tutorials I found are here and here. Just Jussi's tutorial covers a scarf and a couple other processes; Betz's tutorial is called (I love this...!) "Shibori Felting for Scaredy Cats"! I haven't tried either of them yet, but from a complete dummy's eye, they are well written, with great pics and easy-to-understand steps. Right now my husband is STILL in recovery after I set the stove on fire (is there a Stoveaholics Anonymous?!) so I have to wait. But I'm open to everyone's comments!!

Later, gator!!

Follow-Through Begins!

OK, yesterday I spoke bravely about participating in the Great UFO Clean-Out Challenge. So here's the first one, not necessarily the first one as in the oldest non-worked-on piece, but the first one I chose! The detail is a bit hard to see. Hey, at least my camera is *working*...I just need to learn more about lighting. Anyway, the piece on the left is the front, where I have half of a needlepainted hummingbird (ruby-throated) and a lavendar tree sewn with the Portuguese Knot stitch. It came out rather well, if I do say so myself! The right piece has a heart there on the right in which I'm going to embroider Mom's initials, and some floral motifs. Also, the curly stuff below the heart is vine work, on which I'm going to make some French-Knot wisteria. So, there it is, the start! Oh, yes, this is part of a set which will include a needlebook and a scissors fob. The colors are red, purple and cream. Yes, Mom's going to have her very own Red Hat sewing set!! More later!


The Arty Meme

As a Good Night Thought, I forgot to mention that I responded to the Arty Meme that is going around. I'm quite excited -- I don't know who thought it up or where it originated, but here I am.

The deal is that the first five people who comment on this posting will each get a small piece of creativity made by me. The "catch" is that you must post a similar offer on your own blog or web site. How cool is that!! I saw the movie "Pay It Forward" a couple years ago, and it moved my heart. And I think a lot of us are similarly minded in doing the good deed for someone just because. So, IMHO, this is a lovely way to continue the tradition.

My work right now is primarily with my own designs in Jacobean needlework and Pulled Thread work. You can see samples of my Jacobean work in one of my earlier postings. So I hope folks can comment, and I also hope everyone has a good night.

Learn Along With Me!

I have emerged from my thoughts. My camera works. I got a new box of goodies from my mother. I am ready!

First, I have to publicly commit to the fact that I've joined in the Great UFO Clean-out Challenge. Nothing like making New Year's Resolutions early! Each week, I'll take a pic and show progress the following week. I think we're doing it as a WISP Wednesday (Works In Slow Progress!), so that's the program I'm following, too. Stay tuned, and be motivated (isn't that a bit scary??!!!)

Second, something I've been wanting to achieve with this blog is finally ready to begin. Sort of. Oh, but as an aside, I can't remember where I got the design there (obviously somewhere on line) so do NOT use it for anything but personal use. Please.

Ok, back to it. . . As you see in my descriptive sentence above my profile, my quote is "Decorations and details are what makes it all worthwhile!" So on the one hand, I want to take a design, such as shown above. And I want to show how I try to alter the same design, say, four different ways, each time presenting something entirely different but at the same time not deviating from the basic drawing. This is been done somewhat similarly by others, but I want to try to take it a step further if I can. And, of course, links to other work will be appearing here periodically.

On the other hand, we all know how easily we are *ahem* able to be distracted. And like any other person-involved-in-textile/fiber-pursuits, it is OF COURSE always a good thing! Thus, just because I say I'm going to play with design altering, doesn't mean other things aren't going to be thrown in, or deviated towards, or downright fascinated with. Gosh, that almost sounds like a disclaimer, doesn't it!!

A lot of us have many and varied interests in the field of "needlework", and others like to look and collect. So with that in mind, something I'd like eventually to institute is a listing of sites with free patterns of any sort on the web. Others do that, too, it's nothing new, and mine probably will not be comprehensive per se. But I'd like to try. And I guarantee you won't be bored! But please be patient...I'm still learning the blog techie stuff, too!

Now, Sharon B. is highlighting the aspect of the Personal Stitch Dictionary, and her classes through Joggles are fabulous. Sharon is a superb teacher, and an incredibly knowledgeable woman with a wonderfully explorative mind. If you have not exposed yourself yet to her site (click above on her name), or to her classes, you may be a Truly Deprived Soul. I, on the other hand, do not have enough knowledge of anything (except the feeding schedule of my 100-lb. lap dog!) to teach. I'm in the process of learning, and I invite you to join my journey and learn along with me!

To that end, on another list to which I belong, someone asked a question about an available free Shibori tutorial. I had no idea at the time what Shibori was, so I decided to look it up. Well, I ended up finding four sites with a couple tutorials and some other interesting stuff, which I posted to the list. So tomorrow I'm going to find that list and post it here to start. Not sure how I'm going to organize the posting issue, but stay tuned, learn lots, and have fun with me!