Thursday, March 31, 2005

Phulkari Embroidery 

I'm ready to go. India here I come. I want to see this stuff up close. The graphics are not good enough and the description sounds exciting.cloudband - dedicated to rugs, carpets, textiles, Asian art and tribal art.

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Calico Museum of Textile Gujrat 

And a bit about the Calico Museum. thebharat.com

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Textile Arts of India: Featuring books on Ethnic Indian embroidery, dresses, sarees, costumes 

Textile Arts of India: Featuring books on Ethnic Indian embroidery, dresses, sarees, costumes

After a fleeting but exciting conversation with Neathery last weekend - I want to know more about Indian textiles and I especially want to visit them. I knew of the Calico Textile Museum from a chance visit with a row-mate on a London flight some years ago. So - when a book on their holdings popped up, how could I resist? And then there are a good many other books on this site which don't show up at other dealers.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The Carrot Not The Stick 

I DID NOT want to go to the dreaded dayjob today. I ABSOLUTELY DID NOT want to go to the dreaded dayjob today. I was in the midst of an interesting project and had to interrupt it!!!

But I spoke sternly to myself "self, if you go you may order a book from The Scholar's Bookshelf".

And I DID go to the office - and I did order a book(s). And they had a 10% discount on orders today and into tomorrow.

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Monday, March 28, 2005

Leaving the Medieval 

A very rich weekend indeed in Kansas City. Absolutely awash with medieval embroidery images, medieval stitching, and good friends to spend it with. Catherine K. and her husband (otherwise known as LegoMan) are wonderful hosts and it was spirit raising to see Catherine toddling about very well after hip replacement surgery. It is difficult seeing nice people in pain. Thursday evening I was a guest at Catherine's EGA chapter (Santa Fe Trail)and surprisingly ran into some folks I know from another list and a customer as well. It is always pleasant to put faces to names. What an active and welcoming group they are. They get top notch marks from me.

On Friday Catherine indulged me with a trip around area thrift stores to search for that rare book, or bargain or bit of fabric for a project. I found a great reading book and Catherine found some lovely wool blend fabric and a few Legos for you-know-who. Then off to a local needlework shop - jammed with all sorts of fibers and embellishments which caught my eye as well as beautiful models. Models do make a shop!

Saturday was taken up with Or Nue class and we tried out all sorts of various ways of couching gold so different bits were bare and different colors were emphasized or shoved into the background. We mixed stitching with Libby's great photos and finished up by working on a small flower using the techniques everyone had been practicing.

Then back to Catherine's with some of the group coming by for a good chat and a look at some stupendous art books brought by some of the women.

Home again now and missing the medieval. It was super to visit there with such enthusiasts - but now it's day job today and mail stuff and open mail. You get the picture.

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Thursday, March 24, 2005

On The Road 

Shuttle arrives soon - Kansas City here I come. I'm really looking forward to a super weekend. Back Sunday to report on adventures.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

A Day to Get Ready 

This is a "get ready to travel day". Off to Kansas City to see friends and indulge in needlework talk and more goldwork. We're concentrating on Or Nue this weekend and the spools of gold passing have all been sorted out. I just have to put them in kit bags along with silks (still to be cut), handouts etc. Then the only major task today is to mount the silk gauze we will be using.

Libby has done a super job on photos for class and I am finding my projector is becoming a very fast friend. It lets me zoom in on photos to the "stitch by stitch" level.

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Sunday, March 20, 2005

Gold, Gold, Gold 

Today is a Goldwork day. Off to the San Fernando Valley to meet with a group of SCA stitchers who seem very keen on learning the ins and outs of beginning goldwork. They hopefully will still love it after hours of couching and waxing and cutting and re-cutting purls.

Libby came in yesterday and we went to the Autry Museum of Western History. Not just a collection of singing cowboy memorabilia. The sidearm collection donated by the Colt Corporation is astounding by itself. I really had never stopped and looked at all of the chased decoration on the weapons before. They rival Renaissance armor for twiddles and swirls, and they even had an example by Tiffany.

The special exhibit just now is about El Norte and amongst other things they had two very contrasting sewing boxes/baskets. One was a very grand, very large box in exotic wood, tortoise shell and ivory with heaps of drawers and bobbins, etc. The other was a humble basket made for a special stitcher. Her name was woven into the lid. Carmelita must have loved music as well because a little row of musical notes was woven in as well - a tuneful border under her name.

They had two dressed devotional figures as well. One of the Virgins was traditionally dressed as usual in rich fabrics but surprisingly, her veil was made of small rounds of Teneriffe lace. You never know where interesting techniques are going to show up.

Textiles and embroidery are so much a part of life that any exhibit attempting to demonstrate a rounded look at the material culture of an age or social group inevitably includes embroidery, needlework tools, weaving, etc.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Swedish Bobbin Lace 

This is one of those handy reference pages. In concise terms you get an overview of Swedish Bobbin Lace of several regions, its uses and evolution.

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The Queens' Sampler 

I see by my stats that someone is looking for information about the Queens' Sampler associated with my name.

This was a fun project done in collaboration with Eileen Bennett at the 2004 National Counted Cross Stitch festival (Rockome). We had a super evening with 30+ participants and explored the life and times of the wives of Henry VIII.

Eileen and I each designed three bands for a sampler that was exclusive to the evening (one for each of the wives). Adana Adams has a great set of photos of her stitching of the sampler in her photo gallery. She added a crown for each of the wives which I think is a great touch (wish I had thought of it).

Eileen and I have both had requests for the design and we could probably be convinced to teach it again in tandem. We are both fascinated by the women in Henry's life and each have our favorites. We'll see what happens in the future. For now it is a happy memory of an evening spent with some super stitchers and a dear, dear friend Eileen.

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Monday, March 14, 2005

....and do not paint the kitchen green! 

Way back in the 50's friends of our family were blessed/cursed with an extremely innovative/mischievous son. When leaving him "home alone" his mom always ran through a litany of thou shalt nots. On one occasion however, she neglected to tell him not to paint her kitchen green (somehow it never entered her mind that it might be high on his to do list). You get the picture. Much paint scraping after a 10 year old paints your kitchen with green enamel meant for shutters.

I'm often amazed at how slight failures in communication can lead to surprising consequences. When I recently ordered gold passing thread for an upcoming Or Nue class in Kansas City - I ordered 16 (25g) spools of passing. Now unfortunately Kath was ill and didn't take my order and the production folks at the factory simply looked at the order, saw a total weight of 400g and proceeded to send me 4 spools (100g) of gold.

Now I have a week and a half to get it all unwound, divided up and packaged for class. Believe me next time it will be "....and do not wind all 100g on one spool."

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Saturday, March 12, 2005

Now I Know 

I have a persistent interest in the methods used to teach children about needlework and for that matter crafts in general. I have a growing collection of teacher's handbooks and children's examples.

One sort of example often pasted in children's samples books are sheets of paper weaving. I've seen the same designs over and over again and what appear to be the same materials used. I've been on the lookout for a teacher's handbook that would explain this sort of design work and the method used to teach it to children.

Just yesterday an e-bay purchase arrived! Ms. Wilhelmina Seegmiller's book Primary Hand Work, A Graded Course for the First Four Years. Ms. Seegmiller was the Director of Art Instruction in the Indianapolis Public Schools in 1906 when the book was published. The student starts with paper weaving, proceeds to hand loom weaving, sampler stitching and basket making. The book is full of instructions, a price list and a photo of children in the classroom with their work on display.

For paper weaving, pre-printed mats were sold to the schools and students then cut slots for weaving and cut strips for weaving. In 1906 these cost $.01 each and came in several colors.

It was nice to see an example by presumably a young boy (his name is on a plate in the sample book) documented in the instruction book.

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Thursday, March 10, 2005

Not a One Skein Design 

Okay, progress is going to come to a halt on the little Rouyer design. Order in for more thread. I would choose a color I had only one skein of.

In the meantime I'm working on another project that was a Design UFO. A little chart of Four Letter Words using heaps of different alphabets. Not that I'm an alphabet addict. Ha!

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Turkoman Embroidery 

As the author admits, this is but a sketch of a paper concerning Turkoman embroidery. However, it touches on embroidery's importance to women and the events of their lives and there are some rather good graphics.

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One thing done 

I'm not really eager to keep up with my webpage. It is fiddly and takes time to get the graphics found and inserted, etc.

BUT I did get the event and teaching schedule page sorted and reloaded tonight. Not that it's very complicated in 2005. A quiet year without Rockome, but considering a month long exhibit in England and a move on the horizon - enough.

I'm really looking forward to two goldwork workshops. More and more teachers are teaching goldwork techniques and I'm pleased that some of my students have spread their wings and flown away to the RSN and have become first rate goldworkers. Also gratifying is to see students share their goldwork skills with others. We are building a body of metal embroidery enthusiasts in the US which gives me a great feeling.

Then at the total other end of the spectrum - I'm looking forward to a mixed media class in June. It is sponsored by the San Mateo EGA. We will be sloshing about paint and stabbing and mutilating textiles and paper and all sorts of other things and come up with amazing results.

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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

How Many? 

How many modern poets are inspired by textiles? How many fine arts printers are interested in textiles and photography? I won't spoil it for you. Go look.

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Making a List, Checking it Twice 

Those who know me well know I've developed a bad habit of simply throwing myself at a project and hoping all is well in the end. I never used to approach things in this way. If I was going on a trip I had lists and calendars and contact numbers and notes and was ready far in advance.

Upon self-examination and introspection, this bad habit started when I began teaching at consumer shows. I was working fulltime at a dayjob then, and when I started teaching the old Spirit of Cross-Stitch organization had folded and two new groups stepped into the void with a vengance. The first year of their sponsorship of consumer shows I taught and exhibited at 13 shows. I seemed to be the only teacher who prepared different teaching projects for the Heart of Cross Stitch and the CATS shows. (typically 8-10 classes per show). Boy did I have a lot to learn about the biz at that point. I flung myself around a lot and didn't do a very good job of any of it. What tolerant students and customers I had.

Then the habit stuck!!! The old wait until the last minute and go crazy plan of management.

Now that I am retiring from day jobs and am teaching at no consumer shows in the forseeable future, I have time to do a better job. So lists and more lists are established. Watch this space for progress reports.

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Sunday, March 06, 2005

New Stuff for Spring 2005 

New Stuff for Spring 2005

Dharma Trading is one of my favorite companies. They have great customer service and every sort of bits and bobs for dying and painting textiles. They've increased their made-up clothing items over the years and now have more and more yardage items. Their new items section now offers cotton twill (Jacobean maybe) and a handkerchief linen/cotton that sounds perfect for chemise construction. I'll have to order some samples.

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