Friday, August 15, 2014

more or less...

i've been thinking about more and less a lot lately

and how they relate to "you can't have it all"

this year, in my year of taking better care of myself, i'm thinking a lot about what i want more of, what i want less of, and what i'm willing to do or give up so i can do or have what i want most

are you confused yet????

i want to travel more... which costs money so i'm working more

which means i have less time for sewing, gardening and blogging - i eke out what i can, when i can... some days it doesn't feel like nearly enough, but one of the rewards for doing more and doing less, was a fun weekend in vancouver, visiting a childhood friend...


we walked to her community garden plot and while she watered, i wandered...

charming structures in several plots, giant dahlias, taller than me, and a fig tree, complete with ripe figs - we ate them standing in the midst of the communal herb garden


 saturday started out with a trip to gala fabrics and meinhardt foods on granville st
treasures found...

 the rest of the day and evening were spent on granville island, soaking in the energetic artistic vibe i love so much

we gathered our picnic from the food aisles, eating outside on the benches, watching the boats in false creek


wandering the seawall, pausing on yet more benches in front of the granville island hotel

 when i'm an eccentric old lady i'm moving into the granville island hotel and never leaving
{if i ever win the lottery, i'm moving in sooner!}


 the building below is my favourite in all of the city
there's a starkness to it that, in certain lights, is almost forbidding...


peeking through spaces 


another community garden... i found scented sweet peas...
one of my very favourites from early childhood
 

more city skyline...
 


and in the heart of it, a hint of what it used to be...
cool and dark - calm... lush
it is a rain forest after all
 

in the heat of the day it felt wonderful to step into this earthy green space, this shaded grove
an oasis from the heat and from the noise of the city


i found lovely fabrics - silk, hemp - which is very like linen, a wonderful striped fabric, buttons, beads, silk threads, beautiful ethereal papers... treasures for creative moments, a renewal of artistic joy, pure, unadulterated fun

 in october i'm going back, to see this and this
the maiwa textile symposium will be in full swing and my friend and i love our art... there will also be a trip to the museum, shopping for art supplies, creating at her dining room table, eating, drinking talking, lapping up all the city has to offer - drawing on the sheer energy of it

i'm quietly learning the lessons of more for less and less is more

more or less...

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

the tale of a pin-tuck schmuk


ever since i was very young i have been drawn to fabric with texture
it started with smocking and ruffles and gathers 
tucks and pleats

loved it all...

a few months back i bought a pin-tucking foot for my sewing machine and last night i finally tried it out

fail!

i kept getting two perfectly parallel sets of running stitches - pretty enough, but not quite what i had in mind


i finally resorted to google and within minutes the culprit was discovered - tension

i hadn't adjusted my tension, and it needs to be super tight

trying again, i got a slightly better result but not quite the beautiful raised rows i was hoping for


all is never lost with these kind of things though - just see how lovely and almost "puffy" it is from the back?

i'll definitely be doing some hand-stitching on this


 to tell you the truth, i don't mind the front so much either


but i was determined to get a better result so off to the quilt shop i went

and after a consultation with a friend and co-worker, came out with a handy-dandy little gadget for adding cording

first i tried perle #5 - lovely raised pin-tuck!


almost a little too raised though
{you can call me goldilocks...}

 the next one was tried with perle #8 and it was just right

  laying strips of lace on top of the fabric and pin-tucking over top added yet another lovely layer of texture

that is a technique i plan to experiment with a whole lot more


 i absolutely love these last two surfaces i've created, and am thinking about where i go with them next


really, even the crummy version looks pretty here... imagine what it would be like with hand embroidery? 
it would be like the ugly ducking, becoming a swan...


 who knew surface embroidery and fairy tales had anything in common?