Friday, November 30, 2012

the stone project begins

My stone project is officially underway.  I started off with my own stone, stitched this past weekend while having tea with a friend.  My initials and a sloppy "Minnesota" are stitched on the bottom.  I'm hoping my word stitching improves with practice.

My friend Julie visited me this summer and brought with her a baggie of sea stones.  Her stone has been felted and I've begun stitching.

Though I didn't really expect any stones to be here already, I checked the mail yesterday and there it was, my first mailed stone!  I was so excited I was grinning like a fool walking out of the post office.

Thank you to everyone who has sent stones on the way.  I can't wait to see them.

If you know anyone else who would like to send a stone my way, I'd love it if you'd share.  The more stones the merrier.
The original post, explaining what I'm doing is HERE.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

snow folk

Snow folk have been cropping up under the poplar and pine.
Each is made of felted wool balls in three sizes that I sewed to a wooden button (gifted to me by Cheryl at handcrafted travellers).  Their little arms are tendrils from a Virginia Creeper vine and their hats are acorn caps.

I liked how they each had a different posture when I sewed them together so I didn't bother to needle them together.  Their noses and faces, yes, their posture, no.  Each one was so different that I felt they needed to have a little photo session.

Clearly I need to get out more.

These are headed off to some friends and I hope they get a giggle out of them too.  

Happy almost-weekend, everyone!

Monday, November 26, 2012

will you join me in a project?

I've been dreaming of doing a larger-scale project involving my stitched stones.  I'm imagining a collection of a hundred or so displayed together, and what a delicious collection of color and texture that would be.   The idea has been percolating for a while and something that I keep coming back to is that I'd somehow like to get 'you' involved.  I feel such a sense of community with you that read my blog, or stop by on facebook or flickr or twitter; with those of you that share a sense of wonder towards nature and an appreciation for the work that comes from hand and heart.

So while I go forward with my project, I ask if any of you would like to join in by sending me a stone.  

Send me a stone and I will felt it, embroider it, stitch your initials and location (state, country, etc.) on the bottom and share "your" stone here on my blog when I've finished it.  When the project is completed, I hope to find a place to have all of the stones displayed.  The thought of all those stones... your stones, my work, nestled together with others, and what that represents makes my chest swell with happiness.

If you'd like to join in, please read the details below.  If you know anyone else who would like to take part, I'd love it if you would share this with them too.

  • Stones that are between 3/4" to 3" long work best.
  • Stones that have a smooth or mostly smooth surface work best.
  •  I can't refund postage costs.
  • Please include a note with your stone with your initials, location, and your name and blog or website if you'd like me to share it when I post your completed stone.  If you'd like to tell me about where you found your stone, I'd love to hear that too.
  • A few of you have asked if you can get your stone back when the project is completed.  At this stage I can't commit to getting your stone back in your hands.  If, at the end of this, the stones go up for sale then I would like to give you first dibs on your stone, but right now I'm not sure where this project will end up.
  • If you're interested in sending me a stone, send me an email at lilfishstudios(at)gmail(dot)com

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday morning felting

Sunday morning projects.  PJ's and felting.  Coffee and muffins.  I love weekend mornings like this.

The kids wanted to make a felted picture.

Sometimes they like to free-hand their felting but today they asked me to draw something for them to "color".  Using a Sharpie, I drew simple pictures on a piece of wool blend felt for them to fill in.

They know to keep their fingers far away from the needle and to go slow, but they still require lots of reminders.  There were a couple of finger jabs for the boys but my youngest, who gets more felting time than they do, remained poke-free.

I love seeing the colors they chose and how much work they decided to put into their pieces.  I also thought it was interesting that Avery's bird looked so much like a Painted Bunting, even though he had never seen one before.

I hope you're having a relaxing Sunday too.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

a peek at some pieces

A few brooches have popped up amongst the stones this week.   I'm sending these off shortly but wanted to share a couple of photos before they went.

I also have a couple of vessel pieces completed that I'm happy with.  Like little gardens to wear around the neck.

The wood from each of these necklaces came from these yard sale finds from this summer.  I'm always on the lookout for pretty wood tchockes to take to the band saw.  

I believe the jaguar to be acacia wood, like Mr. Giraffe was.  It finishes so smoothly, I wish I could find more of it.  Plus, it smells like black pepper when you cut it, and I like that.  The black wood, on the other hand, has an unholy stench when cut.  It's extremely heavy wood, even more so than osage orange and absolutely beautiful despite its fragrance.  I'm wondering if it might be ebony.

Working with wood and wool together is really the best of both worlds for me.  I love my time at the saw and sander as much as I do with the needle and fiber.  Happiness is.

Wood and wool.  It's a good combo.  Coffee and sugar.  Ebony and ivory. (you're singing it now, aren't you?)
What are some of your favorite combos?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

sparkly kate snowflakes

Aren't these little snowflakes just adorable?  My friend Kate made these and I had to do a little bragging on her behalf because I just love them.  I've known Kate for 20+ years.  Oh the stories she could tell about me (but wouldn't dare, because I have stories too).

She's a busy working mom of three who wanted to find a way to donate her time.  I know full-well how hard that can be with little ones around.  She started making these little snowflakes and donating $2 from each sale to the Whole Kids Foundation, an organization that supports school gardens and healthier school lunch options.  That resonated with me and I immediately ordered 3.

They're so delicate and really beautiful.  I had planned to tie these on holiday gifts but I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to at least keep the pewter one.  (it's my favorite)

It's Cat's favorite too.

If you're interested in a little handmade goodness of your own, please stop by Kate's Etsy shop HERE.
You might want to hurry before she realizes she's charging too little for these and raises her prices. (which you should totally do, Kate)

Thanks everyone!
Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

pond scum bracelet completed

7 gazillion french knots later, I have completed the pond scum bracelet.

Of course I couldn't stop with just one small area of stitches, I wound them all the way around the piece.

I dig it.  Though I'm sending this off to a show, I would be just as happy to keep this one for myself.

Friday, November 16, 2012

pond scum bracelet

Trying my hand at a new surface for my stitching.  I've wanted to make bracelets for a while now so I finally set the stones aside and started one.  I showed it to my husband and he said "Oh, you're putting your pond scum on a bracelet?  Cool.

I laughed.  He didn't intend it to be derogatory, (though in the future, darling, try to avoid the word 'scum', just to be safe) my work is reflective of all of those odd little bits in nature.  Pond scum included.  It is, after all, my very favorite color in the world.

With luck, I'll have some pictures of a completed pond scum bracelet to share soon.

Have a great weekend, all.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

the cut

Yesterday I showed you some stones I've been working on.  In the post I mentioned that when I make a stone I don't like, I cut it open and try again.  Since a few of you were interested in seeing those that I didn't like, I thought I'd share the couple I had in front of me at the time.

I liked the basic stitches on this blue one though I'd balance the french knots differently, either adding more or fewer of them, if I did it again.  Really this one was just not doing it for me in terms of color.  Sometimes it takes getting the threads on the stone to figure that out.  So, off it came.

This rusty red seemed to start off in the right direction, I like the stitch, I like the color, but I was left with an open space in the middle that I didn't know how to fill.  It was an awkward space and there was no good way to fill it, and the space wasn't interesting enough to leave open so off it came.

It does make a pretty good finger puppet though.

My kids normally swipe these discards to play with, they love everything I make (they're really supportive), but sometimes I will use these as stuffing for other projects or turn them into something new. (like in this tutorial)  They're never really wasted.  Besides, each time one doesn't turn out, I've learned something new, and that's never a waste.

Friday, November 09, 2012

why the fascination

Slowly, stitches have been gathering on stones in my bowl.

It isn't quick work for me, but I do genuinely enjoy it.
When I stitch a stone I start by picking thread colors that I like.  I don't really have an idea of what design is going to be on the stone at first.  I let the shape of the stone and the colors I've picked get me started.  I'm often surprised by the design when I'm holding the finished stone in my hand.  With these organic, not easily-recognizable shapes the whole process is kind of free-form.  Like doodling.  Like my hands are pulling memories from my mind of what we've seen in nature.  A little creative license is applied, of course.  Some I like, some I love, and some... I don't.  Those I don't are cut open and given another try.

I think this is why these little stones are so interesting to me.

Cat (that's his official name now) is less interested in the stones but fascinated by my dangling lens cap.

Have a wonderful and interesting weekend.

Monday, November 05, 2012

a river of stones

A river of felted stones runs across my table.
Soon to be stitched, and soon to be sent off to a showcase at the end of the month.
I've promised that some will land in my shop, so I'll let you know when.


Wishing you a colorful start to the week.


Related Posts with Thumbnails