Archive for the ‘Needlework’ Category

Piece in Progress–Contemplate Something Beautiful

Sunday, April 17th, 2022

I am working on a piece that has the code–contemplate something beautiful. The code is based on a masonic cipher. Or the common Pigpen Cipher.

Contemplate something beautiful

I upcycled some green painters’ paper that was used as a template for a previous project. Made the blocks from tree wrap and cotton twine. Used safety pins and cotton thread to attach to the blocks to the background. Then used a solution of salt, peroxide, and white vinegar to age the metal. Unfortunately I used stainless washers for the twine icord at the top.

Contemplate something beautiful

This morning the piece still wasn’t dry so I placed it outside to finish drying. When I checked on it, I found that a spent Brugmansia flower had fallen onto it.

Contemplate something beautiful

I think it looks beautiful as part of the piece. Will I keep it? Maybe…


Further From the Truth

Friday, March 11th, 2022

Another piece that I am attempting to complete.

The quote in code is–The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.

Drifts From Truth Layout

January 10 2021

Attached code blocks to tree wrap squares with safety pins.

Drifts From Truth

Drifts from Truth Layout, January 9 2021

Had thought about maybe stitching the blocks together.

Drifts From Truth

March 9 2021

When I revisited the piece last week, I decided that I liked the safety pins.

Attached the blocks to a piece of thin paper with PVA. After a thorough drying, attached the blocks to a piece of roofing felt. Then I applied clear shellac. Didn’t expect the result to be so glossy.

Further from the Truth

Further from the Truth

I used the same processes and materials for the separate test piece. After a thorough drying, I sanded the exposed white bamboo areas, then applied a product that I hoped would replace roofing tar.

Further from the Truth

Not sure what I think of the result.
Further from the Truth

The second test–To dull the finish and age it a bit, I applied a thin application of Rust-Oleum 2X Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover Matte Clear Spray Paint.

Further from the Truth

Before I decide how to complete the piece, I am thinking about trying another test with paste wax.

I think that sanding the piece so that some of the code is frayed would be appropriate for the quote.
.

The quote is often attributed to George Orwell, but it seems that the author is Selwyn Duke.

Materials–Bamboo paper towel (white fabric), bamboo thread, safety pins, tree wrap, roofing felt, PVA, shellac.

Never Underestimate the Petty Vindictiveness of Those in Power

Friday, March 4th, 2022

Petty Vindictiveness Spikes

The spikes were aged with a patina.

Petty Vindictiveness Spikes

The pieces received an application of clear shellac with a solution of cloves in denatured alcohol.

Panel 1
The code at the top of the first panel has the–Take Notice.
Completed Petty Vindictiveness Spikes

Petty Vindictiveness1 Detail
Panel 2
Petty Vindictiveness

Completed Petty Vindictiveness Spikes

Materials
Wood, Hardware Cloth, Cotton, Metal Spikes, Cork, Wool, Shellac, Denatured Alcohol, Cloves


Fixed Up Box

Friday, March 4th, 2022

Been thinking about making a piece with the quote–“If I had a flower for every time I thought of you; I could walk through my garden forever.”

When I ran across this box in my stash, thought it might be fun to combine it with the quote.

Postcard Box

The exterior bottom of the box had a hand written price of 79¢. Made me smile. The notion of how objects are valued is a curious thing. Some would say the value is whatever someone is willing to pay for it.

Box Lid Exterior
The lid of the box has a slot for a postcard or photo that is 3.5″ x 5.5″.

Box Lid Slot

I used a piece of parchment paper and bamboo fiber for the code. I applied PVA to the front and back of the code piece for easier insertion into the box slot.

Code Exterior

To prevent the code piece from moving about, I applied some PVA to the right side back of the parchment before inserting it into the slot. Why?

I noticed the postcard was a bit mangled. I thought it was wear from being carried around.

Postcard

But there are thin wood strips on the top and bottom inside of the slot reducing the space. When I trimmed the code piece, it moved about a tad in the slot. Apparently the wood strips aren’t exactly square. The PVA should prevent the parchment code from shifting.

Code Used
The code is based on an altered Masonic cipher, also know as Pigpen.

Code

Code

Box Interior
Postcard Box Interior

I fixed up the interior of the box with a bamboo I-cord, a piece of linen, and some trim that I purchased years ago.

Fixed up Interior

I make a practice of gathering and drying plants to use in pieces. The interior lid has two dried Datura flowers. Why two? For the same reason I have two stacks of bound pennies inside the box.

Interior Lid with Datura Flowers

Code Interior

The second part of the code was stitched onto a piece of tree wrap with bamboo fiber.

Code Interior

I stitched a few flowers onto the flipside of the linen with code.

Interior of Box with Flowers

I placed a beautiful malformed Brugmansia flower on top of the dried flowers to protect them. The Brug flower should prevent the dried flowers from shifting when the box is handled. It should also prevent the dried flowers from flitting away when the box is opened.

Flowers with Brugmansia

Unusual for me, but I did not count the number of flowers in the box. Even typing that makes me anxious. Should have counted them. Maybe I will.

Dried Flowers

Dried Flowers without the Protection of the Brugmansia Flower.

The bound pennies are located in the front left corner of the box. The binding is a dried Brugmansia flower tied with a bit of cotton cord. There are two stacks of two pennies–the first stack is 1963 and 2018, the second is 1973 and 1990.

Bound Pennies

Materials
Wood box, parchment paper, tree wrap, bamboo fiber, cotton fiber, linen fabric, cotton trim, dried flowers, stain, PVA

Masonic/Pigpen Cipher


Dolorous Time Piece

Wednesday, April 7th, 2021

My mother’s name was Dolores, not exactly pronounced the same as Dolorous, but I like that the definition is great sorrow.

April 8th is 3 years since we found my mother after the first of her strokes. She died on May 15th. I have been having a difficult time with grief this year. Decided to try to work it out in the studio. I recently worked on a software project, needed images of watch/clock faces for time. When I went through my mother’s things I found two identical watches and one similar. She must have really liked that style of watch.

Dolorous Time Piece

The first watch has code for my brother and his birthdate, the center for me, and the right one for my sister. The watch used for my brother and sister have a date function, they are set at 15. The sections of the band were bound with black waxed linen for birthdates. The knotted fobs have code for names.

The black code above the watches–Great Loss Stops Time. Doesn’t really, but it should.

The woven section has the code–Vertical strands are my mother’s date of birth, the horizontal her date of death.

Dolorous Time Piece

Dolorous Time Piece

The knotted piece on the right has the code for–grandson, husband, daughter. The great losses during her life.

Dolorous Time Piece

I was relieved to complete the piece, forgot to document it. I have it hung in her room. Unfortunately not much light. I used museum wax to make sure it doesn’t move about making it difficult to remove from the wall to take photos.

It was challenging to make the piece. When Michaels was moving to a new location, I bought a bunch of birch panels and frames for cheap. I used stain, paint, vinegar steel wool/salt, oil sticks baking soda attempting to age the wood. I was very close to burying the frame in the garden. After sanding it the umpteenth time, I applied a matte black spray paint. Seems okay with the black linen cord and the silver of the watches.

The tacks should have been easy peasy to attach the parts. Loads of resistance. What was really cheap delayed completing the piece at least a week. The challenge was welcome and was distracting.


Popcorn Seedlings

Wednesday, March 31st, 2021

I was pleasantly surprised that I now have corn seedlings. I purchased a package of corn seed for use as part of a Thanksgiving card. Even though I attempted to use the seeds in a card, the seeds were still viable.

Corn Seedling

Corn Seed Packet

Corn Seeds

I ended up using pumpkin seeds that I harvested in 2011.

Pumpkin Seeds

Thanksgiving Card

The lyrics are from a Thanksgiving song that was popular when I was in elementary school.

Lyrics–Henry Alford, 1810-1871
Music–George J. Elvey, 1816-1893

Botanical Interests offer great seed in gorgeously illustrated packets.


Completed–Be Yourself

Friday, September 11th, 2020

Quote Used–Be Yourself; everyone else is already taken.
On a bazillion sites the quote is attributed to Oscar Wilde. According to Wilde folks, he did not write it or say it.

Code

Top Portion–Be Yourself;>
I layout out the code multiple ways to make sure that I really want to use it. I often use an old version of Flash to layout my projects. I like Flash because I make symbols and it is easy peasy to replace them.

The code is based on Morse Code.
Morse Code

Morse Code

Left to Right–Dot, Spacer, Dash

Wikipedia–MorseCode

Top

Center Section is Bargello Embroidery
Center

Bottom Portion–Everyone else is already taken.
Bottom

Completed Piece
Be Yourself

Border in rust yarn is based on tap code. The code is–Not an Oscar Wilde Quote

Tap code is a 5 x 5 code with k and c the same code.

Tap Code

Be Yourself Border and Hanger

The hanger is not a rod it is a piece of tubing that showed up after my husband did an annual on his Cessna. I believe is used for the brake lines.

Be Yourself Border and Hanger
I stitched on a layer of grey felt to the back of the piece to prevent seeing the wall through, but also to add a sleeve for the hanger (based on quilt hangers), and to add a pocket. The pocket is for notes on the piece. It is common for me to forget the quote used in a piece. Find myself needing to read the code to figure out the quote. The plan is to pop the information on the code and decisions made into the pocket.


Work In Progress–Regret

Sunday, September 6th, 2020

Quote from Return to Montauk

“There are only two things that matter…There’s the thing you did that you regret; the thing that cannot be undone. And then there is the thing that you did not do, that you should have done that you regret too. But it is too late now.”

I condensed it to–The thing you did that cannot be undone. The thing you did not do, that you should have done. And the word, Regret.

Layout

Layout

Body Blocks

Body Blocks

Body Dash Block

Body Dash Block

Materials
Tree wrap (1.25″ x 1.75″), bamboo (1″ x 1.25″), fiber, and safety pin.

Regret Blocks

Regret is an act of perseveration. If left unchecked, it can alter and erode a life. It can become a darkness.

Regret Blocks

Regret Dash Block

Regret Dash Block

Materials
Tree wrap (1.25″ x 1.75″), roofing felt (1″ x 1.25″), fiber, and safety pin.


Ideas for Birthday Greeting

Saturday, August 15th, 2020

Bargello Embroidery

Bargello Design 1

Too Busy and Cannot See the Bargello Stitch
Bargello Design 2

Bargello with Birthdates in Code

Thought adding coded birthdays to Bargello design would be fun. It is too busy. Difficult to read the code and the Bargello design.

Bargello with Dates

First Version Lucky Penny

There is a piece of tree wrap stitched to the back.
The piece is too small for the card.

Luck Penny Version 1

Completed Greeting–Lucky Penny

Completed Greeting

Detail of Lucky Penny Code
Dark Brown is used for dots, tan for dashes, cream is used for spacers. The code it stitched in vertically–first column is L, second U…

Detail of Lucky Penny Code

Detail of 1960 Lucky Penny

Detail of 1960 Penny

Card Interior Label

Lucky Penny Label

Greeting Ready for Shipping

A piece of foam is tucked inside to support the weight of the embroidered piece.

Foam Piece Inside Card

The card is wrapped with two layers covering the embroidered piece with the penny.

Wrapped Card for Shipping


Memory Pieces in Progress

Thursday, July 16th, 2020

Knit and Fulled Memory Pieces in Progress

Memory Pieces

After the pieces dry, code will be added, and an application of a stiffener.

The pieces were mostly loom knitted, partially fulled by hand, then popped in the dryer on high heat with a pair of old sneakers.