textile treasures from sri threads

My first encounter with boro textiles was in 2003 in this article in Country Living magazine. I was stunned – instantly in love with them – the color and the composition were perfect.  The mending, the layering, the meandering stitch work all spoke to me in a novel way – I related to them at the time as paintings – as compositions that strike that magic balance, my sewing had been mostly put away for years.  I cut out the pages and stuck them on my refrigerator – my percolating thoughts place.  When I began this blog in 2006 my focus shifted pretty quickly to stitching  and through the magic of happenstance I had the opportunity to visit the Sri Threads showroom. Stephen was an instant friend and ever since packages of intriguing old cloth and garments periodically appear unannounced in my vestibule – it’s a beautiful thing.

sri threads

So much of my inspiration comes from these things I did not choose.  I’ll preserve the hand mending in the pieces below in some new creature. I love that those stitches made so long ago, and that traveled so far through so many thoughtful hands will have  a new place and meaning and the energy that went into them will impart qualities I could not.

sri textiles

I think the piece below ( it’s quite large ) is part of a futon cover – the color combination is stunning – that intense textured brown and smokey blues and purples.

sri textiles

sri textiles

This package also had lots of kimonos in various states of undone -ness.  Intense red and a variety of unexpected melony pink silks. I’ve had an idea for something rolling around for years, one of the back burner ideas I have not gotten off the ground that these are perfect for – the missing piece.

silk from sri

And pale pink, ivory and melancholy lavender –  they will also play a part in my afore mentioned stalled idea and I’ve already started a sheer, whispery and pale ship. Thank you Stephen! For all the inspiration and joy I get from these surprises. The Country Living pages remain on my refrigerator as a daily reminder of the good and unexpected things that are just around the corner.

P. S. If you like this sort of thing Sri has a spectacular instagram feed.

on September 2, 2015 4

sketchbook : week 28

Week 28  in my yearlong sketchbook practice.  I love looking at other people’s sketchbooks. I have collected a some here and if you have a  favorite or your own sketchbook you feel like sharing please link in the comments – I’d love to see.

sketchbook : week 28

on August 31, 2015 0

what’s on my work table in the adirondacks

It’s a good thing I like to sew. I brought an ambitious amount of work to the Adirondacks with me, partly because it needed to get done and partly because I couldn’t decide what to leave behind – I wanted to do it all. I’ve been getting a ton done on my favorite porch, sewing for happy and peaceful hours and listening to the wind in the pines – it sounds almost too magical and mysterious to be real.

my favorite porch

I love the big old house – it’s falling apart and has just the right amount of charm and creepy. I chose a couple of the things I’m working on and a few more glimpses of the place and it’s haunted corners to share.

fortuny fox


fortuny fox



eccentric mending

And a little personal mending – I just can’t let them go….

on August 26, 2015 7

sketchbook : week 27

Week 27  in my yearlong sketchbook practice  (I’m working in the Adirondack mountains this week so my postings are off schedule). The closest internet spot is about 30 miles away at the homemade icecream store – not so bad right? Having a lovely time – hope you are too.

adirondack mountains

sketchbook : week 27

on August 25, 2015 0

holiday survey results

grandma moses birds

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in the mini holiday ornament survey – I’m so glad I asked!

The questions were:

When should holiday patterns be available?

Is there a particular ornament you would like?

And do you prefer kits or downloads?

Regarding timing there were equally strong opinions for early and not too early. A lot of responders do not want to hear the word Christmas until October at the earliest but I was surprised at how many people answered July or June – about 1/3 of responders. That ship has sailed for this year ( I’m shooting for mid September) but I’ll keep it in mind going forward. If you are somebody that likes to start early there are three patterns from last year available – a little boat, a whale and a bird.

The overwhelming majority of responders would love to see woodland creatures and nature/ botanical inspired things. You’re forest people like me! I love it. There will be a woodland creature ornament pattern coming your way soon and for now the little mushroom pattern makes a great ornament. Just add a hanging string and I love using wool scraps for ornament fungi.

mushroom ornament

On the question of kits or downloads – downloads win by a landslide.  But you would like to see some hard to find or specialty materials available as an optional purchase – great idea! I’m on it.  If you’d like an email when new patterns or supplies are available you can join the mailing list here.

I also learned that I have incredibly kind readers. There was email after lovely email with marvelous ideas and insights and in addition to the survey responses personal notes that stunned me with their care and thoughtfulness.  Thank you – I appreciated every word.

on August 19, 2015 1

songbird work and an upcoming stoop sale

I wanted  to show you a little more songbird progress – she has fancy tail feathers. They take ages to sew but I love them. She’s made from beautiful plum Sri textiles.
songbird progress

And I’m having another annual-ish stoop sale! The virtual kind – I’ll put everything on Etsy.  I’ve just started photographing treasures I’m ready to part with. There is still lots more to sort though and decide about – I haven’t even started going through fabric and lace. There will probably be some antique garments too. It’s at least a couple weeks away but I’ll post the date and time as soon as possible and more previews soon. Here are a few things I’ve decided to let go of – they have been lovely for me and now they can be lovely for someone else.

antique mini frames

doll clothespins

I love the doll clothespins – most of them are antique and beautifully made – I hope they make some doll very happy.

on August 19, 2015 4

sketchbook : week 26

Week 26 in my yearlong sketchbook practice.  Fragments, snippets, thoughts, beginnings, experiments – I love having a library of them.  I’m almost ready to bust out of my 4 and 1/2 inch squares and try something bigger.  Bigger and maybe a sturdier substrate too – I love paper – even it’s limits – but it would be interesting to be heavier and deeper – I’m curious about it.   I’m almost ready – making time and space  for it is a little tricky right now – it might be a winter thing.

sketchbook :  week 26

on August 15, 2015 0

my big creative year : perspective

When I need to shift my perspective the best thing for me is to wander outside. So I did this weekend, for a little bit in the Adirondacks. I really didn’t think about things or try to figure anything out but while I was smelling moss and tree sap and collecting treasures my head cleared, a lot of franticness lifted.

shed skin

I’m in my usual spot of too much to do, not enough time etc. etc. etc. and I’ve got to let go of something so I’m going to put My Big Creative Year on vacation for the remainder of August. Or, more clearly, I’m going to put posting about it on vacation – I’ll still be having a big creative year and I hope you will too. The timing feels perfect and it takes some pressure off, gives some much needed breathing room. I’ll still be posting about other stuff – what I’m working on etc. and – hopefully later this week- I’ll tell you what I learned in my holiday survey – it was full of surprises. Thanks if you participated – I learned a ton.

on August 10, 2015 5

sketchbook : week 25

Week 25 in my yearlong sketchbook practice.  

sketchbook : week 25

My daily experiments are making me a better observer of everything around me and my own thoughts and patterns – what I’m attracted to, what I say to myself, where I get stuck. It is making me a more free and less judgmental experimenter and it has made a place for ideas and beginnings of ideas to sneak out. I wander in my imagination and new relationships and intersections appear. Things occur to me that would not unless they had this opportunity and this space. It is such a good thing and it’s making me think more and think differently about making room for things. I’m curious what it would be like to designate a bigger space and more time. I wonder what might show up if  there was the opportunity.

on August 9, 2015 1

sleepy august and a brief survey regarding the holidays

This August feels so thick and slow and sleepy, everything shimmers and that strange cicada sound – it all feels a little otherworldly to me. Even the creatures I’m making are golden and languid. August is also when I work on holiday designs.  I’m planning on some ornament patterns for the shop and I would love your opinion on a couple things. I posted a survey here – it’s super brief – just 3 questions and as a thank you you get a coupon for 30% off patterns   (the survey is closed).  I had fun with my handmade Christmas last year and you can check out that post if you’d like to get an early start – there are links to patterns and free projects and ideas. Also in the holiday department – I just saw samples of designs I made for Crate and Barrel this year and I can’t wait to show you – I’m so happy with them.

Have a lovely weekend – I’ll leave you with a couple sleepy Fortuny creatures.

sleeping  golden fox

fortuny owl louis

louis - fortuny owlLouis,  he got all dressed up for you in his summer best.

on August 5, 2015 3
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