So October and November were pretty much consecrated to the dissertation prospectus which was slowly and painfully hatched on the fourth floor of the graduate library. I picked a warm spot with a nice view and no wifi and just sat there for hours and days until it was finally done. Now I am awaiting comments and will eventually have to revise and defend the beast come December. For now, I'll just recap a few of the projects that did manage to fit into my writing schedule over the past few months.
A simple elastic headband made from Japanese scrap fabric.
My first shot at textile marbling on small silk handkerchiefs.
My ring stack grows with recent additions from Vera Meat and Katrina Lapenne.
Every since visiting Little Tokyo in L.A. and visiting my family in Portland, I have been thinking about bento lunch boxes. Since September means back to school for grown up grads too, I decided to try packing these myself. But before investing in authentic bento boxes, I wanted to make sure that this was something that I could actually do without too much trouble and that we would actually enjoy. I purchased four inexpensive plastic containers and sewed up two chopstick covers and two bento bands from Japanese scrap fabric.
There is an asian market near our house and while the selection isn't amazing, there is enough to make packing bento lunches much easier. Some items like frozen fish cake and assorted dumplings, tofu, and furikake are nice to have on hand. I have also been enjoying this blog http://justbento.com/ and recently purchased Makiko's The Just Bento Cookbook.
This holiday weekend I decided to try my hand at making a small wall hanging on my very makeshift picture frame "loom." I'm actually quite pleased with the way it turned out and have just finished hanging it on a narrow wall next to the big window in our living room.
I mostly used a variety of cotton and wool yarns in neutral tones, although there is a small portion on the right side that is made of very fine silver thread.
I found the process generally enjoyable- especially working without a pattern and it gave me the opportunity to pay special attention to the feel and texture of different yarns. Here are a few textile artists whose work I really admire: Metrode, Nightwood, Justine Ashbee.
I had all sorts of problems with this thin metal poster frame-- definitely not the most effective or time efficient method out there but it worked for my purposes and didn't cost a cent. Maybe one day I'll actually purchase or build the real thing?
Earrings that I made from my random stash of beads. I like the mix of rounds with the triangle gold bead and the rectangular pearl.
This is a mini-bib necklace that I made from polymer clay. I punched holes in it before baking so that I could sew the pearls on afterward with wire. I wore this recently on a birthday date with my husband.
Found this really neat hand stitched piece at a yard sale over the weekend along with some sewing odds and ends. It was originally mounted in a really hideous green faux marble frame, so I decided to take it all apart and reframe it.
I actually like that the raw edges are showing now, though I probably could have done a better job making sure it was centered- oh well for now!
I wish I knew more about the artist and previous owner. The needle work is so intricate- it must have taken forever.
Many anonymous people out there keep a blog as a kind of creative outlet or alternative life-world. Mine is no different. Slowly but surely I've been investing in a variety of print publications that delight and inform the part of my mind that tends to shut down during the daily 9-5.
Kinfolk Magazine sure has been getting a lot of press. On the one hand, I like what this work stands for- local, sustainable communities; good friends and food; and a recognizably urban rustic aesthetic. On the other hand, I feel a little suspicious about how it idealizes a lifestyle that is both commercial and artificial but not apparently so. I bought my copy at Anthropologie (case in point) but still am really looking forward to the read.
This new book features a number of Brooklyn based artists that I really admire, includes DIY projects for weaving, dyeing, sewing, knitting, etc., and teaches the reader how to set up a home studio space. I'm light years away from anything like that but love the idea anyway. Fully intend to visit the Textile Arts Center while visiting Brooklyn in the fall!
I recently got this Japanese pattern book by Natsuno Hiraiwa. I specifically bought it with a mind to make the two-way stole featured on the back cover. I love the unusual shape and versatility of Hiraiwa's designs.
Here is some of the fabric that I picked up recently from Haberman Fabrics- Japanese woven, linen, ikat.
Although the book is in English, the pattern sheet at the back is a little tricky. I accidentally cut on a fold line and had the hardest time figuring out what was wrong! Nevertheless, I really like the finished product. The stole pictured above is for my mom. I made a less voluminous version for myself out of the Japanese woven. These fabrics are relatively lightweight and easy to layer or belt but I could see the pattern also working well in winter wool.