Preparing Materials

20180529_195458Carded merino, silk and angelina fibres; so much like textile candy floss!

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Lots of individually frayed snippets of fabric.

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Threads from frayed fabrics carded into fibres.

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Beginning stitching.

Lourdes X

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Crochet Lace for Necklace

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Yesterday I worked on this piece of freestyle crochet for a necklace.  ‘Freestyle’ crochet differs from conventional crochet in that a pattern is not followed and it is worked spontaneously.  Therefore it often has an irregular appearance.  I choose to use this approach as I want these pieces to look organic, almost as if ‘growth’ is taking place in the work.  It is an amazing way to explore with crochet as it is experimental and hence exciting and unpredictable.  I found it very liberating when I fell upon this way of working, as I had never considered breaking the ‘rules’!  It also fosters an understanding of crochet and how it is used to create shapes and patterns.

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I selected some fabrics to use with the crochet lace.  I will cut these pieces up and fray them before stitching the fragments together and attaching the lace.  I will then decide whether to add more ornamentation.  The crochet is quite elaborate so it may not need anything else.

Lourdes X

Crochet Choker in Progress

 

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I have added the crochet strip to the frayed fabric tatters and fibres I wrote about in my last post.  This will be made into a choker but I have to source some appropriate clasps.

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I would usually add further ornamentation to my designs with organza petals, small crocheted flowers and semi-precious beads, but I am tempted in this instance to keep it ‘purer’ and leave it as it is.

Lourdes X

Feathery Fabrics and Fibres

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I started making a choker today.  I already had the length of crochet lace made and I was playing around with ideas for a suitable background.  I decided to use small frayed pieces as I liked the feathery effect and felt that if layered, would create a pleasing contrast for the crochet.

I cut up lots of pieces of lightweight and transparent fabrics, mainly along the bias, as the irregular edge formed was appealing.  I then frayed each piece, I wanted to include the loose threads as they reminded me of the fluffy material in flower heads.  I felt that the best way to do this was to add some wool fibres to the threads and then to needlefelt them with some of the frayed pieces of fabric.  Needlefelting is achieved by using a purpose-made barbed needle which tangles wool fibres together, when used to repeatedly stab them.  This creates a felted fabric and the more it is worked, the denser it becomes.

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These are some of the pieces of fibres needlefelted with frayed fabric.  They are possibly a little thick, so I will use them sparingly, combined with the layered, frayed pieces and attach the crochet strip on top.  I will include the finished result in a coming post.

Lourdes x

Organza Petals

imageThese are ‘petals’ made by melting cut-out circles of organza.  The technique is nothing new, but I like to stitch groups of them together as the transparency creates mixes of colour which appear dreamy and romantic.  I have only recently started to incorporate them into my accessory design, and I feel confident that over time I will discover a variety of applications for them.

Lourdes x

Hearts with Kisses

 

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Silk Heart Repaired with Stitching

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This heart was cut from pink silk and stitched to gold organza with small stitching.  The transparency of the fabric with the softened frayed edges of the heart,  together create a ‘floatiness’.

Lourdes X

Heart Repaired with Roses

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I thought I would continue the Beltane floral theme by incorporating embroidered roses within the fabric heart as shown above.

Firstly I cut a heart shape out of pink chiffon and then cut holes in it and frayed it using a teasel brush.  It was very fragile at this point so I decided to place it on a cream satin background for stability.  It was then repaired with lots of tiny stitches and lastly the roses were embroidered.

The idea I had for this piece was that roses symbolise love.  Adding them to the heart first mauled, then repaired,  is a message that love can heal and ‘prettify’ even mistreated hearts.

Lourdes X

Blossoming Heart at Beltane

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Most mornings I like to start the day by centering myself.  I do this by looking at my feelings and trying to identify them.  I don’t always want to and it’s not always easy, but if I manage it, I find that my energy flows better.

Sometimes feelings and thoughts provoke a journey that provides inspiration for creative work, and they additionally resonate with themes that seem to emerge through the day.  I really like to try to understand what these ‘signs’ are representing in my life.

The last few days have brought up many references to the light and power of the sun.  Unfortunately I can’t say that this has been encouraged by the weather, which has not been so great!

However it so happens that today is Mayday also known as Beltane, which is a Celtic fire festival.  The word ‘Beltane’ combines ‘Bel’ the name of a Celtic God, meaning ‘bright one’ and ‘teine’ which is a Celtic word for ‘fire’.

Beltane is a celebration of the beginning of the brighter part of the year.  It is also a festival which celebrates procreation, sexuality and the reproductive energies of the earth, now fully reawakened after the winter.

I decided to continue using the heart as a metaphor for emotion, and this time with the intent to evoke the spirit of abundance of Beltane, and what it may symbolise for us internally.

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‘Flora’ is the name of a Roman fertility goddess and as her name suggests, is a goddess of flowers.  Also known as the ‘May Queen’, she has significance in pagan rituals at this time of year.  The festival of Beltane is flamboyantly characterised by the wearing of flowers and this has also inspired my decision to make a heart shaped from textile blossoms.

I also like the idea of a heart that ‘blooms’ in response to warmth, much as the rays of the sun are vital for the opening of flowers.

I decided to work on folded satin fabric which I felt suggested enclosure of something secret, as in an envelope or folded piece of paper.  I like the sense of mystery and the way that the heart of textile petals is viewed as a symbol or embellishment for something else unseen.

Hey!

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Hey!

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