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

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Inspiration from the Garden

 

As is so often the case, the garden provides the inspiration for my textile design.  It never fails to amaze me how much change takes place, creating a complex and intriguing storyline woven through the turning of the year.

In very early spring there is the need for hope and faith, when the ground is still hard and the air stil speckled with frost.  Then the excitement of potential as the sudden appearance of bright green shoots that emerge through the earth, reassure that although hidden, ‘life’ has not been extinguished after all.

As Spring burgeons, there is a glorious display of verdancy and colour, especially exhibited by trees now in blossom.  Infact I usually find most inspiration from petals that fall, and start to wrinkle and dry, at the end of summer as the colours intensify.

This year I am attracted to the grouping of delicate new flowers, which together form abundant textures of soft femininity, suggestive of ruffles and flounces characterising summer ball gown dresses in fairy tales.  It is just prettiness in excess! But it can be really lovely to appreciate colours, shapes and patterns that scintillate the sight and seem to celebrate the increasing warmth of the sunshine.

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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

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.

Gems

imageI have a real love for gemstones! and recently I have felt very drawn to incorporating them into my textile work.  I have yet to decide exactly how to do this, but in the meantime I am getting a collection of beads together in readiness.  Above is a string of labradorite chips, a very popular stone due to the captivating but elusive colours found within it’s structure, definitely a favourite of mine! There is an otherworldliness about it that is entrancing.

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This is clear quartz, pure, clean and evocative of winter due to its similarity to crushed ice.  These chips in particular have a beautiful sparkle to them.

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This is fluorite and it can exhibit both purple and green within the same specimen.  This to me is a dream, as I love that colour scheme in all it’s possible variations.

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I was so pleased to get my hands on these! They are pink tourmaline beads and the colours are a mixture of rose and (I think) champagne! – pink champagne! and as divine!

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These are emeralds and there is something really beautiful about emeralds, rubies and sapphires in their more humble and less expensive form.  The photo does not capture the depth of green in the actual stones unfortunately, but in the flesh it is reminiscent of an evergreen forest in the darkness of winter.

All of these stones are different types of opal.  There are fire opals (the bright orange ones if you haven’t already guessed:)) Egyptian, Australian and pink.  Again, definitely one of my favourite gemstones! Another stone displaying shifting colour within itself.  When these qualities are present in a stone, I think that they seem to suggest other dimensions and realms.

Now all that remains is for me to find ways to use these treasures within textiles; a journey I look very much forward to beginning.

Lourdes x

Crochet and Autumn Colours

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Crocheting a medallion to make into a brooch for cuff in autumnal colours.  I love the velvet background!

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Fabric scraps were selected in autumn colour scheme.  The fact that the scraps are in tatters is also somehow reminiscent of fallen leaves.  When I am able to or it makes sense to do so, it is very rewarding to take inspiration from the current season.

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The fabric scraps were stitched around a padded velvet circle for the crochet medallion to be fastened to.  I quite like the idea of a padded pin cushion-type shape as a brooch! I may even make some pin cushions using this idea, or would the crochet be annoying, getting in the way of the pins? I guess there’s only one way to find out and that’s by trying one out!

Love Lourdes x

Miniature Roses

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I have been buying quite a few of these plants this year and roses have been a focus for me.  Do you find that different things can catch your attention at different times and almost seem as if they are asking you to notice them? I find this happens with colours, gem stones, plants and animals, but also sometimes characters from myths or fairy tales.  I believe that there is a reason for this and I think that the symbolism of certain things are relevant to us at different times during our journey through life.

Last summer I felt an urgency to take care of all the rose bushes in the garden as well as collecting these little pots of miniature roses as in the photo above.  The garden had been neglected for a few years and the roses were no exception.  When we first moved here I made the mistake of planting the rose bushes in a shady spot in the garden under a tree – foolish move! Unsurprisingly they really haven’t prospered in the way that they could.  So this autumn I prepared a new border for them where they will get plenty of sun and I am waiting for the winter before I transplant them while they are dormant.  I can’t wait to see them flourish!

Lourdes x

More Tulip Colours and Crochet Lace

Here is some more stitching with fabric scraps inspired by the colour scheme of wilting purple tulips.  The second photo shows what it looks like when overlaid with crochet lace.

I have lots of ideas at the moment of how this could be further explored and I’m pleased with the direction it’s going in as it conveys the pretty, organic and feminine nature of the things I am inspired by at the moment.  It also refers to deterioration and repair.

It can take such a long time to satisfactorily combine different elements of inspiration, especially when there are so many things one would like to include, of course you don’t want to throw everything in but the kitchen sink! I guess tirelessly working towards a balanced look is so much of what design is about.  I often get frustrated at how long it takes and I’m sure I over-complicate things and also change direction far too much.  Creativity is as much a path of self-mastery as the development of certain skills and ability to communicate ideas or aesthetics.  Oh well, all one can do is keep going with the hope that one day everything will come together!

Love Lourdes x

Tulip Colours and Crochet Lace

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I wanted to create a delicate and feminine appearance by overlaying crochet over the stitched snippets of fabrics.  I am thinking of incorporating these ideas into clothing made from upcycled fabrics, but I am not sure yet how to do that – I will need to experiment!

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Here I used a brighter colour scheme and less stitching, I love the use of chiffons and organzas because of their ‘dreamy’, ‘floaty’ qualities.

Lourdes x

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