Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Time to Go Outside - Living Jewelry

Here is an updated take on an earlier idea (see Ecowatch) that involved converting a recycled man's watch into my own little plot of land. This time around I've used stichable vinyl to create a more versatile form of living jewelry.

These faux watches remind you that it is time to go outside. Little squares of handmade paper embedded with seeds slip right into a vinyl pocket on each watch. Keep them wet by watering twice a day, and in no time you have your own little secret garden.

To learn how to make the paper simply google "seeded handmade paper" and follow directions. Because I have a highly annoying newsprint advertising circular jamming up my mailbox once a week, I took great satisfaction in using those to create my seeded paper.

Creating a paper blend from junk mail

Cutting tabs from handmade seeded paper

I used two different kinds of seeds to make two different types of paper for this project: wheatgrass and cat grass.

Watches with seeded tabs inserted

Starting to grow

Note the blades of wheatgrass sneaking out of the right side of the pocket above, reminding us that nature has a mind of its own.

Harvest time

While I made most of the watches out of mustard colored vinyl, I also experimented with blackboard vinyl. This nifty material allows you to embellish your watch any way you wish using a stick of chalk, and to erase your embellishments and start over whenever you want.

Fun with blackboard vinyl

The two tiniest watches were made for two cat lovers — a six-year-old and eight-year-old — and are planted with cat grass tabs. Imagine a fey six-year-old extending her delicate arm and letting a cat nibble at the grass growing from her wrist. Childhood doesn't get much more magical than that.

Cat grass watches for two little girls

The photos below show basic wearing and maintenance how-to tips.

Live long and prosper

Trimming the garden
The fun isn't over yet. Stay tuned for some living jewelry pins.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Bojagin 4: Wrapped Fish

Wrapped fish bojagin

Yes folks, my obsession with bojagin continues. To read the back-story on these Korean-inspired wrapping cloths, each tailored to wrap a specific object, go to the first posting — Bojagin: The Gift of Travel, or click on "bojagin" in the index to the right. This time around, we are wrapping fish and the bojagin itself has an underwater theme.

Bojagin unfurled and hanging from branch

Mixing and matching from my bins of fabric are part of the joy of this process. Here, materials include two different scraps of indigo-dyed cloth, a fragment of woven Guatemalan cloth, cotton scraps from a robe I made specifically to wear at hot springs, and a panel of old kikoy fabric from Kenya. It is all bound together with lots and lots of Japanese-style sashiko stitching.

Detail: fabric photo transfer of image from Persian manuscript

Bojagin are all about binding up luck and the object to be wrapped. In this case the object is a ceramic tea ceremony container I found in Japan about fifty years ago.

The object: ceramic tea ceremony container

Container opened

And finally, we have the object wrapped as it was meant to be. I am finding the final wrapped object and the accidental/serendipitous juxtaposition of fabrics and stitching the most aesthetically appealing part of this process.

The object wrapped

Monday, March 5, 2018

Bojagin 3: White on White

Wrapping cloth

Wrapping cloth in use

This is the third in a series of Korean-inspired wrapping cloths called bojagin. For the back story see Bojagin: The Gift of Travel, and to see the whole series click on "bojagin" in the blog index to the right. As with all bojagin, this cloth was created to wrap specific objects. And presumably the good luck that wrapped bojagin contain is safely tucked inside. 

Materials for this bojagin include an assortment of vintage handkerchiefs and napkins. While the title is "white on white," I used tan thread to highlight the stitch work. Below are some close-ups of stitching detail.

Corner and hanging loop detail

Detail: bottom of piece

Detail: white on white

I know I am not the only sewer out there who occasionally gets a thrill from flipping a piece over and looking at the stitching from the back, usually unexposed side. Here is the hidden side of this piece.

Detail: back of piece

A wrapping cloth is all about the object(s) to be wrapped. In this case, a trio of seeds collected from around the world that look like beautiful, polished wood sculptures.

Objects to be wrapped

And finally, once again, the wrapped objects.

Wrapped objects

In my next post, featuring yet another bojagin, I will include a wrapping how-to illustrating how my bojagin design works for both hanging and wrapping.

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