Monday, July 29, 2019

All the Rage: Snowflake Shirt

The snowflake shirt - front view

This hand-stitched, heavily embroidered shirt is the latest in the "All the Rage" series of political protest couture, accessories, and tchotchkes. It is also a move to take back the language and make words like "liberal" and "snowflake" accolades instead of insults.

Close-up of front

Yes folks, I am a snowflake. To me, that means having compassion for my fellow man — for women and children kept in cages at the border, for the six-year-old gunned down at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, for the homeless living under freeway overpasses, for all of the noncombatants we have killed and wounded in the many, many wars we continue to wage. Yep, I have feelings, and I consider it a source of pride that I have retained my humanity as the US and the world at large careens down a very dark road.

Thus, the snowflake shirt.

Shirt back

Snowflake 1

Snowflake 2

Snowflake 3

Snowflake 4

Snowflake 5

This would be a good time to let your heart melt a little.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Making Friends with Crows: the Paper Bag Tapestry

For the past year or so I have been attempting to make friends with the crows in my neighborhood, based on the idea that if I leave them peanuts they will in turn leave me an assortment of bright, shiny stuff they have found or stolen.  I have big plans for that bright, shiny stuff, including assemblage and jewelry making, but so far the crows haven't brought me a damn thing. 

To while away the time while I wait, I stitched this paper bag tapestry called (unsurprisingly) "Making Friends with Crows."

I have grown very fond of crumpling, washing, and stitching used paper bags, with an occasional tea bag paper or candy wrapper thrown in. The texture of the paper bags is wonderful. For this piece I have left all threads emerging from the front of the piece, unfinished and unknotted. I think the flyaway pieces of random thread somehow capture the feel and movement of the crows' feathers.

The Tapestry
Note the peanut finials at either end of the rod used to hang the tapestry.

Peanut finials at either end of rod.

And now...

I continue to await the generosity of the crows.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Power Cuffs: Warding Off Monsters

An elegant solution to all of life's ugly problems

I have been making one-of-a-kind wrist cuffs for a while now, and have dubbed them "Power Cuffs." Follow the link if you want to see the back story and basic how-to tips.

This latest pair of cuffs are particularly special because of an added power: the ability to ward off monsters. If I think I'm going to have a particularly difficult day, I just arm myself with a pair and I am ready for the worst. Both sets of cuffs are made of red vinyl. 

Little Monsters

This first pair is embellished with hand-embroidered little monsters (and victims). The monsters were drawn by my two favorite little girls, then copied onto the vinyl using tracing paper, then stitched. The buttons used for the closures are antique European carved coral rimmed in silver.

The lining for these cuffs was made from scraps of fabric from Guatemala.

And here we have one on:

The second set of cuffs utilize the spiral as a snare for evil spirits, familiar as a classic spirit trap in a range of different cultures.

Spiral spirit-snare cuffs

These cuffs are lined with scraps from a man's recycled shirt, and employ vintage buttons from Paris.

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