Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Janet's Casket Goes Traveling

So last week, there was a very special visit in Boston of Janet Brandt and her amazing casket!  Janet contacted me months ago to let me know she was going to be on the East Coast for a family event and would I like to see her casket.

WOULD I??

So we went a step farther than just having a lovely private meeting - I organized a great day.  First we would visit the staff in the Textile Department of the MFA and show them the casket and have them show Janet some of the yummy ones they own.  Then we would come back to my place and I sent out invitations to all the COC students in the adjoining states (about a 1-2 hour drive) and see if any of them would like to join us.  So we had viewing party for several hours.

Showing the casket to an adoring audience.
Janet's husband Chris decided to take a video of Janet explaining her casket and the design to everyone at the MFA and he has posted it on YouTube for those of you who weren't there.  Now you might have to go back and forth to her previous video to see the sides up close or her blog, but you can hear Janet for the first time explain the entire story of the Land of Possibilities and the objects in the casket.  It was MIND BLOWING.  We had such a good time with her original storyline and then were amazed to hear that the panel on the back is the introduction to the next story... as Janet has two children to pass her art to and there is another one to be made.

I know it is long - about 25 minutes - but if you are the type that would have loved to have been there or a fly on the wall - you can be.  The first few minutes where she explains the outside is really the best as it tells all of what we have missed.

It was a good day and made all the work on the course worth it.

Tricia

The front door of the casket

This is the secret drawer in the pincushion.  If you didn't realize the answer to the question 'how
long did this take by then..."  We all laughed and laughed!

The small corner of one side - look at the work on that castle!

We added many other objects around the room for people to enjoy and look at as well.

COC student Kim Mitchell's daughter Arilyn is a harpist and offered to add music to our gathering -
it was amazing.  She is a mind-blowing musician and we enjoyed her expertise in our midst.

The house was open for houses with waves of people stopping by for a look











Sunday, September 10, 2017

Choices when Stitching

Last month while on vacation, I was working on my stitch-along panel and realized that I was making a series of natural choices that resulted in the piece looking a great deal like an unfinished panel I had seen before.

Partially finished panel for Five Senses Tent Stitch Casket
What hit me was that I had made many of the easy choices first.  It was obvious that the clouds would be the same cream colors I had used in the friezes.  And the sun in yellows.  The sky is blue and then an iris is either purple or blue - blue being harder as there is so much sky.  So it was the easy choices that I chose to do and stitch.  The bug, lady and snail have many more choices so I kept putting it off, letting the easy choices help me visually realize what colors were missing or out of balance.  


Then I return to looking at this piece of embroidery and think about how the person approached the piece, it was much easier to think about the ground, animals and flowers which had far fewer choices for each and would allow progress to go forward before the more open ended figures and canopy was attacked.  This is almost counterintuitive as in many embroideries, you start with the main elements and work out to the supporting elements.  But when faced with making the color decisions yourself with a piece piece that only has black and while outlines on it -- it is far easier to work in this reverse.

And once you have this much completed it becomes much easier to push yourself to commit to a choice and get working on the harder elements - because it is almost already half done!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Website - Take care Floridians and our Caribbean friends!!

Just a note to let everyone know that the class website - www.thistle-threads.com - is hosted on servers in Florida in the path of Irma.  I expect that over the weekend and early next week that the site will likely go down for some period of time.  Hopefully just short - which would mean things aren't bad for the people local to the site.

My 'system' is hosted by several different providers around the country- so the NING site is separate from the blog, the teaching site and the shop site.  As far as I know - the teaching site is the only one in jeopardy and we are taking steps to back it all up right now in case of the worst.  Our server farm provider has already alerted us to their plans for the hurricane.

So if you haven't downloaded your lessons this month and you have time tomorrow - take advantage of it and grab a few pages to enjoy.  If things go down - it might take a bit for it to come up again or for me to get the site re-hosted and the domain rerouted to new servers.

Tricia

Thursday, September 7, 2017

A Small Running of the Lacet Peacock Class

If you weren't able to take the Lacet Peacock Class last year because one of the colors had run out, I got a new manufacturing run of the blue (277) lacet and now can run it again.  But of course, the yellow ran out so I was only able to make up 38 kits.  Hopefully we can get some more of that made!

There are 18 spots left - I hadn't even promoted it yet and people found the class available.  So if you want to join in to make this little wonder, it is a 2-month class showing how to stitch together the flat braids to make the feathers for this peacock.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Janet Brandt's Casket Video

I am excited to say that I will be seeing Janet Brandt's casket in a week and I really can't wait!!  She will be in the area for an event and we are going to be taking full advantage of the time, with casketeers in the region invited already to join us.

So you don't feel left out - enjoy the video Janet made to celebrate the finishing of her casket.  It is quite the treat!

Tricia


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Back from Vacation - Thistle Threads Opened

I am writing this at 4 am - hate jet lag on the way back!  We landed yesterday during the solar eclipse in Boston (ominous?) and I am back to getting the house up and running as well as the business back to work as well.  So if you have been holding off on orders, know that they will be shipped this week if made.

Tricia

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Today was a Good Day

Just some of the velvets I fell in love with
I know I am on vacation, but I had to tell you that today was a good day.  We have been sad due to some personal news on the Brainstormer front from home for the last few days.  But today was a good day.  A full day in Venice and much of it for myself.  I bolted around the town with a hard-fought list of artisans I wanted to visit.  It is rare to find a store, find it open during the European vacation (and a Catholic holiday to boot) and then in the store to find the actual craftspeople!!  YEA!

One was a famous paper marbler and the other was one of the family owners of the last handweavers of Venitian velvets - Luigi Bevilacqua.  The person I met was their - 'me'.  The technical guy who investigates the old velvets under the microscope, figures out the patterns, sets up the looms, and all things technical.  To say we had a great discussion is a understatement!  Watch this space for more yummy discussions and pictures of how things are made.  I loved it as learned soooo much!