New Angles

A friend commissioned three cocoons (one large, two nuggets) for a mutual friend's birthday. 

The catch was she really wanted the large one to have an air plant. Something that's been suggested, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to head in that direction.  But when you ask me to do something new, (and mostly reasonable) and are committed to it, I'm game! 

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I've got to say- I'm pleased, and so was she.

Thanks for the push Sara! 

Cotton in Blue

This scarf is 100% cotton, and was a 100% dye challenge I set myself. 

 

My comfort zone is my beloved wool & silk blend, and wool in general. I've been dyeing these fibers for years, I know what my dyes will do, and can dance with "mistakes" and make them sing.

Cotton is not something I know about. It takes extra chemicals and doesn't respond as vibrantly as wool tends to.  I wanted to experiment with cotton as a potential for making bags, and wearables, of course. I ordered yarn, dye and soda ash. 

Challenge accepted. 

 

  I had no true expectation, so I was pleasantly surprised by the pale mint and blues that I pulled from the dye pot, I think it went quite well. 

This scarf is in the shop right now. 

It is narrow and long enough to wrap a bit, a perfect scarf for the Southern 'winter'. 

Backpack? Backpack!!

This backpack. Ooooh, this backpack. It nearly didn't happen, it nearly drove me insane.

Sound a bit dramatic? Yes, but it is the most challenging project I've taken on in a long, long time.  Which is why it kicked my bum.  Some of the pressure was totally my fault- it was requested by a dear, dear friend, it had a deadline that seemed manageable (or would have been if, you know, I didn't have a day job to deal with… oops).  On top of that, I threw in a completely new material. Plus it needed to be comfortable to wear, AND it needed leather to be involved as well.

I usually figure out construction in pieces and steps to about 95% before I start building a bag… This one was more like… oh, 60%. There were so many unknowns in this.  I had sketches, concepts, supplies, I knew I had the individual skills to pull it off… but would I be able to throw them all in the mixing bowl and come out with a usable bag? That was questionable.  

I can sew, but had never sewn with waxed fabric.  I can make a leather bag, but had never combined it with fabric in this way.  I’ve made purses, never backpacks.


It felt so personal, to make this right, to make it FIT her unique and fabulous body and spirit.

I almost dog-barfed it So. Many. Times.


As you can see, it worked. I had to simplify some things in the end, but it worked out.  She’s pleased as punch, and I'm exhausted and exhilarated to offer up my hand-work to such a challenging project.


I've learned a lot.


I do not know if I’ll make another, but I know enough to never lock a door to a challenge.  

Success is such a sweet reward.