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Monday, April 16, 2018

The Road To Hell... supposedly paved with good intentions; in my case, and maybe yours, too, it's also littered with random materials that we hoarded, thinking, 'I could do something with that'...and then never actually getting round to doing anything at all.  Most of that sort of material got given away during The Great Purge; it is truly interesting to see what I kept.  Working my way through the odds and sods I've been talking about over the past week or so, I came across some hand made paper.  I vaguely remember buying it in Norfolk, quite early on in our residence there, which makes it about ten years old, anyway... good grief...   It's highly textured; I have no idea what it is made from, but it feels fairly fragile.  It appealed, yesterday, so I took it as a starting point...
It's teamed, here, with a piece of transfer dyed lutradur 30, secured with large stitches using hand dyed perle.  It feels like a field, to me... I combined it with another piece of paper, this time a scrunched-up piece of brown paper.  I started working with brown paper (or rather, thinking about working with brown paper) when we were in the Highlands, but it took a workshop in Norfolk, roughly twelve or thirteen years later, to get me to Actually Do It. 

Again, these are stitched together using the same perle thread, in random stitches that reflect the construction of the light-coloured paper.  So far, so good.  It feels like a strong motif; but what to do with it?  Well... I have the habit of buying vintage napkins whenever I see them in charity shops; they tend to be very reasonably priced, and are an ideal size for me to work with.  So, I went for a rake about in my box and found several, but only one that was large enough to work with these bits. 

Hmm.  Needs an iron.  But it has potential...needs something else...

No, not Merlin's tail...but the circle, also from crunched up brown paper, seems to be the right way to go.  Now, where's that iron... ?

And here it is, ready for stitch.  I've pinned the napkin to some white felt, to stabilise it, and give the stitch a bit of depth when I eventually work out what to do with it.  I don't often use pins, preferring to work with fusible, but ironing is exhausting, while pinning requires minimal effort.  ME has forced me to adapt my practice to work round my lack of energy.  Things will be easier, I hope, when my studio is properly set up, but I haven't been well enough to do anything with it yet, other than put a couple of boxes on the new shelves.  Sofa sewing is all I can manage at the moment.

I'm going to let this piece sit for a while, to see what it needs in the way of stitch.  I'd like to add some machine stitch to that circle, nice clear dark line.  Well, ok, curves. There again, more of that random stitch by hand, in a darker colour, might well be better.  We'll see.  Meantime...I found a couple of small, identical napkins while looking for something suitable; wonder if there's anything in the paper stash that would work on them...or the rust stash...or both...   hmmm.  Yes, I did purge dramatically, but I still have choices, albeit on a much smaller scale than before...and that's proving to be A Good Thing.