More Stitching

Adding more vine tendrils and bits.
Hand dyed french cotton threads, natural dyed flax, natural dyed painted silk chiffon, on white silk dupioni fabric. Machine and hand stitched.

Working with hand dyed french cotton thread, I'm using a single strand to create a background layer of delicate tendrils.

Working with a couple of colors of hand dyed french cotton thread.  Next I will add more vine bits (like the upper left hand corner) using the same thread only double stranded.

I'm using the ivy bits on my house as my inspiration.

I love how they crisscross defying the laws of design!

WIP ~ Sandman

WIP ~ Sandman
4x6 or so inches
Natural and rust dyed cotton scrim atop monoprinted muslin fabric.  Hand stitched with natural and commercial dyed cotton threads, wool batting.

I will be adding some machine stitching next and then will go back into the piece with more stab stitching, maybe layer some more cheesecloth onto the surface and then add french knots and some coils.

This is a small piece I started around 7pm this evening designed to get me back into the habit of stitching as I have a solo show to prep for that I'll be hanging in April, most of those pieces will be machine stitched and then waxed (encaustic).

Marigolds and More!!!

 My first ever newsletter went out this afternoon!  I will be sending one out once a week from here on out, now that I've spent some time learning how to use MailChimp.

Here are a few of the things discussed in my newsletter in case you missed it!

I am inviting you to join me at the Natural Surface Academy in 2014 to participate not only in the Marigold Project BUT to also unleash that creative prowess you know is lurking deep inside of you!
  • 2014 will start off with a Splash as we work on our 30-Day Cold Dyeing Project, I will be using both marigolds AND madder root with Wool, Silk, and Cotton Fibers.
  • We will go to extremes with our natural dyed fabrics, fibers, yarns, and more in my Extreme Embroidery class! 
  • Get down and get gellied when we print fabric and paper with natural dyes using a Gelatine Plate for printing!
  • And this is only the beginning! 

Artist Interview with Brenda Backman

Brenda Backman 

I began my current series, Lines Threads Connections,  working within the parameters of a challenge which limited the size of the piece.  While stitching the felt and seeing the stitches interlock and connect with one another, I thought of how we are all connected.  The connection of living on our planet and being from our beautiful Earth, and the connection of our DNA and being made of stardust, all draw us together.  I’ve enjoyed exploring the different aspects of this idea with different colors and textures.

I’ve been making art and stitching since I was twelve and started making my own needlepoint designs.  I’ve been hooked ever since.  In 2000 I graduated from Iowa State University with a BFA and began my professional art career.  I’ve shown my work all over the US and internationally as well.  My work is characterized by a lively use of color and a heavily detailed surface which gives an intimate quality to the pieces.

Lines Threads Pebbles
Q. How did you get your start as a professional artist?

Brenda:   I've been working on my art since I was a teenager, and have been sewing since I was a child.  I developed a love of embroidery and fibers from my mother and grandmother who both sewed.  I further developed my skills at Iowa State University and have been working as an artist since graduating.

Q. How long have you been working as a professional artist?

Brenda: I've been working as a professional artist since 2002.

Q. What are you currently working on?

Brenda: Currently I'm working on my Lines Threads Connections embroidery series.  The series explores how we are connected to each other and our environment.

Q. Your current body of work depicts?  

Brenda:  My current body of work is abstract and uses color and shape to depict connections.

Q. What materials do you work with and why?

Lines Threads Ripples
Brenda:  I'm a fiber artist.  I work mainly with embroidery threads, felt, cotton and silk fabric, and beads.

Q. What excites you about using the materials you work with?

Brenda:  I love the textures my materials can create.  They seem endless!  Fabric is so versatile, it can be soft or stiff, the beads give shimmer, and threads have so many textures to work with.

Q. Tell us about some of the processes you do in your work

Brenda:  I work in machine and hand embroidery, combining the two to create a dense textured surface.

Q. When you make a piece where does the inspiration come from?

Brenda:  I take inspiration from my materials and sometimes from dreams.  I find the textures and colors of the fabric, threads, and beads to be inspiring.

Q. Do you make art every day?

Brenda:  No I don't make art every day.

Q. What other artistic interests do you have?

 Brenda:  I'm also interested in painting

Q. Tell us something that most people dont know about you thatthey would find interesting.

I enjoy cooking and creating new dishes.

You can see more of Brenda's work here.

What is Old is New Again!

I used to draw and paint with these paints almost exclusively as a child growing up, so imagine my joy that Hobby Lobby was carrying these as kits.  I asked, no most probably they won't be carrying the single tubes, which is a shame because I ReALLY want a tube of red violet paint. 

I'm hoping that this will be the anwser to my fabric marker woes, I can control a paint brush but the fabric markers bleed, bleed, and bleed some more, and the marker tips themselves... well don't get me started!

Anyway, I will report back as I will be using the black color, and probably exclusively, as to how these interact with natural dyed fabrics.

Blog Yard Sale

Blog yard sale - I'm working on that.  It turns out these sorts of things are way harder in real time, especially since John was on vacation this past week, than when just pondering them.  Sound familiar?  So much to do and so little time to do them in.

Some goodies that'll be going into the shop and soon!  I have these kits of collage/embroidery yummies in pinks, yellows, blues, and greens.

WIP - Bjorkboda (Meandering Stitches)

I wasn't sure if I was going to like the meandering stitces or not, I definatly like the raised areas that this stitch is creating, but the more lanes I'm adding the more I loving the process.  I'm also laying down lanes of running stitches, running straight over the machine stitched areas. 

To be revealed later a larger patch of hand stitching that I will then machine stitch over for further effect.

Constructed Cloth Yo-Yo's

Silk throwster's waste made into a sheet of constructed cloth backed with a piece of my silk chiffon fabric that was compost dyed. I made the fabric in December and didn't get any further with the project, last night I was browsing through my flickr and was greatly inspired by Nellsembroidery constructed cloth Yo-yo's and thought I might try it with some of my own constructed cloth made from silk throwster's waste. They are wonderful!

I will be using these, and some that I'm manipulating, for a new canyonlands piece I'm working on.