June 1, 2014

Simplicity of the Little Thing and other Stuff

I should break up this post into 3 parts instead of packing everything in one post! If you are like me you would probably like to share what you are doing. Let's see what I have to share with you. First it's the Simplicity of the little things. Second it is the Autumn dyeing in jars. Third is the update on the online workshop and lastly, a little exciting news I can't wait to share with you at the end of this post.

After the last exhibition Connecting with Nature in November 2013. I was on a roll and wanted to work on another exhibition straight away! I thought I would only work on something small for the next exhibition. Small, simple, but meaningful! While trying to think for the right name for it. Emma Ayres, is my favourite classical radio presenter that I wake up to 5/7. One morning Emma said the word I was looking for Simplicity of the Little Thing! I jumped and knew that I would call my next exhibition the Simplicity of the Little Thing! The exhibition won't happen until 2015 though, but it's okay to keep the idea in mind! The idea was hatched years ago in Barcelona when I worked on my first simple little thing! 

I never leave home without a bunch of threads and fabric in my carry-on. I always prepare for being stranded in a desert island somewhere! On my first trip to Barcelona, yes have been there more than once, I got inspired by Park Güell that Antonio Gaudi created. I decided to create a piece of embroidery using the dyed threads and fabric I took with me. Until today I still feel that it was one of my most original creation I have ever made. 

Having been eco-dyeing a lot recently I started stitching small pieces using dyed silk and dyed threads. I'm trying to keep the stitching simple and minimal, letting the marks on the fabric dictate my stitching.

See the circle on the piece?

Circle appears here too

Heart instead of circle

Below is the Autumn dyeing in jars. Autumn leaves are gorgeous lately. On my walks I always gather leaves for dyeing. Dyeing in jars only takes a small amount of leaves and fabric. 

Dyeing station out on the back deck

Jars filled with concoctions of various leaves, rusty caps, copper pieces, rain water and vinegar. I steamed them for an hour and let them cool in the canning pot.

How long can I leave dyeing in jar? The answer is, not long at all. A week in this case. If you are like me, you open one and then you would open them all!

My first time dyeing with She Oak pine needles after watching the video on Irit Dullman's blog. The result from the pine needles is very pleasing. I definitely will use them again. 

Here are the two small pieces of silk using She Oak Pine needles. I washed and pressed these. Very happy with them. Plenty of pine trees in my campus, how lucky!

From Mother's Day bouquet to silk 

Ornamental grape leaves on silk

Eucalyptus Iron Bark leaves on silk

Just want to say, dyeing in jars is great because I only need a small amount of silk for each jar and the same with leaves. It's fun to add things like used teabags, onion skin, turmeric powder and pomegranate skin. The list is endless. 

Update on the online workshop I'm taking with Karen Kuane.  I posted a few embroidery blocks on the last post. I then used a photo editing program to set the images on point. My original plan was to embroider around reversed appliqué on the dark block, but after seeing this prototype of my journal cover, I don't think I need embroidery on the dark blocks. I have since finished a few more light blocks with different embroidery designs on each one.

Now come to the exciting news! Made in Australia I hear you asking? We were at the hardware store yesterday looking at samples of Australian building products to build an extension for Upstairs Studio over the exiting double garage at the back of the house. Every artist needs a studio right? Up until now, all my stuff is in a single bedroom. It's far too small to do anything in there so I usually work on the dinning table. There are a few hicks-up getting everything ready for a building permit, but we got that sorted now.  Any luck the work can start next week. I was told it will take eight weeks to complete. We have to paint it before I can move in. I'm excited as the thought of having my art studio all for myself. Will keep you posted on the progress of the work. 

Until next time


Bev C said...

Hello Nat,

Well done on getting your own studio, hope all goes well with the building. Lovely lot of dyes, what is the green fluid in the bottle from? Good luck with next years exhibition.

Happy days.

deanna7trees said...

especially love those little stitched pieces and how exciting to have your own little studio. i can imagine how excited you must be.

Needled Mom said...

Your dyeing and stitching is really gorgeous. I love the circle pieces!

Yeah to the new studio. I can't wait to see the progress and then the finished product.

Debbie said...

Loving your small eco dyed pieces just delightful, and the results of your dyeing. I don't know what a she oak is, is an oak or a type of pine.
Good luck with progress on your studio, every artist needs one of those.

Betty from My Irish Cottage Home said...

You have so much talent. I love the first one you showed on hanger, it is soo cute.

Terry said...

Wow a girl cave above the man cave. Ready for spring. The small works are very detailed and impressive.

Els said...

Ah Nat, a real STUDIO ??? How lucky you are !
Your little stitched pieces are lovely and I adore the dyed fabrics : love how it goes from stark to very soft colours !

Penny said...

lovely post as usual. love the little stitcheries hadn't thought of using she oak needles, must try it, wonder what the flowers would do, they are flowering here now.

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Beautiful dyeing Nat abd congratulations on your very own studio...exciting g news! More space than the kitchen table!

Nedra said...

So many exciting things going on at your house! I love the title of your next exhibit. And your dying, as always, is beautiful. And congratulations on the upcoming studio! I predict many happy and creative hours will be spent there.

neki desu said...

hos stitched pieces are exquisite.
and congratulations on your new studio. life is full of gifts isn't it?

Lis Harwood said...

Great post, love those small stitched pieces and wow, you're getting a studio, you lucky girl, with your own place you are going to be even more creative, if that's even possible! Have fun.

Françoise said...

Very exciting news! And you're lucky that the building can go so fast. Here it would much longer I think.
I like those little stitched pieces too.

ARTISUN said...

Love, love your new small stitched pieces. Oh my! You do put fabrics and stitch together is magical ways. Would love to buy one if they are for sale :)

Jeanie said...

Love all the beautiful dyeing and the intricate stitching. Lovely indeed. Fingers crossed that all goes well for the new studio!

beth said...

How exciting to have your own space!

Judy Martin said...

Your eco stitchings at the top of this post are exquisite. They will make a beautiful exhibition.

So much creativity and energy in your posts, Nat. I am left breathless.

面具 said...


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