Friday, August 14, 2009

Design Inspirations

As promised here are a couple of designs I am in the middle of – right now choosing the colour palette from The Gentle Arts line of threads.

The first one (proposed title Cat on an Antique Rug) is one I have always wanted to do. My background is quilting and crazy quilts have always intrigued me. With the combination of the different fabrics (cotton, silks and velvets) contrasting so vividly with the embellishments of silk and cotton threads plus beads it lends itself to a feast for the eyes. This background will be more subdued as the cat is the focal point. He looks so aloof and very lion like. Of course I need to have my floral borders. I researched old antique rugs for composition and got ideas for some of the shapes of the flowers . Although I don’t quilt anymore my designs do have a lot of quilting blocks as an added theme. I am thinking of doing some wool appliqué designs – but that is a story for another day.
The second design is one that has been in my thoughts for awhile. On a trip to Ireland driving through the countryside around Dublin we came across a crossroads that was the village of Slane, Co. Meath. It had four identical Georgian houses built at each corner. They were the same grey limestone and the story told was that they were built for four spinster sisters. The houses were built in such a way so that could keep an eye on each other. Another tale is told of a brother who built the houses for his sisters because he could not stand their quarrelling – so they each got the same house – no jealousy there – and out of his house! So I designed it with this story in mind - but my houses will be pastel colours – with cascading roses in the border.

So with two projects in my lap along with many more – there is never a bored moment in my life. Just not enough time!

Some of the other things I have been up to -

Need to replenish my wool thread collection so I did a dye run of various colours such as Green Gables, Spicy Pumpkin and Faded Pumpkin.
I love when the colours start saturating the base wool. I should do more dyeing but it requires a dedicated slot of time so I really have to plan it well into my weekend. I do have plans to seriously start dyeing wool fabric again but it will be offered on my website as packages of 4 and 5 different wools – no single yardage. You can see some examples here on my website. Everyone is always on the lookout to round out their stash. I know I do. My dream is to have a studio with a sink – stove – washer and dryer that is not my kitchen. One can only wish! I already have two rooms dedicated to crafts – one is the wool room and the other the craft room – both in serious need of a purge. I may open up an “ATTIC FINDS” button on my website…hmm that is a thought.

Final little aside for today are pictures of my current project of socks. You can see some of the fancy lace work – looks more complicated than it is and you can download the pattern off of the APPLELAINE site. The lace pattern is at the back of the calf and goes down to the bottom of the heel. A little surprise! Using their wools has been a real pleasure. They are so soft. The most complete line being offered that I have come across is in Ottawa at WOOL TYME. They do have an on-line store. Now that is a feast for your eyes. For me it was worth the two hour trip.
Anyone out there interested in knitting but have not yet taken the leap – socks are a great beginner project. It can be as simple or as complicated as you want and very practical. Not much is required in materials and it is also quite portable. The biggest plus – it is sooo relaxing that I have been known to fall asleep with the knitting needles in my hands – LOL.

They are calling for a beautiful weekend. I think this will be our first summer weekend of the season. Spirals of smoke will be circling the sky from all the barbecues starting up. We plan on a family get together with lots of food (very important) – a beast of a chocolate cake- great conversation and lots of laughter. Hey my brother is 49! Happy Birthday Ronald!!

Have a great weekend all – Play safe.. Joni

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