Saturday, May 07, 2011

Polymer Clay Meets Silk Ribbon Embroidery...

... Or how a long lost passion gains new life in my studio. When I was dyeing fabric and creating wearable art, I used silk ribbon embroidery to embellish a lot of my garments.

I loved doing it: pulling the ribbon through the fabric, laying it flat, forming the stitch, pulling it back through the fabric again. Then gently coaxing the loops and folds into shape... instant beauty. Repeat.

I had my Beauty Blinders on, so I didn't see the unthinkable coming my way - the accident that changed my creative life forever. Afterward, my hand stopped working the way it should. No more pulling ribbon through fabric. It wasn't fun anymore, wasn't worth the discomfort. I put the ribbons and big-eyed needles away.

Enter my new passion - polymer clay. I began this new journey in a big way: lots of color, big canes that took all my strength to reduce down. I'll get back to doing that later on, but now I want to work small... very small.

I just need the tiniest speck of clay to create something resembling that old silk ribbon embroidery.

Little malleable balls of color lined up on my table, patience, and some quiet time, are all I need to recapture the joy I felt as I formed that perfect stitch.

Magic happens if you wait for it...

copyright 2011 Shibori Girl

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Memories, Keepsakes, and Talented Friends

We've almost reached the 2nd anniversary of Pooch's passing. While we've enjoyed the freedom from caring for a terminally ill pet, we still miss him something awful. This upcoming anniversary coincides with a fun contest blog buddy and portrait painter, Enzie Shahmiri, was having on her Facebook page last month, titled "Dogs With Attitude". She needed to get some paintings done for a May showing, and asked for photos of dogs. If she chose a photo to paint, the photo's owner would win a prize.

Well, our little Pooch certainly had attitude! We used to refer to him as an 80 pound personality in a 12 pound body. So, I dug around in the photo box and came up with one to send. Enzie loved it and got to work on a painting. She captured his expression perfectly:

... that look he'd get when he was ripping the guts out of a fleece toy. If he could talk he would have been saying, "Oh, so you think you're going to get this away from me? HA!"

I had to have it. And now I do. It's even more charming "in the paint", so to speak.

"Love Them Bones", oil on linen, 6"x 6"

If you aren't familiar with Enzie's wonderful painting style, stop by her website to see what's on her easel. Her blog for Pet Portraits has lots of furry eye candy. There are also gardening, cooking, and Orientalist painting blogs. Where does she find the time? I'd like a sip of what's in her cup...

copyright 2011 Shibori Girl