Thursday, June 02, 2011

flotsam & jetsam...

sunflower star

okay, that term is more correctly used to describe floating or washed up wreckage from ships, but it has evolved to mean bits and pieces in general, so i think it works quite well in describing my ocean stitchings these days. just wanted to share some recent pieces i have been working on, a few things inspired by the shore. above is no.4 in the shore fragments series, a corner of sunflower star (did you know they can have up to 24 arms?) spread across the sand, with a mussel shell and other bits, including some strips of real cedar. there is a lot of texture in this piece, helped by some of the hand dyed fabrics (not by me) that is hard to appreciate in a photo.

purple sea urchin shell

i did use a bit of my purple cabbage dyed linen for the sea urchin shell above. while eventually most shells bleach white, many times i have wandered along the shore and found small pieces of purple shell dashed amongst the rocks. finding an urchin shell in one piece is hard along these stormy shore, but a real treasure when you do. anyway, i thought this purple linen was a good fit for the purple of the shells, layered with white and purple stitching.

did you know urchins and seastars are in the same family (echinoderms, along with sand dollars and others), and all have five-part symmetry? you can see that symmetry in the stitching on the urchin, and more clearly in the five arms of the ochre stars below. i have made quite a few purple ochre stars but i thought it was about time i made some orange ones. i also added more detail stitching on these ones. i think maybe people recognize them in this colour more clearly, although purple ones are by far the most common along the inside waters of vancouver island. i like them either way, and the orange ones remind me of the exposed west coast.

orange ochre stars

while i am always stitching away, i haven't added anything new to the shop just yet. we may have a postal strike in canada starting tonight, so i'm a little on the fence about what to do. i think for now i will keep the shop open, and if anyone would like to order anything, i can hold the order until the strike is over, or put items on reserve. i feel that using a courier service would increase the cost quite a bit, so i will hold off on that option unless some asks specifically. if you are in a canada and have an online shop of your own, what are you doing?

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things i like today:
• in anticipation of a sunny weekend, i'm drooling over these homemade fudge popsicles
• eva's indoor indigo vat has me plotting my own
bryant austin's ocean photography has me speechless.
• and this sea lion pic just makes me chuckle every time.

6 comments:

Gabrielle said...

Beautiful urchin! I am always so in love with your handstitching.

I don't have a shop, but I have a couple of giveaway prizes and a big swap purse that I have to mail. I have just decided to wait and see what happens. I don't want to have something handmade lost. Hopefully they will come to some sort of agreement, or maybe the strike won't last long...

kate said...

That urchin is perfect in its detailing (I've been fortunate to find a few complete ones in my time)!!

Flaming Nora said...

I love all the different textures you have managed to work in to the sea urchin and stars whilst using such a limited palate. The detail on them is superb.

Cat said...

amazing... i love the cedar in the first photo, it adds so much to it.

i still cant belive how real your work looks!

Tara said...

These are all so beautiful, k. I love that deep orange but there is something about that urchin that makes me want to touch it. As for the postal strike, I am getting a little frustrated by it and it has only just begun. I went to ship 2 packages a couple of weeks ago just before the strike was supposed to happen the first time (but didn't) and was told I should wait. Since one package contained soap and I didn't want it to get stuck in a hot warehouse for an unknown period of time, I chose to keep it. Frustrating because it could have arrived at its destination by the time the strike actually occurred. Now i am just waiting. Have a great weekend, k.

theweightofdreams said...

everyday i'm more and more in love with your work!
this reminded me of a sweet children's song i love:

"Starfish, starfish, wonder-what-you-are fish.
time and tide go washing by
and you don't even care...

peaceful creature
come and be my teacher
flotsam, jetsam
swish and swirl
and you don't even care
no... you don't even care"
{sara groves}