A New Hobby

With so many wonderful art and crafts out there to do, how can anyone avoid them…particularly me!  This spring, I started taking classes with a friend who teaches stitching (embroidery) here in Hong Kong.  Nikki’s website, with her mother, is www.les-designs.com    I learned to embroider when I was very young being taught by my Mother and Grandmother (they also tried crochet but that did not stick).   What I am re-learning now with Nikki is light years away from what I learned then.  All of the stitches are 3-dimensional and literally jump off the fabric.  I just love the unique and wonderful ways to use thread, yarn and even silk ribbon to create beautiful designs.  These are my first two pieces so don’t look too close!  They are a series of 4 that I am going to complete and then patchwork them into a pillow cover. 

And this new hobby has lead me to another form of stitching called “Sashiko” which means “little stabs” in Japanese.  I have had this jacket for years and have always wanted to learn how to do this.  By chance, a friend showed me a book that she picked up and there it was!  Although it looks simple, the designs are complex, geometric patterns which need to be stitched in a very strict directional manner.  This past week I made up a very simple linen slip dress and intend on putting a Sashiko design at the hem and around the neckline.  

One can never have too many hobbies…it’s the time thing that gets in the way!

In April this year, I lead a group of women who are learning to sew with me in making their own dressmaking body forms.  A friend in the USA had made one of these and told me about the process.  The forms are made with paper packing tape and are wrapped right onto the body.  These forms are an exact duplication of your size and shape.  I use mine all the time now.  Even though I have a very willing husband who will pin me into a fit garment at any time, it did slow down my sewing because I had to wait for him to be available to help me.  One woman saw my form and instantly wanted to make one, not for sewing, but to have as a sculpture.  These forms can easily be covered with a thin layer of plaster and smoothed.  I am going to build a stand for mine because it is hard to fit full length dresses with the form having to sit on the table.  I’ll be teaching this class again later in the year.

Could not resist putting this photo into the blog this week.  We grow oats for the cats to graze on.  This is a new crop that was put out a few days ago.  The boys from NZ, being originally outside cats, absolutely love grazing.  Porsche is a city gal so she just stands back and looks at the boys like they are crazy.  For her, if it does not come out of a can or a package, it can’t possibly be good for you; and, it’s green!  And Felix, well, he likes to sleep on the grass. 

Have a look at the Gallery page.  I’ve put a few new things at the bottom under the What’s New heading.

All for this week.  Take care everyone and will be back soon!

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