Ribbon in Grey – an embroidered book

In 2014, I started what got to be an embroidery illustrated story. And now, three years later, I finally hold the first edition of booklet copies in my hands! 🙂

Back then, I participated in an online course of the Atelier Lange Nadel and we had to each month upload a new piece of work in an online gallery for about half a year. I decided to create individual pieces that would loosely connect to each other. I started with the coral reef that later became chapter 5 in my story:

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techniques: photo transfer, stumpwork, appliqué, padding, hand stitch

As a recognition feature, I added a piece of grey satin ribbon. That’s how my story got it’s title!

As to the story itself: I am also a writer and had had a story about a medieval wet nurse in mind already for a long time… always wanted to write a novel, but could not find the time. So I decided to write a story in free verse instead. It is in English, which is NOT my mother tongue. I don’t know why, but the words just came to me in this language. Maybe because in English, you can say a lot with just a few words whereas in German, you would need much longer phrases…

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techniques: linocut stamping, beadwork, hand stitch

So here we go: “Ribbon in Grey” is a story about a medieval nurse and her daily struggle for survivor. It is also a story about power and fear, about loss and love. Want to read the story and see all embroidered pieces? You can order a copy here.

A tag a month: October to December

It was in January 2016 that I started a little project to challenge my mixed media skills. The task was to create one art tag each month, including hand embroidery of course.

Instead of only keeping a process diary in my sketchbook, I decided to share my project with all interested in mixed media and textiles. Initially, I created a separate blog for the project but transfered it here now.

So below are the tags I created during the last 3 months of the year.

 


 

OCTOBER ART TAG: FREE FALL

 

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This month’s art tag is a combination of zentangle and stitch and bears a rather melancholic message.

The hand embroidery was inspired by a picture of a leaf skeleton and the zentangle pattern picks up on this motif too.

I drew the zentangle pattern with a felt tip pen and stamped the letters with a vintage alphabeth stamp set.

The words “free fall” are in this context metaphors for “loss” and “decay”. And they are also a wordplay with the season’s name and the falling leaves as a symbol of the season.

The cardbord background is stained with coffee (I simply pressed used Nespresso capsules on it).

 

NOVEMBER ART TAG: WHITE SILENCE

 

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Though it is nothing but white outside, I created a white art tag this month. I long for the cold, I long for snow and I long for the freshness and quiet and peace it brings…

Working in monochrome is not easy. Actually, I find it is harder than working in mixed colors! The focus is more on pattern and structure – but there is also the risk of overloading the piece with texture…

For this art tag, I embroidered snowflakes (or snow stars) on a piece of paper I got in a restaurant as a coaster for my tea cup. I really like stitching on paper and love to experiment with different types of paper. Sometimes, I use some kind of fiber mat as a stabilizer, some times I don’t. (With this tag I didn’t.)

Let it snow!! 🙂

 

DECEMBER ART TAG: LISTEN

 

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For my December tag, I stitched on paper again. It is a paper you find in boxes of chocolate candy; it is layered and embossed. When you punch a needle through it, it makes a cracking  noise quite similar to breaking ice… listen! 😉

 

 

A tag a month: July to September

It was in January 2016 that I started a little project to challenge my mixed media skills. The task was to create one art tag each month, including hand embroidery of course.

Instead of only keeping a process diary in my sketchbook, I decided to share my project with all interested in mixed media and textiles. Initially, I created a separate blog for the project but transfered it here now.

So below are the tags I created during the summer months of the year.

 


 

JULY ART TAG: BE LOYAL

 

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Life is not only black and white – and certainly not all pink!! Being loyal doesn’t mean to agree with everything another person thinks, says or does; but it means to accept the person how he/she is and to stand by him/her even when he/she makes a mistake…

To hexies in this piece are hand sewn; I downloaded a template, printed it on cardboard, cut the shapes out and wrapped fabric around them. The technique is called “English paper piecing”. You can find a tutorial here: thezenofmaking.com

The purple traces on the light blue fabric are a kind of “frottage”: I put fabric on a tree bark and rubbed wax crayon onto it; thus the purple traces are tree bark traces! 😉

 

AUGUST ART TAG: BY THE SEA

 

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It’s hot! I like to take the box of found shells out and dream of a deep dive into the sea in Tuscany…

The “sand” has three layers:

  1. the blue background fabric
  2. looooong running stitches in a sandy color
  3. an applied piece of mesh net ususally used as a table decoration

And now I am off to take a swim!…

 

SEPTEMBER ART TAG: ENJOY THE WARMTH

 

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The leaves slowly begin to change colors… but it is still warm and the light is soft and golden…

The cute wooden frame used in this piece is designed by eWoodStory and sold in their Etsy shop. I love these tiny frames! They are just perfect to fill with miniature art. ❤

For french knots I have a passion… you can add texture and pattern with them. Try using variegated floss for french knots!

A tag a month: April to June

It was in January 2016 that I started a little project to challenge my mixed media skills. The task was to create one art tag each month, including hand embroidery of course.

Instead of only keeping a process diary in my sketchbook, I decided to share my project with all interested in mixed media and textiles. Initially, I created a separate blog for the project but transfered it here now.

So below are the tags I created during the spring months of the year.

 


APRIL ART TAG: SPRING INTO SPRING

 

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Adding plastic as a synthetic component to a piece of natural fibers is fun! It is also a challenge as you want the outcome to not look “artificial”. Not sure whether I achieved this goal…

The leaf appliqué is made of hand dyed wool felt, the lace is vintage, buttons too.

Satin ribbons come in all colors and at least three different sizes. When I buy new shirts or blouses, they ususally have a small piece of satin ribbon attached to the shoulder parts (for display purposes; they can be attached to the hanger so that the shape of the hung shirt looks “natural”). I cut them off and collect them for later. 😉

 

MAY ART TAG: DO NOT RUSH

 

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May was a very busy month, so my motto for this month was “do not rush”. Sometimes, you need to take a deep breath and relax. And there’s hardly another way to do this better than through art!

The metallic thread is an antique gold purl usually used in gold work. (For example, Golden Hinde UK is a supplier for gold work material.)

The stitches to make the exotic flowers behind the toucan and the border of the triangle are all buttonhole.

 

JUNE ART TAG: BLOOM

 

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Nature’s in full bloom here and insects are swirrling through my little garden…

The appliqué picture is stitched on merino wool felt. I love to use high quality felt as the thread goes so smoothly through the fabric… it’s an investment well worth it!