I’m on a campaign to put patches back in style. I love my old Gramichi pants for gardening and messing around outdoors. The shredded knee might have been au current but it wasn’t pleasant when I wanted protection on the ground. Upcycled with patch and stitched over in sashiko “little stabs”. Good to go!
Step 1 – pin the patch inside and then stitch rows across it.
I liked it but it just didn’t feel finished.
Step 2 – I stitched the circle on the right, then the one on left overlapping the designs.
All done and good to go.
My last patch was covered and embroidered inside and outside to look good rolled up or down. It’s time to bring patching back in style.
Bitten by an anxious little Datschund, I was left with punctures in my calf (healing nicely with soap and water and hydrogen peroxide) and a gaping rip raveling my favorite linen summer travel pants. I was on vacation. I could cut the trousers off above the tear and hem them but I like the long capris length when it’s cool-ish and I can roll them up when it’s really hot.
First I tried a bright contrasting patch, thinking to create a funky look with Sashiko embroidery, tiny stabs (running stitches) in a contrasting hue. Maybe I could stitch an interesting design that included the shape of the hole?
It just wasn’t working for me and it called even more attention to the tear. So I removed most of the white cotton thread and bound the edges with a whip stitch and then a blanket stitch in matching thread. The pants remained in my luggage the rest of vacation while I pondered the many ways of patching to keep the appeal of these dear pants. I knew I had a collection of batik frogs about the right size in my studio.
I needed a patch that would
cover the hole and prevent it from further raveling
look good when pants are rolled up, too
be fun during the repair and when wearing the modified pants
use hues and motifs that would go with just about any top I might wear
use materials that are already in my stash
use only hand stitching, why not?
What a lively frog! On the inside of the pants, Shashiko style stitches around and over the design secure the patch over the tear and hold down the pinked edges. I wanted the tied thread ends to show and the edges to fray. You cans see stitches showing through to the right side above.
I stitched some embroidery on the outside patch (a scrap) to lively it up and then attached it over the hole and inside the lines that show from the inside patch. The top stays open to form a little pocket for a fragrant insect repelling herb or something secret.
I can peek inside the pocket patch to check on the tear and give it comfort from time to time, a reminder of how this all came to be.
Brown stitching from the outside patch shows on the inside patch and I think that’s just fine. Funky and homegrown is the intention here.
Rolled up, the inside patch now shows and I think it’s rather interesting. Having 3 patches on this rip makes one pant leg a tad heavier than the other. If you find me listing to one side or walking in circles please lend me your elbow and set me back on the path. A disturbing accident is now a happy patch experience and the pants are good to go again.
This was so much fun I patched a design on my worn Gramichi outdoor pants with more sashiko stitching. Take a look here.
Oh, come on flowers! Get your bloom on. I love picking wild flowers and those in my garden for springtime bouquets. I’m waiting and waiting for blooms! Winter lasted long this season and I’ve found only a few wildflowers so far and a handful of crocus and snow drops. Tulips and daffodils seem doubtful that the snow is truly at bay. I’m hopeful!
I’ve been collecting beach rocks, as flat as I can find them, for years. Some already surround small gardens or make stepping places out of mud at the bottom of deck steps. Some are waiting to be placed in just the right spot or pathway in new gardens.
When my friend invited me to Bend, Oregon, over Presidents holiday I didn’t expect to find a Fire Pit Competition at their Winterfest. They seem to be made from steel salvaged from Bend’s old mill. People gathered around the art pieces at Old Mill Park along the Deschutes River to share the warmth of the outdoor sculptures with a purpose – they had to be interesting to look at and hold a blaze.
Cabin Fever is no problem for these sculptors. They have a problem to solve and a product to craft. Mission accomplished.
Not long ago on a cool November day I stopped in a small town for coffee on my way home from a trip to The City. Well, really, I missed the coffee house, an old house alongside the highway, upscaled into a relaxing place to sit with coffee or tea. When I turned around at an intersection down the road a ways I noticed this almost secret garden between buildings. Just enough space to invite anyone to sit and relax, slightly removed from the street scene. Mind you, this is a small town with a highway running through it. The noisiest thing you might encounter here is a logging truck passing through.
I asked 4 people in the hardware store and 2 in the coffee shop about who created it and is it a memorial for the lady painted on the sign. No one knew. And they all live here. It’s a real place but you can easily remember or create in your mind such images of relaxing spaces. Relaxing is all in your head. Right? I’m inspired to put some of these garden elements into my home landscape.
Relax is a state of mind.
Our minds think in images. Whatever images help you relax, that’s what you need to see in your mind’s eye until nothing else is there. Nothing. Think of it. No. Don’t think of it. If you can really think of NOTHING you are really relaxed. No THINGS are in your awareness.
Try this. Slowly push all the air you can out of your lungs, visualizing negative thoughts or images leaving your muscles and blood vessels as you exhale. Then slowly pull new oxygen into your lungs, visualizing light and new energy entering into every cell in your body. Make an image in your mind’s eye of a place where you feel relaxed, keep your focus on it and let it move you deeper within the relaxing space. Repeat. Repeat. Stay there as long as you feel comfortable and slowly come back when you are ready. You don’t have to be any place special or private to do this relaxation exercise. Just let yourself relax often during your day. If even for a moment and inside your own mind.
No argument that the sun did it’s darndest in recent years to dry out the land and burn up forests and grasslands in western America from Mexico into Canada. But what I’m talking about is mythology and tragedy and theater, drama based on real events. Mother Earth in a character in the play I am directing for children’s theater this fall. I need to design her costume and I’m rather stumped on this concept. I know a lot of my followers are artists or writers or gardeners or use fabric in your designs, all highly creative folk. Here’s your opportunity to help design a dramatic costume for Mother Earth, and then more for some other characters if you like!The play is “Phaeton and the Sun Chariot” by Wim Coleman. Phaeton is the son of a mortal mother and the immortal Sun God, Helios. The kid challenges his dad to let him drive the Sun Chariot across the sky to prove his own powers and of course disaster strikes when he loses control and drives the sun too close and too far from Earth. Fires, ice, floods, excessive darkness, regular panic and havoc among the mortals, that sort of disaster. Mother Earth comes on stage in a rage and scolds Zeus for letting this happen as she yells about agriculture, strip mining, and air and water pollution, in addition to burning up the earth. So we need a suitable costume. Actors will wear black tops and leggings/pants (no togas) and use masks as they portray different characters, much the way it was done in original Greek Theater. Mother Earth is an exception, she can have more than a mask, a full costume, as she enters from back stage. She has to look like she’s being destroyed, mostly by fire. The costume needs to be quick to put on and take off as the actor will also be playing other characters in the performance. I want it to give the mood of a supernatural or mythological deity, though she is not a goddess. She will probably be barefoot.
So there you have it. I’m asking for collaboration. I need ideas, drawings (very draft is fine), photos, any images you can send my way, please. What is your muse telling you? Use the comments section below or Contact Me here to send me your ideas. I’ll share them and give you credit. Of course I will post the completed costume after the performances in November. And if you can get to McCall, Idaho, come watch the play!