winter whites


Powdery blue, silver, rosy taupe, celadon, winter white, blush, misty gray. The faintest of colors seem to dominate my surroundings this time of year. It happens to be my favorite palette no matter what season, but I love how the winter time somehow makes even the whitest shades of pale more vivid.


The color scheme in the landscape is influencing my work. There has been plenty of white on white stitching done (some may be altered in the dye pot at a later date) and a few older unfinished pieces has gained new life, despite being tucked away because of perceived lack of color interest.


Right after the holidays I made time for a dye pot, experimenting with only using plant materials gathered from the back yard despite the wintery weather. A combination of nandina, oak, magnolia and leatherleaf viburnum were layered between silk, cotton, and linen fabric, with a few pieces of paper thrown in for added interest.



The clamped bundle simmered with a handful of fustic wood shavings, for a couple of hours and were left to rest for another few days. The unveiling was far more thrilling than I expected. Somehow the wonderful imprints left behind mirrored the shades of the wintery cold landscape outside. In layers, and gradations, even the palest of impressions managed to stand out. Such joy...


icy conditions



Everything was coated in ice this morning. This is the first winter weather we have had this season – up until now it has been unusually mild. The garden seems to glimmer under the ice layer, everything looks cuddled and safe, but also fragile and exposed at the same time. During my wanderings I discovered all these oak leaves on the ground, much darker in color than the others. They look oxidized, almost blue. Immediately I start thinking about the dye pot - what color will they give in that condition? I have so much on my plate. Can I fit in a play date with the cauldron?











getaway

My lovely husband and I are supposed to arrive here tomorrow night, for a short, but much needed getaway. Considering that Charlottesville is buried in snow, with more to come today, chances that we actually will get to Sanibel island, at least on time, are slim. But in my imagination I am already lounging in a deck chair overlooking the beach, sipping a glass of wine and lovingly holding my man's hand...

all white

The world is blanketed in snow outside my studio window. Inside I am sifting through my vintage treasure box. Most of its content relates to my family. Every monogram and piece of lace has a history. I come from a line of seamstresses. Not the professional kind, but the kind who sewed, stitched, and embroidered out of necessity and out of joy. Weaving, knitting, quilting, tailoring, crocheting, mending, and altering were my grandmother's and my mother's artistry. Their passion and appreciation were passed on to me. Some of their skills (not all) were as well...


Each time I visit my mom in Sweden, I bring a few more pieces back with me. My promise to her and to myself is that they will be used for a special project, a heirloom of heirlooms of sort. I don't know what shape it will take, when it will be done, or how, but hopefully it will be worthy to pass on to a few more generations.


A few belated thank yous are in order. Gay over at I dreamed I saw, included my geranium sachets in her sweet smelling post this weekend, and Elaine at nestingblog recently featured my queen anne's lace art quilt. Tusen tack! I also want to thank Denise from Hamburg, Germany, (lieblings.weerke) who picked my market tote as one of the items in her beautiful fig post.

trees

Today I have grown taller from walking with the trees.
Karle Wilson Baker

I am definitely a tree hugger at heart. We have a few majestic ones in our garden, and during stormy night I lay awake worrying that they may get hurt or felled. I can't imagine our life without them. They are especially impressive in wintertide, without their lush summer clothing. Tall and ever reaching as they grace the sky.

I am working on an art quilt that incorporates a grove of trees. The imagery started out as a photo from a fall walk, which was transformed into a screen, which then was used for printing. I love the effect and the fact that this tiny reflection of nature now is part of my art.

The photo, burnt onto a screen, printed on linen...

Thank you for your kind and thoughtful comments to my last post! Your friendship and willingness to join me on my bumpy journey warms my heart.

first snow

The first snow of the season arrived this weekend, coating everything in fluff and ice. It will not stay for long as temperatures are rising, but it left this Sunday morning feeling especially serene. I want to send big thanks to Jan over at poppytalk, who wrote so nicely about my work this week, and a belated greeting of gratitude goes to Rachel of elephantine who also featured my work recently. Tack!

sunday wander

A few snapshots from today's neighborhood walk. Starting with my friend, NiNi Baeckstrom's whimsical sculptures outside McGuffey Art center.

The sparkling winter jasmine, always eager to flower despite cold and grayness.

One of my favorite neighborhood houses – an arts and crafts style bungalow, restored to its full former glory.

His and hers vespa – I imagine... Have a happy week.

waiting

This branch, which was rescued from the freezing cold temperatures outside, seems to hesitate to unfurl. It, just like me, is eagerly awaiting spring... 

I want to send heartfelt thanks to some special blogger friends for their nice posts this week; jewels & jules and hanna's life is cool for highlighting the etsy tea towel article, dear Mrs. French at bliss for praising periwinklebloom and our little collaboration, and Isabelle of sweet Lou & Tom, for featuring my work. Tusen tack!

winter bloom

It is a busy week, but I wanted to share these happy signs of spring – the witch hazel's fringy bloom and the cheerful winter aconites. I will be back soon...

the homestead

My lovely husband and I snuck away for a 24-hour visit to the homestead this weekend. This historic, and breathtakingly beautiful resort is nestled between mountain ranges in western virginia, a few hours drive from where we live. It is almost decadently vast and luxurious, with delicious food, warm spring fed pools and baths, thick terry robes, and an abundance of friendliness and hospitality. It was a treat for us to just be together, hike in the snow, sip wine, and relax without any distractions, besides the stunning setting.


winter wonder

We woke up to more snow this morning. Wet and heavy, engulfing the neighborhood. Everything seems so pristine after a snowfall. This month I am starting two new partnerships. I am collaborating with Karen Young and her newly launched show:room, where she will promote independent artists and designers. Karen's own line Hammocks & High Tea is part of this small but talented group of eco conscious creative businesses. I have also placed my first ever sponsor ad on bliss. I can't imagine a better venue than Mrs. French's lovely blog, and I am proud to be a bliss supporter.