Monday, 28 December 2009

Rough and (almost) ready

I've continued to work on the "catcher" cloth (bag) over christmas and am pleased... and a little surprised by... where that took me. The front panel is done, all hand stitched, and uses only reclaimed cloth. Now I just need to complete the body construction and add straps. I love that this piece has no straight lines and is so rough and ready.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Taking it easy...

Where do ideas come from exactly? What part of our brain manages that? Or is it the job of several different parts of the brain?... Probably so.

So I didn't do much yesterday, but had a lot of ideas of things that I want to try out. Obviously doing nothing plays an important role sometimes in the aquisition of ideas. Think I'm going to try doing nothing more often!

Today I am feeling better. Still pretty rough, but at least not so dead on my feet. The guys went into town to try to fix the four wheel drive (turns out that the problem's more complicated than first expected!) and so I have been playing with a few of yesterday's ideas...

Ideas about layers...

... and stitches.

Humble stitches, like the interesting edge of yesterday's post.

Ideas about openings...

... and variations on that theme.

Ideas about how a thing changes from a different view point...

... or in a different light.

Ideas about keeping the colors simple

And enjoying Simplicity!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Long Night Moon #3

Guess what I got for Christmas?... A rotten flu virus! This is as far as I have been able to get with the Long Night Moon cloth. My whole body is aching. I am supposedly going to spend the day doing nothing (is that possible?) with Nilo, who is recovering fast and getting back to his usual active self.

The flower is quilted...

The moth applique edges are stitched and ready to be added to the cloth and then quilted...

An interesting edge. Although I am not planning to show this edge as part of the finished piece (whatever that turns out to be!) I like the effect of this ever so simple stitch, and plan to play with it whilst "resting".

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Long Night Moon #2

I am pretty slow at this. But, little by little, it is coming along. And the point is, I'm enjoying it! I hope to have some more updates on this piece before Christmas day.

I don't know why, but I often end up sitting indoors. Even though we live in a tropical paradise. Now I am making a conscious effort to take my work out into the garden. There, I can rest my eyes in the distance.

A starry sky...

I love this flower!

Wings of Winter Soltice

Nilo - my 7 year old - is sick with flu, so I didn't get the chance to add this post yesterday evening of some more amazing wings. I will have to do some investigating in order to get some determinations of the species which I am posting. Anyway, we are getting some amazing visitors here at the moment.

This is only the second time that we have seen this moth species here at Los Charcos de Osa. It has a wing span of ca. 12 inches and it was very freaky to have it walking on me!

Ok... so not the best image, but it gives an idea of the size of this magnificent creature. Yes, that's my hand! Amazing, no?

Here's another beauty who arrived to pass solstice with us.

And then, last night, a squirrel cuckoo flew into the house. I wonder what the significance of that is? We think it was frightened by a large owl... or maybe a big cat. Well, there was definately something out there last night.

These are not small birds. They have beautiful tails!

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Legs of the day

Today, I decided to drag out the cardboard box that has been stored beside my chest of drawers in the house, and which has some old watercolor plant studies in. And just look at who was on the back of it! I think this is a Central American Wolf spider. Whatever it was, it was the size of my hand!

Wings of the day

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Even better than the real thing

I'm really enjoying working with synthetic suede. I bought a small scrap from a fabric store in Boquete, Panama, when we were there a few months ago. Its skin-tone, and super soft, and although it's synthetic, it looks and feels like the real thing, but is maybe a little easier to manipulate.

I had an idea about layers.

Hand stitched layers.

I found that I could strip threads out to create a more dynamic surface texture...

... and added that idea to the idea of layers.

I added some simple beadwork and some colored stitching.

And here's the finished piece, "Kaluto", which has been added to the other Indie-pendants on the Bainbridge&Houseberg photostream at Flickr

I'm excited by the fact that these are completely handstitched, using small fabric and fiber scraps. Projects that, a) I can make anywhere (including in the hospital, if necessary!), b) are unique and very eco-friendly, and, c) finishable in the short term. The latter being imperative, as my interests always have had a habit of flitting from one thing to the next... like a butterfly passing from flower to flower. And I think that's maybe a good thing? Feed... and move on!

Monday, 14 December 2009

2010: Inspiration #1- Fungii

For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated with fungii. All of the strange forms which these amazing living beings take on. To me they epitomize the organic. I am also fascinated by the process of decomposition, and, in the past, that has been a reoccurring theme in my (painted) art.

Yesterday , I stepped into our small forest reserve. The trail dotted with sunspots in the noon sun.

This is what I found...

A rotting trunk on the edge of the main path covered in pale white/russet/rose pink fungii...

makes me think of shells clinging to some ancient wreckage... I love the pattern that they make.. a sort of spiralling...

Ruffled and scalloped plataeus or thunder clouds... like the traditional Javanese Megamendung fabric motifs, some lovely examples of which you can see here and here by a great company called EXOT who specialize in exotic treasures.

... like dis-orientated petals. And I have decided to make fungii one of my main subjects to explore in 2010. In cloth and on paper.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Osa Native Plant Workshop

We've been away for a few days helping to present a workshop on native plants. We're part of a group called ProNativas which has a project underway to establish a national native plant network, with regional chapters across the country. We are responsible for the region of the Osa Peninsula.

This is my husband, Osa's botanical expert, Reinaldo Aguilar, talking with some of the workshop participants. The workshop was hosted by local conservation organization Friends of the Osa.

Part of the workshop involved starting up a small native plant nursery at Cerro Osa, one of the Friends of the Osa properties, located in the Piro area.

A group photo of participants and presenters.

After the last day of the workshop we got to hang out on the beach at Piro. It's a hard life ;) Here's Nilo with Pronativa's co-ordinator, Natalia Vega.

Sunset over the Pacific ocean.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Fruits of the Forest

Yesterday, I ventured a little way into our forest on the main trail. I had not walked even 50 meters, when I found treasure!

A gorgeous dying leaf.

Crazy little white fungii on a fallen twig.

A foul smelling fungii. I love the structure of these (but not the smell!) I will edit this post when I figure out what species this is.

Fruits of Jacaranda copaia (Bignoniaceae)

* The final pair are really for a new friend Jude Hill Jude is a very talented cloth maker. Her cloths tell fabulous stories. You should check out her fabulous blog. She has a thing about eyes!

Like an African mask?
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