Category Archives: Frankenstitch

Raggedy Black Heart –redux of sorts

Raggedy Black Heart_arlee barr_CbAs much as i love this one, it is time to let it go into the world. If you are interested, and would like to work out a payment plan, please email me at arlee dot is at gmail dot com– you may see more info and details here

(Published in issue 38 of verFilzt Und zugeNacht)



rethink, re pink

I’ve done some mockups in the past week of how i will put the panels for Ebb and Flow on the armature and realized the original overlap idea is not going to work. At first i thought i would “lift” each edge by “propping” with an attached bead so you could see what was underneath, but it just look stoopid. I also didn’t like the overlap after all, even if it had worked–doesn’t flow or help with the concept/presentation!!!!

My solution involves more pieces (!)–fortunately just teeny ones in the grand scope of things, but i best be buckling down and doing them!

My lichen pink did dry lighter of course–-almost disappointing, but i know i’m on the right track. I think part of the problem was the small amount i had collected–in ratio to the amount of fibre, it just wasn’t enough. Off to the cemetery sometime (when the snows are gone!!!!) then to scrape more. It’s still very useable and i am pleased with the tests and the end result, and that’s what counts. If you give up because the first time it isn’t what you envisioned, you never get anywhere. I put the threads back into a new vat (new in the sense that it’s fresh made from the old that i hadn’t used yet)– and have put them in a warm place and will wait a few days —READ the instructions, fer &^&%^$$%%……….

I have also this weekend got to have more done on All Water Under the Bridge. Slated for a show, the photos of “in progress” for application must be reasonably clear in showing the end look. (And deadline met….)

After these two major works are done, i intend to fly a little and get a little more expansive–would like to get back to some Frankenstitch!!!!!!!!!!! (These were “Major” in the sense of intense labour……maybe not so much in the grand scheme of things…) I bought Jean Draper’s Stitch and Structure and really would like to get even more dimensional and sculptural. I find this book a bit repetitive and very reminiscent of Janet Edmond’s Three Dimensional Stitch, but it’s still a valuable resource. I don’t buy a lot of these textile reference books anymore as most seem rehashes now of other artists’ work, things i already know and have dismissed from my vocabulary :) , quick copy mixed media with no originality or encouragement of originality, or just plain BORING.

Ive decided too that once these 2 pieces are done, i am not going to lock myself into any deadlines. If the work i make this year fits somewhere, fine. If not, well, poopoopeedoo. I have plenty of ideas that will translate for many things–it’s all about “tailoring” the statements after all, isn’t it? NARF. :) And given that i  comfortably have a distinct look, style, voice, approach now, whatever you want to call it, that should be the path.


a connection to the bones

stitching that right now, my roots, my relationship, network, ally, kin and path



which has me thinking of new work for the new year


ooo stitch photos, actual stitch photos!

But you have to go here to see them :)


the chosen one(s)

Deciding which background Mother’s Heart will have had some interesting comments happening when i posted yesterday, here and over on FB. Always good to get some input through someone else’s eyes and their “feelings” on a subject!

I’m torn now between these two:


I like the warm colouring of the first and the open white space, leaving lots of room for interpretative stitching. It also has that lovely extended “tubage” thing going on in the top right, joining the background to the heart. At the same time though, the nail impressions give (me) the wrong impression! This is not a sad or hard heart, rather one of softness, time, patience and natural aging.


The second one has that oh so interesting FrankenStitch possibility to it though. There’s enough warmth in the caramel colouring along that vertical grey and the impression of cracks/wounds/lacings//sutures (how life breaks often and mends (hopefully) ?) on the left and lacey holes on left and right sides that i feel there’s room to augment with the planned stitches i had in mind. I don’t want the background or background stitching to compete with the heart though, and have to be careful of the weight and density with the stitches i want to use and the motif. (And Meg sees ribs, i see bones in the grey line–how perfect is that????!!!)

And now i notice spines in the first–arghhhhh, decisions, decisions! Make up my tiny little mind!

And i have to take the heart apart–i see quite a few placement errors now that i’ve had time to mull over the look!


and Happy VD to you all :)

 every beat has a history


i’m still liking the pink pissiness

Am running out of the lovely pink and yellow woven damask jacquard whatever it is rayon, so improvised for the face–some of the dog spit resist snow dyed chiffon over yellow cotton.

consur face 1c

consur heart 1 c

and in my studio window, the surprise of a winter bloom



say cheese

All my samples want their day in the sun…..i’ve never spent as much time on this stage before, but i seem to have the patience and interest this “go round” :) No more Instant Gratification Girl here!

I’ve been working diligently on these every morning, then walk the DogFaced Girl for an hour or so (and shovel walks and feed the birds and squirrels) to refresh my brain and body, then make a few more notes and switch to some handwork. Seems to be the best way now for me. I feel i’m getting things done even if they aren’t are ready for public view. (Ya wanna know how i feel about Lalage  —my sewing machine by the way for the uninitiated, pronounced La-loj, with a soft j  —-  go read Patricia’s post and you’ll get it :) OH MY!!!!!! )

I’m playing with strange shapes, nodules and holes, manipulation, various thread weights, colour combinations and lots of free motion. Before i know it, each day i’ve got 4 hours worth of samples and notes, building quite a library. I don’t know how long it will be before i actually use some of the ideas in finished work, but that ain’t a bad thing. Maybe that’s why i have so many UNfinished pieces–couldn’t get to the next step after trying some wonderful new thing that couldn’t stand on its own.






I’ve also noticed that with my own work i then question as to how to get the same effect, or close at least, in hand work. I do love that ol’ push the needle by hoofie aspect, but i know it’s not all “translate-able”, not a bad thing either: new ideas come or can be accented that way.

There are also these that i previously posted:

pinksquiggle1pink heart 1 c

heart 2exp panic jan 2 detail c

domes2  c

circlesprogram1 c

And by the way, the StitchinFingers Machine Embroidery group is now open for “bizness”!!!


20 minutes here and there…..

dec26 tdbap

tdbap dec26 side treatment c

Might even get it done by the 31st.


sampling for samplings sake

Also known as just screwing around!

I don’t know that any of these will actually ever be used as ideas for some actual work, but it keeps me occupied at least. My finger is almost healed so maybe tomorrow i can get back to some hand work. In the meantime, i need to be doing something, and slopping paint and dye around wasn’t particularly engaging, so let’s farfle around with Lalage–at the very least it’s cleaning all the carbon out, like a good rip down the highway at 169K when the car has been idle for months.

I like some of these effects, but looking at them, i also know that some are just samples for what the hell purposes. Could i, would i, ever use any of this on anything, or are they pointless except as colour, texture and machine vavoom avoidance tactics exercises? Ah, never say never: maybe someday down the road, it will be a good thing i’ve done these.

tufting1 c

tufting1b c

tufting2 c

tufting2b c

stitch weight c

I see the potential for each stitch, but not used these ways specifically.

EDIT: i wrote this before the daily walk with DFG—and now i have some ideas where i can use some of this. Nothing like fresh air up the brain!

ADDENDUM: I noticed that on the stitchingfingers ning, there  was a request at some recent point for a machine embroidery group, but no one stepped up to be a moderator/admin. I have just messaged Mary Corbet, who is taking the reins from Sharon Boggon, and volunteered my services. If it gets up, will you join me?

2nd ADDENDUM: Mary has agreed and we will set the group up in January–that pesky Christmas thing gets in the way of SO many Important stuffs!


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