Now that I've caught up to myself, time to do something a little different. For instance, i am deadly bored of my own wardrobe - T-shirts and denim. Whether Walmart or top-dollar, it's hundreds of the same item as far as the eye can see, even with the current fashion for peasant/ethnic/boho styles, and especially for us Ladies of Lovely Proportions for whom there is a significantly smaller marketplace from which to choose.
It's great to be able to go to a store (or online, I heart The Internet) and find something that fits and is (reasonably) fashionable. Instant gratification is good. On the other hand, though, isn't it great to have something nobody else has, and not meet your exact outfit coming down the aisle at your local grocery?
Look at this selection at a Mexican market stall. Like a field of wildflowers blooming! The basic shapes are simple and easy to sew, materials simple to get, decoration limited only by imagination. Possibilities are almost endless, and if you make it yourself you can be sure nobody else will have the same thing
Same thing goes for traditional blouses from eastern Europe - these beauties are from Romania. Simple, rectangular construction, everyday materials, embellishment as simple or complex as the creator desires. So this is where I'll be playing (with random tangents because oo squirrel!) for the next little while...
(original 5 Apr 2015)
After almost 3 years design to last stitch, over 1000 hours of stitching, more than a mile of silk thread - the Pentecost Altar vestments are complete, and in place for Palm Sunday.
(original 16 Feb 2015)
Welcome to the world, grandbabies #5 and #6, Abigail and Andrew - these came as a convenient matching set!
Abigail R -
And Andrew S
God grant them Many Years!
(original post 16 Jan 2015)
Been awhile since I've updated, in a headlong rush to finish Pentecost in time for this year's Palm Sunday.
Took a little time out,though, to join in seeing a good friend's longtime project come to fruition - the production of a beautiful picture book about the celebration of Pascha (Easter, in the Orthodox Church), seen through the eyes of a child. My friend Charlotte Riggle wrote the wonderful story, with magical illustrations by R.J. Hughes. You can preview and pre-order the book HERE - Catherine'sPascha. The site is packed with historic and traditional info,recipes, and more- enjoy! (And its not just for Orthodox -(and not just for Orthodox - everyone can find something interesting here!)
My contribution is small - Practical Blackwork designs for basket covers appear in a couple of illustrations, and you can purchase these designs in the STORE, or read about them and download a simple free pattern HERE. (Designs inspired by traditional embroideries and antique Russian pattern books, translated to polychrome blackwork). A Free pattern -
purchaseable pattern 1, for a Pascha basket cover...
purchaseable pattern 2, for a basket cover or rushnyk
(original post 2 Jul 2014)
If you're a reader of my website Practical Blackwork, I'm sad to announce that come the 26th of July, the lights will go out there - it's just too expensive to maintain right at this moment, and didn't pay it's rent this year. (Note- THIS blog remains the same, kitties and all!)
Instead, for the moment you can find all the old site content (and all the new stuff I can find) at practicalblackworkdotcom, while I decide which way I'm going next. Stay tuned there for updates and news, and please continue to send me your beautiful photos and links to cool blackwork sites.
Thanks for your support!
(original post 18 June 2014)
Busy busy - recovering from the trip to the youngest's wedding, and finishing the Pentecost chalice covers in time for Pentecost this year. Next year, the altar cloth - and I'll be done! (til the next insane project...)
The chalice covers-
The chalice covers and aer in use during the Great Entrance, Pentecost, 2014. That good-looking guy in the blue robe there, BTW, is Himself.
And, because I haven't been around in awhile, a shot of our newest "kid",who wandered up in the yard one day, got in Himself's truck,and refused to leave. Here is the incredible Tomtom, the black-and-white on the blue cushion, hanging with his buds on a sunny afternoon.
(original post 29 May 2014)
After a near miss with The Nuclear Stomach Plague, we journeyed south to attend the Wedding of the Century - our son to his wonderful fiancee. Fabulous weather, wonderful people, a great time was had by all -
May God grant them many, many happy years!
(original post 2 Jan 2014)
Happy dancing - finished the center panel of the Pentecost altar cloth in time to ring in the New Year. Now have the 4 side panels, and a pair of chalice covers, and the Neverending Project is done...
A badly-lit photo of the whole piece-
And a close-up showing some of the fillings, and a hint of the silver.
Blessed Nativity, Happy New Year, and all the joys of the season!
(original post 5 Nov 2013)
Wow. Can't believe I FORGOT TO POST that I finished the aer in time for this year's Pentecost - I attached the last bit of fringe and the ribbons for tying about 6 hours before it was to be used. Here's the finished product -approximately 150 hours of stitching, silk, wool,and silver on round-thread linen, lined in silk, silk fringe and ribbons.
and the rest of the photos are from its use in the Great Entrance of Divine Liturgy...
If you've never expereienced an Orthodox Divine Liturgy, the Great Entrance is when the Gifts (the elements of Communion) are processed through the church. When the priest returns them to the altar, the aer is removed and used in the covering and blessing of the Eucharist.
(original post 23 May 2013)
Working my fastest in hopes of finishing the smaller pieces by Pentecost. Daytime is for gardening and cleaning and cooking and all that fun stuff; way too late into the night is for stitching. I've listened my way through several Brit-cop shows, and last night delved into "Destination Truth"- you never have to look up much for that, since you KNOW they're never going to find the creature. Whoever invented the "go-somewhere-find-nothing-tangible" genre of "reality" is a GENIUS.
Anyway, here's the center design of the aers (chalice veil), now for the borders!
Hi. My name is Liadain, and I do blackwork. And stuff. And blackwork. I can stop anytime I want - after I finish just one more thread....
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