Space Stichery, The Final Frontier

Over at the Craft blog, Rachel Hobson posted about artist Marta Brysha, who makes stunning embroideries depicting nebulae, galaxies and other icons of astronomy using gorgeous hand dyed threads and fabrics.

Inspired by childhood visits to her grandmother in Croatia, Brysha has devoted her life to creating embroidered works of art. It is, she says, a kind of alchemy wrought with needle and thread.You can watch it all unfold on her blog, Silk and Colour.


Kawandi Quilts

I saw this over at annekata and had to "borrow" her post about these remarkable quilts made by Siddi women of India.
The Siddis of Karnataka, India are the descendants of both early African immigrants to South Asia and enslaved Africans brought to Goa in the beginning of the 16th century by the Portuguese. While they have adjusted to many aspects of Indian cultures, they have also retained some of their traditions, one of them being their vibrant patchwork, also called kawandi. Made with vintage clothing and highly individualistic, quilters share clear opinions about the beauty and quality of their quilts.

Though I've never made one, I love quilts. In fact, you could say I'm slightly obsessed. The use of color and pattern in kawandi is sophisticated and modern. I think they're gorgeous.

I can imagine what it must be to walk through a Siddi village, and see kawandi draped over fences, hung on lines, out in the sun.

Professor Henry John Drewal is a leading scholar on the art, culture, and history of the Siddi who helped establish the Siddi Women’s Quilting Cooperative. He also organized a traveling exhibition of kawandi quilts that just closed in San Francisco. Keep an eye out for it. I imagine they are even more beautiful in person.


Things I Love About My Home

My reading nook.

The afternoon light.

My 10-year-old gardenia.

The view.

My (bashful) kitties.


Every Day Sparkle

I'm seriously contemplating whether or not I can get away with a permanent sequined wall.

Fabulous sequin wall from Oh Happy Day

It's so pretty and shiny! It would drive my cats batty.

Still, a girl can dream.

Great DIY idea from Oh Happy Day.


Tara Donovan

tara donovan - bluffs

A great post from Lisa Solomon over at poppytalk about artist Tara Donovan. I think the pictures speak for themselves about the intrigue of Donovan's work and the tension between what you experience looking at it from a distance, and then the surprise of it up close.

tara donovan - bluffs - made out of buttons/glue - detail

tara donovan - untitled (plastic cups)
 tara donovan - untitled (plastic cups) - detail

tara donovan - transplanted
tara donovan - transplanted - made from tar paper - detail

And here's a New York Times article about Donovan where she offers a little insight into where her ideas come from and how she arrives at these massive installations. What spoke most to me is her quote at the end of the article, where she says so much of making art is about paying attention.


A Stitch in Time

Just discovered this amazing program called Fine Cell Work that teaches prisoners in the UK the basics of needlework. The results are not only beautiful patchwork bags, embroidered linens, needlepoint pillows and quilts available for sale on their website, but men and women who are given an opportunity to make something meaningful and earn money while rebuilding their lives.

Learn more about the work from a prisoners perspective through the testimonials posted on the site. Many of them are moving and provide insight on how the work changed their life. Karl's story in particular (thanks to annekata for the link) is thoughtful and reflective.