Monday, March 14, 2011

elephant in the room

it's begun...

sketches litter my design desk.  piles and puddles of fragments and old garments fill any available space.  the elephants are preparing for a parade. ..

i decided to start with a few smaller cloths. book cloths, to be exact.  try out a few ideas. play with some embroidery and embellishment.  maybe move on to a pillow or two. before attacking some of the larger ideas that have been whispering in the back of my mind.

first up is the rudimentary fragments of  my first little elephant book cloth:

i thought a book cloth would be a worthy genesis for the venerable elephant, given that his memory is reknowned.  who better to remember where one left off reading?

the colors here are a bit off, i'm quite certain (at least, they are on my monitor).  the elephant himself is free cut from an old grey cotton luncheon napkin.  his head is cut separate from his body to allow overlapping for dimension and depth.  his tusks are free cut from an old off-white cotton dinner napkin.  his skull cap (which may be changed) is from the pocket flap of an old shirt.  his saddle blanket is from the end of a handwoven belt off of a vintage handwoven skirt.  his eye was cut from the same belt and is the center of a woven design.  his wine-colored background is torn from another vintage cotton dinner napkin.  the striped plum shirt will be the next layer. it is full of texture and detail that is lost in this photo, and is butter soft!  the cream dotted flower linen fabric behind that will be the backing cloth and is from a vintage summer jacket.

this little elephant  is as yet unpainted.  i'm thinking most of his "painting" will be done in thread with embroidery. tons of tiny lazy daisies and stars and swirls are at the forefront of my thoughts. filling my mind with their fervent whispers. perhaps some thin tassels or twists in the four corners...much like a magic carpet.

i'll be working a triple at the cottages over the next couple of days, so won't have a lot of time to play in my studio...but may have to tuck this little guy into my pocket and see what kind of mischief we can get into in our down time...



  1. Oh gosh, you have been busy blogging away! Have to catch up with your posts since washing the lion. Now you are working on elephants! Love it! Also love your new shoes! I would love to try a pair on sometime. Another gal I ran into wearing them absolutely adores them. I have to admit, I think that they are really funky looking. lol

    Thanks again so much for my awesome package!

  2. Wild shoes..... I do like them!!!

    Wonderful elephant. I am loving this piece and that he/she will be painted with thread.

    Look forward to hearing what mischief you pair get up to at the cottage. How nice to tuck a little fabric charm in your pocket and take to work...a little bit of creative inspiration, joy in the work day.

    Jacky xox

  3. Love him and can't wait to see him painted. xoxo

  4. Good to see you excited about creating. Hopefully the old Lion washing spell has been broken. Your elephant is will be fun to see the pachyderm progress.
    I am going through a bit of a funk myself right I picked up the Hale-Bopp cloth and started stitching...feeling the spell breaking.
    Going for an acupuncture session today...hoping to break the back of the allergies that have plagued me for years...fingers crossed.

  5. He looks delightful - I shall enjoy watching him become floriferous!

  6. ha! he is a lot of fun...and has been whispering to me all day. it's going to be fun this evening when things slow down to play with making him more "floriferous"! i tucked a bit of other fragments into my pocket, he might find himself a friend tonight as well...

  7. Exuberance exploding in this post... interesting, after the blank fortune cookie, seems that inspiration comes as the wheel of the year turns to spring. Looks beautiful, as were those decorated elephants a post or so ago, breathtaking.