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"Whatcha been up to?" ... this...

Seminar is practically over and so is my very tightly packed week.  It was a very special week, I met some lovely new friends, reunited with some favorite old ones.  I taught my class, a wonderful experience.  It wasn't your traditional type class, (if you know me you are now saying, "well, duh"), and my students came along this unique path with me, at first terrified and later just sailing beautifully along!  My heart burst with pride, do you hear me Nancy, Beth, Sandy, Barb, Laura and Lynn?  You were phenomenal!

Nancy promised Manhattan skyline when Philly is done.

The city of Philadelphia is coming to life.


Lots of progress from a super stitcher!

Notes on stitch variations

Taking care of some Seminar business
I have so much more to tell, a little each day.  Our loft looks like it had a hurricane sweep thru it, really!!  Don't believe me?  here!!!:

I'll be back very soon - xo


Things I collected as a kid...

I loved coins from all over the world. 
My father worked for El-Al, the Israeli airline and would bring home coins from anywhere he traveled.

and then there were the stamps...  The artwork, the names of the countries and their alphabets, arranging in albums, it was all so much fun!  Tearing the envelopes and soaking the stamps until they came off, drying them and placing on their respective pages, I did it all and enjoyed every moment.

Collecting dolls from around the world was the most expensive, and I didn't have a large collection, but studying their costumes and giving them names, how exotic was that?!

This is the Cambodian Barbie that I bought Nina when she was very little.  We seem to have lost the shoes :(

Back to Seminar tomorrow.  What a delightful group of women! We are making great progress.


Messin' around with tablescapes.


Smooth as Silk

Close up of a finished Shibori Silk Scarf

Of all the threads I love to use, the best, beyond a doubt, is silk. Cotton can get pretty good, but nothing is even remotely as easy and luxurious to use as silk thread! Yum!  Silk production is older than anything I can think of--estimates put it between 7000 BC and 3000 BC. It was at first only used to adorn the royalty of China, where it's cultivation began. It soon popped up on musical instruments, fishing lines, paper and a very strong flexible glue. For a time it even became the sole means of currency in China--imagine being paid in silk each week? 
Silk Ties

By 330 AD silk had traveled to the western world, and the rest is, actually, history. Silk owes it's high price to the lengthy process used to create it, which is actually a little, Ew, Ick. But we are adults and we love our silk, so:  the little silkworm spins it's silken cocoon around itself, ready to make it's change. Silk makers then gather thousands and thousand of these cocoons and boil them. The boiling process allows the threads of the cocoon to be slowly unwound, pulled out of the vat and wound onto a spool. Alas the poor little silk worm is sacrificed, but his legacy is a strong one. The fine gauzy spooled thread it is dyed and then woven into fabric or spun to make the threads we needlepointers love so well!
A modern day design by Misterrobb
Chinese Silk Embroidery
Silk is an entire subculture unto itself, be it scarves or ties, sheets or ribbon, silk is the quintessential definition of luxury. The silk scarf is a complete art form unto itself, examples range from the kitschy modern handpainted scarves on Etsy to the revered and high end Pucci,  Givenchy and Bvlgari.

A silk scarf by Pucci

and then, of course, one of my favorites, Hermes.

I love the colors in these scarves, and I love silk!

Old Japanese Silk Store

a favorite of mine, Planet Earth Silks


New Kit - just like cotton candy

These boxes of thread combinations, swirling around pretty pieces of colored canvas, remind me of cotton candy.  Sweet, melt in your mouth, and puffy-lingly delicious! (that is a word, isn't it?)
Put these lovely boxes alongside a new design that makes color exploration a real treat and you get... 

Each box is unique, with 9 different skeins of threads; silks, cottons, overdye, perle, stranded, metallic, each different but all lovely.

Gorgeous Greens

 Can be stitched on 18 count mono canvas or on congress cloth. 

Opulent Oranges

Perfection Pink

Promising Purples

 See it all HERE


Some beauty, Some new items and a freebie as well!

Lindsten Form Studio


*              *               *              *              *               *              *               *              *               *

And on my front, here at Adorn, I added a new item to my Etsy Store.  

A free design with any silky Planet Earth 6-pack.  Check them out...  HERE


Ahhhh the Ribbon...

Glorious Ribbons

The Ribbon. A simple strip of fabric taking on it's own identity. We don't really think of it as a strip of fabric anymore-- it has removed itself, redefined itself as something a cut above.

The early value of ribbon to humanity was, actually, to redefine ourselves as something a cut above--a plain, poor garment could be brought up to snuff by a yard of fantastically woven ribbon placed on a sleeve or hem or bodice. This love of adornment escalated through the ages, to it's age of glory in the 17th century--ribbons appeared everywhere--bonnets, frills, rosettes, edging for linens, ruching and gift giving.

Ribbons continued on throughout the ages, coming into fashion in 1813, and throughout the Victorian age. In folkwear, many clans, villages and families created ribbons in colors and patterns that identified them as coming from one place or another.

Polish Folk Wear embellished with ribbons in the owners village colors 

Recently, ribbons have made a huge comeback, something we can start by attributing, most likely, to Martha (!), but also to the increasing numbers of DIY'ers and crafters. The options are endless! Woven, wired, velvet, washable, dry clean only.. you name it!

This brings me to the whole point of this blog, the wonderful website Rennaissance Ribbons.  

I discovered Renaissance Ribbons quite sometime ago and peruse the site on a regular basis. I have ordered beautiful woven ribbons to inspire me and amaze me. The store is an endless selection of the elegant, the sumptuous, the refined and simply, perfection! Some samples from textile artists such as Kaffe Fassett, Sue Spargo, Jennifer Jangles and more,  take a look:

Now go to Renaissance Ribbons and see what treasures you can find. 
Edith Minne, the owner, is a wealth of knowledge and a great help!
Check out their blog as well!


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©Orna Willis
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