At the moment we are feeling all sorts – there is grief, sadness, emptiness, fear and of course pockets of joy in the everyday. It also feels like a very long time ago I sat down to write a little post for here – so much has happened and is happening at the moment. A few weeks ago our world came to a grinding halt as COVID-19 sprung forth and lockdown began. Its a bit of a strange time – each day is so different and feels so different – some days I feel very calm and other days feel a little topsy turvy. I am grateful each day to have a making practice (and for many other things) – there is something magic that happens when the head, heart and hands connect. Although I wouldn’t say I have made anything that would be classed as a masterpiece – it just hasn’t been in me to – instead I’ve been working on very simple projects – quiet projects. Letting go of any expectations I have of what I would want to achieve and rather being simple – simple in all areas of life actually. I have found this to be very healing and nurturing – simple in conversations, simple in the food I cook, simple in the way we organise our lives – finding the simple things brings such joy. Watching the way the morning light gently falls on the new spring leaves, the long shadows of the afternoon light, the absolute joy our dog Oliver feels as he rolls on the grass in the warmth of the sun.
I have been pondering the notion of holding space and how we can hold space for ourselves and others, bring light and a sense of connection. I would love you to join me for ‘Stitch and Tea’ on Thursdays Instagram live 10:00 MST time as I share the simple hand stitch projects I have been working on. These projects are simple yet require a sense of stillness and in turn nurture, building a stronger heart – thus a stronger more resilient you for yourself and others.
Love and gentleness to you all xxx
We’ve been walking and using public transport a lot recently as we need to redo our drivers licenses here in Canada. It’s on our to do list to do – maybe when winter is over and the roads are less icy.
I have actually so enjoyed walking – walking to the shops, walking to the bus stop, walking to the library, walking to take our Oli for a walk, walking to yoga, walking to explore and walking just to walk – I find walking very inspiring. As I write this – I’m thinking back on the many walking trips I’ve done to various places and spaces and how these walks to get somewhere seem mundane or just part of the getting from A to B but they are filled with inspiration. Its these seemly mundane moments that are filled with most beautiful surprises – I’ve loved finding new routes to places and finding interesting things along the way. Walking has opened my eyes and heart to new things. A few weeks ago while I was walking home the softest most gentle snow was falling – each snowflake was so distinct and perfect, I stopped for a moment and watched them fall on my mittens – wafting so gently – just floating and landing so perfectly.
‘Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished’ – Lao Tzu
Walking has allowed me to acknowledge the importance of what we often consider the mundane – the things that are silly – but they are important – it’s shown and is showing me to be part of my walk and not simply stride. To look and to be.
And this inspires me to stitch with thread – stitch stories of my day – sometimes abstract and sometimes illustrative.
Much love xx
Eeeeeeekkkkk I’ve just realised I haven’t written for AGES and AGES. The last time I wrote spring was just about to spring itself upon us and there was a wonderful feeling of ‘newess’ after a beautifully ‘crinkly crunchy’ leaf kind of winter. Lots has been happening which I’ll be sharing in time on Alla D’s new site – so please have a squizz at www.allad.co.za every now and then. You’ll also find Alla D on instagram (alladfabricexplorations) and facebook (alladfabricexplorations) or send an email to email@example.com.
Have a beautifully happy Friday!!
‘Make your world beautiful!’ – I spotted this on the cover of the Ideas magazine (September 2016) and thought it was such a fabulous little tag line. We all make our worlds beautiful in different ways – that is the wonderful thing about individual creativity and adding little bits of personal ‘specialness’ to life. We all do this in different ways either by – lighting a candle or candles, painting a wall in one’s home a particular colour, grouping particular pictures together, growing flowers in the garden, spending time with people who are special to us, picking flowers from the garden and putting them in a vase, eating particular types food, giving someone a little something just because – there are many ways we make our worlds beautiful – our worlds are also made beautiful by being grateful for the small things, which are often ‘big’ things in our lives. Think about how you make your world beautiful and meaningful. Happy Thursday!!
I have exciting news to share with you – Alla D has now got its very own logo!! Thank you to Margo at the CCDI for designing it – we met this morning to discuss a few of the Alla D products. Margo suggested the next step for Alla D would be to start working on some branding. So that’s exactly what we did and this is what we came up with this morning…. Thank you Margo!!!
Today I’ve had a bit of a ‘putting together’ kind of day – for awhile I’ve been working on bits and pieces and decided it’s time to make them into something. So today there’s been lots of ironing, roller cutting and sewing ‘kind of’ straight lines in the Alla D studio.
I love the magical light that creeps into our lives as the seasons change – particularly at this time of year – the light is a special kind of magic. The very wintery colours are changing – the grey brown icy colours are turning into fresh, bright little bits of buoyant celebrations. It all feels rather fresh and invigorating! Over the past weeks I have been trying to spend lots of time in the studio creating ‘little bits of specialness’. I’ve been having a fabulous time exploring and pondering the notion of colour and texture using various threads and fabric layering and stitching. The most valuable lesson I’ve learned while exploring and pondering is working out ‘when is enough’ and which fabrics work well together. I’ve also learned and am still learning which fabrics work well when using particular techniques. It’s about finding that balance – not over working a piece but working it enough that it has heart and soul and ‘speaks’ to one. It is through trial and error and doing – working in a gentle way that this learning and exploration takes place – I feel very fortunate and grateful to be on this journey. I am excited for what may come with new season – lets see what blossoms from the #capetownhomestudio – follow alladfabricexplorations on instagram for Studio goings on.
Gosh I’ve just realised I haven’t written for a while now – over the past couple of weeks I’ve been exploring the notion of texture using various fabrics and threads. It’s really been quite magical working with and combining Skinny la minx fabric and Shwe Shwe. I bought a whole lot of Skinny la minx off cuts a few weeks ago while Dylan and I were having a mosy around town (oh and of course Oliver was with us – he seems to join us quite often on our meanderings). The patterns and colours are just so delicious and so conducive to creating layered ‘collagy’ kind of pieces. The pieces I’ve made recently are quite busy – but they are also quite fresh and spring like – I’ve called them ‘Little bits of fun…forest birds and trees’ Below is just ‘sneak peek’ at some Studio meanderings – these may turn into wall hangings or cushion covers…watch this space…
- A book by Fabrizio M (2014) Cultivating creativity – daily rituals for visual inspiration – love her philosophy and ideas around creativity
- Afternoon light – the wintery shadows and colours have been so beautiful – magically gentle and enriching
- Morning tea chats with my husband Dylan and our dog Oliver – wonderfully nourishing ritual that marks the beginning of our day
Below is a tree pinned and ready for Friday sewing… I thought a tree would be a good way to end off the week – boats, birds and flowers seem to have been ‘floating’, ‘flying’ and ‘growing’ in the studio this week.
Oliver and I are inside this afternoon, no afternoon walk to the park today. Oliver is a five year old Golden Retriever, a new addition to our little family – he joined us just over three days ago. Oliver is settling in so well and has brought us so much joy, we are so grateful to have him. I’m sure you’ll hear about him every now and then as he has found a spot in the Studio he particularly enjoys and is very much part of our lives.
Over the past couple of weeks I have really been enjoying doing quite a bit of freestyle machine embroidery again – I love the free motion of it – it feels a bit like flying – I suppose.
As usual I have learned a few things over the past couple of days – actually I think these mishaps were me being a bit silly…
- When sewing make sure the fabric is not overlapping on itself at any point – I did this the other day and only realised after I had sewn circles and circles of machine embroidery – OH DEAR!
- When cutting fabric with the roller cutter make EXTRA sure there is nothing under the piece of fabric being cut – the measuring tape was hiding under a piece I was squaring off – I picked it up to measure a piece of fabric and it was suddenly very ‘itsy bitsy’ – I was surprised for a moment and then realised what had happened – another OH DEAR!!
- Always have spare machine needles on hand and it is also a good idea to make sure they are good quality – strong needles are so important when doing freestyle embroidery as it all becomes quite layered. I have had quite a few needles go ‘ping’ – and another OH DEAR!!!