Nov 27, 2010

heart throbs in every stitch

in one of my classes we're starting an embroidery project and my funny bum ticker nearly popped!

but first, a little story:
during the summer, i was on a thrift store adventure and came across a small collection of really old books in a bin on sale. instantly the old and pretty good conditioned hard covers caught my eye. there is something about an old book that makes me smile every time.
i looked through some and none really tickled me, until i came across a small red book with the words "In the South Seas" pressed into the spine and a lovely little silhouette of a sailing ship on the cover.
at the time, the world kept pointing me towards nautical themes and water so i gave into that, picked up the old book and randomly opened to a chapter titled "Long Pig - a cannibal high place."
i gasped quietly in excitement and started to read the chapter. the topic of cannibalism written in old 1800's english was a little tough but understandable still. this tickled me enough to cough up 3 little dollars for it, i took it home and did a bit of research on the author and the book.
turns out i had just purchased a collection of articles and essays by the man who brought us the lovely monster Dr. Jeykll and Mr. Hyde! although i haven't read that book (and funny enough is one of my favourite monsters) Robert Louis Stevenson is mostly known for Treasure Island to us bookworms.
In the South Seas is the real life story of when he finally decided to go to the tropics for the sake of his constant sickness and eventually befriending the top shelf of cannibals in Hawaii.
nearing the end of the summer and slowly getting into the book, i was inspired to make something  relating to the book. I thought of doing a major embroidery piece since i hadn't done much of one before, but with school in the way i didn't think i would be able to get it done this year...shows what i know :)

in my textile investigations class, our new project is an embroidery based map and just yesterday was given the go ahead to do a small triptych of old 1800's San Francisco, a portrait of Robert L. Stevenson and a portrait of what would be the queen of the cannibals whom Stevenson became friends with and wrote about in the book, fun!

i wanted to use my own illustrations for these portrait and so i began drawing out portrait of the author and in the next few days will be doing one of the queen and the city.

i'm pretty pumped that i not only get to make a piece relating to the book but also practice my embroidery skills. there is something intensely relaxing about hand sewing and you can completely believe i use it as a kind of de-stressing method. 
i'll be posting about this project once it's all done but keep an eye out in the wee sketchbook album for sketches i've drawn for this project.
which reminds me, i officially started my second wee sketchbook after a month shy of when i started my first one. 

also, next friday is our second sale to raise money for the third year grad show. this one being held at the Workroom in Toronto!

I'll be revamping the posters i made for the on campus sale which i'm pretty excited for. i've sewn paper before and love the way it looks but with these i'll be sewing both fabric and paper together. hopefully my ed gein machine won't mind it too much.
on top of these cutie pie posters, there will be hand printed matching kids and adult sized aprons, silk scarves, tote bags and crafted jewelry by yours truly and her layfaced classmates.
oh, and free baked goods as well as my wonderful diet killing homemade hot chocolate, yum.

so with all the mentioning of heart throbs and cannibalism, i thought this music video of The Dutchess & the Duke's song "Mary" was perfectly fitting.

internally yours,
sister valentine

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