Sunday, 15 January 2017

The Story of a Little Bird

With the new year in full swing I am now trying to focus more on refining my 'brand'; my style and the direction I would like to take my work in. I usually refer to myself as a 'Textile Artist' because I like that this is an ambiguous title which is difficult to define. My work to date often blurs boundaries between illustration, textiles, fine art, craft, costume and fashion, so it's kind of easier to sum that up by calling it 'Textile Art'.
The first piece I created for this 'polishing' is what I'm calling the 'Little Bird' embroidery (imaginative, I know):
This is only 3" in diameter, so he truly is little; a fun and quick little piece to start the new year with. The bird itself was inspired by a carved wooden mantelpiece I saw at a museum in North Wales recently:
Little Bird is in the middle there; I changed him slightly from the original to make him mine and not just a copy. I also really like the plant and clock and have plans to do something with those ideas at some point too! Here's my original drawing and Little Bird from another angle:

And here's his backside (ooh-er), which I think is just as interesting as the front:
Although not as neat! I take inspiration for my work from all over the place, and the colour pallet I chose for this work came from a scene in my favourite telly show 'Pushing Daisies':

I already had the embroidery hoop as I picked it up second hand, and I then picked up on that shade of green in the TV show and ran with this colour pallet. I don't normally like green very much, but this shows how lots of different shades can work together, along with neutrals and that crazy pop of neon orangey red making it super special. So now I like green, and definitely want to use this pallet again sometime.
Hopefully that gives you a little insight into how my brain works and where I get [some of] my ideas from! Little Bird has made himself a nest in my new Etsy shop which will be just for arty crafty things: Sarah Appleton Textile Artist.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Blue Monday

Like everyone else, I rarely have time to work on projects that are all for myself these days, but over the holidays I made time for a quick project I'd been planning for a while. I had a plain faux suede turquoise shift dress (apologies for the following terrible two photos):
From meh...
That I wanted to embellish and make more exciting, like so:
...to yeh!
With just a little bit of embroidery around the neckline and pockets I think it looks much more interesting. Here's some better photos with detail:


The yellowy greeny thread is your regular DMC / Anchor type but the blue thread is a vintage 1960s Swedish silk that I picked up from Linladen at the Festival of Quilts last August. This is a really good quality thread that I'll be saving for the most special projects!
I chose the pocket pattern from Constance Howard's book 'Inspiration for Embroidery' and the herringbone stitch is one that I've been using in various projects for a while now.