Saturday, February 12, 2011

in the library

Two books caught my eye in the school library yesterday:
by Chloë Sayer

The colors on the cover are not quite as garish as they appear here, but they are bright, or I should say, Son colores vivos, because my classes are working on describing clothing they buy when shopping. The embroidery got me thinking about making a peyote cuff pattern based on Mexican indigenous embroidery.  I bought a few pieces of Otomi embroidery while I was in Mexico this winter and I started thinking I needed to work up a design, but have not jumped on it yet.
I love the bright colors and mythical creatures.  Even though I usually don't go for solid brights, to me, there is something so cheerful about these pieces.  And as for designing, I have so much trouble with blending and pairing colors that using bold, saturated swathes seems to be what I need to remove a mental roadblock and make a pattern.
not mine, but I have a very similar runner

A few nights before Christmas, my husband and I went into a nearby town to visit his cousin who was selling his jewelry at a craft fair.  David, who studies graphic design at school,  gave up a job in marketing and joined a collective of artists from the state of Hidalgo who travel the craft fair circuit together.  For some reason I did not take my camera, either because it was night or because it was too cold to take my gloved hands out of my pockets, but I have no pictures of a man working on embroidery like the piece above.  He had drawn out the design on muslin, stitched around the edge of each shape, and was stitching across to fill in the shape.  I could hardly move my fingers, let alone contemplate holding a needle.  Below is a huge spray painted sign for an auto repair shop that David painted.
all over Mexico business advertise by painting on the walls outside of their shops - this is by David
David and his wife are Rastas.  My husband, who is rather straight-laced, told me that his cousin was a hippie.  We had to explain to him what being a Rasta was about.  While we were looking at David's booth, my hubby kept picking up pieces and showing them to me and saying, "this one has another pretty flower/butterfly on it, maybe you would like to get it."  Finally I had to laugh and explain that all those pretty flowers and butterflies he was seeing were marijuana leaves.  The poor guy did have eye surgery a few weeks later so maybe it was just his poor vision, not his misunderstanding of his cousin's lifestyle that confused him.
David and his beautiful wife

The second book I grabbed is Sherri Haab's Beaded Macramé Jewelry:
She has a great technique in here for using a chain of lark's head knots to create a loop for a toggle or button.  I have made a couple macramé bracelets recently and was looking for a better was to for a loop (better than just doubling the cord and tying a knot).  The book is filled with gorgeous pictures which make me want to run and pull out some C-Lon or Griffin silk cord right now and get to work.

1 comment:

  1. I used to have that second one but was frustrated quickly -- I am thinking that since you do seed beaded things, you'll catch on quickly! I just don't do well with book-learning new things, I guess. Poo.