two-tone bunny paws and new shoppe

i was so happy with how this pair turned out, with a special sequined vintage trim i've been saving for the perfect thing. they are off to ellen, fancy mitts for a fancy girl! btw, i finally opened a new etsy shop, to separate out my handmade and vintage. so much fun!


golden hours

the gorgeousness of the weather permeated my studio today... cosy with a kerosene heater, the balcony door wide open, a cool breeze and karen elson.

there's an interview with me over at folk reveries! i'm not sure how it happened, but i'm the new team captain, and so far it's been really fun. i had to get (another) new email for twitter, and i got folkreveries@gmail.com! so it was meant to be.

lots of good news.. my new proposal for school was approved, and i'll have a new co-advisor now who will help a lot. now on-to some less fun paperwork.. but i also got some new local quilting connections, so i'll be joining a bee or two. i made my very first three quilt blocks today, ever.



i am no-good at keeping paper notebooks, never have been. so i'm going to record the results of my dye experiments here - all of em! i've always been both fascinated and intimidated by natural dyeing, but i've been newly inspired to try with the inspiration of india flint and friends working with solar dye processes and gentler ways of dyeing.

all i did was bundle up some plants and rusty bits of metal in old handkerchiefs and toss them in a pot on my woodstove. the pot is a rusty enamel that i imagine is made of steel and so i don't think that acts as a mordant, although the rust probably did something. i didn't even do a separate extraction process, although i plan to next time.

the first bundle of dill did a whole lotta nothin'..

the bundles of rusty bits (found in the yard) are pretty spectacular:

this was a bundle of rosemary leaves and stems, and even though it looks kind of like a bunch of grass stains, i will thrilled to actually see little leaf prints! my first eco-print!!

this last one i didn't do on the stove. i just bundled up orange peels in this old monogrammed hankie and put it in a canning jar with wood ash, and stuck it outside in the cold. the yellows are quite pretty!

i'm especially excited to dye some linen with these methods and use it as a background for some embroidery. i think it would add a lot of dimension to plain old stitching.

oh, and like i've been moaning about on facebook, our porch collapsed under a big load of firewood. it's been threatening to go for about a year. it'll be a huge pain to fix, but for now, more firewood!


Gay for Eagles

I sent this out to everyone who has contacted me about the show either here, on facebook or via email. I'm posting it here though in case any one hasn't heard yet!

I'll be curating a gallery show of fiber art to be held at the Hotel Hadley Studios in Siler City, NC. The show will open on April 15, 2011 from 6-9pm and will run through May 14.

The title of the show is "Gay for Eagles," based on a military-themed piece by Alexandra Walters. Feel free to interpret this theme broadly (for example, work could in some way engage with themes of war, peace, conflict, paramilitary, black ops, resistance, revolution, etc., possibly as it relates to gender and/or sexuality). I see many possibilities with this theme.

Please confirm your submission to the show by sending me the following information no later than February 18, 2011:
-your name as you would like it to appear in the promotional materials and online
-title of work(s) submitted (up to 5) with all the following information for each piece:
-dimensions (this is very important)
-price if work is for sale (or state if NFS)
-photos of work (or, if you are creating something specifically for this show, a detailed description *with dimensions*).
Once I receive this information from everyone, I can make the final selections of work that will cohere and fit within the space. If your work is selected, I will send you a contract to be completed and submitted when you send me your work. I will ask everyone who is selected to contribute $20 toward the cost of the exhibit, a 15% commission on your sales, and provide a prepaid shipping label back to you.

Please email me at drucillapettibone@gmail.com if you have any questions at all. I appreciate everyone's interest and look forward to putting on an amazing show!


more dish fetish

i've been forgetting to show you my other stitchy-dishes.. these have a cross-stitch design in the center. i love that the design on each plate is at a different stage of wear ... kind of a reverse stitchy-progression. it's a huge thrifted set complete with sugar, creamer and gravy boat. then more recently i found a newer, unfaded version with the same design to round out my set. j'adore.

i'm feeling terribly drawn to traditional designs right now. am obsessing over shakespeare's peddler. i found her when i made my first treasury! even if i could live forever, i still wouldn't be able to do all the stitching i'd like to do.

p.s. oh, there's also a sneak peek of my recent woodstove-top dye experiment.


bunny paws

this is the third time this winter i've been backed up on orders for bunny paws, my custom-made angora mitts!! these are made from the fiber of my very own bunnies that i comb or shear every couple of months, and then spin and then crochet or knit into these mitts. sometimes i add pearls and lace (for the "fancy paws"). it's kind of impossible (or at least un-fun) to make them the same each time. and i'm so pleased that i've had repeat customers!! i was a little worried when i started selling them because angora can be tricky - some people are allergic, or feel like it sheds too much. but so far, people have loved them and ordered more for their family and friends!!

i hate having to turn people down while waiting for the bunnies to grow hair, but that's just the way it is right now.. slow cloth and all! plus, i can't take *all* their hair off in these super-cold temps. i have five rabbits, although only four of them have good fiber.... and it tends to take two bunny harecuts for one pair of mitts.

in the past, i dreamed of having a rabbit farm where i would make angora products, but then i decided that the rabbits were so much work, and i have no interest in selling rabbits, that i would just take in angoras from from people who didn't want them any more or couldn't care for them. that's how i got three of my bunnies now (the other two came from denise, my rabbit-mentor in kansas). they are really quite a lot of work, especially the satin angoras - their coats can matt so easily and they can even die from wool-block if the hair stays on too long! with the five bunnies i've had now for almost two years now, i've gotten a lot better and more efficient about caring for them and understanding what they need.

i've been skeptical about my ability to make money as a farmer. i couldn't make decisions about animals based on productivity. and i don't want to sell them as pets since i don't believe that they are good pets for most people. they aren't really the most pet-like creatures. they don't show love like a dog or enjoy cuddling like a cat. but i appreciate their personalities, which are very individual. junebug especially is especially sweet and docile. prissy is downright grumpy, and poor junior is mostly blind, so he's always jumpy.

but so with this run on mitts, i've thought about breeding henry and june... i spoke a little with denise about it, and i might try in the spring. i go back and forth on this a lot though, because with five i have now, they can all live in the house (they live in the enclosed porch). but if we had babies in the spring, we'd soon have to build an outdoor rabbitry.. and do i want to spend most of my time caring for bunnies and working with their fiber?? although like my hub said, we have this farm and we don't raise anything, so it would be a way to make it productive. oh well, a lot to consider...

in the short term, i should probably take my custom listings down from my etsy store since i can't keep up with the orders... but i love some of the pics so much that i posted them here..


it's a lazy sunday around here, with hub watching football and scattered dogs snoozing. i am beginning to think i'm sick because i've been out of bed only to change the laundry and refill my coffee. i've got three different mysteries going right now and am really wondering if my inertia is health-related, weather-related or just pure laziness. hub says i have a fever so i should take it easy, but i think he might just be trying to be sweet. i can't be bothered to find a thermometer.

i have gone through the websites and flickr galleries of everyone who wrote and said they had an interest in the show. i'm so excited at all the interest and the awesome stitchery we'll be able to showcase. it makes me feel especially good to be able to show artists who haven't had a lot of gallery play (yet), but whose work is freaking fantastic. i've had some ideas for the overall theme for the show, but am talking to alex about it to make sure it's true to her vision as well. i'll be sending out a group email before long with all the details.. thanks so much to everyone who has expressed an interest so far.

so that i don't feel like a total lump, here are some goals for the week:

-put together info about show and email everyone
-finish proposal to the graduate committee about my new topic (since i'm officially back in school now!)

-finish two custom orders of bunny paws
-work on folk reveries team stuff
-photos and listings for etsy
-dye some linens with india's techniques
-order some prints of photos
-maybe experiment with idea for lockets

ok, back to my antiquey/cat mystery now. thanks mathyld for reminding me of this series!


Stitchy Peeps: Should we have a Show?

I've done some thinking and some legwork about curating a show of stitching at the Hotel Hadley Studios this Spring - like in April. I've preliminarily got Alex on board with her awesome military portraits, and I think they would be amazing to show. I'm wondering if some of my other fiber artist friends would like to exhibit with her as well.... (actually we don't have to be friends at all, if you do cool stuff!)

The thing is, we're kind of in the middle of nowhere. I couldn't promise anyone a sale. That being said, we have had a ton of people through the Hadley at our openings. At our Grand opening, and then again at Trace's opening, we had at least 200 people each time. And we did sell stuff. But you get what I'm saying - this is a rural community without many people and even less money. So isn't that all the more reason to showcase some awesomely subversive, or subversively awesome - stitchery??

I'm not gonna do the whole professional call-for-work thingy. I am asking for y'alls feedback and to let me know if you have an interest. At least your work is guaranteed to be viewed and it could even cause a riot. It will also give you a line on your cv. And best of all, I'd get to see it and ogle it in person. Depending on who is interested, I'll come up with a theme for the show that makes sense..

Also, please let me know if it would be totally obnoxious to ask for a tiny financial contribution from those who are exhibiting. Not a submission fee, but a donation to offset the costs of putting on a show: food, drink, flashy cards, keeping lights on and some advertising, etc. etc. I can't afford to foot the bill for it by myself. Although, who knows, maybe we will all get rich with it! Anyhoo, let me know what you think and whether this affects your decision on whether to participate...

Oh, and by the Springtime, we're planning to have regular open hours, so the show can be viewed throughout the month rather than people seeing it mostly just at the opening...

Imma post this all over and hope you'll respond if you're interested - you know I'm talking to YOU!


gifts and goals

i was so thrilled and truly touched to receive these original drawings from allyson mellberg - she's an artist i've admired from afar, but i recently learned - when i proposed a trade last month - what an open, generous and sweet person she is..

this one is called "God only knows." she drew it especially for me! and anyone who knows me well will see the extreme personal significance (click to see larger).

this is Frannie, isn't she so tender?

and this is my long-awaited dottie. you probably caught a glimpse of him not long ago.. he has a way of popping up here and there..

i've completely enjoyed my time at mum's, and as they tend to do, many things have sorted themselves out. here in this new year, i'm committing to my vintage endeavors... picking, dealing, re-purposing, etc etc. i don't know why i've resisted it.. i will still stitch, of course, but i am not sure i'll ever make any money with it, or that i even want to. i love the slow cloth philosophy and aesthetic... with thrifting on the other hand, i'm all up in there..

also i'm suddenly fascinated with tumblr! i've started chronicling my vintage finds there - even during the hunt and before i've cleaned things up and prettified them. bloggy friends may have noticed i'm still a bit pre-verbal anyway, and the quick-and-dirty tumblr format is kinda what i've been doing here anyway.. i hope you'll visit me there, but i'll still be blogging here to keep track of my crafty, farmy projects and life goals and all that mucky goodness... speaking of which..

it looks like i will be doing a dissertation after all..although it's possible that i may get distracted again. still, i don't seem to be able to let it go. it's mine to do or not-do, and i want to reclaim that part of my life. plus, with this new topic, i have some new-found support from a professor i've always had a feeling about. so it's going to be on textile-work and grief-work, something many of us have discussed and seems to be a common refrain. i'm going to be taking oral histories - both of the process and experience of stitching and also the histories of the cloths themselves... i don't have all my ducks or red tape yet, but perhaps consider if you'd be willing to share your stories and stashes...

wishing us all sweetness and light in this new year,