paint & puffballs

Allium journals (WIP)
These embroidered allium journals are probably the most time-consuming of the ten journals that a friend has commissioned from me, so I thought I had better get cracking on the embroidery part. This is Number 2. They always take longer than I think they will: the painted canvas is leathery, hard to push through, and my index finger already bears small cracks and cuts where I use it to push the needle in. I suppose I should use a thimble, but I don’t own one (I have yet to find one that fits me properly).
Allium jurnal WIP
The puffballs are very pretty (I think so, anyway) when embroidered…they don’t look as nice, painted or drawn. But it’s incredibly boring work, the same star stitch, over and over. Thank god for audio books! They make the repetitive stitching bearable. I have been listening to Barbara Mujica’s “Mi Hermana Frida” in Spanish. It’s my second time to listen to this audio book…a year and a half has passed since I first listened to it. I’m enjoying it so much more, this time around, because my Spanish is much better than it was then. It’s a nice way, too, to hang on to what I know of the language, as I hardly get to use it over here…


book 892 :: Allium

Gardens are also good places
to sulk…
in search of medieval
plants whose leaves,
when they drop off
turn into birds
if they fall on land,
and colored carp if they
plop into water.

…Even the prick of the thistle,
queen of the weeds, revives
your secret belief
in perpetual spring,
your faith that for every hurt
there is a leaf to cure it.

excerpt from “In Perpetual Spring
by Amy Gerstler

Another journal finished today.

The Embroiderer's Floral by Janet Haigh on Amazon.comThe fabric cover is hand-embroidered Indian cotton with foliage and flowers stenciled in metallic green fabric paints.

There are three embroidered Allium flowers in improbable hues (but then the Allium DOES have such an improbable flower, to begin with, doesn’t it? I love their big, starry balls of vivid color!) were worked using a technique I learned from Janet Haigh’s book The Embroiderer’s stitches and French knots, mainly, on felt bases.

The journal’s binding is flat-backed, case-bound, with a hand-stitched headband in variegated shades of greens and blues.

Dimensions are W 12cm. x H 17 cm. x D 4cm. Textblock is 200 leaves (400 pages) of EdiciĆ³n 110 gsm in avorio (ivory), endpapers are in aubergine.

Purple Ball Flower (Allium giganteum) by wadester16 on Wikimedia Commons

The generic name Allium is the Latin word for garlic (Allium sativum), though not all members of the genus are as flavorful as garlic, onions, leeks, scallions and shallots. Some Allium species, including A. cristophii and A. giganteum, are used as border plants for their ornamental flowers, and their “architectural” qualities.

I’ve popped this into my shop…only the second thing I’ve ever put up for sale! Patience, grasshopper! Slowly I will get the hang of this selling handmade things online…

As seen on CraftGossip.comPostscript: Many thanks to Denise Felton, of CraftGossip.Com, for mentioning our Allium journal on her extensive craft blog! A craft tutorial for probably everything ever created? I reckon Denise has got it. So many projects and ideas over there that if I don’t limit my visits to a couple of days a week, I’m soon overwhelmed…so many lovely things to make, so little time!