Welcome to MissouriBendStudio!

This is an online journal of my artistic investigations and a way to communicate about my work, ideas, quandries and queries! I welcome comments and conversation and do hope you enjoy these musings. My artwork is available in my shop MissouriBendStudio on Etsy.com or on my website.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Violett's First Mishap, The River Run Through It

Well, I had kind of an unexpected week and not very much got done down in the studio.  I was working away on the new sewn piece when Violett and I ran into a couple snafus, the last of which necessitated a quick visit to the service desk at Heirloom Creations where I bought her.  However, when you have to travel an hour to get there, it's not a quick visit!  The first mishap was one they warned me about in the class and it was rather hilarious once I saw what was happening....the key is not to have a spool of thread just hanging out on the top on the second spool holder because it's easy for the thread to find it's way over to the turning wheel handle on the side (my names of the machine parts are incorrect, I'm sure) and wrap itself around there a million times over....sure enough....I looked at one point and there was a half and inch of thread wound around there.  I realized immediately what was happening...it was just like the woman said...one of those lessons you learn really well once you have had the experience!  Well, that got taken care of and another few minutes later I found I was stitching away, petal to the metal, with no thread in the bobbin....lots of nicely punched holes...not quite what I had in mind for this piece.  But then, the last mishap was serious...the thread broke and was caught somehow in the innards of the machine and for the life of me, I couldn't get it out, not through coaxing, bribing or by any other means.  After a trip to the service desk, I now know how to take the side cover off and retrieve a caught thread, should it happen again, but I lost time and momentum in the process.  That happened Tuesday afternoon and I couldn't take the machine in until Thursday and hey, one doesn't waste a trip to Sioux Falls....why not take care of getting that 90,000 mile service on the car while I'm at it!  Sure, that'll be 4-5 hours sitting in the Panera across the street, having lunch, drinking coffee, reading, waiting endlessly for the car.  There went Thursday.  Today, well I have no good excuses...I think the fact that the dreary rain turned to snow took away my will and I got very little accomplished. So, while I wanted to have a piece pretty far along to show you, I have barely started, but I'll show you anyway.  It's a river...I've sewn 4 six-inch wide strips of Johntimothy's yummy handmade paper together to create what will be a long scroll....with lots of wavy stitches in various blues...that I hope will look something that calls to mind a river when there are enough layers of overlapping stitches.  At this point, it looks rather pathetic, but we just need more time.  I now have varigated thread to add to the mix, so that should be fun!  Here is a long shot of the river laid out on the floor and another detail...not a lot to show for myself, except I now know that Violett likes to sew fast and it's pretty much fun!

There are a couple other little pieces in the works and a beaded piece on handmade paper dipped in beeswax below. It's really quite simple, but I do like the combination of silver against the creamy white paper and the buttons.  

I've got to find my motivation again...I'm quite sure I have a slow leak...probably good that it's the weekend...time for a break.  Hope you are going to doing something special or make time to enjoy the ordinary in a special way over the next couple days.  We've been given tickets to the Sioux City Symphony, which means we'll go out for a really nice dinner and make an evening of it...looking forward to that! See you on Monday...hopefully energized with the sun shining brightly and this last snow a distant memory!



  1. I love that she became Violett :-).
    Sounds like a perfect Mercury retrograde kind of experience that you're having...
    Things will start moving forward again soon (@ April 23rd), just expect that there'll be lots of learning for a bit. We've been going through quite a lot of hashing over details in my house. I'm looking forward to life getting back to it's normal rhythm again soon.
    I love the creaminess of the last piece. Simple and perfect.

  2. I can't wait to see where this new piece is going! And what is varigated thread?
    My weekend is going well, I was off work Thursday and Friday and managed to spend time with my man and also go to a second hand book fair yesterday - fab! And painting too, but just gesso'd over a new painting, I didn't like where it was at all! So I suppose this weekend will be spent 'fixing' it and maybe I can also squeeze in some yoga...

  3. Cindy, thanks so much for letting me know about the variant spelling of Violet...so she can be properly called Violett! Lots of learning, yes, which is fun. Happy to hear you like the little beaded piece. Here's to getting back to normal rhythms! Cheers!

  4. Sara...varigated thread shifts colors within the thread, so it's not just a solid color. So I have a spool that contains various blues that go from warm to cool...almost violet to almost green. Should have an interesting effect. Good luck with bringing your painting back to life in a new form!
    And yes, make time for yoga...we skippedd yesterday, so need to squeeze in an extra day ourselves!

  5. Can't wait to see that thread! Two of myt dreams/goals are print making and stitching on paper, so I' looking forward to seeing how you get on x

  6. Ooooo- just love the wavy pattern of your scrolled river. I took my inherited 1960's White sewing machine in for an overhaul well over a year ago and still haven't mad much progress with the paper sewing that you are already making look so delicious. Bobbins snagging, dulled needles, bunching, hm!
    As for resting after a big day out, I'm all for it; the source needs a quiet place to come out and play as far as I can tell. I enjoyed the story of your escapade as it reassures me in my own stumbling attempts to go forward.
    You have such a lovely energy.

  7. Lorraine...I did learn it's important to use "sharp" needles for sewing on paper. And when you're going to sew on paper, you need to take extra care to keep the machine clean on the inside...I guess that can cause problems too. Had a really nice evening out and now am rejuvenated....so glad my escapades are reassuring....it's sometimes quite hilarious to see the mistakes I make! Hope things are going well for you!

  8. Sara...do stay tuned...I'm sure other adventures await. I may yet get into some printmaking myself. My husband is a printmaker and is urging me to incorporate some of these processes into my work...we'll see!

  9. Ohhhh printmaking and Violett would be good together! Looking forward to seeing what they could create.

  10. Carole....I'll keep the printmaking notion simmering....it'll happen when the time is right! Making prints would certainly give me lots of options!

    Thanks for your good cheer!


I'm happy to hear from you...comments and questions are welcome!