I am really into the simple running stitch lately and have incorporated it in a few of my recent pieces. I was doing a little reading about this oddly cool stitch and found that it is used a lot in the traditional art of making kantha quilts. These quilts are made from old saris and have the most amazing colors and the stitching I love. I will buy one one day, it is just so hard to decide which one I want.
Here are a few recent pieces. The stamping on this piece below reads "Tomorrow is what you make it" - thought a lot of my children that day, I think.
This is a work in progress for my good friend Annveig. The running stitch and a combination of colors and fabrics I am really pleased with. This piece will have only a small patchwork/collage part then will also incorporate a city scape and some embroidery. Really enjoy making this one.
Made this one quickly today after just randomly seeing that some of these fabrics would be brilliant together. I have been making quite a few pillow cases lately. So easy and fun to create.
Here are some hearts I made for my children for Valentine's Day. They were happy although Cornelia thought she should open it and there was some discussion as to which was a better word "Amazing" or "Fantastic", but I think we got it settled.
A few pieces recently created - such a great feeling to start to create after the long holiday.
Using my lovely bits of fabric from Vietnam, plus pieces of an old obi belt I picked up in Kyoto and other handprinted fabric pieces.
This is a strange little piece of text with stamps on it - got it in Beijing and it looks like it is a text from the Mao era - many interesting classically communist images on the stamps.
This one is my favorite - it is a recreation of a drawing Cornelia did when she was 5, I love the pictures she did at that age - imaginary creatures and lots of swirls :). This piece also incorporates the Vietnamese bits I am in love with.
Each Asian country I have been to so far (now, it is up to 7) have their own unique textile traditions. The Vietnamese create heavier fabrics (than for example compared to Japan or China) and they are experts at detailed embroidery, which often has quite interesting symbolism.
The Vietnamese are also very good at combining colors and fabric/embroidery in a way that feels so natural and organic. I love that these traditional fabrics are still widely available and in one hotel/restaurant where we lunched, the owner/designer had created an amazingly beautifully modern atmosphere using these traditional pieces (all photos here are from that hotel)
bought a bunch of indigo pieces - digging into them tomorrow!
A Wrinkle in Time, my favorite book of all time. I remember how surprised I was when I learned that other people also loved this book, in true Meg style, I thought I was the only one (ok, my sister, mother and I, but still).
I've picked it up again, not my original copy, that is tucked away in a packing box somewhere, but a new one. Kind of feels like I am reading it for the first time, but this time I am thinking a lot of the time it was written, 1962, and what kind of atmosphere Madeline L'engle lived in. It does have a anti-communist tone and it reflects the feeling then in the 60's of breaking free from societal norms and feeling confident in being different. I think we have lost that feeling in modern times, it seems to me so many people want to be like their neighbors/friends and have lost the sense of excitement that comes from being unique.
I remember when I was in 5th grade, maybe around Meg's age (Meg is the main character of this book) and my mother told me, "Sarah, it is OK to be different" - perhaps the best advice she has ever given me. I am teaching my Cornelia the same thing and I think it is sinking in, she told me the other day just out of the blue - "mamma, i don't want to be normal". I just hope her sense of being different brings her confidence in the long run and not stress.
But now I see they have made a movie out of the book! I started to watch it and even from the beginning was surprised to see that the Meg character doesn't have glasses (this was a big part of the book), she is super cute and does not have braces (Meg sees herself as very unattractive). Her scientist dad is made out to not be super hansom but in the movie he is played by a hot actor (not sure who he is). Plus the dog is not black, he is a standard german shepard. What the hell, the whole point of the book was that these people where out of the ordinary - why does Hollywood have to mainstream everything!?
New banner finally up!! What do you think? Thanks again to Nicole Byrkit for designing this for me - I'm so pleased :)
Now that Christmas is over it has hit me that we only have 5 months left in Korea. I was looking at pictures tonight of when Cornelia and Gustav in May 2008 when we arrived and they were babies - and now so big. I too feel so different from the person I see in those photos - different good, for sure!
But I am dreaming of how my house will look when we get settled this summer. Finally after all these years, I feel like I have defined a certain style.
I want a base of light colored walls, well used wood floors, industrial styled light fixtures, modern/asian inspired furniture, lots of art on the walls and then lots of color.
Here are a few images that have inspired me - many if not all come from Emmas designblogg - an amazing blog for Scandinavian design!
The temperature has finally fallen and today it was -1C! So, we are starting to feel quite Christmasy now here in Busan. Cards are actually sent this year as well as the boxes of presents to Norway and now we can just spend time on doing creative stuff together.
As a child, my mother set up a winter scene in our living room and I remember being so fascinated by it and looking forward to having it up every year, almost better than the Christmas tree! I have been lucky enough to find some small porcelain animals and a lovely carved wooden deer. Together with bits we have found in the forest around here and some cotton, it looks really cozy!
And this is the new baby in the family! I decided to get rid of that horrid plastic Christmas tree and make one out of felt - and she turned out lovely! It was really hard to sew to bottom up after I had shoved in all the filling, so I just left part of it open and dumped it into the basket but tucked in a lovely piece of red velvet. Most of the ornaments we have made but others we have found here, perhaps a bit too much loaded on, but I couldn't say to the children they had to stop decorating, so here she is!
Gustav is still quite fascinated with the idea of Santa Claus still, even though his 7 year old sister has been telling him it is all "not true" every day since early November - I love seeing his face of wonder - "maybe Mamma", he says to me. I love Santa, the idea is a cozy one. This pictures is of Gustav and Santa at school today.
Today is the first showing of our little house, a house we have had for 8 years. Both our children had their early years here and the house has been full of happy days. It is hard to say goodbye, if I think too much about it I am afraid I will change my mind. It is a little house that has taken care of us and has given us so many beautiful memories and friendships.
The friendships we made in this neighborhood are among some of the most profound of my life. Stein and Liv, Fredrik and Trine, Kjersti, Arnt Christian and Marit, Yngve and Åsta and Marianne and Knut were those that we frequently saw. I remember coming home from work and seeing Stein and LIv in their garden - "Hey Sarah, we are having some wine, why don't you come over"! or Kjersti welcoming me in, offering me coffee and showing me all the new developments in her amazingly cozy home. Trine and Fredrik always with an open door and an open heart, always making us feel like family. And Heidi, the amazing Heidi, a 19-year old girl who is the world's best babysitter, someone to have deep converstations with and a person with an incredibly bright future.
I will miss seeing these lovely people nearly every day. I will miss having Stein sing Happy Birthday to me as I leave for work on my birthday. I will miss crawling the 10 steps to my house after a great party. I will miss the feeling, the spirit, the life, the camaraderie.
But one thing I know I will not loose and that is their friendship and their love. I am only moving 7 minutes away, easy biking distance. If we can manage 3 years in Korea, we can manage a distance of 7 minutes!
I will miss summer evenings in the backyard
I will miss good friends being next door
I will miss being in the garden barefoot
I will miss cozy times with family
I will miss dancing at 2am with Fredrik
I will miss lounging in the backyard with nothing to do except to tickle
I will miss the parties
I will miss the everyday at Øygardveien 83
But I have it all in my head and my heart and I feel so lucky to have started my life with my family there - the house will always be with us!
My lovely friend Kumjoo Kang invited a group of children to her gallery today to create art inspired by the work of Japanese artist Oyama Tadsahi who is currently exhibiting there. It was a small group, only 7 children, but I think the children really enjoyed the art with all the coexisting elements, bright colors and calming atmosphere.
The idea was that the children would create pieces that resembled the work of the artist. Below you can see the pictures hung up on the wall and the artist's work in the background.
A close up of one of the paintings.
The artist, Oyama Tadsahi, the gallery owner, Kumjoo Kang and all the the children-artists.