Monday, April 30, 2012

A Spotty-breasted Russian Bird.

Okay, so this is how the story ends:
I had to make her face shorter so I cut off part off the head, which meant that I also had to remove the hair. I had to make her face wider so I used the section that I had intended for the hair on the side of her face as part of the cheeks. I had to make her neck thicker so I inserted panels on the side of her neck. I had to make the neck shorter so I took in about an inch of fabric on the neck. Then I had to cover the head because I couldn't face sewing all the hair back on, plus there was no space left to sew on hair except at the back of her head. So I made her a headscarf, a  Russian-peasant-kind-of look. Then it looked too bland so I stamped the headscarf with fabric paint and a cork. But then  the headscarf looked a bit funny - there was nothing to tie in with it. So I made her boobs spotty too. At this stage I have only pinned on the spots; I wasn't sure I would like them so I didn't want to stamp directly onto the fabric.
So there you have it - a spotty-breasted Russian bird.

Tell Me How the Story Ends (a fabric bust by Anairam, hand-stitched and embroidered on rooibos-dyed cotton, hand-stamped.)

Friday, April 27, 2012


Unfortunately my sculpture is in no state to be shown today. She is undergoing major reconstructive surgery. When I finished stuffing her earlier this week, she was pigeon-breasted, hunch-backed, had a scrawny, wrinkly chicken neck, and her face got completely distorted (basic geometry - I should have realised ...)

Anyway, I am reworking her, so for today (and in tribute to my Learn word-of-the-year) I leave you with this interesting article from the NYT, and this game.

Oh yes, and this picture which I took at a picnic a few months ago.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bust 2.

She is serious, the kind of person who worries and has all kinds of anxieties, hidden and untold ...

Sometimes she is not very organised and a bit scatterbrained - see, she's forgotten to comb her hair ...

She has a pair of rather nice boobs ...

She likes stories, in books and movies and also people's stories, and she spends a lot of time wondering about them ...

And on Friday I will tell you how her story ended ...

Sunday, April 22, 2012


I am getting ready for a new project - something between prayer flags and bunting. After reading annekata's post about dyeing with black beans, I decided to prepare the backgrounds by dyeing them with natural
dyes. I took five white cotton napkins (found at a car boot sale, where else?) and used (from left to right):
rooibos tea, red food colouring (yes, yes, I know, not very eco-conscious, but I had no beetroot and the shop-within-walking-distance had none either), black beans, turmeric, and, very disappointingly, spinach (far right).

At least I could use the boiled spinach to make a delicious Indian palak sauce. (Well, let's just say that I thought it was delicious. L'Usband carefully ate the basmati rice that was untouched by the palak sauce, and then declared that he was not very hungry. Hmmmmmm.)
PS Update on The Bust will take place soon ...

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Beauty of Numbers.

I made these ...

in order to do this ...

so that I can determine how best to seal and protect my fabric sculpture once it is finished. I have decided on #1 (matt gel medium) or #6 (podge) - they are closest to the original colour and look of the fabric (a cotton dyed with rooibos tea).

They look so cute - I feel like making lots and lots of little cushions and stitching numbers on them! Not sure what I would do with them though - a mobile perhaps.

Numbers are so underrated as a design element, don't you think?

Monday, April 9, 2012


A few weeks ago lovely artist Nicola de Jager, she of the stunning sugar skulls, came to visit our mixed media class. She brought along squares of shwe-shwe fabric, felt and buttons for us to play with. I decided to make a pincushion with mine.
Well, I would not want you to think that I only make impractical, weird objects ...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


I am doing a few more lessons with my mixed-media teacher. She suggested we all work with textiles in some or other way. Some people are knitting lovely bath mats with coloured fabric, others are making appliqued tray cloths and napkins. All beautiful, practical and functional objects. I decided to go in the opposite direction. Completely impractical. (And dysfunctional - like I am. Hahahaha.)

I declared my intention to make a bust. As in sculpture. A big fabric bust and then I am going to embroider and stitch on it. 'Where are you going to put it?' asks L'Usband, anxiously eyeing the few remaining surface areas where he can still squeeze in his wine glass. Oh well, I'll worry about that later.

For now I have made a tiny maquette ...

... with a little bust.