I've had a number of requests for my 'Woven Heart And Hand Valentine' so I've decided to create a mini tutorial on how you can make your own. My Mother taught me this technique when I was a little girl, and its always been a favorite of mine.
With a pencil, trace your hand (from wrist to wrist) onto the back of a decorative paper . I've used old sheet music. Refine the lines, by straightening them - making elegant fingers.
Flair out your tracing at wrists on both sides - creating cuffs.
With scissors, cut out hand and cuff.
Using decorative scissors (I used a small scallop) cut a curved end where cuff will be.
Now cut out a heart from a pretty red decorative paper. I've used a handmade Italian Marbled paper from the Castle. Make sure your heart fits into the palm of your papercut hand.
Gently fold hand in half lenghwise, without creating too hard of a crease.
Fold heart in half as well, matching lobes.
Now place folded heart over folded hand, so that the heart lies upside down in the center of your hand palm as shown. Make sure folds are tight together.
Holding your heart and hand together, cut 5 slits into both layers, making slits equal distant apart and equal distant in length, and slanted up towards heart curves. Be careful not to cut slits beyond hand papercut. I like to start with the center slit and then cut slits above and below.
Pull heart from hand and turn so that the hand and heart are facing upwards together. Place heart on top of hand, and gently slip each cut notch of heart into cut notches of hand.
Now gently push down on each tip (starting from top) so that another heart layer shows through.
Weaving will vary depending on length and width of your cuts. Try a heart with more than 5 cuts for extra complexity! Hint: odd number of cuts will always give a pretty end result.
Finish off your hand by adding a crepe-paper or doily cuff on the end.
Today I had the special treat of seeing my friend Dolph Gotelli's 'An Enchanted Christmas' exhibit now being shown at the Napa Valley Museum in Yountville. If you are anywhere near Napa this is a not to miss exhibit of amazing wonder and delight! (It runs through January 23rd, so there is still plenty of time!) Dolph has created 30 vignettes of his favorite christmas collectables. Everything from 'Santa on a Midnight walk' above, to Grizelda's Christmas Tree - first image below.
My Mother and I spent nearly two hours looking at all the scenes, each one magical and nostalgic. I especially fell in love with 'Dinner At Willow Hollow' seen first below - depicting a christmas feast attended by a variety of woodland animals. Dolphs attention to details is supreme and his ability to make our hearts go back in time flawless. A couple more of my favorites are also seen below. More information on Dolph can be found HERE. And photos of all the scenes are HERE!
I just whipped up this little drawing using This Harmony Tool! Talk about Fun! Press on image to see it close up. I think I could spend hours playing with this... If you want to see what a fine artist does with this tool - take a look at Julia Lundmans post Here. Thank you Julia for the link! Click HERE to make a fabulous drawing yourself!
Last weeks 'Summer Blooms Class' at the Castle was a huge success! Eight wonderful women joined me in creating a garden full of lovely accessories! Necklaces, hairbands, hat ornaments and brooches all took shape in this day of 'Blooming' creativity. BRAVO!!!
My beloved Apple tree is in bloom outside of my studio. After a rather difficult winter, its blossoms tease me out of my doldrums. I thought I'd share with you a few of the projects I've been working on recently, and show you some peeks at what I will be teaching this summer! First, I am thrilled to be creating with textiles again. My studio floors are awash in a sea of colors, until I can rearrange my storage space.
I litterly have BOXES and BOXES of fabrics buried in the garage, from my wearable art and doll days back when. Its the old textured fabrics that I seem to gravitate to these days, silks, velvets, laces and damasks... Although the classes I am offering this Spring at the CASTLE are full, I will be doing lots more this summer, as well as here in my studio. Keep an eye on my side bar for upcoming classes!
I was inspired by one of my Chinese Baby Hats to create a delightful 'Chinoiserie Fish Brooch Class' to be offered this summer. (Date to come) These little guys are about 7 inches long, and look fabulous pinned onto a hat, blouse or pillow!
Working with the same technique I've been experimenting in creating Cicadas and Moths as well. I'm not as happy with these yet, but they bode well for a future project, down the road...
My Fabric Flower Necklace class filled so quickly at the Castle, I've created a new Fabric Flower class for the summer. We will be using a variety of poly linings to create colorful blooms that not only look wonderful as jewelry, but are light and airy enough to attach to clothing. (Date to come)
I am also working on some samples for a 'MAD HATTER' class, where we will create small decorative hats (also known as Fascinator's) that sit on top of ones head! Here are a couple of little hats to tempt you for this summer.
Although I have not been porcelain painting as much as I would like to, I have been working on a SELKIE head, with a sealife bust. It's been great fun to paint a fantasy underwater scene, with crabs, coral and fish. My goal is to paint her head, as if she is just coming out of her seal skin, leaving one world for another. There is something about the Selkie Myth that really resonates with me right now, perhaps it is their ability to live in two worlds, and yet they are eternally bound only to one.
Last but not least, I have been growing rare and coveted Oriental Indigo seeds in my windowsill! This may not seem like much, but truth be told, babying these little guys and watching them grow has been a highlight of the last few weeks! Soon they will venture out into the garden, and hopefully grow big and strong. If all goes as planned, then by Summers end, I will be able to make my own batch of Indigo Dye!
I recently took a Natural Dye Class from Rebecca Burgess and was so inspired by the results (see below) that I have been not only collecting pots and pans, but also Apple and Cherry tree cuttings, onion skins and avocado pits! I dream of being able to offer a variety of natural dyed fabrics in my classes, as I find the mellow colors so wonderful to work with!
I hope this post tempts you to stay tuned. I promise class dates and more studio creations soon!