Monday, 29 September 2008

Wishing for the cloths of heaven

He wishes for the cloths of heaven

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light, The blue and the dim and the dark cloths Of night and light and the half-light, I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.

-- William Butler Yeats

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

These were good trees

I'm going to start this brand new blog with a fancy word...

Dendrochronology. This is the big long fancy name for the study of tree rings (aka growth rings) - the concentric circles you see on the top of tree stumps.

Ever since I was a kid I've found tree stumps simultaneously sad and beautiful. Sad of course because the tree is gone, but beautiful in the way each one is unique, like a thumbprint. There's something intriguing about how you can tell not just how long the tree grew for but what the weather was like each a way, what kind of life the tree had. Looking at a cross section of a tree, there's a sense of looking backwards through time...kind of the opposite of a crystal ball. I find it sort of comforting when I see a tree stump, to count the rings to reassure myself that it had a chance to grow and think to myself "this was a good tree".

Tree rings are one of several themes for the shop this autumn. The original idea was for a scarf (which I plan to make very soon)

...and then I thought oooh they'd be good as brooches too...

So I cut out circles in textured cream and chocolate brown silk and very carefully stitched lots of circles on to the top layer...

Stitched the pin back and labels onto the backs of the brown circles, then sewed them together...ta-da!

These are more delicate than some of my previous brooches, and being smaller and lighter makes them great for pinning to clothes (my bulkier brooches are more suited to coat lapels, bags and suchlike). I think they'd look sweet on my tree rings scarves too :)

They should be up in the shop quite soon, plus some more new things, so keep watching!