It's the Mr X Stitch Make a Cross Stitch Pattern Every Week for 52 Weeks Challenge Thingy!It’s week 15 of the 52 Challenge!

I was really chuffed to read this Washington Post article by Kim Weeks that mentioned me a lot! A really nice surprise and great to be included in the same company as Teresa Lim and Emily Peacock among others. There was a particular adjective used to describe me that stuck out…

Burly Cross Stitch Pattern from Mr X Stitch

 

 

Right click on the image and Save As to download the pattern!

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Sayraphim Lothian is a “public artist and investigator of playful engagement & experiments in guerrilla kindness” from Melbourne, Australia. She has a new artist in residency project that is very interesting!

Sayraphim Lothian - Wreath

“It’s called Craffiti and it’s soft sculpture and other crafted works based on some of Melbourne’s amazing street art scene. The crafts range from knitting to cross stitch, hand quilting to soft sculpture and embroidery. Alongside each work is a photo of the original street art piece and most of the artists represented have works of their own in the exhibition as well.

Sayraphim Lothian - Tag
“I look at sewing as solving puzzles, how am I going to make this the shape I want, what craft will I use, what materials will give me the surface I’m looking for, and so using street art for the inspiration offered me a whole new set of challenges. Will I make this 3d or 2d? What kind of craft will suit the original work the best? And, in one case, how the hell am I going to make this guy stand on his own without wire or bring hung up?

Sayraphim Lothian - Figure

“Using other people’s artwork as a starting point for your own is also a great responsibility. With any work you make, you want to make it as best as you can, but when using someone else’s work as a template, you have an added responsibility to be true to their vision as well as your own. You don’t want to present a work they’re going to hate!

Sayraphim Lothian - Crowned Figure

I love the idea of artists in residence, those schemes that museums, historic houses, libraries and other institutions have where artists are invited in to soak up the collections, the buildings, the histories and the stories and emerge with new artworks based on their experiences. Artists can offer the public a new way to look at an item, a new way to think about a building, a new way to experience a history. Artists can take the familiar and re-present it in a new light, using different materials to encourage us to really look at something we thought we knew, and present to us new thoughts, ideas and experiences we haven’t had before.

Sayraphim Lothian - TentacledFigure

In a way, Craffiti is exactly this, an artist residency down the alleyways of Melbourne, bringing back ideas and forms found under eaves, on walls and fences, attached to poles and hidden under bridges. Remaking these forms in new materials to present them to the audience in a new light.

 

When I was first approaching the street artists, I was a little aware that craft can be seen as a bit daggy in the public eye and that some of these artists have been painting the streets for decades. In particular one artist who I have been in awe of since I discovered his work over 10 years ago, I was a bit nervous to email him and say “Umm, I’d like to quilt your tag please…” but they were all amazingly supportive and really keen to see their work in new ways.

Sayraphim Lothian - Octopus

 

“I’m a public artist, who’s main body of work is in Guerrilla Kindness. It’s where I made small, handcrafted works to place out in the streets for people to find and take home, to make their day a little brighter. So with Craffiti I really wanted to have a Guerrilla Kindness aspect to it, as well as take it out to the streets. I was very aware that I was bringing street art into a nice, clean gallery space so I wanted to ensure that some of Craffiti made it’s way back out onto the streets. So I knitted around 20 spray cans (which rattle, thanks to a film canister and wooden bead inside) and they’ve been sent off to friends around the world who’ll be dropping them in their cities. Already spray cans have gone out in Perth (AUS) and Durham, NC (USA), they’ll also be appearing on streets in London (courtesy of Deadly Knitshade), Berlin, New York, Boston, Stockholm, Brisbane (AUS) and of course Melbourne! Each can has “Craffiti” and “@sayraphim” so that people can check in if they’d like to, but they don’t have too. It’s an obligation free gift, from us to whoever finds them.

Sayraphim Lothian - Troll

Such a great idea and some excellent pieces of work. I want that troll so bad. Follow all of Sayraphim’s adventures on instagram, facebook, twitter and on her website.

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Hand & Lock

This month, Coco de Mer founder Sam Roddick presents her debut photographic art exhibition ‘Hidden Within’ at London’s Michael Hoppen Gallery. Roddick has taken inspiration from a series of erotic polaroids taken by Carlo Mollino, an influential 20th century Italian architect and designer. A trove of 1200 polaroids were discovered after his death in 1973 and revealed an intense and mysterious fascination with the female form.

Sam Roddick - Hidden Within

With ‘Hidden Within’ Roddick, inspired by the subversive images, develops his dark vision and explores the concepts of misogyny, shame, sex in religion and the male gaze. Each of her 10 artworks features her own handprinted polaroids, framed by Hand & Lock’s elaborate and symbolic goldwork embroidery. Roddick’s concept was meticulously worked on by Hand & Lock’s Head of Design Scott Heron and re interpreted in the language of traditional embroidery.

Sam Roddick - Hidden Within

With £4,000 of materials, 50 design hours and 300 workmanship hours the embroidery supports Roddicks vision of sacred geometry and religious entanglement. Symbolic notions include the snake, an ancient aegean symbol of female power, is entwined reminiscent of the DNA helix. A literal DNA Helix also features, expressing the hidden information in every human cell and linking hard science with esoteric ancient philosophy.

Hand & Lock Goldwork Design

Other symbolic references include a goldwork bee, a winged messenger of the spirit world and signifier of order and civilisation as well as the ‘Golden Ratio’, the ultimate mathematical equation of visual beauty and aesthetic harmony. These symbolic motifs in conversation with the Mollino inspired polaroids speak to the sexual objectification of women throughout our culture.

Hand & Lock Goldwork Geometry

Given Roddick’s desire to set her photography in a strong religious and philosophical context goldwork was the perfect technique. This age old embroidery style is heavy in historic relevance, through ecclesiastical, ceremonial and military applications. Embroiderers, in addition to completing a textile degree, must work a minimum of five years to attain the level of skill required to execute such precision embroidery. Each tiny detail must be meticulously worked on by a patient, consistent and experienced hand. A fundamental understanding of the fabric is vital, as well as a deep respect for the delicate bullions used.

Hand & Lock Goldwork Bee

Head of Design Scott Heron has worked on a huge variety of projects over his five year tenure but found the opportunity to work with Sam Roddick fascinating and deeply enriching. He said of his experience, I have always believed that when creative minds can come together this has the potential to manifest innovation of thought, application, design and product. One of the main things that has enriched my design expertise from working with Sam, is having the opportunity to explore and practically articulate theories and philosophies that are steeped in cultural relevance. To take these elements and produce in partnership a resolved body of work that not only aesthetically pleasing, but is imbued with meaning and is cognitively relevant.

Hand & Lock Goldwork Sword

Hand & Lock are London’s oldest embroidery house with 247 years of heritage and tradition. The atelier specialise in the fine art of goldwork and are routinely commissioned by the Royal family, the Royal forces, Britain’s many churches and historic institutions as well as Europe’s top fashion houses.

Sam Roddicks Hidden Within is on at the Michael Hoppen Gallery from 19th March 1st May.

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Exploring Etsy with loadofolbobbins!

Would you Adam and Eve it? time for yet another installment of ‘Exploring Etsy’ to delight and enchant you all. For all my international readers that may be scratching their heads right about now I promise you that I haven’t been out in the sun too long, just turned to the delights of Cockney Rhyming Slang for this weeks introduction. I hope you’ve all been keeping well and are ready for this weeks stunning offerings from the very talented Corinne Sleight and her shop ‘The Grumpy Crafter’.

Shades of Red Colour Wheel by The Grumpy Crafter (Hand Embroidery)

Shades of Red Colour Wheel by The Grumpy Crafter (Hand Embroidery)

Shades of Purple Colour Wheel by The Grumpy Crafter (Hand Embroidery)

Shades of Purple Colour Wheel by The Grumpy Crafter (Hand Embroidery)

Shades of Pink and Orange Colour Wheel by The Grumpy Crafter (Hand Embroidery)

Shades of Pink and Orange Colour Wheel by The Grumpy Crafter (Hand Embroidery)

Corinne is a ‘work-at-home-Mum’, who aids and abets her husband of 23 years to run a small graphic design business from their family home in a small village nestled in the Sussex South Downs here in the UK. Although having no formal qualifications in the creative arts she has enjoyed working with various media her whole life, including knit, tapestry, stained glass, fused glass, painting and most recently, embroidery which seems to have taken over her life!, (always a joy to welcome yet another talented stitcher into the fold). Astoundingly Corinne only picked up her first embroidery needle since a child just two years ago and is entirely self taught, I don’t know about you but judging by her gorgeous work she’s a seasoned pro already!

Variations on a Theme No. 2 by The Grumpy Crafter (Hand Embroidery)

Variations on a Theme No. 2 by The Grumpy Crafter (Hand Embroidery)

Variations on a Theme No. 3 by The Grumpy Crafter (Hand Embroidery)

Variations on a Theme No. 3 by The Grumpy Crafter (Hand Embroidery)

Variations on a Theme No. 1 by The Grumpy Crafter (Hand Embroidery)

Variations on a Theme No. 1 by The Grumpy Crafter (Hand Embroidery)

Variation on a Variation on a Theme No. 1 by The Grumpy Crafter (Hand Embroidery)

Variation on a Variation on a Theme No. 1 by The Grumpy Crafter (Hand Embroidery)

What is your earliest stitching memory?

My mum patiently taught me how to stitch and knit as a child, and I have passed these important skills onto my own daughter who has taken them to a whole new level. I think my earliest stitching memory was making a Mother’s Day dressing table mat at primary school. It was worked in coloured thread on some awful cream coloured binca but we were pretty much given free rein as far as pattern and colour were concerned. I loved making that mat! I didn’t pick up an embroidery needle again until two years ago when a New Year’s Day trip with my daughter to our local craft store resulted in me coming home with a hoop, needles and a huge pack of brightly coloured threads. I haven’t looked back!

Stitch by The Grumpy Crafter (Hand Embroidery)

Stitch by The Grumpy Crafter (Hand Embroidery)

Dare To Be Different by The Grumpy Crafter (Hand Embroidery)

Dare To Be Different by The Grumpy Crafter (Hand Embroidery)

What fires your imagination?

All sorts of things fire my imagination and I am constantly on the lookout for inspiration in all sorts of places. However, in my work at the moment the answer would have to be colour, colour and more colour. I think my embroidery style has developed significantly over the past two years. I started out tentatively, just stitching for stitching’s sake, then my daughter and I opened our Etsy shop last summer (more as a business lesson for my daughter than anything else!), so I tried to stitch pieces that I thought might be commercial. Then, a few months ago, I happened upon a discussion somewhere on social media where embroidery artists were discussing their favourite stitch…..several mentioned Satin Stitch which happened to be my absolute bugbear. I decided that I needed to master it and in an effort to improve my satin stitching, I stitched my first ‘colour wheel’ hoop as a practice piece. This one action has actually taken my current work in a whole new direction, one which I feel most comfortable in and expresses ‘me’ perfectly.

Abstract Tree in Blue Ombre by The Grumpy Crafter (Hand Embroidery)

Abstract Tree in Blue Ombre by The Grumpy Crafter (Hand Embroidery)

Hoop Garden by The Grumpy Crafter (Hand Embroidery)

Hoop Garden by The Grumpy Crafter (Hand Embroidery)

There’s so much to love about Corinne’s work, her bold use of colour and shape is truly captivating. Remember to head on over to her beautiful shop to check out more of her creations! I also highly recommend venturing over to her Instagram feed, her pics never fail to delight me and it’s fascinating to see her work evolve.

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Jessica Taylor aka Loadofolbobbins is a Textile Artist and Illustrator based by the sea in Portsmouth. At her happiest with a needle and thread, with a passion for genealogy she often explores old photographs in her textile art. With her fingers in many creative pies she loves to experiment with new techniques, creating illustrated and stitched goodies for her new Etsy shop.

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Mr X