Thursday, July 25, 2013

Living In The 80's

Hey Guys! 
Time to jump in the 'way back' machine, we're going back to the 80's, cue music!
Oh, the 80's... Who didn't love the 1980's? It was a good decade, wasn't it? The music, the movies, the art! Born in 1974, I am mostly a child of the 80's, since it's when I did most of my growing up, and what a great decade to do so, too many things to list. 

Another Fifth Festival Friday of Fabulousness, Phat Quarter swap is just wrapping up over on Flickr, and now that my partner has received the piece of embroidery I made for her, I can share with you. The theme of the swap was "Living In The 80's", there was no way I wasn't going to participate in this one.

Can you think about the art from the 1980's and not think about Patrick Nagel?  Beautiful but remote, simplified, ethereal women.  His work was everywhere when I was a kid (even on one of my favorite albums!) and I don't think I realized how great it was until recently. It's also great fodder for embroidery, the hard part was choosing which lady to stitch. Now that she's finished, I want to do another one for myself. 

For this swap I went with Striped Pants.

(click any of these pictures to embiggen for more detail)

It was a fun challenge for me to make this piece, I did a few things I hadn't tried before and I loved the way they came out so I'm looking forward to using this technique in future embroidery projects. Part of the reason I picked this Nagel lady was because of her white skin on the gray background, I thought this would translate well to fabric and thought applique was the way to go.

Here she is traced out with fusible web ironed on to the white fabric.

I cut her silhouette out carefully... 

Then fused that silhouette into the grey background fabric. I think it came out very like the original piece that Nagel painted. I was already happy at this point, but this piece continued to come together so nicely, that I'm actually perfectly happy with it. Usually there's something I wish I'd done differently, some small regret. Not this time. This time it was like this piece was meant to be.

The first bits of stitching I did was her outline, stitched just barely outside the applique, then her shades, gloves and pants (which I'll be honest, I thought was a skirt until after I stitched it).

Then the hair. Stitching hair is a booger, ask anyone. I guess it's really not that bad, it just seems to go on and on (and on and on).
 I embroidered her hair in single strand perle cotton using a stem stitch, I liked the sheen of it, and the small twist in the thread gives her hair texture and movement. In this series of  progress pictures, you can see how I tackled stitching the hair. I like to do it kind of directionally, the way real hair would lay.

Her hair, earring and lips completed. Worth the time it takes to do right.

 Then all that was left was the yellow stripes on her booty. 
The stitching went quickly and was surprisingly neat on the back.

 I fill stitched the yellow portions using a brick stitch pattern. 

As far as finishing the piece, I painted a simple wooden hoop matte black,
 and finished the back like so,  a printed paper label with another Nagel lady and the details of the piece, attached to black fabric with scrapbooking brads. The fabric was spray glued to a layer of batting and mounted to a layer of craft board. Nice & neat. 

I added a sheer black ribbon to hang the hoop, and she was ready to go!

Miss Striped Pants is now living in Arizona with her new owner, who, I am happy to report loves her. Yay!! Just like every time I make something for a swap, I worry that the person won't like what I've made. I make myself crazy with that, actually. I need to stop.

So yeah, the 80's! 
Totally bitchin'!

p.s. I can't wait to show you what I got in this swap, it's terrific so stay tuned!

p.s.s. She got featured today over on Craft Gossip, yahoo! Go take a look.


olisa said...

WOW! This is sensational!!! I'm totally blown away by this piece, Lisa. The details, the design. You are really making amazing work.

Jana said...

This is amazing. LOVE it.

Crystal Rhew Staley said...

So good Lisa! All the details are wonderful and I love her hair and skirt. Your partner is very lucky!! I miss swapping : (

Denise Shortway said...

What an absolutely awesome piece of work! Your stitching is incredible - can't wait to see another one.

bascom hogue said...

You did well giving this tribute Nagel. I remember his death form the heart attack - he was only 38. But nw we get to think of him again.

mooshie stitch said...

Omg! This is absolutely amazing!!! Love love love

mooshie stitch said...

This is absolutely amazing!!!! Love love love it!!

Melissa Melissa said...

OMG I love it. I remember a Nagel poster was a must in college hanging right above your papasan or futon. LOL

Beedeebabee said...

You put so much thought into everything you do Lisa, and it really shows. Your creations are just beautiful, and this is amazing!!! Your stitching is gorgeous! xo

Aurelia Eglantine said...

I saw the feature on CG, Congrats! It was wonderful to see so many in progress pictures, and her hair is really exceptional, what a cool technique! The way you finished the hoop is amazing and professional too, I don't know how you could bear to give her away :) Amazing work!

Connie said...

I haven't visited in a while, and boy have I been missing out! You are an amazing talent! This piece is incredible and I am in love with your Birdie Bunting. Wow!!!
When God was handing out talent you must have ran around and got in line a second time :)
Well, I'm not going to miss another post, because I'm adding you to my front page blog list.
Have a wonderful week.
Your blogging sister, Connie :)