You might know Jane from her blog, or her website, or her "yoga in public places" photos on Facebook. I was delighted to get to capture Jane's yoga pose one evening after dinner. It was funny to be part of that little tradition of Jane's.
The class was called "Garden Patch" and involved making a fabric/paper/thread stitched collage. To be honest, I was up for anything that Jane was going to teach -- and what really thrilled me was that a longtime online friend, Norina, was going to come and I was going to meet her in person for the first time. Pictured here are Norina, Jane, and another dear friend Pat. It was a reunion of sorts for them too, as they have gone on some art walk/sketch trips together and have become good friends.
I sat with another dear friend, Paula -- and it was fun to see how she approached the project.
The project itself was definitely an adventure and a bit beyond my comfort zone.
We started by assembling a collage on a felt surface. We used all sorts of things - images we'd carved, papers, fabrics, trims, anything that just felt like it belonged.
Once we had a an arrangement we liked, we pressed it all down, flipped it over so we only saw the back side, and then we CUT IT UP.
Did you just gasp? We all did when Jane told us what we were going to do. Yikes. Giving up control. Letting go of that collage we'd just carefully arranged. But we gulped, put our trust in Jane, and CUT. And this is what I had then:
I have to admit that it was pretty cool to see how each section had its own collage and its own composition.
Then, the task was to embellish each square with hand embroidery, adding embellishments, and whatever else we wanted. Here's one arrangement with some of the handstitching.
It was really fun to see everyone's collages -- each was so different. And we didn't just get inspiration from each other -- we shared trims and threads and bits of fabric. Norina ended up using a piece of tea bag paper I'd stamped with a leaf I'd carved -- it worked perfectly for her to cover something she'd not been happy about.
The stitching and embellishing process was a lot more fun than I'd imagined it would be. I could get into doing more embroidery! Here's the tangle of threads and trims that Paula had on her desk.
As I was packing my materials before the retreat, I'd thrown in some bird shapes I'd cut out of organza a few years ago -- for one of those projects I never ended up pursuing. And it was fun to see that one of the birds would work well on this piece.
So here is where it is right now. I've done a lot of stitching but may end up doing more. I'll need to trim it and finish off the edge too.
What a fun time!