07 April, 2013

dotty for doilies

For the past few months, I've had a bit of a thing for doilies.
I suppose I've had a thing for them for much longer than that, but during this recent span of months, doilies have been on my mind kind of a lot. That's a little weird, no?

It started some sleepless hour in the middle of a night, when I was struck by, and very excited about, an idea for a project. I still haven't made that project happen, but it's in the works. That was the beginning, anyway, and then I got on a kick of looking up images of them (google image search "doily" - there are a lot of images....), trying to draw them (no real success yet, and if my studio weren't such a mess, I'd be able to find the drawings and share them with you), and poking around antique shops for them.

I have found one that I love, so very much - you can see it in this photo:

(That little doily actually set the tone for that whole photo session... I was smitten.)

The thing is, I am so particular about the doily styles that I like, that I'm not tempted to buy many. This, I think, is a good thing. I really don't need more stuff in my studio.

I do wish I knew how to make them! Years ago, I attempted to teach myself tatting, but I didn't get very far... And crochet, while on my list of things I'd like to learn, is still something I can't quite grasp.

But I do know how to cross-stitch, and so that's how I'm making doilies these days, and I turned my stitched doily design experiments into a new kit!

I was going a little nuts trying to come up with a name for the new kit. The word "doily" is so weird, don't you think? I just think it sounds awkward and I had the hardest time coming up with some cute title/name that worked... darling doily, sweet little doily, doily dot -- ugh, none of them worked. Plus, I'd recently visited the modcloth site, as I sometime do when I'm thinking I'd like a new dress (I've only actually ordered from there once - but it was a good experience) and I was so annoyed with the names of the dresses (come ON - they're stretching those puns and alliterations just a lot too far) that I opted to stick with simplicity for this one. The Doily. That's it.

So - the kit is now in the shop in two different color variations - the bright pink on ivory and the white on blue-grey. BUT - the cool thing about this one is that the kit comes with four design variations, so, while you only get materials enough to make one, you get to choose the doily design you like best. And, if you happen to have access to the materials (you'd need additional hoops, and aida, and floss), you could easily stitch up all four of the designs; maybe in a grouping of different colors, like I did in that top photo?

Also doily-related: After hearing about my doily-inspiration, my dear friends Charles and Hana bought me this book as a gift while I was out in CA visiting:

It's written in Japanese and French, so I'm not going to be reading it cover-to-cover anytime soon, but the photos are FANTASTIC. It'll make my little doily-and-lace drawing attempts much easier, having something to copy right in front of me. While so far, I've really only been looking at the pictures, my understanding is that there was a found box of doily and lace samples, along with the patterns, and that this book documents/shares that wonderful find. Someday, if I do learn how to crochet, and if I do get further in my studies of French - I'll be chaining my way through this book.

I've completed a few x-stitch pieces that go along with this whole idea/theme, but I still need to put them all together and photograph them.
And, the opening event of my Spring/Summer market season is ONE WEEK from today, so I gotta get jumping on making more product. While I've got another idea for yet another kit, I think I'm going to have to let that rest for another week or two... More updates soon! (PS -- Anyone else out there watching Mad Men tonight?! I'm geeking out with excitement about that.)

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