This is really shaping up to be the year without a summer. I did spend a little time outside looking at my garden. I was able to observe a bee going from blossom to blossom with the pollen sacks bulging on her legs. It gave me such a sense of serenity. There really is something to gardening that I didn't understand before. I also sat by the river and re-read a chapter of Animal, Mineral, Miracle. By 10:30 the weather began to deteriorate and I went into the house to work on a project.
Years ago I had tried to do some smocking. I remember seeing throw pillows on the couches of old ladies who were competent with a needle. I couldn't figure out how it was done, but I knew I wanted to learn the technique. I purchased a Dritz Smockruler when I was newly married. I had no luck with it. That ruler was lost somewhere in the hum of the cosmos. On Sunday I went to a church rummage sale and lo, there was was another smockruler waiting to go home with me. Later on Sunday I took my aforementioned trip to Joann Fabrics and bought some pretty red velveteen because I made up my mind to teach myself how to do lattice smocking. And, TA DA!
This is a view of the backside of the work. The blue object is the plastic Dritz Smockruler. I have to say that the technique took a lot of concentration. The ruler is used to mark the fabric with dots and then using a needle with heavy duty thread the dots are gathered together in the proper sequence.
I think I was inspired to work with such lush fabric because I have been looking at the costumes as I finished watching season two of the Tudors on netflix. This is a picture of Dame Judy Dench in her Oscar-winning performance in Shakespeare in Love. Notice her sleeves. It is lattice smocking!
My husband, who is not enamored of British royalty, feels my work closely resembles coffin lining. We actually had a discussion about combining our skills (he is a carpenter) and building coffins for ourselves. The finished caskets could, we reasoned, be used as coffee tables until we need them.