Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Mail, Stitching, Reading

I still have some  incoming mail that I have not answered
or taken pictures of, but will be getting to them soon
now that I'm getting back to my usual routine.

Outgoing Mail:

 And I forgot to take a picture of the letter I sent to Hannah!

(While the kids were here, 
I forgot a lot of things 
or just didn't get around to them...
like writing letters or doing chores in a timely manner.)


I love the purple stamp and the way it matches the purple on the envelope!
 and another one of Jacque's lovely cards  :)

 from Emilie
 love the New Orleans stamp

 from Naomi in Australia,
one of her beautiful gouache envelopes! 
 with lots and lots of stamps!
 and all kinds of mail art ephemera
in her snail mail kit!


In 2012, I took one of Fee's old shirts and began cutting 
and manipulating
and adding scraps from my scrap bag of blues.

I wanted a boro jacket--
which meant I had to make my own, 
so I cut off the collar and reshaped the neckline.
Cut off the sleeves and the length and altered the front.
It was a slow process,
and the more pieces I added,
the slower it got--with each additional layer
harder to push a needle through.
Here it is when it was almost finished.
I don't think I took a picture after finishing completely.
I tried for a style similar to the Korean Hanbok tops.

In 2014, I started altering another
(not that it has done much good, 
I still get paint on my good clothes.)
There were plenty of scraps from the boro jacket project,
and even now, I'm still recycling those blues.

Instead of cutting off the sleeves,
I shortened them in various ways,
and then began adding pockets from
some of my eco-dyed fabrics, and
embroidering, and adding
other embellishments.

If I want to watch any of my shows,
I start adding scraps to the shirt.
or embroidering

 I don't think ahead or plan.
The purpose is to keep my hands busy
and to experiment.

Maybe in five more years or so,
the thing will be full of patches and embroidery,
but there is plenty of room left for play right now.

:) And this isn't the only shirt I use for keeping my hands busy
if I decide to watch Netflix or Drama Fever--
I have another one I use for a studio shirt
and keep adding embroidery to!

Fortunately, most of the time I would rather read,
saving my fingers from being punctured with embroidery needles,
but right now I'm on a binge catching up with Downton Abbey,
so the blue shirt ends up with more patching and stitching.


Since 2006, I've participated in Carl's annual R.I.P. Challenge.
If you enjoy the occasional Gothic, spooky, or ghostly book,
check out the link to Carl's challenge.  :)

Over at A Garden Carried in the Pocket,
I've been thinking about past challenges
and contemplating what I will read this year.

It is a great lead-up to Halloween!


  1. Your shirts are really works of art!

    1. Hardly, that! But it is a satisfying way to keep my hands busy--"idle hands" and "devil's workshop" sort of thing. :)

  2. You're having a lot of fun keeping your idle hands busy!

    1. :) As long as I don't to be precise or careful, I can watch my shows and keep busy at the same time.

  3. LOVE your little jaccket! You're next up for a letter from me! Have a great week.

    1. Thanks, Connie. The jacket was slow, but the hand stitching is soothing. I always look forward to your letters. :)

  4. Your mail is such fun. Your jacket is fabulous! Your shirt creation is perfectly unique. And reading, when the book is a good story, is so hard to ignore. It seems every book I choose to read is such a good story, they keep me from so many other things.

    1. I rarely have a day without reading, and I do enjoy Carl's challenge! October and November are perfect months for a little Gothic indulgence!

  5. Great jacket!! I must admit that I find it fascinating that you actually stitch/embellish you work shirt. The best I can do with mine is to keep patching the worn spots. You know, once you get a great work shirt, you can't give it up!! I'm just finishing a book so you have inspired me to select something spooky for my next read.
    xx, Carol

    1. I have fun with the shirts. If I don't have a project going, I will stitch on anything. Now is the time for a good spooky book with a haunted mansion or hidden passages or seances or witches...something suitable for the season. :)

  6. Oh I LOVE these. Just this morning I was going through clothes that had been put in a drawer when the weather warmed up. I pulled out a heavy shirt that I just love but looks so blah. Aha!! Now I know what to do with it. This is going to be fun!!

    1. I have two shirts (+ the boro jacket) that I use for the studio and for a light-weight robe or sweater. When I'm bored, I just add something to one of them. Think of all the French knots you could add, Penny!

  7. What fabulous jackets! They are works of art. Although your stitches are very good and interesting, what I like most is the improvisational way that you work. I seem to be drawn to that kind of work quite a bit lately--as in the last few years.

    1. Thanks, Mary! The shirts are improvisational and that suits me fine right now. But the next one of Fee's shirts that gets a stain or tear, I might give a little more consideration and develop more of a plan. :)

  8. Wow. It must be nerve-wracking to wear such art. How can you bear it??? :) I love Korean opera and some of the clothing but never imagined wearing it. You're a woman of many talents. Have you ever made a quilted jacket? I'm smh. Kudos.

    1. Oh, the shirts manage just fine--from the studio, to the kitchen, to the garden, to the washing machine! I've never made a quilted jacket, but I did do a quilted vest several years ago. Hand quilting is another meditative activity!

  9. Love that "Kindly deliver to:...." from Naomi in Australia with the incredible mushrooms. Evidently, they don't have any hard-fast rules about postage and where it's placed. ;-) Tickled me that she wrote: "More stamps over" with an arrow.
    This blog of yours Jen is a daily inspiration for me. I open it with fingers crossed now, hoping for a new post.
    Best, "Greedy" Gail

    1. Naomi is a wonderful artist, and I love the way she handles addresses! I need to share some of what she included in her "snail mail kit," and I will soon. I'm so glad you enjoy the blog, Gail--thank you for your sweet comment!


Good to hear from you!