When you’re living in another country for a long time, it’s inevitable that you’ll become homesick before too long. That was the case for me during the winter holidays here in Japan.
So instead of spending 100% of my time feeling cold and homesick, I decided to make an embroidery that reminded me of home!
I started this piece before my February trip to New Orleans to watch my friend tie the knot, so I was dreaming of the quaint shotgun houses of New Orleans and massive oak trees covered in Spanish moss. I sketched the image quickly using references I found online. The marker I used has blue ink that vanishes when you put cold water on it.
The hoop is about 7 inches in diameter so with all the details, this took a long time to finish. But it gave me something to do during those long months of winter!
I didn’t follow any particular stitch type. I just filled in the image as if I were coloring it in with embroidery thread. I had an idea to add in mixed media, so I took a trip to the 100 yen store and bought yarn, felt, and fake foliage.
I like how the Spanish moss turned out. I used green and gray yarn and frayed it for the mossy effect. I basted dark green felt in the bush area so any bald spots in the foliage wouldn’t be noticed. The foliage came in a square and was easy enough to cut into the shapes I needed to fill in the space. I tacked it all down with embroidery thread in multiple places.
This was the first time I used something other than embroidery thread for my embroideries and I have to say I am a fan! I like how creative you can get with the most random materials.
Every year in our area, some Assistant Language Teachers organize an art exhibit. This year, it was held in a bed and breakfast-type place with a nice gallery space. Many people submitted artwork and performed musical and dramatic pieces. I submitted this embroidery piece and a watercolor painting. The theme was “Nostalgia” so I felt like this embroidery fit in perfectly.
It was a fun night out and it was nice to be a part of something artistic. I would like to do something like that again!
For those who embroider, have you attempted mixed media before? For those who sew, have you added unconventional materials to your pieces? Please share in the comments!