Jane’s Wedding Tree – Part One

This is my friend Jane’s wedding tree.  I love Jane.  Jane is a straightforward girl with a head full of words, and a heart full of love for kids.  Jane is a teacher.  I love Jane.  Now that my very simple tribute is over, let me say that when my friend Jane came to me and told me that she loved my stitch art so much that it gave her an idea, I couldn’t wait to hear what she had come up with.  Trees speak to us all in different ways, and this tree was a thing of beauty for Jane.  She wanted to get married beneath it’s soaring branches, and so she did.  Her sister decorated the tree with these colorful streamers, and it has since become a very special symbol of their marriage.  For their first anniversary, which is symbolized with paper, her darling husband made her a picture of the tree with tissue paper and glue.  What a lucky pair!  While touching, sweet, and oh-so-meaningful, the paper didn’t hold up so well over time.  Her second anniversary is rolling around the corner, which is symbolized with cotton.  How perfect!  I had no idea that my most favorite medium was cornerstone of second anniversary gifts, but Jane did.  And she knew what she wanted to give to her guy for their second anniversary:  A stitch art picture of their wedding tree.  Today I will make Jane’s Wedding Tree, and I am so excited to get started! 

Jane's Wedding Tree(2)

General Woodiness…

Hello! Josh here.  My contributions to the Shop stems from my fascination for and the usefulness of wood.  I am a self proclaimed (and many agree) wood nerd and wood geek.  A certifiable wood collector who expresses creativity and finds inspiration through the salvaging of discarded urban-cut trees.  Cutting down a tree is a mournful event, but to cut a tree down and discard it as trash is positively criminal.  A tree is way too beautiful to be discarded!  Making beautiful, heirloom quality objects that will be preserved and passed down through generations from its wood is a tribute to the tree itself as much as it is a tribute to the maker.  And so, here I am:  A yard full of wood, a few chainsaws, and a humble sawmill; a workshop full of tools and sawdust; and, a (soon to be full) Shop full of wonderful wooden treasures!  Have a look around and come back often!  Things will be changing rapidly as we get moved in good at our new home at www.goodwinscustomcrafts.com.  And last, but not least, let me introduce these two rascals: Annabelle and Zoey.  They keep me company when I am out in the shop and keep an eye on things when I am off gathering more wood.  They are the Wood Yard supervisors, and love to climb on woodpiles and nap in mountains of sawdust.

 

Hand Dyed Organic Muslin

I have a new love for fabric dying!  I love the art of fabric dying because you are in complete control of the type of fabrics used (it is really hard to find organic solids in a wide range of colors…they are mostly bright primary style colors), the depth of color, and the relationship of one batch to another.  For instance, the range of colors you can get by varying the amount of time the fabric stays in the dye results in this pleasant gradiant of color that is going to be beautiful in quiltmaking!  These colors are so rich and subtle, powerful yet gentle at the same time.  The dyes are fiber reactive, non toxic, and can be mixed and matched to create custom colors as well.  The possibilties are endless.  All cotton used is 100% organic, but I am currently in the process of experimenting with PFD (prepared for dye) fabric, verses regular unbleached fabric, because there is a better variety of options available if you don’t limit yourself to the PFD.  I am also experimenting with different fabric types, such as muslin verses poplin, fleece, silks, canvases, dye concentrations, and anything else I can think of!  This was the first collection of fabrics, and they came out beautifully!! I bought the dye from the Dharma Trading who also sells a really nice variety of ready to dye projects for the do-it-yourselfer!  As indigo is one of my most favorite dyes, and I really love the historic relevence of the “color that seduced the world”, I would like to try that next!  But first, to fully explore this style of fabric dying.

 IMG_8870 IMG_9885

I am One Lucky Girl!

Let me start by saying that I am most certainly, One Lucky Girl!!  This whole, “Put yourself out there on a website” business is a little disarming to me.  I used to be this crazy, out-there girl, who spoke before she thought.  Writing and being expressive was EASY!  But as I have gotten older, I have become more introspective, and choose more carefully what comes out of my mouth.  While that definitely has its advantages, it can also be a little boring and safe.  So here we go.  My mission?  To let it all out again, and share with you all the way my customers share with me!  Since I don’t really know where to start (because while this website is new, my crafting is NOT and I have years and years worth of pictures to add to my galleries) I will begin with a simple cape project I did for a good friend.  She gave this to a pair of new big sisters!  How sweet she  was to do this.  I have the best customers in the world!  From a friend who wants to buy a cape for her (adult) friend who is battling cancer, to crazy rocker chicks who want to buy capes for their boyfriend, to Moms to be who are organizing a super hero family photo shoot for their birth announcements, I get ALL SORTS of folks, and each story intruigues me.  Each story is unique and special, and I am one lucky girl that people share those stories with me!
IMG_5606