Exploring Stitch Meditation

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Exploring Stitch Meditation
Stitch Meditation does not have to be restricted to fabric. You can try other media as well. In fact, I decided to upcycle my stash of paper and fabric scraps. There's always a way to reuse them in the most interesting way, and stitch meditation and upcycling them into little booklets was perfect.  Inspired by India Flint, I scribbled,  I stitched and I folded.  And then I eco-printed.  As some of you may know, I had posted on my instagram what my freezer looked like - basically a garden waiting to be cleared out. 

stitching on paper

stitched paper booklets

I used bits of paper scraps, natural fiber fabric scraps (naturally dyed, some just plain) and then I raided my freezer and slipped them in between the folds of the stitched booklets before tying them up into bundles.  I used a brick to make sure everything was held in place. 

Plants used:
  1. eucalyptus
  2. rambutan and neem leaves (from The Tender Gardener)
  3. betel nut (from Cultivate Central)
  4. lotus leaf (from Native)
  5. ixora
  6. bougainvillea
  7. rose petals (waste from a shop opening)
  8. strawberry tops (from our food waste)
The 2 stacks were boiled in separate pots for about 30 minutes - the bricks were too big for me to put into one pot - before being cooled down and left for about 2 days.  

eco printing paper

I love how the colours in the 2 stacks came out different and this was very obvious with the way the ixora turned out as you'll see in the videos below. Please excuse the way the videos turned out - I realised I was speaking way too slowly and having you sit through 20 minutes of boring monologue would be painful.

Next steps will be to sew all these beautiful booklets together!

eco printing on paper

Hapazome Aprons - A Collaboration with Native

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Hapazome Aprons - A Collaboration with Native
Good work takes hard work.
And good work takes time!

Last year I was approached by zero waste bar, Native, to create a series of prints and patterns on fabric for their new aprons. They were creating a new menu and thought it would be opportune to tie it in with a new look that was upcycled too.  Mind you, I had some lovely Egyptian cotton sheets from a 5 star hotel that needed some upcycling as well.  I was super excited to be working with  Native because they had the same sustainable philosophy as me - use what you need and close the loop!  They were using natural and, where possible, foraged ingredients, and  composting their waste. It's really exciting to see their Instagram posts where they post their daily waste - which sometimes can fit one a small kitchen scale!!

Native passed me their ingredients from their garden and food waste and I got working. There were things like blue pea, borage and even tarragon. It took a while for me to get the hang of it but I managed to have the plants imprinted with the hapazome technique onto the mango leaf dyed fabric. And soon, I had this golden yellow with prints on. The final touch was the free motion embroidery.

Hapazome workshop with Agy
These were the eventual pieces of fabric that were sent to be made into aprons. 

I hope you can see the embroidered details.  The fabric was less absorbent than expected and so I ended up with prints that were not so defined.  I think it was because the count of the fabric was higher and more fine than a handkerchief (which is what I normally dealt with in hapazome workshops).  Nevertheless, we were both happy with the outcome, and I was particularly pleased with the embroidered tarragon flowers. 

Fun fact - tarragon is used in cooking steak and gives off this nice licorice like aroma! Native uses them in their cocktails!

And here's the final outcome!
I'm also happy to say that the colours of the hapazome are still there!

Native Bar Aprons

Native Bar Aprons

Do you like them? I love how the blue base material brings out the yellow of the mango leaf dyed fabric.  Let know in the comments!

Self-doubt, Procrastination & Fear

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”Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.”

  • Do you have self-doubt? You won't succeed.
  • Do you procrastinate every time you want to start a new piece of work? I'll do it tomorrow (again).
  • Do you fear rejection ?  No one will buy or appreciate your art.

I sometimes do, actually, it does creep back out of that dark hole inside me. I get swallowed up by it, and it's an awful feeling. It might seem all good on instagram but deep inside there is a niggling feeling.

The War of Art

I recently picked up this book by Steven Pressfield. It was recommended in an art chat group and completely forgot about it until last week when it popped up in my feed again. No, it's not "The Art of War", it's "The War of Art".  Mr. Pressfield hits it on the head - I'm holding back, procrastinating, having self-doubt and fear because of RESISTANCE. 

How do I break from RESISTANCE?

1. Define what you want - my artist friend told me that she writes for 10 - 60 mins a day about her thoughts and how she's going to deal with it. It's a good way to reflect on your practice too. YOU are in charge of your DESTINY.

2. Hunker down and be consistent - practice your craft. If you are committed to going into the studio at 9am everyday, then DO IT even if you're not working on any project.  Just take out a piece of fabric just do some stitches. Get off the internet and DO YOUR WORK! Stay committed.

One part of the book I love is this:

"Someone once asked Somerset Maugham if he wrote on a schedule or only when struck by inspiration. “I write only when inspiration strikes,” he replied. “Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.”"

This is so true. Our inspiration doesn't occur like lightening but it happens when we make the effort to practice our craft. We want to become masters!

3. Acknowledge and face resistance - write it down. Face your demons and take them head on!  Be organised - understand that art is the process and journey, not always about the product!

When Do I Start?


A Continuation of Ocean

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A Continuation of Ocean
You may recall the coral bowls I was working on post-Green Is the New Black installation.  The project slowed down and went on the back burner for a while because I couldn't find a place to have it installed.  I eventually decided to not do bowls but instead have them encased in glass. Although the end point is not as intended you can still see the fragility of the corals.

Sometimes things don't turn out how you want them to, but I am sure these coral bowls will eventually find their way back into the light!

These coral pieces will be on display and for sale at The Actually Affordable Art Fair (Camp Kilo) on 7 April (2 - 7pm)

All pieces priced at SG$70 except for green plate coral which is SG$90.

Coral brooches are at SG$20 each.

Making the Invisible Visible

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I spent the first quarter of this year looking at the invisible. 
I looked down all the time, but not at my gadget but at the weeds on the ground.
Weeds are a grossly misrepresented plant. We have been taught to get rid of them because they "invade" our manicured gardens and landscaped areas. But did you know that weeds are restoring plants, they bring the trimmed lawns back to their natural state - they are restorative plants.  Apparently, weeds lets us know how healthy the soil is - so if you encounter a lot of weeds, instead of reaching out for the weedkiller (actually you shouldn't), it's important to observe and "listen".  
Weeds also bring in diversity while monocrops don't, including a variety of insects and pollinators. 

I don't have a green thumb, but I do know that diversity is key to a better planet.

The items are for sale at the Actually Affordable Artist Market, 7 April, 2 - 7pm.
4x4" fabric collages, each free motion embroidered.

SGD 100

SGD 150 

SGD 150 

SGD 100 

 SGD 100
SGD 120   

Stitch Meditation Workshop at Earth Hour

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Stitch Meditation with Agy

Slow down.... find your inner tortoise.
Focus on the present
Focus on your breathing
Connect with yourself and nature.

30 March 2019
6.30 - 730pm
Earth Hour 2019, Event Plaza Marina Bay Sands
Sign up here

Join Agy at Earth Hour 2019 as she takes you through a short meditative stitching session, exercises and a brief discussion on the outcome. Agy realised the importance of slowing down and finding your inner tortoise. For her it was discovering things with "new" eyes and translating what she sees into stitch.

Learn how to stitch in a meditative manner.
Learn how to relax.
Learn a new skill!
The aim of this session is not to make product but to bring slow into our lives.

PS. Agy will be using fabric remnants #zerowaste