New to Me: Jordan Nassar Embroideries

Arts & Crafts

I’ve been meaning to share this for a while now, but something or other was always supposedly more important or interesting. No more! 🙂

Jordan Nassar creates intricate, painting-like embroideries that mix traditional stitching with a modern approach, color scheme or subject-matter – or all of them.

The way he repeats a simple stitch en masse and creates an image with color (in contrast to varying the stitching) is fascinating:

Jordan Nassar The Arab Apocalypse

The Arab Apocalypse. Jordan Nassar.

Also intriguing are the pieces with rows of traditional symbols that, beneath an unaltered row, are reflected or refracted:

Jordan Nassar Haifa

Haifa. Jordan Nassar.

On his About page, Nassar’s work is described like this:

“Nassar’s work addresses the intersection of craft, language, history, (geo)politics, and technology. Beginning with the intricacies of identity and cultural participation, as a Palestinian- American, Nassar treats traditional craft more as medium than topic, examining subjects such as cultural heritage, ownership, exchange and absorption; emigrant nostalgia for the ‘homeland’ and its generational repercussions; geography, politics, and orientalism; symbology, codes and language systems; superstition and religious belief; post-internet visual language; and representational and geometric abstraction.”

 

I think my favorites are the monochrome pieces that remind me of traditional Finnish textiles like ryijy or käspakka. Of course it helps that his are my favorite color, blue! 🙂

Jordan Nassar Untitled 8 Pointed Stars

Untitled (8 Pointed Stars). Jordan Nassar.

For more, visit Nassar’s web page or follow him on Instagram.

Found via design*sponge.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

New to Me: Himmeli-Style Hanging Planters Made from Brass

Design & Designers, Stunt Double

Mandi Gubler at Vintage Revivals shared a tutorial for making himmeli-style hanging planters:

Vintage Revivals Mandi Gubler Himmeli Hanging Planters

Mandi Gubler at Vintage Revivals.

Hers are made from brass tubing and leather thongs for durability. I like the updated materials! I’m not so sure about the modern shapes, though – I’m fond of this particular Finnish tradition, but I do realize turning a traditionally-shaped himmeli into a planter would be very difficult (see some examples in a past post of mine).

Visit Mandi’s blog for the video tutorial in stop-motion.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Wall Art: All We Have to Decide Is What to Do with the Time That Is Given to Us

Arts & Crafts, Books & Mags, DIY

Kristine at The Painted Hive made large-scale book quote printables available for free. Among the five options there’s one of genre interest, too:

The Painted Hive Kristine Tolkien All We Have to Do

Kristine at The Painted Hive (selection).

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” J.R.R. Tolkien

Thank you for sharing these fantastic wall art pieces, Kristine!

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Pieced Prototype Placemats: Progress on Quilting

Colors, Fabrics & Materials

I’m slowly chipping away at the small piecing / quilting prototypes that I started in February.

Piecing1 WiP Half Quilted Top View

My goal is to find a good-looking, neat, satisfying and fast way to machine quilt this kind of a pieced surface. I’ve figured it out halfway: I’ll sew diagonally across the small squares to create diamonds at 45-degree angle to the edge.

Half the battle is done! 🙂

Blue, Turquoise and White Ombre Effect Wall

Colors, House Tours

I was leafing through a home dec magazine looking for something else, when this wall with an ombre mural in blue, turquoise and white caught my eye. It’s from the home of designer Petri Hiltula in Finland.

Avotakka 04 2015 Ombre Bedroom Wall1

Sameli Rantanen / Avotakka magazine, April 2015.

Featured in the Avotakka magazine (April 2015), the wall was designed by Susanna Sivonen. The name of the design is Origami kasvoi taivaalle (‘an origami grew into the sky’). The mural replaces the headboard in the bedroom.

Avotakka 04 2015 Ombre Bedroom Wall2

Sameli Rantanen / Avotakka magazine, April 2015.

Gorgeous. At places the effect almost looks cloud-like due to the shapes in the paint treatment. The wall looks especially good in contrast to the plain white bedding, the original, exposed square log wall and wide plank floors. I think the extra-wide floor moulding is unusual these days, too, which contributes to the charm. Kudos!

I love the sense of blue sky the mural creates; it’s especially nice at the end of winter. I’m hoping spring will come early this year!

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Pieced Prototype Placemats

Colors, Fabrics & Materials

I’ve had a hankering to do some piecing and quilting lately, so prototypes it is! At this stage, I’ve been working on placemats made from two different sizes of squares.

Piecing Purple Blues Greens

The placemat colors are based on a rainbow, with each color moving diagonally across instead of the more static horizontal or vertical layout.

Piecing Purple Blues Greens Yellows Reds

After piecing the top on the first one (the photo above), I re-did some color selections for the second one.

Piecing2 Ready Purple Blues Greens Yellows Reds

Better! There are still improvements I could make, but it seems my stash is getting too low on the shades I’d need.

Even though I haven’t yet fully finished the placemats, I can tell that the math seems to work – the dimensions are suitable. That’s the most important part; colors I can always tweak ad infinitum. 🙂

Bright Colors for an Antidote to November

Books & Mags, Colors, Inspiration

In the northern half of the world, we’re approaching the dark time of the year. For me, November is typically when I start wanting more light and bright things around me. (Candles! Snow!) When that’s not possible, pictures will do. This rainbow-hued glass collection from a home dec magazine fits the bill:

Country Living Jul-Aug 2016 p40

It’s from the Country Living magazine, and the collector, Elsie Larson from Nashville, TN, says this of her Depression glass collection:

“I was inspired by my travels to Palm Springs and specifically stays at the very colorful Parker Hotel, which was designed by one of my heroes, Jonathan Adler. The rainbow effect of their colored glass collection made me smile every morning.”

It’s a beautiful arrangement, and the range of colors is fantastic. (The Parker Hotel colored glass display that Larson mentions can be seen at a Whorange article from February 2014. Personally, I think Larson did a better job than Adler.)

A bonus entry: a color wheel mirror frame in mosaic by Karen Johnston:

Mosaicworksca Blogspot Karen Johnston Colour Wheel Mirror

Karen Johnston at Mosaicworksca.blogspot.com.

The mosaic is so neatly and carefully made. Just gorgeous!

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Online Finds: Gilded Insect Cookies for Halloween

Arts & Crafts, DIY, Food & Drink, Stunt Double

We do Halloween in a very minimal way in our house. I do, however, love seeing what creative decorations and tips other people have shared. This year, Claire’s gilded cookies top it all:

The Simple Sweet Life Claire Gilded Insect Cookies

Claire at The Simple Sweet Life.

How elegant! And such detail – wow. Learn more from the tutorial by Claire at The Simple Sweet Life.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Food for Thought: Smartphones and Creativity

Inspiration

On Open Culture, Ayun Halliday writes about smartphones and creativity, extensively quoting cartoonist and educator Lynda Barry.

Flickr Nicolas Nova Smartphone Rituals

Smartphone Rituals by Nicolas Nova on Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).

Here’s one of Barry’s thoughts that especially struck me:

“The phone gives us a lot but it takes away three key elements of discovery: loneliness, uncertainty and boredom. Those have always been where creative ideas come from.”

– Lynda Barry

I’m still mulling over the quote, but I seem to be leaning towards disagreeing. People who are inclined to doodle, people-watch, nap, let their thoughts wander, knit, read or whatnot will continue to do so even with smartphones. Not to mention that it’s perfectly possible to be bored with your smartphone and all the access it gives. Boredom, I find, isn’t dependent on having access to x, y or z; it’s more a matter of what doesn’t inspire you at any given moment. Nor are smartphones a cure-all against loneliness or uncertainty.

Smartphones are undoubtedly a tool, and equally unboubtedly they can be a distraction. My tentative hypothesis is that as the newest and perhaps most exciting devices in the history of human tool use, we haven’t collectively learned to balance their benefits and disadvantages yet.

Of course, that doesn’t make it any easier for those struggling to resist the siren song of instant and interminable access.

“Stop saying Yes to shit you hate”

Inspiration, This Is Important, Thumbs Up

A little bit like Fanny Price in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, part of my adulthood has definitely involved un-learning the supposed “need” to accept unacceptable things and to learn to say No when needed. Jessica at Femme Fraîche puts it more succinctly:

Jessica Femme Fraiche Instagram Stop Saying Yes

Jessica at Femme Fraîche.

“Stop saying Yes to shit you hate.”

Hear, hear! While taking on projects that are a stretch can help you grow, shit you hate should be on a permanent No list. Don’t you agree?

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.