Tuesday, October 14, 2008

And fortunately I got all the fuchsia dye scrubbed off in the nick of time

I made a silk charmeuse shawl for each of my bridesmaids.

I've left the image size large, so if you're interested, you can click on them and see details.

It was a labor of love. And a big part of why I was so stressed leading up to the wedding.

I'm glad I did it, and I'd do it over again in a second. But it was a tremendous amount of work, and I was working on them right up to the wedding. Literally.

Here I am, early morning Saturday, September 27. Stretching them out to photograph. Actually, I was ironing them one last time before putting them in gift bags. And Nick was taking photos.

I have photos of some of my bridesmaids wearing them, and I'll get those organized and posted as well.

The reason I was working until the end is as follows. I knew I'd wanted to make their gifts, but my textile class didn't start until the beginning of September. I needed the screen printing equipment in the studio.

Plus, quite frankly, I needed the studio space. Because they were 22"x90" - almost two feet wide and seven and a half feet long.

Big. Times six.

So class began, and I had an imagine that I wanted to screen print onto each of them. You'll see on each the same flower - very similar to the floral design on my invitations.
But I also wanted each one to be unique, since my friends have such varied personalities and styles. And I needed to make sure that the style of each of these was different than something I'd previously given them.
I did what I could at home - some of the pole wrapping, steaming, washing out. I got as much of the prep and clean up work as I could done outside of class time, so I could be as efficient as possible with the studio hours. But still I was there in the studio Wednesday before the wedding, screening, dyeing, messing up my hands. And getting chastised for it.

But you don't really know how they're going to turn out. So you plan one way, and then once you've washed it and ironed it, you look at it again to figure out what kind of layer to do next, so that the personality turns out in the way you want it to.

If that makes sense.
So it was an evolving, shifting process - the designiong, the thinking, the doing, the rethinking, the adding. If I weren't me, it might've gone faster and smoother. But I am.
I think everyone really liked them, and I think I got colors and personalities right. Me, I loved them all, and I was so very excited to give them to my dear, dear friends.

Seriously. I'd gotten orange and pink bags, and printed cards with each of their names on them, with the same design as my invitations. I was honestly jumping up and down giddy giving them their presents.
I included a detail shot of this black one, in the hopes that you can see the flower detail. It didn't come out well in this photo, but it's really shiny and glowy. And it has secret fuchsia flowers sprinkled on it.


  1. Those are gorgeous. Even more so becaus they were a labor of love.

  2. They're breathtaking - what an extraordinary gift for your "people"!

    And not only can you now let yourself forget the stress and bask in the knowledge that your friends are enjoying them... you can also be incredibly proud of yourself for having created such hopelessly lovely things.


  3. Oh my gosh these are so gorgeous. Talent! What talent!

  4. Maiden Metallurgist - Thank you! I really would do it over in a heartbeat. I loved the outcome.

    Jessica - For my people. :) Once I gave them to them and they liked them, I was just so incredibly happy.

    Nicole - Thank you, my sweet!

  5. Oh, wow, they are all GREAT! And done in less than a month... whoa. You are crazier than I thought! :D

  6. Gorgeous, so creative you are. Really, really lovely and thoughtful gifts. Thanks for sharing photos :)

  7. Oh, those are gorj! What a great idea. For Christmas my grandmother made me an alpaca shawl, at which point I learned she'd been working on it every minute up until 8am Christmas morning. It makes me tear up everytime I wear it. I'm sure your girls feel the same way, knowing how hard you labored...

  8. Beautiful!

    It always feels amazing to make something beautiful with your own hands... and have someone else appreciate it just makes it that much better.

    I miss making stuff. I keep saying that I should get back to some form of artwork, but I never seem to get around to it. :-\

  9. Each one is beautiful! I'm sure your friends adore them and recognize them for the labor of love that thet are.

  10. Oh my goodness those are beautiful!! You should be ridiculously proud of your work, and if anyone doesn't like theirs, I'll happily take it!

  11. Lisa, they are even more beautiful than you described!! What wonderful remembrances of the day. =-)

  12. yeah, great, beautiful, awesome, so thoughtful....

    When is it time for all the gooey pictures of you in the dress, making out with Nick at the altar??

    the suspense is killing me.

  13. Lisa, these are absolutely beautiful.

    I hope your friends enjoyed them as much as you did making them.

    I, too, am looking forward to wedding photos :)

  14. Amazing gifts! The leaf one is my favorite! Love it!

  15. What incredibly awesome gifts for your bridesmaids! Taking all the time and thought into those shawls much have made the recipients feel very special. :)

  16. gorgeous! lucky friends!


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