Tuesday, March 02, 2010

African Folklore Embroidery

Wow, I really had a great time at the class for the African Folklore Embroidery. It seems that Africa has quite a lot of bright and vibrant colors in their art forms! I got to the class (not too many people, so it should go well, good learning that way, more intimate setting). Got my kit, pretty cool, so far so good. My kit has the hand died threads (are they called threads for embroidery? I will have to refresh my memory by looking back at the kit). Really cool colors come with the kit, and it includes the pre printed picture on pure black serged edge cotton fabric. The use of the black fabric is so the colors that you use will really POP in contrast to the black. My fabric art is one that has a couple of big sunflower type flowers on it and a couple of vines and leaves. Pretty simple compared to some of them. I had originally picked out a couple of others, but when the instructor ordered them, she was told those were no longer available, so I just picked at random over the phone. But, there is room on this piece to add other stuff if I want to. The whole object of this art is to learn about the African Nation and history while also creating an art piece that has bits and pieces of the culture. The fabrics have various pictures of the African animals and the native tribe cultures (or rather the art form of the cultural people and dress, but kind of simplified....if that makes sense). The rules are that there really aren't any rules, you mostly start out with chain stitch, and you can add some french knots and some running or outline stitches and after that, you just get creative and make it all your own. You don't have to follow any actual colors, such as the yellows of a lion, you can make them any color you want, in fact the more color you use the better it looks! You can add beads, fabrics, embellishments, whatever you want. I am having fun working on mine and have some great ideas of what I want to add to it and then when it is finished I will either sew it onto a jeans jacket that I have or make it into a purse. AND there is a Quilt show coming up in the next few months in Long Beach and the Lady that started this African Folklore Embroidery is having a contest for those that finish their project and want to enter it into the contest. She also displays the works of art so that other people can be encouraged to look into it at well. She donates some of the profits to a group in Africa that helps Aids kids and she also helps out some of the people in Africa by buying their products for her kits, she gets all of the hand died threads from a Company in Africa. Ok, I have retrieved my book on the topic so I can be more specific. The women who teaches this is Leora Raikin. She was born and raised in Africa and now lives and works in the United States after coming to live here when her husband was hired for a job in this Country. The organization she helps out is called "Kidspositive. The Kidspositive Family Fund is dedicated to improving the health of HIV-positive children in Southern Africa. To find out more about that org. check out the website: www.kidzpositive.org Also the people that hand die the threads that are in the kits are at this web site: www.aflembroidery.com and to check out the African Folklore Embroidery check out this web site: www.aflembroidery.com I will post a picture when I am done with this one (or maybe through the process of working on it....that's an idea!) Anyway, to late to take pics tonight, it is time for bed.

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