I am still getting caught back up from my classes at Colonial Williamsburg, but was really, really looking forward to stitching on my casket panels alllllll day Sunday. Of coarse, as usual lately, that didn't happen. A neighbor asked if I wanted some porcupines he had recently dispatched, and hello....yes I wanted them! I do not believe in waste of any sort. We are a hunting family, and hunt for our food, only for food, but I don't just dress out the meat of an elk, antelope, deer or whatever....and then throw away the rest. That's not how I was raised, and not how I raise my children. We have utmost respect for an animal who has given their life for us, and try an use as much as we can, the hair, the hide, antlers if there are any, and bones....what is left gets put out on our property for the forrest animals to have. The same goes for found animals....and yes, I have been known to stop and get different things off the road. Such is life. Anyways, I ended up spending the entire day Sunday stripping guard hair and quills from porcupines. I took the opportunity to show the girls how to do it, and yes, we said a little prayer of thanks to the Great Spirit for all he has provided us and the porcupines' sacrifice. The guard hairs, shown below, are used for making Native American headdresses~
I may end up using some in my stitching, but will probably save these for trading at Indian Market down in Santa Fe
So many quills, and fine tiny ones like I like to use. I am planning a large project on birch bark with moose hair and quills that these will be used on. I love to use natural things in my embroidery~ which is right in line with 17th c embroiderers. They used what they could find, what they had on hand, especially for stumpwork, or raised work. Thin kid skin vellum was cut into strips and covered with silk to make the loupes seen in cartouche borders, all sorts of feather products were used~ the 'fluffy' parts to embroider or couch onto the surface (peacock hurl was a common one), the quills were stripped, scraped and cut down to make all sorts of shapes to pad up embroidery....natural pearls, gemstones, and shells, were all stitched to the surface. Wood, bone and ivory were carved and used for faces and hands. I have some teensie weensie quills, as in less than 1/2" total length, I am planning to use for a special little critter on my silk casket.
I have been trying to work on the castle a little each day...sometimes maybe on 5 or 10 minutes...but it all adds up and I am now up to the roof, which currently, I am making the shingles for
Here are 3 pin'd on~ roof will be shades of lilac purple, with the traditional blue door as seen on the majority of 17th c castles in raised work. I have a seperate little blue door ready to go on for a little added dimension. I am using some of my turkey Mr.Giving's quills for the conical tower roofs...they should look pretty cool if they come out like I am hoping.