My friend, Deb is a special woman. We're "sisters" in many ways I think. She has a gypsy spirit, loves horses and art, has gone through some tough, tough times and doesn't seem to falter, just plows right through. We both share things in common too; a love of mountains, skiing, being outdoors, animals, a good haircut, and of course horses. This woman just has SPIRIT! So you see, it doesn't matter that I haven't actually been around here in a long time, we're together in spirit.
So my project for her, is a soft sculpture wall hanging of her horse Leo. I've been working on it in between my other stuff, picking it up, working a little, going back, stitching some more, getting new ideas, and just building on them bit by bit. I'm finished now.
Leo is a gorgeous Gypsy Vanner horse. They are amazing! Feathers on their feet, long flowing manes and forelocks. Hers is white and black, and large like a draft. Here's a pic of one to give you an idea of their beauty!
Deb admires and encourages me in my art and has been a long time supporter of my creativity since my first By Way of Salem Facebook post I think, and I truly appreciate that. She's wanted me to make her something, and so I did, but it's a surprise. Shhhh! I'll be mailing Leo off on Monday. I can't wait till she gets it!
Deb moved from Washington state to Colorado, then to California, and now lives in Oregon. Gotta love a gypsy girl! Last year, she broke her back while riding Leo. It wasn't his fault, just one of those freak accidents. She's recuperating and no doubt will ride again. See, the girl's got spirit!!
Ok, the project:
I drew out a pattern for my quirky character on paper and traced it out on pre-washed, unbleached muslin.
Once he was cut out and ready for stitching, I had to think about what I wanted to do; make him a scary, Halloween-ish type horse like my Monster dolls, or just make him fun. I went for fun this time.
|I always keep a good stash of buttons|
|Lots of messy fun!|
|Deb and Leo|
One thing Deb always had was beautiful, bling-y tack and I wanted to incorporate that on this Leo as well. For his "bridle", I added turquoise glass beads of different sizes, and "silver conchos" were silver spacer beads. I stitched a brass cross (cause we all need blessings!), and bling to the headstall as well.
On his body, I added stamped ink words onto layers of fabric and hand stitched them on, then frayed muslin around his feet for his "feathers". Finally, I stitched a couple of loops on the backside for hanging. Or not. She could put him on her bed as a decorative pillow too.
I really hope this captures the spirit of Leo, and it makes her smile!