Nov 15, 2014

I was exceedingly busy during the months of September and October creating a piece of textile art for a contest hosted by Talenthouse. The object of the contest was to create a one-of-a-kind, show-stopping shawl for Stevie Nicks. As a long time Stevie fan, I had to pull out all of the stops and create something very special! After putting in 18 hours of work a day for over 30 days straight, I literally worked my fingers to the bone. After all of those hours of feverish work, it took most of the month of November to clean and organize my work area again. I am now rested enough to get back on a regular schedule. It was one of those pieces that drain all of the creativity out of you for a long while.

Stevie Nicks themed shawl "Anthology"

To spite all of my toilings, Stevie did not pick my entry and I did not win the contest. While I was disappointed that she will never wear my shawl, it wasn’t a completely unexpected loss. My art is more for display and less for wearing and with that in mind, I wasn’t too sad over the loss. People ended up loving my work and I was super excited to see that Talenthouse not only followed my Instagram and liked my Facebook page (which they didn’t do for any of the other entrants), they also featured my art on their Facebook page (with over 450,000 followers) and their Instagram (also something they didn’t do for any other entrants, other than the winner). Their post about my entry received over 1,200 likes and the individual images tallied over 500 likes in addition to those. While I know that wouldn’t mean much to some more widely followed bloggers/artists, I’ve been out of the game for a while, so it was especially thrilling for me to get so much unsolicited support from strangers! I was surprised that it received three times the number of likes and shares as their featured post of the two winner’s shawls. That definitely compensated for not winning and I feel like even though they won the money, I ended up getting far more exposure of my work than the winner did.

Talenthouse featured me on their Facebook!

I titled my shawl “Anthology”. I chose the name due to it being comprised of visual impressions and interpretations of lyrics taken from my favorite Stevie Nicks songs and videos, as well as notable points throughout her career. The embellishment includes a variety of techniques such as embroidery, beading, 3D fabric manipulation, painting, stumpwork, applique and the illusions that various textures can create. The art on the shawl is 100% hand stitched and all of the materials utilized in the construction of this artwork consist of either vintage or recycled items, excluding the base, which was purchased new. Some of the materials employed include velvets, silks, leather, lace, taffeta, cashmere, organza, sequins, shell and beads in wood, gold plate, clay, dichroic glass, Swarovski crystal and tiger’s eye.

The full view of the finished shawl

Below is an abbreviated “tour” across the shawl with detailed photos and a short note explaining the connection between each element in the piece and the song that it references.

first section of shawl

A landslide and the “snow covered hills” – Landslide. Confederate soldier – Scarlet version of the Stand Back video, here with a heart – “First he took my heart then he ran” – Stand Back.


second panel of the shawl

“Take your silver spoon and dig your grave”. – Gold Dust Woman. “Like a willow, I can bend” – Stand Back. “Let the crisis become a bridge and cross that bridge tomorrow” – Juliet.


closeup detail of horse scene

Lady on rearing white horse – the Scarlet version of Stand Back (when Stevie thought the horse was going to kill her).


third section of the shawl

“Castles of Candy” (chocolate in this case) – Sometimes It’s A B*tch. On the castle is a “guardian angel” – Ghosts. “Pale shadow of a dragon” – Gold Dust Woman. Also, the figure on the horse is “Watching her castles fall down” – Ooh My Love. It is hard to see, but there is a gold thread stitched above the castle, “Like a strand in the wind” – Edge of Seventeen.


fourth shawl section

“Rainbow’s edge” – Seven Wonders. The rainbow is also part of the scene representing “A Charles Dickens character, with your top hat and your scarf when you pull me through the rainbow” – Street Angel.


detail of stevieshawl

“You can fly swingin’ from your trapeze” – Bella Donna. “So about the moon and her sisters” (sister stars not pictured) – Nightmare.


part of fifth section of shawl

Fabric Stevie with billowing black chiffon and top hat – For What its Worth video. THE Tambourine of course! Misty Day (note the frog) – American Horror Story Coven appearance. Misty Day’s hair features a braid made of gold – Gold & Braid. Circle pattern in the grass is “She dances around in a circle” – I Can’t Wait. Beads surrounding the figures is for “Well there is magic all around you, if I do say so myself” – Rooms On Fire.


part of fifth shawl section

The tree is made of leather and 17 yards of vintage lace trim – Leather & Lace. “Some lace and paper flowers” – Gypsy. The caravan is a representation of Gypsy as well. Owl (in the tree) – Moonlight video. Bead belladonna flowers – Bella Donna. “Black Widow” – Gold Dust Woman. Gold Spiderweb for “A strand of golden hair tangled, like the words of a song, like a spider’s web” – Everybody Loves You. Cat under the caravan is for “She is like a cat in the dark” – Rhiannon. Candle in the caravan is for “You’re my candlebright in the window” – Candlebright.


sixth section of shawl

“Well, love is like a river… running… straight back to the sea” – Love Is Like A River. “There is a gate… And it has a garden” (gate a.ctually opens) – Gate & Garden. “So to the red rose grows the passion” (on the porch) – Gate & Garden. “Yeah, and I’ve got a garden and it’s got roses dangling down to the ground” – Rose Garden. “I had looked everywhere, but the only lamp left on in the house, was a blue light” – Blue Lamp/Heavy Metal ost. “Standing… in the doorway watching out to sea” (when the gate is open) – How Still My Love. Of course the house & little girls (right-hand balcony) with the bowl of floating petals – Crystal video/Practical Magic ost. The petals turn into a flock of “white-winged doves” (not pictured) – Edge of Seventeen.


final section of the shawl

White wing dove – Edge of Seventeen, carrying the heart is for “Maybe my love could fly over the ocean, maybe my heart should try to leave him alone” – Too Far From Texas. “And there are ships passing in the night” – Docklands. “Drowning in the sea of love” – Sara. “Can I sail through the changing ocean tides” – Landslide. “But the sea changes colors, but the sea does not change” (sequins) – Edge of Seventeen. “Ocean crashing” – Silver Springs.

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