Sharing: A New Commissioned Stole Is Complete!

We recently completed a stole for a seminarian preparing for Ordination. She sought a piece that would reflect where she lived and served in Peurto Rico.It was fun to start with her own sketch and photos. When I work on a stole like this it makes me appreciate the many years as a young woman that I studied watercolor painting. As a general rule when you use watercolors you start with what is furthest in the background and work your way forward. This is because once the paint is down it can't be removed and it is not easily gone over. The commissioned stoles that we do that are like "story stoles" with a lot of appliqued pieces need to be figured out in this logical type of sequencing. It's a bit of a puzzle in the beginning but with careful planning it comes together nicely. Interesting how one opportunity from your past prepares you for the future! We've just completed the sketch for another story stole. You'll hear more about that this summer. #PCUSA #GA222 (spoiler alert :))

*Note 1-we love learning new things (especially about plants and food) and were pleased to be introduced to the seagrapes that are the large leaf plant with the interesting, clustered fruit. 

*Note 2-we had special permission to use the PCUSA seal, this one time

How We Got the Idea For This Stole

Do you ever look at Carrot Top Studio stoles and think "what were they thinking?" Our newest Ordinary Time design has a little back story. So it goes that my husband has just concluded his fiftieth year of life. At the beginning of this year I suggested we celebrate in small ways along the way and then conclude with a trip to a destination of his choice (that fit in my budget-of course:)). 

So one thing led to another and we found ourselves in AZ for a long weekend. I loved the drama of Sedona and the red rocks and Gary could hardly speak when first viewing the magnificence of the Grand Canyon. We departed this wonderful time of hiking and exploring a variety of creation that we'd not ever seen before simply in awe of how the earth was formed and how it has then transformed over time. 

Consequently I started envisioning creation images to place on a stole.When I think of creation I often turn to the beautiful words the Psalmists have handed down to us. Landing upon Psalm 95:1-6 my thoughts started to come together for how I would wield the scissors on the cloth and make the sewing machine work its magic. We think the result would be lovely for a Thanksgiving Eve worship service if you are one of our American clients. But it is a good buy because it's also fitting for the entirety of Ordinary Time. This stole is available in several lengths and is on the website here.

"O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker."

Preparing for Advent

We're preparing for Advent. Are you? For us that means assessing our Carrot Top Studio clergy stole stock for what might be missing. It also means searching for inspiration for new ideas. The light bulb recently went off when we read about a shibori dying technique that we thought would translate well to an Advent stole.  Shibori is the Japanese art of shaped resist dyeing. The fabric is compressed by using wrapping, stitching or folding techniques that create a resist when dyeing the fabric; this is, the "resist" creates areas where the dye is not adsorbed into the fabric. The result is soft patterns that made us think of the stages of preparation we move through during the time prior to Christmas.

The technique we used required us to wrap fabric around a PVC pipe and then push it together to compress it. This creates the resist that forms the patterns and textured lines in the fabric.

Here is the resulting piece of yardage. Watch the website or our Facebook page for the stoles created from this beautiful cloth.

Do you have dreams of an Advent stole that isn't currently part of our collection? Tell us about it and we'll see if it fits into our repertoire.