Whispering White

cuello bordado
In the What-If Diaries, we have started with white. Thinking about white…its associations, its significances, its definitions. Words started to multiply in the forums: snow, angels, virgins, brides, sunlight, linen, home, moon, stars…

I wrote down some of the things that I think of when I think about white, and found it rather telling that, for me, anyway, white is not such a light or gentle thing. Could not relate to snow or anything frozen or cold. Thought of things like angels or glowing brides with a vague distaste. Realized that, in the tropical Philippines, white (fabric, anyway) was completely unnatural. White was introduced from somewhere else. Our own fabrics were earthy and strong-colored. It was the Spanish, coming along in the 1400s and colonizing, then Christianizing us, and turning the islands into a trading and military outpost  for their empire, who insisted on white clothing and white linens, who…

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über embroiderers: Kimika Hara

I’m trying to keep up a sort of regular ‘feature’ on über embroiderers on The Smallest Forest: These are the big kids, the crème de la crème, the leet of needle and thread…that runts like me long to play with, but will never even exist in the same universe with. *stabs herself with a #24 chenille* Oh, crewel world!

✂ – – – ✂ – – – ✂ – – – ✂


Japanese artist Kimika Hara’s work is an embroiderer’s eye-candy x a hundred. She uses simple stitches and raw-edged appliqué of commercial fabrics, but her color palette and the cute subjects she depicts blow her pieces out of the water of ordinary embroidery and into über gorgeousness.

What can I say? That I’m jealous of her? That, one again, an über embroiderer has left me feeling hopelessly redundant? That I’m torn between feeling so inspired by these embroideries, and…

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