spruce street

And now for the reveal! Presenting Spruce Street home portrait... A portrait of a home and a memory. This house was a sweet childhood home... and now it's time to move on, while preserving the memory of a joy-filled home and a wonderful place to grow up.
I had great ephemera to work with, from hand dyed vintage linens, to upholstery fabric and birch bark! I agonized about how to include that birch bark without destroying it. I think I have succeeded. A book page with a tree was perfect for representing a magnolia and a multitude of trees surrounding the house. Vintage linen took to hand-stitching beautifully to become the azalea filled front yard. Plastic mesh made the most perfect grass and the final step was the suggestion of the red maple tree ready to bud. A maple tree with a wonderful long history that started with a young girl and a seedling...

A bit of a surprise from me was the inclusion of mom and dad in the portrait...
Spruce Street © Natalya Aikens
I am honored to have been a part of preserving such lovely memory. Thank you.


I have one more major step to go before I finish the Spruce Street home portrait. And since I have not been very good with updates, I thought that I'd share a few close ups now before the final reveal.
so happy to have played with vintage hand dyed linen in the flower garden
tree printed in a book transforms into tree in portrait
I do so love birches!
some stitched rocks on the chimney
more azaleas from vintage hankie
I think I will be ready for the final reveal by the end of this week. If you'd like to be first to see it, sign up for my newsletter as that's where it will be seen first. Thanks for following the home portrait updates!

a tiny update

I have started hand stitching on Spruce street, the latest home portrait. This is going to be a long long process. First because hand stitching just takes a long time, and second because I have chosen to do some very specific stitches to cover the entire surface of a certain area and well..... I never seem to accomplish as many as I thought I would in any given time frame. So just please bear with me....

Here are a few close ups of a few things I have done..
the front door has been marked
see those x's on the roof?
I intend to cover the whole roof with those x's....
So you see what I have gotten myself into?? I'll be back after a few 1000 x's...... ooommmmm........


I had a plan for the next few steps of the Spruce street home portrait. And plans usually...well....they sure do love change...

First I tried different fabrics in many different layouts. Here's one that I sort of stuck with.
the only thing definite in this layout was the mustard fabric for the house
tracing paper overlay to see how it would look
Then I decided that I need to thread sketch the house first and then play with the background fabrics.
here's option number one, and I committed to the tree here
tried playing with lace
switched grass and sky again
I think that I am committed to my layout now. Especially since I added the dark green plastic netting to the grass. How could I resist using it???
final layout for now... only the house and the grass are set in stone. or are they?
cool view eh?
If I am brave enough, I will start adding some hand stitching today and decide on the strength of my commitment.

spruce street

A new beginning. For a new home portrait. I am honored to be working on this new commission which will attempt to preserve a memory of a childhood home...
as usual I am in love with the ephemera put into my possession
brocade and burlap make me happy
a page from a book and old photos
hand dyed linens? what a treat!
lovely daisies and sturdy upholstery fabric
and birch bark!! yes birch bark! I'm so excited to stitch it!
shall I use the image with the flagpole just like the old photo?
or the one with the lamp post?
what about the glorious red maple?
or the lovely rock wall in the garden?
I have many many decisions ahead of me. Right now I'm fondling the fabrics, petting the birch bark and staring at photos. Something will start jumping out at me soon. Stay tuned!