Ebba & Kalle, a picture portrait for Christmas

An old friend approached me about making a portrait of her husbands great grandparents for Christmas,

She showed me this picture and told me the story of how they met, him a young cobbler doing his journeyman years & her a young girl grown up as an orphan under a lot of secrecy. How they courted & fell in love, him ending up sqaundering her nest egg on gambling and booze at first. She put her foot down and said you either stop or lose me forever. So he stopped and they married, ended up having lots of kids & happiness in Örebro & in their old age travelling far and wide, to places like Gothenburg, Copenhagen, Lübeck.


Here they are in my office window, all dressed up in their best clothes, coats, hats & all.

So I started with the colours, I wanted to keep it solemn & elegant, incorporating old silk scraps & patterns, using my own dyed yarns & regular sewing silks, and yet make it in my own way, with big stitches, modern shapes etc. I knew she wanted a hard frame, so I was free to use styles that are difficult unless the fabric is streched, like patchwork & loose surface stitching.


I made a whole series with “Work in Progress” pictures, for Instagram, look up @UmamaMars & see the piece growing, from being a few patches & stitches to becoming done & then the two day job it is to sew it onto a wood frame! Silly as this may sound, one of the reasons I made a tutorial like that is to show the difference between a proffesional job & something one snaps it onto a flexiframe, to somehow defend the high cost by showing picture by picture the amount of time and effort that is put into it.

Also, some of you might think it would be fun to see the other side of the work- not the creative bit, but the technical bit.

(There must be more people like me out there!)


All done! The materials in the picture are all silk. Printed, dyed, woven, torn, sewn. The frame is pitch black raw silk. The frame is pine wood & the inner layers are cotton.


A few details & greetings to you on the new year!