Handmade Needlepoint Boxes: Lace Lichen and Moss Treasure

Lichen continues to intrigue me, particularly our California state lichen, Lace lichen (Ramalina menziesii), so I knew it would be part of a needlepoint eventually. I love seeing it draped from trees at the foggy coast, but how to capture its beauty? We recently watched a 2021 film, The Dig, on Netflix; it was beautifully filmed on the Suffolk coast of England (Roger Deakin country), but one particular image stays with me. As the excavators unearth various treasures, one of them goes to the forest to dig up patches of mossy soil and bring them back. The mossy patches are cut into squares, fitted into wooden boxes, and become the soft lining for each treasure. The rusted pieces, the shined pieces, the various metals against the lush green moss is spectacular.

For my needlepoint box, Lace Lichen (As If), I reversed the look, thinking about the lichen as the treasure, held dear like a jewel against what might be black velvet, in this case, deep rich black sashiko thread. The green threads and side areas are hand-dyed. I resisted the temptation to add a spark of red or any other color, preferring to focus on the lines. The outside has black book cloth lid and base with a shimmering light green book cloth lip. The inside lids are covered with a dark sage green velvet, from the same dye as the lichen lines. [SOLD]

Still intrigued by the moss boxes holding treasure, I kept exploring. Which brings us to the next box, Moss Treasure. Metallic embroidery threads sit atop both hand-dyed and sashiko needlepoint. More hand-dyed soft green velvet inside. This one has my hand-dyed cotton Brazil Nut brown wrapping it with a bark brown book cloth lip. (More on how to work with unbacked cotton to cover boards will be in a future post.)

Needlepoint boxes available at nevermindtheart.

A complete reference list at neverbook.com.