Thursday, June 28, 2007

Tai Chi

It's been a hectic few days and only seems to be getting more hectic, so I'm here to sing the praises of Tai Chi. It was the only peaceful hour I've had in days. I've had some pretty wonderful reasons for being busy, my 20th wedding anniversary was yesterday and my inlaws are coming up to visit this weekend but it's been hectic anyway.

I go to Tai Chi every Thursday and it is the best hour of my week usually. I have been going for a year and am amazed at the difference it has made in my life and my work. It allows me to go to a silent flowing place and find peace there. I'm not very good at the actual Tai Chi form, although getting better every week but the warmup and cooldown breathing exercises are wonderful. It has also unblocked a lot of blockages that have held me back in my life. The amazing part is you don't really even notice that it's happening. It's lowered my blood pressure, made my breathing better, helped me control my weight, and helped me to meditate and relax during some of my most stressful moments.

The difference its made in my work is rather subtle. But in looking back it has opened up my heart and my mind to a new way of working and thinking. When I am knitting or crocheting or embroidering it has become a meditative experience and because of the subtle changes in my body when I am at peace doing tai chi I can notice them during my work too. I don't really have anything left to add, except that if you take on this wonderful exercise it will change lots of things in your life besides your weight too. The eastern way of doing things seem to be much more beneficial to the mind and body then the western, although I think of it as a compliment and not really giving up on the Western way. If there is a lesson in your park go for it, try it and keep trying it and see if it works for you in the same way. Keep stitching and deep cleansing breathing.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Charlotte


No pictures of my work, my digital camera is packed to the gills and I've been too busy to go get them developed, but soon I will have brand new ones to share with you. So I decided to let you see my beautiful dog Charlotte. This is kind of an old picture so now she looks like a Charley, but still very pretty. She's a West Highland terrier who has been man's(and woman's) best friend for 8 years now.

Workwise I've been making some crochet belts as it's a direction I've wanted to go in for a while so I'm seizing the moment. When I get some space on my camera I'll take some pictures. They are quite lovely. Life is pretty wonderful at the moment. Nice and busy. Family is doing well, dog is doing well, coop is doing well. All is right with the world at the moment. I'll be back tomorrow, enjoy my beautiful dog and the hopefully beautiful weather whereever you are. Keep stitchin.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Another purse



This purse is one of my closet purses. One of the purses I made that I threw in my closet unlined and unfinished because I wasn't sure anybody else would like them. As you can see it is now lined in this beautiful green satin and finished. It says a lot about me and my vision of myself. I have wanted to make beautiful purses and beautiful clothing for years but somehow I kept on making pillows and chackis because that is what sold. I would make beautiful things and either put them in my closet unfinished or sell them. I never would keep any of my creations for myself. I would literally sell other people my wares to give as gifts and not give them to anyone myself. That changed a few years ago but I realize that it says an awful lot about me. It means I was not a risk taker, that inside me is this wacky off center artist and I wanted people to think I was this subdued boring ordinary person never assuming too much responsibility or assuming to jump out of this box I put myself in. I lived a lot of my life being a fly on the wall hiding my uniqueness and talents. A lot of my life. I also spent a lot of my life hoping to blend into the wood work and have people like me. That really is not a way to live your life. It takes a certain boldness and courage to be who you are. To line your purses and move on with your life. I guess what I am trying to say is be yourself, even if that person doesn't match and throws purses which come from their soul into their closet. Be unafraid, step out of the closet and sometimes you get lucky and life turns out to be what you wanted it to be or even better. The only hard part is letting people know you've been a fake without having them think you are crazy. I will have to let you know how that works out because I'm still jumping out of the closet. Sometimes I feel like I have a leg and sometimes a foot, but I'm getting there. Keep stitchin.

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Coop

I worked in the coop today and had a wonderful time there. It is a beautiful place filled with beautiful work that makes me go a little beyond myself when I work there. Sometimes I wish I could be there every day it is so conducive to creativity. I am a fan of the Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. My days at the coop are my artist's dates. I know all the artists and I'm familiar with their work being there once a week but every single week I find a little something mesmerizing and different about something. Today it was a beautiful mosaic mirror made by our lovely mosaic artist Tess. She joined the coop in the beginning of March and she is very talented. Her mirror is just extraordinary. Beyond the pieces of glass there was a lovely pattern behind it. I must ask her how she did it but maybe it is better to have the wonder of it. I think the wonder of how artists do the work they do is something I wish to give to others. I used to wish to give them something they would buy but now I have a want to make them wonder how I created something too.

I have been crocheting, embroidering and knitting since I was a very little girl but somehow it never really dawned on me to try to be anything other then ordinary until I joined the coop of course. I work on Friday mornings and the Friday gods were not very good to me in the beginning. It was either raining or snowing or freezing and there were not a lot of people out and about and I had a lot of time to think and create and ponder. I would look at my purses which other's always thought were very nice and think that someone could pick one up and figure out how I did it. Since we moved into our new location I think I'm going for works of art and wonder. Something extraordinary that people look at and wonder how I did it. Something that looks inspired by something bigger then myself. That is what I think of in the coop. That everyone's work is inspired by something bigger then themselves. I am thrilled to be in the company of such talented artists and they inspire me every Friday too.

If you are from the Capital Region in New York or you would like to know more about the artist coop, you can just click on the link and find out more about the Strolling Village Artisans in Ballston Spa.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Silence

I am a talker, always have been but the last few days I've been very silent not very talkative. I think it is a convergence of different issues settling in my soul. The questions which I've shared with you already about my work, my insistence at not commenting on the politics which I am afraid I am not really succeeding at and a general lack of peace in my outer and inner world the last few days. That explains the lack of witty and interesting repartee. I guess I have been trying to cut off pieces of myself that somehow I don't think fit with my idea of a soulful peace. I started a purse last night which I already don't like. Maybe tomorrow I can deal with it and make it likeable but for now I don't want to look at it. Then there is the tee shirt I have been embroidering for the last week on and very off. I like the colors but I have been denying myself the time and the peace to finish it. It is also a pattern I use quite often and feel like I'm cheating on it. It's not fresh and new it's an old standard design which I like to make. I guess since I am making a tee shirt for myself I will just allow myself to do it in a boring but lovely pattern that I like. Perhaps when I stop typing.

My politics. They don't really belong on a peaceful blog about my work. I am in the middle of a feeling that no matter how much I talk about it and how many facts I have to back myself up I am hitting my head against the wall. I have detested Bush since before he got elected the first time. I am a good judge of character and frankly I could see his was lacking when he ran against McCain in the Republican primary. I never understood his presidency except for one brief moment after 9/11 when he decided to invade Afganistan. I am a New Yorker who used to live on Long Island and vengeance sounded like a good idea. It wasn't and all that came after it has just made our country a bigger target and a lot less friendly place. He is a dolt and he is our president but to this day I cannot understand how one man with so little talent can get away with changing our country and the world in such a huge way. I wonder often about how our world would have been different had destiny and fate not stepped in. I guess I am writing about my politics because once again the unbelievable amount of death and destruction that has been wrought because of a truly bad idea is somehow ruining my peacefulness with messy little details about dead soldiers and their children and their wives and their parents and everyone who loves them. My dad was a vet. He brought me up to be very patriotic, but somehow I believed that something that is so important to my being was not what I wanted to project on my peaceful blog. I can't stay silent about this war even if I try and believe me I do try. I've had a lot of losses in my life, I know how that one feels. I lost my brother when I was 6 and have lived with loss and death pretty much regularly ever since. When I think of the soldiers and dead Iraqis I think of all of those children whose whole lives will be changed because of some crazy idea some nut who shouldn't have power and a bunch of his nutty friends has dreamt up. These children will live with the horror of this war and the grief of losing a parent for the rest of their lives . What will that do to the littlest generation. They will also be paying the debts of a war that hopefully will be over before they start paying those taxes. Now I guess you can figure out why I wanted to be silent about my politics. I'm a little too outspoken about them.

Finally there is my own little outside world, lately I have started to notice just what an impact having loss early in your life leaves. It makes you a different person and gives you a mask. One that you wear every day with a big wide smile on it all the while closing yourself off so that people will not feel sorry for you. But all of us has something that people should feel sorry for us for. And we all wear big masks to cover that fact up. Just recently I decided to take the mask off and except for my insistence not to talk politics on this blog I've been getting better at letting people see some of my layers underneath the mask. I realize that you have to trust people sooner or later and hope that somehow they understand you a bit better. The people who want to understand will and those who don't wont, but I've decided to post my truth and well here I have.

Now in closing this not so silent post I really don't want you to feel sorry for me. I have many gifts that I would not be able to appreciate without the pain. I have a smile that makes other people comfortable and I never go out of my way to make another person feel bad. I have the knowledge that everything is not important except the people you love. I'm persistent, and I move on very quickly. Although that was not always the way my life has been greatly enriched since it has. And most of all I've had my love of needlework to bring me back to my center. It's been my close companion during all the hard times and it's helping me to unpeal my layers. I have a wonderful life now and I never forget it and never take it for granted. In closing if your thing is stitching then go be happy and stitch and if your thing is politics go be happy and b**** whatever your thing is go and do it because life is too short and one should try to live it happily.

I don't know if I'll share my opinions on politics anymore but since they are a part of who I am I thought I'd share. And one last thing, if there is a baseball fan up there in heaven somewhere, please end the Met's losing streak because watching a Met game at the moment is only mildly more entertaining then watching a Bush news conference. keep stitchin.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Dragonfly Purse



Hello All. I thought I would share another picture with you all. I picked the dragonfly purse. I've been a little busy working on a custom purse with bunnies on one side and a turtle on the other. I have finished the bunnies and am beading my turtle. No pictures yet but I will take one and share it with you when I have finished it. I like to do custom work because people usually pick a subject that I wouldn't have picked myself. That is actually how I came up with my dragonfly. I had always wanted to do a dragonfly but it took a customer to order it in the coop for me to finally make one. Now they are one of my favorite things to do.

I know this post was a little boring but I've been working so hard I have nothing interesting to say. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better posting day! Keep stitchin.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

At a Crossroads

I think I must have mentioned that I belong to an artist coop and have discovered an artist in my body that I didn't know was there. Some days she competes with the crafter I used to be whose designs are all my own but boring and complacent. Today there was a clash of the titans. My work in the last 6 months has changed completely, I can't do ordinary very well, my previous work although lovely is kind of ordinary to be honest. So we have these beautiful unique one of a kind creations mixed in with the run of the mill ordinary designs of my past. As I had a modicum of success in the old version I tried to straddle the horse and not give up the ordinary. I guess I am still taking those darn baby steps. Today was sort of the end of the ordinary craft show and the ordinary work. I don't know what I am going to do with all the accumulated hours of my work and whether I should find space in my new direction anywhere for them. I'm thinking of taking a scissor to them and giving them a facelift and a tummy tuck and a bootie fixture. I may have to hide the scissors while I mull that one over.

But what do we do when we no longer wish to be ordinary. We no longer want to be passed by by chubby ladies in polyester. They will never buy the unordinary but since I had my standards and never did anything they would be interested in anyway they always seemed to pass me by. No toilet paper cozies for me(although I probably would be a millionaire if I had done them). I was sort of the pillow queen. Find a inspirational saying or a lovely primitive heart with twigs and berries and I was your girl. But I don't want to make lovely primitive hearts with hundreds of french knots anymore and sell them for $20.00 because that is what the ladie who does not make them detailed does(unless of course somebody wants one). I want to spread my wings and leap. Almost every artist person I met today told me to take the leap, to not bring the things that no longer define who I am but I am still nervous about the business I have already built up. What have you done when faced with this question and any advice you can give me will be very appreciated?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Topsy Turvy No more



Well this is the photo of fav's little sister. She was made with black velvet, gold material some vibrant red oriental material with gold embroidery floss and some beautiful tiger eye beads. I still think the red purse is my favorite but I like this one too.

Topsy turvy no more sort of explains me on a Thursday. Thursday is my tai chi day. I have been taking Tai Chi since about this time last year. It is my once a week total relaxation hour. I'm not very good at Tai Chi but we do centering and breathing exercises before and after which really energizes me and brings me peace at the same time. I used to worry very much about being a little bit clutzy and absent minded and not remembering all the steps. But after a year of taking tai chi, I realize that I don't have to be perfect, in fact it would be amazing if I was. Every week a little bit more comes to me and I seem to do much better without the words and just the energy flow. It has also taught me a lot about myself and it has helped my art. It has opened me up to my soul and a lot of my work now comes from that place in the soul. It has also opened me up to the realization that everything is not always as it seems on the exterior and has made my sensitive nature even more sensitive. I find it truly amazing that it can be so beneficial even without the knowledge of knowing what your are doing. If there is a free class in your area, take it a couple of times and you will be amazed at what a difference it makes in your life.

I hope you enjoyed the picture of fav's little sister topsy turvy no more and my opinion of tai chi. Keep stitchin.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Fav's Little Sister

I said in my comment that I was going to share a picture of fav's little sister. Unfortunately she's a little sideways at the moment and since it's practically the middle of the night I can't ask my techno minded son how to turn her, so I guess you'll have to wait till tomorrow. She's living elsewhere too but I enjoyed making her and maybe some day both owners will be at a fancy party and the purses will get to meet each other. Silly thought I suppose but my purses really do have a life of their own. Everything I create has a life of it's own. Some day I'm going to have a dream that they are talking to me. Probably not but it is late and I'm thinking of dreaming. Adios pals.

Butterfly Garden



I've always wanted a butterfly garden, but I have a black thumb. So I made a purse. Butterfly's are such beautiful creatures and they bring a smile to everyone's face. That is the response I like the most to my work, that smile or a compliment. I love to hear people talk about their families and how their grandmothers used to knit or sew or crochet. It's a lost art. I never miss an opportunity to spur a young admirer to pick up some needles herself. It doesn't matter whether it is a crochet needle, a pair of knitting needles or just a simple embroidery needle. It doesn't matter if they wish to make a business with it or just make a scarf for a loved one. The beauty of needlecrafting is that it is almost as much fun to make as it is to give it to someone you love. It's also a very peaceful art(unless you find a mistake a bunch of rows back and you have to pull it all back). I have to go to the more mundane tasks of my day such as vacuuming my pool so my husband doesn't have a stroke and ruin my nearly peaceful day. Keep stitchin.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Pictures




Well hopefully this works out and I can get back to my beading.

Stormy

It is stormy at the moment as is my soul. I have been trying all day to download some pictures from my camera to my computer to share with you and it hasn't been going very well. Much rather create art then share it via the computer. But I gave it a try and although it took much too much time out of my purse beading I've got some pictures for you. Hope you like them.

Funny how little nuisances can change a restful day. Not just my life but everyone's life. Moving along in a flow take a short break to do something mundane and there goes two hours of your life and a modicum of your peace. I hope this stormy day finds you in a more tranquil creative mood.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Legacy of the stitch

Sometimes when we are children we don't realize the wonderful gifts people give us that don't really cost a lot of money. My legacy is one of them. When I was a kid it was the tale of two grandma's, my mom's mom was very generous. She always gave me the greatest gifts, pretty much whatever I wanted and then when I was older money. What kid doesn't love money? My other grandmother taught me needlecrafts. I sat by her side and learned how to knit and crochet and hand embroider. Every Christmas we would get doll's from one grandma and embroidered pillowcases from the other one. From a kid's perspective you can see which one won out most of the time. I kind of took those pillowcases for granted and chucked them to be honest. But while other kids were riding bikes and playing tag I was knitting something anything or crocheting an afghan that never seemed to get finished, or embroidering pillowcases. Whenever i got that money from one grandmother I would spend it on yarn or embroidery floss or patterns whatever I could find to feed my stitchery fix. I remember walking home from junior high with a couple of dollars left over and buying a new skein of yarn in a different color to add to my never-ending multicolor afghan at the little five and ten store on my route. Still even though it was the focus of my life I still didn't quite give my grandmother the gratitude she deserved. It was so much easier to be with the other grandmother and I really loved her gifts.

It took a long time to realize just what an important gift she gave me. Happened right around the time I moved from afghans and pillowcases to my little cottage industry. She gave me the gift of the stitch. She gave me my life and I didn't even realize it. So I guess what I'm trying to say is pay attention to all the little things your family teaches you, it may just be the most important gift you ever recieve. It might be your legacy of the stitch. My grandmother's been gone quite a while but she gave me a gift I will love forever. Thanks Grandma!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Out into the wide blue open

Another leap. It feels like all I do is leap lately. I joined a artist's coop, I changed my focus and now I'm trying the blogosphere. Look out below. I get these wonderful newsletter's once a week in my email from Alyson Stanfield. She has some great ideas and she planted the seed of blogging in my fertile mind several months back, but I didn't follow up(so what else is new). I guess maybe my time wasn't right, still had some things to figure out about me(isn't it always about me) before i could be comfortable with the fiber artist moniker. nevertheless a successful fiber artist. But now I'm ready. Lucky for you if you are reading this blog. Hopefully lucky for me if you are reading this blog.

I guess in life success doesn't come to us until we are ready for it. Until we get rid of all the bull that everybody else tells us and start listening to our own heart and our own dreams. Till we rid ourselves of habits that keep us stuck where we are(with my all out addiction to politics, which except for my one vote and my big mouth I can't do much about). Till we get past that teacher in the first grade who told us we couldn't draw. And then we have the wonderful opportunities we've let slip by. Once got an order for a thread sweater, kind of blew it off and years later realized the woman who ordered it worked in the garment industry. Some times we just have to get out of our way.

Now is my time. So the reason for this rambling post is I am trying to get my blog noticed on Technorati, only time will tell if this is gonna work. But experience tells me that even if one thing doesn't work out, it just wasn't right for you.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

My Favorte Purse

My favorite purse now resides in some one elses house, as does its black velvet and gold satin sister. It was my first foray into evening purses. It was a beautiful handembroidered and hand beaded patchwork purse. I loved making it and I recently got an update from the lady who bought it and it is quite the attention getter and she still loves it too. I love to make purses. Frilly funny little purses, knit purses, freeform thread purses and embroidered purses. They seem to be the be all and end all for me. Don't know if I mentioned but I make needlecrafted accessories for the heart, home and body. I think my pieces speak to the heart of the buyer and speak to me while I'm creating them. The home is pillows, not my favorite accessorie but it has always been my biggest seller. And well then comes the purses. I'm venturing into thread crochet scarves. I love to work with crochet cotton. It's up there with hand embroidery. But like I said yesterday nothing quite thrills me and calms me down to my center faster then hand embroidery. Oh well. Just a musing. And a chance to share my work. See you soon.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

My work

I've come to figure out lately that it is my work that describes me best. Simple but complicated. As a fiber artist I love the details. Whether it is crocheting a christening dress or embroidering an ornament, I just love the little details. I think that pretty much describes my life too. I think sometimes we look at things and say wow that is beautiful but what is really behind the beauty. When it comes to my work there are many things behind the beauty. I know I don't create my art on my own. They come from another place, especially when they are complicated and detailed.

I have found out recently about myself that detailed fine work is what brings me down to earth. I'm a pretty high energy person and very affected by the energy of others. Once I get on a roll nothing can stop me, but a beautiful thread piece of art or a simple peace pillow with hundreds of little french knots can bring me peace in the middle of my chaos. I love what I do, it defines me. If I am working I am calm, which in this country as it is right now is a blessing.

My work although i didn't always call it that, has been my friend when my mother died, when I needed to be quiet when I was a little girl, my saving grace. Along with my husband, my son and my dog it is one of the few constants in my life. It has kept me sane in times of great sorrow and at peace when I'd rather be rabblerousing. Well I think I've shared enough about what my work means to me. I'll share some more when I finish with my current projects.

I may have mentioned I recently joined an artist coop and am still in the process of fine tuning my work and appreciating it for it's beauty and for all the work and peace and love that goes into it. See you soon.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Great day

I am having a great day today. I went out to breakfast with my best friend Emily. she is a very creative soul too and we have a marvelous time. I'm working on a thread crochet scarf which I can't wait to finish, the sun is shining at the moment. Although it was thundering with hail. Very boring I suppose but great in it's own way. Hope all of you are well. I'm still trying to figure out how to add pictures. See you soon!

Monday, June 4, 2007

A new beginning

I'm brand new at this blog thing. I'm kind of computer illiterate but I have a lot to say. I'm a fiber artist and I belong to an artist's coop. I had a hard time excepting the artist moniker but now I can say I am an artist. Now it's the fiber that has me tied in knots. I hand embroider, crochet & knit accessories for the ladies. I guess I'd do them for the menfolk too but right now have no takers except my husband who has a nifty grey scarf and my son who has a nifty blue one. I also do framed work.

I'm not quite sure how to download the pictures so when I figure that out I'll let you know. Probably would have been better in the horse and buggy days but what the heck. I love what I do so I'm trying to make my way through the bold new world of blogging and being an artist. Being a working artist that is.

My main reason for being here is I am a political junkie and that takes me away from my art. Very far away. So maybe if I have a place to talk about what I love I will give those I converse about that which I don't love with a break. Well I've told you enough for a new beginning. See you soon if you!