Saturday, December 20, 2008

Popping in!

No pictures to share. Seems I have a lot of framing to do. And then a lot of picture taking to do and oh well just a lot of stitchin to do too. I finished a hand embroidered tree this week and another piece I call Swaying which both have to be framed. I started another hand, I'm thinking of downloading it every couple of days in progress so let me know if you think that's a good idea. I made some little twigs and berry hearts in frames for my neighborhood friends, I made Dancin for my friend Carol in peaceful blue colors, and I am contemplating a piece for my friend Emily. She likes dragonflies but I want to make it special so I'm contemplating how to follow through.

The weather here has been frightful not delightful so I've been busy stitchin and reading and all those fun inside things we love to do all year round but seem much less guilty about when the weather is frightful.

Getting ready for Christmas. I still haven't sent out my Christmas cards but I did write them. Hope all of you have a fabulous Christmas and I'll be back soon with pictures I promise.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Lucinda on a Norman Rockwell Day

You were introduced to Stella a few months ago so I thought I'd introduce you to Lucinda who is now residing at the Katbird Shop. Lucinda is sort of an homage to my grandmother Lucy. I couldn't bear to call her Lucy because then it would have been to painful to part with her so her name is Lucinda. She doesn't really look anything like my grandma Lucy anyway. When I make a face that looks enough like her to deserve the name Lucy she will be mine.

I'm thinking about grandma Lucy a lot today. It's a Norman Rockwell postcard of icicled trees sparkling in the sunshine. But alas icicles look so much prettier on a Christmas card or in a painting. I'm sort of lucky that I have my electricity so I'll just conclude the Norman Rockwell comparison with a hope that all of my friends that are scattered about in the upstate NY community I live in have their power turned back on as quickly as possible and that the retail shops will be able to reopen quickly. Not a great time at Christmas to be without your power. Although as a needleworker it makes it easy to pass the time.

Lucy the grandma was a wonderful woman. Italian and strong and spunky and just one of the greatest most generous ladies. A wonderful cook with a wonderful heart, the kind of grandma that everybody should be lucky to have. I think of her now because before she passed on I spent all of my holidays with her and as a contemplate another holiday with my boys(truly the only substitute for an old fashioned Italian Christmas with a huge family) I think of her wistfully and I miss her. I miss everything about Christmas the way it used to be. But now I love my Christmas's in front of the fireplace with my hubby and my son. Quiet and simple and with all the favorites I dare recreate from the past.

Lucinda the piece is a hand embroidered face which I love to do. Her face is a little slimmer then Stella but she had a bit of attitude about her(as did Lucy). She has one ear bigger then the other which I didn't notice until she was matted. I hope you enjoy looking at her as much as I enjoyed making her.

Merry Christmas to you and all your families along with the thought that most of us are melancholy and nostalgic about our childhood christmases and that hopefully our own children will be melancholy and nostalgic about theirs. God bless.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Dress/Inspire Me Thursday

Two posts in one day. I decided to comment on the dress prompt because of the irony. Myself an artist who makes pretty lovely purses which I hope people will wear with their lovely dresses despises the dress. Never liked them even as a child. I can name my favorite dresses on one hand(well maybe more then one hand we'll see).

I liked my communion dress. It was a lovely lace like dress which was a mini which was the style when I made my communion. There is a picture of me somewhere in it standing with my brother who has a big gap in the middle of his bangs as he decided to cut his hair because he was jealous of my hair cut. Probably the cuteness of him is why I look at the picture and remember that dress.

Then there was the red dress I wore on my first date ever. A Christmas dance with a boy on the cross country team named Mike(I think it was his first date also as he let me out of the car across the street in the snow). It was a red clinging dress with spaghetti straps and a cute little jacket thing over it. Was very flattering.

My prom dress. Sorry I kind of hated that one. It was a granny style dress with a lace yoke and worn in a different color by a girl named Barbara. Not exactly a date to remember or a dress to remember but it's a pretty fun story if I say so myself.

My blue georgette wrap around chiffon dress. I loved this dress. I still have it with dreams of putting it on again(not gonna happen). I wore it to two weddings one a family member and one a friend. It was a lovely dress which made me feel beautiful. I had a perm for my friends wedding and I think that is one of the prettiestpictures I have of myself(and I hate pictures almost as much as dresses)

My friend Liz's bridesmaid dress. It was pink and had a chiffon top and I thought it was the nicest bridesmaid dress I have ever seen.

And last but not least my wedding dress. It was beautiful. A full chiffon bottom with ruffles and off the shoulder ruffly sleeves. I wanted a more sedate dress but my Italian Aunt made me try on the dress. She was right it was a lovely dress and it complimented my curves. They also picked out a pouffy thing for my head. To be truthful I would have preferred a veil but I'm a good foot or more shorter then my husband so I guess they were right about the over the top pouffy dress. It was the fussiest dress I've ever worn and probably ever will wear but it was lovely.

That is my saga of the dress and although I didn't quite come in under the one hand I hope you enjoyed reading my dress saga and had a good laugh. I certainly had one recounting the stories behind the dress.

The Passion Part Two

This is the Passion. I finished it last week and it is now hanging in the Katbird Shop in downtown Schenectady. The Passion came to me on the way home from the Katbird Shop and it was only right that it grace their walls(and hopefully someone's home). I am always inspired by the works of others. When I go to the Katbird Shop I am inspired by the wonderful owner of such a beautiful shop with such beautiful things and the lovely way Kathy runs her business. She is such a pleasure to work with. A woman who is following her dream. She gives me hope that someone will find beauty in the way in which I follow my dream.

Passion. What does it mean to me? My family. I am passionate about my husband and my son. Peace. I am passionate about finding peace in the world. Life is never perfect but the ability to lose myself in a hand embroidery project is a gift from God. Color, I love the contrast of colors in a sublte manner or not so subtle. Hand embroidery. As I mentioned earlier the ability to lose one self and find their soul in such a concrete and wonderful way is truly a gift from god. I love the subtle nuances of the colors I use in my hand embroidery, the randomness of the errant thread that I can put in just the right place. The ability to make something very bright or very dull subtle with just one placement of a two strand piece of embroidery thread. The texture of yarn, color, and meditation of the knit purses I make. The remembrance of an earlier time when I pick up a ball of bedspread cotton and a steel crochet needle. I truly have a passion for the needlearts and needlecrafts and everything in between. Even if you are not a needleworker at the moment pick up a video or take some classes and see if needlework is in your future as it is a wonderful meditative visible way of dealing with life and it's hardships.

Well that is the story of The Passion, where you can find it to see it in real life, and how my passion for needlework affects my soul. Blessings to you and yours and I hope you find your passion.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Stitch

Stitches are so many things. We use stitches to mend things. We use stitches to keep us in laughter. We use stitches to make our soul sing. We use the stitch, the simple solitary stitch for so many things.

A stitch in time saves nine. I don't know about the other 8 but my love of the stitch has certainly saved me. There is a lot going on in my non stitching life and most of it isn't worth sharing or perhaps I just don't want to but most of the time just a little time with my embroidery and knitting does the trick.

I'm still in the midst of figuring out how my tangled little thread of a life will turn out now that my son is almost gone and my services as a stay at home mom are not quite needed as urgently as they used to be. My starving artist persona is keeping me starving and the rest of my life is falling apart at the seams through no fault of my own(ok maybe I bear an iota of the responsibility for the stuff that pertains to me personally). The road is a little dark and usually just a bit of very green embroidery thread brings peace to the valley but it doesn't seem to be working for this one. Someone I care about deeply is very ill and there is nothing I can do to help them through this one so I turn to computer games and puzzles and try to embroider since the stitch is the one thing that saves me. But being an artist so connected to my work every piece of green thread and new age music brings tears because the other shoe has dropped again. This time with a very hard clunk. Please say a prayer and think of the stitches that bind all of us humans together. It seems life is a journey of peaks and valleys and we really don't appreciate those peaks until we are way deep in the valley. Hug the people you love, try to understand them the best you can and keep on stitching.