Friday, July 31, 2009

A Tree

This is a hand embroidered tree that I made last fall and only framed this week. I worked on a few new pieces which are also in this bunch of photos but the tree spoke to me. So hence I decided to share it tonight. I love trees. I love to look at them with or without leaves and they speak to me. They tell me how I can look at 10 of them standing next to each other and notice the uniqueness of all of them. When I embroider trees I try to remember that. Trees are very strong but can be easily broken under the right conditions. They get sick, they bear fruit, they give us shelter and when they are broken they can be chopped up and give us warmth or even a house. They also give us paper. Today as I was getting into my car I looked at a tree near my driveway with a scar where a branch had been taken off either in the ice storm this winter or because it was damaged. The scar looked like a scab and made the tree look like a human or at least signified it was a living being. Sometimes when it is very quiet I can hear an owl who must live in the trees by my home although to this day I have never seen the owl only listened to it. It is amazing how trees nurture our souls and other living things.

I spent a lot of this week framing old pieces unframed and lining my closet purses. Those pieces were made at a different place and time that although quite unique were not quite ready to be shared with the world. I think I am ready to share them and go for the dream I had a few years ago to make one of a kind pieces. To show my uniqueness like the trees do. So stay tuned there is more work to come both new and old and ready to bud and bear leaves! Keep stitching.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Something New

Hi All! Hope you are all well and happy! This is one of the new crochet bags I've been making and the most experimental. I am still enjoying crocheting and knitting and I'm getting all these wonderful ideas from friends and the universe alike. I'm also still working on my jeweltone circle hand from a few posts ago.

I've made a decision to go for it. To try to express myself through my work and focus on things I love to do. Instead of playing spider solitaire for hours(which became my form of escape over the past few months)I'm crocheting, knitting or embroidering. Kind of decided if I can't make it as a business doing what I love and making work that I love that I might as well do it as a hobby and get a real job. I've kind of given myself to the end of the year(or even a little longer) to make it or break it. In the fall I'm going to try Etsy and also if you read my blog and want to purchase something just email me and I'll give you the specifics.

I've moved a few of my blog friends who haven't posted in a while. I still check them when I post to my blog and will move them back up as soon as they return to inspire me again. I am so inspired by all of the blogs on that I have links for. At times I look forward to reading them more then I look forward to writing on my own blog. I'm working on an artist statement and a mission statement. Going to get back to the Julia Cameron book now that things have calmed down on the homefront. The book about perserverance. She is such an inspirational writer and artist and she makes me look at the discipline of art and not just the act of it. For a few years I wrote morning pages every day but along with many of the good disciplines in my life I kind of let it lapse. Perhaps I will share my progress on the Artist's Way on my blog so I will be more diligent in following it.

Oh well, thanks and to Judy from Counting Backwards I would love, love, love to do a craft show with you. It would be loads of fun!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Just Words Again

I have pieces to take pictures of I just haven't taken them yet so stay tuned. The craft show saga continues with no tears and a little more optimism but still not my day. I had a lot of lookers and a few people took cards and asked about prices and there were less people today then there were last week(a lot less). So although still haven't validated my life path, I had a great creative time knitting and crocheting all week. I made a couple of cute bags. I'm loving working with texture and color and chaos my favorite trio. My friend Cheryl did pretty well today, she makes the most beautiful glass work which in my opinion is the perfect gift for anyone as it is lovely and funky and delicate and well just lovely. She's also got this craft show thing and marketing her work thing down pat. I was hoping she would rub off on me but as of now all she does is inspire me greatly and give me hope that you can do something you love and make it profitable.

I whittled my wares down to a bin and a half and my work looks better with room to look and I highlighted my framed pieces and knit and crochet bags(which I may have mentioned used to be my favorite thing in the world until I got bit by the hand embroidery bug). And lots of people looked, maybe they were a bit too pricey for them to buy but they looked which is something. I'm having wonderfully creative ideas for my next bag and Cheryl said I should look into wall hangings too. All I know is I'm having fun and still working on my jewel colored hand on watercolored fabric too. I love to do them too!

I'm in flux and working hard so apologies for not being very blogative lately. I love to blog so will try to be more creative so I don't have too many more just words blogs. Thanks to all my bloggy friends and I hope things are fabulous and prosperous for you. Some of my favorite blogs are on vacation or hiatus so hopefully soon we will all have more inspiration and blogginess. Blessings to all!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Another show, another weekend

Another show another weekend filled with tears. Ok the writing is on the wall, whatever I end up doing no more tears. I didn't get too many knit and crochet purses done but I enjoyed making them immensely so that is my starting point. I also worked on another hand embroidered hand(beautiful jewel tones on watercolored muslin) I enjoyed that immensely too. So the going gets tough the tough get going. More knitting, more framed pieces, more crochet. I have all the hand embroidered table fill I could possibly want to get me through the current craft season so I now have nothing to lose and no more things to make just to make money(which isn't working). I've wanted to experiment and spread my wings for a while but kept on doing the well whatever you get the point. You've never seen my run of the mill work because I don't even share it on my blog. Something I don't want to share on my blog is something I don't want to make anymore.

Now to get off the pity party and share my thoughts on the current state of my business. I am the NY Mets of artisans. Lot's of potential crippled by too many injuries so 8 games out of first place. They mean well and keep their fans and their coach and their GM but just hanging on by their fingernails. And yet there are glimpses of greatness in there, like Johan Santana. So it's time for me to trade some dead wood(and yes I wish the Mets would too but they are all injured so for now we are stuck) and try something new. At least if I don't sell my hand embroidered framed pieces and lovely crocheted and knitted hand bags I can use them myself. There are only so many hand embroidered eye glass cases a girl can have(and I have enough for Christmas presents too). So I'm going for broke. There has to be a reason I still have at least 6 craft show outings for the rest of the summer(and a half a season for my beloved Metskis). It must be a sign because I could not give up now even if I wanted to so I'll make do with what I can make, hope that some of my new players or old favorites live up to their potential and shoot for the bleachers(of course in home run territory and not outside the foul posts).

So I guess you can tell I've finally had enough if I'm comparing myself to the Mets. I hope you at least found this pity party entertaining. And heres hoping that we don't have the last two Met seasons in reverse, they all come back from being hurt get on a real roll and then come up one or two games short. But what the heck I'm feeling optimistic, even though the road is dark I see good things for both me and the Mets(and hopefully by the time their season is totally shot to hell my craft shows will be doing better). Blessings to all of you. Especially Johan Santana who is the one shining light in a rather dismal baseball season.

PS be glad I used the Mets analogy instead of the weather(which has been atrocious).

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Rolling Along on those Circles

This is the finished piece Zoom, Zoom, Zoom or Floating Turtles framed and now in residence at Katbird Shop in Schenectady along with Flamethrower both on watercolored fabric as of today. Now for the continuation of my previous two posts(one should never write on a blog after a particularly bad outing). My life is changing so much almost in every minute between my son and my self and my work, sometimes when the process is completely chaotic the artist is chaotic also. Thankfully I still have both ears!

I've been crocheting and totally enjoying the process and the product and how ideas are just flying into my brain. I had breakfast with my friend Emily who is the best friend I think I've ever had in my life. She just let me go on and on and on about my show and the encounter with the lady there. She gave me wonderful advice and a wonderful ear to listen(as have my bloggy friends) and asked me why this woman's comment had such an affect on me. After a really long conversation I realized that somewhere or someone along the way made me lose my love for knitting and crocheting and I wasn't brave enough to just let it blow off my shoulders and continue. So now I am going to incorporate some knitting and crocheting into my repetoire and continue to embroider too. Since I have enough little hand embroidered products to get me through my craft shows for the year I'm going to continue to work on framed pieces and make some beautiful knit and crochet bags and scarves and whatever the universe gives me for inspiration.

I am rather embarassed and thankful that I spilled my guts in my previous two posts as I learned a lot about friendship and advice and process and product. I am really enjoying swinging around my crochet needle and working with the most wonderful wool/silk mix yarn. Fabulous. Pictures to come and I'm still working on my circles hand when waiting in traffic or at the doctor's office or anywhere else I'm tempted to become impatient. A win, win! Thanks for reading and for your advice and I love what I do too much to just give up again.

Soooooo, if you are in the neighborhood of Schenectady please stop in to the Katbird Shop and see the lovely Kathy and her cats and a variety of beautiful artistry by many different artists(including myself). Blessings and thank you. Keep stitchin.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Circles Continued

All my lifes a circle sunrise and sundown. Sung by the wonderful Harry Chapin who I had the honor of seeing in person when I was a teen at a community college. I loved him and bought a few of his albums and oddly enough settled in Huntington Long Island where he was buried. He died on a July 16th in an auto accident the same day I returned from the one week I tried to sell ads for bookcovers about an hour away from where I now live. That trip changed my entire life as the beauty of the area which I now live in was probably seen from a beautiful hairpin turn while during that one week in my crazy job experience thing(I had dozens of jobs before I had my delightful son and retired to stay at home mom).

So what does this have to do with now you are thinking? I can't really kid myself and pretend that I am going to be this great hand embroidery artist. Of course I'll still hand embroider and try to sell them but reality says I have to change course as I can't really even make a part time living trying to sell my embroidery work. And I have a bunch of commitments I can't forget so out come the crochet hooks and knitting needles and I have to change direction again. I guess I'm on the hairpin curve of the craft show circuit. I love to knit and crochet but lately my entire focus has been hand embroidering. So away goes the embroidery needle and out comes a different kind of needle.

Needless to say the craft show was a bust, while everyone else could complain about the economy or the lack of traffic or whatever kept them from making the 100s of sales they make to my one or two I had to face that this is not my path at the moment. Around the time I began to realize this for myself I guess God decided to send me an angel who said(and I kid you not) you need new product girl. She then asked me if I ever sell any of these things and that the latest rage is those 1000 dollar machines that make everyone an embroiderer. I think she had a point. Later she came over and looked at the one knit bag I still have that isn't in a shop somewhere and she told me why aren't you making these? Good question, the answer is I think I am an "artist" but that's not what I told her. I told her I don't know. Actually I do know but my insecurities got me on this one too. I'm afraid to change
especially when I think I'm doing something that is my "calling" but I'm being called to change again . With an angel who's opinion I didn't ask for to boot. So I'll share my new wares and probably a few embroidery projects down the road a bit. Thanks for reading. All my lifes a circle sunrise and sundown. So there it goes!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Circular Hand

Hi All! I'm in the midst of a 2 day craft show at the Albany Shaker Museum(stop in if in the neighborhood) and it is wonderful to be around friends. It is my favorite craft show in the world because I know so many wonderful people from the craft shows and volunteering during the holiday season. Unfortunately it isn't going very well on the business side of the blackboard. Lately I'm wondering if I am on the wrong life path. I love to hand embroider, I still love, love, love doing framed pieces such as hands, trees, flowers(since I have a black thumb in the real garden)but whatever I am selling people aren't buying. It seems to be a common trend among all of us artist/crafters that business is down but it still can be a bit of a letdown. But then again what else could be on the horizon? The job market is slim to none. I can't possibly work any harder then I have been(lots of small projects) so back to the hand.

I love to embroider hands, because as in the case of fingerprints every single hand is different. Different colors, different themes, and a wonderful peaceful feeling when the embroidery needle is in my hand making a hand. Perhaps that alone is my fascination with the hand, because at the moment my hands are my most treasured important part of my body.

I am reading yet another sell your crafts book and I wrote myself this excellent mission statement. Really excellent, I said my mission is to make things that speak for me or to me. I think my hands do both, but my brain gets lost in translation. Because whether I am making a hand or a cross or a flower I can get so lost in my work and feel so at peace but when I have to talk with my mouth or god forbid try to sell it I'm not able to(which is highly ironic because as long as something isn't attached to me I'm a damn good salesperson). It's a theme I guess for those who read my blog on a regular basis. I am always the crazy lady at the craft show with the foot in her mouth. But whatever.

I guess what I'm really looking for is some answers in my brain that tell me that my heart can relax about. That I'm on the right life path because the making is so darn blissful(and that is rule #1 in the sell your crafts book) and that the selling really isn't the point(although my husband would probably beg to differ). Blessings to you if you read all the way through. Any advice would be appreciated.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Eyes Have It!

Hi All! I know it's been a while but life is still a little hectic over here. This is my latest piece. It's a hand embroidered eye hand surrounded by french knots. I have a new camera and I just love how it picks up the details of the embroidery. You can actually see the variations in colors(at least on my end anyway). I'm so happy that I have a new camera and that it takes better photos then the old one. It's kind of appropriate too that the first picture of my work with my new camera is an eye.

Whenever I think of eyes I think that they are a window of the world. When I was a little girl I once went to my grandmother's church and some lovely old woman said she could see the whole world in my eyes. I never quite forgot it. It's true you know , people can pretend to be happy or they can pretend to be mad but in the end the eyes always give it away. You can tell a sad person if they have sad eyes no matter how big the smile on their face. It's also hard to lie without your eyes giving you away. I need my eyes so much to do my embroidery and oddly enough I can see better while embroidering without my coke bottle bifocles then I can with them on.

I'm gonna stop now because I've been happily embroidering away for the Albany Shaker Craft Fair next weekend. Please stop by and say hi if you are in the neighborhood and I'll be back asap. Blessings to you and yours!