Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Just checking in!

I've been in a little bit of a funk the last few days. Perhaps it's the 90 degree weather or the sore throat and fatigue, but I've been basically uninspired the last few days. My son finally selected his college. He is going to University at Albany(thank God) and I'm thrilled to pieces about that and he has a lovely new girlfriend and I'm happy about that but the idea that in less then 60 days my son will graduate from high school has put me in a mini slump. Not very creative, not very motivated just here. I was tempted not to post on my blog but decided to share my gloominess instead.

I hope my bloggy friends have much to be inspired by at their links. I've added some new ones as of late and I'm going to read all of my links and hope they somehow inspire me to get back to work and start finishing projects so I can take some pictures. Hopefully you will find something on their blogs to inspire you too. Blessings to all of you and I hope I'll see you sooner rather then later.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Push/Inspire Me Thursday

This is an essay no pictures for Inspire Me Thursday. Today I am pushing myself to blog as I woke up early this morning, went to a car dealer, found a beautiful car and am amazed that it is sitting in my garage tonight.(It's a lovely royal blue Accord, it's beautiful).

Push, when I think of the word so many things come to mind. How I push myself to work(which brings me great joy a little guilt that I sometimes do have to push myself) that I can be pushy on occassion. That I don't like to pushed around. Lots of things most of them negative so I think I'll stop dwelling on push or pushing myself to come up with something positive to say about it.

I did Tai Chi for a while, I really have to get back to it. One lesson I learned very easily was that you can push somebody and knock them off balance with very little effort. Just a slight movement of the legs putting your weight in the right one can do it. Once I was getting groceries out of the back of my CRV with my hubby standing nearby and he said something snarky so I gave him a little push with the weight on one of my legs. Not a lot just a little and certainly not my intention but it was amazing how off balance that one little push made him. Kind of remarkable how much power we have without knowing it. How easy it is to push someone off balance without meaning to. It's an important lesson in life too.

I think whenever we are not doing what we are meant to do it in a place of peace and tranquility it is easy to be pushy or to have to push ourselves to remind us what is really important. Embroidering in a place of peace brings me the tranquility and assurance that pushing isn't necessary. That with the least amount of effort and putting the weight of the world in the right place I can find my balance.

Not sure this blog post makes any sense(I am remarkably wiped out by my change of fortune this evening) but it is what Push pushed out of me. Hopefully next week will be a nicer topic and I won't have to push myself to say something about it! Keep stitching.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

No pictures and a little blogging

Ok so I've been so busy embroidering that I don't have any pictures to show you. I finished the outside of the hand bag but can't seem to settle on a lining so it may be a while. I embroidered another cross, a small one but it is not framed yet so perhaps tomorrow. I finished a little turtle that took entirely to long to end up on an eyeglass case so it's in waiting. I sketched a few small pieces waiting to be inspired by a big piece. Got inspired to do a water goddess and then hated the preprinted fabric I intended on using so watercolored a new piece which isn't dry yet. I've been having a ball just being caught up in embroidery and the creative process. But no pictures. If you want beautiful pictures to look at any one of my bloggy friends blogs will do the trick.

Ok so now more about the interviews with Lynda and Sybil. I hope you enjoyed them and learned more about them and their work and their processes. It was wonderful hearing the answers to the questions one always asks an artist about their work. What inspires them, where their art comes from, and how it makes them feel.

Finding out how people feel and think is something I think is so important in life, even when you have to figure out how you yourself feel and what makes you tick. Sometimes the answers come gloriously easy and sometimes they are more complicated. Both this fabulous ladies answered those questions with the ease and complications readily available to the reader. I so enjoyed reading the questions and the answers. Also a call out again to my bloggy friends. Whenever I read their blogs I find questions and answers and inspirations. I'm big on being interested in something before I immerse myself in it. I find all of their blogs so interesting and inspirational and informative. It's a window into the world and into my own heart and thought processes. I think there is so much that unites all of us into one big universe but when we have appearances and voices and other such things we sometimes don't really listen to the words. Words and work from the heart are what makes the blog interesting. Since I've been blogging I try to listen to people in person so much more carefully to. Try to cut away the outside that doesn't really matter and figure out what is inside.

Oh well, too deep tonight. Blessings to all. Keep stitching.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Little Blogging, A Lot of Embroidery



Today in my email I found my weekly newsletter from ArtBiz and the fabulous Alyson Stanfield (http://www.artbizblog.com) about having a fire in your belly for your work and your blog. Lately I have been immersing myself in embroidery, inspiration, blogging and promoting my work(actually the promoting my work is the hardest part and a big part of Alyson's blog for this week).

Embroidery wise I finished the front of the hand bag and will show you the finished project asap. I've been making lots of sketches and can't wait to start my next project. I'm trying to get a little looser with the sketches and trying to change things up enough for a change but not so much that I lose my style. Trying to incorporate different stitches and colors and contrasts. I've been embroidering a lot(I reward myself with embroidery every time I do something domestic win/win situation).

Inspiration and blogging sort of go hand in hand. I love to visit the blogs of other artists and read about their process and their artistry. Bonnie Samuels had a lovely blog the other day which highlighted three wonderfully artistic fiber artists. So exciting. And my wonderful blog friends on the side of my blog also inspire me and maybe light a match under my behind to get to work and get myself out there. They also inspire me spiritually, nurture my love of beauty and give me much needed support when I need it. Whenever I really need just a wee bit of support I come to my blog and find it in the comments of others. It's great really, especially if you are a solitary artist(which most artists are). I've also been reading inspirational and spiritual books and watching Ovation TV and movies. The other day I watched the Graduate(which I saw when I was 10 years old at the drive in with my parents with Carnal Knowledge of all things, my mom thought it was Cardinal Knowledge, love that story) and was taken by how artistically beautiful the Graduate is. The camera angles the music. Fascinating. I'd watched it again a few years ago but didn't appreciate it's artistic beauty.

And promoting my work well I've been doing that too and have a few things going on but not anything definite yet so we'll move on. I realize the idea that I have to be more enthusiastic about promoting my work which is the hardest part of what I do. I'm a people person, always have been, always will be. I once worked for a lady who told me I could sell ice to a snowman, but for some reason when it comes to my work I fumble my words, I break out in a cold sweat and either say too much about my work or too little about my work. I'm trying to work on that as a spiritual practice because my work isn't really about me but my relationship with the universe but it isn't as easy to say that to someone in person as it is to put it out there on my blog. So there it is.

I think I have the fire in my belly. Do you? If not read the blog mentioned in the first sentence and sign up for Alyson's newsletter. Happy Stitching.

I was going to start a completely new blog entry on this and I will expand on it tomorrow(I love to have a ready made topic) but both Sybil from Painter of Blue and Lynda Lehman from Peripheral Visions have lovely inspirational interviews on Abbey of the Arts(Sybil) and Creativity Portal(lynda). So inspiring and wonderful please read them.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Stella


Stella
Originally uploaded by DebraAnn813
Hi All! I am really bushed tonight as we went on an accepted student open house and tour a of UAlbany this morning. I loved, loved, loved the campus(I've made my mind up if my son can just make up his) and it was just so exciting. So I'm sharing Stella for a second(or maybe third time). I didn't realize it at the time but the colorfulness of Stella's face in contrast with Lucinda's is amazing. She no longer belongs to me and I hope she is happily residing elsewhere but I still love her as I so enjoyed embroidering her(enough to hand embroider Lucinda). So enjoy my bloggy friend's blogs and I will get back to you and all of my lovely friend's blogs tomorrow!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Good Friends



When it comes to good friends I am a very lucky woman. Yesterday I went out to lunch with my friend Cheryl. We went to the local brew pub and had a fabulous salad and a fabulous beer. Her daughter and her really nice boyfriend also came and we just had a wonderful time. My friend Cheryl is a glass artist who I found for the coop I belonged to. The coop is long gone and better off forgotten but my friendship with Cheryl is everything the coop was supposed to be. She is so supportive of my work, she lights a match under my overly cautious and overly procrastinating nature and she is a wonderful friend who accepts me just as I am.

I've spoken before about my friend Emily who is a wonderful quilter who makes quilts and donates them(most of the quilts she makes I might add) and is the closest thing I probably will ever have to a sister. She listens to my problems, laughs when I tell jokes and supports me in my quest to be an artist every time we are together.

My friend Debbie from Long Island who I really have to return her call is a wonderful gal. When she's unhappy she cleans and doesn't eat and lets just suffice it to say I don't clean and eat all the time when I'm unhappy. We lost touch for a short while when I moved upstate but now we are in touch again and I can appreciate how much we are alike and how differently we deal with it all!

My friends Sandy, Wendy 1 and Wendy 2 are fabulous neighborhood friends, we go out for dinner and drink to our hearts content and laugh, laugh, laugh. No subject is too tragic to not get a giggle out of us somewhere.

And then there are my wonderful blogging friends, who seem to get the point I'm making even if I do take the long road home explaining it. I've gotten so much positivity from all of you in not so wonderful moments that get me back to embroidering and back to writing on my blog and just putting myself out there for the world to see.

I'm reading Inspiration by Wayne Dyer and when you are feeling a little less then wonderful(we are looking for a new car and I am about up to my eyeballs in aggravation from the differing car shopping styles of myself and my hubby) You are supposed to list what makes you happy and feel inspired. That is where my friends come in of all shapes and styles. They make me feel happy and inspired at the same time.

Now about the piece, this is the back of the Hand Bag. I've been embroidering a lot because it destresses me so hopefully the bag will be done before you know it. Blessings to everyone. Keep stitching.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Green/Inspire Me Thursday



This week's topic is green on Inspire Me Thursday. Since green is my favorite color I wanted to participate and chose my green dragonflies mini quilt(or my vague interpretation of a mini quilt anyway). Green always reminds me of new beginnings and I have to be honest when I read the topic I immediately saw Kermit singing it's not easy being green.

I like to use green in my work. On my blog you will see many green pieces, green trees, green hands, green turtles, green crosses, green knit bags. Everytime I want to renew myself or bring myself peace with my work I make something green. When I was young my brother died and for my entire life my mother wore black and I somehow followed suit(although that was probably an issue with my weight more then my grief). But when I moved to this wonderful place in upstate NY which probably is the personification of green I started finding myself and renewing myself in green, with green. When I used to make cross stitch pillows for weddings if I didn't know the color of the bridal party I would make them green because of new beginnings. Green is a neutral color which serves the same purpose as black only much brighter and lighter. I still haven't bought myself a lovely green pantsuit(is there such a thing as a lovely green pantsuit anyway) but I do like to put little glimmers of green and color in my wardrobe.

So the next time you see the beautiful green growth of grass or the green buds on a tree, or a green project that I am working on think renewal and transformation. Green comes along and takes the ugly brown ground and makes it a lovely shade of green. It's a new beginning. A rebirth. And as Kermit would say it's not easy being green but it makes life a lot more wonderful with the green there is in the world.

Keep stitching.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Front of Hand



I finished the front part of my "hand" purse. Was unsure about how to finish(or whether to just leave it alone) but opted for the whimsy. The hand is surrounded by french knots, spirals and lazy daisies. I haven't started the back yet but have some ideas brewing.

Well today is tax day or tea bag day depending on your point of view. The tea bags are safely in my cupboard where they resided during the last 8 years. If the last 8 years didn't make me dump my tea into the river nothing will! I don't really drink tea either but I do use it to dye my muslin at times. Much better use of the tea bag. My taxes were done a few weeks ago so it wasn't really tax day for me either.

I am reading Wayne Dyer's book about Inspiration. I love his books also. I bought this book(instead of taking it out of the library) over a year ago and only found it while looking for something else. I thought of it as kismet that it popped out of my bookcase just when I was looking for an uplifting book. My favorite Dyer book is still Manifest Your Destiny but I am really enjoying this book on Inspiration too.

Oh well, struggling to think of words to write today so I will bid you a Happy Stitching and go read your blogs which I am thinking will be much more interesting then this one which even I admit was a bit boring.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hand Bag Continued



Hi All! This is the continuation of my hand bag. Thank goodness for embroidery as I am busy, busy, busy doing all kinds of mundane tasks regarding real life. At least I've been able to relax for a short time with my wonderful needles and thread.

My beloved Mets lost their home opener in the beautiful Citifield. Trying not to get too bummed out, it's only the first week of the season. Watched a wonderful special about Marty Brodeur's passing of Patrick Roy and being the best goalie in hockey(he is you know). And watched about photographers and photography on Ovation. That is my favorite television station at the moment. So awe inspiring(and interesting to boot).

Everything else is about the same. Hope you are all happy and peaceful. Keep stitching(hopefully by tomorrow I will have something more interesting to share).

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to one and all! I have no photos of my work in progress to share today and no words really either. I'm pretty exhausted from my trip down to Huntington Long Island(that's for Lynda). I had an excellent time visiting my inlaws and my husband's aunt and uncle and I had a fabulous talk with my aunt, my mother's sister. A time to reflect and enjoy people instead of embroidery for a change.

We traveled down the Taconic, as beautiful a roadway if there ever was one. The trees were not green nor even close to budding and many of them were damaged from the harsh winter weather but still a beautiful inspirational sight. My son was quiet, my dog was even quieter and the music on the radio was great for a change, hardly any clinkers. No traffic anywhere as my husband's family decided to celebrate on Saturday instead of Sunday. So no traffic down and no traffic up on an Easter sunday(wonderfully peaceful day to travel on the road if you can get away with it).

The mountains always inspire me. Since the first time I made the trip as an adult 8 years ago the mountains have called to me. They've inspired me and made me feel my closeness to god and I was inspired to sketch a few crosses for smaller pieces and some other symbols of peace and spirals. I realized while speaking to my aunt that I have really found myself since I moved up here, not only as an artist but as a person. It was wonderful to see her and share the new happy in my own skin me. I was always fragile when surrounded by my family who could protect me from everything including myself. I guess that is what happens when tragedy strikes a family when someone is a child too young to understand such tragedies. I think I have shared the story of my brother's death when I was 6 before and don't really want to go down that trail. If you wish to know more please let me know for another day I'm searching for something to say I'll revisit. But my aunt has always loved me like a fragile thing especially since the death of my parents.

So fragile thing no more, peaceful happy in my own skin me got to have a wonderful discussion with my aunt for a couple of hours. My uncle was asleep and none of the relatives were there(as it was not really Easter) and on my way home from her house I had a feeling my mother was up there smiling. She was a wonderful mother who also protected me as a fragile person. She would be thrilled that I shared the full circle with my aunt. I released her from her worries about me. Lovely, lovely trip. I also told her about my art and my finding myself as an artist. She wants to see some photographs of my work and I will mail them down soon.

Oh well, writing a book again anyway. I hope you had special moments with your loved ones and came full circle as well. Blessings to you and your loved ones and tomorrow I'll share my Hand Bag hopefully with a few more stitches.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Peace and Joy




To all my bloggy friends thank you all for your wonderful and supportive responses to my blog and I hope you much Peace and Joy for your holiday season. And a wonderful time with your family and friends and to all my bloggy friends lucky enough to have flowers for this Easter I'm very envious. Not even a crocus to be seen up here in my neck of the woods.

Peace is not exactly a pillow but an experiment. I tried that miniquilt thing and I was pleased with how it turned out. I used a few pieces of wool entwined with embroidery thread and beads as the hanger. Also the fabric was a scrap of my watercolored fabric(which I can't wait to do again soon). And joy is a little pillow I made of the most beautiful clump of leftover thread. Didn't even have to search for more thread to make it thankfully!

Once again a round of hugs to everyone and good wishes for a beautiful and peaceful holiday!

Just a quick Ps. My friend Lynda(http://www.innersights.blogspot.com/) has a beautiful video on her blog about blessings which I wanted to pass along.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Work In Progress




Here are two views of Hand Bag, one from yesterday and one from today. I had some really good stitching time today and will probably stitch some more tonight. I love to stitch. I love to blog too.

The title of this blog post got me to thinking about how most human beings are works in progress. We work on ourselves little by little and try to make the best of one of God's creations. I look back at the last 5 years of my life and then I look back 10 years and then 18 years and I'm not even remotely the same person I thought I was 18 years ago and probably not even the same person as a year ago.

First off my son will be 18 in a couple of weeks(not months, not years but weeks). I still remember carrying him and wondering how I was going to be responsible for another living thing. We bear some responsibility when we marry but when you have a child there are no more sick days(even when they are almost 18). I've been married 22 years. Who would have ever thought that a visit to Club Med in Martinique would bring me to a man who lived less then 2 hours away. Ten years ago, My father had just passed away the year before and my whole life up until then was ripped up into little pieces and shook up in a bag and put together differently(he had been in a coma for 8 months before his death, if that doesn't change a person nothing will). I lived on Long Island was working in a gift shop and making pillows to keep me at home more with my son. 6 years ago I moved upstate and started to find myself. Peace quiet, me, my husband and my son(plus my dog) moved to a quieter more peaceful environment and I had to make new friends and start my little cottage industry all over again. Then 2 years ago I joined the coop and discovered my inner artist and I have been discovering bits and pieces of myself daily since I took on the moniker.

Such an amazing transformation of a life, just my ordinary life, but a transformation of a life. Am I a happier person? Not sure, I am happier and more peaceful when embroidering but the rest of my life still bears a bit of chaos. And you know what that is ok because life is what it is. A journey of peaks and valleys and works in progress. So what is your journey and what is your work in progress?

Thanks for reading and keep stitching!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Crossing's Two




Hopefully this is a much better picture then the last one. I really enjoyed water painting the fabric and hand embroidering this piece and did not think the previous photo did it any justice. Thanks to all the well wishers, still feeling under the weather but able to embroider so I've continued on with my Hand Bag made strictly for myself(the walking billboard idea). Here it is as of today. It was inspired by a trip to the fabric store and a wonderful piece of cotton fabric(which I foolishly didn't buy) with the wonderful color combination. I just happened to buy a lovely brown linen remnant a few weeks ago so I bought embroidery thread in the colors and my walking billboard was born. I love to do hands and since it is a piece for myself I figured what the heck.





I've decided that I will take pictures of my work little by little every day and add them to my blog unless they are so extraordinary that I simply don't want to break the spell by giving too much away. I do a lot of smaller pieces that I don't usually add to my blog but they are a sample of my work and they are designed by me so I'm going to share them too. I enjoy reading blogs with daily illustrations and the process that goes into the making of them(like Spirit Cloth and Drea Dear) so I think I will give that a whirl.

Update on Live, Love, Pray. If you haven't read the book go take it out of your library or buy it perhaps. Wonderful book about a writers search for spirituality, herself and she's funny as hell! Loved it, loved it, loved it.

Watched a whole bunch of movies even those with subtitles(kept me busy while I couldn't embroider) and am opening myself up to other artists in other mediums too. I didn't know I wanted to be(or was meant to be as it turns out) an artist when I grew up so I am fascinated by the inner thinking and processes of artists in general. Oh well, I'm back to embroidering and once again thank you for all your kind words and concern about my health(it's either a really bad cold or the flu).

Monday, April 6, 2009

Just Checking In

Hi All! I am in the midst of the flu or a very bad cold with a fever which I caught from my lovable son. So no new news, no new projects, just a wee bit of reading and watching movies on cable with tissue box in tow. So hopefully by tomorrow or sooner I will be inspired to think up a topic or frame a piece or even embroider(I know things are bad when I don't feel like embroidering). Keep stitching and keep yourself healthy.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Crossing




This is Crossing. It is a light blue hand embroidered cross with green accents on green watercolor fabric. I've included a closeup view of the stitchwork also. I love to hand embroider crosses. They make me feel closer to my center and my maker.

Ironically I am a wee bit cross myself today. My poor son is sick with a sore throat ,ear ache and vomiting. My dog is still a little under the weather and of course I am under the weather too. I guess this is one of those times when bad news comes in threes. But I am sure we will all be fit as a fiddle soon.

I'm also not very talkative today, I'm a bit reflective. A good day to embroider. And not a good day for blogging. So I will bid adieu and see you tomorrow (unless of course I am inspired on my travels during my visit to blogland). Keep stitching!