Saturday, January 30, 2010

Great Book to Suggest



Hand Embroidery on Muslin, currently at Katbird Shop, Schenectady NY.

Hi all! Hope you are all well. I've been busy stitchin up a storm. Trying to stay on a roll so my posts have been suffering a bit. I've got a great book to suggest to all my artist friends. It's called Creative Time and Space: Making Room for Making Art by Rice Freeman-Zachery. It's been helping with my time management issues and getting my focus on. It's filled with beautiful artwork to inspire. Nicely written and wonderful advice for when you are stuck or just need to feel understood. It's truly wonderful to realize that all those pesky little issues are experienced by such talented people and the idea that matters the most about the book is they conquered them all.

I haven't always been the most efficient person when it comes to time management and getting unstuck and this book is filled with valuable lessons. I'm working on a new small framed piece which I'll share when I'm finished and I've been working on a few other projects which I'll talk about when the time is right. In the meantime you can go take a look at the Katbird Shop or New Leaf if you are in the neighborhood and you can visit my blog links to see the beautiful work of others that are in my bloggy neighborhood. Blessings to all.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Intersections




Hand embroidery on watercolored fabric.

This piece originally was meant to be a cross, but as my friend Cheryl commented a lot of my crosses end up being something other then their original intention. It was originally supposed to hang vertically and now I think I like it more horizontally. I guess it is a true symbol of an intersection. Some times we travel along in a straight line knowing exactly where we are going, some times we travel along and turn where we are supposed to but the most interesting travels we have are when we come to an intersection with no specific direction intended. These intersections happen during travels, in our work life and during our lifetime.

I have taken the road to a different outcome many times. Sometimes they are just necessary experiences along my life path and sometimes they are complete detours where I just got lost, but either way they were a learning experience. They taught me something I was supposed to know about myself, whether I wanted to learn the lessons or not. They introduced me to people I might not have met. Places I might not have wandered into. And a life totally different from the one I imagined for myself. They truly introduced me to kismet. A place where things that are meant to happen, happen. There were certainly many road signs to send me on my way but I think we all know the feeling of stubbornly taking the wrong turn or joyously taking the right one. In the past few years I have taken many detours at my intersections, but I have learned lessons and thankfully met people. places and things that have sent me on my way.

So the next time you reach an intersection and you are not sure of what direction to go, look at the signs and listen to your heart and learn the lesson you are supposed to be learning. In the end you might just end up doing something with joy and going in the direction you are meant to or you might be on a much needed detour.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

New Leaf



Flower Heart Hand Embroidery on Muslin

Hi All! This piece is currently residing at New Leaf Gallery located at 30 Beekman Street in Saratoga Springs, NY. It is joined there by a few other pieces which I dropped off the other day while out with my friend Cheryl. I am excited to try something new at New Leaf as I previously only showed the bags and scarves. Please go and see this beautiful new gallery on Beekman. It is chock full of beautiful wares and they have a very interesting artist in the gallery now. It's a wonderful place to have my work.

It's been a quite hectic week as my son returned to college this week and we went through schedule hell, but it would take me most of the time I have available to explain it. But as of this moment he has a schedule he likes and he has all of his books so hopefully he will have a wonderful semester.

I've been working a lot. Besides going to New Leaf I went to visit Kathy this week and brought her some beautiful framed pieces and pillows and quiltlets. But the most fun was going out with Cheryl. She has a beautiful piece of work featured in Mimosa Gallery which is also on Beekman Street. It is the most beautiful fused glass elephant. Just gorgeous and like all the other pieces in the show under $100.00. And that is a wonderful place to visit too. Then we went out for lunch and had the most delicious sandwiches at the Grey Gelding Bistro which is a very nice place to get a bite to eat. It is on Broadway in Saratoga. And then chocolate from the Putnam Market. But the most fun was going out with my friend Chery as you can probably tell it was a pretty hectic, stressful week. I wasn't able to get together with Emily this past week but hopefully we'll get together this week. I really appreciated being able to relax and not think about work when out with Cheryl. Although visiting Kathy at the Katbird and visiting Jeromy at New Leaf doesn't really feel like work either.

On the work side, I am in overdrive working on my embroidery. I'm turning a new leaf myself by pushing myself to work more and get my work out there in the universe. No time like the present.

See you soon. Keep stitching.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Katbird Shop






Busy, busy, busy but wanted let you know that these three hand embroidered pieces are now at the Katbird Shop looking for a new home. The Katbird Shop is located at 425 Liberty Street, Schenectady. It's a couple of doors away from Pinhead Susan's which has wonderful food so stop in for a bite while you are there.

I'm going to go read my bloggy friends and then it's computer off and back to work. Hopefully things will calm down a little bit here and I'll be able to post more often soon.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Butterflies are Free



Hand embroidered butterfly on watercolored muslin.

Someone Saved My Life Tonight by Elton John
When I think of those East End lights, muggy nights
The curtains drawn in the little room downstairs
Prima Donna lord you really should have been there
Sitting like a princess perched in her electric chair
And it's one more beer and I don't hear you anymore
We've all gone crazy lately
My friends out there rolling round the basement floor
And someone saved my life tonight sugar bear
You almost had your hooks in me didn't you dear
You nearly had me roped and tied
Altar-bound, hypnotized
Sweet freedom whispered in my ear
You're a butterfly
And butterflies are free to fly
Fly away, high away, bye bye
I never realised the passing hours of evening showers
A slip noose hanging in my darkest dreams
I'm strangled by your haunted social scene
Just a pawn out-played by a dominating queen
It's four o'clock in the morning
Damn it listen to me good
I'm sleeping with myself tonight
Saved in time, thank God my music's still alive
And I would have walked head on into the deep end of the river
Clinging to your stocks and bonds
Paying your H.P. demands forever
They're coming in the morning with a truck to take me home
Someone saved my life tonight, someone saved my life tonight
Someone saved my life tonight, someone saved my life tonight
Someone saved my life tonight
So save your strength and run the field you play alone

The last few days I have been unable to pull myself away from the television watching the news about the horrible earthquake in Haiti. I've been horrified, sad, inspired and unable to think of the words to describe my feelings except for the grace of god go I. Last weekend I was embroidering Butterfly and this song kept going through my mind and as I thought of a way to address my feelings about Haiti and write a blog post, this song gave me the answer. Blessings and prayers to all with family and all the lost souls in Haiti. I hope you are free, one way or the other.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Peace




Hand Embroidery on Watercolored Muslin.

I'm still experimenting and in the spaghetti tossing stage. Embroidery brings me peace so I think that's a good place to start. The most important thing is to keep working. Not get so caught up in the weeds. In other words bring peace to myself and others by spending as much time as I can embroidering.

I've been listening to Death Cab by Cutie(plans) again. I think my family will be hearing it in their sleep but it is such a peaceful folksy CD. Great background music and relaxing.

The weather is frightful outside and now I have to jump back into the real word and go grocery shopping so I think this is where I sign off for now. I'll come and read my bloggy friends later.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Heart of Blue



Hand Embroidered Heart on Batik.

This piece had a life of it's own. I saw this beautiful batik and had to find a project for it. Since Valentine's Day is almost upon us and the world is thinking with their hearts I decided to make a Blue Heart. I then decided to make a spider web pattern in the middle of the heart while I was stitching, I noticed what a nice contrast there was between the blues that I was using and the lovely turquoise that was used to outline so I decided to forgo the filling in and outline the spaces with the lovely turquoise color. I'm very pleased with the results.

I have joined a Facebook page for slow cloth working and am inviting my facebook friends who stitch to join. It is a look at the slow stitchery of embroidery and quilting and other needleworking mediums discussing their place in society now. Years ago when our grandmothers were young, needleworking was a discipline that many people learned and appreciated. As society gets faster and faster we lose the genuine soulfulness of slowing down and taking needle to fabric. Hand embroidering and other hand work reminds us of a time when things were simpler. I find hand embroidering to be a meditation as I am one of those people who simply cannot sit still. I find peace and tranquility in every stitch I make. That is the reason I joined Slow Cloth.

See you soon. Keep stitchin!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Americana



This is a hand embroidered Flag Heart on tea stained muslin.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Little Something



Hi All! This is one of the quiltlets I spoke of in my last post. It's one of those spaghetti things, where I try something different and see if it takes. I loved making this little valentine and then inspired by spirit cloth I tried something just a wee bit larger and have abandoned it. As totally relaxing and wonderful as it is it's just not me. So little pieces maybe, but my total admiration for the amount of work it takes to make an entire quilt is unending.

I finished one of my unfinished projects today(beneath the surface) and will be framing it soon and submitting it to a gallery. I am thinking of changing it's name. More information later.

I'm now working on a blue heart. I'm making it for the Katbird Shop, just a small diversion from the normal red heart in honor of Valentines Day. I spoke to the wonderful Kathy today and told her that I have a great feeling about the New Year and the new decade.

I'm having a wonderful and relaxing time stitching and hope the same for all of my stitchery friends. Keep stitching

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A heart felt thank you!

Thanks to everyone for the very thoughtful comments about the blog post regarding my mother. It meant so much to me, you will never know how much. Sometimes when I write a blog post I wonder if I am saying too much. When I started blogging it was mostly an art blog to promote my work, but I know I enjoy reading blog posts where people share their lives so I've started to write about my life too. Some posts are easier then others, Sunday's blog post wasn't very easy. So thanks once again for the overwhelming response. Thanks for the comments about my heart piece also.

One post in particular really meant a lot to me and that was my Cousin Sal's post. He was my mother's godchild and she loved him very, very much. He has always been a special presence in my life as he and his sister LuAnn used to spend summers at my house. As I was thinking about his post I remembered how LuAnn(who I adored and looked up to, very cool even at 10)used to make me her partner in crime. If she would have told me to jump off a bridge I would have(luckily she didn't). I remembered two instances in particular when she used me as her accomplice in her plan to drive her older brother crazy. There was the time when I was about 9 and she made me say to my then 14 year old cousin, that he was an iguana who liked to suck lily pads. He was so angry and she couldn't stop laughing. I of course had no idea what I was saying(rather naive in my younger years). Then there was the time I stayed at their house and on one sunday morning we were supposed to take the bus to mass which was a good twenty or so minutes away, and Sal went in to go to the bathroom and we were supposed to let him know when the bus came. Well LuAnn said let's not tell him and we proceeded to get on the bus and go to mass without him. He did make it for communion but just barely. That was the only time I ever saw LuAnn get in trouble for anything. There are so many wonderful memories of my cousins and my brother when we were young creating havoc for our parents. Wonderful, wonderful memories. And I thought since I have no art to share today and I wanted to thank you all for your thoughts maybe I'd give you a giggle at least. I hope Sal has a giggle too.

Speaking of working, I have been trying something new. I am working on a quiltlet. It's not nearly finished and I don't want to share it until it's done. I have been using Kantha stitching in it and stitching in that way is very meditative and makes time fly by. It was really a very wonderful soulful way to spend the beginning of the new year. I'm working on smaller pieces too so your comments on the framed sun heart piece were wonderful to read and very supportive of a new direction.

Thanks once again for your comments. They really did mean so much to me.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sun Heart



Sun Heart is hand embroidery on watercolored muslin using various shades of red.

Today is the twenty seventh anniversary of the death of my mother. She was a beautiful, artistic, loving soul who taught me how to be a mother, how to love, and how to survive adversity and tragedy. Her dream was to be an artist and instead I was lucky enough to have her as a mother. I hope in some way I am paying tribute to her through my life both as a mother and an artist.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to one and all! After reading all the wonderful blogs I follow (and now follow on my blog dashboard) the general theme seems to be action(thanks Dale Ann), realization(thanks Patti), and creativity(thanks everyone). To me all these themes mesh together as moving forward, constantly. Resting only to gain enough energy to keep moving forward. I have been realizing lately that I waste too much time thinking or not trying to think. I think in the New Year it is time to take action and to become creative at everything. Making my home reflect more accurately how I feel today rather then how I felt yesterday. To take the creative pieces I'm not quite fond of and either change them or find a way to get rid of them. To appreciate the quality of mind and body when I am feeding the muse. To move my art and my business forward and to take care of the vessel I live in so it will serve me to be with my family as long as possible.

A very important part of feeding the muse is reading the wonderful blogs that inspire me. Be it the embroidery blogs, art quilt blogs, recycle and reuse blogs or blogs that just warm my heart to read. I tried to list them but there are qualities in all the blogs I follow that warm my heart and inspire me(so give yourself a hug). So whenever I am tired or want to stop taking action I will read your blogs and be inspired. It's also a very supportive community because whether comments are left or not, it is amazing how united we all are in the blog community and how it helps us to feel connected. Especially for the artist part of me, as making art is by necessity a rather solitary undertaking.

As far as the other actions I must take, I have started to organize, I am pretty happy with the Mediterranean diet and I have been embroidering and thinking a lot about my business( I know thinking but it's business it has to be thought of). So thanks to all my bloggy friends you can find the blogs I follow on my dashboard(hopefully) soon I will have them updated and organized in links on my blog page. Blessings and hopes for a very productive, creative and most of all joyous new year!