Friday, October 28, 2011

Albany Shaker Christmas Craft Show

This little cardinal can be seen at the Albany Shaker Christmas Show starting tomorrow from 10 to 4 Monday through Saturday ending on December 17th. You can see him and his friends Santa and Snowman and Bluebird along with various other friends made by many different talented artists. As I'm sure you know I am just the biggest fan of the Albany Shaker craft fairs as they are wonderfully run and feature such a wonderful array of talented artists and crafters. If you are in the area of the Albany International Airport please leave a little extra time and go check out the goods.

I also chose this little cardinal in honor of those baseball Cardinals. First let me make it clear I am not a Cardinals fan but a Mets fan(which I will return to as soon as this series is over). That being said I think the Cardinals are an inspiration to everyone and everything. There is something so wonderful about a team that was essentially out of the playoff race in the end of August to get to play a Game 7 in the World Series. A great inspiration for underdogs everywhere.

I've got a lot going on this year with lots of new exciting opportunities and lots of opportunities to keep me as busy hand embroidering as I want to be. That being said my blogging may be spotty. I love blogging so I'm going to try to do it as much as I can and to share with you all this exciting possibilities as they turn up. I know all my artist bloggy friends can sympathize so best wishes to all of you and I hope you are enjoying your bliss getting ready for this fantastic holiday season.

Finally, please shop handmade. Really. Please shop handmade! In this country of tremendous hardships at the moment, we sort of have to occupy our easy chairs and realize that without the small businesses in this country we would be lost. It's kind of obvious that the big business types don't really care about us as individuals, nor do they care that they are putting good people out of work. So please shop handmade and if you don't want to do that at least try to buy American. And by that I don't mean companies that say they are American but have shipped most of their jobs overseas. So shop ETSY, go to your local art gallery, or go to your local craft fairs(and remember some crafters just put their own prices on imports, you know who they are) and please please please if you are in the area of Albany International Airport drop on by and say hi to my cardinal and his friends. Blessings to all of you. Keep on stitching.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

French Knot Explosion

I love to do French Knots, they are my favorite stitch(as if you didn't know that already). This piece is hand embroidered entirely with french knots on black fabric. I always thought of it as an explosion but my friend Carrie saw a rose and darn if she didn't make me see it too. It was so much fun to make. I may do another one in different colors on watercolored fabric.

I took a closeup for Diane. She gave me the suggestion to add closeups to my blog and I think it was a wonderful suggestion. Diane makes the most lovely art quilts(you can see her blog on my blogroll, designed by Diane Evans). They are so colorful and whimsical and she is quite accomplished.

This blog post is a quick one as I am soon on my way to a member meeting at Valley Artisans Market so see you soon. Keep stitching!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Great Day

Hi! Today was a great day! I did the St. Clement's craft fair and had a marvelous time. I met many nice people, got a load of compliments on my work and sold these three new pieces which I had just finished this past week. They played Michael Bubles singing the standards. It had one of my favorite songs on it, I Only Have Eyes for You(although I still like the Art Garfunkel version better). I wanted it to be my wedding song but the band didn't know it. I met an adorable 3 year old named Martin, saw my old friend Carrie, and made a makeshift frame for the embroidery piece I was planning on working on all day only to discover I didn't bring a hoop, horrors. I used the frame with my artist statement in it and borrowed some duct tape from the ladies running the show. Not as comfortable or as practical as a hoop but it worked.

At least a dozen people told me I must have a lot of patience and I told them that embroidery teaches me patience which I actually have very little of. Sometimes when I start to get all type A personality, I try to remind myself that patience is a virtue. I guess this was gods way of telling me I at least got the message. I also got a lot of wonderful comments about the little details, the french knots. I think I have written this a thousand times but I just love french knots, they are really wonderful vehicles for meditation. They for sure are my favorite stitch.

And to top off my fabulous day I found Sybil's blog, The Art of Spirit. Her blog is one of my favorite blogs ever. She is a wonderfully spiritual blogger and her blog is very inspirational. She had been on a hiatus for a while, as have I so it was so wonderful to find it again.

I hope you had a great day and I'll be back soon, with a couple of pictures of my next project when I figure out how to take closeups on my old camera for Diane! So far the glare is making it impossible but I'll keep trying. Keep stitching.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Autumn Leaves

Hi All! It is a beautiful time of year up here in Upstate New York. The trees are absolutely magnificent. I feel very blessed to see such beauty right out my front door. Tomorrow I am driving up to Cambridge to work at Valley Artisans Market and I am looking forward to the scenic drive and the wonderful energy that is present at VAM. I love to work there, both with the customers and on my embroidery. There is something special about working in a place filled with beauty and somehow that beauty can be felt in the energy there. Can't really explain it.

Autumn Tree is hand embroidered on tea stained fabric and can be purchased at Valley Artisans Market. I love to hand embroider trees and I loved using all the different fall colors in the piece. I hope someone enjoys it as much as I enjoyed making it.

Gotta run. Back to work! Keep stitching

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The World As I See It

Hi All! I started embroidering this piece years ago, I finished it early this year and have been waiting till I properly framed it before sharing it. I can't seem to find the right frame for it so here it is. I think this piece is my favorite piece of all time. It speaks for the world as I see it. It is a windy, circular, map of my mind metaphorically. It stops and starts, it is beautiful and it has to be looked at closely to be appreciated(maybe not all that closely). I think life is an unending line of stops and starts. Things move smoothly along and then they hit a fork or a ditch or a speed bump and move in a completely different direction.

I started embroidering when I was about 6 years old. My grandmother taught me how to do it. I had a rather complicated childhood, filled with much loss and chaos and the needlearts were my escape and my constant. Whenever something was going on in my life, I made something. Be it an afghan, or a sampler or a bedspread. Nothing was ever finished, but millions of projects were started and stopped. Other kids bought dolls and trucks and toys, I used all my meager pennies on yarn or embroidery thread or books. My biggest project back then was one of those hand embroidered quilt tops that you had to sew up the middle and then quilt. Needless to say they are somewhere in the bottom of one of my countless bins of stash that I will never use but can't give away.

As I got a little older I actually finished a few projects but gave most of them away as gifts. And then I got married and finished more pieces for myself and friends. I always used kits or patterns. I never thought at that time that anybody would be interested in anything that came out of my own head. Year by year something shifted and more and more came out of my own head, which leads me to this piece.

I started this piece about 5 years ago. I worked on it and worked on it and then it reminded me of a disappointment and I put it away. When I decided to make the shift from making everything to only hand embroidering framed pieces and ornaments I took it out of the pile of unfinished projects and started to work on it. It reminds me that I have come full circle. That I have come from the place of being unfinished and have started to heal my life stitch by stitch. The point where I realize that hand embroidery is more then just a hobby but a salvation. How the little stitches from my childhood to now have somehow kept it all together when my world was falling apart. And how beautiful being able to see the world in such a way is.

It's not about my own work even so much, it's about looking at the work of others and the things that make their hearts and sometimes their mouths sing. Appreciating the beauty that comes from the silent meditative creativity that every person has somewhere deep in their souls. That is what is beautiful about art and the artist. We do what we love, we do it to heal, we do it to find happiness. There are stories and biographies in every piece of art. Find your story and biography and follow your bliss where ever it leads you.

Keep stitching!