Showing posts from March, 2012

Apple Tree Heart

This little heart started out as a ordinary apple tree, but somewhere along the way it became an apple tree heart with the leaves shaped like a heart.   All of my work begins as one thing and ends up something else.

That is how I embroider.  I start out with a simple design and then I let the needle and thread kind of do whatever it wants to.  It makes every peace a one of a kind.  I don't use stencils, I just draw with invisible ink and then I just let my needles and thread take over.  I let color, texture and imagination take my embroidery to whatever it needs to be.

Lately I've started drawing a bit more but still add accents after the outlining process.  I never know what color thread I'm going to use  until I pick it out.  I love the randomness of the process.  That is how I stitch french knots too to add random texture.  I love texture and subtlety.  Most of the time the texture and subtle nature of the stitchery works and yes sometimes it doesn't for me at leas…

The Moon and The Stars Above

This piece is called Blue Moons.  It was made a while ago and is currently available at the Katbird Shop in Schenectady.  The title of this post is taken from the lyrics of The Breaks by the Black Keys.

This post will be about my hand embroidery and the Black Keys.  Quite simply the two have become so connected in my brain that I cannot embroider without their music in my ears.  Lord knows I've tried after the last few weeks.  I've tried blues, rock, beatles, muppets, Michael Kiwanuka(he's very inspirational so I can maybe throw in a song or two or three or four into my zune), new age, classical, Springsteen  and silence.  Silence was the hardest really.

I was embroidering a lot because of success and new venues.  I was listening to the Black Keys 24 hours a day,7 days a week.  There was hardly a moment in my life when I wasn't listening to their music.  It made me laugh at my dog(who seems to enjoy them too and I used to sing to her), they made me heal, they made me …


Passion is a piece I made a while ago that is currently available at the Katbird Shop.  It's one of my favorite pieces as it relates the themes of togetherness  and the circle of life that we all belong to.

There are many types of passion between human beings, but since this is an embroidery blog I will talk about my passion for the stitch.  I think God gives each of us a unique way to express ourselves and my way is the stitch.  When I am embroidering with passion, time flies and I simply just love the moments that make up my day.  When I am not embroidering, my mind takes over and I fill my day with way too many thoughts and way too many distractions.  My favorite thing to do on a down day is head to the fabric store and buy a whole bunch of embroidery floss(usually orange) and then do something with french knots and texture.  It's amazing how a tiny skein of embroidery floss can change your day but it does in my case. 

Often times in the last few months, I have written ab…

Dancing and Prayer

This piece is called Dancing.  It is currently and permanently residing in my friend Cheryl's home.  It is a cross that I made early in my hand embroidery artist days.   I like to embroider crosses as usually they are  works that bring peace to me. 

Today I had the most remarkable and beautiful of days.  I had forgotten that a couple of weeks ago I switched my shift from morning to afternoon and arrived at 10:00 to find that I was there a few hours too early. Having no where else to go and given the stressful nature of the last few weeks I ventured on to the New Skete Monastery.  What I found there was just beautiful and peaceful and brought a clarity to my life at the moment.  When I first arrived I sat on a bench just watching a beautiful peaceful pond which was so clear you could see to the very bottom.  It was such a lovely sight that I was brought to tears by it's beauty and peacefulness even on a late March morning.

I then went into the church on the property.  It was …

A Little Bird Told Me

A little bird(actually several little birds) told me that I talk too much, write too much, and to say less mean more.  This little bird was made several weeks ago but never shared.  Her name is Swirly.  She is waiting for me to make her some more friends but I had to tell her I am working on a piece and will make her a friend soon.  I am going back to my hand embroidery but I did want to touch base so I am on first base, running towards second.   Give all the chicks and roosters in your life a hug and I'll be  back soon.

Reverence for Life

This piece is called Reverence for Life which means "to be in awe of the mystery of life".  It is a hand embroidered cross on muslin with french knots, lots of them.

I needed  to embroider a cross and make a lot of french knots  so that I could remember what it is that makes everything else in my world possible.   I have been adrift on the sea of life lately.  And my work  and loved ones have suffered badly for it. It is time for me to take leave of the internet for a while and find my heart and soul again.  To find God, to find art, to find peace, to find love, to find myself.

I'm ready to start a new chapter of my life and if I listen closely to my heart I will once again feel the Reverence for Life this piece is named after.

The Prom

This piece is called Prom Dress.  It is hand embroidery on  watercolored muslin.  I haven't quite figured out where it belongs so for now it is available through my blog if you simply must have it.  As always my email is in my profile.

I went to my prom with my boyfriend at the time Tony.  He is currently a Facebook friend as is his lovely wife Lisa.  My mother and I went shopping and I ended up with this bridally looking thing in antique white which was also seen at the prom in a pretty shade of blue on another girl.  We had a wonderful time and we went to the shore the next day to spend the day. It is a treasured memory.

A prom is a memory every single girl should have.  It is one of those days when you can pretend you are a princess and your date comes to pick you up on a white horse(or a long stretch limousine or your boyfriends car).  There are so few of those days in a girls life when the only thing she has to do is be pretty and charming and dance the night away.  It also …

The Long and Winding Road

This is a piece I've shown before called The World as I See it. As I was working on this project I realized what a long and winding road my life and my work has become. It was started years ago and finished this last year. This is a blog post from years ago that describes my journey of the past year which culminated in the worst time period in my life since the death of my father who was in a coma for 8 months before dying. I am now back on the long and winding road of life and peace.

I think everybody's life is a long and winding road to find peace and to find ourselves. With every stitch and every twist and turn my needle takes, a bit of my life unfolds before my eyes. It has been a strange and winding trip from a little town in New Jersey and making afghans to assuage my grief to a place where I can finally accept myself and all the little twists and turns that have made me an artist expressing my soul. Even a simple pillow starts out as a design that comes from in…

Land of Hope and Dreams

Spring tree is currently residing in my home. If you would like it please contact me at my email in my profile. The price of this piece is $20.

I am bound and determined to  live the life I have been given and make a difference in people's lives.  The only way I can do that at the moment is to embroider my heart out, making hearts, making texture, making colors come together in beautiful hand embroidered pieces.

About 10 years ago I had a dream that I moved to a magical place with forests, greenery, a small cottage on the water and a little shop that was there too. A beautiful long haired angel led me in this dream.   I believed in heaven and earth and the universe kept telling me I was on the right path. There were so many syncronicities and weird occurences that I believed I was going to move here and darn if  I didn't at least get most of my dream.  The cottage and the water are still waiting for me and I know I will find them someday.

The last year has been filled with so…

Give Peace a Chance

Lately I think we all kind of worry about the state of the universe, the world, our environment, our children, our culture. We seem to think we are all responsible for the mistakes of the rich and powerful.  But in reality we aren't.  In little ways we extend our hands in peace to our families, our friends, our neighbors and the lovely cashier in the supermarket. 

If you are a halfway decent human being you can find at least 10 or 20 people a day who you touch with peace and who touch you back. Not a literal touch but a metaphorical touch.  Generally for the most part people are good.  We just get so caught up in the imperfections of our lives that we forget that peace resides inside of us and radiates outward.

The last few weeks have certainly not been peaceful, but I have been overwhelmed by the love and peace I have felt with my friends and family.  Both in real life and in my virtual life.  It seems that when the chips are down and you honestly have a problem people will gra…

All You Need is Love

In the last month I have gone back and forth between heaven and hell.  I really don't know where or how to explain it.  I've met amazing people, I've healed the grief of losing my brother when I was too young to grieve.  I've spilled my guts on my blog especially in writing I'm a Miracle which is the whole story in one place and I feel an inspirational story for those who fret about the one thing missing from their lives. I've discovered wonderful music thanks to some really wonderful friends.  I've realized the unconditional love from my mother and for my son.  And I went a little crazy looking for salvation from a source outside myself.

My friends, family, kindred spirits have all helped me to understand that I was the only one who didn't know how special I was.  They've cared for me, helped me, housed me, listened to me and inspired me.

I've made a decision to devote the next chapter of my life to love.  Love of my son.  Love of my friends a…

Amazing Grace

This piece is called french knot explosion.  I love french knots some people see a rose but I didn't see it when it was made.  It is at Valley Artisans Market if you like it and want to purchase it.


Intersections, a photo by DebraAnn813 on Flickr. This piece is called Intersections. It is available at the Katbird Shop in Schenectady.  Sometimes in our lives we realize that an intersection is really just a crossing.  A way of getting from one side to the other.  I've been kind of stuck in the middle of this intersection for a couple of months.  Especially the last few weeks when I'm damn lucky a car didn't run me over.

This morning I woke up with a big bunch of clarity.  The answer to my prayers is not a knight on a white horse, or the same old, same old.  The answer to my prayers is my work.  I have a gift right here in my very own body.  That gift is a love of embroidery and a reverance for what came before and is no longer with us.  It has been with me all my life since I was a little girl to a woman changing before my own eyes.

Today I woke up feeling like I landed on the other side of the intersection.  I am going to work really hard to change my reality to one I…


This is a blogpost off the beaten embroidery path.  This is the only picture that I have of 4 generations of strong Italian women.  Or at least 3 if you don't count me.  My greatgrandmother is sitting in the fancy chair, my grandmother Lucy, is behind a 16 year old me and right in front is my mother Phyllis.  All four of us have had our trials and tribulations.  My great grandmother came here from Italy, she was married a couple of times and both her husbands died. 

When my grandmother was a child, my greatgrandmother could not take care of all her children on her own so my grandmother was put in an orphanage.  My grandmother had a bit of a attittude which resulted in terrible treatment while she was in the orphanage.  She told of a story where the nuns shaved a circle around her head because she talked back to a nun.  That must have been so traumatic for a young girl to be treated in such a way in a place she had no escape from.  She eventually went back to live with her mother…

Amazing Grace

This piece is currently available at the Katbird Shop.

I live to embroider.  I really do, there is just not really any other way to put it.  Embroidery is my saving and amazing grace.  If I don't embroider every single day I go a little crazy.  You can ask just about anyone who knows me,especially lately they will tell you the same thing.  I love the other needlearts too but I just live to embroider.

I live to hear music.  Nothing makes me happier than embroidering to a great song.  Nothing makes me happier than dancing through my life with a tune in my head.  When I am listening to great music and embroidering I am in my version of heaven.  I just can't explain it any other way.

As you know my entire life has been filled with loss.  But God never takes anything away without leaving something in its place.  My needlecrafts are that something.  The music accompanies me with that something.  I know there are a lot of people who can give you solace when a loved one departs but I…

A New Business Venture

Hi All!  My name is DebraAnn Salat.  I have been hand embroidering, knitting and crocheting since I am 6 years old. It has been the one constant in my life filled with much loss and beautiful angels who kept me healthy while my needlecrafts have kept me sane.

I sell my art in many locations up here in the Capital Region and am blessed to have many wonderful store owners and outlets selling my art.  I have decided to branch out and add a few new duties to my wonderful artistic opportunities.

I am offering my services to the grieving.  Many of you have lost a loved one who either knitted your baby a sweater, made a sampler when you had a baby, or crocheted you a tablecloth.  Like myself you probably had quite a few pieces of unfinished heirlooms that you have folded up in a drawer somewhere that you simply cannot throw away or you cannot finish.  I am the person that can do that for you. I will charge either $20.00 by the hour or give a free written estimate.  I have such reverance for…

Youve Got A Friend

There are times in our life when we realize just how important our friends are and just how much they mean to us.   The past few months have been one of those times for me.  From my current best of the best friends Emily and Cheryl.  To all the beautiful friends who have touched our life from our youth to our middle and all of the new artist friends you meet who you feel a kindred spirit connection.

Every person needs friends.  They may not tell you what you want to hear, they may not want to listen to you incessantly.  But you love them and they love you.  The universe works in mysterious ways and I am just delighted to have shared the journey with all of them.  I hope to continue that journey for quite a long time.

I know my mother is up in heaven singing, You've Got a Friend by the oh so wonderful James Taylor.  The song was out when I was young and I  have a memory of singing it with my cousin LuAnn on the day after New Years when she was a young girl who drank a little too m…

The Long and Winding Road

A while ago I wrote a  post about being on the long and winding road.  Todays post is  related  to that post.  Every body has a unique soul living in it. My human body loves my family, my friends, and my dog.  I have made so many connections through Facebook with all my human body family and friends  I am bound and determined to keep up with them.

My soul loves embroidery, music, books, laughter, culture and a kinship with the many artists I have met along the way.   Both pieces of the puzzle fit to make DebraAnn Salat a much more light and beautiful person.  The kind of person she wants to be .

Stitchers take pieces from here and there and find a way to make them work together.  I am going to stitch together a life filled with love, embroidery, art, music,laughter and light.  I am going to  share my journey will all my blog readers and I remind you that life is very short, take joy in the people you are with and follow your own unique path to the life you love and the life you desir…

Bless the Beasts and the Children

Hi everyone!  This piece is called Why?  It was done as a themed piece for a gallery show in The Fulton Street Gallery.

Before I get started on my theme of the day I just want to clear up a few loose ends.  First off and most importantly I actually slept peacefully last night for the first time in weeks. I fell asleep about 10:30 and woke up at 5:00.  Why does that matter so much? It matters because after months of listening to the Black Keys in my ear while I embroidered nonstop I invented a story in my head where I was somehow involved with  the lead singer of the Black Keys.  I think it is because his voice touched my soul while I was dealing with the darkness of insomnia, menopause, and childhood trauma.  Plus there was the grrrrrrrrrrrr.  That grrrrr is god's answer to every menopausal woman.  Also note to self, I have given up my twitter account as it's a really dark disgusting place to hang out and waste a whole bunch of time that could be spent embroidering and as an …

Beneath The Surface

Beneath The Surface, a photo by DebraAnn813 on Flickr.

Sometimes our most important lessons are hidden beneath the surface.  In the dark where light is not able to reach. I have been learning an important lesson. One which lives in that gray area between what is total darkness and what is the light.  That lesson is that perhaps you have to believe in something that isn't real so you can learn the importance of what is real. 

The real stuff is your loves.  Who you spend your days, nights and weekends with.  How much time you spend embroidering or doing something that you love.   The more time you spend doing something you love the more you feed your soul and share your light with others.  That can be very deceiving. 

Oh Happy Day

This little bird is called Auburn, I know it's red but what are you going to do.  He is located in the Katbird Shop.  I made him last year and he's very lonesome waiting for a new home.  He was my first bird.  Kind of the first step on the healing process.

I think I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that my grandmother and grandfather used to live over a church in Brooklyn NY.  They originally hailed from Bermuda so it is a miracle I even came into the world as if my father stayed in Bermuda I wouldn't be here today.  Myself I probably would have stayed in Bermuda.  But I digress.

Since my epiphany which is really all I can call it and the revelations of how I grew up the most amazing things have happened.  All the people I loved through out my life from my brother, to my cousin, to my friends all seem to be sharing just how much they love me.  It is the most wonderful feeling ever.  It's like you finally feel like a piece of the puzzle that fits.  I've been li…


I almost feel like I should start this post by saying speak to me of music as Khalil Ghibran did in the Prophet.  But I am not Khalil Ghibran.  I am DebraAnn maker of hand embroidered art.  This piece is called Moody Blues.  It was inspired not so long ago as a companion piece to Serenity which I have shared in the past.  Amazingly it has the word love embroidered in the middle of it and I have no recollection of how it got there.  But it's there anyway.

Music is the vehicle for so many of mine and other people's lives to move forward.  We sometimes get so into music our hearts would burst with the beauty.  We sometimes use it to show  to the one we love.  We  sometimes use it to grieve, to find peace, to find ourselves.  And sometimes as in the recent past we use it to do just about everything.

I'll start at the beginning.  I can remember dancing with my mother to Work Out by Jackie Wilson.  It was her favorite song.  My mother loved all kinds of different music and it m…

Hearts Were Meant to Give Away

For where your treasure is there will your heart be also.  That is my favorite heart quotation.  It is from Matthew 6:21.  Whenever I sit down to read the bible I read Matthew 5 to Matthew 8.  There are so many beautiful quotations in those three chapters.  The most important relevant one in the last few days is not to keep your light lit under a bushel.    I moved out of the darkness and into the light this last week.  I grieved for my brother, for my mother, for my father and for the 4 year old boy and his 6 year old sister who were left behind.  And I am finally free. That is such a wonderful light feeling even if you have to lose your mind to do it.

Seek and you shall find.  There really is no doubt that scripture means exactly what it says.  If you believe in God, Jesus, or a higher power you really have to search for your heart and what belongs in there.  Be it the missing pieces left behind when your loved ones moved on, or the things you love to do like embroider or listen to…


Sleep deprivation is a horrible thing.  It is used to torture people all over the world.   It makes you absolutely crazy.  There is just no other way to describe it.  I come from a long line of insomniacs.  My grandmother sometimes suffered with it, my mother, myself and now my son.  Add to it the changes of entering menopause well you have a very bad combination of things coming together to make you crazy.  Not good kooky crazy but totally freakin out of your mind.

I have been sleeping poorly for months.  I would often wake up feeling like something was lost and I can't find it.  My poor dog is in a declining state suffering from arthritis. She wakes up growling or barking every time anything gets near her, namely my foot which she sleeps near.  My husband snores and I have many nightmares or don't dream at all.  So let's just say I've been living in a very dark place lately for much too much time.  I guess I've been living in the dark side of the soul.

During my…

Here Comes the Sun

Mighty Sun 005, a photo by DebraAnn813 on Flickr. This piece was made several years ago and sold by Kathy at the Katbird Shop. It was and is one of my favorite pieces.

Note to self and anyone who will listen(or read) never listen to the same artists over and over in your headphones for 3 months. Although I think I needed it for all the reasons I've been talking about at some point it becomes a little kuku. Music is supposed to be an inspiration to make art or fill your soul with wonderfuness. It's not an inspiration to slowly drive yourself insane. Athough once again I needed to hear those words over and over again while I did what I loved most in the world,embroider, to find myself at the end of a long dark tunnel. I'll still listen to the Black Keys once in a while because I really do like their music and it does make me silly. Silly is part of happy.

Todays song is Here Comes the Sun by George Harrison. George Harrison was a member of the Beatles. He had a solo c…

This Little Light of Mine

This little light of mine I'm gonna let it shine, this little light of mine I'm gonna let it shine. These are my too little lights, the lights of my life, my old soul dog Charlotte and my wonderful beautiful old soul son Brian.  My dog is the one who keeps me awake every night and aggravated at dinner.  My son is the sun in my morning for every single day of his 20 year old life.  He is the reason I live.  My greatest work of art.  He is the reason I  am alive to tell my dark night of the soul and the reason I was inspired at 3:30 in the morning to write darkest post of my blog history.  Everything is out now, the sunlight is breaking through the window and I am finally free.  I am going to spend the rest of my life showing him that you can survive anything and still have a little bit of sonshine in your life or a lot of pride and happiness to have such a beautiful son.  Hopefully he will not see this because he will be modest and shy and yes probably embarrassed.   I think h…

I Am A Miracle

Hope, a photo by DebraAnn813 on Flickr.

This piece is called Hope, it is folded up in one of the bins in my studio at the moment.  This is the first art piece that I ever made.  It is called Hope because sometimes you live in a black hole so deep and so vast that the only thing you have left is a hand coming out of it and a faith in something bigger than yourself.  Before I found myself in this beautiful part of the world I call home, I lived in this black hole all my life.  Everyone I have ever loved was lost except my son, my husband, my brother , my aunts and my dog.  I was literally a living lost soul.  Everyone else died but yet somehow I still remained with a smile on my face. I had to have that smile at a very early age probably before I even knew what a life was.  I was 2 years old when one of my brothers was born with a hole in his heart(I mentioned him in a blog post 2 days ago as that would have been the day he was 51 years old).  He was always sick and when he was 4 he had …

I Wanna Get Funky

This little chicken is called Funky Berta.  She was inspired by the song I Wanna Get Funky by Albert King.  A beautiful bluesy (or just plain blues)tune which is excellent beyond  belief.  It was recommended by a kindred spirit of the humankind.

Sometimes the universe works in special ways, and you notice something perhaps that you were not looking for. Everyone can look at a painting or listen to a  beautiful song and find something that speaks to them.  Every painting and every song carries significance for some one.  It's a different painting and a different song that speaks to us but somehow it just does. 

Sometimes as mere mortals we miss the significance of our souls in the general scheme of life.  We get up every morning.  We work our butts off,  we live, we laugh, we lose,  we make love or we make hate.  It's a different story every single day.  Sometimes on the human plane our lives can look like a complete train wreck, but somehow we are able to transcend that on o…