Friday, August 31, 2012


I love this hand crocheted scarf.  Ok I've said it, I love this scarf.  I especially love the colors.  Yes I know you cannot see the colors very clearly in the picture.  The center circle is this lovely greenish brown pinkish color and the outer color is this lovely brownish reddish color and they offset each other perfectly.  And they are circles.  What more could you ask for? 

This scarf is only available on the blog now for $45.00.  If you wish to purchase it, you can email me or comment with your email.  I am getting ready for the busiest season of the year and Albany Shaker is next week(can you believe it?) and then I will be starting a new circle.

I have signed up with an artist representative in Albany, more information on that soon.  I'm living in Whitehall but want to keep a presence down Albany way so I've found a wonderful company to represent me.  I'm very excited.  I''m bouncing back and forth at the moment with my work, I'm working on a knit scarf and a very lovely hand embroidery piece which is a complete departure for me.  I won't share what it is until it's finished but suffice it to say it is nothing like my previous work.

So there you have it.  Go on with your busy day, if you decide to go for the scarf without being able to see the beautiful contrasting yarns, congratulations.  If you are in the Albany area, the scarf will be with me so you can see the colors in person next week at the Albany Shaker Museum.  I will be in the Meeting House. 

Have a great Labor Day Weekend and hope to see you sooner rather than later with my next finished piece. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Feeling Stronger

I woke up so strong this morning, like anything is possible.  It’s a new and unique feeling; one which comes from survival.  Doing the one thing you didn’t think you could do and surviving doing it.  Now I have a lot of choices, first of them finding some gainful employment and charting a life for myself.  I still want to do it on my terms so not quite ready to do the conventional corporate thing yet.  I have faith in God and the universe that the answer is out there somewhere and hopefully with the holidays almost upon us I will sell enough of my work to keep my head above water while I wait for my marriage to end.

Peter and I have finally reached the peaceful part of our marriage ending, the part where the decisions have been made and we are just waiting for it to be over.  It’s brought a kind of peacefulness to the process.  He’s moving on, I’m moving on.  We’re evolving.  I do hope for our son’s sake that we can somehow manage to be in each other’s life without being in each other’s life.  I truly hope he finds the wife he wishes he married when he married me.

I’m getting used to living on my own and being alone a lot of the time.  I’m not running around sightseeing every day, I’m working.  I like working.  There are moments in the middle of the night where I think I hear something and then I realize that I am hearing my fear and I go back to sleep.  I kind of like that feeling of being able to put the demons back in the closet and going back to sleep.  Last night Chopin did it for me.  Chopin and peace seem to just fit together perfectly in my mind.  Also weaving ends into a scarf didn’t really hurt either, it’s great to be able to be creative whenever the muse finds you.

It’s funny about the Chopin thing, I am still thinking about pianos.  While I was in the hospital I played the piano and I have thought of nothing (except hand embroidery and crochet) since.  I’m wondering if there is a piano playing gig in my future (fat chance but fun to dream about anyway).  I really am fascinated by the piano but maybe that is just some fantasy remembered by a young girl who wished to play the piano and ended up learning the accordion instead.  But it’s a fun fantasy so when I settle somewhere perhaps I will be able to afford having a piano nearby.

And then there is my work, I am working again.  That always makes me strong and probably kept me from completely self-destructing many times in my past.  It’s humbling to realize just how lucky you are to have had the parents and the upbringing you had and how although you thought you were just this little oddball person in a dysfunctional family, you were a budding artist who had your creativity and sanity nurtured by masters. 

So here I am, ready for another day of end weaving and embroidering.  I’ll have more pictures later when the end weaving is done.  I am making a lovely brown scarf, in two wonderfully contrasting colors of brown which I’ll explain in more depths when I share the picture.
And finally, I still believe in a loving and abundant God and universe and yes Virginia I still believe in my dreams and am feeling strong enough to believe they may actually come true.  Have a great day and live your own dreams even if it’s only for a moment or two.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Hand-Embroidered Purse

This is my latest addition to my Etsy shop.  This one of a kind purse is hand embroidered and hand beaded  and has a lovely hand-beaded handle. It is lovely and elegant and can be used for either the simplest of nights out or the most fancy of evenings. 

You can find it here.

It's Taking Too Long

Oddly enough that popped up on my email this morning while I was loading Autumn Tree, which is hand embroidery framed in a 3 ½ x 4 ½ in antique frame available through the blog for $65.00.  It reminded me that autumn trees are almost upon us and yes my dreams are taking too long.

My dreams are not really taking too long but it is easy to convince yourself that everyone deserves to be an overnight(or several nights) success.  But life has a way of happening to us if we don’t take charge of our own dreams and our own life, we can sometimes get caught in the mud of other people’s expectations for us and yes we disappoint them when we are not overnight successes or on top of things we should be on top of.

I am a free spirited artist who never really held to schedules very well.  I have a great capacity to work hard but time management skills are not my forte, therefore I need a lot of inspiration and motivation to do just about anything, including embroider and certainly market myself.  So it looks like everything is taking too long, but then you think about all the artists of the world who work so darn hard every single day and never sell a piece of their art it makes me realize I’m not alone.  On the other hand I don’t want to be one of those posthumous artists whose work sells unbelievably well after they have died.  I want to be able to pay my bills with my art.  That’s it, no posthumous wealth, no million dollar commissions, just pay my bills and yes when you are faced with this job market and no options other than slinging hash or serving it (I’m seriously considering the second option so if you are a restaurateur with a need for a waitress with no experience) art is the answer and yes it is taking too long.  Well not really I do have a small nest egg to live off of and a dream.

So you see there it is in a nut shell (a pecan).  I am not even good at time management skills when I want to embroider which I love, so how the heck am I ever going to keep up with the kids in McDonalds if it comes to that?  I’m not.  I wasn’t good at keeping up with the kids in Burger King when I was 16 and was called Dining Room Debbie for a reason.  So I’m an artist who writes a quirky blog with too many words and I have to figure out a way to make the things I love marketable enough to become a pay my bills success.  There probably aren’t enough hours in the day to figure those two things out but yet here I am at it again.

I guess I’m just a little melancholy today also, not for the Dining Room Debbie days but for the mom days and my beautiful one and only son is going to be a senior in UAlbany today and this is the first time in his life I didn’t make him French toast for the first day (ok sometimes it was the second day) of school.  Being his mother was the one thing I was always good at and feeding him was a joy (sometimes I think more for me than him).  So forgive me if I look you squarely in the eyes and say yes I know my life is taking too long for me to figure out and you are very disappointed in me, but I’m doing the best I can and would you please give that disappointing person in your own life a hug because they are trying too.

Sometimes we have to look in the mirror and say someday my prince will come, or sometime my prints will sell, or sometime soon I will figure out the meaning of life, but how boring would that be? 
Thanks for reading.  I am very melancholy and very proud of my one and only son who reminds me even more now that I am not with him every day that he was always the reason I woke up in the morning.  Have a great day and remember to be kind to the disappointing in your life.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Hello Darkness My Old Friend

This is my latest piece, another tree that has a beautiful little antique frame waiting for it.  It’s going to be a fall tree with fall approaching.  This year has just flown by at such a pace it’s amazing that yet another season has passed and a new one is approaching much too quickly. 

I am an artist, it is who I am today and who I was at the beginning of the year but it is nice to finally be free enough both physically and mentally to just throw myself into my work and the upcoming holiday season.  Yes the upcoming holiday season when the leaves will fall off the trees and snow will fall (perhaps, last year it didn’t).   I think sometimes when we are artists we expect that life will be perfect and we will figure out the meaning of life and how to pay for it.  Sometimes the gray or even black zones take over and we find ourselves swimming upstream against a strong current without even the oar of an embroidery needle handy.  That’s where I was for much of the year, while I was blogging and waxing metaphorically about being an artist I was a hair away from Vincent Van Gogh (I did manage to keep both my ears though). 
Depression for whatever reason is a malady that no one wants to talk about, a secret that must be hidden from the masses hence the happy inspiring work of a hand embroidery artist with dark doors surrounded by light become a silent prayer for one’s own sanity to return.  Interpersonal relationships left me deeply entrenched behind the dark doors to my own mind only to erupt in the most heartbreaking of ways.  I spent a week on the behavioral unit at Glens Falls Hospital. 
But as I look back at the week on the behavioral unit I see that I am a lucky soul.  I have had one of the most meditative relaxing mediums at my disposal every single day, other artists and ordinary people are not so lucky.  The madness becomes overwhelming, they end up in places they cannot comprehend drugged, scared and primally screaming.  I guess it is a drawback to being creative that when light is present we are wonderfully productive and wonderfully inspired but when darkness is present we try very hard to keep it hidden and keep our ears on our heads.  Many artists deal with depression and frankly who does want to see a piece of art that depicts the anger, hatred and downright toxicity of a marriage gone bad.  I guess a writer or a song writer can do more justice to heartbreak then yet another broken heart or even worse a hand embroidered picture of a woman screaming.  No one likes the ugly picture of a woman screaming or a man for that matter.

But then again I’m lucky, my week on the behavioral unit was a week in which I met an amazing bunch of people who life has not been kind to, it made me realize just how fortunate I am that one week will probably be my only week, the final straw that made me move forward and out of the prison I had put myself in.  It made me realize that for some people behavioral units are a revolving door of drugs, containment and horrors that they will never escape for very long and that even ordinary kind of eccentric hand embroidery artists can lose themselves and find themselves in one short week(or several).  It showed me that even people who have lost everything still are valuable members of society and deserve our admiration and prayers for they may not be far from their next behavioral unit but they are strong and resolute and among the living and that too is a gift that many an artist or ordinary person no longer had the strength to endure.  So bless them and I hope the lovely people stripped of everything except their hearts of gold will endure and find peace and hope and happiness in the rest of this life or the life that lives beyond.

Thank you to all the artists, writers, musicians and therapists who find a way every day to guide us to the light beyond  the dark doors and inspire us to make beautiful uplifting art instead of women screaming.  Your gifts that come from your darkness shine a light for the rest of us when we find darkness.  If you are an artist and you feel you can’t go on another day, please find a way or find the nice soft fall of a behavioral unit where they make sure you are fed, that you sleep, that you are clothed and showered, that you are medicated if you need it and finally that you are alive.  Who knows what masterpiece lies in you waiting to be discovered?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Appreciating the Past

I picked this piece to illustrate my point as it is filled with french knots, lovely time consuming, meditative french knots, which can only be done the old fashioned way, one french knot at a time.

We are in an exciting time of technological breakthroughs and we are able to listen to music on our phones, see art on our computers, read books on our Kindles and reach out and touch people through YouTube.  But yet I can’t help thinking that we have lost something very important with all these technological breakthroughs.  We’ve lost the simplicity of watching Elvis Presley on Ed Sullivan from the waist up, we’ve lost the feeling of going to a museum and seeing a real Picasso, and we’ve lost the ability to value the real thing.

Our schools are getting rid of art programs left and right, books and book stores have moved on to the more digital age and  I would imagine the school trips to the Metropolitan Opera are now a thing of the past too.  It seems perfectly all right in this society to banish art and banish books and music if it doesn’t fit into the all too narrow marketplace. We have lost centuries of culture and inspiration while at the same time extoling the nothingness of the Kardashian sisters.  They may be interesting to gawk at but cultural icons, hardly.  But that is what we as a society have done.  We’ve taken beautiful art and words written by wordsmiths and replaced them with fluffy, prettiness.  Gone are the days of Masterpiece Theater and The Twilight Zone, even if they were not your cup of tea, they were interesting and well thought out.  Now we have Kim and her ex-basketball playing boyfriend/husband hitting each other (playfully or not) on TV.  What happened?
How did Mozart get replaced by Justin Bieber anyway?  Justin Bieber has a lovely singing voice and at least we can say that about him but he is simply not interesting enough to have an entire magazine devoted to him.  There may even be more than one magazine devoted to his wonderfulness.  Meanwhile the beautiful, enduring music of Mozart has been enjoyed for centuries, do you think we’ll be able to say that about Bieber?  God Bless Him I hope he does cobble out a career that will be remembered by something more than Baby, Baby, Baby.
Millions of artists are being ripped off daily because they are brave enough to put their visual artwork out on the internet in hopes of being discovered and people in other countries are taking their intellectual properties and knocking it off to sell in discount stores all over the world.  We are still out here trying to make a difference, trying to remain inspired and be inspiring, but it gets harder every day when all one has to do is look at the newspaper and see garbage masquerading as news.  There is a dumbing down that is only possible when you lose the value of an actual Picasso and embrace the generic nature of our society today where it is more normal to look at a Michelangelo on the computer than to visit a museum and see one first hand.
This post came from the early morning listen to beautiful music by Mozart in hopes of staying in bed for another hour or two.  It didn’t work but did remind me that sometimes technology can keep us firmly rooted in both today and yesterday and that it doesn’t have to be a never-ending journey in mediocrity.  Please support the arts and music and literature in school.  Keep the libraries, bookstores, and record shops open.  Go see an uplifting inspirational film in a movie theater and go see a Picasso in person in a museum.   Even if the only way we see a Picasso is on the computer at least Picasso will be around in a couple of centuries, Kim Kardashian won’t. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Simple Man

A Simple Man is a song by Lynard Skynard.  It’s one of my favorites and reflects the outlook I have on life today.  All anyone wants in life is to be accepted and driven by what they love.  I love hand embroidering, crocheting and spinning a yarn.  That is what I wake up every morning hoping to somehow reflect out into the world.

I am truly starting over.  There is no backward motion anymore.  The time has come to put one foot in front of the other, put the pedal to the metal and try to follow my dream wherever it may lead me.  The last week has been incredible.  I have so many more possibilities at the end of the week than I had in the desperation of having to find a place to live by yesterday (or seven yesterdays).  I have a great roommate/landlord named Richard, a man who has followed his dreams through several incarnations and is about to embark on another one.  I have a son who is learning how to live with me a little further away and becoming more independent and making me so proud of who he has become.  I have a bunch of artistic opportunities underneath my belt from my previous life and I have a whole bunch of artistic opportunities waiting for me in every direction in my new life. I have my heart, my mind, and my soul waiting to be expressed.

I am a hand embroidery artist, it is a very slow medium but one that has served me extremely well over the years.  It’s a simple yet complicated medium.  Writing is simple and complicated also.  A writer has to write enough words to be interesting and yet reign themselves in as to not become a bore.  It’s a fine line I’m still learning.  This is who I am, a meandering trail of thread with a bunch of loose ends who somehow manages to keep it all together no matter how tangled life becomes.  That is what being a simple woman means to me.

So now that I am a simple independent woman I can’t spend quite as much time bloviating and must spend more time being an artist, finding some income and writing a few interesting things about life and seeing where all of it takes me.  It’s not easy, it’s kind of complicated but as Lynard Skynard says it’s something to love and understand.  Either I have a dream or I don’t.  Either I go for it or I don’t.  Either it reflects who I am or it doesn’t.  It’s time to figure that all out and fly.  See you tomorrow (or later).

Friday, August 17, 2012

Taking Care of Business

It's another lovely morning up here in Whitehall!  It's so peaceful here I can really feel myself starting to emerge from the doldrums by the minute.  This is the latest piece I am working on.  It is a pleasure to just work up here, I am going to make this short and sweet and then get back to creativity and the Ticonderoga Walmart.

Richard has told me it is a lovely ride and closer than Saratoga.  Every time I venture out from Whitehall I am floored by the beauty and tranquility of this beautiful place I am now calling home.  The beauty of the mountains, the centering nature of Whitehall and the idea that you can drive a 1/2 hour in every direction and find beauty and peace is just amazing. 

There are a lot of business opportunities for anyone so inclined, I myself am trying to decide whether I am so inclined.  Part of me says yes in a heartbeat and the other side says as much as I love it here will I still love it months from now. Time will tell.  In the meantime I am doing the artist thing and loving it.

Taking care of business is my mantra for the day.  Working on this piece(and the new scarf I bought yarn for yesterday), getting some lamps and t shirts so I don't have to go to the laundromat quite so often although my embroidery loves the laundromat and just trying to take care of myself.  I slept 3 or 4 hours in a row so even that is getting better. Taking Care of Business is a song by Bachman Turner Overdrive.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

It's a Beautiful Day

This Heart Butterfly will be available at the Valley Artisans Market Seconds and Pottery Sale this weekend.  Every artist has work available at a reduced price and Kathleen the wonderful member in charge of this event has really outdone herself so please come by and shop!  Many of the artists will be in and out over the weekend so please come and meet us too!

The sun is shining on the water, I made some great eggs, and I’ve been embroidering for hours.  What could be more beautiful?  I don’t have any pictures to share my phone is upstairs and I am in the galley room.  It looks like a galley, I’ll have to ask if that was the intention or not.   The house is built on the water which I found fascinating really.  I find everything about this place fascinating.  One of the cats disappeared for hours only to be found somehow under a bench next to the kitchen. It was wild and woolly but all’s well that ends well.

I took a ride to Cambridge yesterday and the ride is even more beautiful from up north than it is from down south.  Beautiful mountain views, farms, green everywhere.  Just took my breath away.  Every time I venture out in my car I am in awe of the countryside and Richard(my landlord) says the view up north outshines them all, I don’t even know how that is possible.

The sleep patterns are getting slightly better.  I’m sleeping more, not really more hours in a row, but more sleep on the whole.  I’m feeling so much better and so much more peaceful.  Hardly any anxiety at all and considering where I’ve been the last few weeks I think that is unbelievable (but true none the less).  

I’m working a lot more too. Today I’m thinking how nice it might be to just work all day, I haven’t even thought of a day like that in such a long time.  I still haven’t figured out a way to supplement my income but I have no doubt I will.  I hope all is well with you; my brain is a little less foggy so hopefully more thought provoking posts soon and some pictures.  The pictures are on hold as I am still trying to figure out the new phone my son gave me for my birthday and how to send them to my email.  Have a great day and I'm going to get to work!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

In the Still of the Night

Sometimes we end up in places and we have no godly explanation how we ended up there.  That is sort of where I am at the moment.  I am exactly where I need to be at this moment and I have no Godly explanation of how I ended up here.  A week ago I was still getting over the shell shock of being sent out into the cold hard world before I deemed I was ready.  I personally thought I needed at least a couple more days of rest and relaxation in the behavioral unit before attempting to live again in the real world again.

Hence the powers that be and my insurance company decided not quite.  So I started the week of hotel, which was ultra cool having a jacuzzi and a really cool bathtub to soak in.  And somehow in desperation and a realization that I couldn't live at home(I think I can visit and probably be a friend to the experience but I can't live in my old home) I answered a listing on Craig'slist and ended up overlooking some water, eating ganache on my birthday and marveling in the still of the night about how the heck did I exactly end up here now.

I've started to sleep again, not straight through but more and more each night.  I've started to embroider again, more than I have in months, I've started to dream again and I looked out the window last night in the darkness to see lights shimmering on the canal and realized I may not be here forever but this is where I am supposed to find myself in the moment.  I have a new friend who is a chef, hence the ganache. I found some vintage fabrics, hence the upcoming pillows and hearts.  I found myself as an artist and I found peace.  Honest to goodness peace with being myself and hoping for the best again.  And yet I still don't really understand how I ended up with a room overlooking water, with a trusty dog and a bunch of  trusty cats and a friend all in the blink of an eye. In a place where you can buy vintage fabric.  Do you know how hard it is to buy good vintage anything anymore?

I'm going to go shower and clear my head and start my day, back to CP to see my son, see my therapist and contemplate what to bring with me to my new home.  Have a great day and I'll see you later on Facebook or here with some pictures of work instead of my great new view.  Deb

Monday, August 13, 2012

Good Day Sunshine

Good day sunshines!  Hope everyone who reads this is happy and chipper this morning.  I am happy and chipper.  I have somehow managed to live on planet earth for 53 years without growing up. Today is my 53rd birthday and have much to be thankful for.  First off my son, who made the last 21 years the bomb.  Secondly my family, they have been so wonderful in these past few months(and the rest of my life too, one of the best parts about crashing and burning is being embraced by the people who knew you when you were too young to crash and burn) and then there are the friends.  What can I say I'm blessed!

I am still at a crossroads in my life, as lovely as Whitehall is it is not the destination of my dreams but it could be the destination of anybody with a dream.  There is so much freakin opportunity here it is teeming all over town, maybe teeming the wrong word to use but bursting out is more accurate.

Everywhere you look there is a vacant building waiting to be moved into.  An artist coop(my personal favorite), a book store, a record store, a yoga studio.  Any kind of dream is available here.  I would love to come back here in a couple of years and find all those things and more right here in Whitehall.  But first I have to leave, not quite yet but I'm going to be doing mini roadtrips in every direction and see if there is a dream waiting for me somewhere along the path I'm traveling.  Everywhere you look there is a mountain and I will find them and then come home to sleep.  If and when I can ever get some sleep.  For those who care(and there are a few) I am not sleeping through but sleeping more. 

Obviously this is the piece I'm working on and Good Day Sunshine is a song by Paul McCartney.  I know grammatically this blog post was a slog but whatever.   Have a great day !

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A New Beginning

 A view like this.

A meal like this.
A trusty dog.

Ok so I was freakin out 2 hours ago because I am in my new apartment.  I am here alone(hopefully that's not a mistake to say so).  My landlord/roommate had to work, I am locked out of my room and can't figure out how to turn the lights on in the room I'm in now.  So what else would Debbie do but panic.  But DebraAnn looked out the window(after panicking) realized the lodge across the street was having a chicken barbeque and ate.  Drank a little wine.  Ok and whined a little too.  And realized I have a big old couch a tv and a really good air conditioner(not to mention a sweet as pie dog) on this very hot day and am thankful for the  new opportunity.  I'm sure my new landlord/roommate will come back for his dog and 4 cats.  Yes he likes cats and has 4 of them because he can't stand the thought of euthanizing them.  He's a chef and a bartender although I had to wing it earlier when I made lunch on the industrial size stove.  Which was an experience all by itself, lighting pilot lights and being a big girl all by myself.  I'm ok and very tired so I'm sitting on the couch getting ready to lie down and sleep out the darkness with the tv keeping me company.  I hope you are all well.  I'll have something more insightful and embroidered tomorrow(as my embroidery is in the locked room).  By the way had a great trek to Vermont which is literally only about 10 minutes away.  Feel really good about this.  Deb.