Saturday, March 31, 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 least.  I love when people purchase these peaces as I realize it speaks to them even though it didn't really speak to me.  That really explains art as a whole, everyone can look at or listen to a peace of art and find the meanings for themself.

That is why I embroider.  It is the best way I have found to bring me peace, bring me art, and bring me salvation.  Hopefully those who purchase my work find the same qualities .  I call this the otherworldly aspects of how I make my work.  I feel so blessed that God has given me the ability to create something from nothing using just a needle, thread and some fabric.

Keep stitching.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

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 feel empowered, they helped me clean my house, lose weight, drive to all my different venues and so many other things too numerous to count.  But most importantly they made it easy to embroider all day long.  Eighty six songs every single one of them I like.  Simply they were my muses, which I unfortunately told the lead singer during our brief encounter on Twitter.  Or not so unfortunately as it turned out he was quite a-muse-ing himself and I do love to laugh and a very kind soul also.

Unfortunately I made some bad choices and had to look at the reality of the life I have and the life I want.  I suffered from horrible insomnia, had lady problems, and kind of stopped eating for a while and put down the embroidery.  The last word of that sentence is the most important.  I put down the embroidery it is what makes my heart sing.  Embroidery is what makes me stay sane, centered and focused.  I came out of the experience in a much better place and was able to embroider a bit more then I had been.  But still the consistency and sustained effort it takes to be a working artist of any sort was not there. I needed the Black Keys.

So now I find myself at a fork in the road, I can wallow in the past and stay right where I am or I can follow my true path.  Embroidery, making art, laughing, singing, dancing and living.  To do that I have to put the Black Keys back on my ears.  So there you have it.

Find your hand embroidery and your Black Keys.  If  you are a soul searching  for something you will only find it in the things you love and the way you've had to find it.  Blessings and find your uniqueness and run with it.

By the way, several people have told me along the way that my blog posts are too long.  That is probably true if my blog were just an ordinary hand embroidery blog, but I think a lot of the themes I touch on are human themes that everyone encounters. God did not give me the life I've had if he did not want to shine a light on the struggles of humanity. Peace.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Passion

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 about finding your embroidery and your Black Keys(a band as if you didn't know that already).  During the holidays I was a bit more successful than I had anticipated I embroidered and listened to the Black Keys nonstop for a couple of months.  They were high energy and helped me to block out the noise that often got in the way.  Those few months were probably the happiest of my lifetime as I had a purpose, a reason to do what I loved every single day, and a beautiful soundtrack to go with it. 

I kind of took a detour because of some personal issues I was dealing with as of late, but my passion for my work has returned.  I am filled with hope and peace and love while I'm embroidering.  Hopeful for the next chapter in my life and where my work can bring me.  I have learned that in order to be passionate in one's life you have to look inside your heart and find the uniqueness that makes your heart sing(or in my case the Black Keys, I make dogs howl even when my heart sings).  The things you love to do that bring you joy should always be a priority on your list of things to do.  You have an answer somewhere inside of you, just trust it and keep moving forward because getting stuck in the muck and mire of life for even a day, never mind longer can do so much damage to your passion, your life and most of all yourself.  Blessings.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

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 square room with beautiful thronelike chairs. I sat in one of them and prayed for a while.  This alone filled me with such peace and tranquility. I walked around the room and saw all these beautiful paintings of Christ and the saints that were painted on the wall above them.  I stopped and read beautiful passages that were sitting ont a lecturn as I walked about the room.  I was there a while and then decided to go look at the temple which was further along a pathway. 

As you opened the temple door a light went on behind the altar and it was a truly magnificent sight.  I sat down by a small table which had 3 different  prayer books on it.  Each one had a post it sticker to relevant passages for today.  I read them all and was comforted by the words I read.  I sat there for quite a while, so long that the light on the altar turned off by itself. 

I then left and saw the most beautiful slate waterfall .As I left I realized just what I needed to do in my life.  To make amends, bless and clean out the old and then move on to a new and better life which is more in step with what I wish for my future.

And then I returned to the market and I met the most remarkable woman who happened to believe in reiki and meditation.  It was kismet.  She wrote a simple chant on a card which I will use to create my new life.  She told me it would bring clarity to me.  Very lovely woman and our conversation seemed to simply happen by chance as I think we both said things that were relevant to the other's life path.  It was really an extraordinary day and I have faith that everything will be fine if I just follow my heart and whatever path  it leads to.  Blessings to everyone and if you ever happen to be up in the Cambridge area please visit the monastery grounds as it is an experience you will never forget. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

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.



Sunday, March 25, 2012

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.





Saturday, March 24, 2012

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 happens at the end of your school life when innocence and dreams still exist.  It is a very important milestone and one they will remember the rest of their lives.

There are millions of girls all over the United States at the moment who will be unable to attend their prom because they simply cannot afford a dress.  There are charities all over the country providing prom dresses for then.  This is the time of year to donate one so please donate yourold  prom gown(or pretty bridesmaid dress) to the organization in your neighborhood and give some lucky girl the chance to be a princess even if it is only for one night.   Also if you are blessed with some money call your local school district and see if they will allow you to pay for the prom for some lucky couple.  A prom is a once in a liftetime occassion and every single person who wants to go to the prom should be able to. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

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 inside of me and ends up as a finished peace. My friend Emily said recently that every peace of my work lately looks like it comes from my soul and when I think about it that describes it pretty well. Every peace that I make fills me with peace and then I wonder why I take the hard route that doesn't really add to my life so much of the time. The hours wasted doing nothing, either playing on the computer. Nothing gives me peace like working on a peace. Add some freakin great music and I've found the perfect moment.

I think most of our lives are lived getting out of our own way. Making mountains out of molehills or letting inspiration be drowned out by something so much less important. In the past few months I've gotten better at drowning out the unimportant but still sometimes an obstacle that I've usually put in my own way crops up. Instead of letting the long and winding peace of thread bring me joy I do something to put myself in knots.

So there lies the rub and the idea that anything that brings someone peace and happiness is something they should be doing the rest of their lives as much as they can. Long and winding roads of life tied together by threads. Sadness and grief assuaged by something they love. A cross word from someone you love or even worse someone who you don't know and who doesn't really matter forgotten the minute you start doing what you love. A peace of work, a peace of love, a peace of peace.

I don't know if you have been reading my blog a lot or just happened upon it but do what you love, love who you are, find your peace of something and just live your life happy. Nothing is easy but peace is the most illusive and most of the problem is you. I've realized I can either choose to be unhappy or I can do something I love and find the long and winding strand of thread that gives me peace. Bless you, keep stitching.

I'm going to be stitching up a new life for a while, so you may not read a blog post as frequently as you have been lately(that is a blessing all by itself). I will be sharing new work and news once in a while. You can spend your life chasing crazy dreams or you can spend your life making work that you love, that brings you peace. Find peace in yourself and the attitudes and opinions of others really don't matter much at all. Make 2012 the year of the artist in yourself. Find your uniqueness, find what makes you laugh, sing, dance and be merry as you could be gone tomorrow. Leave something inspiring for your children and our children. Blessings again. Remember the peace.

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 many fulfilled hopes and dreams that I sometimes have to pinch myself.  The only thing that was missing was the hole in my heart left by my angel brother when he died before I even got to know him. I have healed that hole and I know I have a piece of his heart in my heart. All the people I love are with me in my heart and in my dreams.  All of my friends from throughout my life I have reconnected with on Facebook.  Loves and best friends and current friends and kindred spirits.  They are all such wonderful people.  I know I am lucky that the lord blessed me with so many wonderful people in my life.

The only thing remaining to be dealt with is the lack of understanding that I am who I am and that I deserve to be happy.  I deserve to be happy.  I deserve to live in a place where the sun shines and the darkness is saved for sleep and other earthly pleasures.  I no longer can just go along on someone else's ride.  So I am starting my business in earnest very soon on Etsy.  I am going to continue to write my blog and work in the wonderful Valley Artisans Market which to be honest is my favorite place on earth at the moment.  The ride there is beautiful, as are the people ,as are their art. Not to mention all the other wonderful people I deal with as an artist.

Finally there is my son who I just absolutely adore and my husband Peter, who although I love him, does not seem to be able to understand me.  I hope someday the three of us find people who understand us and love us for who we truly are and not who they wish us to be.  I'm not sure what will happen but perhaps God knows.

I guess in ending I am ready to scream out from the mountaintop, I wish to live in the land of hopes and dreams and become the person so many others knew but who  I did not know myself.  I am a hand embroidery artist and this is the year of the artist.  True artists are the only ones who can save our civilization from the cesspool it has become.

Be a true artist, find your own unique qualities and serve a bigger purpose.  Live your life every day like you are dying . Find your embroidery and your Black Keys.  And by Black Keys I mean the music that I had rolling around in my head while I had the most productive artistic time in my life. Their music got to my soul and healed it. 

Blessings and keep stitching, or knitting, or painting, or cooking or music writing.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

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 gravitate you and remind you that tomorrow will be a better day.

The way to find peace is in the moment.  Yesterday is over, tomorrow not yet here.  It is in finding something you love such as embroidery.  Everyone has something that brings them peace, they just can't seem to find the time or feel selfish because there are so many things they should be doing instead.

A healthy world, a healthy planet, a healthy country, a healthy state, a healthy neighborhood all begins and ends with peace in our soul and the love of something we can share with the world.  Don't let the darkness of the big picture ruin your moment of peace.  Say a prayer. Chant a meditation, take a few stitches and peace will begin with you.

And as John Lennon would say Give Peace a Chance.

Monday, March 19, 2012

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 and distant family. Love of my dog. Love of embroidery.  Love of the Black Keys in my Zune(I was never so creatively productive in my life). Love of my soul and the universe it lives in.   Love of life.

Find your own version of embroidery and the Black Keys and be inspired to go create something special that only your uniqueness can create.

This piece is called Shiny, Bright Things.  It can be yours through my blog at the moment by emailing me at das813@hotmail.com.  It is $45.00.  It looks much more beautiful then the picture.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

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.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Intersections

Intersections by DebraAnn813
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 will be oh so happy with.  I am going to embroider and frame and finally move my business and my art further.  Whatever fits in my suitcase will come with me and whatever doesn't I'll leave behind.  That metaphor is not just a metaphor.

I have changed in the last year since I joined the oh so wonderful Valley Artisans Market.  I became an artist. I have my work all over upstate New York and a friend to travel with.  She will definitely be something I take along.  I have a beautiful son who is the reason I wake up every single morning so he will come along too.  I have a beautiful soul sister named Emily who I will continue to see almost every Tuesday  morning who knows exactly who I am and who loves me anyway.  I will have my family and my friends on Facebook.  Facebook is just one fabulous way of keeping all the different parts of your life connected to you especially your brother who you rarely get to see personally but who is the greatest inspiration of moving on in life and just taking what you need to survive.

And finally I will have my mother.  Her love of music.  Her love of art.  Her love of literature.  And most importantly her love of me.  She gave me all the things I needed to get me to this point of the intersection and now I know she is always with me and will guide me through the rest of my life.

Once again I am a working artist so if you have a needlecrafted piece unfinished by a loved one I can finish it for you. Then  you can display the wonderful lovely piece of your life that was left unfinished and perhaps you can cross the intersection too. If you send me a picture I can embroider you a brand new piece or you can just buy a piece of my art at one of the beautiful shops I do business with.  And Etsy is coming soon too.   Email me at das813@yahoo.com and send me a picture.  I give free estimates or charge $20.00 an hour.  I have 46 years of experience and am very good at what I do.

Blessings and keep stitching.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Mothers

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 and proceeded to get married at 16 to a gentleman I never knew who  was a merchant marine.  He would get my grandmother pregnant, go back out to sea, come home and get her pregnant again, and go back out to sea.And once more he got my grandmother pregnant and went back out to sea.  She left him after that, and he left her with three children, my mother Phyllis, my Aunt Madeline and my Uncle Ralph.  My mother being the oldest. My grandmother was one of the most loving outspoken people I have ever met.  She married my grandfather when my mother ws 10 and he was a wonderful father and a wonderful grandfather.  She hit the lottery when she married him.

I've talked about my mother before, she was a beautiful nurturing person that could talk to anyone and always listened.  Everyone loved her, she was also an artist as mentioned before and yes another outspoken woman, stronger than many people I've ever known.  She had to overcome the death of a child and a car accident that left my father in a hospital for a year all in the same year.  But she threw herself into being Anthony and myself's mother.  And we grew up to be incredible people in our own right.  Neither of us did drugs, perhaps we drank a little recreationally and we basically are very nice kind people with lots of friends.  Facebook is a daily reminder of just how lucky I was to have the friends I've had in my lifetime.

Then comes me. I've had an exceptionally hard life which you can read about somewhere in my blog.  I never really could ever just relax because something horrible was always around the corner. The last few weeks have been no exception.  I felt like I had everything.  I finally accepted being an artist, I found my focus and became a hand embroidery artist and have my work  all over upstate NY.  That is so wonderful really.  I love living in upstate NY, it is just the greatest place for me to live. I have a son who is the reason I wake up in the morning I have the greatest friends a girl could ask for. I get to embroider for a living and well the rest is a little bit unsettling.  I am going through my change of life, battling insomnia, doing some soul work, trying to get a business started and trying to embroider all my troubles away.

Somewhere on my journey I took a wrong turn.  I could say it is the internet's fault because I have been twittering the lead singer of the band that has been living in my head.  I could say it's hormonal because I am in the midst of a month long period.  I could say it's lack of sleep because for several weeks I barely slept at all, or I could just say that things aren't exactly peachy keen in my home life. I really wish someone would come up on a white horse  and take me away.  But perhaps it is just that I don't know how to be happy without screwing it up or waiting for the last shoe to drop.

I thought I had everything I needed to move forward and basically the last month or two has been a cry for help mixed in with a lot of beautiful moments.  I thought I healed everything going on in my soul and my heart and yet I am filled with the despair, that I am back in that hole with only a hand sticking out.  I've made quite a few bad choices in the last few weeks, the last few months and the last few years, perhaps my whole life.  I guess this post is a period to a never ending saga.  The only thing that gives me joy at the moment is my embroidery and music.  I love to hand embroider, I love to listen to music, I love to dance and I love having a rock star in my hotmail box.  And yet somehow all those things have combined to make me have yet another crisis. 

I don't know where I'll end up and with whom, but I do know for now I have to follow in the footsteps of my mother and her mother and her mother and be strong.  Life isn't easy but there are things in it that make my life beautiful even in this particular time period.  I need my mothers to help me from above to remember that it's not the good times that make you strong but the bad times.  Blessings to all and hug your mother or your grandmother, or your great grandmother. 

Sometimes I don't really know why I write this stuff, but I figure God doesn't give you all this happiness and all this pain without  a reason.




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 feel uniquely qualified to give you something they can't.  I can finish your missing piece.  I can listen and understand and fill in the missing pieces. The pieces you just can't bear to part with, because they remind you of someone you love.

Send me your unfinished pieces and I will finish them for you.  Then you can choose the best way to honor your loved one by picking a frame that speaks to the other parts of you and your relationship .  Send me a picture of their favorite thing and I can make you a brand new piece.  Or you can buy the pieces that come out of my head and speak to me. 

Or you could just email me at das813@hotmail.com and we can discuss your grief.  Sometimes especially later on in the grieving process people feel we should just get over it and get on with our lives.  I am a living example of how sometimes that is not so easy. Let me help you in my own unique way and you will help to honor my loved ones by keeping me sane.  Blessings.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

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 the dead because frankly except for a few beloved people who are still living many of the most important people who made me who I am are deceased and I miss them every single day.

I am also available for commission work.  I have made several pieces from existing photographs.  I would love to hand embroider anything you wish to have hand embroidered.  My love for the needlearts and most especially embroidery is unending.  It is what makes my boat float, makes time fly by, and keeps me out of a psychiatrist's office.  And if I have a great tune to work to I am totally inspired.

 If you are in need of my services please contact me at das813@hotmail.com.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

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 much bubbly out of the grownup's glasses.  That memory makes me smile and makes me remember  just how much I loved her then and how much I love her now.

Blessings on your day.  Give your friends a howdy.   Give your kids a hug and be thankful for every single wonderful friend you have.  A special thank you from me to my soul friends Emily and Cheryl, without you in my life I don't know where I would be today.

Monday, March 12, 2012

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 desire.  And you too can find your way out of the darkness and follow the long and winding road to peace.  Thanks for reading and have a
blessed day.

Friday, March 9, 2012

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 aside, no one and I mean no one over the age of 12 should be able to contact their favorite artist.  You start to act like a 12 year old.

Secondly, my blog is going to change focus now that the darkness of the soul has lifted.  I have been getting tremendous feedback about my  revelatory posts about my childhood.  I have been able to reconnect with many of my childhood friends and have gotten closer to my childhood family in such  a profound way.  I am so thankful for their encouragement. I am going to start to tie in my embroidery with themes about children.  Children need a voice and a story that they can find when they are going through things they do not understand on any level other then the soul.  That means both children and children who have outgrown their childhood.I am also interested  in becoming more of a children's writer, so my blog may sound a bit fanciful at times.

Bless the Beasts and the Children was a popular song when I was a child.  It seemed appropriate to kick off my new focus with a song from my childhood.  Across the universe there are children who are being mistreated, neglected, abused and unloved. They are being abducted, raped and killed.  They are having all the safety nets that have served them well removed.   They are taking the arts and music out of the classrooms, without art and music I would not be here today writing this blog.  They are taking money away from schools in poor districts all over the country.  They are cutting mental  health budgets, early childhood programs like headstart,, and many other programs that mainly help children so that they can give tax cuts to extremely wealthy people who frankly cannot buy their souls back.  I believe that children are our future, we need to invest in them so we can start to regain the soul of our country and the soul of our universe. 

So there you have it, my focus for the rest of my life.  And to all those sweet little souls the princess and princes of our life, please remember that unconditional love of a parent who just loves their child so much that they want to heal their soul and share light anyway they can.
Keep stitching.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Beneath The Surface

Beneath The Surface by DebraAnn813
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. 










Wednesday, March 7, 2012

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 listening to the most unbelievably inspiring music, from Here Comes the Sun to Oh Happy Days by the queen herself Ms. Aretha Franklin and now I know how to do that hand thing like she used to do.  Driving in my car listening to music I suppose, it's quite humorous really and if you see me coming you have to just get out of the way.  Not really but poetic license, perhaps.

I'm also finding out that they thought of me as some sort of light.  That is amazing because I kind of feel light now, a bounce  in my step and a loss of weight without even dieting.  Now that is an epiphany all by itself.  And my brain just kind of feels empty with nothing but lightness and love left behind.

It's weird because all my life I kept things hid.  I didn't do things I should have done, I didn't say things I should have said, I let people use me as a freakin doormat to load all their troubles on.  And then I just couldn't live with the darkness, with the weight of other people's troubles, handling everybody's issues except my own.  And the my own is the important part.  So many people hide their lights under a bushel to fit in, or to appear stronger, or just to be normal(a word that should be struck from the human dictionary very quickly).  But you don't really have to.  Just take one small step as I did when I applied again to be a member of VAM.  I could have said no I don't want to risk it again, but my lovely friend and artistic mentor Cheryl prodded me into it.  Best decision I was ever prodded into.  I don't know if I've outright said it but art has helped bring to light a lot of issues  and heal them from the inside out.  The Black Hole when all you see in the middle of a big black hole is a hand reaching up with light shimmering out.  The tree quilt that I made as an honor to my family.  My mothers glasses, my fathers hammer, lots of beads and glitter and green, I just love green.  And orange too.  Carol said it was a tree that looked like it had roots on both ends.  And now are the whimsical pieces and some french knotty abstract things in green that come from my soul have bought me full circle.

I guess since I don't want to write a book, what I'm saying is that you have to find what you love and do it every single day, most of your day.  It's not selfish to have a healthy psyche.  It's the gift you give yourself that just keeps giving.  And whether you like to bake, or like to sing, or like to stitch.  Things made with love are just the best gifts to receive.  And they have wonderful fringe benefits by bringing a relaxed human being even into a nest of hornets.  And they show other people your light.

So if you are looking for an answer to life's big questions, ask yourself what would make me happy today?  Because I guarantee whatever answer you end up with is better then war, and hate, and battles, and despair.  Please go look for your own light and if you can't find it, find a good therapist and some great friends to help you find it.  It's really important because it's the only thing that is going to save us.  Keep stitchin.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Music

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 made her happy which as you know was not always easy.  If I wanted music, music was what I got. Actually if I wanted anything she would at least try to get it for me and my brother.  I can remember times when my mother, my brother and I would sit around the coffee table playing cards and listening to Paul Anka, or Elvis, or Herb Alpert ooh. Not a huge Herb Alpert fan even today. 

When I was young my cousins Sal and LuAnn spent huge amounts of time with us as I think my mom needed reinforcement and my aunt and my cousins would come and stay or I would stay with them.  I have great memories of listening to the Batman theme and making a play about it.  And listening to Beatle songs, my cousin had those adorable little Batman bobble head dolls on her bed when I would sleep over.  Funny how something so little and minor leaves such a lasting memory.

I can remember as a teen, listening to Pink Floyd with my boyfriend Tony, who is now a Facebook friend with his lovely wife Lisa.  I remember the girls from the hill in front of my friend Nancy's house don't really remember the music just that it was there, we were looking at boys (swoon).  I remember Us and Them from the first school dance I went to.  I remember the Beach Boys the songs I used to dance to with my friend Jamie.  He was my first big crush but alas his heart belonged to another.  I remember driving up Route 9 all the way up to somewhere in New York with my friend Lisa and listening to Greetings from Asbury Park.

As I got older I went to medical assisting school, which was a waste of money as you can't be a medical assistant if you can't stand the site of blood but whatever.  There I met the most wonderful friends who I would go out and dance with abandon with.  There was also my friend Liz who I went out with all the time, she had a huge bosom(sorry) and I had a big behind and we would laugh that we would get them coming and going.  I was one of those people that met a jerk every time I went out, most of them are not memorable but I did get a couple to write songs and poems for me without sleeping with them.  That was rather remarkable although I didn't really know it at the time.  I guess I had the "something" that when I danced I could make a man do anything.  Unfortunately for me I did not realize that at the time so I was almost continually heartbroken and thought I was quite unattractive.  I do remember the music though, it was The Cars, the Clash, Joe Jackson, Elvis Costello.  I don't even like to mention the name Elvis Costello as the lady below me in
Peter and I's first apartment used to play Pump It Up over and over and over again.  But who am I to say anything.

My favorite song that I wanted to have played at my wedding was I Only Have Eyes for You.  It was a song that Art Garfunkel sang(and many before him) but the band who played at my wedding didn't know it.  So we ended up with You're My Inspiration by Peter Cetera, I kind of liked his music at the time but time hasn't been good for me and old Peter Cetera.  Can't even listen to him now.

When my beautiful son was born, I used to sing You Are My Sunshine and yes I know every mother sings that song at least once to their beautiful children.  Now that I'm older and wiser You're the One is the song that most reminds me of my son.  He is and was and always will be the one I adore.  There is just no question about that.

When my dad was in his coma, I found Andrea Bocelli on PBS and just fell in love with that voice.  He was the voice of an angel comforting me during those long months when there was nothing I could do except crochet christening outfits and cry.  I did crochet cotton work and I guess maybe that had something to do with it.  I could escape and go back to Italy where my ancestors came from and cry even though I don't know Italian.

When I wanted to move up state whenever I would feel like I would never reach my home I used to hear When I Saw Her Face I Was a Believer although I changed the verbage to make it Place instead of Face.  And while here I found the most beautiful people to fit in all the little pieces. My friend Emily who I can say just about anything to and even when it's totally ridiculous she still laughs.  My friend Cheryl who is my  mentor in art and everything business.  All the wonderful people I meet everywhere I go.  The cashiers that smile and know me by face, the pizzeria girls who know my name Debbie.  My neighbors who get a chance to be joyous either by something I've said or done or we are all laughing together.  I try to be a light and nice to everyone.  I used to think when I was younger that it was because I needed them so badly to replace my mother until my son came along, but I find they saw my light much more readily then I did.  Mere mortals are not perfect but there are angels everywhere, I guess because I spent so many years with a beautiful angelic soul waiting to be reunited with her son  I see angels in everyone.

Everything happens for a reason and why on the day that I picked up a magazine on childhood grief as I was leaving my therapists office and came home to my son giving me 6 Black Keys cd I will never know.  But I kind of think every single song on those cds was an otherworldly gift or a couple of angels who know how to talk about loss, or just my mother putting one more piece in the puzzle.  I know that when I started healing I started dancing, singing and laughing and everything changed after that by wiping out all the grief and leaving just peace and light behind.

I also have a future plan for myself.  I would like to help children who are also dealing with the pain and loss of losing so much of their innocence as a child.  I also would like to serve as an inspiration to every human being who thinks whatever their petty issues are it is somehow more important then the real loss of real love and real security and real abandonment.  Those are real issues that kill mere mortals but when you have an angel who walked among you for 24 years you become something more then a mere mortal.  You become a beacon of light for eveyone you come into contact with because when you live a life like myself and my brother you can relate to everything and the most important part of that is that you show them they are not alone.  We understand everything in our own way.  One note in passing, I have been known in the past to carry other mere mortals issues on my shoulders like they are my issues.  My issue was the dark that enveloped my life since I was 2 years old.  I don't have time for the pettiness of not having a boyfriend or failing a test or any other singular thing that makes them think their life is over.  While I will always listen, and be here to listen to anyone who needs an understanding ear I am not going to scream at mere mortals to make them understand me anymore.  They are going to have to understand themselves and then we can do some light work like embroidering or whatever makes them sing.

I am eternally grateful to all my dead angels, live angels, embroidery angels, art angels, therapist angels and the muses in music that brought me into the light.  Find your own muses because for each and every human being there is a single soundtrack to heal their lives you just have to listen for it and take it everywhere you go.  Then you can experience the joy of feeling light.  Keep stitchin.

Monday, March 5, 2012

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 music or dance.  Our hearts know what they know.  There is no logical explanation for it, we can't really find what we are looking for unless we look for it and then let it go.  If it's real it comes back and if not well we are always better for the experience.

I have been making hearts for a long time, but it is only in the last few months that my artistry has really taken off and my hearts have really begun to soar all over upstate New York.  I love to make them, I love to watch people when they pick them up, especially if they are filled with french knots as people can feel the texture, notice the subtleties and nuances and feel them with their eyes closed. Variations of color, texture and subtlety that feed the soul.

A good book, a beautiful song, a piece in an embroidery hoop, they all have something beautiful to offer us.   One of my favorite books is Anam Cara.  It is about the bonding of two souls in friendship. I have been very lucky in my Anam Cara as I have always found a bit more of the light by almost all of the friendships I have made.

You're the One by the Black Keys is a beautiful song which reminds me of my son, my one and only unconditional light, he shines for me every single morning and I am so joyful that I have him. It is about finding the one that you are supposed to be with, the light is on.   It also features a plaintiff wail that certainly touched my heart and brought me into the light.  It is one of my favorite songs.

And then there is the embroidery, the one constant in my entire life.  I have been embroidering since I was 6 years old.  My grandmother taught me how to embroider, probably one of those days that I spent when life was so hard for my adult parents, and my brother and I were unaware.  I really think being a hand embroiderer is what saved my life for all those years.  Taking little stitches and patching up all the holes in my life and other peoples lives.  It's a huge metaphor for the piece of our heart that was taken on that April day in 1964.  We just patched over our loss and moved on.  Now I can say out loud and with great joy that I am a hand embroidery artist.  It took me a very long time to find my voice but I found it.  And I can say the patch is gone and replaced by light.

I'm going to take off from the blog for a few days and rest up and regroup.  The name of this bird is Little.  She is a special little bird who kept me company during my dark night of the soul.  If you would like to discuss this post or inquire about purchasing one of my hearts you can email me at
debraann813@yahoo.com.

Find your light, find your messenger because even though it makes you a little crazy it is a wonderful joyful experience to live in the light again.



Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sleep

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 waking hours I could usually handle it, but the lack of restful peaceful sleep time has made me crazy.  Luckily during  my waking hours I spend much of my time doing what I love, embroidering, going out with friends, spending time with my son and generally being a light person who is light and cheerful to anyone around her.  But then there is the darkness.  The last few days have been exceptionally hard as the planets collided to make sure I received about 8 hours sleep in a week.  I don't think I have to tell you that is not enough sleep.

Last night I could not sleep so I went downstairs to lay on my couch and I fell asleep.  I think it is where I have to sleep for a little while.  When I was young my mother had back problems and slept on a love seat with her legs hanging over, I slept on the couch because I was afraid of the dark and afraid of the noises that were coming out of my attic which was attached to my room.  When we weren't sleeping which was all the time frankly we would watch movies together.  Movies like Dark Victory, The Swinger, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.  I wouldn't give up those nights for anything, who wouldn't want to spend such quality time with their mother.  But they had a devastating affect on my sleep patterns that I have never quite recovered from.  And that being said, I ended up with fibromyalgia which originates in your brain chemistry.  There is no definitive answer and they don't know whether it is the lack of sleep or a change in the brain chemistry.  Somehow cortisol is involved and that is what controls pain in the body. So is the chicken before the egg or the other way around.

I decided to talk about this today, because the last week has been exceptionally bad.  As you probably have surmised I have been all over the map, up, down,up, down, up, down.  I can sadly say I also had voices running through my head.  I think maybe that is the reason I  had the breakthrough the other day about exposing the darkness in my life.  I can't really live as a dark being anymore, I have to move towards the light or I will be moving towards the light permanently.  It's not really fun to admit that you have a major problem that you can't handle on your own.  But on Friday when I was working at the coop after pulling an all nighter, the nicest thing happened. I couldn't count my draw although I only  had one cash sale and Warren the gentlemen who makes the most beautiful wooden toys(you should really come to see them)did it for me.  He had said earlier that he didn't like counting the drawer either and that often he is up at 3:00 making those wonderful toys.  I immediately thought of him as a wonderful elf.  I know that Chung Ah will have a hard time deciphering my envelope because my 2 sales of the day were both done incorrectly, but Chung Ah also happens to be an insomniac so she will understand.  I was totally out of control that day but a very, very light being because I was so tired my brain wouldn't work. 

I shared this story because there are millions of people all over the world who can't sleep and live in some form of darkness some of the time, there are some of us who do it more often then others.  Try to be kind to them and talk to them about it, you may be surprised to find that they are a beautiful light person who just couldn't go to sleep in the dark.

Blessings and a good nights sleep, and I will be sleeping on the couch for a while so that maybe someday soon my brain will be quiet enough to give you a less rambling blog post.  keep stitching.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Here Comes the Sun

Mighty Sun 005 by DebraAnn813
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 career where he made beautiful, beautiful music and then was part of The Traveling Wilburys until his death. Yes I know everyone should know that but it has become obvious that our country is in dire need of some real music for a change.

OK, hi ho, hi ho it's off to work I go to make some new art. Look for the light in your life.

Friday, March 2, 2012

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 he is used to that.  Live with an over the top personality long enough and well you  know.

From now on I will talk about embroidery and art in inspirational tones.Sometimes we are a little dense when inspiration hits us and sometimes we are just unaware that music, laughter and art combine to heal even the most tortured of happy souls.  I lived in a private darkness because I didn't want people to pity me, I  wanted  them to like me so I showed them the light and hid the dark.  But then all of us serve a purpose in this world.  My purpose is to find all the bright shiny objects in the darkness and somehow stitch them together.  If you are feeling sorry for yourself because something minor has been broken, or someone you love has been taken away, or you flunked out of school get over it.  In a world where nobody talks about darkness except in a therapists chair we are a land of broken people .  It's time to pick up your heart, stitch it back together, leave other's in stitches and just keep on stitching. It's very productive to soul work than anything else because you have to concentrate on each little stitch.

And please, just please bookmark my previous post and everytime you think you can not make it one more day, think this little light of mine I'm gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.  And pay attention to the universe and you may find your embroidery,  art and music that makes you happy.

Realizing you could be living in any other family and be dead with all the hell you've lived through is very liberating.  I love the direction I'm going in now and I will forever be greatful to God for my unconditional loves.

I edited this post because after a few good hours of sleep it sounded like a good idea.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I Am A Miracle

Hope by DebraAnn813
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 a life saving operation and he died on the table.  That is literally all I know, I was 6 years old  and didn't know much about death and living or happiness.  Nothing.  A few months later my father was in a terrible accident which we passed on the way home from the store and I saw his car and yes it was his car.  He lived through the accident, was told he would never walk again, but yet he did.  He was in the hospital for a year I think, I was 6 years old and really don't remember it.  My mother I think must have had a nervous break down because all I remember is that she took lithium till I was a teenager and she suffered from insomnia and slept late every morning. No breakfast, no lunch, no clean clothes.  Nothing but the greatest love a mother could have for her children.  I think my mother is the reason my brother and I are still alive today because although we lived in an environment not conducive to anything living, she gave all the love she had in her heart to her two remaining children.  She did everything with us. Any interest in anything she indulged us.  I love to read, to dance to sing because my mother would spend her days dancing in my living room with her daughter who she so adored.  My brother was a real card and always getting into little boy trouble but she just loved us to death.  We were her world and she was going to keep us safe from everything.  Most kids fall off a bike, they get right back on she put our bicycles away.  She would make the most extraordinary breakfasts when we were sick and of course we were always sick.  Once in high school she got mad at me because I liked a boy in school and went to school in the snow.  She was the most nurturing mother ever on the planet ever.  However my whole childhood was spent dancicng around a hoarders episode complete with dead mice, dead birds, dead pets, decaying food.  Kids never came to our house or if they did they never came back.  She filled our time though with great listening and you could literally tell her anything and she would understand.  She also taught me acceptance and the value of  making people laugh.  I could always spin a good yarn and make even the most stuffiest of people laugh.  Even cruel children who didn't have any freakin idea the trauma my brother and I went through.  School was hell and those breakfasts were extraordinary.  I never went to school, ever.  Missed weeks at a time sometimes.  Who knows where I would have ended up had I gone to school.  I could be writing a book and making million dollar paychecks doing it.  I loved to write too.  Was exceptionally good at it too when I was a kid.  My grandmothers and aunts and uncles also helped to pick up the slack, my exceptionally strong maternal grandmother was the most generous soul on the planet,  she also had an extremely hard life and managed to rear absoluting amazing children.  My paternal grandmother who gave me my greatest gift, my love of the needles and the ability to stitch just about anything back together and she lived above a church .  So here I was a little girl with a flair for the dramatic,  who could make people laugh,  who was completely sheltered from the bad world(somewhat) who would say anything to anybody and never had a filter, which let me tell you is a great way to make people laugh.  My mother used to paint clowns, lots of them, with tears running down their cheeks and she would say that I was that clown.  I still am. My grandmother used to take me to church and  lady in the church would say I can see the whole world in your eyes little girl.  And I guess she could, there was a lot of the world for a little girl.  My brother and I continued on that way with a babysitter till I was 14, a lovely neighbor used to bring us hardened marshmallows and pretzels(still have a great mind for details).  Lovely woman.  And then the fun started, I turned 16, sweet 16 and never been kissed.  Met a wonderful boy who is a facebook friend with his wife.  Lovely.  Met lots of boys had a knack for doing that too I might add.  When I turned 18 I went out 4 nights a week and danced and kissed my way through northern NJ and had a hell of a good time doing it.  Until I was 22.  My mother came down with unoperable lymphoma, but didn't know it was terminal until after she died a year later on January 3, 1983.  During those years and the rest of my life I made some very bad choices which haunt me till this day.  I was a train wreck waiting to happen and literally my car got stuck on a railroad track of the real kind not the metaphorical kind, obviously it was towed.  Dark, dark, days and stupid, stupid ways.  My father well I think  he kinda died a little when my brother died and a lot more when my mother died.  He decided he wanted to be happy and he left with his new wife and never looked back on his old life.  Did call once a week and send christmas cards from Arthur and Maria.  Wonderful really.  Also let my 14 year old house cat out in the middle of the winter where I found her when Peter and I went back to visit them.  My brother had to end up taking care of her.  The dog was lucky only her name was changed.  And my brother was lucky too, they let him live in his room without paying rent.  My father was very charming though and that is something I did inherit from him.  No matter what happened, it didn't really matter because when my son was 5 he had a heart attack, which gave him a stroke, which put him in a coma for 8 months because his new life wasn't over.  He was a kind of wonderful father when he was a father.  He died a few hours into January 1, 1997.  It was really a gift because watching someone on machines and knowing they wouldn't have wanted it that way was very painful, dark night of the soul painful.I often visualize my brother, my mother and my father holding hands in a circle in a field.  It gives me joy.  Andrea Bocelli got me through those horrible 8 months I discovered him and he touched my soul,  I also made many embroidered christening outfits without a pattern and worked in a preschool where I could be around beautiful little souls.  Those children kept me alive with their wonderful little happy faces every day.  Later on in January my paternal grandmother died. My maternal grandmother died in August 1987, 2 months after my wedding and my maternal grandfather a truly wonderful, wonderful, wonderful man died May 1991, the same month my son was born.  No matter what, no matter when whenever I was happy the ground gave out under my feet.  And I laughed, and loved, and lived through it all.  I was given so many wonderful gifts from so many different angels on my path and I talk about them every day on my blog.  They are the reason I am alive today.  I have a penchant for meeting new people and a penchant for talking really good combination and every single one of them knows a little something about my life, but this is the first time it is all put together.  9/11 was exceptionally hard for me because I knew exactly how all those families felt and how those poor children's lives were changed forever.  Luckily that happened when mental health doesn't hold such a stigma, hopefully they will heal before it takes them 50 years to do it.  I decided to do this because I no longer just have hope to keep me going, I have a place I love, a nice peaceful place.  I have friends who love me for the crazy I bring into everyone's life, I have a son who the sun rises and sets on and always will even when he lives to the ripe old age of 100, I have a husband who moved me to this beautiful place.  I have a wonderful bunch of artist friends giving and warm and beautiful souled.  I have my beloved embroidery and a penchant for bright colors to brighten the darkness.  I have the Black Keys and their songs that seem to have healed everything from 2 to 52, they have been living in my head through my earphones while I've embroidered for the last 4 months as all of the other music I listened to is too loud, too depressing or too painful to listen to anymore.  I have been set free and I am a miracle.  People like me usually succumb to drugs, to drink, to food, to recklessness but  thanks to my mother and my son as long as one of them has been in my life I've been able to survive.  Unconditional love.  I know this was a long tale to read, I kind of wish it was a novel being paid for and kind of all over the place and raw but it is 3:30 in the morning and I am finally free.  I am a freakin miracle.  Blessings to all who stayed to the end and all of the angels I have in my life  now who worry about me so and the angels I loved in the past .  I love you all.  Don't worry about that roast that is burned or that car that is dented it could be so much worse.

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 our soul level.  Humans are fallible, souls move from one lifetime to another.  That is why I can listen to a Black Keys song and embroider and I can find happiness and peace, my friend Emily can find happiness and peace in country music and quilting,  and  my friend Cheryl can find happiness and peace in classical music and glassmaking.  Each person has a particular linkage to something in their soul that bonds them with an artist , with a song, with a small embroidered heart (that's the sales pitch but I digress).  But you have to listen very carefully to what your soul wants or you just completely miss the linkage and the message that God is trying to send you.

Artists on a whole, live in their soul more than they live in their mere mortal status.  They are more sensitive, they are solitary beings, they spend a lot of time in their heads which sometimes leaves them up in the clouds.  They get the messages that the universe wants to send them and they disseminate it out into the universe where it is supposed to land on the person who most needs that message. But sometimes that message is filled with pain, for it is the losses and the heartbreaks that artists feel more then mere mortals, and then they are used as the conduit to heal everyone else.  Mere mortals like to keep the darkness of their life hid so it is up to the artist to heal them.

I've had a lot of losses and heartbreaks in my lifetime and I spent an awful lot of my life in a very dark place( smiling and making other people laugh) but god never takes anything away from you without leaving something in it's place.  For me it was the needlearts and music and laughter.   The clown with the one tear always dripping down my face.  The dancing with my beloved artist mother who made me and my brother her whole world until her soul just could not take it and left to live in the strictly soul life with my other brother.  But then for all that pain I was rewarded with my beautiful soul of a son.  He reminds me every single day of my mother.  He is the one I adore, as my brother and I were the ones my mother adored.  Children are our souls personified until they get old enough to become mere mortals.  They are the reason we are here on earth .

Without mere mortals, we would have never had Mozart, or Picasso,  The Black Keys(grrrrrrrrrrrrr)or embroiderers who use their talents to stitch people back together.   So I guess in the end to find real beauty sometimes you have to look behind the madness and find the soul living beneath the grrrrrr and then you will be able to give your children the most important message of all, that they are loved and adored and the one.  Because for all the messages and pain the artist has to endure, we appreciate the young souls are children are because we recognize our souls in them.

Buy some music, buy some art and most especially tell your kids and their souls that you love them.  If you would like to discuss this post as it is a most personal subject you can email me at debraann813@yahoo.com.  I am always here to listen to ailing souls, I understand their pain all too well and I try very hard to stitch them back together again or at least make them understand that they are not the only mere mortals with such heavy problems.