Showing posts from March, 2009

Little Suzy Creamcheese

I wasn't going to write anything today because I really didn't have too much to talk about today artistically. Then I read Chapter 64 in Eat, Pray, Love(the fabulous book brought on by my visit to Art of the Spirit where I saw a lecture by the author). The author calls herself a Little Suzy Creamcheese which means she is social, bubbly and smiling. People who know me in real life would probably call me a Little Suzy Creamcheese. If a garden gnome came to life I would be standing there talking to it after everyone else left. I like to say I'd talk to a wall if it would talk back to me but a talking garden gnome sounds more interesting don't you think? I also thought of Mr. Ed the talking horse but everybody would want to talk to a talking horse wouldn't they? The real point of this chapter is to accept yourself the way you are, like the author sometimes I wish there was an off button to stop me from saying that one extra sentence or having my words come out in

Almost There!

When I was a kid(and even as an adult) I was a very impatient person. Always asking are we there yet every five minutes. Now that I am a traveling embroiderer I am very patient and never get antsy even when something takes twice as long as it's supposed to. So I am almost there with this lovely piece of fabric. My project is almost finished and is coming along in such a way that I think I will wait till it is finished to share it. A day or two or maybe an hour or two? Almost a finished piece of embroidery. My brain is a flutter with ideas of what to do next and I'm getting just a wee bit antsy. Can't wait to finish this piece. I am wonderfully surprised with the contrasting colors I have chosen to supplement my mostly blue piece. I was reading on Turning, Turning(which is a wonderful blog by an art therapist at ) writing about transportable embroidery. She puts hers in tupperware mine is just all tangled up in a ziploc bag but the idea t


Today in my local newspaper there were a series of people making their living doing what they love because they lost their former jobs. It was inspirational and made me think that although I haven't lost a job I can still try to make my life doing something I love. I just have to change the way I do it. I spent much of the last two weeks falling back on the past for the craft shows and working on an art piece which I consider my future. Notice the present wasn't really in there anywhere. The present is here when I am working on my future. Doing art pieces that express myself instead of the same old, same old. It's kind of easy to remake the past and just do the same thing that sells over and over again but setting up my table made me realize I have to make a choice. The old and the new are two completely different things and I have to choose which one speaks for me at this moment. If I'm not selling old or new at the craft shows it makes it easy to make the choice

Craft Show Blues

I don't know if it's the economy or what but the craft show scene is just not cooking anymore. I am kind of at a loss as to what path my journey should take at the moment. I had a lovely afternoon with some like minded people and my friend Cheryl was there with her family and her new grandbaby. It was wonderful to be there but not so wonderful to come home and tell my hubby that yet again I didn't have a very good show. My son's going off to college in a few months, so will I be able to validate my work without the stay at home moniker? I have my work in a store. I've had it in galleries that closed their doors and all that businesses going out of business brings with it and I've done the craft show circuit. I know I'm a little tired of the whole craft show thing so besides the Albany Shaker Museum which I love to pieces(lots of wonderful spiritual artistic types)I don't think I want to do them anymore. So now what? Etsy? Look for new galleries?

Blogging Hearts

This is a piece I've had for a little while(before Valentines Day) but hadn't taken a photo of. I was a little embarrassed to share it so close after Valentines Day so here it is. It kind of ties in with my topic for today. Blogging Hearts. I love to blog because it lets me express myself in words, but mostly I love to blog because of the hearts I've met along the way. So many good people with creative and open hearts. I've read about their successes and their work, their blockages and their sorrows. The blog is a wonderful way to express things that you sometimes can't say face to face to another human being and that is what makes it the lovely medium it is. You blog from the heart. I remember when I took a bit of a break to opine anonymously about politics and when I returned I had friends who had lost loved ones, some who had given up their blogs, some who had complete life changes in the time I was busy opining politics and leaving real life behind. Rea

Dragonflies Revisited

I know this is a lousy picture but it is the second lousy picture of dragonflies and didn't have enough memory to take a third so here it is. It actually came out much nicer then I had anticipated and it was much easier on my fingers and thumb today. I took it to breakfast with Emily and asked her opinion and she said it was beautiful and she told me I probably used too much batting and probably used the wrong needle. She liked it though. I told her the whole rigamarole that I complained about yesterday and she like the wonderful friend she is actually listened so she inspired me to finish it. Emily makes beautiful quilts and gives them away to charity. She's very very talented so her expert opinion meant a lot to me. She also told me most quilt artists use their sewing machines. All that being said a few weeks ago I told one of my artist friends to find her own style and put her own stamp on it and I think in the future I will probably stick to my own style which bring

Frustration and the Dragonflies!

No new pictures. I am on strike with the pictures for today because I have been working on my first miniquilt(not sure I like it and it isn't even finished YET). I have been admiring everybody's beautiful miniquilts on my journey and decided to undertake one of my own. I am still adding tiny little hand stitched running stitches to my beautiful beaded dragonflies project. The dragonflies are beautiful. I like to embroider dragonflies. I hand embroidered the word dragonflies (just in case someone couldn't tell they were dragonflies) and then I found this lovely greenish blue darker contrast fabric that went perfectly with my small piece of green watercolored fabric and then the fun began. My fingers hurt from pushing the needle in and out and in and out. The little running stitches haven't really rocked my socks off. Neither has the beading and it takes so long(yes my regular pieces take a long time but I expect them to) I am almost finished and will share it w

French Knots

Wisteria on Silk Originally uploaded by DebraAnn813 I am still in the midst of finishing projects, there are dozens in various stages of unfinishedness. So I decided to resurrect one of my favorite pieces with my favorite stitch ever. It's Wisteria on Silk. It has thousands of purple french knots and green stem stitch vines. It has beaded handles which I beaded myself. The beads are purple, green and clear. The french knot. My favorite stitch. Of course a knot would be my favorite stitch. Knot is a great metaphor for me too. Always a little knotted or tangled. Except of course when I am making french knots or embroidering. When my grandmother taught me embroidery when I was very little(I'm menopausal now) I hated them. Would avoid them like the plague and my oh so sweet grandmother would say just practice some day you will love them(I guess maybe my grandmother was a little knotted too now looking back in retrospect). They do require practice but the french knot

I am/Inspire Me Thursday

I am a tangled stitch. I am a hand embroidery artist. I am a wife. I am a mother. I am a daughter. I am on a journey that I don't know the destination of. I am a believer most days. I am happy to be alive most days too. A few more words then one but I guess if I had to pick one it would be a Tangled Stitch. The piece I've chosen is called Lucinda. She is a lovely lady I do not know in any way except inspiration and tangled threads and stitches.

Blues Dancin

Dancin Originally uploaded by DebraAnn813 A couple of my bloggy friends wanted my take on the color blue, as I am at a bit of loss for a topic I thought I would at least attempt to answer them. I love the color blue usually when I use it, I am thinking peaceful happy thoughts. When I think of blue I think of a beautiful blue sky with white fluffy clouds. A beautiful blue jay and it's song. A beautiful beach with clear blue water. My sons eye color till he was about 7. My dad's eyes were blue, and my husband's eyes are a greenish blue. I've done a couple of pieces that have the color blue, my favorite is this piece Dancin. It belongs to my friend Cheryl. The current piece I am working on is blue. It is prematurely called, From the Chaos comes Peace. You'll have to wait a little while to see it though. I don't know why people call themselves blue when blue is such a lovely peaceful color but I do it too. But at least for this moment in my own mind bl

Blogging In Misty Colored Blue

My real life has intercepted with the color blue again so for a change I'm going to talk about blogging and how much I love to blog. I love to blog about my own work but what I really love is to be inspired by others. I live to be inspired and I am on a daily basis by the most beautiful posts about thread, yarn, quilts, art, spirituality, photography and so on, and so on. Counting Backwards is a photography blog by my friend Judy Olsen. She has an artists eye and I have one piece of her's which is a turtle that looks like she laid down in the sand to take it. I absolutely adore it and cannot for the life of me figure out how she took it. But that my friends is why I love, love, love Judy's work. It inspires me every day on her blog. She has a friend named Carol and my favorite thing is to look at the photographs they create when they are together, both beautiful and unique. Lynda Lehman and Peripheral Visions is another photography blog. She has the most beautiful ph

A Little Joy

Today was a joyful day. I started my next embroidery project on blue watercolored fabric(which I will share a photo of tomorrow), went car window shopping with the husband, started reading Eat, Pray, Love(thanks to Painter of Blue for if I had not seen the lecture of the author on her blog I would have never took the book out of the library), and while I was trying to organize my very messy studio I found a very unorganized clump of embroidery thread in the most beautiful spring colors. All the while I was listening to the beautiful new age relaxation cd Spring and Joy just overtook me. Joy is embroidered in green outline stitching, with pink, blue, lavender and orange lazy daisies and french knots. All of my favorite stitches. The back of the Joy pillow is this lovely light green fabric. It was a spur of the moment collection of Joy. I enjoyed making it a lot and I sat down with no intention of doing it. Kismet. I started the blue watercolored piece too but am only doing the ou


Ok so I finally finished Dark Night of the Soul and all the way at the very end of the book it talked about so many people who live their lives in mediocrity never reaching their true potential. That is the whole idea of the book I think. Knitpicking little things so we don't have to think about the big ones, keeping ourselves little at the same time. So onward and upward, it's time to live life more fully and worry about now instead of yesterday or tomorrow(that is easier said then done so don't be surprised if I fall back off the wagon). He also said the idea of life is to embrace the shadow and make it work for you with the light. That was an interpretation I needed to read so I'm glad I did and as some of the chapters got a little too close to my personal truth I am thrilled to pieces that I finally finished it. My next book is Eat, Pray, Love which was inspired by a lecture by the book's author on Painter of Blue's blog. I can't wait to read it so I

Swirl/Inspire Me Thursday

I love the topic of swirl. I love the swirl of the embroidery thread being used by big strands of thread, little strands of thread all swirled together into a solid piece of embroidery. Some broken, some whole, some tangled, some loose, all together in a swirl. A meditation using thread from the skein or piece by piece. A mosaic of thread. A mosaic that brings my life together in a constant use of metaphor. Starting, finishing, knotted together each little stitch every single day.

Lotus Heart

This is my latest piece and it made it into the frame less then 24 hours after completion. I'm really happy with it. It is a hand embroidered pink lotus surrounded by turquoise french knots and a red heart on blue watercolored muslin. I really love the watercolor fabric treatment, it just adds contrast and color and makes my work pop a little bit more. Thank you to all of my blog friends who have offered such wonderful support about my black hole post. I have had pretty bad menopausal side affects for almost a year and many days had to completely immerse myself in my work and keeping my mind busy frittering my life away. I recently started eating better and exercising and after just a couple of days off the wagon know I have to go back. I am sure there are books out there for us perimenopausal and menopausal ladies but who wants to read them? I guess it's a combination of feeling awful and starting another phase in our lives. It's time to discuss it out in the open a


I'd like to call it a celtic cross but I'm not sure it's Celtic. It is a couple of years old but it has mostly sat on my wall and not elsewhere. I love to hand embroider crosses because they make me feel more connected to God then anything else does. I have a few of them embroidered but not quite finished or framed. Pperhaps the joy is just making them. One of my earlier crosses became Dancing and the two waiting to be framed are also variations of a cross. One is called Crossing and one is called Golden Crossing. I will share them soon. I finished a hand embroidered lotus today but did not like the one mat that I had for that size so that one will be upcoming too. As much as the darkness of the last few days dragged me down, hand embroidered spirituality has brought me back to my center. That is what I love the most about hand embroidery. The idea that it is a meditation. I have to concentrate on the stitch one little stitch at a time. Needlework is a very spir

Dark Night of the Soul

As some of you know I have been reading Thomas Moore's book Dark Nights of the Soul for the last few weeks. Usually I breeze through Moore's books but this one has been an exceptionally hard read and one I must continue. There are a lot of changes going on in my life, my son is a senior and will soon be off to college and driving everywhere on his own. I seem to be at a crossroads with my work(thank you for all the thoughtful comments regarding Juggling). And I'm going through menopause which makes all of these things worse. It is like having one long bout of permanent PMS. And I've been trying to keep it all together especially on the blog which I try to keep sweetness and light(except of course when I am in a particularly dark night of the soul). Well I am up to the chapter on Temporary Insanities and I think this is the chapter that best describes me at this time in my life. I have to decide whether I am willing to accept the eccentricities of myself or wheth


This is Juggling. I have to be honest and tell you I'm not quite sure that I like how it turned out. I embroidered it for a call for artists at a gallery my friend belongs to. Didn't like it unframed, don't necessarily like it framed. So it's not going to the gallery. Probably wouldn't have shared it at this moment except I seem to be juggling myself at the moment. Too many balls up in the air and not enough rest to keep them all spinning. I think that is the story of my life. Juggling my life as a mother, as a wife, as a housewife and as an artist. Never seem to satisfy anyone else or myself much of the time. I'm reading Thomas Moore's Dark Night of the Soul and it mentions how we have to accept ourselves warts and all and appreciate the beauty in life. So here I am warts and all, making a piece I don't really like that seems a great metaphor for my life. Except in real life there would be more balls on the floor, less in the air. And in art


Transformation Originally uploaded by DebraAnn813 I know everyone has seen this one a million times but it's my favorite and today is a day for my favorite. I have been fixing up errors today just about everywhere including my work. I recycled some work either changing it all together or just adding a little something. I have a few pieces that I've had for quite a while and even though it is quite lovely, I just needed a change. I also found a couple of old journals while cleaning out my craft closet. Same thing year after year, usually around the same time of year. So decided no more introspection for a while just work. Embroidery helps me to keep my mind busy and brings me back to my center so embroidery it is. I seem to have misplaced my knitting project (that is how I found the journals, aghhhh!) so that makes it easier to stitch. Put on a YoYo Ma CD and it made the day and the errors easier to correct. Blessings to all of you. Thanks for reading. Keep stitching.

Bamboo/ Inspire Me Thursday

deb 005 Originally uploaded by DebraAnn813 This is a lovely green bag that I knit with a pair of bamboo knitting needles. I love to work with bamboo as the yarn just slips off the wood so easily but not too easily. It makes knitting easier for me because I am a flinger. I am always in awe of people who can knit with both hands on the needles the whole time, my needles are always falling and sometimes losing stitches. Just like real life, out there without a safety net. Not too much else to add about the pleasure of bamboo but it does make a knitter's life easier(and happier).

Ocean Hand Tagging

Ocean Hand Originally uploaded by DebraAnn813 I've been tagged by the wonderful Lee from Defining Me. I'm doing this from Flickr so I hope it works with the photo which is a blast from the past. 10 Things you don't know about me. 1. I grew up in New Jersey 2. I love NJ and think it is very underrated(we did bring the world Sinatra, Springsteen and Bon Jovi) 3. I don't like Long Island(love the place not all the people too many people). 4. This one is easy I don't like crowds. 5. My real hair is mousy brown. 6. My first dogs name was Suzette. 7. I love to read 8. I love to dance 9. I love to cry at movies(and television shows and sometimes even commercials). 10. I love politics. I'd like to tag, Judy from Counting Backwards Patti at Catskill Paper and Valaine from Blue Owl Designs. Sorry I'm still kind of confused about how the hyperlink works and with the photo coming from Flickr I'm all confused so profusely apologizing the three lovely ladies and

Called by the Needles

Today I realized that I have not picked up my knitting needles yet this year. I love to knit. I love the fibers and the textures and the colors and the speed(although crochet is a wee bit faster). I knit for fun. Embroidery gets me to my center, knitting helps me run away from responsibility. I've been so good at trying to embroider each and every day this year, but I seem to be avoiding the current project I am working on so I think I'm going to answer the call of the knitting needles and take a break. Perhaps I will even take a road trip next week to my favorite yarn shop a couple of towns away. This purse is in my favorite color green. It uses mohair and cascade and a few other special yarns that I just adore. On our gallery visit last week I somehow got into a conversation at a gallery about felting and although I love the way it looks and it is so very popular, I prefer to knit with texture and color and patterns(or not). So off to the yarn store and perhaps by ne

Embroidering at a Pace

Sorry there are no photos to share today. I have been embroidering at a pace. Caught up in the act of doing not the act of finishing I suppose. The fun part in other words. Very rarely do I embroider a piece and frame it right away. Maybe 3 or 4 pieces(blue moon being one of them)have made it from my hands into a frame. Otherwise they sit nicely folded in a plastic bin until I am inspired to frame them. Some day I will do the non fun part and you will have several days of eye feasting(or famine) but for the moment the process is calling me, not a finished project. That is how I ended up in the coop believe it or not. I had enough pieces stocked away in my closet in an unfinished state that I could just whip up a body of work. Not so easy to do when you are a hand embroider or needleworker. Everything we do is labor intensive. I love it and couldn't live without it but it is easy to lose yourself for days(and sometimes weeks or months) on one project. I think that is w


I know this is my second posting of the evening. I wanted to scrap my first one but decided what the heck it's a nice turtle. I was just going down my list of links because I wanted to be inspired(or perhaps I needed to be inspired) and came across a lecture given by Elizabeth Gilbert on Painter of Blues' blog. And there it was. Inspiration. The thought that our creativity is a gift from god and that if that is all our work is then that is a gift all by itself(at least that is what I got out of the lecture). Instead of wondering whether our work is good enough or will ever reach the heights(in some cases) that it reached before, if we just grab the inspiration from the universe(or God as in Elizabeth's speech) then it has already given us a gift and it doesn't matter whether others like it or appreciate it or not. Those are words that I needed to hear about my work and about myself(she also goes into the psyche of an artist). Most of my work comes from just poppi

Turtley Afternoon

Today was a snowy, cold afternoon. Only a couple of inches but enough to make me wish I was a turtle who could fold myself up in a hard shell and keep myself warm. About the turtle, this is a project I did over a year ago. I didn't like the way it showed this way so then I added spirals around it. Still didn't like it so now it is the basis for my first art quilt. I started working on it in between other projects and will share a photo of the finished project. Not much else is new with me. Feeling a tad under the weather. So tomorrow hopefully I will motivate myself to frame a project, finish a project or be utterly inspired to start a new one.Keep stitchin.