Monday, August 31, 2009
Dolly has decided to come with us on vacation. She's quite excited. We'll share photos of her adventures upon our return.
Friday, August 28, 2009
I am going on vacation (woo-hoo!). It's finally planned; we'll be heading north. I'll be here Monday for the draw but the package most likely won't be mailed until my return. I do not expect to have Internet while gone. I'll haul the beast along, just in case, but I don't expect to post again until after the 15th. I'm already in withdrawal!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
The other sections went better. I found I liked working with the blues more than with the reds, which surprised me. It was a strong preference.
I'm really enjoying this and look forward to the next step. You can find this project here if you wish to follow along.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
The lantana plants by my office are now sporting some really lovely purplish berries. The perfect color with the bright red/orange/golden flowers. I'm really enjoying them.
I had lunch today with a couple of friends, one visiting from France (she actually says oh, la la regularly!). Some days are just pure bliss!
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Car buying isn't easy for us in the first place and this was not happy making. My guy's a car guy and gets very attached. So, we decided to keep our clunker (he loved that thing).
But he's a car guy, so he's always looking (new, old, doesn't matter really). He found 0-down, 0% on Chevy Malibu (if you cut him, he'll bleed Chevy bow-ties) (it's their logo) so we went and looked. My bum leg didn't like it. But, being who we are, we had to sit in every single car in the showroom (except for Corvettes---just not our taste).
And we liked this chocolate brown Impala. And it also had 0-0%. And it qualified for the Cash for Clunkers program. Soooo, we have a new brown Impala. (It's actually Mocha Bronze Metallic, I believe. I suspect it will be called Cocoa since neither of us drink coffee in any form but I am totally addicted to chocolate.) The car has loads of "stuff," most of which we're not interested in (leather seats, on-star, cd player, satellite radio) and some we are: fold down rear seat, Bose stereo. It's pretty cool.
No embroidery in it at all. I think I was a bit burnt out after the intensity of the Japanese Embroidery class last week, so I didn't mind at all. Although the steering wheel is black and I've been thinking about making a cover for it, perhaps with a monogram initial, so we can keep it from getting too hot when sitting in the sun.
To round out the car-oriented weekend, we spent Sunday at the annual Orphan Auto Picnic. It was a gorgeous day. Sunny and not too hot. The site had loads of shady trees. I spent much of my time sitting in the shade with my knitting, chatting with my sister. Bliss! I love the rounded swoopy curves of many older cars and this show always gets great cars. Larry goes around with a portable microphone and chats with the owners about them and it's usually pretty interesting.
When I did stroll around, I took a bunch of photos. Last year I focused on photos of hubcaps. This year I went mostly with hood ornaments. They used to have such lovely and interesting ones. It made me realize that I haven't worked in my design journal for ages. (Last year I did the hubcap photos as part of Sharon B's Studio Journals class.) The curvy lines and shiny surfaces made me think of the silk shading I've been working on.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Smocking is basically pleating to hold fullness and shape fabric. You embroider over the pleats and the result is elastic. So it's great for sleeves, cuffs, bodices and children's clothing (put in deep hems to you can let them out as the child grows--the smocking will adjust the width). If you stabilize or line it, it's decorative and textural without the elasticity.Please make a comment on this post before Monday, August 31, to be included in the drawing for this collection of goodies. Please include a way to contact you.
If you like some of the goodies but know there is something you absolutely will not do, note it in your comment. Perhaps someone else will speak up to claim that item. If you win, then it'll all work out! It you want it all, that's great!
I may not be able to draw the winner or get back to you right away, but I will do it as soon as I have computer access next week. We still keep trying to get away on vacation and I'm still not sure when we might leave, but it looks more likely that by the 31st we'll be on our way and Internet access will be sporadic.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
In 1-1/2 days of class so far this week, I've reoriented myself to the piece and the techniques. I stitched five small leaves (4-1/2 really, the instructor stitched the first half of one), finished the iris petal that's started, and stitched some teeny grass heads. Slow going and intense but very enjoyable and so very beautiful. (I keep reminding myself of the galloping horse rule--if you can't see the mistake while riding by on a galloping horse, then it isn't a problem.) Karen Plater is a wonderful instructor, very positive and kind. And inspiring.
Each day begins with a morning talk. The comment that sticks with me from today is that you need to slow your head to the speed of your hands. Wise advice!
In the same suitcase, I found two other mounted pieces that I'd begun. This one was designed by Shay Pendray. She is a wonderful teacher and this class really helped restore my stitching confidence. I really enjoyed being in this class (Needle Artisans workshop in 2003 or 4). This is also Japanese embroidery. I'd always admired the technique used in the leaf, called fuzzy technique.
But, I was never thrilled with the grape design and I felt the drawing was clumsy. I've learned that if I don't get the drawing right initially, the piece will never be right. It's really difficult to get elegant curves on this ridged fabric--I probably should have couched the pattern lines. Plus, you can see the damage wrought by six years left strung tight on the frame (my bad). The silk ground was ripping and there wasn't much extra space to allow for repair. So, I've decided to chalk this one up to lessons learned and not finish it.The last piece in the suitcase was this needlepoint, from 2003 or 4. It was designed and taught by Judy Souliotis. I will finish this. In a way it's a no brainer--none of the techniques are new to me or very difficult (except laying and couching the gold and much of that is already done). The gold "water" and shading on the fan were applied by Judy before the class, using techniques she learned in Japan. I remounted it (the canvas was very loose) and have already stitched a second camellia. The only challenge, really, is working on black canvas. (18 count) It uses Needlepoint Inc silks and Kreinik metallics--almost every leaf and petal incorporates some metallic thread.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
She had told me she was sending a birthday gift for me. I was pretty overwhelmed when I pulled the above basket out of the mailing box. A treasure trove of soft goodness for the bath.
Each one is a different pattern.
The colors are vibrant and fun. (They'll fit right into our hot-pink and white bathroom!)
And just so hubby wouldn't feel left out, a cuddly hat for him. He's always chilled come winter and this will keep him nicely snug.Thanks bunches, Myrn!
This was in the post when I typed it, but disappeared upon publication. Hmmm... Lula sent me this perfect book. I really love dictionaries, encyclopedias and can spend hours browsing them. This is a dictionary, but of all needlework, fabric and sewing related terms. How cool is that?
It's not a definitive stitch book, but certainly enough to jog my memory regarding stitches I don't do very often. And it's small size, makes it easy to keep handy in my stitching supplies. Thanks, Lula!
Friday, August 14, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
In spite of saying I would stick to UFOs, I began a new project. Mary Corbett on Needle'nThread is teaching a long and short stitch sampler and I'm participating. Here's my start. I had the first bit, that red box, pretty much done but I didn't like it so I started over. My top edge still isn't straight and the first row is a little short, but I'm going to keep going now and not be so picky. The point is to learn this technique not make my first stitches perfect. Now, by the end, I expect they will be perfect! (yeah, right.)
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
We compete with helicopter rides, card and boards games, swimming, and other crafts, so we never know how many children will join us to stitch. Our sign in sheet had over a dozen campers and companions who did the project. Some come to stitch and don't stay long, some come back later, and some come to stay and stitch. This year's project was a hit with male campers, too, and we had several who stitched designs, including a really creative companion.
We ended up with a good crew from Needle Artisans--we had seven teachers and we were all busy. The smiles tell it all....
Monday, August 10, 2009
Then we were bussed over to GSU for a tour of the Manilow Sculpture Garden that didn't happen (impending rain, that also didn't happen, changed the plan). Instead we saw a slide show of a long-term exhibit in the part of Horizons by Steinunn Thorarinsdottir.
The sculpture is figural and very interesting and the slide show included slides of the pieces from several installations as the exhibit has traveled around the U.S. so we got to see different perspectives. It will be at the Manilow park through next summer. We could see the figures standing across a small lake from the building we were in. It was kind of eerie in the sunset.
We also got an overview of the sculpture park and then a talk on some Oceanic ethnographic objects currently on display at the University. They included two carved posts and other objects from one men's house.
On Sunday we finally got out to the Illinois State Museum gallery in Lockport, IL to see a retrospective exhibit of the work of L. Brent Kington. He worked in both fine, miniature cast silver and larger, elegant iron and steel sculptures. While his silver work is rather baroque, his work as a blacksmith is minimalistic and sinuous--not something I'd associate with the material.
We could identify many influences from history, literature, art and different cultures in his work. He could take three long pieces of metal and shape them very simply, yet they told an entire story...I found it really inspiring and it reminded me how important it is to get out and see all sorts of art and experience every culture.
This exhibit runs through September 25. (Lockport also has a great quilt shop, Thimbles, just up the street from the Gallery.)
Oh, and we bought a car Saturday. We pretty much finalized the purchase of a new red Toyota Rav4 with the government stimulus money. Our "klunker" is a 1990s Chevy Suburban and the gas mileage was pretty bad so we will get the full stimulus amount. Paperwork is being processed and the car due in the next delivery. (oh, and, no, contrary to what the news media keeps reporting: we weren't planning on trading the Suburban in soon anyway--we would have driven it until the wheels fell off. And, yes, the only reason we decided we could do this now was the boost from the stimulus money.) The car's on order--I'll post a photo when it arrives.
Work has been flat-out crazy-busy, not what one usually expects from summer in an academic environment, but there it is. My birthday was no exception. Lots of fun things happened, though. A high-school friend found me on Facebook, a niece noticed it was my birthday and sent greetings, I got some lovely e-cards and e-mails from friends.
At home hubby had lovely plans. A nice dinner with a big piece of cake for me, a sparkly card with and I.O.U. to go see the Harry Potter exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry and a big bar of luxury chocolate. He even picked out a movie he knew I wanted to see: My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I think he thought he'd hate it (chic flick), but instead he laughed and enjoyed it as much as I did.
World Embroideries dropped by with a lovely gift--one of her amazing temari balls--I am thrilled and honored. The two sides are different and I spent a lot of time just looking at it last night.
Friday, August 7, 2009
My zip code (this fits me well, I often begin with Ummms). "Umm... the internal dynamic of the fracture endangers the devious simplicity of the substructure of critical thinking."
My work website--strangely appropriate as we have a Middle Eastern museum here with an incredible collection (The Oriental Institute). "Umm... the internal dynamic of the Egyptian motifs endangers the devious simplicity of the larger carcass."
A friend's zip code: "With regard to the issue of content, the disjunctive perturbation of the purity of line endangers the devious simplicity of the inherent overspecificity."
And, last, my birthday without zeros: "It's difficult to enter into this work because of how the sublime beauty of the sexual signifier threatens to penetrate the distinctive formal juxtapositions." Say, what?
Thursday, August 6, 2009
If you would like this piece of fabric, please leave a comment on this post, including a way to get in touch with you. Good luck!