Thursday, December 01, 2011

Hello December

I'm doing this stitch-along on a thifted black blazer.

What Rockstar Means to Me:
animal print
refusing to take "no" for an answer

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sugar Skulls Coloring Sheet

C:\Documents and Settings\admin\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.MSO\WordWebPagePreview\ACF278EC.mht

Saturday, August 06, 2011


The granny square count now stands at thirty-six. If this were going to be a baby afghan, I could stop right now and start putting them together, but it's not for a baby; it's for me, so onward.
I must finish it it. The importance of finishing what I begin became very clear to me a few weeks ago. It occurred to me that if I don't finish a project, it's totally disrespectful to the money I spent on the materials, the hours invested up to the stopping point ( time I could have spent doing something for somebody else) and the materials themselves. A big pile of unfinished work seems very selfish to me.

Tomorrow, we move Whitley to school. I feel fine about it. Really. I'm not worried or freaking out at all. People keep asking me if I'm okay. And I say yes. Because I keep thinking of all the parents who have lost kids from illness or accident or Some Other Bad Thing and think those moms would give anything under the sun to be taking their kids to college, but they were robbed. It would be totally selfish of me to not embrace this experience. Whit is smart and talented and college is where she belongs. I'm not going to wreck it for her by being upset.

Monday, August 01, 2011

With a pin stuck in her heart

This is not a voo-doo doll, unless you want it to be. It's a little embroidered ragdoll I made right after I got home from the aforementioned embroidery class. I HAD to ( for reasons that shall remain a mystery) make a doll as soon as I could. This only took minutes here and there over a couple of days and gave me the idea for a bigger doll, perhaps a series of dolls, that I'm working on now. After I finished her, I stuck my needle in her head. Later, I was cutting out some pattern pieces and I stuck my pins in her just because she was handy. Maybe it's Good Stitching Voo-doo. Her name is Flossie Junior.

Today the oldest baby bird turns nineteen. She asked for a carrot cake. Here it is. She officially leaves the nest Sunday.

Here are my thirty-two grannies, not in afghan order, just laid down together, out in the sun for a preview. I think eight squares by ten squares will make a good sized throw. As I work, my squares are getting so much better. I can't believe I lived so long without knowing how to crochet.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

More on Stitching

This sampler, 12" x 12", was made in my class at Arrowmont week before last. It folds into a little book. It was my big project for the week. The assignment had to do with memory and prophecy. All the numbers and symbols in this piece have particular significance to me; funny because I never make things with much personal meaning. I've always thought that I purposely avoid telling much about myself in my work because everybody has their own issues - many much worse than mine - and my stories really aren't that interesting or tragic or important. I am beginning to think, however, that I haven't told my stories because I want to avoid them. I want to avoid what I think and believe to be true about myself. It's too painful.
Perhaps it's time to be truthful, even if it sounds silly to you. Good work, transcendent work is always that - truthful. I have not been producing good work lately because I haven't told the whole truth. I do want to make good work, above all. Struggling at the moment with making Art and making stuff, like crochet and clothes. I can't seem to marry the two. They aren't even dating at this point.
This little sampler is not a sampler in the traditional sense of learning and mastering stitches. It's a sampler of my beliefs and stories I tell myself about me and my life. It looks whimsical, doesn't it? A person-who-was-not-in-my-class remarked to me that she could make a book like that for her grandson. It's not a toy. It's more like a charm, like physical representations of superstitions or something like that. I used 6 strands of DMC on most things, so it's very tactile, especially the 6 and 7. Anyway, I've been home from Arrowmont two weeks and remain utterly vexed by the stitch.

I have begun a doll, aptly named Flossie, covered entirely in embroidery. The granny sqaure count is at 27. I would like it to be 30 by days end. We shall see. I also MUST make a new calender/planner book for myself for the coming school year.

Friday, July 22, 2011

On film...

"Write it all down. Just the truth. No rhymes, no embellishments, no adjectives. "

This line, in a nutshell, is why Atonement is a good film.

The first time we hear it, it is spoken by Robbie, in the apartment with Cecelia, where Nursegirl Briony has found them. Briony has realized the extreme error of her ways and wishes to correct the wrong as best she can.

The last time we hear it, it is spoken by Elderly the time you realize you have heard those exact words earlier in the film and who spoke begin to reel toward the conclusion that Briony too soon divulges. And you know what she is going to say before she says it.

Monday, July 18, 2011

What a letdown...

About 48 hours ago I got a jolt. I returned home from a week at Arrowmont. I have felt this jolt before... eight times, I think. What's so jarring about home? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Don't get me wrong; I love the people here. But I know all their stories. Nobody here will say anything that will send me into fits of laughter for days. Nobody here will make something that inspires me. Nobody here will gush over my work. Nobody here will read a poem about a color.

They will, however, ask me why I am so tired after sitting around and sewing for a week. It wasn't just sitting and stitching; it was changing. Sitting there and changing. Moving around the furniture in my brain. That's hard work.

When I show people what I made, they say, "That's all?" because they are accustomed to me bringing home a big stack of books I make at Arrowmont. Embroidery is different. Yes, that's all. I can't show them what I thought about. I can't convince them that there is a revolution going on at the tip of the needle.


Saturday, July 09, 2011


I remain utterly vexed by granny squares. The Afghan has begun and I'm plotting more square-based projects. I feel as though I'm cheating on my Real Art - you know, the books and dolls and whatknots - with the Time Eating Yarn. The top photo was taken Wednesday. The second photo moments ago. They're not stitched together. I was just seeing how they looked together.

Pretty good, I think.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Ooooooh, Look!


Well, it's obvious. I'm going to have to make an afghan.

Friday, July 01, 2011

The Learning Curve of Squares

For months - since I taught myself to crochet in January - I've wanted to learn how to make granny squares. I've looked at patterns in books, but it's a secret language. I saw this today and it sealed the deal - I was learning today. Period. So I went to Youtube and watched some videos and tried and tried and:

Here are the squares I have so far. The first two are a little wonky. These are the only two yarn colors I had at home.

I worked on the little brown book yesterday evening and this morning. No words yet, but I know what it's going to say. Something that I think about all the time...and you probably do, too, if you make things and read magazines.

The striped paper was in a Victorias Secret sack at Christmas time a couple of years ago and I saved it. The color theme is making me think of Water for Elephants - the book, NOT the movie. I don't think Edward had the right profile. Literally, his side view gives me the creeps.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Working on this...

This is the way I like to work:

Get an idea...from a book or magazine or movie or wherever
Go shopping through my stuff and pull out everything that speaks to the color theme in my head
Start making..

This is less than 24 hrs into the process of making this book. Oh, I've done lots of other things in that 24 hour period, but this is what I have been making. The color pallette came to me fully formed, but the content is still unclear.

I gave myself the challenge of making this entire book from stuff I already own - I can't buy anything new.

I haven't worked in this pallette for a long time. I used to, and it feels very familiar, like a language I already know.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Freeform Stitchin'

No plan, no pattern...just toughening up my fingers for Nick DeFord's embroidery class at Arrowmont, which begins one month from today.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Crochet Madness

Saturday I decided I needed to learn to crochet. Sunday I watched two videos on youtube. Monday :

Sunday, January 09, 2011


Among the Big Stuff that will happen in 2011 is that Whitley will start college. The recruiting process was gutwrenching for all of us. I can't tell you how many nights I woke up with my hands in fists, numb and asleep. We just didn't know how it was going to work out.

Whit's number one thing was playing soccer for four more years. There were lost of schools interested, but it really shook out to four schools: Manchester, Franklin, Earlham and Marian. All of them are private liberal arts colleges. And quite pricey.

Marian entered the sweepstakes late, but they won.

SO exciting to see my kid's name on a college website. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Sketchbook Challenge

The January theme for the Sketchbook Challenge is "Highly Prized". Here's my first page. Zig Pen and Prismacolor on cardstock, 8 1/2" x 11". So I decided to do loose pages and bind them flag style at the end of the month.

What do Sunflowers have to do with Highly Prized? Here's how it came about: I saw a bit of an episode of the Andy Griffith Show wherein Aunt Bea enters her prize rose in some kind of contest against that snooty lady. I like sunflowers, so that's what I drew. Somehow to me, having a theme means I need to make finished pieces and sketchbook means drawing. Art journaling means All The Other Stuff. To me. Just me. That's not like a law or a rule or anything.

It looks unfinished. I planned to write something in the ribbons on the sides, but I don't want to wreck the whole thing, so I'm holding off on that. For now.