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.