Thursday, July 28, 2011

"Country Garden" Heart

This year has given our whole neighborhood a bumper crop of Hydrangeas -- and the most spectacular fuchsia color that I've ever seen.  Of course I had to use this color in a heart loop-pile embroidery.

Add to that the finding of this marvelous dragonfly charm - hidden in amongst my stash of 'found objects' - the heart practically made itself.

Somehow hearts and gardens seem to go together -- perhaps it is a bond with the earth and its bounty that we each have.  While I myself do not have a green thumb, its with delight that I can translate the natural world into stitchery.

"By plucking her petals, you do not gather the beauty of the flower". - Rabindranath Tagore

Monday, July 25, 2011

My Little Heart Book

Recently our Guild invited Sue Tregay to talk to us about color and design.  Part of her presentation was a section on her 'little books' - which she keeps faithfully to record every part of each painting that she creates.  These books include inspiration pictures, thoughts, methods and design.  They are fat with pieces of paper glued onto the pages and lovely to see - all that information, inspiration and talent packed into those pages.

I have kept books on my work before - but never really stuck with it.  After the meeting I decided to begin a 'heart' book - since so many of my hours these days are wrapped up in hearts. 

Here I will jot down quotes that I might use later on, themes and titles for each heart (some to be used, some to be saved as 'maybe's').  There are pictures which I'm collecting for inspiration and there are pictures of my own work as each piece is finished.  I'm including how-to's as I go along and techniques that I want to remember.

Hopefully, in time, my book will be chock full -- and at some later date I can page through it to live again the fun that I'm having right now.

“Doing the work points the way to new and better work to be done.” - Julia Cameron - "The Artists Way"

Thursday, July 21, 2011

An "Earthbound" Heart

Of the four elements – earth, water, air and fire I am of the earth.  Sometimes, when I feel too unimaginative or too organized or too predictable I wish to be of air or water – floating and flying free and clear.  Other times I love being earthbound.  I love the feeling of planting my feet firmly upon the ground, of taking each day a step at a time.

This “Earthbound” heart holds deep earthen colors – those of the rocks and red earth, of the sun being soaked into the ground.  This heart is ‘my’ heart as it is attached to this beautiful earth.
"Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair". - Khahil Kabran

Monday, July 18, 2011

Beading Extraordinaire

Is this not an exquisite piece of beading?

Recently I got to talking to my dental hygienist Gini Cagle.  Unbeknownst to me she has been a beader all of her adult life.  After many years of extensive and intricate beading she has switched her direction toward scrapbooking.  She showed me pictures of her elaborate and intricate bead designs and I just had to share them with you.

Gini worked a lot with bead weaving.  Her pieces were large and very detailed.  To see more of her work please check out BEADZ and go to the November 11, 2009 posting.  I know you'll love it!

"A thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness". - John Keats

Thursday, July 14, 2011

"The Grateful Heart"

"The Grateful Heart" reflects the thoughts that I've been having - thoughts of thankfulness, of acceptance and the full-heart feeling of knowing how fortunate I am.  There are days when it can be difficult to feel grateful - life has a way of throwing things at us that are sometimes very difficult to accept.  But being grateful is often the only way to get through those times -- after all, how can I be upset when I truly think about what I have, the love and laughter that fills my life.  A quick list while I'm walking in the morning puts so many things into perspective.

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow."
-Melody Beattie

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Sounds Around Me

As I walked this morning there were sounds everywhere.  We are fortunate to live in a neighborhood with very little traffic -- thus the sounds I hear on my early morning walks are purely natural.

This morning I heard the cackle of wild turkeys, the ever present caw of the crows, the busy sounds of the squirrels and then there were the various birds - hiding in amongst the foliage but making themselves known through their song.  And I wondered what 'silent' creatures were hidden away among the leaves and on the ground, those whose sounds I will never hear.

The above stitchery came out of a long ago "Quilting Arts" magazine.  It is one of the most wonderful stitched renditions of a crow (or raven - I'm never sure the difference between the two) that I have ever seen.    Sadly I do not know the name of the artist -- so I share it with you making apologies for not being able to give you the name, perhaps some of you recognize this needlework and will let us all know whose it is.

"A bird in hand is a certainty.  But a bird in the bush may sing". - Bret Harte 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Assembly Line?

These days it tends to look like an assembly line in my studio -- each upcoming punchneedle sitting on my 'staging' table, waiting for attention.

I really don't work in an assembly line format - each PN piece is worked to its completion before another is started.  But -- one of my pet peeves is not being able to move along to the 'next in line' because I don't have the correct colored thread.  To be punching away in the middle of a section and find that I am almost out of a certain color and that there aren't anymore skeens in my stash is a definite 'GRRR' moment!

So, as I'm working on one piece and as the inspiration for the next one, or two or three pieces comes to me - I'll take the time to draw the design, transfer it to Weaver's cloth and begin the 'collection' process.  When I am ready to start each project, unless I've miscalculated (which does happen *smile*) I can move through it without that dreaded 'oops' feeling. 

Right now I have three pieces waiting in the wings -- and you can be sure I'm double checking the number of skeins that I have on hand.

The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts. - Marcus Aurelius

Monday, July 4, 2011

"...if you trust in Nature..."

"If you trust in Nature, in the small things that hardly anyone sees and that can so suddenly become huge, immeasurable;
...if you have this love for what is humble and try very simply, as someone who serves, to win the confidence of what seems poor
...then everything will become easier for you, more coherent and somehow more reconciling, not in your conscious mind perhaps, which stays behind, astonished, but in your innermost awareness, awakeness, and knowledge." -

Rainer Maria Rilke - "Letters to a Poet"


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