Monday, February 27, 2012

What's Ahead?!

I'm thinking about what's ahead -- not in the far off future but in the next days and months.  I'm looking at this plate of possibilities awaiting their place on a stitchery.

I'm looking at this color combination patiently awaiting its turn in the punchneedle.

I'm thinking about the next hot cup of tea with three squares of Green & Black's chocolate - 85% of course.

I'm thinking about the green of the upcoming spring.

Above all I'm thinking of all the things that I have to be thankful for and I'm approaching each day with wonder and anticipation.

"An intense anticipation itself transforms possibility into reality; our desires being often but precursors of the things which we are capable of performing." - Samuel Smiles

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Front or Back?

Using reverse punchneedle stitches can make it difficult (at first glance) to see which side is the front and which side is the back.

But then a section of punchneedle made into chenille tells the tale, as do the mixed needle level stitches in the center.

"What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, February 20, 2012

Weather Woes

This picture does NOT reflect what is outside my window today!  There has been no snow here at all (well, maybe one skiff, hardly noticeable at the end of December).  Every year in this area people worry about snow.  We live in a hilly country with lots of curvy roads.  When it snows we are paralyzed!  The school buses can't maneuver the roads, there is little if any snow removal by the city/county and you had better have some kind of stock of food on hand.

This year, with no snow and flowers blooming in February there are a whole new set of worries.  Our agricultural crops of apples, peaches and berries are vital to the economy.  Everyone is now worried that the buds will come on and then be frozen by a late (very late) winter snow and/or deep freeze.

There has been so much discussion throughout the community - worrying about the weather.  We worry when snow is predicted - we worry when no snow is predicted.  I have to wonder if perhaps the gobbles we hear from the wild turkeys that wander our neighborhood are merely more discussion about the winter of 2011/2012.

"Sometimes I wish that I was the weather, you'd bring me up in conversation forever.  And when it rained, I'd be the talk of the day." - John Mayer

Thursday, February 16, 2012

In and Out of the Box

During our January "InspiredArts" guild meeting we did an excercise that involved being in a box and out of a box.  Each of us stood inside the box and talked about what our particular box was.  We then physically stepped outside the box and told each other how we hoped to 'get out of our box' during this year. 

My 'in the box', as many of you know was that I focused too much on production work in 2011.  Actually, with shows and deadlines that I had imposed upon myself I had been in that box for several years.  As I stepped out of the box in January I talked about new-to-me abstract wall hangings.

This has become so intriguing to me.  I found that in January I almost had to force myself to take my time, take breaks to study the work before moving on, slow myself down.  As I make my way through February I am finding that my body and mind are learning to 'take it easy' -- new stitches and techniques have slowed me down and that's a really good thing. 

My out-of-the-box goal is to make work that pleases me, that stretches my knowledge base, that expands my horizon and that has no preconceived pattern, shape or reason.  I guess I could say that I am 'free' this year and for me right now that is a very good thing.

"Exploration is really the essence of the human spirt." - Frank Borman

Monday, February 13, 2012

Begin at the beginning

Time to start a new design -- one which I've been pondering for quite awhile (or so it seems).  This picture, discovered in a very, very old book of wall hangings intrigues me.  Unfortunately I do not know who created this weaving -- and I am hoping that they wouldn't mind if I try to incorporate some portions of this design using punchneedle. 

My goal is to create a wall hanging that incorporates some new-to-me techniques.  I've chosen Caron thread in different styles - Water Colours, Water Lilies and Wildflowers all in "Copper"!  This is a color that I love -- I know many of you 'rusty' types will understand.  There is something so rich and earthy and it speaks to me of time.

The working title for this piece will be "Canyon Wall" but we shall see how the interpretation goes -- perhaps another title will become evident as I punch my way through this abstract wall hanging.  That's the adventure of the whole thing isn't it?  The question "what will you be?" is with me throughout this and every other creation that comes from my hands.

"Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes.  Don't resist them -- that only creates sorrow.  Let reality be reality.  Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like." - Lao Tzu

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Heart Winging Its Way

The winner of the February blog give away is Barbara.

I love passing along bits and pieces of me.  I'm already thinking ahead to a spring celebration!

"We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another." - Lucretious

Monday, February 6, 2012

"Balancing Act"

A balancing act -- creating three different design patterns -- attaching them together using my own cording -- hanging bunches of thread from the bottom.

I had no preconceived notion as I began this project.  I only thought of the design using the three (which were actually four when I first began) panels one beneath the other. My thoughts were more on process than anything else.

But as the days went by and I worked slowly (sometimes too slowly to suit myself) I found that this piece was becoming a reflection of this month in my life.  I seemed to spend the whole month of January balancing my stitching with the rest of my life.  Each day seemed to speed by and I would look back wondering what I had accomplished.  Guilt would creep in, almost like the cold from outside the door -- why wasn't I working faster?  Then I would give myself a stern talk - "why are you in such a hurry?"

And so I balanced, sometimes precariously, other times easily and I continued to work each piece.  Pulling it all together at the end was the very most satisfying thing I've done in months.  Perhaps giving more time to a piece lends it a weight that it might not otherwise have.  These are things I'll ponder as I begin my next design.

Note:  This is the largest punchneedle piece I have ever done.  The three sections are 12" long -- add the loops and fringe the total is 24" long.

"Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony." - Thomas Merton

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Valentine Give Away

As we begin the month of February I'd like to celebrate Valentine's Day (one of my favorite holidays) with another blog giveaway.  This one could be called "The Key to my Heart".

Valentine's Day is the perfect antidote to cold, grey winter days.  Its also the perfect excuse to send wishes to friends and loved ones. 

Please leave a message on this posting.  I'll be revealing the winner on Thursday the 9th.

"Love...it surrounds every being and extends slowly to embrace all that shall be." - Khalil Gibran


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