Thursday, April 26, 2012

"Leaving the Nest"

Leaving the nest of punchneedle I have wandered quite haphazardly back into needle and thread stitchery.  Celebrating this marvelous spring has been my motto for this three-part hanging.  Simple scenes of birds and nests, feathers and eggs have developed from a special piece of patterned fabric that I found waiting for me at the fabric shop.  Who could resist this beautiful bird? 

Blue spotted eggs which have been sitting here on my desk for a couple of years have finally found their nest.

This little metal bird has also sitting here for a long time awaiting his very own nest.

These pictures are taken prior to my putting them all together in a row, one below the other one.

"I look out of this window and I think this is a cosmos, this is a huge creation, this is one small corner of it.  The trees and birds and everything else and I'm part of it.  I didn't ask to be put here, I've been lucky in finding myself here." - Morris West

Monday, April 23, 2012

Cottonwood Trees

While in Nevada we came across several huge, old Cottonwood Trees -- I was entranced by them.  Apparently they live up to 100 years although I suspect some of them live longer than that - considering where we found them in the heart of Virginia City.

What caught my eye this time was the soft white-washed color of the trunks and branches.  It shows up so well with the soft browns around it - with the lavender color of the shade in the late afternoon and against the true blue sky.

I love to stand next to a huge, old tree - thinking about the years and events that have occurred during its lifetime.  I love the strength that trees show me -- each thundershower, windstorm, warm sunny day shaping them throughout the years.  I always feel like I can tell a tree any secrets I might have.

"I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do." - Willa Cather

Monday, April 16, 2012

Heading to the desert

This week takes us back to the Nevada desert to our family and friends - to the wide open spaces and high Sierra mountains.  I'll be back next week - hopefully bringing back pictures and tales of a week in the west.

"Wilderness is not  a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit." - Edward Abbey

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Yet to Come

Here's a few bits and pieces of what I've been working on these past days (weeks).  I had hoped to have it all finished by now -- but you know how that goes.

So for now I'll pass along these little snippets and then contine my progress toward completion.

This has been the perfect stitchery for me to transition from punchneedle to stitchery.  Its been a gentle progression worked on a spring theme during this lovely spring season. 

Hopefully it won't be too very long until I can show you the finished piece.

"Can anything be sadder than work left unfinished?  Yes, work never begun." - Christina G. Rossetti

Monday, April 9, 2012


As we move into spring I'm relishing in the promise that this time of the year provides.  There is promise in this still unfurled fern.

There is promise in the brilliant, spring green of these grasses.

These azaleas have already completed their promise by blooming in great profusion.

And down at the pond the sun shines on the water while frogs plop loudly into the water at the sound of my footsteps (no matter how quietly I try to go).

I hope in your little corner of the world you are seeing signs of spring promises.

"Spring has returned.  The Earth is like a child that knows poems." - Rainer Maria Rilke

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Of Needle and Thread

The other day I was asked 'what do you do' - in relationship to craft/art.  The description listing all of the needlework types I have been involved with over the years would take forever -- it's quite a long list.

My 'handwork' began with my husband's grandmother teaching me embroidery.  While I was pregnant she bought me little flannel gowns from Woolworth's and I embroidered their printed designs.  My next step into needlework came many years later when I worked in needlepoint.  Still I worked from a printed pattern.  From needlepoint I went on to counted cross-stitch. 

After cross-stitch I began making cloth dolls.  Finally I was making my own designs and patterns.  I soon became surrounded by dolls - paper, fabric, painted and stitched. 

One day I discovered "Somerset Studio" and then "Cloth Paper Scissors" and my stitching life took a tremendous turn.  No more carefully constructed patterns and lots of improvisation as I spent five years creating book art.  Mixed media became my mantra but still there was plenty of stitching both by hand and by machine.

From book art I moved on to beading.  I couldn't string jewelry I had to stitch it - and so beaded embroidery became my 'new best friend'.

These days I feel the tug toward using more fabric and embellishments, the need to put more of 'myself' into a piece rather than regulated loops.  We'll see where this journey goes -- but I know quite well that I will always be holding needle and thread in one form or another.

"A line will take us hours maybe; yet if it does not seem a moment's thought, our stitching and unstitching has been naught." - William Butler Yeats

Monday, April 2, 2012

Come Walk With Me

Come on and walk with me on this fine spring day. 

First stop is right outside my backdoor as I admire these lovely Bloodroot flowers.

Next stop is our front yard where the phlox grows over and around the rocks.

As I turn the corner down the street the first sight is this beautiful golden forsythia.

Oh my, the Tulip Tree is in full bloom...

...and I must stop to look at the blossoms up close in all their glory.

Before coming back inside I stop to admire the first Trillium of the year.

"Life stands before me like an eternal spring with new and brilliant clothes." -
 Carl Friedrich Gauss


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