Oh the shame…

If you are a “fiber artist” or want to be, check out the items from this destash sale! Just don’t outbid me! ūüėÄ

Under A Topaz Sky

I like to have a¬†good spring clean every so often and yesterday I got round to my thread repository. My stored threads live in a very grand Harrods hamper, a woven 16‚Ä≥ cube with a faux leather top¬†embossed with the Harrods peacock logo. It was a Christmas present several years ago ‚Äď the contents were nice enough but the box itself is gorgeous!
My Harrods Thread Hamper

I have a massive weakness for threads, especially anything richly coloured or unusual and I know that there were a fair few threads in that box which I’d bought on impulse and was never going to use, so I intended to have a nice sort through and end up with a few bits I could list on eBay.

The top layer was fine. Out went a few oddments left over from a canvaswork project that I knew I’d never use again.

Thread breakdowns 1

Under that, threads I knew I had…

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I used to do this regularly, even before there was an organized event. Good time to make a comeback! I’ll be unplugged effective sundown tonight for 24 to 36 hours! How about you?

Here’s something a little fun from a blog I subscribe to. On the mend, but it’s slow going especially since I started PT for Frozen Shoulder this morning. But I’m getting a lot of reading done!

Kincavel Krosses

Design: Halloween Biscornu (Side 1)
Size: 50w x 50h
Designer: Kell Smurthwaite, Kincavel Krosses

Watch out for two more designs to go with this one over the next two weeks!

Permissions:

  • This design is copyright to Kell Smurthwaite and Kincavel Krosses
  • You may use, copy and/or share this design, and you may change it to your liking for your own use
  • You may not sell this design or use it to make up kits
  • You may sell the finished piece for charity, but you may not sell it commercially

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I don’t really like the idea of “reblogging,” but when I read this article I’m thinking I may have been wrong. I could never say what this young man says so well. He deserves to be not only read by everyone, but followed, too! I know I am!

Cristian Mihai

There’s a part of me that believes art to be a primordial aspect of the human condition. Art inspires, art is a way of achieving greatness, of building a better world. Art turns strangers into friends. Without art, without artists, we wouldn’t be ourselves anymore.

Because I feel that within the confines of any artistic form of expression, we allow ourselves to wear a mask. The artist hides behind words or paints or brushes. And he feels safe. He can be anyone he wants to be. His freedom is limitless. And he plays this bizarre game of hide and seek with the rest of the world, constantly changing the rules, until he decides ‚Äď maybe on a mere subconscious level ‚Äď to¬† be himself, thinking that people will never find out.

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Butterfly Chain, A Real TAST Challenge For Me

TAST 2012 Sampler

This is not exactly how I envisioned this would go, but it is a sampler!

I may alienate many people with this statement, but I have to take the risk:¬† I don’t like butterflies.¬† I used to like spiders because of the Greek mythology connection and because they eat other insects.¬† But then I found out that they are cannibals.¬† Now, I must simply say that while I respect the place of insects in Nature, on the whole I simply am not interested in sharing space with any of them, no matter how delightful the coloring.¬† Butterflies are too much like moths.¬† Bottom line they are creepy, crawly, wormy things before they mature.¬† I’m really more of a flora than a fauna person!Consequently, I was not thrilled with the idea of a stitch that is called Butterfly Chain.¬† But as I have committed to this year-long challenge offered by Sharon Boggon at Pin Tangle, this “little” thing called Take a Stitch Tuesday, I must tackle this stitch.¬† BUT, I have a re-frame, good little strategic therapist that I am!¬† My little chains are not creating the lovely body of butterflies out of my straight stitches, they are instead gathering together stalks of corn or wheat or some other grain that looks like liquid gold in a field!Ahhh, relief.¬† Now I can stitch!

And stitch I did.¬† Except…

When Jeffrey looked at the work I had done, he said, “Oh, are you stitching a fence?”¬† I said, “Oh, yeah,¬† that’s just what it is!”

Thjree layers of butterfly chain stitch embellished with seed and bugle beeds

Wisteria Fence

I didn’t start with a sketch this time.¬† I just kind of had an idea in my head.¬† It’s better to start with a sketch as it’s much easier to erase on paper than it is on fine, 32 count linen!¬† (That’s what my 2012 TAST Sampler is stitched on.)¬† The following slide show reveals the evolution of what I’m calling Wisteria Fence.¬† You’ll see why as the pics progress.

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The Dark Night of the Soul Births Creativity

The Last Straw

Murder Hill claims another victim

Jeff, the girls, and I arrived at our summer camp on Sunday, April¬†22 having barely survived the trip from hell.¬† I have left it to Jeff to write about those experiences as I don’t really wish to relive the experience.¬† When he completes his documentation I’ll reblog.¬† It took me two days in bed to decompress once here.¬† Another couple days to begin to engage in life fully.¬† And two days ago I went to Pin Tangle to see what the stitch for this week was.

I have over 30 six-inch squares of 14 count Aida cut.¬† They were for Kissing Pillows, but I’ve slowed down on stitching them since there are fewer troops being shipped out (supposedly.)¬† So what to do with all those extra squares?

I pulled out my Studio Journal, and sketched out the wheat ear stitch to get a feel for it. (I also ordered a tin of pencils of varying density to aide my sketching from Blick Art Supplies.) Then I did some doodles beginning with a small sketch of a wisteria tree.  It was a little too fiddley for me to get into so I started putting some lines in a square.  Yup, a six-inch square.

Then I saw a zipper that I had salvaged from one of Jeff’s favorite sweat shirts that was no longer wearable, one of the mindless tasks I did while I was restlessly trying to put the trip behind me.¬† I liked the zipper a lot.¬† The pull is kind of cool and has a nice feel to it, a nice weight and shape.¬† A little different.¬† People are doing cool things with zippers these days.¬† I wanted to do something cool with a zipper.

I also need to have get some brightness, so lively color in my hands, in my heart.  So much so that I made Bar Sugar Cookies just to play with sprinkles!

Bar Sugar Cookies with lots of colorful sprinkles

Bar sugar cookies with bars of color

Bar Sugar Cookies Cut and Arranged

Bar Sugar Cookie Collage

I pulled out the brightest variegated DMC floss I had.¬† I was being lazy, my first thought was to use Caron’s Cranberry Water Lilies, my favorite Caron color‚ÄĒwell, one of them anyways!¬† But that would mean I had to get up and dig in the overhead storage to pull it out.¬† I had my box of DMC 000 – 500 at my side.¬† So I went kind of random.

My doodles included lime green, orange, fuchsia, red, purple.¬† You’ll see some of those colors in the beginning of my new baby, The TAST 2012 Quilt!¬† Block One is not done yet, as you can see.¬† I’ll show it to you when it’s done, too.¬† And you’ll see the other limbs of this new baby as they develop.¬† Since TAST will most likely run over into January, this baby has the traditional nine months to go.¬† I’m sure there will be additional development once delivered!

TAST Week 17 Wheat -Ear Stitch

TAST Quilt Block One

TAST Week 17

Wheat-Ear Stitch

I’m thinking there will be a theme tin addition to TAST with this project.¬† Something regarding attachments.¬† For me Dark Nights of the Soul often involve my relationship to attachments and loss.¬† This trip from hell involved the possibility of loosing our home and the ability to fulfill our dreams.¬† We were also in life threatening situations a couple of times.¬† We had to spend everything we’d saved to live on for the rest of the year to make it home.¬† And my special puppy who I’m very attached to started with the symptoms that have erupted into a horrid flu-like illness that she is currently struggling with.

I have learned that such situations are part of the cycle of life and also the creative cycle.  Just as wild fires clear the brush to allow for new growth, human life crises lead to a kind of soul cleansing making room for new ideas, new vision, and a heart that is more open and available to input.  Humans are creative beings unless we get bogged down with minutia rather than process, routine as opposed to ritual, and habit instead of awareness and engagement.  Sometimes it takes a lot to clear out those barriers to be free to create.  Whatever gets us to that place is a blessing.  That is what I have experienced so that is what I believe!

What do you think?  What frees you to be creative?

What Inspires You?

The State Bird of New York is the Bluebird.¬† I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen a bluebird while in New York state.¬† I’ve seen quite a few since we’ve been spending time in Mississippi and Alabama.¬† And now that it is spring I’ve been seeing even more.¬† They are beautiful!¬† Jeff has been watching the endangered Gopher Tortoises make their way out of their tunnels to warm themselves before it is time to lay their eggs.¬† I love spring!¬† I also love fall.¬† All the colors and the contrasts are so beautiful.¬† Life just seems so close and the Cycling of Mother Earth is so palpable.

Last year a crazy robin built a nest in the cross boards of our picnic table that was right outside our bedroom door.  Every day for about a week we would see the new fixings until there was finally a gorgeously and neatly woven nest.

One of several initial nest building attempts

This robin is persistant! One of about four false starts.

Day by day we watched as the mother laid one egg every day until she had 4 blue eggs side by side.

An egg a day

How many will hatch?

I was so worried because it was still kind of chilly out and everytime we opened the door the mother would fly away.¬† I was afraid the eggs wouldn’t hatch.¬† I think I drove Jeff crazy with my worrying.¬† But I think the mother got to know us and if we were careful we could walk into the bedroom and watch her watch us.

Mama Robin sitting on the eggs

"Do NOT mess with me!"

Finally, one day there was a tiny orange fluff ball in the nest.  And the next day there were two.  Mama bird kicked one egg out and the fourth just never hatched.  I wondered if it was our fault.

Two hatched and two to go

One is so new it still has shell attached!

Mama bird fed them and so did papa bird.  These kids ate a lot!

Mama Robin feeding waiting babies

Mama Robin feeding waiting babies

And it took some time before the hatchlings actually looked like robins.

Baby robins are looking around now

What's that I see?

These birds sure do eat a lot

These birds sure do eat a lot

The two hatched robins finally resemble birds

We are robins, red breasted all!

Then they started to move around the nest, walking around the edge.

Baby Robins walking around nest rim

Ready to fly

Then one day they were just gone.¬† Never even said good-bye!¬† But then we noticed there were other nests around us.¬† One in a neighbors satellite dish.¬† Another under the front end of a fifth wheeler camper.¬† They were for robins.¬† Then we spotted this one…a hummingbird nest with a new family, too.

Hummingbird nest high in tree

Hummingbird nest

So in honor of all the beautiful birds that are nesting right now in this week’s TAST Challenge to use the Stem Stitch, I stitched a little bluebird.¬† Here she is, with a stem stitched sprig of spring to begin her new nest!

Stem Stitch Bluebird

House Building Time

I hope you like her!¬† But tell me….What inspires you!