Monthly Archives: October 2008

Just a short post…

…for right now.  I am back from my day stitching retreat, had a wonderful time with great friends and am now back to the real world.

I do have a finish to report. The ‘Chick’s Rule’ pillow by Pine Mountain.  I took a photograph without the pillow insert, because that involved more digging than I wanted to do this morning.  🙂 As is the case with most of these Pine Mountain pillows the colors and fabrics are totally awesome!

Chicks Rule!

Chicks Rule!

and a close up:

Chick's Rule 2

Chick

To be truthful, I have many of these kits and whenever I feel in need of a quick pick-me-up and a finish, I pull one out.  They are fun, easy to see and can usually be completed in a very short span of time.  With all the BIG projects I’m doing, something short and quick was the ticket yesterday.

I also did three entire rows on my Meadow Afghan.  I’m going to have to pick up the pace if I want to have the knitting part finished by the end of the month.

I need to be off, but I hope each of you has a truly beautiful day, filled with all the things and people you love.

Blessings,

Julie

I cannot believe…

...that the inscrutable universe turns on an axis of suffering;  surely the strange beauty of the world must somewhere rest on pure joy! –Louis Bogan

Does this quote speak to you as it does to me?  I look around at the beautiful colors and see a God Who knows the meaning of the word ‘joy’.  Indeed I see a God Who invented the emotion of pure joy.  I experienced that emotion through the power of nature this past week.  Let me share with you a bit of my walk in the woods last Monday. It was a glorious day…

Colorful tree at Elm Creek

Colorful tree at Elm Creek

and…

Glorious shadings

Glorious shadings

and…

sumac on the trail

sumac on the trail

and one more:

A passing season...

A passing season...

Doesn’t a part of you want to dance for joy at the lovely colors? Think of Snoopy, arms waving in the air, eyes closed, feet a tappin’.  That’s what this day make me feel like…tap dancing in the leaves. Some of you will be grateful to know that I refrained :-).

No stitching to share today.  I have been working with words rather than plying my needle. I have a submission coming up for the Master Needle Artist program, I’ve been trying to get my library listing updated and in so doing realized just how many books I have yet to catalog. 😦 and I’m even trying to get back into the habit of daily posts here.

However I plan to remedy that ‘no stitching’ issue.  Tomorrow I am off to enjoy a day retreat with some very good friends.  The retreat actually goes all weekend, but because I work on Sunday, I am doing it for only one day.  I plan to bring my Meadow afghan, my Emie Bishop Hardanger piece and a Pine Mountain Pillow-Chick’s Rule! I will be gone from early morning to late tomorrow night and am planning on having a rip-roaring good time.  I really enjoy both the time to work on existing projects and my time with these precious women.

I’ve added a few more books to my library listing and…finally…listed some October goals.

I hope everyone has a wonderful…JOY filled…weekend!

Blessings,

Julie

Wow…

..two posts in one day!

I have updated my library listings.  The newer additions are italicized and the headings are in bold. I’m afraid I’m still not fabulous with how to format here on WordPress. It is frustrating, because this list is all formatted in Word yet when I copy it here, poof, I’m back to square one. Oh well, live and learn.

(Please don’t take the preceding paragraph to be in any way, shape or form a criticism of WordPress. This is fantastic, user-friendly tool and where there is a problem it is with my level of expertise, not the program.)

If anyone has any suggestions for books I absolutely must add to my collection, please leave a comment or send me an email.

Blessings,

Julie

Good morning…

…er, make that good afternoon. I had good intentions of writing early and I did…but not here. I was working on my ‘Artist’s Way‘ morning pages. It is surprising how writing three standard sized sheets of thoughts and ideas longhand can necessitate a re-scheduling of one’s whole day. At least this one’s whole day 🙂 I think it would probably be easier were I not severely allergic to 6:30 a.m. (I am much more comfortable at 2 a.m.) Instead I get up around eight and feel like I’m already behind.

As you probably have guessed I did start the Artist’s Way curriculum by Julia Cameron.  Why?  Well, to be honest I get a lot of almost, but not quite feelings about my needlework. Feelings that I want to take it further, to design, to teach, to run a studio.  Feelings that I want to move needlework from an avocation to a vocation.

This isn’t an impossible dream, in fact it is very possible, but I never seem to quite move from dreamer and artisian (as I stitch someone else’s designs…sometimes changing colors or fabrics) to designer, writer, business owner and artist. Action on my part is required and to be frank I’m feeling a little paralysis as I seek to move ahead. The ‘Artist’s Way‘ is Julia’s process for nurturing creativity, for being able to view your desired path in a clearer way and for removing personal roadblocks to success. The curriculum sounded like what I needed, was reasonably priced and it was a step forward. (There have been a few more since…more on that later. 🙂

Having been in the corporate world for some time, I have seen a lot of these..self actualization (for lack of a better term) seminars come and go—some with good results, some far overpriced for less than stellar content.  So far, I think the ‘Artists Way‘ is proving to be one of the former.  Week One alone has given me a lot to think about and work on as I plan the second half of my life. Just what I needed in the way of a kick in the pants.

So…have I been doing anything to pursue my art?  The answer:  Not as much as I’d like, but progress is being made, mostly in the realm of JE.  Since I don’t want more than a few days to go by without working on my Japanese Embroidery (I don’t want to forget what I’ve learned), I’ve left the frame up and have now finished one ENTIRE clump (wooo-hooo) of pine needles.

Here are my first progress photos of ‘Mile High Shochikubai‘, my phase one piece for JE:

Plum Blossom and Pine

Plum Blossom and Pine

I have also worked on a flat silk plum blossom:

Flat Silk Plum Blossom

Flat Silk Plum Blossom

Some Bamboo:

Bamboo

Bamboo

and some cloud pine in two different techniques:

Cloud Pine

Cloud Pine

I know…it scarcely seems possible this is the result of HOURS and HOURS of work, but bear in mind, JE is also about learning a discipline.  There is a right way to do each stitch and departure from that way really does impact the appearance of the needlework. I have frogged more on this project alone than I have in years.

Still, I can honestly say, I love when I settle in to work on JE.  The silks are beautiful to handle and to use (okay, so flat silk is still a bit of a pain and I still manage to shred it in a rather magnificent fashion on occasion, but the results are sure worth it. :-)), the silk ground fabric is also lovely, the frame holds the work beautifully tight and I usually have some soft, instrumental music on as I stitch.

I’m not at the point where I can relax and let the needlework speak, but I can see how practice will eventually make a difference.  Most of all, I simply love the look…the artistry of the finished pieces.  There is so much history and so much beauty all created with a needle and thread.

Apart from JE I’ve been knitting away on my Meadow Afghan, with high hopes for a finish by the end of the month.  I am also feeling the urge to do a bit of needlepoint. More on what I choose to work on in my next post. 🙂 I have a lot of WIP’s to choose from…and I think this time it might be one of my kimono designs by Jinice.

I have also added to my library and will update that page sometime today as well as my page for goals.  I have been absolutely terrible about keeping track of my hours, so I may just have to start from where I am and go forward, since there is no way I can remember every hour worked. Suffice it to say, needlework is a huge and wonderful part of my life.

Well, right now I’m off to buy a light at Joanne Fabric.  I need a new desk lamp for my stitching room and since their stock of Daylight lamps is 40% off this week, it seems the time is ripe.  The older I get the more important lighting becomes and I’ve been spoiled by spectrum corrected bulbs. 🙂

That’s all for today.  I think often and with great gratitude of this this online stitching community.  There is so much inspiration and so much to learn as stitcher’s share.  Thank you all so much!

Blessings,

Julie

Santa Fe Square Framed…

…and a long time with no post.  Fall is busy, but I also was felled by an attack of the early flu. I am much better this week. 🙂 And I got my flu shot!!!!!

One thing I did rouse myself for on Friday last was to run up to my framers and pick up my Santa Fe Square by Gay Ann Rogers.  I will stitch this piece again one day…it was so much fun and this one is destined to be a gift for my in-laws.

Please allow me to present the finished product:

Santa Fe Square

Santa Fe Square

Santa Fe Square Detail

Santa Fe Square Detail

I requested that the needlework be framed to image and I love the way it turned out.  With the coppery distressed frame it looks to me almost like an ‘old-city’ tile.  I love it.

I plan to write more later, as I took some photos of the JE piece I’m working on as well as my hardanger piece. I need to set…um…October goals and update my library listing.  I am…as usual…a bit behind.  But I still feel blessed to have the time and leisure for this wonderful avocation of needlework.

Hope everyone is finding time to spend in stitches.

Blessings,

Julie

AARRRRGGGGHHHH…

…I’m EXHAUSTED!!!

Why, you may ask? Japanese embroidery, that’s why.

I love it, I love it, I love it. However, I have spent two solid days in class. Hours of work and being taught and what do I have to show?  2.5 bamboo leaves, a plum blossoom, half of another plum blossom, a few thingies at the top of the bamboo leaves, five bunches of pine needles in silk, one bunch of pine needles in gold…and a few branches courtesy of a demonstration by my wonderful teacher.  I can’t tell you how much I’ve ripped out and I don’t even want to think about many strands of flat silk I’ve turned into balls of fuzz.

Every time I think I’m getting it, I realize my left hand is on top of the frame or I’m stitching counter-clockwise or left to right. For those of you that play cards, Japanese Embroidery is the bridge of needlework.  It’s enough to make this poor novice’s head hurt.

Am I being negative? Nope. That’s just a true statement of how I’m feeling and progressing.  I have learned SO much. Kay Stanis is a fabulous teacher.  I had talked about her previously when I attended her class ‘Winter Wonders’ at the Minnesota Needlework Guild retreat.  She is a good communicator, straightforward and very knowledgeable.  If you EVER have a chance to take a class from her, don’t hesitate! Sign up!

Tomorrow it’s day number 3…and I think that involves something called shell powder.  I can’t wait. Really.  I think it’s some of the most beautiful needlework I’ve ever seen. (Maybe not mine…not yet…but the example pieces are lovely.

Pictures later…

Hope all is well in your neck of the world!

Blessings,

Julie