My major coup

 

While I was stitching the 1st Communion piece I also remembered that another granddaughter is graduating from high school this May and I probably should stitch something for her too. And maybe I should start thinking about it now.  But then I put that idea quickly on the back burner…

But a few weeks ago I was having lunch with friends and they wanted me to go by  a needlepoint shop in the area to see some finishing they were picking up. So off we went. While I was there, it was mentioned that I had stitched a 1st Communion piece and I showed the picture in my phone. I also mentioned I had a granddaughter graduating from a local high school. One of the owners mentioned that they paint the cypher for that school in two styles…Oh pleaseeeeee let me look. And yes here was what had been mulling around in my head… I asked if they could have this painted on 8 x 8 inch canvas and leave off the circle outline…sure thing. They took my order and then put the original canvas with it to send it to the painters. I thought this was strange; wouldn’t the artist have a master?

I was still at the shop visiting with friends and I learned that this shop also has an outreach program. The needlepoint shop supports “100 Jobs for 100 Moms” program and has hired women to hand-paint canvases four days a week. What a great idea…

So know I am going to get a canvas with major part of the designing already completed (I will not have to re-invent the wheel) and then I can personalize it for my Granddaughter. And you know what, I’m sure she will appreciate this even more knowing that we helped someone less fortunate in the process of making her special memory.

I love my local shops, they both carry a different variety of things, the help is good, stitchers are friendly and they both have outreach programs. Do visit your local shops often.

I’m thinking about beading the cypher; could use the three beads from Mr & Mrs. I think I might discuss this with the graduate, maybe she would like it finished with her tassel. Ummm—that would give me more time too. I’m liking this better all the time. I will keep you posted on the progress of my graduation gift.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today.

ttfn…sue

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Creative Dry Spells

I think I can safely say I have suffered from “Creative Dry Spells” in all forms of my artistic endeavors. It is like being in a depressed mood; you know it will pass but it does not make it any the less painful. They are not fun, nor can you talk yourself out of them; the best thing to do is ignore them for a day or two and then try to work thru them or just do something else like cleaning (ugh) or cooking. Cleaning should convince you to be creative real quick and cooking can be creative also yummy if you bake or make desserts.

I read somewhere (probably another blog but I forgot to write down whose blog) some ways to get the creative juices flowing again. I have adapted them to needleart thoughts:

  1. Spend some time with your stash
  2. Finish a UFO or several
  3. Practice a stitch/technique you haven’t mastered or would like to learn
  4. Look ahead to projects you must finish:
  • Designers/teachers have deadline
  • Finishing deadlines
  • Work under pressure
  1. Just keep active.

Sometimes any of these are easier said than done depending on how “dry” you are feeling.

Sometimes spending some “me time” with a cuppa and your favorite needlework books and/or magazines can help. I love my books and looking through them may give you an idea of something to stitch, a technique to try or maybe you will just relax and look at the pictures.

Sometimes no matter what you do nothing speaks to you; then it may be time for some artistic needlework enhancement. In other words, a trip to your local needlework shopS (sometimes it takes more than one). Going to your favorite places is good for two reasons:

  1. It may spark your creative juices with something as simple as a new thread for that project you saw in your stash. You may find a new canvas that speaks to you and if all else fails…
  2. You are at least spending time with other creative people and this is good. They may remind you of a canvas you have at home that you were really dying to stitch just a few weeks ago. They may show you a new technique they are working on, a new stitch, a new thread, or maybe just give you a smile that will brighten your day.

And if you are lucky enough to have more than one shop in your area you have that many more chances to get those creative juices flowing…whatever it takes to spark those fingers. And if you are really lucky, maybe you can sit and visit with others. You don’t have to be stitching something, you can just visit. I visit a group(s) and not everyone is stitching needlepoint, some are knitting, some are stash enhancing, and others have just come by to visit.

And we learn from each other and the more diverse and wide our circle of creative friends is the more we learn…there are no limits to creative thoughts. Attending guild meetings, having stitch-ins, maybe just going for a cuppa and stitching there. Just think for a minute about threading a needle; you know people who:

  1. Thread a needle with the end going immediately through the eye of the needle
  2. Bend the thread over the needle and then thread that bend through the eye of the needle.
  3. Pinch the thread tightly between their thumb and index finger and saw the eye of the needle onto the thread
  4. Wet the end of the thread and place thread through eye of needle … or
  5. Use a needle threader.

None of these are wrong, None is better than another…it is what works for you. But if some needle artist is having trouble threading a needle just being around other needle artists may give her the idea she needs to thread her needle. I know that is pretty simplistic but you get the idea.

If you don’t want to tempt you credit card, watch a love flick, visit an art gallery, visit a park, just take a walk. Anything will do to keep you from sitting and brooding about the “dry spell”.

I have two artist friends that seem to ward off  dry spells by drawing every day; they have notebooks of their works. I am not that disciplined and that’s probably why they make a living at their art and my art just keeps my sanity.

One of my friends tries to go out and about every day to see inspiration. He will draw and paint in his notebook people and places around him. Recently at an art fair, I ask him if I could see his journal and he shared it with me. He was in a mall at an art fair, yet found the time to capture the other artists around him. Each entry has the day and date of the week (he told me it was like his day planner). Not only was there an image of his fellow artists but a small drawing of the type of art they were showing. WOW! I spent several minutes looking through his diary and it was such a privilege; I felt like he not only trusted me very much. He had let me see into his soul; it really was a special moment. I did not read his thoughts but just looking at the pictures he had drawn. I left his booth maybe not inspired but feeling sooooo uplifted.

My other artist friend is a former art professor and he lives close to his former university. You can visit him anytime he is in town and he will listen to you and then in his own magical way give you some thoughts to ponder. He never gives you “his answer” because then you would not be working through your problem. Once a week, when he is in town, he holds “tea time”; an open date to just visit with others of like mind, have tea and discuss whatever comes up, such an enlightening way to give so much insight into so many things. It is no wonder all he asks is for you to RSVP your attendance; these events are attended by friends, former students and students who have heard about him through their professors. And even though it may be a crowded place on occasion, you always come away feeling inspired and more than that hopeful, optimistic.

So, I think I will be off to look at my stash and maybe it will trigger something.  I hope you are not having a creative dry spell but if you are, join me by going through your stash and let’s see what happens.  I really hope you can just go stitch and have fun.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today.

ttfn…sue

South Dakota part 2

More travels but I promise this is all…and this has needlepoint at the end. So if just interested in needlepoint, fast forward to last part.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Day 4 brought a day trip to the North Blackhills. We did a big loop again. Through the tunnel and off to Rapid City. We arrived in Rapid City, SD early in the morning and so most shops were closed, (I think OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMike planned this although I really did not see any shops that I couldn’t find at home…still no beading or needlepoint. But art alley was cool…Graffiti art in this alley as far as youOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA could see…on the dumpsters, walls, posts, everything for about three blocks…even some knitting around the poles…
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd on all the corners in downtown Rapid City are bronze statues of all the presidents…Truman touch of home and my favorite Thomas Jefferson.
Also found the Chapel in the Hills (http://www.chapel-in-the-hills.org/index.php), a unique “Stavkirke” (a medieval wooden Christian church building), OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAan exact replica of 850 yr old Borgund Church in Norway. Very lovely place and the only handwork I’ve seen so far…Hardanger.

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Then we were off to Sturgis, yes Sturgis…I wanted to see where thousands of people would gather in a few weeks for a motorcycle rally. Sturgis is Sturgis and it certainly caters to the motorcycle crowds. Another stop to cross off to my bucket list…But NO Needlepoint…and you would think if you could afford a motorcycle you could afford needlepoint.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Deadwood was a complete disappointment to me. Sorry Kevin (Kevin Costner and his family own most of the town), I thought the historic markers were poor and the famous saloon where Wild Bill Hickok was shot is closed. I really expected Deadwood to be less of a commercial town and more of a historical OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAtown. In fairness to DeadwoodOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I thought all the towns (Lead, Cheyenne Crossing, Spearfish, etc… up this way catered more to the motorcycle and gambling tourists than to the beauty of the area. Bridal Veil waterfalls and the lakes were beautiful. I guess I’m too in needlepoint and nature…still no needlepoint.

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Day 5. We’ve seen all we came t see and decided to head home via the Badlands…talk about a change of terrain. It is really desolate land, beautiful but desolate. Sometimes OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAreminded me of what I think the moon surface would look like, other times,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA a gray Grand Canyon but not quite as deep, but deep; it was beautiful in its own unique way. The gift shop at the Cedar Pass Lodge was the nicest seen so far…many local Indian art and beadwork and theOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERArestaurant was wonderful. I had an Indian taco and Indian sweetbread; both were very good (probably not good for me, but usually what is good to eat is usually not healthy for you.)

13-07-26 11 D5 Wall DrugWe did the whole loop with a side trip to Wall Drug (www.walldrug.com) inOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Wall SD. Wall Drug has grown over the years and no one serves you ice water anymore but the story of Wall Drug is inspiring…”No matter where you live, you can succeed…”
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANext stop was the Corn Palace (http://cornpalace.com/index.php) in Mitchell, SD. I had heard about this place all my life since my family had been in some type of grain OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbusiness all my life. It is so much more than a building with corn and wheat on the outside. We saw the 2012 artwork as the 2013 has not been finished yet and will be unveiled in August (August 20). Many of the drawings displayed on the corn palace are from Oscar Howe, a renowned South Dakota artist. He designed many of the panels for the Corn Palace I am going to do more research on Oscar Howe, I loved his pictures.

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Day 6: Sioux Falls to home…Sioux Falls has a beautiful area, Falls Park, don’t miss it. We met, by chance, the local CBS KELO Channel 11 news photo journalist. He was on the observation tower with us OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAdoing a file shot. He pointed out all the points of interest: the meat packing plant that had made this town (Kansas City too in the day); where their stockyards had been (theirs has been torn down too…another bit of history gone); the state prison (looked more like a hospital than a prison); the old courthouse and St Joseph’s Cathedral. We tried to visit St Joseph’s Cathedral (http://www.stjosephcathedral.net/) but it was closed to change the light bulbs…but I did a virtual tour online and if I ever get back to Sioux Falls this will be on my must-see list. We would not have known about all these wonderful places had it not been for this great cameraman…thank you! I even called the TV station and told them how helpful OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAhe had been…I hope he at least gets “an Atta-boy” for this. Their Butterfly House was having a special exhibit and so we made a stop here before heading south and homeward bound.

13-07-26 22 D6 Omaha Village Needleworks
But one more stop…a must see of Omaha, Nebraska, and no it’s not the Zoo although I hear that is great too. Village Needleworks in Omaha, a must see…I know it was an oversight by AAA that it wasn’t listed as “GEM“.  I have to have a needlepoint 13-07-26 24 D6 Omaha Village Needleworksshop and here it is one that is going to be one of the closest to my house about 3 hours away…I see a stitching trip in the future…Maybe a small bus load of stitchers on a day trip or overnighter (then we could get two days of needlepoint shopping & 13-07-26 25 D6 Omaha Village Needleworksstitching). Mary de Souza is the owner and a delightful lady. Her shop was so light and colorful I could have stayed all afternoon. Before we arrive I had told Mike that I did not want to hear, “Let’s go” and to his credit he 13-07-26 23 D6 Omaha Village Needleworksshowed great restraint (see him sitting outside the window picture)…I think he knew I was suffering from needlepoint shop depravation. And I showed great restraint in not going hog wild although it would have been very easy to do so…okay I did have Mary order one canvas for me and I ‘m going to call her and have her order another before she ships…
Oh I felt so much better after this shop stop…the trip was wonderful but this was the best shopping of the week.

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And now I am home, getting ready to leave again for a week…but only to house sit at my niece’s home bout 15 miles from my house…but there are wild turkeys and deer in her back yard so I will feel like I’m still on vacation…
It’s good to be home and I see a lot of computer work and stitching in my future!
Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today!
ttfn…sue