Friends, Stitching and the holidays

I read somewhere (not sure where) that today is National Stitching Day…so I hope everyone gets to stitch some today.

Since this week and week-end are big religious weeks for me and many of my friends, I want to take this time to wish everyone a Happy Easter and a blessed Passover.

And on this same train of thought I want to take this time to thank all of you for being my friend. I have been giving this a lot of thought this week and each of you contributes in some way to my stitching success.

17-04-14 lunchOver the past year I have been stitching with friends at their homes, at shops and guild meetings. I have learned that we all do not stitch the same way. Some of us use stretcher bars and others will never use stretcher bars; some of us strip threads (when applicable) and others have never heard of this method, nor do they want to do it after you explain it. BUT…17-04-14 sitching anone of this makes any of us less of a stitcher! We enjoy what we do, we enjoy the process that works for us, we are happy with our stitching level and most of all WE enjoy the time we share and the company.

The women I stitch with influence me the most! They are designers, teachers and enthusiastic 17-04-14 sitching b stitchers whether they know it or not. They have creative minds and I learn from them every time we stitch. We are like a team, they support and encourage me and I hope I support and encourage them too.

The other day, one of them showed me a canvas she had painted from a line drawing…First canvas she ever painted, it was very good. There were a few places she had drawn between the lines but for the most part it was painted on the threads correctly, she will have no trouble stitching this. I was very impressed, I know I can’t do that well.

We all offer ideas for threads and stitches, we share recipes, talk about our families, and generally just have a good time.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have a new stitching and computer tool. One of my friends is concerned about my health…she bought me a timer so I do not sit for more than an hour at a time. (I am supposed to walk for my knees every hour) It also reminds me to take a drink of water…I never drink enough water either. At first I sat the timer across the room, thinking I would get up and reset it, but that didn’t work…I just ignored it and another hour would go by…So I have it sitting next to me whether I am computing or stitching and I am more aware of it. I hear it ticking for 55 minutes and when it rings I hear my friend say, “Walk!”

My friend has an alternative OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAmotivation; she wants me to name her in my will to inherit my needlework. I always thought she meant my stash, but after she gave me the timer she said she was thinking about my health and wanted me to live “a long and productive life.” It dawned on me, she wants me to do the stitching too. Smart lady, Thank you Margaret, it’s time for me to get up and walk.

Happy Easter and Passover to all my friends…Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today and all week-end!

ttfn…sue

Inspiration all around

The world is full of inspiration; just take the time to look. Nature offers an endless supply of inspiration but so do your local art museums. My goal this year to be inspired at least once a month with a visit to at least one of our local art museums: Nelson Art Gallery(http://www.nelson-atkins.org/), the Kemper Museum of Modern Art (http://www.kemperart.org/home.asp) or  National Museum of  Toys and Miniatures (http://toyandminiaturemuseum.org/). Then there is always 1st Fridays in the Art district, but the weather has to be nice for this…I am a fair-weather art lover. Then in May, our outdoor art shows begin and they are always fun to attend…just to people watch.

But this winter I have been doing the museums…

The Nelson Art Gallery had a special exhibit of the Plains Indians from Sept 2014-Jan 2015; if it comes to a gallery close to you be sure and go see it. What struck me most about this exhibit was the detail of design…and then it dawned on me…How did these people store all those beads and porcupine quilts they were using to make whatever bag, robe, dress, fan, envelope, cradle board, ceremonial pipe, etc.?

I have a room full of stuff that I can’t live without to use for my needlepoint and I don’t have to move it as the weather changes. Plains Indians followed the buffalo; it was their source of living. I can’t imagine being pregnant, making a cradleboard and having Mike say to me, ” Today we are moving. Pack up the beads, your stitching, take down the tepee, move and I’ll see you in a couple weeks down south.” I would have not survived as a Plains Indian! Pack up the needlework and move to where…I can barely change rooms with my needlework. Those Indian women were more organized than I’ll ever be and they had the patience of Job to do all that beadwork. I was impressed.

15-01-19 NAG mini 3This week-end Mike and I ventured out to the Nelson Art Gallery again; another exhibit at the gallery are pieces from the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures (http://toyandminiaturemuseum.org/) on loan from our National Museum of  Toys and Miniatures that is being rehabbed.   The new OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAmuseum is supposed to open early this year, cannot wait to see the changes and improvements. Many of the miniatures are replicas of works in the permanent collection of The Nelson Art Gallery. My favorite piece was the sewing casket; 1 1/8 inch tall. My picture does not do it justice but I was trying to show the size in relationship to my index finger. The picture from the brochure is better but larger than actual size, but you OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAcan see all the details included.

I always thought I  would like to make a sewing casket , but if I ever get around to it, it will not be a miniature nor will it have the details of the sewing caskets I have seen in other places.  Don’t hold your breath; it is not on my “to-do” list, just my “If I run out of things to stitch…I might consider doing this” list.  And the comment you can see on the picture from the brochure says it all: “One work can take months, even years, to complete.” Mine would take the rest of my life and that’s if I started today. So this is one thing on my bucket list that probably won’t get completed in any size.

15-01-19 NAG mini 1My other favorite piece was the teapot. The miniature is a 7/16 inch replica of a 1765 Earthenware teapot 5 1/2 inches from England (part of the Nelson Art Gallery permanent collection). My picture with my little finger for size does nothing but I am OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAshowing you the picture from the brochure too; you can see the comparison better than the picture I took.

For all of you who do not know, our own Sharon Garmize (http://www.sharong.com/) stitched many of the miniature rugs that will hopefully be on display when the National Museum of  Toys and Miniatures re-opens. I’m not sure if she stitched other pieces or not.

15-01-19 El Amatsui 1The art Gallery also had this piece on display. Dusasa I by El Anatsui is a large piece that is made of found aluminum and copper. Many of the pieces looked like labels and bottle tops that were flattened and then stitched together with copper wire to make a 15-01-19 El Amatsui 2cloth like sculpture. It was hung high on the wall so it draped and protruded in different areas. It was quite striking, and as you walked past it the shadows and light changes made for interesting textural changes.

15-01-19 NAG 1But my favorite sculpture at the Nelson Art Gallery is Fall of the Rebel Angels. It is a 10 3/4 v 6 inch Italian ivory. When I was a young girl this piece was shown in a display where it was at the back (about 24 inches back from the glass) and you could not see the detail. Today it is shown up close and you can see it from all sides.

15-01-19 NAG 2Thank you for stopping by, I hope you find something to inspire you this week. And of course,  I hope you find time to stitch today! ttfn…sue

Creative week but no photos

Okay, there is one photo here but only because I just took it…I really need to remember to use my camera more. I have missed several photo opportunities to use here and all I can say is I was so enthralled with the art and people I forgot. It has been a fun and inspiring week for me.

Several weeks ago a good friend of mine and not a needleworker told me about a fiber show she thought I would like; she’d heard about it on the news. Since we were having lunch in mid-town we decided to venture downtown to see this show.  Once we got to the main library we found out the show didn’t start until the next week…oh well we had time to look around the library and it is a beautiful place; and again no pictures, too busy gawking.

The next week, when the show opened; we ventured down again and oh my way is worth it. Jason Pollen is having a celebration of his 30 years in Kansas City with a 2 part show: Unfurled (http://www.kclibrary.org/event/jason-pollen-unfurled) . You can read all about Jason Pollard here: http://www.jasonpollen.com/www.jasonpollen.com/bio.html.

14-10-24 Jason Pollen BookI felt immediately drawn to this art work, it spoke to me and I could have spent hours just sitting in the area looking at the works. Every time I looked at a piece of this artwork I saw something I had not seen before. I was fortunate enough to pick up one of the books on the exhibit and although I did not read it at the time I have read it until some of the pages have become loose. I then returned to the exhibit, book in hand and spent several hours just looking. I want to return again and look some more and maybe this time I’ll remember to take pictures.

This week I also attended a lecture Jason Pollen gave at the library (It was the first World Series game between the Royals and the Giants too, but that’s another story.)  I was torn between the Royals game and the lecture but knew if I did not go I would regret it. So off I went…and it was so much more than I expected. The first time I saw the exhibit I had written in the guest book that I would like to just sit and watch him create. I still feel the same and even more so after meeting him and listening to his lecture.. I came home and on the internet found several articles from others who have taken classes from him and now I know that I want to do this too. I am going to make another trip to the first part of this exhibit and I am definitely not missing the second part of this show.  I also have the opportunity to visit his studio next month. I am a happy person; hope I can remember to use my camera.

Then later this week I receive an email asking if I still taught Temari and would I be interested in getting together so I could share my Temari knowledge. The email was from another Sue, visiting her family all the way from Australia and so I figured it was the least I could do. My Temari knowledge is limited, I am not Barbara Suess (http://www.japanesetemari.com/) and I have no desire to really teach anymore…BUT I feel that we must share our knowledge no matter how limited with others, otherwise the art of the needle or for that matter any art will be lost. So I wrote back that I would be happy to share my limited knowledge and resources and when would it be convenient to meet. Yesterday Sue came by to spend some time with me. I had gathered all my Temari information together so that she could see what she was most interested in. I shared with her my limited knowledge, let her take pictures of anything she wanted (you would have thought that would have jogged my memory to take some too, but no it didn’t.) I gave her a couple different needles that I use making my Temari,  an extra copy  of a beginning Temari book written in Japanese and even let her pick a Temari to take home with her.

I shared with her that I do not use anything but a Kleenex as the core for my Temari and I am going to try making muslin strips of fabric to try also. I used to use 3 styrafoam peanuts in a plastic bad but seceded that was not environmentally friendly and I was also not sure how the plastic would react over time with the yarn used to make the ball. I even promised to email her the instructions I have written for a class I did teach years ago.

It was a fun visit. Sue is a fabric dyer and so she has promised when she gets home to dye some threads for me using Australian natural dyes; I can hardly wait.  First Sue is off to Canada for a dying class and then when she gets home she will dye my threads. Will share when it comes.

So even though I have no stitching to share and no pictures (I am going to get better at this) I have had a very creative week. I am inspired to do some drawing and also designing needlework. I But right now I need to get back to some unfinished business I have waiting on my desk.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you find time to stitch today! (I will stitch during the baseball game tonight and every night until the Boys in Blue win the World Series…Go Royals!) ttfn…sue

Asian Collage Completed and an inspirational day

Happy Dance… a very happy dance!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAsian Collage is quilted and finally finished, framed and almost hung…Oh did I luck into a deal. Took piece to a Hobby Lobby looking for black bamboo frame (I had been several other places too). I hate it when I get an idea in my head how I want something OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAfinished and I can’t find it. Well anyway, here I am at Hobby Lobby, they had a wide bamboo (about 1.5 inches) black molding.  The lovely lady in the frame shop is measuring my piece for the matting and frame when all of a sudden she says, “Honey, you know if I make these mat just a bit smaller you could use a premade frame and I think there is a black one over there that would look very nice, but it’s not bamboo.” So over she goes and back she comes with this frame and lays it on the mats and needlework. Then she says, ‘Honey, this frame will save you over a hundred dollars.”…well bamboo was my choice and “Honey” is not my name or favorite term of address; but a bargain is a bargain. So I asked her how long it would take to get my mattings cut (thinking minimum one week) and when she said 15 minutes and I could take everything home.  I was sold, a quick turn around and a bargain too, who could ask for anything more and you can call me “Honey.” So this is my under $50.00 finish!

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And then this week end my local guild held their Christmas Party and it was wonderful! The program was Victoria Crowder Payne. She is one of those talented, inspirational, creative people who, if you are luck, will pass through your life more than once. She shared the store of her creative and personal life with us and shared her work as well as her project and sketch books. If you have a few hours, grab a cuppa tea and visit: http://freedomofstitch.com/ AND http://www.fearlessstudio.com/. I am off to grab my cuppa(s) and visit these again to see if I missed anything on my first visit.

Only 15 days left until Christmas, I think I should start my shopping. I just hope it warms up, single digit temperatures just make me want to snuggle in and stitch.

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

ttfn…sue