Notebooks

I have had notebooks on my mind these past few months.

15-03-05 a J. Pollen notebookIt all started with the Jason Pollen exhibit and lecture last fall. In the second part of his exhibit he displayed some of his notebooks and in his lecture he said he draws two hours every day in these sketchbooks. I would love to spend a pot of tea going through these note/sketchbooks; it would be like climbing into the mind of the artist. Oh heck, I’d just like to sit in his studio as he worked and have him think out loud…I think you would learn so much.

And then last week on KCPT, Bob Holloway, another of my favorite artists was profiled and he said he has kept a journal/sketchbook for the past 40 years. He has 40 of these journals…incredible! Ditto on the sit in his studio.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWell if I didn’t feel inadequate before I did after watching this show; I want to journal and sketch too. I want to put my thoughts down on paper so I don’t lose them. I was feeling pretty uncreative and I started straightening up the office, stitch space and library. And what to my surprise, I had an epiphany: OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI do journals, notebooks and sketchbooks and have for years. I have 2 Master Teacher Notebooks, I have a value and color notebook, I have a notebook of another favorite artist, Fritzi Brod and I have a notebook of finished stitched projects I have completed to mention a few.

And then I found these blue notebooks I made and carried. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI drew stitches in them whether it was a new stitch I saw on another canvas, in a book or magazine or whether it was just something that popped into my head, I drew it in these notebooks. I also kept noted on the canvas I was stitching and when I made the page for my finiOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAshed stitch project notebook I would turn the pages up of or remove them. These notebooks are dated so I have an idea when I did them.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI don’t know why I stopped using this method but I have a feeling that this is what has been missing in my life. I think I thought that the larger graph paper in a larger notebook was the answer for me but now I am not so sure. I don’t carry this notecase everywhere and therefore have fallen out of the habit of keeping good records/notes for myself. And I seem to have acquired a large amount of pieces of graph paper that are not contained anywhere. I think maybe I thought I needed a larger area for diagrams but maybe I just need to have that at hand in case and carry my little notebook everywhere.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI also have two other note/sketchbooks that I keep. One is ideas that I see or think of that I want to remember for that “ah-ha moment” of inspiration. This notebook contains drawings and pictures of other art works, just stuff.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Every other page is numbered and I put a month and year date on the  page too. When an idea is forming I will look through these books (there are only three so far) for ideas that relate or that I might want to incorporate. This has happened and I go OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAback and find the reference and it usually sparks more creative thoughts.  The flower in upper left of the picture became a Sunflower Temari ball with French Knot center.

15-03-05 j sktbk pg 4-15-13My other notebook is the frustrated artist in me. I want to be able to draw like Jason Pollack, Bob Holloway, Fritzi Brod, Mary Englebreit, Joan Walsh Anglund to name a few. I want it to seem as effortless as they seem to make it seem. But I struggle with this OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAartist within me; I read books, take classes and still do not feel I am neither a sketcher nor an artist. My drawings in these notebooks are all dated and vary from geometrics (which I love) to just a sketch of my coffee cup or dot pictures. I can create a geometric needlepoint, I can pick stitches for a painted canvas (and yet I struggle with these sometimes too) but I OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAdon’t think I will ever be an art show artist, nor is anyone going to ask me to have a showing of my artwork. But some of these drawings will hopefully become needlework too. I just saw a geometric in drawing #1 and the pumpkins in drawing #2 are drawn from a picture my daughter in law sent me of two pumpkins she made last year for a contest at work. I want to stitch needlepoint canvases, finish them as stand up baskets and have the hair and flowers planted in them…I see Sundance Sparkles for the hair. (see I am incubating a new ideas as I write this)

15-03-05 o FA ntbk 2And last week after cleaning, I went to the opening of a new show at the Nelson-Aitkens Art Gallery for a special exhibit: Ferran Adria Notes on Creativity. They are the drawings of this chef and his staff on food, history and creativity. While I creatively 15-03-05 p FA ntbk 2understood these drawings & notebooks, I wasn’t sure I understood his method (but I am not a chef either). 15-03-05 q no peasMy favorite was this graphic: I saw it from across the room and was sure I knew what it meant…I was wrong, it represented seed but to me it was and is “no peas.” There were parts I liked and other parts I am not sure I understood, but that’s okay because at the bottom of one page that had been blown up was the explanation of it all…

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Result(in box): everybody has his,her own creativity process.

The “ah-ha” moment of the week for me. The artist understood these notebooks and sketches and each meant something to him and he became more creative because of them and helped his students to be more creative also. I did another tour of the exhibit with a new and greater understanding of the beauty he had created and given us a brief glimpse. I’m sure to the major chefs that see this exhibit it has my more meaning to them than it will to me, but we both have come away with our own moment of creativity.

It was ah-ha moment for me and I realized that my notebooks do not have to appeal to anyone but me. Notebooks are a glimpse of the artist who creates them and do not have to make sense to anyone but that artist. (I still would like to spend an afternoon with the artist I admire and their notebooks. Just to listen to them and see how their creative process works I think would be inspiring.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo I have decided to go back to my little notebook for stitches; I made myself a new little notebook about 50 pages and will keep it with my stitching. I will still keep my ideas notebook , I will sketch (but maybe never 2 hours every day)  and I have also decided to start another long overdue type of journal…I am going to start keeping a stitch doodle canvas. It will have no rhyme nor reason to it, it is just going to be OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAstitches. I plan to keep a log of which stitch is used, the thread and I might even add where I used it if I do use it. Stay tuned as I finish a canvas (the first page)  I will share it with you.

Thank you for stopping by to visit, I hope you find time to stitch today or do whatever helps you be creative!

ttfn…sue

 

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OMGosh…Surprise, surprise, surprise

This week-end DH handed me a brown envelope addressed to me, but I wasn’t expecting anything (already had all I was expecting); so I asked him what’s this. His reply was a typical DH remark; “Must be something you ordered.” Knowing he was probably correct I opened the envelope and inside was Mary Engelbreit’s OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFan Fare Cookbook: 120 Dessert Favorites. Still no recollection of ordering this, but since my birthday is in August and I love desserts, I figured someone had sent me a nice birthday gift. Inside the front cover (had not noticed the autograph yet) was a letter (ah, a clue); so I began to read…”Dear Contributor,”… OMGosh, this took my breath away and I sat down to continue reading. At OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAfirst I thought maybe someone near and dear to me had submitted a recipe in my name. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo after my initial surprise I looked through the cookbook to find my recipe and sure enough almost smack dab in the middle of the book, there it was. As I read the recipe and short story OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAaccompanying the recipe I realized this was me and I obviously had sent the recipe (the wording sounded just like me). I did not remember this at all, but my recipe was one of the 120 chosen and here I was in a Mary Engelbreit publication. I can’t tell you how surprised, humbled and dumbfounded I was…Awesome!

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I have always been a big fan of Mary Engelbreit (http://www.maryengelbreit.com/); I have several of her cards framed and hanging in my hallway. My first framed card came from a good friend’s daughter, Katie Bax who lived in St Louis and worked at a Mary Engelbreit store and knew I love her artwork so she bought me a card and had Mary autograph it for me.13-07-29ME journal I have books (surprise, surprise), boxes, sewing items, Santa’s, Christmas plates and Good to be the Queen things; my project journals are ME Good to be the Queen journals and I have every issue of Home Companion magazine Mary published…I still miss this publication…it was so creative.
Do I sound like a Mary Engelbreit groupie? Well I guess it is as close as I get to being a groupie…I don’t think of myself as a groupie but more as an admirer of an extremely talented lady who expresses the beauty of the world around her. Her artwork lifts me up and makes me smile.
Mary doesn’t like to cook and although I don’t mind cooking I rather needlepoint and draw than cook…Mary Engelbeit’s saying about cooking is one of my two favorites: “If my family had to depend on me for food, they would starve to death in a really cute kitchen.” The other quote is from Sharon Garmize, another very talented needlepoint lady (http://www.sharong.com/): “I only have a kitchen because it came with the house.”
And so, I have spent an evening reading a cookbook from cover to cover. Good thing you don’t absorb calories by reading because I would have absorbed a bunch. There are some really great dessert recipes in this book but the stories that accompany each of these recipes are the best, it makes them so personal. I know this cookbook will become a family favorite. And I am humbled to have been included.
Think I’ll get a stand for it in my kitchen, maybe a stand under glass to protect it…I know I’ve gone too far…I am hoping my head and chest stop swelling (with humble pride and awesomeness) so I can get back to work; but every time I see the book I get excited all over again.
Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today! I’m going to try…
ttfn…sue

Changing the header

Yesterday, I decided to change the header of my blog.

The train did have significance and sentiment but only to me and did not reflect this blog. My youngest son had set this blog up for me and this was his choice of a picture. His brother, my second son also works for the railroad that sponsors this train so it had significance but mostly sentiment. I always intended to change it but it was another one of those “to-its”. So I put it on my list and now I can cross it off…maybe this list thing isn’t to bad.

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Yesterday I was taking the Christmas things hanging on my hall wall and that’s where this picture hangs. I love this needlepoint and the attachments; The attachments were a bracelet that became to fragile to wear from a special friend. I also like it because it was quick and easy to stitch; it is a combination of 6 inchies to make an ATC (Artist Trading Card).

 

 

 

hall-1  hall-21

 

 

 

My hall connects the front of the house to the back of the house. I love this wall, it has a lot of things that I love to look at…it is my eclectic wall and has so many family memories.

 

 

 

calendarThis is “Master Calendar for 112 years”. from 1844 to 1956.It was my father’s and he kept it on his desk at work even after 1956. I keep it accurate only the year is 1909.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

glovekeyszodiac-plate-tea-strainerplatetree-and-baby-beadskitchen-best

 

 

 

A glove stretcher (it was used to dry those cotton gloves we all wore in the 40-50’s)

Antique keys (don’t you wonder what secrets they hold?) and a brass stencil of a tulip, our last name means tuilip.

A zodiac plate from Brazil, and abacus, and my Grandmother’s tea strainer that I still grab to use.

A Mari plate that has so many cracks is looks like a mosaic, but my favorite aunt loved it and I just could not bear to see it thrown away. I hung it up close to ceiling and you would be surprised at the number of people who comment on how pretty it is. Some I show it’s faults, others I just smile to myself and say thanks.

The tree I made in the 80’s during my wood cutting days…there is a walnut angel and pineapple hanging also. We hung the ribbons from the tree during the 1st and 2nd gulf wars. Look at the beads to the left of tree, they were my baby toys. One set is wood and the other the Bakelite, but what is most interesting is both are strung on string and the pieces are small.  Boy what a hazard these are by today’s standards…not to mention that the paint could have lead… and yes they were chewed on.

And the last plate was from my Great Aunt Rose and Aunt Hazels kitchen. These two favorite aunts could make shoe leather taste good. They loved to cook and Thanksgiving at their house was a feast…and meal at their house was a feast. Whenever we have family “get-to-geters”, I look at this plate and know that traditions continue.

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And this is my mystery antique. It is metal, the thing on the end is like a spring over the end. It does not bend. It is 3 inches long and 3/4 inch wide at the bow underneath the spring. 

 Anyone know what it is? I’ll tell you Friday. This is a conversation piece when people see it…

 

 

 

 

 

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 I love my street sign. We were in New Orleans for Carnival (Mardi Gras is only Fat Tuesday) in 1986. We saw 9 parades in three days, it was quite an experience. These signs hang all over the city, each parish had their own sign. This one is from Jefferson Parrish. I wanted one, so I asked the Commander of County Sheriff’s Department how to get one. He looked at me like I was nuts, but gave me his card and told me to write after Carnival was over. I did and he sent this to me..no charge! I can’t believe they didn’t sell them. What a great fund raiser.

I love greeting cards and some are too cool. I frame many greeting cards to hang, it is great inexpensive artwork. If I ever get tired of them I can replace them, so far that has never happened.  These are from Mary Engelbreit, she autographed one for me too. I have three sets of these: this one books, the “good to be the Queen” pair and “Grow old with me” pair.

And of course needlework.

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mountain-star1The sunflowers are one of about 12 of these I did for a ANG certification piece I was doing. I stitched them to see which color combinations worked well, and which stitch combinations I liked best. I gave most of them away as Christmas gifts the year I made them.

The gray piece is Mountain Star. I taught this as part of my ANG certification in Denver. I only taught it in pinks or blues but my husband wanted this color for his office.

There’s a lot more hanging there: Family pictures, Pat Buckley Moss prints, Charlie Harper postcards, some original art work, stained glass pieces, my uncle’s horse and camel crop (complete with poker), brass knuckles that belonged to my husbands grandfather. My mother’s last Fuller Brush vegetable brush…she loved these things and we found boxes of them. We just used them up last year except for this one that we hung.  Like I said this is a fun hallway, full of memories and reminders of many generations who made us who we are.

This post got carried away down memory lane, but I can now mark dusting all the pictures and wall off my list. 🙂

ttfn…sue