Thoughts about January

Today is the last day of January and I can hardly believe how fast this month has flown by. As with any January day in the Midwest it is cold and snowy, a good day to hibernate with a cup of tea, a fireplace and reflect on the past month.

As I said in another entry, I had good intentions of starting a blog but thanks to Sharon B. it happened sooner than later. Thanks Sharon.  It has been fun learning how to and doing, nothing like learning on the fly. I know I have much more to learn but I am fingering along for now.

When the TIF challenge was first posted I knew that the first part was going to be easy. The challenge was: “To make a design about a person(s) you admire or to use the color scheme suggested.” This was the easy part, I immediately thought of my grandmother and my Aunt Rose. I don’t think there was anything the two of them could not do or would not try, and both had a great love of life and a true sense of family. The color scheme was definitely colors they loved, wore and used. Simple solution January is dedicated to my grandmother and my Aunt Rose using the given color pallet. I thought it was a good way to start the year remembering two women I admire very much and who had a great influence on who I am today.

The next step was not as simple. Since I am a needlepointer, this is my first choice but what to do? I pulled the threads and canvases samples and tried to sort out the many ideas floating around in my head. I could do grapes, flowers, geometrics (my love) … I felt like a kid in a candy store with to many choices and not enough time. While I tried to sort this out I decided to head another direction…

When I first saw the color pallet, it spoke to me of Temari. So I decided to listen…something I do not always do. I usually try to force my artist endeavors in the direction I want to go and not to listen to the inner artist within me and go with the flow. But it is a new year had decided to try new things so why not listen to the artist within too. So, since Temari balls are another passion I have, I went with it. I just think it is to cool to start with a piece of cloth, some yarn, crochet thread and a spool of thread to make a ball and then to mark that hand made ball and decorate it with a design. The Temari were easy, they almost stitched themselves. The colors and designs just seemed to fall on the balls. Temari was the easy part of this challenge.

TIF canvases But still I was struggling over my canvas ideas, not wanting to give up on this idea completely. Last year I had become aware of ATC and postcards that many applied and textile artists were doing. This idea was appealing to me all though I did not know exactly how I wanted to incorporate them into the needlepoint media. I kept trying to force the design and that does not work…nothing comes together, nothing works. I was just about to give up when I decided to make an ATC of the Herringbone stitch. The Herringbone stitch is the basic stitched used to decorate the Temari so I wanted just the basic stitch. So I stitched the ATC, and it turned out as I wanted it to look but nothing “ah-ha”; then I decided that the postcard would be taking the basic Herringbone Stitch a step further. The large interlocking Herringbone stitches in the round are an interpretation of the purple Temari ball. The stitches to the right of these interlocking squares, the rickrack, and the long bar across the bottom of the canvas area on the right are good examples of how the Obi band might look. The three small purple motifs on the left side are the different ways that the Herringbone stitch would be used on a Temari guideline. This design was originally stitched with the large interlocking Herringbones located in the lower right. I felt after it was stitched that it looked more like an addressed envelope or postcard if I inverted the canvas.

I am neither happy nor unhappy about the stitched canvases. I think that because I am a graphic computer artist and do most of my “doodle” stitching on the computer rather than on a doodle canvas stitch samples do not appeal to me. I am a visual person and I can visualize stitches on the computer.  I do like the idea of making ATC or postcards; I’m just not sure how they are going to work for me. I’ll keep them in my thought process and maybe that “ah-ha” moment will happen.

For now I am going to cleanse my mind by watching a movie, drink more tea, stay by the fireplace and return to stitching Lucy.  I’m looking forward to the February TIF challenge. Since it is February and I think of this as a romantic month: Valentine’s Day and this year Leap year I am going to try and remember to apply the KISS principle to whatever I chose to do.