Friday, September 28, 2012

not much going on

Sorry for the silence. Between work and physical therapy not much is going on here. I have made a good effort to pick up a needle each night, even if just for a few stitches. Just that much is wonderful. I've got a few older projects I'm working on slowly and a few newer ones, like the knitting (for Christmas) and the crafting (for Christmas), that I can't show.
Our summer challenge for Homewood Guild was to complete a nametag. I came up with my design last spring, and then it sat. My intent was to do goldwork, similar to the project now on Lily Stitch (a blog I just found and am happily following). Reality intruded and the day before our meeting, when I hadn't even begun stitching, I decided a change of plan was in order.

I turned to my favorite-felt-and found felt and Impressions threads in my stash (plus an unknown slightly variegated wool blend and an unknown silver thread) and at least got my nametag underway before the meeting. (I was stitching at the dinner table at the restaurant where the meeting was held.) Last night I added the finishing touches, backing and neck ribbon.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Homewood Guild Banquet

Autumn is here. It's getting dark earlier. Students arrived this week for orientation. 
Classes begin next week. These flowers are outside our building.
These lovely mums were a centerpiece, and my prize, at the Homewood Embroiderer's Guild banquet this week.
Everyone received this wonderful needlebook and bling! magnet set for using to hold our needles on stretched canvas or fabric.
It's full of information about the needles and how many strands of what type of thread work best in which needle size--plus a piece of felt on each page to hold needles.
From the Valley Quail chapter EGA.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Michigan City Zoo

On a recent gorgeous end-of-summer day we took a jaunt out to the Michigan City Zoo. It's one of our favorite places. We climbed up to spot that overlooked Lake Michigan. There were para-gliders off to the side, just out of view.
In addition to fauna there are flora:
And a really cute train.
The waves were high along the beach.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Finally, a Finish!

I finally finished my Sudoku needlepoint, a project we did with Homewood Embroiderer's Guild last spring. You can see my project changed a lot from my plan, here

When I selected my colors, I did not see any blue in the variegated I chose for the borders. It looked pastel with aqua, peach, and lilac. Hah! Once I began stitching it looked very bright and didn't go at all with the colors I'd selected using the skein. And there was a lot of blue in it. 

So I ditched my plan and did a study in blue denim colors. It was fun to play with the colors and fibers. I used a whole bunch of unlabelled odds and ends plus two shades of DMC Perle, one of Matte 18, three of DMC floss, silver DMC metallic, silver Kreinik metallic braid #8,  stranded and some rather thick silk, one of each, a couple of shades of Medici and and one crewel wool, and one Flower Thread. It made for an interesting mix. 

I finished it in time for Homewood's fall meeting, when we start our year. We have some lovely projects coming up this year.

This week was our anniversary. Can you believe 36 years!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

In the Garden

I feel like I've spent my summer working and haven't gotten into the garden much. 
 I did a walk around recently.
In the heat and dryness this summer, the allium is thriving. It's everywhere! The little purple flowers in the pot just seem do go dormant if it's too hot, cold, or dry and then pop back up with blooms the minute conditions improve.
The milkweed is prostrate from the heat. It flowered and then wilted.
The lettuce and dill went to seed. I'm hoping for volunteers next year.
The sage and thyme were stressed by the heat and more bug eaten than usual, but some recent rain has perked them up and they're thriving. (see the allium everywhere?)
The passion flowers are nearly done blooming and are now fruiting. (a bit hard to see, smack in the middle of the picture, a green globe) Autumn is on the way.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A week's work

Studio is over until next time (perhaps February). I was there for most of the days until today, when I had to leave early.I learned a lot.  I stitched the foundation for the tie-dye fan stick and began to stitch the tie-dye pattern. Once I learned the pattern, I left it to do on my own and moved on.  I learned how to pad the plum blossoms and stitched the pale pink one and started the darker pink flower. Time was running short so I began the other "new to me" technique, gold couching.  I got far enough to turn a corner and will continue on my own. 

More than what I stitched and learned on my piece, the general atmosphere of Studio is just wonderful and there are always things to absorb.  I'm working Golden Fan, which Ruth has done. Ruth is working on several pieces, she's more advanced than the rest of us. Margaret is starting cords, which Rosa and I will soon be doing.  Rosa is doing a different fan (which Margaret just completed). So we're all learning from each other all the time.  I'll miss it 'till next time.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Japanese Embroidery

This week I'm officially on vacation, but since I'm organizing a conference for Friday and Saturday, I can't really completely skip work. But during the days I'm having loads of fun attending our Japanese Embroidery Studio. Today I counted about 1-1/2 hours of serious stitching but, even so, I learned so much by being with the group!
I'm still working on my fan (I put it away in early June because of the heavy summer workload), but I'm thinking ahead, planning a bit for the coming phases.
Today after class we took a short field trip (less than a mile) to the Japanese Garden on Wooded Isle behind the Museum of Science and Industry.
I've long known it was there but couldn't figure out how to get into it. A classmate's husband guided us. This is an awesome place. I can't wait to bring hubby there.
My teacher, Karen Plater.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


I couldn't resist.
Vogue magazine has out a huge new issue that is both their big fall issue and a 150 year anniversary celebration.
I've never been a fashionista myself, but years ago I loved to read Vogue and W and revel in the fabrics and embellishments and design. I can't imagine anyone ever actually wearing the clothing they portray, but the photo spreads were always interesting.
This issue is over 900 pages! I've been paging through it in the evenings and having a blast.
If you're into it, this is an issue not to be missed! (and the price is the same as a regular issue, so bargain!)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Thinking about It All

Lately I've been in a contemplative mood (unusual for me). Perhaps because I've spent a lot of the summer sitting it out. At work long days with big projects. Inside in the cool air conditioning. And on crutches or cane because of a bad arthritis flare in my right knee.

That's scary. My right leg has always been my good one. I'm in physical therapy now and am doing better. Thinking about when the therapy ends and I need to keep it up on my own.
I've been having some negative thoughts about how my self-improvement projects just never seem to last. I regularly try things visually, physically, artistically, and with diet and exercise and then they just fade away. Last winter I joined in on the 30 Day Creativity Practice and enjoyed it. But it, too, has faded away. Well, mostly.
Then last week I was able to begin my morning walks again. It's one habit that persists, probably because it's so simple and basic.  As I walked I've realized that none of my forays into self-improvement have been a total waste. 

I may not journal daily, but I am more meditative as I walk now, instead of just reviewing my agenda for the day.  I don't do all my shoulder exercises on a daily basis (from physical therapy for a rotator cuff tear last fall), but I do a few of them all the time (again, they're simple ones I can do anywhere).  I don't keep a daily artist's journal, but I do add to it periodically and I "see" more and "look" more because of it.
I take away a lasting benefit from each thing I try. 

 I'm clearing out some old projects and then I've decided to venture out again. I'm reading once again about design and color, art and artists, and plan to sign up for the EGA's Independent Correspondence Course in Design for Embroidery in a couple of months. It feels right. 

The images here are photos I've taken and played with in Photoshop.(peony in my yard, a gift from a friend, and Roman pots in the Museum of London)