Monday, August 30, 2010

Just Call Me Rumpelstiltskin

Sorry I haven't been blogging much this month. I've been soooo busy on a variety of fronts that I just haven't had time to sit down, draw a deep breath, and think about stitching - let alone DO some stitching. Whew. It's been that crazy (but in a good way - grin)....

My latest preoccupation is getting ready for the EGA National Seminar, being held in San Francisco next week. I've signed up for a table at their Wednesday Merchandise Event, which is a fun-filled day of stitchy shopping heaven for all those Seminar attendees.

I've been busy printing lots of patterns. And I also spent some time hand-dying some thread (three different weights of pearl cottons) - which is something I do occasionally. (And before you all ask: unfortunately I'm NOT selling any of my thread on my website. It's just too much work to get into the thread-dying business full-time and it would take me away from my designing work - which is my TRUE passion. And besides, there are already lots of different thread companies out there that provide us with plenty of hand-dyed threads.) Anyway, it's really messy, back-breaking work, but as you might imagine, having lots of luscious thread at the end is well worth all the effort.

I feel like the girl in the old fairy tale that is stuck in a room with pile of straw and told to weave it into gold. Here's what my boring "pile of straw" looked like before I started:

At this point, I get into my old paint-spattered clothes, slip on some plastic gloves and start painting thread....

And here's what it looks like after it has been rinsed and is drying on the line:

Then it needs to be twisted back into skeins and labeled, but here's what all the hard work is about:

My straw has been turned into stitching GOLD: lots and lots of gorgeous thread to play with....dream with...and ultimately -- stitch with!

So, if you're lucky enough to be going to the EGA Seminar in September, please stop by and say "Hi" ... and check out all my treasure!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Time to Cool Off!

I thought I'd show you some more of my designs that feature blues and greens. On a hot summer day there's nothing cooler than stitching on a cool new project that has lots of blues and greens.... aquas and purples are pretty cool too, don't you think?

Anyway here's some more coolness for you to savor. And if they inspire you to take a big splashy leap into a cool new project -- all the better!

Reflecting Pools (the ultimate cool design!)

Sapphire Star

Pacific Coast Collage

Nature Sampler (a blackwork design)

Koi Pond (a blackwork design)

Malachite Maze(totally green, but still cool!)


Turquoise Trail

And I'll close with a very cool Blue Hydrangeas

and the bluest of blue flowers, Bluebonnet Collage

Monday, August 2, 2010

Pages of Inspiration

A non-stitcher friend of mine recently asked me where I get my inspiration from (something lots of people have asked me over the years), and if I ever run out of ideas. OH CONTRAIRE!! I told her that my problem is having TOO MANY IDEAS and consequently having to tell them all to quit crowding me, and to take a number and I'll get around to them eventually!

Case in point: this morning I took the time to browse through some home design magazines. In a spring issue of Traditional Home I came across several intriguing possibilities for future designs and I thought I'd share them with you, to show you how my "designing mind" works....

This is a large Henry Moore lithograph that caught my eye. I immediately translated this composition to squares of stitchy patterns and abstracted shapes. Can you see how well this might be adapted as an abstract canvaswork design? It could be large or small, monochromatic or multi-colored too....

Okay, focus on the wallpaper in this photo.It's a Victorian-looking wallpaper that struck me as an excellent format for a geometric canvaswork piece. Picture a large diamond shape, made up of four of the smaller diamond shapes (with the medallions at each intersection). That creates four diamond boxes to fill with something or other -- blackwork? flowers? intricate geometrics?? Hmmmmmm...lots of in-ter-est-ing poss-i-bil-i-ties.

Now this photo caught my eye because of the large floral painting on the wall. It reminds me of some of the happy, graphic, floral painted canvases we stitchers are seeing more and more of in the needlepoint market. Just imagine what a big stitched floral canvas would look like in place of this painting. And why don't these interior designers use some needlepoint on their walls? Hey, You Guys, NEEDLEWORK IS ART TOO!!!

Is this a happy room or what?!? My eye was immediately drawn to the big square canvases of color cubes. I'M SEEIN' BLOCKS OF STITCHING HERE - each done in a different color and stitch pattern. Picture a series of canvases (12" x 12"? 16 x 16"? or even larger? whoa, how about stitching these on 13 ct canvas?) with these same collections of colors, but stitched! They could be monochromatic, as stitch or color studies; or they could be color family studies. Either way, a stitcher could have a really great time working on a series like this.

Sooooo, you see my dilemma as a designer? I'm equally intrigued by all of those pictures. Which of these ideas do I pursue first? Because, trust me, I wanna try ALL of them! And eventually I will, but for now I'll dog-ear the pages in the magazines, scribble some notes to myself in my little notebook, and then get back to stitching on the projects I have going now. If I stitch a little bit faster, maybe I can get those done and then start designing something new next week....Stay tuned, Stitchers!!