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Embroidery: You Belong Among the Wildflowers

12.30.2016

Someday I will probably do a piece with those Tom Petty lyrics, but today is not that day. For Christmas I made my mom a piece depicting a bouquet with a blue and white (delft?) teapot for a vase. My mom was always into blue and white pottery/stoneware, as many people are, and I used to think it was kind of basic, but now I love and crave it. It's sort of a neutral for a maximalist: the limitation of only only white and shades of blue, but in any pattern under the sun. When I see multiple pieces together, it makes my brain happy.

I've done pieces for my dad and sister (and still working on one for my bro-in-law that he was supposed to get on Christmas--oops), but I'd never made one for my mom, so I decided it was the year. This was a concept that had appealed to me in the past, and it was perfect for her, so I was excited to get started.

There are images out there that are 'flowers in teapots,' but I wanted big flowers with a not overly complicated teapot design. So I searched for bouquets and teapots separately until I found two I liked, and then stitched (ha!) the two images together to create the final design.

I bought several shades of blue floss, because you know me, why use one blue when  you can use 5 or 6? I thought about coloring in the white part of the teapot, but it seemed like a waste of floss, and I imagined the pattern in blue might stick out more left alone. As for the flowers and stems, I did not pre-pick what colors to use, but rather just tried to keep it as balanced as possible when going from section to section, sticking as much as I could to pastels (save for the daisy, of course).

I was so excited about the teapot, I did it first. I do not believe this will be my last blue and white piece!



I had some eager helpers, who always generously provide the cat hair that inevitably ends up caught in the floss of every piece I make:


I gave it to my mom Christmas morning, and she loved it. I'm hoping she'll put it in her cubicle, or her home office.



Currents, December 2016

12.14.2016

Drink: Nog me.

Food: Turns out Kroger Simple Truth boxed macaroni and cheese is BANANAS delicious. (Cheese sauce instead of powder, and full-size macaroni. A freaking revelation!)

Podcast: I can't get enough of Beyond Yacht Rock. If you haven't seen the show, you need to. The guys behind it, J.D. Ryznar, Hunter Staire, David Lyons, and Hollywood Steve Huey, started a podcast where they count down music genres they created. Some of my personal favorites: Divorcecore ("80s trend of Boomer artists writing slickly produced hit songs about divorce and lost faith in the ideals of youth"), Hard Organ ("organ-based rock"), Easy Wickening ("songs about the occult that do not rock"), and George Orwave ("paranoid, coke-fueled hits that flooded the airwaves leading up to Orwell's year of 1984").

Celebrity Crush: I had another dream about Milo Ventimiglia, but not because I've been watching This is Us. The pilot was okay, but the second episode had the mom trying to limit her daughter's calorie intake and I am NOT here for that shit.

Book: In my continuing attempt to cause concern for me by the members of book club, I've been devouring Small Sacrifices: A True Story of Passion and Murder by (who else?) Ann Rule and The Stranger She Loved: Dr. Martin MacNeil, His Beautiful Wife, and an Almost Perfect Murder by Shanna Hogan.

Project: I finished my 2016 Christmas card photo, now onto trying to finish my handmade Christmas gifts (my unthimbled thumb already feels like it has a second-degree burn).

TV Show: Watched the most recent season of The Fall (so good), started Westworld (I'm not the biggest ERW fan but they talk about the show all the time on Harmontown so I need to be up to date on the deets), and the new Gilmore Girls miniseries had super high points but also low points for me.

Movie: FBAWTFT was...weird. Super excited to see La La Land and Rogue One.
Obsession: Watching every HD version of the Nutcracker ballet I can find on YouTube, because tickets to the real thing are not in my budget.

Thankfulness: It snowed last week and my heart grew three sizes bigger.

Time-Stealer: Lighting all the tealights in my various Christmas decorations. Maybe it is time to buy fake ones that I can operate by remote. 


Worry: The same worry I have every December, that I won't be able to pack all the Christmas experiences I need to enjoy before the 25th arrives.

Fashion: I got a red beanie that makes me feel like a member of Team Zissou.

Music: Celtic and/or bluegrass Christmas music non-stop.


Wishlist: Up-close tickets to the Nutcracker. Everything was beautiful at the ballet, raise your arms and someone's always there...

Reminder: "My heart is at ease knowing that what was meant for me will never miss me, and that what misses me was never meant for me." - Imam Al-Shafi'i

"Not only was she a singularly gifted witch, she was also an uncommonly kind woman."

11.16.2016

My friend Kj was in Scotland for four years, working on her PhD.  While there, she was able to visit the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London in January with another beloved friend, Jonathan. They posted a picture that made my heart full:


I knew the bridge had significant meaning for Kj (Prisoner of Azkaban is in her top 10 films), and the structure itself is beautiful. So for her birthday, I wanted to try to capture the above image, if I could. I had about a week to finish it in time for her birthday!



 In the film the bridge looks very brown, but in the photo of my friends it looked more blue/gray. And because it's me, I decided not to do the bridge all one color. If I'd had more time I would have colored in the shadow/black part of the bridge, but it didn't happen. Fortunately I really love how it turned out, particularly in the amount of time I was working with!

And this weekend I got to take a pic with the inspirations themselves!


Embroidery: Pissing the Night Awaaaaay

10.12.2016

This summer my friend Kristen G. (she's definitely one of the top 5 Kristens I've ever met, maybe top 2) commissioned an embroidery piece from me, and it was a blast to bring it to reality with her. I'm nervous about ever doing another commission after this, because I don't know that anyone could ever be as encouraging and excited about a piece as Kristen was about hers!

We started with her idea: lyrics from "Tubthumping" by Chumbawamba with the four beverages mentioned in the name: a whiskey drink, a vodka drink, a lager drink, and a cider drink. I tried to find glasses/bottles that worked for the drinks, and asked her pertinent questions like "Rocks in the whiskey?" and "What kind of cider are you imagining?" Then I showed her different fonts, and with her approval, I moved forward with the design we'd picked! I've never made something with this level of customization before, and it was so fun to collaborate!


It's tough to stitch liquid--much less clear liquid like vodka, but I'm really pleased with the final result, and I think Kristen was too!