Friday, July 27, 2012

Blogging about Cute, Blogging about Art

In addition to producing this blog of (mostly) my own work, July has found me with some new writing gigs on some other sites that are meaningful to me.

Twins by Carrie_76

I can't tell you how excited I was when the wildly talented and energetic Jamie "Mr X Stitch" Chalmers asked me to take over the weekly Too Cute Tuesday posts on his essential needlework site Mr X Stitch.

Transfusion from LeighLaLovesYou.

Big Yes to being a curator of needle art! I confess that I'm not terribly attracted to traditional representations of "cute," so I'm grateful that Jamie has really let me play with that term and select work that may push the boundaries of what "cute" is all about. Babies getting transfusions, a raw, new born squirrel, demented twins... It is amazing to look at all of the work that is out there and think about what makes it both cute and fresh. Unusual.

Danielleorama's New Born Squirrel.

Over Memorial Day Weekend I went to Miami for my squeeze's birthday and we saw the Nasher-produced exhibition The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl at the Miami Museum of Art. I'd been floored by the show when I saw it at the Nasher Museum here in Durham back in 2010. (And I was lucky enough to record the audio guide for the show!)

Photo by J Caldwell.

I wrote a blog post about the experience of seeing the record hung in an entirely different space for the Nasher blog.

Turntable 2010, a piece I made that was inspired by The Record.

Writing and photography were my first loves for many years. So writing about needlework and art, two things that I care so deeply about, is incredibly meaningful to me. And hey, if anyone out there would like me to contribute in that way to their blogs or projects, just give me a shout!

Now, back to stitching and sketching for me.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

In Hoops... In Rainbows

Detail from Brasserie Enflammé,  2012.

Been quietly sketching and stitching on three projects.

Stitching while waiting for my car to be serviced.

My 1970s-themed piece for the Phat Quarter Swap from Mr X Stitch (which I'm organizing!)

The pile of colors &
handwriting grows!

My Color Words project, which has taken a new turn... I'm thinking of a stitched color wheel.

It is a great joy to stitch up other people's handwriting.

And the Tiny Great Curve piece, which I'm working on sketching the background for. I want something dreamlike and filled with plant life. Think of a Henri Rousseau jungle in muted colored stitch.

Sketching late at night.

I've been sketching and practicing stitching leaves in different threads.

Fishbone stitch, on linen. Thick & thin thread.

Mixed in with dry days the corporate desk job, I've been cooking, reading, watching films, hanging with my squeeze and other friends and spending lovely time with my nephews Kels & Hudson (ages 18 & 13) who are in town from Austin.

Me & Kels, Motorco, Durham, NC.

Summer life.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

I Heart Feather Stitch

Such an elegant, simple little stitch, feather stitch. Both long-armed and plain.

Long-armed feather stitch +  a little chain stitch to depict my hair.
Pearl cotton size 12.

I've used it recently in two entirely different ways... to depict the chaotic mess of my hair on the Tiny Great Curve piece.

Long-armed feather stitch on a straight grid.

And as a straighter, more grid-like border on the Lunatic Squirrel tea towel for Monique.

It looks so varied, depending on the straightness or curve of your center line. In both cases, it looks organic and vine-like.

Stem, chain, back, button hole, blanket & Pekinese stitches. So far.

I just adore the experimenting with stitches on the Tiny Great Curve.

From the most recent issue of &Stitches, I learned the Pekinese stitch, which I slipped into the bottom row of the mattress. (This is a wonderful issue and I strongly encourage you to check out Carina & Nicole's work. Plus there is a worthwhile interview with Jenny Hart!)

Back to needle, thread and fabric. And lovely stitching.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Am I a mantrap? Nyet!

I had a special request from a particularly hot man to stitch up the word MANTRAP.

This font has a lot of promise!

So I stitched on a tea towel. Because nothing is hotter than a tea towel.

DMC Pearl Cotton in 321, size 5.

And then I translated MANTRAP into Morse Code and stitched it on the back.

My Pops knows Morse Code and used in in the Navy.

The same hot man also gave me this magnet about women spies.

My Pops still thinks my mother is a hot spy.

Do I look dangerous? Do I look like a spy?

He is both hot and Cold War. I like it. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Consider this tea towel your warning!

Alert! Alert! Durham has been over run with lunatic squirrels!  I see the seething monsters lurking in the shadows on my morning jogs, plotting to take me down and pierce my throat with that single sharp fang.

Plotting your doom with their dead eyes.

Let this tea towel serve as a public service announcement. Because nothing says, "Run for Your Life, Fool!" like red gingham, no?

Stitched this up as a little wedding gift for the talented Monique (she designed my blog banner!) and her new husband Dan, a ridiculously cute, cool couple. The kind of people you'd hate if they weren't so genuinely warm.

Chain stitch in variegated Valdani cotton thread, color M26.

Monique's family is from The Netherlands, so I clearly identified the deranged animal in Dutch, with the help of master stitcher/blogger/designer Nicole of Follow the White Bunny and &Stitches fame. (Be sure to follow Nicole on Twitter, too. She is a generous tweeter about her creative process!)

Long-armed Feather Stitch border.

"De Getikte Eekhoorn van Durham." Sounds even more terrifying in Dutch, doesn't it? People who think Germans have the scariest words for the most innocuous things need to plumb the depths of the freaking Dutch language. Ja! We're talking Biblical, medieval woodcut scary.

Can gingham ever be stitched into without irony? 

Hmmm... Perhaps average adults don't fear gingham, squirrels or the Dutch language. Screw average and take cover. De Getikte Eekhoorn is out there, mofos.