Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Summer Stitching

Hello Friends,

I want to thank everyone who left a comment on my last post, as well as those who emailed me. I asked for support and really appreciate the caring messages you sent me. The situation with my sister is still difficult, but I'm learning to deal with it more calmly.

It's hard to believe that we've passed the halfway point in the year. Summer is in full bloom here and today is our hottest day yet. Our day lilies are providing quite a show, but our hydrangea bushes have no buds at all. Sometimes they take a summer off and we get no blossoms. I miss that beautiful blue, but remain hopeful that they'll bloom later in the summer.

So here is a bit of what I've been up to creatively. I found this embroidery pattern on Pinterest and love the birds and flowers. This picture was taken when I began embroidering, but it is more than half finished now. I'm loving the meditativeness of hand stitching on my porch, and it's also fun when done in a group, accompanied by good conversation and laughter!

I began this owl in a class called "Stitch Yourself Happy", using a pattern provided by Amy, our instructor and also a good friend. I started out with a scallop design in the wings, then changed my mind, ripped out the stitches, and began randomly filling in with long stitches of different shades of brown and tan. I'm planning to square this off and put a plaid border on it. I'll share it when I do.

Here's the finished embroidery. 

A friend in the class chose the same pattern and we enjoyed comparing our different approaches!

And I've begun a new picture, which I'm working out in my head. It will involve flowers, beads and embroidery, and I hope to share it soon. Here's a little preview!

I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful month, wherever you are and whatever you're doing. I'm looking forward to catching up on blogs to see what you've been up to!! I'd love you to leave a comment here, if just to say hello.


Here's wishing you a very good week.

Judy xo

Monday, June 20, 2016

A Personal Post...

Hello friends,

I haven't been posting much lately because I have been literally at a loss for words. It's funny, but I'm not even sure who reads my blog other than my dear blogging friends who consistently leave comments. A blog like this, devoted mainly to artwork that I, and others, create, doesn't quite seem like the appropriate place to pour out problems and feelings, but I'm going to because it is, after all, my blog.

I'm in the middle of a very difficult time and my body is now showing evidence of the stress I've been under, with stomach problems, constant anxiety and even some mini panic attacks. Maybe you've gone through something like this, and if you have any advice, I'd appreciate it.

My older sister is currently suffering from mild dementia due to some small strokes she had in the past few years. Added to that is the fact that she can barely walk, has severe diabetes, has trouble reasoning and making decisions and has had several falls. She lived alone up until 6 months ago, but has had many trips to the hospital, rehab and even a short stay in an assisted living facility. She is now in Rehab.

I, along with one other family member, am her health care proxy and primary support. The problem is that, despite her dementia, she is totally clear about her wish to return home and voices it constantly and angrily. The struggle over this has shaken me badly and, after many meetings and consultations with professional social workers and care givers, we've reached a point where she will have to go to a long term care facility (nursing home), probably this week or next. She is very confused and angry, verbally abusive and depressed. I'm only hoping that her transition goes smoothly and that she will find some peace in her new home.

My sister and I in better times.

I care about my sister and only want the best for her, but have to care for myself also. I've been throwing myself into activities that soothe me, like stitching and collaging, and also meet with my stitching group on Thursday mornings and a class on Thursday nights. I'm hoping to get my blog back on track in the near future. I may remove this post at some time, but felt the need to share what my sister and I are going through right now.

Hope everyone has a good week.

Judy xo

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Spring Art Show

I'm just back from a getaway vacation with my husband. It was a lovely, relaxing time, and came right on the heels of the art show I was part of. The show was a great event - here are a few photos.

Above is a picture of my table and below are photos of some work by other artists in our Collaborative.

Pam Perras

Joy Schilling

Ellie Freedman

Doug Henning

And, finally, this is a landscape I completed for the show, which I haven't  yet shared on my blog.

I hope everyone is enjoying Spring, wherever you are!
I'll be back soon to share a new project…
Thanks for visiting!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Getting Ready

As I sit here in my home just north of Boston, snow is falling steadily and it is extremely cold. Luckily, I have plenty to do inside, getting ready for a collaborative art exhibit later this week. I just wanted to share a couple of the pieces I've been working on.

This piece is made with fabric, both hand painted and commercial. The banks of flowers are painted pieces of Warm and Natural batting and I've added some fiber embellishments as well as hand embroidery. Lots of hours invested in this and it's satisfying to finally mat and possibly frame it!

Another landscape in process, now completed. Again, lots of embellishments - laces, netting, yarn, hand embroidery. Already matted and ready to be shrink wrapped.

I have a couple more to be finished - ready a few days ahead of time!! A good feeling!

Hope you are having a wonderful day!


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

In Creative Mode

I feel like I've been an absentee blogger lately. My head is full of concerns for a family member and preparations for a trip which is coming up soon. On top of that, our arts collaborative is having a show next week, so I am in full creative mode!
This is how I get ready for something like this - I have a large trifold piece of foam board that I tape to the front of our dining room hutch, out of the way of nosy cats. I then lay out possible landscapes, using all of the hand painted and dyed, as well as commercial fabrics that I have in my stash. I had actually spent some time last week painting fabrics with acrylic paint thinned with fabric medium, as well as painting lace with this mixture.

 On the piece below, I used acrylic paint on Warm and Natural batting for the textured pink and purple flower fields - just trying out all sorts of things.

The piece below has a beautiful sky, fabric I purchased somewhere along the line. I think I overpainted the purple on a piece of green commercial fabric for the mid ground and the foreground is felted wool. I'm auditioning some gauze which I may use for flowers in the front.

Today I'm cutting out some little houses to plant in these landscapes to, hopefully, make them more interesting. Then stitching and matting and I'm done! I'll share the final results.

Thank you so much for stopping by. I know it's hard to follow a blog with big gaps between the posts, and I appreciate your  visit! I hope to blog more frequently in the future.

Hope everyone had a great Easter holiday!!


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Birthday Wishes

Today is a very special day for our family, the day our wonderful daughter Kate was born.
It seems like yesterday when, at the crack of dawn, on March 2, 
our beautiful little girl made her first appearance.
Now, 35 years later, she appears on stages all over the world, giving talks and workshops,
explaining the importance of, and the making of, wearable electronics.
She is kind, funny, unassuming, adventurous, loving and intelligent,
as well as being a thoughtful and caring daughter.
One of my very favorite people.
Happy Birthday, Kate!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Quilts, Quilts, Quilts - Part 2

 In my last post, I wrote about a terrific exhibit I saw last week, showcasing the work of two quilt artist friends. I shared the work of Susan Walsh, and now I'd like to do the same with the quilts of Barbara Malek. When she's not doing professional long arm machine quilting on other people's quilts, Barbara creates beautiful work of her own.

On the basket quilt below, the flowers are intricately quilted as part of the design.

And this award-winning cone flower quilt is one of my favorites!

This quilt has pockets to hold part of Barbara's collection of vintage hankies, which can be swapped with others from time to time, and shows off some of her mother of pearl button collection.

This Christmas quilt has beautiful hand embroidery...

as well as some personal humor! (Barbara's husband and cats!)

And finally, Barbara has begun a series of vintage dresses, with hand embroidery and rich embellishment. They are really stunning 'in person'.

There are more quilts, but I've chosen my favorites. Hope you've enjoyed seeing them!