24 August 2010

Strawberry Needlepoint Bracelet

This was a small needlepoint experiment done on 14c needlepoint canvas. It is far from perfect as most experiments are. I call it an experiment because I decided to break the rules!

I must admit to being the kind of person that likes to do things "my way"...many of my crafts have been self taught because I don't like to follow the rules, it is too confining. I also like to do things that others say "can't be done"...hmmmm.....what does that say about me?...either I have ADD which is a possibility, or I don't like to be confined by rules...which is also true, what ever the case having this personality trait has defined many of my most interesting and successful designs.

Many years ago I decided that I wanted to set antique buttons in sterling silver and was lucky enough to find a teacher that shared many of my traits and was willing to teach me and allow me to experiment ....she liked to use the expression "running with scissors". Taking on this challenge led to a successful jewelry design business and even landed me in a book on button crafts.

When I started this project it was only the second needlepoint project that I had tackled. I began by drawing the design on 14 ct needlepoint canvas and then I free-styled the stitches...this is something that is a "rule breaker"... not usually done. Needlepoint stitches are always supposed to go in the same direction, slanting to the right, mine are willy-nilly, "flying by the seat of their pants" kind of stitches..I like that about them, I mean, how else are you supposed to achieve those fanciful, twirling curves! When my design was complete I proceeded to fill in the background around those crazy stitches. I am not sure that I would attempt this again, but I don't think it turned out to awfully bad.

I finished it off as I did my cross stitch bracelet, backed with vintage fabric and closed with a crochet loop and antique porcelain button.I have started collecting antique samplers that have provided me with inspiration and a whole slew of motifs to be worked...what rules can I break next?

16 August 2010

Great Lakes Agate and Pearl Necklace

I finished stringing the Lake Superior agates I purchased on my trip to Glen Arbor. I added some fresh water pearls and the frosted pale blue stone which is jade. I could not resist adding the jade because it reminded me of the beautiful blue of Lake Michigan.

I have a strong connection to the Great Lakes. My Grandparents were both born and raised on the shores of Lake Superior. The steamship drawing above was done by my Grandfather. It was drawn on the inside cover of his Health Primer dated 1885. He was born in 1890 and probably made this drawing around the turn of the century.

The Primer is an interesting piece of history with chapters on alcohol, tobacco and opium... that was once used to.... sooth crying babies?!...YIKES. Love the skeleton lurking in the corner. I envision my Grandfather busy sketching instead of listening to the ills of fermented grape juice and instead, dreaming about a life sailing the Great Lakes and beyond, much like the Merchant Marine that he would later become.

05 August 2010

Insights & Outsights

No, this is not the Caribbean...its even better...because it is salt free and an easy scenic 6 hour drive from Chicago.
There are no shells on this beach, just a beautiful assortment of rocks, like unakite, feldspar and
....agates...these were found at a rock shop in Leland, Michigan, already polished, drilled and waiting to be strung.

There was not much time spent stitching, I was too busy swimming in the Great Lake and lolly gagging on the beach picking through stones.

These activities are also conducive to contemplation.

My thoughts on blogging go something like this...

*Is anyone listening? ...what is the sound of one hand clapping?
*What does recognition have to do with creativity?
*If a blog is an online journal why is it important to have comments?
*Blogs are work.
*My blog is a way for me to keep a record of my projects.
*I have never been a journal keeper.
*I like to keep track of the projects I have accomplished.
...so this is gratifying to me.
*Do I care that no one seems interested in commenting on what I do?
...I guess so, otherwise I wouldn't be contemplating whether I should continue the process.
*Has it helped create interest in my shops?
*I like the idea of having my shops, I really like the creating of shops...that is always fun.
*And I like collecting and designing items to sell in my shops.

All of this thinking is giving me a headache,
I think I need a dose ofQueen of Meadow
(found in antique store in Empire, Michigan)
Along with some other interesting remedies.
...all with the instructions..."Dose, a wineglassful 3-4 times a day"

I wonder if that means with or without WINE?...next I think I will try some Wahoo Bark.