Arts and Crafts

Scrapbook Project begun in 2007.
Life got in the way as it sometimes does the older we grow,
and this endeavor never progressed beyond it's infancy.
This style is so totally not me anymore.
Months wasted trying to convince myself this can be salvaged,
but today I'm chucking it all with the garbage.
Perhaps only another artist might understand,
what on the surface to some would seem too careless,
I need, I want, I have to have a creative flow, a rhythm,
and the marriage of the old style and the new style
is like trying to get a hippopotamus to give birth to an alligator...
it just isn't going to happen any time soon enough.
February 2011

My last original needlework design.
Created for entry into a contest for designs to be picked out
for publication in a needlework book.
It was disqualified for some kind of idiotic bullshit
about the Christmas trees not being politically correct.
The future book was to be a book of Christmas
needlework go figure!

McCall's Needlework  June 1993
In the right place at the right time,
knew the right people at the right time,
created the right designs at the right time.
Pure luck!
McCall's commissioned this piece from me,
and I was in seventh heaven...McCall's was the
cream of the crop back then for needlework publications.
An honor to be published in this magazine,
and for my brief 15 minutes of fame,
I felt like a complete success.

Classic Cross-Stitch  July 1992
(Midnight Vigil)
Eventually, some good things do come to an end,
and my end in publication was being buried by the competition.
My door to this world was closing with more pressure
than I could push back in resistance.
It all caved in when my favorite editor retired...
and that was that. I did push on for a while,
and managed to be commissioned for the McCall Magazine;
but counted cross stitch was in it's heyday,
and the number of designers to publications
must have been 5000 to one.
  Those odds made it very costly indeed
to create and be rejected.  

Classic Cross-Stitch  July 1992

Classic Cross-Stitch
One of the few original needlework's
I still have in my possession.
Mine is black floss on light green linen,
and it graces the oval opening of a fruit wood finish
two shelf wall unit.
Simple...but my most favorite design.

For The Love of Cross Stitch  January 1992
Difficulty figuring out how to get my pictures
 large enough to show all the detail,
 as a good design can display lots of texture.
My design may use beads, buttons,
gold filled sequins, metallic floss, shiny floss, 
twisted floss, ribbons, cords...on and on and on.
A true artist has no limits to their resourcefulness.
We can create from anything! 

Classic Cross-Stitch  January 1992

Classic Cross-Stitch  January 1992

McCall's Home Decor  1992

Classic Cross-Stitch  April/May  1991

Classic Cross-Stitch  April/May 1991
First love was needlepoint and crewel work.
I owe a lot of respect for being poor.
If I had been rich,
 none of this would have ever materialized.
I would have taken a different path,
maybe good, maybe not...
If, if, time to dwell on the ever elusive if.

Classic Cross-Stitch  February/March 1991
My first two original designs, sent off on a whim
to a counted cross stitch magazine
in hopes of one being published.
Both published, to my amazement,
and that was the beginning of my designing and stitching frenzy.
I had no computer in those days;
 all my designing was strictly freehand.
The editors favorite, I had it made, and for the next two years
I worked non-stop on one project after another.
I stitched my own projects up,
and the finished stitched product in the photos is my handiwork.

My last counted stitch project using someone else's design.
This light blue even weave fabric is 25 threads to an inch.
I stitched one strand of embroidery floss over one strand of fabric.
That's 25 little x's per inch.
This piece blows peoples minds when they look closely.
Won 1st Place NeedleArts at the Colorado State Fair,
and Grand Award ;)
Counted stitch embroidery finds the stitcher one with the fabric.
I work with the threads of the fabric, even weave fabric;
and all stitches and fabric threads are counted,
so they are all in their proper place
according to the graphed design chart.
Embroidery thread is pulled between the weave of the fabric
 with a blunt ended needle.
Tension must remain the same throughout the entire piece, 
with the expectation that the back look as neat as the front.  
I once had the misfortune of viewing the nightmarish backside
of another stitcher's project, and it was a toughie
coughing up a comment that was half lie, half truth.

Fort Carson, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Lunch break found me embroidering, and that is how
I acquired commissioned work from fellow employees.
No remembrance of how many project I finished,
but I did do quite a few baby and wedding samplers. 
How did I feel about doing this kind of work
 year after year after year???
I hated it with a passion!!! Hahaha...
Extreme discipline is needed to create in this fashion,
and the stitching process seems like an endless 
abyss of repetitious, pains takingly perfect work.
Why did I do it?
The finished product is pure bliss...puuuuure bliss!

Navajo Weaving
A course I took at Colorado College in Colorado Springs.
Fun, challenging, expensive...we had to build our own loom
before starting the course, and procurement of the proper tools
proved to be a serious challenge.
I eventually ended up purchasing the weaving combs
and needles from a place in New Mexico,
that specialized in the real thing.
Hand woven natural dyed yarns...astronomical in cost.
We were actually taught how to make our own yarn. life didn't have a niche for that time eater! 
A class where one could socialized was fairly
laid back in presentation and weaving time.
Monumental challenge was maintaining proper tension,
and getting those end threads woven in tight
when changing colors and patterns.
Husband told me to keep the first endeavor, but I tossed it -
a nightmare of tension mistakes
and worth a bunch of laughs and a few tears.
I was working on the creation of a series of rug patterns,
as I found weaving to be a wonderful challenge.
My neck, shoulders and back disagreed, 
and won out at the end.
This small rug is all there is to show 
of a wonderful experience cut short
 by health limitations :(

Drawing Class
Only reminder of my drawing class at Colorado College,
same year as the Navajo weaving.
Many long hours of out-of-class work on these two courses
gave me a year of sleep depravation big time.
A friendless class,
no one was interested in being friendly much.
I was the oldest...the rest were normal college age.
An abundance of critiquing,
and I have to say that I think anothers opinion
is not always a good thing to embrace.
To my way of thinking, it stymes creativity a bit.
A pastel of pomegranates in bowl:
like five pomegranates plucked out of five different paintings,
I was told.
He was right, of course; but perhaps,
 I should have re-labeled it
A Group of Pomegranates Unrelated to Each Other.
I dragged husband along on the art happenings
teacher would always clue us to...
but in class conversations, I appeared to be the only one
that actually went to see the teacher's recommendations.
I thought that was odd for a group
that was suppose to be learning all there was to learn.
I came away from this class with a new perspective
on how I looked at everything.
I learned to draw only part of something,
instead of it's entirity.
As simple as that.
Pencil drawings at an exhibit may seem simple,
you may say anyone can do that, even a monkey...
I challenge you to actually sit down and create
a simple drawing of substance...

My early years with art.
A high school watercolor endeavor at art.
Some of this old art is packed away, most has disappeared.
It's just memories...nothing I would hang on my walls now days.
I've been artistic all my life,
and the one big thank you I have of my parents
is that they never expected us to stay within the lines.
Every Christmas had me working holiday paper projects
 out of the pages of Sunset magazine.
A five and dime metal tin of watercolors, regular #2 pencils,
dad's box of used pastels, a pad of sketch paper...
I drew and crafted many hours of my spare time.
I still have my two 1st place, two 2nd place, 1 3rd place,
and one Honorable Mention ribbons from the yearly town art shows.
In 6th grade I even got permission to submit two entries 
to the flower show of the garden club my mom belonged to.
I was competing against adults,
and I still have the 2nd and 3rd place ribbons
I was awarded.
Dad attended Chouinard's Art Institute in Los Angeles,
the first year he was married to mom.
I still have his cartoon drawings from that time.
He turned his back on it all...he told me the traffic
was a nightmare...he was of the
 I think that explanation was part of the truth...
but perhaps only part of the mystery. 
He was amazingly artistic, and most Christmases
he was creating artful decorations right along with me.
He was a perfectionist...I became a perfectionist.
I think that was the best and worse trait
he ever produced in me.
I create to a perfection,
but in the process I loose great chunks of hair
out of my head...just kidding......but I do stress out more
than to my liking.
I am on a mission to create more than my gardens...
to create in all aspects of my life, from A to Z.
Don't wish me luck...I don't need luck.
Just wish me the best, and leave all the rest to me. 
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