Thursday, December 27, 2007

Mystery in Cookie Land

These were done at a cookie decorating party for the neighbourhood children. Luckily, most of the mothers had a sense of humour or had read about the killer snowmen in the Calvin and Hobbes cartoons. Either way, here is the story the girls created.

It was a lovely day in Cookie Land.

But what is this, a MURDER! She's been shot!

Call the Detective Chief Inspector. He'll investigate.

Oh NO! Two more murders.

The Chief Inspector needs help. Ask Miss Marple, even though she is busy knitting, she has an idea.

And for good measure, ask Hercule Poirot for help too!

With their help, the murderer is apprehended! Hooray!

Now all is safe in Cookie Land again.

Except of course for the ones I ate.

Happy Holidays everyone.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Holiday Wrapping Hint

I've learned that you should not wrap presents with glittery paper in the same place you fold laundry and triage the ironing.
I happily wrapped up presents on the bed using some new glitter snowflake paper from Hallmark. What I didn't realize, until it was too late, was that the glitter was everywhere. My husband came in and told me that he could not wear the pants that were on the bed because they were too glittery. I refused to wash them again, so I told him he could head off the strange thoughts by just telling everyone what I did. I did use one of those sticky lint rollers to get some of the glitter off as I ironed - although I wondered if the heat might make the glitter permanant. Oh well. Feel free to learn from my mistake.
Today I cleaned off the island in the garage/craft room so we can now wrap presents there. At least the glitter incident got me to clean up the garage before my MIL arrives.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Happy Holidays - Winter Solstice maybe?

Part of the reason I started blogging was to learn about social software to keep me in touch with what the students at the university use. Well today I saw a very funny Christmas song video on Mason-Dixon Knitting and decided it was worth learning how to embed a YouTube video to share it with more people. I admit that I do really love acappella music, being a Nylons fan from way back in Canada when I was a teenager. And the embedding was easy once I actually read the instructions!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

First Anniversary Musings

I realized recently that my first anniversary as a blogger came and went without me noticing. As well as blogging myself, I have been reading more blogs this year, as I discovered the wonderful online community of textile lovers. I have a bit of time to reflect on this past year and I thought I'd share my thoughts on how it has gone.

My original reason for starting a blog was to participate in the Take a Stitch Tuesday Challenge set up by Sharon B. I can't tell you how much I am humbled by her energy, expertise and artistic talent. While I haven't finished all the weeks (I've reached 47 although I haven't blogged it yet), I have been pushed into many new things by the challenge and I will be eternally grateful to Sharon for setting it up.

Once I started participating in Sharon's challenge, I realized that there were many, many textile blogs out there. I can't tell you how many hours I've spent looking at all the wonderful things everyone out there is doing. I've added many inspired ideas to my visual journal thanks to my blog surfing.

At that point, I was working a couple of consulting jobs from home, but in March, I was able to start working more outside the home. Many years ago I 'retired' from full time work as a library director to stay home with my children. While I was able to fit in part-time work back in NY, when we moved there weren't enough hours between my morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up times. With the change in grades I have a good stretch of time to get out now. It was great to get back into a library and work at a busy reference desk. I forgot how much I love a university atmosphere. Of course, it means less time for stitching and blogging but I usually do feel more energized and creative after a good day at work.

I have summers off for childcare, so I was able to catch up and try new things then. I wrote an article about the tapestry project I worked on with my daughter's art club (see the Dec. NeedleArts magazine). My biggest inspiration was going up to Plimoth Planation in MA to work on the reproduction jacket project. That has totally changed the direction I want to go with my embroidery.

I started back at the university again in September where I'm doing some things that I find professionally exciting (I know, you are wondering what is exciting about being a librarian, but really, it is fun) I was also asked to be on the EGA National Youth Program Committee and edit the Crayons to Threads column for NeedleArts. That was a great honour (plus I still do the chapter newsletter). And the Sampler Round Robin I am in seems to be moving again. At least I have finished one and have another to do, so that is good.

My blogging has been sporadic. I constantly question why I'm doing it and why anyone would care. But I am so inspired by others, maybe somebody will find what I do interesting as well. And since not many people blog stumpwork, I feel I need to keep going with that, just to encourage more people.

All in all, I am pleased with what I have accomplished in the last year. Especially since I have also been working at the barn one or two evenings a week for much of the year. I even took riding lessons for a while. Mind you, I can't be to complacent right now because the tree is only half decorated and there are still presents to buy.

I am looking forward to 2008. There are going to be some new work challenges, some column editing, and lots and lots of stitching. And I hope to do some work with the high school art guild in the coming year as well. I don't know if I'll participate in any more challenges though. I think I want to challenge myself to create the work that I've been planning since I first saw the 3-D embroidered gardens book. I'll keep you posted on that. I also want to explore some other ideas. Today Sharon b wrote about a new blog that has captured my interest, Red Thread Studio. Elaine Lipson writes about Slow Cloth, New Cloth and Art Cloth. I love doing hand sewing, so the idea of slow cloth really appeals to me. (One of my favourite places is the milliner's shop in Colonial Williamsburg) Elaine's third post mentions one of my favourite books Elizabeth Wayland Barber's Women's Work, The First 20,000 Years: Women, Cloth and Society in Early Times. There is a vague notion in my mind that somehow the ideas in Barber's book should combine with those in Mother Nature: Maternal Instincts and How They Shape the Human Species by Sarah Hrdy to form an interesting take on why women feel and act as they do. I'm not sure what yet, but one day it will hit me.

I'm sure I've gone on long enough now, but I've at least interspersed my meanderings with some photos of current projects, and to end it all, some silk that I will be using to knit myself a lace scarf. If nothing else, over the last year I've learned that I can make something really special for myself, not just everyone else.