Friday, December 30, 2011

Arts and Crafts

In the midst of all of the holiday blah, blah, blah, I have been able to find some time for stitching.  I'm working on a sampler piece, adding layers of embroidery to vintage linens.  This piece reflects my thinking about composition and line, scale and color.  I'm trying to expand my skills, incorporating new stitches as well as more drawing.  Many of the images on this piece were hand-drawn by me.  I've never liked my own drawings, which I feel has really held me back from creating original pieces.

I'm a writer by training and by nature.  Writing was what came most easily for me and it was what I was the best at without practicing.  Visual art, by contrast, took so much work and it started out so ugly.  So I didn't do it.  And then I learned to knit, which opened the floodgates of making things.  Before long, I was making everything.  Knitting, crochet, sewing, embroidery, collage, screen-printing, beading.  Of course, I called it "crafting."  It took a long time for me to admit to myself and others that I was making art, you know, like an artist might do.  And even after I came out of the art closet, I still struggled--and continue to struggle--with drawing.  I don't enjoy looking at the lines I make.  This piece is me addressing that.  And I have to say, it's going okay.

Of course, there's always room for crafting!  As a parent, you just never know when you're going to need to make a quick mermaid.  Ellis did the beading and flowers.  Sarah did the hair and face.  I did the clothing.  Family mermaid.

Turtledoves And All Of That, Holiday Redux

So it's the fourth day of Christmas.  Now that things are beginning to settle down, we have some time to reflect.  We had a lucky holiday this year.  I had really wanted to lay off the consumerism this year.  We tried to make things ourselves, shop handmade or thrift as much as we could.   Even Santa shopped Craigslist this year and scored a Plan Toys doll house so awesome that Ellis literally jumped for joy when he saw it.  Now that's what I call a total score.

We were also very lucky to receive some amazing handmade gifts.  Quilt-maker extraordinaire Aunt Nancy sent this bright quilt for Ellis' bed.

Josie the cat went crazy for her catnip mice.  I know Santa stayed up late stitching them for her.

Ellis made quick work of the stockings.  This year I made stockings for our dog and kitty at Ellis' request.  These are made from recycled sweaters that I've hoarded collected over the years.

And no holiday would be complete without games.  Ellis especially loves Jenga from Grandma and Grandpa.

After the gifts, we geared up for Christmas dinner with my partner's family.  Ellis and Sarah hard at work on the Christmas garlic bread.

And in case Rudolph had too much candy, Ellis brushed the reindeer's teeth.  With Ellis' own brand new Christmas toothbrush.  Just what I was hoping he'd do with it.

Meanwhile, I was able to get some personal work done.  For me, that's the best gift of all.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Post, The First

Happy Holidays and welcome to my blog.  I'm an artist and parent trying to do her best at both.  This blog is about that journey.  And I'm warning you now: things are going to get messy.