Embroidery love

Learning embroidery on a sick day.
Learning embroidery on a sick day.

I used to do embroidery quite a bit as a child, starting at around 8 years of age. But it’s been a very long time since I’ve drawn threads in color.

Last summer, in preparation for summer vacation (for which I always bring enough crafts to run a summer camp program), I ordered two Color Wheel Samplers from a wonderful thread artist, Rebecca Ringquist.

The samplers sat for nearly a year, traveling around my art room from one place to another, until today when one of my 11-year-olds was home with a fever. She came round in the afternoon asking if she could do the sampler, so after searching for some time, I unearthed it and we sat on the floor digging through skeins and skeins of brightly colored floss. Lizzie (my feverish one) had learned basic hand sewing at summer camp so she has a pretty good handle on the needle-and-thread situation. And she’s mastered each new stitch with very little instruction. It’s such fun to pass along the love of this ancient, meditative art.

I can’t wait to order a sampler for myself now. I think I’ll go with her “Original” which looks like a wonderfully laid-out garden. Because, goodness knows, I need more projects in my life!

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Crisis on the inside–opportunity on the outside.

Mulch mushrooms

Today I experienced one of those familiar crises of self-doubt. Familiar because I’ve had them my whole life, since I can remember. Annoying as well, since nothing is different than a day, a week, or a month ago. A year ago, yes. I got too comfortable in my job and jumped ship, as I’ve done several times before. The lure of the unknown, the chance to learn new skills and try a new environment–their siren call is too hard for me to resist.

So there I sat, in a meeting that was going well, nothing to complain about, and my heart sank–plummeted like it was tied to a stone–and my self-esteem and love for new things went along with it.

I remembered starting this blog, way back when I was bored and trying to learn something new on my own. I decided to revisit it, open it up, and write.

I’ve taken pictures of my installations and designs at this new gig, recording steps of a technique, angles of a set-up, close-ups of textures. I’ve got loads of Anthropologie shots for inspiration, but what about my own portfolio? Nothing since I finished up at CDIA nearly 3 years ago. I’ve got good stuff to show, so I’m going to show it.

At least I’ll have a portfolio to show for it. A record of progress. What worked and what didn’t. And maybe I will be able to cut myself some slack and remember that art is a practice–one that requires practice–and the process is what makes me feel whole.