Jessica

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met

For one of my Christmas presents, my lovely husband bought me and a friend train tickets to New York and tickets to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, so I could see the Interwoven Globe exhibit.

It was so good.

I was glad that I could get really really close to the textiles and examine them in detail. (At the Smithsonian here in DC recently, I got a little too close to a few needlepoints and set of an alarm. Oops.)

Some of my very favorites (embroidery) were: A Mexican Wedding Coverlet, a crewel Dress for A Young Boy, and an Embroidered Sampler (note that it has Harem scenes!). Other favorites (non-embroidery) were: this Lace Patterned Silk, and this Bizarre Silk.

We also saw the Julia Margaret Cameron photos (which is also closing soon). They were really beautiful as well.

The museum is so huge that it was hard figuring out where we were and what direction to go next — especially when we both got hungry. We took a walk through some of the impressionist paintings before leaving, and also peeked at some Roman sculptures and a few Egyptian things before we decided that food was becoming really necessary.

Afterwards, we strolled through Central Park and braved the crowds down Fifth Avenue past the shops and to Rockefeller Center to see the tree. Then after ducking into a coffee shop for a bit, rested our feet, regrouped, and braved more crowds to get dinner at Shake Shack and then back on the train home.

But not before I snapped a photo of the Empire State building all lit up green and red.

empire

 

Every year, I make a few little things for people. This year is no different (though I can’t show you all of them yet). I saw this pattern by Dana a while back and new I would be making at least two things. Here’s one I did for my friend Val. She loves Christmas Vacation. I can’t stand it, but I love her, so she got this little 3 inch hoop…

Newel Post

Next, I made another little 3 incher for my husband, the Pittsburgh sports fan.

Pirates Ornament

And finally, this cross stitched reindeer in a snow globe. My daughter picked out this pattern at my local shop. I made a few mistakes along the way (cross stitch and I are getting along better these days, but it’s still not my favorite), but I think it turned out fine. I’m sure I’m the only one who will know/notice the problems.

Reindeer Snow Globe

Reindeer Snow Globe Detail

I made some other things, too but not all have been given (and not all have been properly photographed, a problem I seem to have often). I love making things for other folks, but I also can’t wait to get back to making things for me!

I read a lot of things here on the internet. I have over 140 blogs currently in my feed reader (and another 40 or so that I read on occasion). So, it is not unusual for me to read something that I disagree with. It is, however, unusual for me to read something (especially a crafty something) that gets me really fired up.* But it happened the other day. I let myself get mad, wrote a long email to myself ranting and stating my case. And then I made this (warning: curse word ahead, click to continue…).

Continue reading

I have been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be a “modern” embroiderer (more on this topic in the next few days). I think that sometimes there is a tendency to view ourselves in the present as the only ones capable of coming up with a modern, non-traditional take on a traditional skill. But this is obviously not the case.

One of my favorite movements in art is abstract expressionism. I’m not just talking about Jackson Pollock (who is awesome), but also Kandinsky, de Kooning and Kline and all the others. Which got me thinking… I bet there were some abstract expressionist fiber artists. And what do you know, I happened upon the amazing work of Mariska Karaz. (Seriously, just scroll through the gallery of her work. It’s awesome.)

There happen to be several works that are owned by museums nearby (the Smithsonian and the Baltimore Museum of Art) — but frustratingly, none are currently on view.

asketch

So, I have started on a piece that should (hopefully) look a bit like this Karaz piece. It’s very strongly influenced — and I’m using a Hungarian cookbook page as the base. I’ve got all my holes poked and am planning out exactly where to start. It’s good to have something in the works this time of year that’s for me as I am also working on a few gifts.

 

 

I almost want to keep this thread to myself — lest everyone go out and snatch it up on ebay or something — but it is not in my nature to keep secrets like that.

Basket

Last weekend I was given this lovely basket, scissors and threads by one of my grandmother’s sisters. I honestly have no idea as to when exactly everything was purchased, or if the basket and/or any of the things inside belonged to my great-grandmother at one point. The wooden spools are easily my favorite things right now.

Spools

In particular is this thread: Clark’s ONT Best Six Cord, size 8. It’s a dream for embroidering. I did a quick little piece for my grandmother with it (perhaps more about that once I give it to her). I need to get my hands on more because I adore it so very much. (I’ve already called my mom and asked if she had any on-hand, she doesn’t.) It’s slightly thinner than size 8 perle cotton, and the twist is very tight.

Best Six Cord

I simultaneously want to use it for everything and never ever want to use it again in case I run out.

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