Before I get started on my blog, I wanted to say sorry for the delay to those of you who check back for new posts and thanks for the support! My family has had lot to go through in the last months and the blog was low on the priority list but we've gotten back to a good place and back to work!
Until recently I didn't know exactly what goes into stitch guides but I have a huge apprieciation for the designers that create stitch guides for a piece or whole books! Let me tell you that takes time!
I created my feather piece about a year ago. The feather was the first thing I finish, which looking back now I probably should have done the background first. I learn something new or different with every work. When I started the background I wanted it to be single-colored, but I also wanted to create a southwestern feel. So I got inspiration from pottery in my grandparents house. They introduced me to many things and two of those were needlework and Native American pottery. Through trial and error, I created one row at a time that represented the patterns on those beautiful pots. Some of the patterns represent feathers, mountains, snakes, etc. As you can see from the pictures below the process was disjointed in its creation. When I posted the finished needlepoint on social media and got a few requests for a stitch guide. I wasn’t sure how to make one, so I started looking up examples and with the help of Enid from the Yarn Barn in San Antonio I started creating my first stitch guide. I have completed the background guide and I'm in the process of finishing the feather itself! Stay tuned, I should have a complete Feather Stitch Guide very soon.
Cheers and happy stitching!
I hope you all have been able to get out and appreciate this beautiful earth today or will be able to do so soon. In support of Earth Day I hope you will visit my Inspiration and Gratitude site... I've written a little on what I've been doing to reduce single use plastic in my house and proper recycling efforts in my area.
inspirationandgratitude.weebly.com or click on the pic below.
In needlepoint I've continued my work on the backgammon board and have taken a wonderful woodworking class to give me ideas on how'd like to create the box or frame to hold the board. Updates soon.
I've also started a strap for a camera. My canon is ready for a pretty upgrade! If you haven't see my instagram or facebook please check it out for painting progress and videos. makneedlepoint
Thanks for checking out my blog and happy stitching!
***Although this post isn't purely about needlepoint, it is a work in progress and a little about how I got to where I am.
Learning the Story in History
In high school, History was not appealing to me. Why did we have to memorize names, dates and events from the past, when it didn’t seem to have anything to do with me or the present? At that age, no one helped me understand the story in history. I look back to college, and one particular history professor, with such gratitude because not only did he help me learn how to learn, but he gave me a love for history and the story of us. That one semester I learned more about my interests, my style of learning and how much I could accomplish than I ever had before. It just so happens that my older sister took that class with me, but I’m positive her experience was completely different, and she may not even remember the class. It’s interesting the things that strike a chord in one person and aren’t even heard by another. Not only was that class enlightening for me, it was an enormous challenge. By the end of the class, I was so much richer for the experience.
My main point of telling you this is I started to find history fascinating and inspirational, which changed the course of my work, possibly my life. I’ve taken American and World History courses, many art history courses, I read historical fiction, and I’ve recently become interested in genealogy. One fascinating thought is genetic memory. Several years ago, I came across the idea in a Susanna Kearsley book, which took it into fantasy, but the core idea stuck with me. We inherit physical and biological traits from our ancestors, so it stands to be true that we can also inherit skills, talents and likes, as well. The science and theory go beyond, but for my purposes I’ll stick to that. I’ve never really known where my love for creating comes from. My family, save my brother, have been doctors, nurses, military, scientists, teachers, farmers, etc. I still don’t know if there were artists, such as painters, in our family. I’ve always been able to pick up creative skills quickly: drawing, painting, dancing, photography, these things make sense to me. About three years ago, I started needlepointing, mostly by suggestion from my mom. I wasn’t expecting to be good at it, much less like it, but I immediately found it soothing and a lot like painting. My grandma has been needlepointing for fifty years or so. I don’t think I ever really appreciated the talent, work and time she put into her pieces. I didn’t appreciate it as an art. When I was younger, I half dismissed needlework as old timey and boring. As a kid, who really wants to sit in quiet patience, working on a project that could take days, weeks, or months to complete? I didn’t, but now it’s a whole other story. As I progressed from a simple basket weave, which I learned from a YouTube tutorial, to creating stitch patterns of my own, my grandma commented on how quickly I advanced and that she’d never had a student pick it up that way. She said to my mom one day, “she’s a little of me, Aunt Ruth and Aunt Anna all wrapped in one,” which brought the thought of genetic memory back to me. Even though I had never been interested or learned needlework I discovered that I had the skill for it, it came to me so naturally as if I always knew how it do it. Through research into my grandma’s side of the family I discovered many women before her were accomplished in the skill as well. It’s a wonderful feeling of connection to find out about the lives behind the people in my history who were only names to me before.
Through the exploration of my family history I’ve also come across photos that until now have been a little of a mystery or have been confused through time. One such photo that we assumed was my grandma’s mother turned out to be her grandmother, Clara Mae. These small revelations probably won’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, but it feels like setting a puzzle right when it had missing or misplaced pieces. These discoveries have inspired my needlework and also my paintings. I have started a few paintings of ancestors that I’ve dubbed Gone But Not Forgotten, Clara Mae is the first.
As I mentioned at the start, I’m truly grateful for the professor who took the time to help me learn how to learn and gave me the incredible gift of our story in History. Sometimes opening your mind to something you don’t think you’d like, and have always resisted, can change everything. I can’t imagine how different my life would be if I had never taken that history class.
Thank you to all the teachers who care, who have incredible patience, and who give so much just for the sake of helping someone else learn! Each of you are a gift! Sometimes you don’t know the real impact you make on the lives you touch.