I reached a wonderful milestone yesterday. What may not seem to be a large deal to many, is huge to me. With only six days left until Keith and I head to Saratoga Springs, New York to teach at the Northeastern Woodworkers Showcase, I can look at what I need to be done and consider myself “ready.”
This isn’t because I have done everything myself. Keith has been working on some wonderful aspects of our presentation and it is only because we work so well together that I am able to take a breath and feel this way. Again – it is wonderful to have a partner that compliments me so well. Together we seem to do a pretty good job of covering the bases.
The only concern that I have would be the weather. This has been quite a winter for everyone, and the Northeast has been hit with winter especially hard. Since Kieth owns a small convertible Miata and we use his old Sunfire for driving here, neither would be suitable for the long trip. So my Mustang it is, which has been parked for the past several months because it is absolutely useless in any type of snow. I can’t help but wish that the show were a few weeks further into spring. But it is what it is and we will do our best to deal with it.
At this moment, I have four new tires on order that will be coming in any day. We will be watching the weather as well, and if there is any hint of a storm, we will act accordingly and leave much earlier than planned. Fortunately, it seems that even when foul weather rears its ugly head at this time of year it is usually short-lived and the roads are cleared quickly. One of the luxuries of driving to a destination is that we don’t have to worry about flight schedules and things like that. We will use common sense and make it there safely and on time, I am sure.
The next week will be spent leisurely tying up some loose ends and maybe doing some personal things. I am proud of taking this approach, because in the past I would have tried to cram more things to do last minute into the schedule. I don’t know why I do that, but it seemed that if I met my goal, I would raise it higher and then I would feel the results of the additional stress that I piled on myself. But not this time. We are doing well in our sales at the site and yesterday I finished my project directions and article for the magazine. It is time to take time and enjoy both the final preparations for the trip and life itself.
Yes. I am learning.
Last night I spent some time working on my embroidery sampler. I have shown the photos of the previous panels in blogs and I have had requests to continue doing so. I feel that it is another form of art, and everything is related in one way or another. In the process of making this piece, I am learning not only different techniques and stitches, but also about different flowers and their construction, which will help me look at them through different eyes when drawing, painting and scroll sawing. It is all good.
The finished panel is as follows:
I believe I have shown the delicate Wisteria before. The flowers are of tiny glass beads and the leaves and stems are of silk threads and ribbon:
There are two beautiful Camellia blossoms, with stumpwork petals made of silk ribbon:
There are also two Camellia buds, which are also done using silk ribbon and thread:
The yellow stamens are embroidered separately using hand-dyed silk thread and then added onto the flower. This give them a beautiful shape and form:
There is also a darling chameleon, which is embroidered completely of hand-dyed silk thread and then sewn onto the piece:
I had never heard of ‘stumpwork’ embroidery before last autumn. One of my Facebook friends referred to in and I found some pieces on Pinterest. I was brought to the site of Di van Niekerk, who lives in South Africa and offers several books, kits and supplies for this art form. Having done embroidery in the past (although never this type of work) I decided to take this opportunity to learn, and I have been thoroughly enjoying my journey. The books and instructions are among the best teaching instructions that I have come across. As a result, the process itself is fun and stress-free. I did make a mistake on the petals of my Camellia, and I wound up discarding them all and doing them over, but since the final piece is coming out OK, I didn’t want it to be marred and I feel it was well worth the extra time.
While the pictures are nice, they don’t do the piece justice. Seeing it in person is truly amazing. The depth of the embroidery is really cool:
I usually only get to spend an hour or so a day (if that) on it, and this piece may take the bulk of the year to complete, but it is a really nice change from what I do for “work” and I am doing it pretty much for myself. If you want to see Di’s other designs, you can visit her site here:
It is truly a feast for your eyes.
With that said, I may or may not be writing these next several days, unless I have something worthy to share. I find that by not committing myself to writing each day, it will allow me to truly enjoy my time ‘off’ and will also keep me calm and ready for the class. I may however find that I miss touching base with you all and write just to write and say ‘hi’. After all – old habits are hard to break and with my blog being posted in so many different places, I enjoy hearing from the many different followers. As always, you all have a choice as to whether you read or not. :)
I wish you all a wonderful Friday. May you enjoy your first weekend of spring to the fullest and do something that you love and that inspires you all.
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts Magazine, If you like reading my blog, come visit at Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"