Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Old thrift find

I don't think I've ever posted this embroidery that I found a couple years back of these lovely cats with flowers.  I just love it and the stitching is superb, especially the satin stitching on the flowers.  This was a real find.  

Monday, May 30, 2011

Vacation time

Well the hubby and I got back from Florida last week.  We had a nice, relaxing time.  We chilled on the beach, caught some great live music and went to a Rays game ( I even scored a few things at the thrift).  It was great to get away for a bit. 

Back to reality......

Friday, May 13, 2011

Inspiration: Julianne W. Sterling

I was strolling through etsy like I usually do when I'm a bit bored and uninspired and came across a wonderful artist, Julianne W. Sterling.  She has some amazing work in her shop. Her artist statement is fantastic:

"I paint about the realities, complexities and absurdities of life as a woman.  With some bittersweet humor I explore the place where I rub up against the gender conditioning of my youth and the expectations of being a woman, wife and mother.  My paintings are about little secrets women keep to themselves.  As Cornelia Otis Skinner said “...Women keep a special corner of their hearts for sins they have never committed.”  I’m drawing from the rich history of portrait painting with this work, creating a likeness but also musing on cultural norms and ideals of women.  My subjects are drawn from the women and children in my life."

She obviously is concerned with the "Princess" culture of girls and her "Pushing Fairy Tales" series explores that.  
"Waiting for Snow White..IV"
"Waiting For Snow White"

The "Mommy Assassins" series is another fantastic commentary on modern motherhood and identity.
How amazing are the tinker-toy guns?
"The Mommy Assassins III"

"The Mommy Assassins II"
I love her layering.  The subtle colors and layers leaving something just under the surface.  And she draws damn good figures.  I've never been that great with the figure so I'm always jealous of those that are. 

"How To Live With A Man"


Really fantastic pieces. Please check out her other pieces on her site
and read through her bio. I'm so glad I stumbled across her work.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Inspiration: Emily Stout

While flipping through the new issue of "New American Paintings" at the bookstore, I saw something so amazing I just had to post about it...the work of Emily Stout. Particularly this piece.

The Mermaids  Charcoal drawings, Quilted tails
I was blown away by this imagery and the combination of the drawings with the patchwork quilts. Absolutely amazing. I'm so intrigued by these words from her statement:

Enchanted forms such as the mermaid, are symbols of the unexpected or unknown in my work. I frequently work with hybrid forms that violate natural law or more specifically contemporary scientific explanation. I am interested in the classic depiction of the mermaid in folk tales and legends as beautiful yet monstrous creatures. They are outcasts; abnormal curiosities. They are neither this nor that, they lie between, questioning the logic of natural order.

Further explorations of her website brought me to this piece:
Destructive Reconstructors  Mixed media
I want to see this in person so badly. The legs of the male figure seem to be three-dimensional but made of what?  Stuffed fabric, lighting trickery?  Agh I must know! 

S witch Board Apparition Theater Mixed media, Wood, Quilting, Paste-ups, Paint, Telephone Receiver Speakers

This piece was listed under "Puppet Show". If it was indeed used for a puppet show, I'm very curious what the show was about because the theater is quite remarkable. 

I hope you've been just as blown away as me with Emily's work. I know I'm going to keep an eye for whatever she has planned next. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Ode to John Hughes

I have seen some of John Hughes's movies at least 50 times.  They are so wonderful; filled with love, sadness and hilarity.  But for me, they speak to the truths of being a teenager.  As a teen you will love someone that doesn't love you back, struggle with finding independence from your parents, rebel against stereotypes, make mistakes and be so miserable sometimes that even you can't stand yourself.  Hughes had such a wonderful way of capturing these truths in my favorites of his movies--Pretty In Pink, The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Some Kind of Wonderful and Ferris Bueller's Day Off. I thought I'd look around for fellow Hughes lovers and see what some folks have created.

"Some Kind of Wonderful Yarn Art" by BrandyLynnandPaul

This amazing cross stitch pattern of the Pretty In Pink cast by weelittlestitches
You can also get the Breakfast Club pattern

"Neomaxizoomdweebie" by bombastitch
"Breakfast Club Vampires" by paghababian

"Ferris Bueller You're my Hero" embroidery by alwaysinspired
"Try A Little Tenderness (Duckie)" by Jessica Deahl 
Duckie is one of my favorite characters.

"The Donger" print by KRUSTYstuff
Judd Nelson in The Breakfast Club watercolor by alliefraley
Another favorite character and Colby and I share and common fondness of John. We quote him often.  Luckily someone has put together the best of John Bender for us all to enjoy.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Cute Crochet

I find myself picking up crochet items at the thrift--usually kitchen items like hot pads, pot holders or things I can use for dish rags.   They're usually dirt cheap and you can just throw them in the wash.  But every once in a while, I find something so totally cute that I just have to have it and it will not be used for anything other than to be cute in my kitchen. 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Quick stitch....tea towel

I finished a quick stitch on a tea towel for my cousin's house-warming gift. They are going with a sunflower theme for the kitchen.  Pattern is from here (towel too--I love these towels).  The best gifts are handmade.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Sleepy Kitty

Well of course Maggie pretty much took over the little crocheted blanket that my mom me got for a whopping $1.  But look how cute she is sleeping on it--much cuter that I would have looked using it.  

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thrift finds...wowza tablecolth!

Look what I found at the good 'ol Hospice Flea Market! This amazingly stitched tablecloth. 

It's a good 4 ft by 4ft or so. It has beautiful Asian (Japanese I would guess) buildings, trees and decorative motifs.

It has the teeny tiniest stitches I've ever seen. 

What a score! 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


While going through some of my old things, I found this handmade book I made back in college.  Man did it bring back some memories.  It was a very personal piece, I guess it still is.  But seeing this again, made me remember the creativity I once felt--the feeling that I could really make something and the freedom of it.  I made this in a pinhole photography class, the photographs are of toy horses, the larger one I've had since I was a child.  The prints are cyanotype, a beautiful blue print.  The papers are handmade and everything is hand-stitched, there's pieces of fabric incorporated also.  I do miss having the space and resources to do things like this--make my own paper, access to a darkroom.  Just a bit more inspiration for myself--I have been really dragging on this new painting--feeling very unmotivated and time is ticking away.  So these sparks of inspirations I'm finding are really helping me clear my creative block.