Before -- Piles to be Put Away!

Studio Before Piles
Originally uploaded by txstitchermom.

Well, the first step is to transfer as many piles of materials as possible, right??!!

Before -- My "new" worktable

Studio Before Desk Area
Originally uploaded by txstitchermom.

Well, I finally got to it today, gritted my teeth at missing my daughter, and got started moving things into the empty room. I figured I should take a couple before pix while I was at it. I have even called a Feng Shui expert ! I already have a homework assignment or two, and our first consultation is late next week. In the meantime, along with everything else, I will be putting together my space. DH will be blown away at a living room without my workbaskets by 'my chair'!!

Venetian Needlelace

Venetian Needlelace
Originally uploaded by silvia23360.

Isn't this a lovely piece!? It's from the Flickr page of our group, Needlelace_and_More. This was posted by Silvia of our group. We have so many talented people in the needlelace arts, and I'm privileged to be a part of this incredible group. Come visit our Flickr page sometime and see all the great treasures that we're producing!


In My Garden 5-- Full Frontal Hibiscus!

Hibiscus Full Frontal Flower
Originally uploaded by txstitchermom.

I have 21 full flowers right now, on 29 plants in just this section of my garden. I also have 53 budlets here ready to begin in the next 48 hours. I am so blessed with such a plethora of natural treasures. You wonder why I like to sit in my garden and watch my trees, my birds, and my flowers -- poetry does come easily in surroundings such as this.

In My Garden 4 -- Many Views

Hisbiscus Full View
Originally uploaded by txstitchermom.

Here we have an opening budlet, a partially full flower, an almost full flower, and a done flower there at the bottom. Too bad they're not squash blossoms...my mother used to want to kill me when I'd pick her squash blossoms out of the garden to fry up (god, they were SO good!). But, I'll kill anyone who tries to pick and fry these!! (Can you even eat hibiscus flowers??!!)

In My Garden 3 -- Side View of the Half-Breed

Hibiscus Side View
Originally uploaded by txstitchermom.

I just love the slight uplifting of the top petals there...this flower is so graceful!

In My Garden 2 -- Hibiscus Half White Half Pink

Hibiscus Half White Half Pink
Originally uploaded by txstitchermom.

I swear I am not a botanist! This really just happened, although isn't it just lovely??!!

In My Garden -- Hibiscus Bud

Hibiscus Bud
Originally uploaded by txstitchermom.

Well, this is how it all starts...

I'm So Privileged with the People I Know!

My dear friend Pat Cummings runs Quiltersmuse.com, the link for which is also on my sidebar. Pat is an amazing woman, very intelligent, very talented, and very fun! Pat also runs a Yahoo!group called Outline Stitch Embroidery and History. She has an amazing collection of quilts, textiles and needlework, information about which she shares generously with the group. We all thoroughly enjoy learning, trying new patterns, sharing our own information and trials and tribulations, generally have tons of fun! So, a few days ago, Pat reproduced another of her collection of authentic nineteenth century designs, loaded it onto her Free Patterns page, and wrote to our list that she did in it honor of me and my Hibiscus garden. She said she was calling the pattern "Sarah's Hibiscus". I was so touched, I was in [happy!] tears when I called her to thank her. No one has ever done that for me before, and I was both humbled and blown away.

Arlee is another fabulous artist and woman in Canada whom I'm fortunate to know. This morning I commented on her post, "Lightening the Mood", where she supports the process of taking a nap to heighten your creative concepts. She says, "it came to me in a dream..."! You all know what I've written about dreams in my earlier post, "Dreaming is Learning ".

Rosemary Claus-Grey is another great artist. Rosemary received a write-up in Sharon B's inaminuteago about her work in threads and fibers. I particularly like her "River Oaks" and Willow" in that section. Rosemary also has several other sections, including her Small Design Studies, which I like, too.

Sue Bleiwiss has thoughtfully provided the directions on how to make a padfolio. Everyone currently seems to be enjoying those wonderful little inventions -- I've seen several around the blogosphere. You can see pix of folks' finished padfolios here, here, here, and here. In addition, Sue, and a wonder team of fellow artists, is starting a new magazine called Fibre and Stitch. If you have not yet had the chance to subscribe, I strongly recommend that you do so. This is one publication that should NOT be missed!

All these wonderfully talented artists do have one (of many) thing in common -- they dream. They have a vision, whether it's for a piece of art, a particular technique, or a different sort of project, and they have the faith to take that first step to get them started.

So I wrote before, and I'll write again...learn to see with your heart. In fact, I'll put out a challenge -- name ONE THOUGHT that you saw with your heart TODAY (as you read this post). For the first step, write it in a comment below. And, based on the number of comments we'll get here in the next two weeks, there will be a second step. So stick with EE and stayed tuned!!

Today, see the world through different eyes. Just for a moment. And then act on what you see.

Be act'ers! Be in the present. Be a dreamer! And I'll be back!!


Cannas in June

Cannas in June
Originally uploaded by txstitchermom.

Too bad it's not Cannes in June!! (VBG)

The water plants are just to the left of these cannas, also begun from a gift of two from the Master Gardeners' conference so long ago.

Cannas are such incredibly beautiful flowers. They come in a deep blood red, and also these fabulous yellow and orange blooms. The fluted petals are that gorgeous yellow, with dark orange centers.

As you can see, these are now in a clump which I'll have to separate before their next bloom season. Again, these winters...!!!!!

I have been experimenting with some fabrics to try to capture the brilliance of these blossoms. The buds are reminescent of Birds-of-Paradise. I'd love to get my hands on a few BoPs!

Backyard Water Plants

Backyard Water Plants
Originally uploaded by txstitchermom.

Texas is known for its geographical diversity, and my back yard is no exception!

By my back fence, there exists through no one's fault, possibly the teeniest functioning swamp in this fine State. It is about twelve inches long and six inches wide, give or take. And it sports a bakers dozen of these "water plants".

A few years ago, when I could still function in a serious gardener capacity, I was involved with the Texas Master Gardeners here in our county. When finished working with the Ellis County Gardeners' Conference, someone gave me a couple of these plants. I popped them in place and left them alone...

I swear I do NOT know what happens in my garden during the winter, but this is another example of Something Happening!! My little swamp has remained the same size but the plants have more than tripled (fourpled??!!) to the number that I now have.

Go figure!!

You'll notice, by the way, that this particular sketch is on graph paper. This is because most of the time when I'm sitting outside at my little garden table, I'm watching the trees or my birds and drawing/jotting ideas for my quilts and other needlework endeavors. So if the botanical muse grabs me, I just use whatever I've got. Maybe this is a hint that I should utilize more plant designs in my work!!

Brut Smiling (or is it laughing?!)

Brut Smiling
Originally uploaded by txstitchermom.

Well it was sunny for a little while today...normally you would think in Texas that that's not any special occasion, it's supposed to be sunny here. HAH. Tell that to the clouds.

It has been raining here almost every day for the last couple weeks, and will be storming every day next week. And this weekend. And maybe next weekend. And who knows the week after that, the weather folks refuse to commit themselves that far (can you blame them??!!).

So for the few moments of sun we had today, here's Brut out in the middle of it!

My Favorite Flower -- The Hibiscus

Hibiscus by Fence
Originally uploaded by txstitchermom.

Several years ago, I purchased a pair of hibiscuses (hibisci?!), one red -- the Lord Baltimore, and one white -- the Lady Baltimore. After three years or so, the red plant went on to hibiscus heaven. The next year, the white hibiscus became pink-tinged. Each successive year, the color has gotten deeper and more prevalent...what you see here is after seven years, three with the flowers at opposite ends of the garden, and four years of just the survivoress. I'm not sure what happened that winter before I lost the Lord Baltimore -- do female hibiscuses do in their male counterparts like the praying mantis??!! One wonders what REALLY goes on in gardens (VBG).


I Beg A Moment of Your Time...

Hey there, everyone, Happy Monday!! Of course, for some it's not such a happy day...for instance, in the town of Gainesville, in Texas near the Oklahoma border, the town is flooded. Like feet high, cars filled with water almost to the roof, flooded. My, and I know yours when you hear, thoughts and prayers are with that area at this time. Although we, as Texans, and others from dry-ish areas, generally do not complain about rain, there are surely times when enough is just a bit more than enough!

On the note of the day, I have noticed, and I know many others have noticed also, the huge problem on the Web with copyright infringement. There are so many folks who are wanting something for nothing and genially lifting the hard work of others off of the Web and publishing said work as available for all or even as the copy lifter's own work. Yucko bucko. Not that there is anything wrong with free patterns, tutorials, and other materials, of course -- there are tons of those copyright-free items all over!

However and notwithstanding (I love that phrase!), when someone works hard on something and proudly publishes a picture of that work, NO MATTER WHAT MEDIUM is used, we really should respect their work and their efforts. Please.

So I would respectfully request that everyone take notice of the copyright notices given here on EE, both in the sidebar and at the bottom of the page. And please respect the hard work of everyone in our cyber world. By all means take advantage of FREEBIES, that is why they are so marked and available -- like in EE's sidebar, for instance!!!. But please, please always check copyrights with owners, publishers and/or artists (whether in print or image work), and respect the copyright laws.

Thank you so much for your time in reading this, I really appreciate it.

Be visual, be law-abiding, and be rule-breaking in your art! And I'll be back!!


Riches of the World -- The Ukraine

Well, I was poking around on the net, doing word-association search for some information. As so often happens (and I *know* y'all know what I mean!!), I got distracted...(VBG)

I found an absolutely wonderful site about embroidery from the Southwest Ukraine as exhibited in the Ukrainian Museum Archives in Cleveland, Ohio. The pictures are awesome, and the detail is just incredible! You can click on each individual picture for a closer view and a better understanding of the care taken for such beautiful items.

The bulk of the work is dated from the 19th century to the early 20th century. The exhibit is surely worth a visit! Do pop over -- you won't be disappointed!!


Dreaming is Learning...

Ok, as you may have read a few posts ago, I'm in an online group studying The Artist's Way. It's a well-written book by Julia Cameron about the path to Higher Creativity. It's cool doing it with a group instead of by yourself, because you get everyone's insight together and you learn from that, also.

Something that's been happening to me lately, which I've finally shared with the group and I'll share with you, too, here, is that I have been having such vivid dreams that I remember them clearly when I wake up, and so I've been writing down those details as well and thoroughly as I can. I have this sense that it's important to my growth as a woman and as I follow other pursuits. So here is one:
I had a dream the night before
Of mages, faeries, ghosts galore...
Cloth paper scissors, other spells,
Were learned to free me from my hell.

The colors bold, dark, bright, intense,
I saw tall fire and forests dense.
I learned to focus, touch and find,
To close my eyes and use my mind.

This vision was so clear to me --
Learn to use my heart to see.

Be more colorful today; be a 'heart-see-er', and I'll be back!


Poetry Rules!

Well, now that we have not been run over with tornadoes recently, I get to take my fieldtrip out to my backyard and sit at my little table under my umbrella. These are times of peace and regeneration for me. Yesterday, some words of truth came to me which I'd like to share with you.

How many years I've watched my trees
with limbs full sway in th'evening breeze --
So many greens, so many browns,
Through sheltering growth, through ups and downs.

Each limb moves fully forth and back,
Driving high then settling slack,
Like dreams come in a woman's mind --
No known ahead, full sight behind.

The man wrote true, which spoke to me...
"There is no poem quite like a tree."

Be more visual today, and I'll be back!


Leaf of Scarlet Climber

Leaf of Scarlet Climber
Originally uploaded by txstitchermom.

This is another of my sketches for the planning stage of this project. Again, my backyard sure comes in handy! I guess I'll have to take pix of the jungle (VBG) so you can see the variety of vegetation...and of an evening when I sit outside under my umbrella, the birds are all SO amazing, and the butterflies, too! (That's another story...!!!)

Elephant Ear

Elephant Ear
Originally uploaded by txstitchermom.

This is one of my sketches for some drafts of plans for a bead project in which I'm involved. I've mentioned before that sometimes it's hard for me to get out, so my backyard becomes my field trips and my artist dates. This lovely giant (4 ft. high) elephant ear plant is right next to my patio. The plant is actually 3x's as thick as this, but for my purposes I only needed this bit. Plus, I just like to make botanical drawings with pencil.