Friday, February 4, 2011

1-20 and 1-21

 "Pok Tak Soup @ Saigon mmmmmm..... so good!" 1-20-11

 Showgirl in Maggie's HAIR book 1-21-11

Seriously, y'all, that soup was delicious.

These are the last of the images I already have scanned. I'll have to scan the past 14 days this weekend. I swear I'll have current posts soon!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

1-17 through 1-19

 "New Box of Prismacolors" 1-17

 "Dude Smoking Outside of the Bean" 1-18

 "Maggie doing yoga in the kitchen" 1-19
The box of markers isn't a great page. I was quite excited about the markers but linear shapes don't excite me. Also, I think I'm done trying metallic thread. I love the second two pages. Just isolating one interesting line is my favorite technique. And I think these are successful because the lines also highlight the action in the image. I think these two are actually my favorite in the book so far. Including the 12 days I haven't posted yet.

Friday, January 28, 2011

1/14 - 1/16

 Maggie in Fedora @ Honor's Apt 1-14-11

 Kate's chair during soup dinner 1-15-11

 Kickball in Forsyth 1-16-11

It's harder to draw when my subjects are moving. Maggie is an expressive talker and was telling a story. The kickballers obviously would not stand still. That chair was the perfect muse!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

1-11 through 1-13

Rory and Care Bear @ Maggie's

CAD Class

Tape Measurer and Felt @ Studio

These three aren't really my favorites. I think it's the color threads that I used. The Care Bear is a ratty old bluish grey from years of love but the stitches just don't stand out. The hair is fine. I wish I had embroidered Jeremy's face peeking out over the computer screen though. That's all I see in every class. And in the last one was done with metallic silver thread. I thought it would stand out more. At least the back looks cool like a constellation. These are definitely all good examples of how cool the back sides of the embroidery are.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

1-8 through 1-10

"Aurora's First walk in Forsyth" 1-8-11

"All Day in the Studio" 1-9-11
I accidentally skipped a page so I stitched them together to hide the blank one. Sad, since I'm really loving the blank backs of the embroidery so much. But there is something cool about peeking between these stitched pages to see the hidden stitch.
"Pouring Down Rain on the Porch" 1-10-11

These pages were all focused on highlighting a certain, central component of the picture. In later pages, I focus more on one random line whose quality I appreciate. It is interesting to look at all of them and see which method I chose to employ on that day.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A New Year, A New Direction

Hey everyone. As you are all well aware, I have stopped working on A Year in Stitches. The project in its original incarnation just didn't fit into my graduate work the way I had hoped. However, in my Fiber and Fabric Exploration class, we were asked to take on a daily practice. This is the creation of some form of art every day for the entire quarter. Some students are doing meditative drawing, performing songs in public, or making origami balloons. I chose to document a single moment of every day with a quick gesture drawing in a sketchbook. I carry this book everywhere I go and am ready to sketch when I see something that inspires me. Later, I return to each page to go over a line or image with a bit of embroidery. Sometimes it is just the quality of an individual line that begs me to stitch over it. Sometimes I wish to emphasize a significant item in the sketch. I'm loving watching my book grow and seeing the backside of each embroidery juxtaposed against the next day's image. Hopefully you will enjoy them too.

I started this book on January 7. For the next few days I will post a couple of images each day. Once I'm caught up, I'll try and post at least every other day. I think that spending less time on each piece and letting them stand on their own without copious narration will help me be more successful with this new take on my project.

The cover of my sketch book.

"Wine at Kate's" 1-7-11

I think it's so cool to see the explanation of each sketch beneath the back side of embroidery, floating there out of context.

Stay tuned for the rest of the book!

Friday, December 24, 2010

White House Christmas

(Photo from AP)

Sorry for falling off of the face of the Earth for the last few months. I thought for sure I'd be able to keep up with this project during grad school but, as it turns out, school is a lot of work! This past quarter was absolutely insane. I was constantly researching, writing, drawing, painting, sewing, embroidering, printing, and going to lectures. It did not leave much time for extra curricular artwork.

I figured I should post something now that the blog has been mentioned in the Free-Lance Star, Fredericksburg's local paper. ( )So I'm turning the focus of the blog from my Year in Stitches project to just a documentation of all of the artwork I've been doing in school. Hopefully it will also still include AYIS style pieces from time to time.

But now on to the real reason everyone came here today: I designed and embroidered the tree skirt for the White House Blue Room Christmas tree!! While there are 19 trees in the White Hose, the Blue Room tree is the official tree and the center piece of all the holiday decorations. The theme this year was "Simple Gifts" which, according to the White House, "calls for Americans to reflect and celebrate the everyday gifts and blessings that surround us - in family, nature, music, and food." Ricki Dwyer and Holly Sexton, both seniors in the Fibers department, were chosen to design the ornaments. I was eager to help Ricki with her portion of the ornaments because they involved free motion embroidery, a technique about which I am passionate. Because of the work I did on her ornaments, I was asked to submit a proposal when it was decided at the last minute that SCAD should create the tree skirt as well. The powers that be like my design and I set out with only 48 hours to construct an 18 foot wide circle skirt with 50 feet of six inch high embroidered text, the lyrics to the Obamas' favorite song, "America the Beautiful."

It was a grueling amount of work. Luckily, the girls in the Fibers department at SCAD are all so awesome and I had a lot of volunteers to help me. I got to focus mainly on the embroidery and let other students construct the skirt with the pattern I had made. The materials we used are 100% wool felt in white and taupe, and cotton and Lurex thread.

So here are some pics I pulled from the AP wire as well as some that I took during the whirlwind construction process.
(Photo from AP)

We embroidered the text on banners of felt that we hand stitched onto the skirt. I wanted the banners to be dimensional and look like they are flowing around the circumference.

Between the ornaments and the skirt, I sat in front of this machine for the better part of a week.
We spread the skirt out over 5 large studio tables to hand stitch the banners. This was at 1 am and we wanted to play under it like a blanket fort. One day I'll tell my grandchildren that I made a blanket fort out of the White House Christmas Tree skirt.

Both my grandmother and my art history professor insisted that I work my signature into the skirt somehow. I attached my initials on the underside of the top layer.
This is the Virginia ham ornament that I embroidered. We named a lot of the ornaments, this one is Franklin. Isn't he sweet?
This is the only I could find of the Obamas in front of the tree. Sorry it's so small. Checkout for the official SCAD press release and a slightly larger version of this pic.

Below is a time lapse video of the tree being decorated. It's really cool and you really get an idea of how insane the skirt is when you see numerous volunteers installing it at the end.