Saturday, July 31, 2010


This weeks imagery comes courtesy of WAKA Kickball. This summer, I joined an adult kickball league for the first time. My friends have been playing for a few years now and I've always wanted to join a team. I never seemed to have the time or money, but seeing as how this is my last summer in Richmond, I decided to do it, no matter what. Our team's name is Sun's Out Gun's Out and as of right now, we are undefeated. Granted, we've only played 4 games so far, but I still think it's impressive.

Occasionally, the league has theme nights where everyone is expected to play in costume. Last week, the theme was "Gladiators and Goddesses". Our team decided to interpret that as "American Gladiators" instead and went all out in spandex and sweatbands. This is me and my teammate, Hallie, at Mulligan's, our sponsor bar, after our double header. I sewed red and blue insets into a wife beater and we both coincidentally wore the same pair of Captain America underwear from Target.

I went back to working with sequins on this piece. It just seemed like American Gladiators needed something shiny and tacky. I even wore the underwear while I stitched it. I know the stitch work isn't anything amazing but I was having a bit of a creative blockage. Maybe it's because I've been so caught up with watching the last season of LOST all week that I can't think of anything else. I guess this will just have to help prepare all you loyal followers for more minimal stitching once my course load in grad school gets intense in September. Until then, please enjoy me looking like an idiot in my underwear:
"American Gladiators"

Monday, July 26, 2010


If any of my friends have been living under a rock since June, then they wouldn't know that I am moving to Savannah, Georgia in September to attend grad school at SCAD. Fortunately for you, if you're reading my blog, you probably already know and you've probably started preparing yourself for the idea of a Michael-Birch-free Virginia.

This past week, I took a trip down south with Anthony and my mother to check out the campus and find an apartment. Everyone has been telling me how much I will LOVE Savannah and they were so right. It is the most beautiful city ever. The old Victorian architecture and cobblestone roads are amazing. And there is a little square park on just about every other block.

The school is amazing too. I got a tour of the facilities in the Fibers department. The building has just been renovated and all of the equipment is brand new and state of the art. The work spaces are huge and beautiful and I am so excited to get to work on new designs.

In the heart of Savannah is the huge Forsyth Park. At the top of it is one of the city's most recognizable landmarks (besides Paula Deen). The Forsyth Park Fountain is magnificent and I wanted to make sure to see it on this visit. It's covered with herons and swans and mermen and has water shooting out in every direction. It actually reminds me a bit of a more awesome version of the fountain in Monroe Park in Richmond.

My hands-down favorite part of Savannah is all of the Spanish moss. Since I was little, there was always something about Spanish moss that really moved and inspired me. I only saw it in once in person at a friends house in the Outer Banks. Now, I'll have a chance to see it hangin from almost ever tree in the city I'll call home for the next two years. I can't wait.
And here is this week's piece. The Forsyth Fountain framed in Spanish moss. I actually took a really cool picture of Anthony and my mom in front of it but it came out a bit too blurry to use. Luckily, it gave me a chance to do another piece incorporating non-human imagery. I have to be careful not to just fill the wall with snapshots of friends and instead make sure that each piece is still a work of art.

I tried embroidering with transparent thread to represent the water. It would have been a really cool idea but it was such a hassle to work with all for a result that was barely visible. Hopefully I'll figure out a better technique later in the project.
"Forsyth Fountain"

Saturday, July 17, 2010

21/52 and 22/52

Another double upload! I've actually had these done for a while but was waiting for a free minute to post them. My birthday last week was very time consuming so I did both of these this week.

21/52 is from the Worn Again Fashion Show on July 2nd. The premise of the show is that the organizers give each designer a bag of old clothes and we have a month to turn them into something awesome. I locked out and got some really cool pieces in my bag. This is the first outfit I made for Liz. The jacket is made from a pair of little boy's jeans cut into strips and then pieced together. The sleeves are from an old hideous pirate style shirt. On top of the shoulders, there is some cool, intense beading from a 70s wedding dress. The dress's bodice is made from a gold leather skirt. The skirt is a pair of yoga pants. The zipper came from a punk kid's denim vest and the straps are strips of a red t-shirt. The sequins on the side are also from the wedding dress.

Liz looked amazing in the outfit and it got a really good response from the audience and judges. We find out on August 6th who the winner of the show is. I hope it's me!!

This is Chris wearing my second outfit. This one I wanted to just be fun and totally insane. The Jacket is made mainly from a little girl's purple winter coat. I added denim from the punk kid's vest and a random hood from another coat. The white hood was in the bag without the rest of the coat. The hoods made really cool sleeves. I studded the sleeves with the studs from the punk vest. The shorts are made from the pillowcase that the clothes came in. It's trimmed with the same t-shirt from which Liz's straps were made.

The entire time I was making this outfit, I thought it was ridiculous and would never make it into the show. But when the day came and I put it on Chris with the hair and makeup, it actually turned out to be pretty freaking cool.

The stage had cool decorations on it made from the pages of old books. They were cool and I used the motif in this week's embroidery.
Just like with Chris' outfit, I wasn't so sure about this piece until I saw the finished product. I really like the embroidery. And it's always fun to work with seed beads. All of the beads and sequins are from the old wedding dress. The only thing I'm not so sure about is how I drew Liz's face. The red marker I used for her lipstick bled a little too much and it looks weird now. Oops! Oh well, I still like it.
"Worn Again"

For my birthday week, I had grand plans for doing a piece of art that was all about me. I know I feature myself a lot in these pieces but this was the one time I could be completely and totally unapologetically narcissistic. But every once in a while I take a picture that is so awesome that I have no choice but to change my mind completely. This shot was taken at Busch Gardens. The B-52s were playing a free concert there on the day after my birthday so I decided months ago that I just had to be there. At the last minute, my friends Colin, Christine, Brit, Raechel, and Bill decided to come too.

On DaVinci's Cradle, we all sat across from each other in the middle rows so we could see each others' reactions. The ride keeps us sitting flat but spins around in a huge circle. It's hard to explain other than saying it is awesome. As soon as the ride started, Christine got completely disoriented and started freaking out. I don't think she was prepared for the intense movement and the sudden changing of direction. The faces she made were absolutely hysterical. Everyone else was laughing so hard it hurt. Raechel couldn't even look at her. The face in this photo isn't even the best of her faces but it is still amazing. I posted it on Facebook and Twitter and people have been talking about it for a week. So naturally it had to be embroidered! I'm sure she hates it and the fact that it's embroidered, but seriously, how could I not? Look at her!
It was really hard getting the expression just right but I think I came pretty close. I didn't get too detailed with the embroidery because gold thread is a bitch to work with. And also because I had to do two in one week.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Bonus Artwork!

This week's post will hopefully be up sometime on Friday or Saturday. I've been working on a commissioned piece and its my birthday week so I still haven't started a new AYIS.

But here is an old piece I did for my friends Tonja and Nelson for their wedding last month. The photo was taken from their save the date cards. They got married in the Dominican Republic so their colors were Tangelo and Fuschia and they had hibiscus flowers all over the stationary.

I worked with seed beads for the first time on this piece and they are very tedious. This was probably a good 9 hours of work and I loved every bit of it.

"Tonja and Nelson"
Graphite and Marker on Muslin with
Cotton Embroidery and Glass Beading

Thursday, July 1, 2010


From day one of A Year In Stitches, Lindsey Oliver has been campaigning for an embroidered version of herself to appear on "The Wall." For those of you that don't know, the wall of my living room is covered with every piece of the AYIS project. It's filling up fast and I'm not yet halfway through the year. Don't they look so cool all together?

On Wednesday night, Lindsey and her girlfriend, Nicole Pries came over to our house to hang out before attending what we have lovingly dubbed "Trainwreck Karaoke" at our friendly neighborhood lesbian bar, Babe's. During this time, I was completing last month's piece and the topic of Lindsey's inclusion came up. I insisted that each week's piece is determined by either the best photo or the most memorable event of the previous week. So for her to make it on "the wall" she would have to be extra awesome that night. Nicole decided the best tactic for herself to be embroidered was to use reverse psychology and pretend that she didn't want it. Also campaigning that night was Jenn Ward, who has been around for many of the photos on the wall but hasn't made it into one yet. I had three lovely deserving ladies that all wanted to be artwork but I told them that only the best picture from the week would be used, despite their protests.

And wouldn't y'know, they just had to go and take an adorable picture that night. From left, Nicole Pries, Lindsey Oliver, Jenn Ward, and Nicole Priest. (no, that's not a typo. they just have freakishly similar names. We call them Plus T and Minus T)

I loved the way the solid colors of everyone's shirts worked well with each other yet made each girl stand out. So I decided to define each one by their shirt color and embroider them in only those hues. The result is fun and different than anything else I've done so far. I really love exploring new techniques with each piece and seeing how they all contrast on the big wall in my living room. The whole project is coming together as one huge work of art instead of the 52 individual pieces I had originally planned.

"Babes of Carytown"