a special gift

OK you guys… I have to share some pictures of one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. My friend Meri made this for me and I was nearly speechless when I opened the box, although I did cry a bit. It’s an art book/scrapbook and it has the neatest special touches here & there:

She used DMC bobbins for page tabs! One side spells out “stitch” and the other side spells out “my mark”. There are bits of linen throughout, and she used stitching threads as tassels/accents. There’s a giant button on the cover to wrap ribbon around & hold it closed. And how about that binding?! I really can’t say enough about this, so I won’t say much at all… just look:

This is actually a long accordion page that has pictures of some of my stitching friends!

Meri, I can’t thank you enough for giving me such a special gift!

a little painting

I just finished some paintings for our living room wall:

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Here’s one before cropping:

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I love crows & ravens (here’s an explanation of the difference) and I’ve decided to add more of them throughout the house. My idea of a “raven room” was vetoed, but I’m still going to paint one sitting on a branch above the front door. Here’s a close up of this one before I did his eye:

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an even closer close-up:

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Have a beautiful Monday!


St. Louis Art Museum

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I made it down to the museum yesterday to see the Action/Abstraction exhibit and it was neat! More about that later; I wanted to post some pics of the museum first. The building was designed for the 1904 World’s Fair, and it has frilly stuff everywhere… there are sculptures of women along the roof, fancy ironwork above the doors, marble walls inside… nice.

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This statue, “Apotheosis of St. Louis” is out in front of the museum. It was given to the city in appreciation for hosting the Fair. And check out the detail on these lampposts:

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Photos are generally allowed inside the museum, as long as you don’t use flash. There weren’t a lot of pics I could get to come out un-blurry, but I did get a pic of the portrait hall:

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and of Monet’s Water Lillies (which is huge!):

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And I found this gem which I hadn’t seen before. It’s called, “Perseus Rescues Andromeda” and was painted in 1603-ish on a solid piece of lapis lazuli… truly gorgeous:

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I am always researching things, and learning… and I’m so eclectic in my interests. One time I had a talk about that with one of my college professors because I was feeling wishy-washy and unsettled. I couldn’t seem to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. (I mean, with so many possibilities, how does anybody ever choose?!) He encouraged me to embrace my curiosity, and think of it as a positive attribute; he said it showed a love for life. Although he was probably just being polite, I took his words to heart. Since then, any time something interests me, I research the heck out of it.

There’s a point in there somewhere. I guess I was just chuckling at myself because this post led me on another learning journey… I found out the story of Perseus and Andromeda, read the building plans for the Palace of Fine Arts, researched the social attitudes of the general public regarding abstract art, found out more about the Cold War, etc. I even learned a bit about Jack Daniel… did you know he traveled to St. Louis in 1904 so he could enter a contest? He came back with the gold medal for World’s Best Whiskey!

Oh, and besides an obsession with learning I also love blinkies.

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Action Abstraction

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The St. Louis Art Museum has an exhibit that sounds neat, called Action/Abstraction. It features some of my favorite artists, and is only being hosted by three museums in the US… I’d really like to see it!

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I’ve never seen a Jasper Johns in person, and the thought makes me all tingly!

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And Rothko? Mercy. To a lot of people, his paintings look like blobs of color swatches, but they are actually images of feelings. I mean, haven’t you ever had a red day… or a white day, or a yellow experience…?

I’m not an abstractionist. I’m not interested in the relationship of color or form or anything else. I’m interested only in expressing basic human emotions: tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on. -Mark Rothko

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Here’s hoping I can make it down to the museum before it leaves…

this-n-that tuesday

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I got the nicest Valentine’s surprise in yesterday’s mail… Ginny (no blog?) made this collage for me! She packed it with a pretty card and a tin of candy, and wrapped it all in red tissue paper. Very sweet! I think I’m going to fasten a ribbon to the back side and hang it in my studio. Thank you, Ginny :)

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Katie is still camping out in the frog’s room, and lately she has really been camping out in my daughter’s American Girl tent. Pretty cute, eh?

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I received a newsletter from a pretty large company last night, which unfortunately has offended my grammatical sensibilities… how hard is it, really, to employ proper homophone usage ?! I am certainly not perfect, I use way too many commas, and apparantly I frequently misspell apparently. But at least I promise never to offer you a peak at something I’m working on.

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I felt out of sorts all weekend. This was the first time in 4 years that I haven’t attended the Nashville needlework market. But while I missed seeing many friends, the break was kind of nice. (I just needed time off from the design biz for a wee bit… I plan to be back in full swing by the April online show.) I’ve been watching a few of the shop websites to see what they’ve brought home, and I’ve found a few “must haves”, which I added to my wish list page here. Thursday is Market Day at my LNS, but that’s also Valentines day… anyone planning on market day shopping at their LNS?

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Have a beautiful Tuesday, everyone!