Journal: Dreaming versus Living

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My husband and I are dreamers. I think the thing that has brought us together for going on 22 years is that we love nothing more than to sit and talk through all the things we wish we could do. The problem with that is when you’ve spent nearly 22 years talking through the same dreams and yet never really doing anything about them the dreaming part starts to feel more like an escape.

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I’ve been pondering the difference between dreaming of things and escaping as I’m reading back through parts of Ecclesiastes. The one thing that continues to jump out at me is the idea of living right here and right now. The writer seems to discourage dreaming or looking forward.  Even pondering too deeply the season that you are in is a negative. These are hard words for a deep dreamer and “muller” of life.

So I saw that there’s nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that his is lot. Who can bring him to see what will be after him? 3:22

There is so much we don’t know. There is so much that happens in our lives that we cannot even begin to explain – despite how badly we might want to figure it out. But the writer over and again reminds us that it’s worthless almost to keep constantly speculating. He continues to encourage the reader to tend to the “God given callings and joys in our lot.”

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This is my life – my struggle – constantly thinking, speculating, meditating, worrying, mulling. My dreaming of what I hope for and long for becomes a means for me to escape from what the Lord is calling me to and the lot that He has placed in my lap.  The things my husband and I constantly go to to talk about are safe things – and because of that those safe things become an escape; a way for us to step out of the struggle of the right now.

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I want nothing more than to rest in the season that I’m in; to accept my lot with joy – not just give in. Even when the season makes me feel like I’m sitting on the edge of a precipice, I want to sit there resting in the view.

{photos from Colonial Williamsburg, 2016}

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Embroidery: Free Form Flowers

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After working so many months on my Jars Series, I needed a more simple project. I decided to work on my embroidered flowers techniques so I grabbed some fabric and a hoop and just started stitching. I started out with this one group of flowers in the middle – practicing some stem stitches, working with different numbers of threads and then laying lazy daisy stitches on top of one another.

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Then I started adding some random little yellow flowers (really a mix of lazy daisies and brick stitches) and some woven wheel roses.

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At that point I went online and started nosing around at some floral illustrations for some flower and leaf ideas. The rest of the hoop is an amalgamation of those ideas. Probably my favorite of the whole group is the leaf vine on the left side. I stitched this by couching down some strands of wool embroidery floss and then adding some satin stitched leaves.

I had some fun with my macro lense when I was done and took some super close ups. It’s crazy to see the fibers and your stitches at such a close up range!

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The hoop measures 8 inches and is stitched on this faux white linen. I used a mix of standard divisible cotton floss – with different divisions – and some d’Aubusson wool threads. I’m working on transferring this to a pretty intensive embroidery pattern plus maybe a private video series. Embroidered flowers are all the rage and honestly are one of the most rewarding things to stitch – and the ideas are limitless. Kind of like nature!

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Embroidery: Sew It All 10

I’ve got a project in the new Sew It All magazine this month.

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It was actually printed in the latest Sew News and in Sew It All. Check it out on newstands now.

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Journal: August 23

 

“Above me, wind does its best
to blow leaves off
the aspen tree a month too soon.
No use wind. All you succeed
in doing is making music, the noise
of failure growing beautiful.”

― Bill Holm

I read these words the other day and for some reason they came back to me this morning. Maybe it is the crispness in the air – the wind that seems to have shifted as the seasons slowly start to change? Maybe it is my heart that I want so desperately to change – the things in my life that I so desperately want to be different that aren’t. But this quote reminds me that seasons change, leaves fall, but only in their season. The wind can blow and blow all it wants to, but those leaves will hang on until they are ready to fall – till their season.

There is a quote by Edith Schaeffer in response to someone asking her “who is the greatest Christian woman right now?” Her reply was “we don’t know her.” She is the one who is struggling, who sees the emptiness in her soul, who sees how easily the world slinks into her life.
She is the one who feels like a failure.
So what makes her great?
Because it’s in our failure that God’s music plays.

Just like those leaves that hang despite the wind trying to rip them off – it is in our brokenness that the world hears the music of the heavens.

 

I sit in middle of the grove listening to the waves of movement above me.
The sun streams down in beams around my lap.
There is no sound except the rush of the wind rustling through the leaves.
These leaves that sound like fairies running from branch to branch.
I can almost hear them laughing in the soft chirping of the birds that fly.

Despite the wind, no leaves fall – except this one lone leaf.
Slowly I watch it drift down from the heavens as it floats on the air above me.
it lands in my lap – a green tissue shaped heart.
Like a message from above – a voice in the shape of a heart reminding me to be patient.
To bask in the sun – to listen to the fairies dance – and to hear the music of the dancing hearts.

 


Long ago I started blogging and it was a combination of my writing and creating. Then I decided to separate the two and I started another blog called A Constant Pursuit. Recently, in an effort to stop segmenting my life I decided to shut that writing blog down and merge it with this one; because creating with words is no different than creating with threads. My writing life has been pretty vacant lately and when I have written it’s been kept private, but I’m hoping that combining these two loves and two outlets back into one might help me reawaken this voice that has been so silent.

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Embroidery: Bugs in Jars

One of my goals this year was to work on this series of embroideries I titled “Bugs in Jars”. I had this idea of stitching a mix of regular embroidery with stumpwork bugs and adding some vinyl to make it look like they were actually in jars. It was a great experiment and I’ve learned so much.

The last in the trio ended up being more of a terrarium than just a regular mason jar like the first two. I found this old illustration of a terrarium and sketched it up with a few additions and changes.

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The base is a “copper” base with a mix of back stitches and satin stitches. After the base was done, I moved on to the flowers and greenery.

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I started out with satin stitching all the petals and leaves of the plants. Then I added some dimensions with some stumpwork petals and leaves. This was the first time I’ve done stumpwork with something other than a wing – the concept is totally the same but it felt fun to do something different.

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I wasn’t going to add any bugs to this one, but I figured I needed to in order to call this trio a true trio of Bugs in Jars. So I free handed a little white moth and stitched up some wings.

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This is probably one of my favorite shots. I used some hand dyed threads that I had in my stash and couched them down to make it look like moss. I also added in some back stitched greenery to fill up the space underneath all the plants.

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Then it was time to add the vinyl cloche top!

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I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out!

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Embroidery: Custom orders

While I am taking somewhat of a hiatus with custom embroidery orders right now, I recently finished up the last of the orders I had from this summer.
Here’s a little peek at them.

A custom birth announcement. The coolest thing about this one is that it is the 3rd I’ve done for this family. I did two last year for a pair of sisters and their family welcomed another baby girl this spring. It was such a gift to be asked to create this third for the trio.

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A 50th anniversary. I had a daughter come to me and ask for a custom 50th anniversary portrait. This one was based on the one I did a couple of years ago for my aunt and uncle’s 60th. I even was able to find a matching metal oval hoop!

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The theme for this one was daisies. So I had fun stitching loads and loads of lazy daisies!

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Here’s a close up of the bride and groom.

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