“Reflect/Retreat” – Embroidery floss, 16″ x 20″, 2017
Here is the final picture of “Reflect/Retreat” that I finished earlier this year. This is my biggest embroidery floss piece yet, and I don’t think I will ever do one bigger than this. This also won People’s Choice for the Hopkins Center for the Arts Member’s Show in the fall of 2017, which was incredibly exciting – it is a juried show and there were some great pieces, so I was surprised!
This is from a weekend that George and I spent up at a camp in northern Minnesota. George made friends with a dog, as he tends to do. This dog was inexhaustible and just wanted to play. Forever. He spent probably close to an hour throwing sticks of increasing sizes, and no matter how large the stick, the dog kept bringing it back. Even when it was thrown into the lake, the dog jumped in without hesitation.
Something that is also special about this is that I was able to incorporate embroidery floss that my grandma sent me from her craft collection. She had a lot of pinks, blues, and browns, so I thought this would be the perfect image to use these with. I remember as a kid digging through her craft supplies when my family visited her in Florida, and working on craft projects with her, so I am glad she thought of me and pulling these out for me when she was cleaning out some of her old boxes. Thank you Grandma Fuller, I hope you like how I used them!
May not look like much yet – it’s been a lot of time/work for what essentially is a background, but I wanted to show what I’ve been up to!
This piece is three 16” x 20” panels made with paper hole punches. It’s a lot of dots.
“Vessel” – Embroidery floss, 11” x 17”, 2016
I wanted to post a little bit about some of my past projects, so I wanted to start with this one. When I have these projects, I carry them around with me for months to work on them whenever I have time. This shell has taken many trips to coffee shops (notice some of the coffee stains), around with me on errands, and even traveled with me to Oklahoma for my cousin’s wedding. I purposefully choose projects that can go wherever I go since they take so long to finish, and I get cabin fever if I am stuck at my kitchen table. I did decide it was time to invest in a craft lamp to give me better light though, so that helped to make the process easier and I think will help my future projects be more successful as well. I should have done that years ago!
This was also one of the few times that I have gone back and used a medium for a second time (other than something traditional like paint). I think I have finally started to get my groove – I figured out that my life purpose is to glue things to boards. There is a freedom and confidence that comes with knowing this, and I’m really excited about some of the ideas that I have stewing. I loved my first embroidery floss picture of the waterfall, but I really expanded on the technique with this shell. I can even see how I was learning more and more about what worked and what didn’t on this picture – hopefully it’s not too obvious!
One of my favorite aspects of these pieces that I have made over the last few years is that they are like a journal; I can see my moods, experiences, and situations expressed over time as I moved through the creation of the image. This took me 4 months to complete – when I started this I was not in a good place. My work life was really draining and emotionally exhausting, and it took a lot out of me to get up every day and do what I needed to do. Because of this, there were periods of time where I wouldn’t make any progress because I was stumped on where the next string should go and didn’t want to figure it out. But then I started to get out of my slump, any my brain was working differently. The decisions I would make and flow I would create was changed as I changed. I love making these little decisions piece by piece that add up to the whole – but just don’t ask me to decide what to have for dinner, that is too hard.