Confusion and color and projects and more confusion...

Rainy and gray day in Durham and I’m feeling a little rainy and gray on the inside. Much less sure of what the future holds or where I’m going in my personal life. Trying not to make any big life decisions from this place of uncertainty.  It seems almost impossible that my heart could hold so much and be so tangled.

The weird thing is that this huge knot is almost completely separate from my creative life. I have so much excitement about what I’m making and my current projects. I’ve never experienced such a disconnect between the personal and the creative parts of me. Aren’t they the same thing? Aren’t they intertwined? I don’t understand!

Right now I’m working on three main projects.

Number 1: A dishcloth decorated with spirographs in happy colors! Let these happy colors wash over me and cheer up my soul!

I had forgotten how much I loved spirograghs as a child until I saw the wrist tattoo of a dinner companion. It wasn’t a spirograph, but the design was early 70s and it reminded me of those magical plastic disks and the fantastic joy I felt as I played with them… it was amazing to see what designs would come out on the page.

Number 2:  Just starting on a Phat Quarter (MrXStitch) sponsored, food-themed swap for the incredibly talented Salvaged Mutiny, a British mixed media artist and costume designer who travels the world on ship. I’m serious!  Sounds like a very cool person and her work is AMAZING. 

After much sweating and searching and sketching, I have created an image, which relates to my passion for hazard signs, believe it or not. Must nip off to the fabric shop to get my background fabric this afternoon. More to come…

Number 3:  And finally, I’m in the very early stages of collecting images and doing preliminary stitching for the Sketchbook Project 2012 as part of the arthouse coop with the Brooklyn Library of Art. I chose the theme “Writing on the Wall.” I know that I will focus on stitching text, both found and intentional. 

By Andy, China
By Erin, NYC
Friends have been very generous about sending me images of signs, graffiti and other text that they’ve come across in the world for me to collect and potentially stitch. If YOU have any images, please email them to me!! The pages and pieces will be quite small and I’m excited about the space for experimentation that this allows.

But despite all of this creative excitement and stitch-speration, my heart is all tumult. I just don’t know what to DO with all of this emotion.

So for now, I’ll just stitch.

Happily Trolling for Stitch-Speration, Raleigh-style

Ledelle Moe, Congregation

Spent a fantastic Saturday afternoon with a friend, floating around the NC Museum of Art in Raleigh, searching for "stitch-speration." I'm participating in a 2012 Sketchbook Project and working on the theme of Writing on the Wall, so this was in part to get ideas for that project and beyond.

Specifically, I was looking for uses of text in the artwork. I adore stitched text and I'm constantly seeking examples of text within other artists' work. I am also interested in finding examples of patterns or motifs, including but not limited to text, on the edges of artwork.  Sort of a liminal design... images and patterns falling of the edge of a piece. Two ongoing passions of mine: text and liminal designs. I found some lovely examples at the museum, but I was also inspired by other work and my mind is full of ideas!

The piece above is densely layered words that are virtually unreadable. I thought it would be amazing to write a confession, whether criminal or personal, and stitch it up. The terrible act could be documented and confessed, but safe within the layers of the piece. That is a New Project Idea 1.

This is a beautiful painting that has the appearance of a grid or a map. The long rectangles contain names and they are connected through a series of lines.

I'm musing with the idea of a stitched map or grid with the people or place names. I'm not sure yet what the collection of text will be the the connection between them. But this is New Project Idea Number 2.

I love the idea of giant text over a stitched portrait. New Project Idea Number 3.

And finally, outside of the text/liminal design idea, there were other images and pieces that attracted me and gave me kernels of ideas for other project. This shot of my friend through a prism gave me an idea of a way to playfully construct a portrait.

The use of thread spools to "paint" a version of the Mona Lisa made me think about stitching blocks of color to construct a bigger image. Sort of a pointilist idea, but simple and using threads. Plus it is just so freaking cool to see spools of my precious thread used like this!

Ledelle Moe, Congregation

And this stunning collection of concrete heads, arranged into a cluster on the wall, just amazes me. ("Congregation" by Ledelle Moe, 2005-2007) Each face is completely different and completely tortured, rendered roughly in the concrete yet each head also, somehow, has a delicacy of expression that is haunting. It just moves me and makes me want to play with faces and clusters.

Writing this blog post a 3:30 am, filled with ideas and energy and excitement about projects.  What an unexpectedly lovely day of absorbing stitch-speration with my friend! Now to find the time to focus on it. I know that 3:30 am is not that time, however energized I might feel by the images I saw. So back to bed for O!

Last note: I'm embarrassed to realize that I did not write down the names of the artists or the pieces I photographed, which is NOT like me at all. I couldn't find these particular pieces on the NCMA website, so I'll definitely go back soon to collect them. Terrible omission, on my part. OY!

UPDATE: Thanks to Katherine for sending me the name of the concrete head piece! Read more about it here: