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i am a creative person. mother to a daughter who is an active young woman and a constant blessing in my life. i hope that you enjoy your visit here and that you will return often.

Friday, November 16, 2012

TAST/open base needlewoven picot stitch ~ the fifteen minute challenge ~ Photo Art Friday

 this week's optional theme at Photo Art Friday is to experiment with a 'digitally-edited still life'.

i found this still life within my archives. it is one that i have always liked as it's not a picture of any 'thing' it's a photo of shadows and reflections of a fork resting on a glass bowl on my kitchen table. i was making bread one morning and fell in love with how it looked.
i decided to convert it into black and white as it was mainly shadows and reflections. i then added an additional layer/shot of a manuscript that i took, converted to black and white and used as a texture layer. i cannot remember all of the percentages of opacity, etc but when i liked the way that it looked i merged it all together for a new digitally edited still life image.
what do you think? do you like the original or the digitally altered version better? can you tell me why you like one more than the other?


i was reading a post this morning by Kathie at Inspired By Antique Quilts and was given a dose of holiday reality when i read that there are only 39 days until christmas. i knew it was coming and i felt the time whizzing by but the number just totally caught me off guard.
i have a plan to keep the holidays simple. over the years we've worked at enjoying the importance of time with family and friends as we reduce the frenzied shopping hours and pare down the decorating chores. this year my wonderful daughter has requested that she not be given any gifts at all as she just wants to experiment with enjoying the holiday for other reasons. i've requested (and been granted) the compromise of only filling stockings. after all i've been working on those crazy quilted gems all year long~!~
so i shouldn't be feeling too pressured right~!?~
those stockings are coming along beautifully but they aren't finished and i'm doubting that they will be finished in time. i've worked on them faithfully, carefully placing stitches as they have been presented by Sharon of Pintangle with the TAST challenge. in the beginning, there were lots of seams and spaces to work with and as the year has progressed many of those spaces were filled. all good, except that the choices of where to place the given stitches became more limited as time went on. if the stitch didn't  seem to 'fit' my vision within one of the stockings i would work it into something else rather than compromise the stocking. so now, i'm looking at not quite finished needlework on each stocking . . .  should i just push forward and risk not being happy with the results? this alternative doesn't seem comfortable to me which leaves me with the distinct possibility of not reaching my deadline.
i'll be letting myself down as well as my family and others who have been watching them come along, including my blog readers (who have been anxiously waiting to see the finished pieces).
so i find that i must remind myself to breathe and continue moving forward without panic. so my self mantra is: they'll be ready when they're ready and they will be beautiful when finished.
my apologies to all of those i may have disappointed if i don't complete them when expected.

i have to once again report that the TAST stitch went onto a postcard in progress. i have added the stitch to the top of a very small crocheted doily. i'm only showing this much of it because i want it to remain a surprise until it is received . . .

sharon presented a stitch that is a variation on the stitch done the previous week and is called an open base needlewoven picot. it was time consuming but not quite as fiddly due to the open base of the stitch. this made it easier to weave. i also got a really good tip from Queeniepatch of Queenie's Needlework on using a small piece of paper under the 'warp' threads/stitches so that the needle tip moved more freely to do the weaving. this helped enormously~! thanks Queeniepatch.

i have seven more days of success to report for the 15 minute challenge hosted by Kate at Life In Pieces.  my work this week included the TAST stitch practice, work on a postcard, some experimental/creative mending, and one more christmas ornament for my guild's decorated christmas tree donation. 

be sure to hop over to see what everyone else is doing with this challenge.

recent gifts include:
  • in the U.S. we recently celebrated veteran's day. i am so repulsed by some of the violence and hate that i hear and see in the news and i wish that i lived in a world where it didn't exist. the reality/fact is i don't. i am a pacifist in the extreme but there are many men and women who were and are willing and able to actually fight for our right to certain freedoms (that i very much enjoy). i would like to acknowledge them with a sincere thank you for all that they have given in doing so: sometimes their very lives, their family life is interrupted, their physical and mental health is often forever changed, and the daily issues that they face are for the most part incomprehensible to me. so, yes, i have extremely ambivalant feelings on this issue but what i do know is that this country would not be the same without them and i am grateful.
  • knowing that my wonderful daughter (and friend) are coming for a few days to help celebrate the thanksgiving holiday
  • enough energy to lightly decorate the house for the upcoming holiday season
  • a morning cup of hot cocoa
  • a totally unexpected and lengthy visit from a friend who was passing through. i hardly ever get to see her and although there was some terribly heart breaking news to share we are both grateful for our long time bond of friendship.
  • the gift of laughter: hearing others laugh and being able to laugh myself is such a joy. some advice for a happy heart: really listen to those laughs. if you do, you will be unable to hold back a smile yourself.
  • the ability to help in some small way with the storm sandy relief efforts. i was able to share a package of fabrics and batting with Erin of My Patchwork Life who has organized many of us quilter's into one cohesive body. maybe you can help too? Erin is clearly one of those earth angels that we all so desperately need in our lives. THANK YOU ERIN~! 


  1. I love both images but I think I like the original best just because there is some color.
    I think we put too much pressure on ourselves. This is the thing I don't like about deadlines - even self made ones. I think you've made the right choice to not rush the completion of the stockings. I'm looking forward to the reveal and want you to, too!
    Your holiday plans sound special and so does your daughter.
    You are so good at expressing yourself. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. I love your edited version of your still life shot. The black and white really suits the image ~ it looks simple and classic! I love the addition of the text and texture too, they really add to the image!

  3. Such beautiful work, you're very talented :) I love the first edit with the script and I love the festive stitching too, it's gorgeous!

  4. Like the shadows of this fork, such mystery!

  5. I love the photo of shadows. I have several well-loved shadows here in the Wee Cottage. Many I see only in the dark of my mornings. I love how they are my own little secret treasures. Another stellar PAF!!

  6. You are SO creative! Love your still life edit!!!

  7. Lovley post Libby. We do have so much to be thankful for.
    As far as your stockings, how about using them for your family unfinished and continue to work on them. Of course, we are looking forward to seeing them...on YOUR schedule!

  8. I love your daughter's holiday plan! We are trying to get back to the true meaning of the holiday. However, I still love the decorating. And I am sure your family will love their stockings whether or not they are finished or not!
    I always look forward to the recent gifts portion of your posts. They remind me that I need to be thankful for all the little things in this life!

  9. I like the digital photo best. I love ephemera and the script behind it makes it look mysterious.
    I'm glad to hear you say you area giving yourself permission to miss your deadline if need be. It is a gift we give ourselves.
    I love the little mitten ornament! so cute

  10. I like the digitally alterered image, though both are great images. The all black and white adds a crispness that I really like.

    My Mom hangs stockings for us each year and every year adds a little bit more to them (a new pin or applique to go with whatever new stuff that is going on in our lives) Nothing says that your stockings have to be complete for you to use them this year. They'll just have more reason to look at them next year when they are done. Or maybe they are never done and you fiddle with them a little bit each year. It could be the start of a really fun tradition.

    Congrats on managing 7 out of 7. I think I need to borrow some motivation from you because mine's on the fritz.

  11. I love the original best because I see rainbows in the reflections. I am so pleased I am not the only one who love to take pictures of shadows!

  12. Oh your PAF piece is really nice. I love color but I also think the shadows stand out more in the BW version.
    I hear you about the holidays and feeling rushed and pressured. Every year I always hope to get things done ahead of time but find myself rushing as usual (I think that's just my tradition)and it all gets done in spite of my worry and fretting.

  13. ahh you're work with tast stich seems very interesting and I look forward to see more.
    your christmas ornament is lovely !

  14. Oh Libby Q! I love your heart! I'm so glad you are my friend.


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