Sampler

I have started stitching this using a big embroidery hook I have received as a gift recently. I plan on learning different embroidery stitches on this big canvas, but for now I just write a list of things our dogs love. It’s very relaxing to stitch these funny, happy thoughts in the anxious evenings when I’m too tired for anything else.

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Felting

I started this embroidery at my favorite class in the M.A. program I joined this fall. I used for the first time a needle felting machine and I was really excited to use a new technique for my embroideries. I did an outline of the self portrait, I felted the lighted parts and then I stitched the above the felting and the shadow parts. I didn’t want to use wool and I wasn’t sure if artificial fibers will work, but they did, and I’m glad I can still use this technique even if I try to avoid using animal products. It was really relaxing to do this and I like the result. It’s not perfectly similar to me physically but I do recognize myself in its atmosphere. img_5917img_5920img_5911img_5907

Relax

I was thinking today (while I have a free day and most of my to do list items for the next days are ticked off already but I still can’t really just enjoy the moment and not worry) that my most important goal for 2017 is to relax. Learn how to stop my mind, stop thinking of all the things that I could/should do and just be. I used to be good at that.

This is a new embroidery I have started, using a beautiful knitted lace an unknown woman made many years ago. relax.jpg

After almost one year

…I have finally finished this embroidery. It was a really busy year, especially in these last months. I really cherish all the quiet time I can get, but my brain has trouble stopping and just letting go of the anxiety of all the things I have to do. Embroidery always helps, so I started already a new one. I hope to finish it in less than one year :).

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This summer

I had such a good summer, full of fun, work, good thoughts, serendipity, hopefulness, crafting, walking, just being, worrying much less.

Here there are some of the things I’ve done this summer:

  • We found by mere coincidence a very nice trainer for our anxious dog Souris and he is so much better now. Before the training we couldn’t convince him to walk outside our neighborhood, he had aggressiveness issues and he would have panic attacks for different reasons. This past month and a half he took long walks in different parts of the city, interacted with humans and dogs and he really enjoyed it! His aggressiveness decreased, although he will always be suspicious towards humans. But his life is so much richer now and training him and meeting with other humans and dogs in training became a great hobby for us too. We look forward for every occasion to go walking and training with Souris. These photos were taken in the exact spot from where we rescued him four years ago, a former socialist chemical plant, now a ruin. Our trainer suggested this spot for different agility exercises and we liked the coincidence of going back there almost on his gotcha day.img_1585img_1616
  • I took two job related exams and I was quite successful with both of them. I enrolled a master degree in textile arts (as my second specialization, I graduated painting a long time ago). But having this second degree in textile arts could be useful in my teaching and hopefully it will be interesting for me. So, I’m back to school as a student in October 🙂
  • We reorganized one of our rooms that we use as a workshop and I have the pinhole photo to prove it :). It looks messy in the photo, but it is actually quite organized now. We have now a really large table for the computers, sewing machines, etc and large cupboards for our stuff. Also, we have reorganized the book shelves and now we know were to look for specific books (literature, philosophy, art, teaching related books, etc). img_0019
  • Together with my friends, we published a text in an art magazine and we prepare now  another text and art work for a different art magazine.
  • We have filmed a video in which we used the gardens that people organize around socialist apartment buildings as metaphors for how people negotiate/appropriate/share/fence off/etc. the public sphere. We have finally bought our first DSLR for this project and it is very nice to have a good camera (even if I’ll continue using my film cameras, too).
  • We have rescued 3 little kittens and with the help of the greatest cafe that also fosters cats, they are all in their forever homes now. These two brother and sister went to the same home. 13909294_10153847975553947_9043498345081988863_o13913937_10153847975408947_3950095764275990514_o
  • I have embroidered, wove and drew just for the pleasure of doing colorful things. (The case in which I keep my pencils, markers and fancy journal is a vintage beaded purse, a thrift store find my friend gave me). dscn9687dscn9669dscn9670dscn9674dscn9678dscn9681
  • I cooked creatively and that always relaxes me.
  • I took care of my health, drank more water and walked a lot.

For this fall, I plan to enjoy school and being with the kids, work on some projects, go to the forest to see mushrooms and colorful leaves at least once, read, write in my diary, send out snail mail to my pen pal, add some new pieces to my mineral collection, take many photos, relax and just be.

Leaves

Out of season, of course, but I have just finished this embroidery with autumn leaves. I have used some very old silk threads that I have found at the flea market. I would’t normally buy silk but I have made an exception for these ones. They are on some nice big wooden spools and I think they are from the twenties. I got them for extremely cheap and the woman selling them seemed surprised I’m not bargaining. The threads are very thin and very frail, it was quite a challenge to use them, as they would brake quite often. But the colors are beautiful and I liked using something that would have ended up in the garbage otherwise. DSCN0066DSCN0076DSCN0072DSCN0074DSCN0083