while I might have to choose whether to download TAST 15 materials or catch my flight to CA. I had already packed an activity bag with supplies I'd need. I even prepped an 8 x 7 inch piece of Aida cloth I'd dyed by tacking down a gnarl of dye batch waste thread into a center oblique S-curve. I placed some of my dyed gauze and rug canvas roughly on the other diagonal and stitched that down, too. I was ready for whatever stitch Sharon B might send our way. It turned out to be the Oyster Stitch.
Good that I had time and beautiful space for stitching, as I had to do a lot of practice betwixt doodlecloth and project fabric. Even then I didn't quite get the knack so my oysters look mutant -- plump with texture, I'd like to think, however incorrect they may be. In a setting like the above, who minds frogging? I had a balcony with table and chairs. In addition to poolside, there were two lovely garden patios where I could choose to work in sun or shade. Gurgling fountains refreshed and soothed to the point not quite right oyster stitching could become palatable. And although magaritas are helpful, they can only aid digestion so far. I got tired of oysters and just started filling in with other stitches until I could access TAST 16 , which I did compliments of the hotel lobby computer.
Ahh, the Palestrina! More knots for texture. I've mentioned before that I often work spontaneously. This is not to say I stitch away with random abandon; I am mindful of basic design principles, and although the composition may be abstract and asymmetrical, it still requires attention to overall balance. I consider this with the placement of color, type of stitch and direction. The only thing definite about my sampler at this point is a colorway and specific stitches I want to use. If I'm lucky the piece will eventually suggest a form; in this case it wanted to become a bird so I began to create general shape -- just enough to give a hint of birdlike form. As a kid my favorite puzzles were the find the hidden object kind; freeform affords me an opportunity to share such a challenge with viewers. For myself as viewer, I prefer to look beyond the visually obvious and seek the intent, technique and methodology of the artist. I firmly believe appreciation of anything involves contemplating "the good, the bad and the ugly".
Did you experience the return of Quetzaquatl or the uncloaking of a Klingon warship? Can you sense a bird from the Painted Desert, a butterfly, or just a jumble of colored threads? In the cloth my bird is rather shaggy and made me think more of a pinata decorated with colorful crepe paper. At the very least you'll surely agree with me that it represents something festive from south of the border.
I'm getting another inkling from the sampler. Hmm, it wants to live on as a large handbag -- or tote. Obviously it's familiar with my stash collection of southwestern and Hispanic fabrics. I may have to re-do my running stitch border from TAST 17 . Add a little bling, maybe.