Monday, January 23, 2012

Waterlogged Ink Circles - an Update

Waterlogged, as in, will it EVER stop raining? Okay, I shouldn't complain, what with the rain deficit we had again this past year, and the fact that this time last year, we were still talking about the snowpocalypse. But wow, it really just hasn't stopped for days, and Saturday, when a few of us headed to Callaway Gardens for an exhibit put on by the EGA, the storms that came through were absolutely horrendous! I have no idea how much rain we got Saturday, but I can tell you, I drove through ALL of it, and parts of I-85 were a complete white-out from torrential rain. Not to mention the lightning that was breaking all around us. And also, rumor has it there were also a couple of tornadoes spotted down by Callaway, and some people at the school & exhibit were forced out of rooms and into the halls, but no one said anything to us, whatever room we were in at the time. Hmmm....

So 3 of us, Kris, Diane and I, headed to Callaway, despite the weather, and after a very tense 2 hour & 15 minute drive, most of which was done fairly blindly, we arrived. As I expected, no pictures were allowed of the exhibit, so you'll just have to take my word for how amazing nearly every piece was. We were told pictures were posted on FB - but I don't know by who, because I couldn't find them. At any rate, there were some AMAZING canvas pieces - two on black, with dragons, wizards, and castles, done with gold and other fibers, were immediate stand outs, as was a neutral-on-neutral piece that had black suede matting around it that I voted as my favorite :) There were not nearly as many pieces of cross stitch as I had hoped - I get the distinct impression (or maybe confirmation of my suspicions) that the EGA still thinks of XS as the red-headed step child of the needlework world; now I really wonder what they would have thought of my MTM if I had gotten it entered? Though, even after seeing everything there, I am still not sure what class I would have been correct to enter that in - counted cross stitch, or counted thread, since there ARE specialty stitches in it?

One of the great pieces of cross stitch that WAS there, was a piece that had NYC landmarks - one of the bridges, what I assume was St. Patrick's Cathedral, the Statue of Liberty, a firehouse. And the Twin Towers were in the background, only their outlines done in grey. It was a great piece, absolutely huge - had to have been 2 1/2-3' tall, probably 18" wide, without the frame.

There were a LOT of beaded pieces there - jewelry, beaded bags, dimensional beaded art. I was surprised there was that much, I wasn't aware that bead weaving fell under EGA interests at all. The Best In Show was a beaded piece, with a story behind it of the artist's Scottish heritage, a tartan done in beads, with other Scottish elements included in the piece. No point in trying to describe it - without a picture, it just wouldn't translate well. Certainly well beyond my meager beading abilities....

There was also a biscornu tree, which was a pretty clever idea to display those - all sizes, from tiny quarter-sized ones, to ones as big as grapefruit. Again, I wish I had pictures available :(

We all did some shopping there, too - they had a boutique that had a LOT of fibers I had either never heard of, or had definitely never seen before, as well as piles of painted canvases, and lots of counted canvas charts, which I was forced to choose one from :) Diane & I both got a From Nancy's Needle chart, though neither one could be fully kitted from the available fibers, but we're both close. And Kris got a small canvas and picked out some gorgeous blue threads for it. I did have the book for Nova in my hand for a moment - but I regained my sanity and put it back :) I could have completely lost my mind in the book store they had, too - they had 3-4 books on Temari alone that I would have liked to have acquired - because I need yet another needle-related addiction, you know...

We even went into one of the classrooms of the school - we were all gawking in one of the windows, and the instructor, Carol Lake, waved us in, and told us a little bit about the wonderful piece she had brought for her class, and how everyone had chosen different colorways for it. The yellow one that one of the ladies was doing just drew my eye immediately - and I don't DO yellow; it was gorgeous! One of these days, I'll get to go do something like that!

The weather gave us a brief respite as we were ready to go - so we drove a bit further south to the Callaway Country Store, where we did a little more shopping (I scored pepper jelly & salsa, of course). THERE I finally took a picture :) Then we headed back, and were lucky to finally see blue skies again as we got back into civilization, though it was still cloudy up by home when we got there (after a brief detour to JoAnns in search of DMC perle, which they didn't have). But at least it was DRY for 90% of the trip back, and no one had to drag us out of a ditch, because it was pretty hairy going down. My hands STILL hurt from gripping the steering wheel so hard....

So onto the Ink Circles portion of this update, since there were TWO Ink Circle starts this week, not just one :)

First, the start on my Growth Rings, in BEADS :) Yeah, not the fastest process in the world, but I really do enjoy it, and though I KNOW this won't be done this year, I will enjoy every single bead I put on it, I know. Here's what it looked like about 45 minutes in:

And here's where it was last night, after a busy week and not as much time on it as I had anticipated:

I am sorry to put this up this week - but I have other things to get to, as well, so away it goes.

And before I get to the other start, I have a finish - Yellow Santa was darn close to done when I left the IHOP on Tuesday, so he got some attention during lunch on Wednesday & Thursday, and a quick finish & embellishment on Thursday night, and viola, he's done! I WILL make the gingerbread man stay UPRIGHT when I do the final finishing :)

Here he is, pictured next to the larger Red Santa (14ct, 18ct, and the Blue one will be on 22ct):

So on Friday afternoon, during a conference call, I started Fireweed :) LOVE Carrie's silks! And I haven't even gotten to the purple one yet :) Most. Productive. Call. EVER.

As a last item, I thought I'd throw in a little stash report; the items I bought at the exhibit on Saturday were joined last week by my PTP Mini Sampling of the Month for January, which just so happened to include that great purple that I want for Sparkly Hummingbird, if Rose at Faery Fire can re-create that on Jobelan. And then, Cecilia's had 40% off the remaining stock of Primitive Needle; it seems Lisa's family has decided to not continue offering her designs, so I picked up a couple of small pieces, both of which came with the fabric and inside little bags - cute little kits.

This week, hopefully a chance to dry out, though we are getting pounded again today, and there were tornadoes reported in Alabama last night and this morning - but they still say there'll be sun tomorrow, so we'll see. Since I have put Growth Rings away, I will get out Anne's London, and work on that dome. As soon as I get that done, it will get sent west, and Tuscany will finally come out for its start. I do have to say that, after seeing all the canvas work at the exhibit, Rainforest Crunch is realllyyyy yelling at me, too - it's companion was there :) I am planning to take Fireweed to the IHOP Tuesday night, and we also have our monthly PINS gathering this coming weekend! Of course, we are also turning on a new piece of software at work this coming weekend, with any luck, so this week will consist of lots of testing, gnashing of teeth, and pulling of hair, as we work out the last bugs - and hopefully NOT discover any new ones! I will be glad to get this DONE - it's been a long time coming....

On that note, Happy Stitching to everyone!


Susan said...

WOW! What a great weekend. Sorry that the drive was miserable. I drove through rain like that once and I still tense up thinking about it. Growth Rings is going to be amazing when you finish it Love the Santas and congrats on the finish. Good luck on the testing this week.

Joysze said...

Holy schmoly, Karen!! Those beads are AWESOME. I think you should stop stitching on everything else and just work on this one. ;)

Rain... I love the rain, but only if I'm staying at home. WIPs look great!!!

Linda said...

Hi Karen. I have been reading your blog for quite a while and just became a follower. Your stitching is awesome. I so enjoy your blog. I love the red and yellow santas and was wondering who the designer is.


Kate said...

Lovely beading. Congrats on finishing the Santa. Glad the weather improved for your trip home.