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Monday, October 13, 2014

I'm stitching in the rain

Hello all and happy October. I know, it's been a while. I haven't been lazy, quite the opposite. For the past few months I have been working on a book that is turning into the longest book I've ever written. But, I will talk more about that in another blogpost.

Today I want to tell you about my little rainy adventure this weekend.

October heralds in many things around these mountains. Fall colors, cooler temps, pumpkins, the normal stuff. It also brings in the Harvest/Fall festivals. One of the best is held in historic Rogersville Tennessee. Rogersville happens to be one of the second oldest towns in Tennessee.....there are two, don't worry. Each year they hold an event called Heritage days. This event brings in vendors and music like many other fests this time of year. It also brings in demonstrators who showcase arts that are old but still practiced. Like fine soap making, iron working, toy making, and so on. Adding to that element of the event the Embroiderers Guild of America sets up a booth to demonstrate and teach embroidery to the passerby. And that is where I come in. Mom and I were the only two reps for the EGA available to sit and stitch this whole weekend.
Here's mom sitting at the booth we had just set up. If you look closely you can see three little pieces of embroidery near the front of the table, those were the items we were teaching.

The weekend was fun, but wet. Unfortunately this year the weather did not cooperate and decided to rain and rain a lot. But, it liked to tease as well. It would not rain, the sun would peak through a times, and it would pretend to be breaking up, then suddenly a dark cloud would come out of nowhere and pour all over everything. Since we had a lot of fiber-arts items we were rushing them to the middle of the table, covering them with towels, and waiting out the downpours.

Aside from the rain, the festival was a hit. People still came, the demonstrators still demonstrated, and the fun was still had.

We stitched all day Saturday and most of the day Sunday. Mom worked on several things, I focused on a single piece. I did a Chinese paper dragon.

I realized that two years ago at Heritage Days I sat and stitched a piece called Phoenix Dragon. Last year I stitched on my Blackwork Dragon. This year I worked on this Chinese Dragon...notice the trend. The people at Heritage Days are going to think that all I stitch are dragons.

Final assessment: We talked to a lot of people about embroidery and EGA. I taught one person to stitch. And I completed a piece start to finish over the weekend. I got to see some friendly faces that come to the fest each year. I got to meet some new friendly faces as well. I think it was a good event.

Now for some pictures... (well...more pictures.)

Above 4 pics: The festival has an art show that locals submit pieces to be included in. Three people put in embroidery, Mom, Elizabeth Smith, and me. All three of us are members of the EGA. First note the bottom right picture of the three pieces. Those are all the same pattern for a class project that all three of us participated in. Each person did theirs differently but completed the actual classwork. Second, note my nice dragon and the 2nd place ribbon next to him, yup, won again.

Above 2 pics: This is the main street of the festival. That is small, but historic, downtown Rogersville Tennessee. A quaint place to visit                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Above 4 pics: Ever wonder why they are called the Smokey Mountains? Here are some good examples. The rain caused the mountains to smoke. Between Rogersville and Morristown (where I live) there is this lovely, rustic little valley with a few farms, a few homes, some small local businesses, cows, and some short ridges of mountains/hills.  Though I was not too pleased with the rain during the event, I loved watching the effects on these old hills. This is why I tell people I live in the misty mountains.

Last is a picture I took that was both creepy and beautiful. It seemed to scream Halloween. So, I will finish with that.


Monday, September 15, 2014

And we have a winner

 Well, somebody actually guessed it. After a week of tries and a lot of clues, at the last hour, someone finally got the right answer. This honor goes to Tressa Cochran of Oklahoma who guessed Arkenstone. This piece was inspired by The Hobbit and so the center panel was stitched as the Arkenstone from the story.

This piece was stitched for a national class through the Embroiderers Guild of America. With it I sent a letter to explain the pattern.

Here's that letter. ....

Thanks for playing and I hope you had fun. Next time I do something like this I will try to not make it so hard.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Bargello Challenge Day 5

Okay, this is it, the whole thing. This last panel should really help give you a big hint about the story. Remember the title is the center panel and it is a specific item.

BIG hints today

1: The bottom right panel is a river.
2: The top right are mountains.
3: The book is a prequel to an extremely famous series of books.

Now, let's see who get's it first.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Bargello Challenge day 4

Okay, yesterday didn't garner many new guesses. I offer the day 2 prizes for today to anyone who guesses it correctly.


1: The book that this is based off of has been made into very successful movies.

2: The bottom left panel is a forest.

Okay, those are your hints for today, here's today's image. Next to the last to be posted.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Bargello Challenge Day 3

Okay, so I've been told that this is too difficult. As such I am going to be nice and set day 1 prizes starting today. Yes, that means if you guess it correctly today you get the two books, the book mark, the rose magnet, AND bragging rights.

Again, if you have a guess let me know on Facebook through a PM.

Here are some hints that I've already given out there.

1. Its not an eye of anything.
2. It has to do with fantasy.
3. It doesn't have anything to do with a book I've written.

Some new hints
1. The name is one word
2. The name for the whole piece is what is in the center.
3. The four panels being slowly revealed are the story surrounding the center.

Now for the 3rd day's reveal.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Bargello Challenge day 2

Day 2 of the challenge. One more panel has been uncovered. Click on the image to enlarge it to see if you can get a clearer picture. 

Remember, PM me your response on Facebook. 

Bonus: I'll give you a hint. It has to do with fantasy, but not one that I have written.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Bargello Challenge Day 1

Recently I took the Bargello Challenge. No, this has nothing to do with dumping any sort of cold liquid on my head. Bargello is the name of a palace in Italy, it is also the name of a style of embroidery that was made famous at that palace. I took a six month long course through my local Embroiderers Guild of America chapter called the Bargello Challenge. In it I was educated on what Bargello was, how to do it, and what it should look like. Then I was to design my own piece based on that knowledge and it had to include several different styles of Bargello, a focal point, and be harmonious as a piece of embroidery.

Okay, stitching is something I am mildly experienced at....27 years of it to be exact. But, I have very rarely designed my own work that wasn't just a sampler piece. It stressed me out at first, then I came up with a theme to follow that helped me design and stitch a piece.

Now I am going to challenge you. The piece has a border, and a five piece center that makes up the theme. It tells a story that should be familiar to many of you. I have blocked the five panels and will show them to you progressively over this week, one new panel added each day. The first person to accurately name the title of the piece will win a prize.

If you guess it on the:
1st day: You will win an ecopy of The Crystal Needle on either Kindle or Nook, an ecopy of The Crystal Needle: A Christmas to Remember on either platform,  a bookmark with my art on it, and a rose magnet designed by me. Also bragging rights for getting it on the first day.

2nd day: You will win an ecopy of The Crystal Needle on selected format, the book mark and a rose magnet. Also bragging rights, but diminished for having two days of hints.

3rd day: You will win the bookmark and the rose magnet. Also bragging rights, but severely limited due to having three days of hints.

4th day: You will win either the Rose magnet or the Bookmark (Your choice). Also bragging rights, but only if you really want to brag about taking so long to get it right.

5th day: You will win the consolation prize of a signed copy of my first, terrible, book, The Jalan Chronicles. And bragging rights, but let's be serious by now you shouldn't be bragging.

Please don't post your guesses as comments here, go to Facebook and pm those guesses to me and I will tell you if you got it right or wrong. You may only submit one guess per day, so take your time and ponder the answer.

Okay, that all said, here's the first picture. Good luck.