Saturday, November 13, 2010

Space + Craft (still) = Awesome.

All the photos in this post were taken by my good friend
and all-around awesome human being,
Jote.


UPDATE!

Apparently there was a glitch in the way Etsy pulled tagged entries for the contest, and it turns out that now my embroidered Moon is up for voting! Go vote and tell your friends! Thank you so much!

This should have been a different post. I'd hoped I'd be posting a request for help to vote for the embroidery I created above for a chance to help it possibly fly in space. A few weeks ago, NASA and Etsy announced their Space Craft contest. My heart started beating out of my chest as I read the contest details, which include a possible opportunity to have your handmade item fly in space on board one of the final space shuttle flights. (heck - is wasn't just a high heart rate I experienced. When I read the part about flying the object in space, I got totally choked up!)


This is my high texture hand embroidery of the moon that I entered in the contest. I'll fill you in on the specifics of the project soon and will share some great space and embroidery resources as well. What I'd hoped I'd be doing this weekend was spreading the word far and wide that I'd made it to round 2 of the contest where folks would have the opportunity to vote for their favorite space-inspired hand-made item. I won't lie, while I wasn't arrogant enough to think I might win this whole thing, I did feel confident I would at least make it to the voting round, and I was prepared to work my backside off to spread the word for voting. My good friend, Becky, even helped me make a nice little video giving some insight into why I was so passionate about the contest. Maybe I jinxed myself, but hey - when you want something badly, you want to "bring it" and I was fully prepared to "bring it" in a big way.

Space + Craft (still) = Awesome (even if I didn't make the vote cut)
from Rachel Hobson on Vimeo.
(ignore the "vote for me" portion of the video ;) Thanks, Becky! )

I was not prepared to not have the chance to bring it. And when the voting opened last night, and I quickly realized I hadn't made the cut ... I was crushed. I commiserated with good friend and fellow Spacetweep, Jen, whose amazing needle felted Hubble Space Telescope also didn't make the cut in her category, and there were several very kind people on Twitter who shared some lovely words about my embroidery. That helped, but I have to admit I was very disappointed and deflated.


It wasn't just the opportunity to "win" a contest I was excited about. Absolutely, I was thrilled (to tears) about the idea of something I made flying in space, but more than that, I was excited for the opportunity to share my two biggest passions - space and craft - with a wider audience. I was excited to share resources with people, get folks who might not be fired up about space to get interested in it and to hopefully inspired people who would never consider picking up a needle and thread to do so. I was excited about the chance to connect and share with more people.

I decided I needed to lay off the social media early last night, and started to watch a great documentary on the Apollo program instead. As I watched, my heart filled with excitement once more and I was reminded why I spent so much time on this project; why I stitched craters until I had calluses on my fingertips, why I took the piece with me everywhere I went so I could stitch at any given opportunity, why I delighted in sharing the subject matter with anyone who was gracious enough to ask about it.


It wasn't because of the contest, it was because of the Moon. And space. And embroidery. And the pure joy that these things bring to me. And I can't let what a random handful of judges think of my work keep me from loving these things and sharing them with other people.

And so that's exactly what I'm going to do. Over the next few days, I'll be sharing more background information on this project. It was my most massive embroidery undertaking to date, and I fell madly in love with it. I'll share information about the class in which I started the project, some of the stitches I used, some of the threads I used and more information about the moon and why I love it so much. I've also set up a page of embroidery and space links in case I've inspired anyone to explore these two passions of mine. If you have any questions about either subject, just let me know and I'll do my best to answer them in the follow up posts.

38 comments :

  1. This is super super fantastic! I can't believe it didn't get in. As a lover of both space and craft also, I was super bummed that the contest wasn't open to Canadians. We love space, too!

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  2. Rachel -

    This is one of the most beautiful, interesting, breathtaking pieces of art I've ever seen. Seriously. Love, love love it.

    xo Emily

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  3. OMG Rachel, I love this embroidery SO much it almost stopped my heart! You've outdone yourself. I just want to touch it and see all the details. It is truly awesome and a labor of love, one can tell all the way from outer space (ehrm, I mean Sweden). :-)

    Take care!

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  4. That is so amazing!!! I totally would have voted for you!

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  5. Rachel, I can't begin to find a word that encompasses just how fabulous a piece of art this is. The stitching is incredible!!

    That stinks that you didn't make it past the first round -- I absolutely would've voted for you. You should consider submitting the photos and backstory to some magazines -- you never know who's going to say "yes" =).

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  6. Hello! Rachel,
    This is my 1st visit to your blog & my mouth just dropped open as soon as that beautiful moon popped up on the screen! Then as I moved on & read your post, I could not believe you didn't make it--wow, too hard to fathom--even tho this is my 1st time to your blog I would have voted, honestly!! I'm touched by your enthusiasm for both embroidery & space & felt your excitement and then disappointment :( so sorry!
    But I'm so glad to have found your blog that's for sure--and I agree with Glenda's good point regarding to submit it elsewhere.
    Take care & I look forward to more of you & your blog :)
    Valerie

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  7. It's an amazing embroidery piece, I'm sorry it didn't make it to space, but it will stay here on earth, inspire us & remind us of the awesomeness of space.

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  8. This is an amazingly beautiful piece, even before you realize what it is, and even more after! Don't worry, we're all over the moon for your embroidery work!

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  9. D'Wanna WhitenerNovember 14, 2010 at 11:32 AM

    Your moon embroidery is sooo beautiful! I can't believe it didn't get in. If the ones who got in were better that this, they had to have been really something. I would totally vote for your moonscape!!

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  10. This has totally inspired me to try embroidery -- which I have never done -- so thanks for the links! :)

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  11. Thanks, y'all! I really appreciate the support. Still a bit sad about not even making the voting round, but I'm doing my best to find the silver lining. :)

    Sarah - when I get down to Houston, I'll totally do an embroidery lesson/night with you if you want. :)

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  12. They made the wrong decision if you ask me. You'll always be our number one stitchy space cadet! :)

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  13. Oh, my dear. The whole thing with contests is, they're pretty subjective. We never have any control over who's judging and what preconceptions they bring to the judging process.

    I sincerely believe that this beautiful piece of yours has an incredible life awaiting it. There's too much heart and skill in it for it not to find its proper place in the universe. One day in the future, I think you'll find yourself saying, "Thank goodness I didn't win that contest!"

    XOXOXOXOX

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  14. I would like to let you know that your blog page is now circulating widely through the NASA community as a source of inspiration. It is so exciting to hear of your enthusiasm for space and exploration. Thank you for creating such a lovely piece of art and continuing your interest and passion in spaceflight!!
    -A NASA engineer

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  15. Wow! Thank you so much, NASA engineer! That makes my heart so happy. Being able to combine these two passions and share them with others is about the best thing I could ever hope for. That anyone in the NASA community gets to see it and appreciates it is just thrilling. Thank you so much for your comment. :)

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  16. Rachel, it's a gorgeous piece of work, I love it. And yay you for not being too disheartened by the contest rejection. It's just the way it is with art - we need thick skins for sure but it still smarts each and every time.

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  17. Rachel this is not just impressive but one of the prettiest pieces of stitching I've seen - ever! I love the finished project so much, the texture the subtle colours - everything! And it really truly has a moonlike feel to it. It's proof-positive that our best projects come straight from the heart, passion unlocks the real essence of creativity. I'm sure you won't mind if I link to this genius piece - you're amazing! Jx

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  18. wow. wow. wow. Your dedication to this work of art is astounding and completely inspiring!!! It is just unbelieveable to look at - freaking gorgeous. I'm so stuck on those up-close shots -whoa. I'm glad you're reflecting on what creating it meant to you - and walking away from the contest with that very passion still tucked in your pocket! (hope the packing is going well!)

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  19. @Joanie - Thank you so much for those sweet words! They mean the world coming from a fellow stitcher. :) Of course, you are welcome to post/link to this project. I'm very flattered and grateful. Thank you.

    @Daisy Janie - thank you so very much! That's how I felt when I was working on it - I would just get lost in those close-up bits. It was so much fun. :)

    Thanks, Y'all! :)

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  20. Also - I have to share this beautiful comment from my mom. She reads my blog via email, and replied with this lovely thought. I asked if I could share it and, thankfully, she said yes. Embroidery rules, and so does my mom.

    "I know that life is just like your embroidery - a stitch at a time, sometimes following a pattern and sometimes random, choosing threads we think will go best together, ripping those threads out and starting over, and then finally, one day, it becomes our masterpiece."

    Eesh, I love that woman! :)

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  21. You were robbed! I would have voted for your work over what I saw on Etsy!!

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  22. Saw your piece on the CRAFT blog and just had to come read the full story. Your piece and your story is very inspiring and perhaps since it is circulating around NASA now, you'll get the recognition your deserve. Well done!

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  23. This is a beautiful piece and totally deserved to make it through to the voting round. However, if it's any consolation, it's getting huge exposure now through CRAFT and twitter, possibly more than it would have received in the competition. Congratulations on a job well done!

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  24. Hi there!! I'm also visiting for the first time after seeing a picture of your amazing piece of art on Mr.XStitch.

    It is beyond beautiful. I just looked at it for the longest time. Every time I blinked my eyes feasted on some new detail I'd missed. It really is one of the most beautiful works of art I've ever seen.

    I'm so sorry to hear it didn't make it in the contest! I went and looked at the other submissions thinking the competition must be pretty tough and i was a little... umm, dismayed? Art really is in the eye of the beholder, because there are some works up there that... umm, I'm trying to find a nice way to say they look like they were done for a school project ~_~?

    Any who, I just wanted to say, that not only are you an incredibly talented woman and craftress, but you're an inspiration as well.

    Best wishes,
    Christine
    ~BC, Canada

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  26. This is amazing. I think this one is etsy's loss. This is truly beautiful and I can understand why you'd want to spend so much time on it...it shows as well. The moment I saw the link on craft I clicked into it. Usually I don't watch the videos but I decided to give it a shot, half way through I was digging around etsy to find where I could vote. :( I'm sharing this with my fiber arts class at the University of Washington. Again, great work. I understand the letdown but you have an absolutely breathtaking piece.

    <3
    Laura

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  27. Rachel, it is because of the Moon and space and love of embroidery and the gift you bring others that touches my heart this morning. Your work is more than stunning, it is out of this world (sorry, no pun intended). I look forward to following your work and seeing where the Moon Spirit takes you.

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  28. I love what you did, just brilliant! If I was one of the judges...

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  29. This is just awesome, and your subject matter lends itself to the textures you have created. To me this should have won.

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  30. aww Rachel - it is a shame your piece didn't get through to the voting round, because it is truely awesome and beautiful x

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  31. I think it is beautifully awesome and it deserves to be seen by millions not just by a couple of astronauts that go up there every few years. Keep up the beautiful awesome work, just gorgeous!

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  32. Your piece is just spectacular - obviously a labor of love, but also a work of art. I'm bummed you didn't get into the voting round too, as you definitely deserve it. I really appreciated your being so honest about being disappointed by the outcome. I entered a contest a few months ago for hand knit socks and I really thought I had a great entry, and when I didn't win I was also really bummed and disappointed. I've let these disappointments destroy my love for a project on occasion. It takes a lot of love for your work not to let the disappointment ruin your joy in the work, and I was so encouraged by how well you did with that. Thank you for this wonderful post.

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  33. Amen to all the comments. It is beautiful.

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  34. Thank you all so much! I'm overwhelmed with the positive response, and I truly appreciate all the kind words. :)

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  35. I love it --- my love of space AND embroidering comes from my dad an aerospace engineer who embroidered a doll blanket for me

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  36. Thanks, everyone! It turns out there was a glitch in how Etsy pulled entries for review in the initial round of the contest, and now mine has been listed as a semi-finalist and is open for voting! You can read more about it, or just head straight to Etsy to vote (you'll need to be a registered Etsy user, but it just takes a minute). Spread the word if you like. :)

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  37. I voted for ya, Rachel! And thanks so much for the awesome class tonight! I totally can't wait to start on my next project. :)

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  38. Words can't express the beauty of this piece. AMAZING!

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Thank you so much for your comments! I read every single one of them. I do my best to respond when I can.

Have fun and be nice! :)
XOX
Rach