Monday, March 21, 2011

Contest results are in! (commence jumping up and down in 3 ... 2... 1...)

CMP ATC - December 2007
(that's an ATC I made years ago! Figured y'all have the Moon embroidery burned into your skulls by now)

More than a year ago, I worked the first stitches on my high texture hand embroidery of the Moon. It traveled with me across the country, and kept me inspired and busy for many months and thousands of stitches. Last fall, I entered it in the Etsy/NASA Space Craft contest and was overwhelmed by the generous support and kind words from readers, crafty friends, space geek friends and folks I'd never known before. On Friday, a group of incredibly impressive judges gathered at Etsy Labs in Brooklyn and judged the finalists in the contest.

High Texture Hand Embroidery of the Moon

We were told we'd find out the results sometime today, which meant there was much fretting and wringing of hands over the weekend (ok, just some nervous wondering). Then came the news: I had won the prize for best 2D Original Art. I was honored and humbled to be recognized, especially given the gorgeous pieces of art in my category.

Initially, I was a little bummed - for a couple of reasons (hear me out). First, two of my good Space Tweep art friends, Jen Scheer and Catherine Baker, hadn't won. We'd all been cheering each other on for months, and so I was sad that we weren't able to pull in a Space Tweep Sweep and all get to celebrate.

I also thought that only the Grand Prize winner would have the opportunity to have their work (or a photograph of it) flown on-board the space shuttle, and really ... that was all I cared about. Gift certificates to Etsy are awesome, but mostly I wanted to see my embroidery make its way in to space - where I've wanted to go since I was a kid. Jen pointed out, though, that the announcement article mentioned that all winners' work had the potential to fly on-board the space shuttle. (silly me and my skimming!)

So ... WOW. You guys ... just ... wow. There's a decent chance my embroidery will actually fly on-board the space shuttle

My first crater! (a.k.a. My First Buttonhole Wheel Cup)

I'm just - well I'm speechless to be quite honest. And I've been talking up this Moon project for so long, I'm sure a lot of you are sick of hearing about it! But thank you - thank you for sticking around, for the support and kind words and voting, for blogging, for the interest in embroidery and space and for creating a creative community in which works like this can blossom.

The hardest part of all of this was saying goodbye to my embroidery. I packed it up (in GOBS of bubble wrap) and shipped it off to Brooklyn for the event, knowing that the only way I'd get it back was if I didn't win. So just as I started to jump up and down and celebrate winning, I got a bit of a letdown to know that I'll not ever have the embroidery back in my possession again. I don't have all the details yet on where it will end up, for how long, who will be in charge of it, what will happen to it after it's been on display (or flown) and so I have a bit of heartache tonight, too. This was one of my first pieces of true, honest-to-goodness, pour my heart and gut and soul and everything in to, art piece. I spent hours upon hours with this piece. I had conversation after conversation over it. I shared excitement and information with people over it. I had quiet time alone with it. It was a huge piece of me. And now it's ... gone. Not GONE gone, but just not here with me. And that's harder than I thought it was going to be.

Stitch in Public day!

But I'm still hugely thankful, and excited to find a way to get out to Florida for the launch. I didn't win the trip out there, but I'm already working on a way to afford the trip out so I can see my artwork launch. And believe me, I'll take every word of support, every wish for winning, every good thought/vibe/love you all have sent over the last few months, with me.

Thank you. No other words say it better. Just Thanks.


  1. wow! that is so exciting! Congratulations, what an honor!! That is phenomenal!!

  2. What an amazing achievement!! Huge congratulations to you!

  3. Congratulations Rachel! I have always been in awe of this amazing piece.

  4. A massive WELL DONE!

    You so deserved to win this as it is the most amazing piece of work.

    How exciting to think that a piece of your work could go up into space! Tremendous!

  5. I just saw the Etsy annoucement, congratulations!! That is so, so awesome and very well deserved!

  6. Yay ... from the first time I saw this embroidery it's been on my mind!! Congratulations!! What a blast (off) xx

  7. Congratulations! What a huge honor!

  8. Sweet Rachel, I couldn't be happier than i am hearing this fantastic news. But I so completely understand your pain at the thought of never seeing your work again. I would be just as blue as you are.

    I mean the least they could do would be to give it back after the flight - I mean there will be space dust all over it!

    You so deserve this, Rachel. What wonderful news today. xoxox

  9. You deserve every bit of praise being heaped upon you. Your stitching is amazing!


  10. Thanks so much, y'all! I really appreciate it. :)

  11. Just read my daily Craft magazine email - delurking to say this is the coolest thing ever! Congratulations:-) It's beautiful - it would be great if it ended up on display at the NASA near Houston.

  12. Congratulations! As an astronomy buff and a stitcher, they couldn't have picked a better peice - I am very happy for you and hope you get to the launch.

  13. I want to say congratulations I am tickled pink for you and well done!

  14. Thanks, y'all! And, SharonB, I want to give an extra special thanks to you. Your class, blog and support were all major driving forces behind this piece. THANK YOU! I can't wait to take another class once we are moved into the new house and settled. :)

  15. Congratulations, Rachel!!! Too cool for school!!! A little piece of your heart may make into space- gah! I'm in awe of your artwork b/c I know zero about this type of embroidery, let alone who to manipulate it to such a high level!! Incredible.

  16. Yaaaaaaaay! I voted for your piece :-) :-) Mega-Congratulations!

  17. Congratulations! Glad to see my vote went to a winner.

  18. What an amazing piece of embroidery! Of course it won. Congratulations!

  19. Sorry to be so late in checking in but WOW! I'm so excited and happy for you. Your piece was too good to not win your category and now it gets to make the big trip!
    I hope you can make it out for the launch.


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