Thursday, January 28, 2010

Astronaut stitching in progress

In a few weeks, I'm teaching my first session of Hand Embroidery II over at the Stitch Lab. As part of the class, we'll work on transforming a photograph into an embroidery pattern. I wanted to stitch up an example for the class, but wasn't sure what picture to use. I decided I wanted something space-themed (remember the Space Geek side of me?) so I started to dig around on the Great Images of NASA web site and found my inspiration pretty quickly. It's not too hard to be inspired by the amazing wealth of images over there.

I have to admit, this is one of the most difficult pieces I've ever set to work on. It's not necessarily a complicated piece, but there are tiny details and lots of parts that need to be stitched just right so they make sense. Stitching faces and eyes is hard! Those eyelashes? That's stem stitch in one strand of embroidery floss. Sure, to the classically-trained hard core needle artist, that's nothing big, but for someone who generally sticks with basic patterns and pre-fab designs, this is a step up for me. I'm feeling a bit out of my element and intimidated and a bit concerned on how the piece will turn out.

I'm not usually this way. I'm queen of "Don't worry about perfection, just have fun!" So what's changed?

I guess I'm just looking for a challenge and wanting to see something big all the way through. I may not like to admit it, but I tend to be a shortcut kinda gal. I get fired up about something and then peter out a bit when things get tough. I'm enjoying the idea that this piece is forcing me to overcome that.

And on the subject of space - I have another adventure that is exciting and thrilling and pushing my comfort zones a bit. I'm covering the launch of STS-130 Shuttle Endeavour for MAKE magazine. I can't believe my luck, and I'm looking forward to soaking up as much fun, information and as many opportunities as possible out of the next two weeks. You can keep up with my coverage over on MAKE, Twitter and Flickr. Hope you'll come along for the ride!

So what are you doing that's challenging you these days? How are you staying motivated to keep up even when you're intimidated and feeling a bit out of your element?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

What have I made lately ......

I was hanging out with a friend over the holidays, and the conversation turned to crafting. She asked me, "So, what have you been making lately?" and I instantly thought, "Well, gee, nothing I guess."

And then I had to start thinking again. You see, I haven't been blogging much of what I've made lately, but I have actually been making loads of things. I realized that I have a whole mental list of blog posts about things I've made, and just haven't been so efficient in getting them ... posted. I kinda blame Twitter. I post loads of stuff there that I forget to formally photograph and post here. Don't hate!

I keep waiting for Google to be able to actually read my mind, take pictures of my projects and post them (it doesn't seem too far stretched for them) but until then, here's a simple list of some things I've made that I'll post more about soon:

And more - really! Just hang tight, ok? :)