Sunday, April 3, 2016

- What were you doing in 1968?

In 1968 I was an awkward twelve year old growing up in the suburbs on Long Island.  My mom was forever telling me to "put down that book and go outside for some exercise." Somehow I didn't quite appreciate going out for a walk back then the way I do now.

In addition to books, I was also into needlework ...

Patch #94: crewel wool on coarse linen
(newly dated with one strand of DMC floss)

The patch is a bit of Erica Wilson crewel embroidery from this piece (yes, I cut into it), which lived in my parents' house on Shelter Island in the frame my father painted ...


until it didn't. I took it out of the frame a few years ago after my parents had both passed away. I couldn't bring myself to let it go, but neither did I want to look at it on the wall every day. 

Making today's patch I was struck by how crunchy the cloth was and how clumsy the crewel wool. Really, I did a pretty good job considering what I had to work with. As I recall, I quickly moved on to Elsa Williams' line of crewel kits during my teens. Then to counted cross stitch and finally my own designs. But that's another story.

Still, as cutesy as the lazy daisy stitches are, they do call the blue-eyed grass to mind ...


although the prairie verbena ...


and this new-to-me wildflower are arguably closer matches with the requisite five petals ...


Of course, nothing made by hand can touch the reality of a bank of Texas bluebonnets, so I just point my camera and shoot ...



Meanwhile, the dewberry flowers are  yielding fruit ...


and the live oaks continue their pollen production ...


coating everything ...

"Not pixie dust"

So I'm back inside, enjoying the view of Don's latest (he says the largest is still a WIP) ...

Funky fish found at an antique story during the Llano Earth Art Fest

I can almost smell the salt air ...

19 comments:

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

such a botanical garden!!!!!!
and 1968?, i was 21, got married and went into Peace Corps to India.

Bluebonnet weaver said...

Todays patch is beautiful! A wonderful way to reuse a memory from your past.
As for my "memories" 1968, I'm afraid I didn't exist yet. However, I do remember being 12! When I was twelve I got my first spinning wheel... the start of a very slippery slope.

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

how wonderFULL to read that, that you didn't exist yet, how just
totally great and how i smiled such a smile and here you ARE
NOW
o this is just such a great thing!

Liz Ackert said...

I quite agree!

Liz Ackert said...

Peace Corps in India ... I'm at a loss for words somehow

Thread Born said...

In 1986 I was turning 11 (in Nov)...and that was the summer that I found out about crewel embroidery! My Mom bought me a kit with a printed pattern of owls. I followed the stitch charts and I was hooked. After that first piece, I started designing my own (cartoon) animal stitcheries. Later it was workshirts for family members (very elaborate and I still own 2 of them) and tennis hat (a small cottage industry for a while). I learned the "real" potential of embroidery in 1989 when I took a correspondence course with the National Standards Council of Embroidery. I'm back to my love today...and teaching it. And I still have Erica Wilson's tome! Thanks for stirring up some great memories!

Liz Ackert said...

I wish I still had some of my early stitching, especially my embroidered jeans. But I do still have Erica Wilson's book and actually used it recently to try some shisha after reading a recommendation online.

Mo Crow said...

1968... we were living in Peru

Liz Ackert said...

Did you get to see Machu Pichu?

Susan McQuade said...

Hi Liz...I was 12 then, too! Learning all types of needlework from my Mom. May I ask where you purchase your kitchen towels used for stitching?
Blessings, Sue

Liz Ackert said...

Sue - What did you most like learning from your Mom?

And I actually make my own linen towels ... usually repurposed from linen tablecloths. Thrift stores are a great source, too ... but I've learned to be picky about being sure there's a 100% linen label. Best of all are 100% linen men's shirts since the back is the perfect size for a towel. I pull threads to get straight cut lines, and usually do a pulled thread hemstitch.

handstories said...

Oh, that field of bluebonnets! I was in kindergarten, mad that no one was teaching me how to read. My mom used to send me outside for fresh air, too. I'd go out & walk the two blocks to the library.

Liz Ackert said...

Love this! I didn't get to go by myself until I was in second grade. Unthinkable in many neighborhoods these days. How lucky we were ...

Susan McQuade said...

Great! Thank you for the info on the towels. My Mom taught me to sew by hand and machine, crochet, knit and cross stitch. I think knitting/crocheting would be the tops. She and I spent many hours together working on projects. Hugs to you!

Mo Crow said...

no we didn't get to see much except the local area around Talara on the coast, 2 degrees from the equator & Lima

Liz Ackert said...

Crochet is the one thing I never learned (my mom said she never did either as she was the only lefties in the family)

Liz Ackert said...

Singular "leftie" ... darn autocorrect is wrong as often as it's right

Grammy Pammy said...

1968 I was studying French in Grenoble, but really there to see the Olympics. I remember our small apartment bursting with 30+ friends who we met during our adventures. Then dropped out of school to tour Europe on $5 a day. Returned to New York in May to work in the city and experience this life before going back to Boulder to finish my degree. Thank you for the memories.

Liz Ackert said...

I/we never made it to Europe ... let alone the big city. What memories you must have.

I'm so delighted to see you here on the blog, but I'll also reply via email since it's been a while since this post was published.