This weekend was one of my closest friend’s birthday. We usually spend one night a week watching Mystery Science Theater together. He has been requesting that I embroider these for him for awhile now and I have refused. Mostly because they have been done before. Also I just kept thinking that I would have to bust out the metallic floss to do them correctly and that made me want to cry. I decided to forgo the glitter floss, keep them to simple line drawings and make his dreams come true. Happy birthday, B-star! I hope I didn’t disappoint.
I have always disliked Valentine’s Day. It has nothing to do with being single, even when I have been in relationships, much to most of my past boyfriends’ relief, I have had no interest in celebrating it – mostly for the usual reasons people hate the holiday. But this year I decided to not be such a spoilsport. I made valentines for anyone who was interested in receiving one although I insisted they all be mailed. I had originally planned on making some simple paper cards but I am obviously incapable of making anything easy and before I knew it I was making valentine embroideries for everyone. I don’t really feel comfortable in the realms of cute and romantic, so I did my best but ended up with a bit of a science/anatomical/nerd overtone in most of them.
I am still trying to get all of my Twin Peaks portraits posted. So, here are the latest two, Nadine and James Hurley.
Nadine has always been one of my favorite characters, so it was incredibly fun to work on. Her hair was my absolute favorite thing I did on any of these.
I think James is by far one of the most boring Twin Peaks characters. (Sorry James fans…if there are any.) I felt like he is just such a key character, however that I needed to include him on the first round of pieces. (I feel the same was about Donna…does anyone actually like Donna?) And poor James Marshall is just a strange looking fellow, so I had the hardest time with his face.
I was really excited about how is jacket turned out. I used the same technique as Audrey’s sweater, a tightly packed modified colonial knot and finished off the sleeves with alternating satin stitches.
Here are two more portraits from my Twin Peaks Series. I am still not excited about the likenesses on these, but I am happy abut the overall results none the less.
Since I covered most of these stitches in the previous post I will spare us all the repetition.
I used packed Colonial knots again for Donna’s cardigan, but I held the knots slightly tighter than the ones I used for Audrey’s sweater.
As promised, here are two more of the Twin Peaks portraits I did for my show.
I am very pleased with the amount of detail I was able to get into these. They are currently framed in oval 8x10s. I thought I would break down how I made the pieces because that is what people seemed most interested in while talking to me at my show…well that and how long thing took and you probably don’t want me to answer that one. A long time.
Doing Everyone’s hair was probably my favorite part. I just use a simple stem stitch for all of it but I alternated with different colors and amounts of embroidery floss to get the textures.
To get the texture on the sleeves of her sweater I modified colonial knots by holding them ultra loose before pulling through the knot, then packed hundreds and hundreds of them close together.
For the organic pattern on the front of her sweater I modified a lazy daisy stitch and connected them with stem stitches. I wish I had drawn them out first. I tend to do all my detail work freehand and it was a bit stressful with this particular part.
Leland ended up being one of my favorites. I decided on White Haired Leland because I feel it is most representative of the character on the show.
So, I use a lot of modified stitches in these portraits, it isn’t so much laziness as I need to achieve a certain texture and am just let down by the classic stitches that are established.
For Leland’s shirt I used a basic long and short pattern and placed whipped chain stitch in as the stripes. I modified a long and short pattern for the jacket and used a satin stitch for the tie.
Things got a little dirty in the transportation for the show. Next time everything will get wrapped in plastic for that part, but I was so pressed for time I just didn’t get it done. But since they were a little mussed already I was encouraging those who mentioned wanting to touch to go ahead. A lot of people want to touch. Hey I understand, I am a tactile person and am always sad when I can’t touch things with interesting looking textures. Anyway I need to rewash and stretch them all before they go up at the Flightpath. I should probably go and do that now.
I decided to do these inventor portraits awhile ago. I think they are some of my favorite things I’ve ever done.
I decided on Nikola Tesla, Robert Moog, Leon Theremin and Thaddeus Cahill. It seems that many people are not so familiar with the Telharmonium but I have been fascinated with Cahill’s story for some time now.
I think researching eye color was the most hilarious part. We learn that Telsa claims to have lighted his eyes with the power of his mind and stumbled across some document by some chick with a serious Moog crush going on and on about his eyes…girls.
Before I started on these portraits I had never heard about Leon Theremin’s involvement in Cold War espionage. I was surprised to learn he had received the Satlin prize for advancement in Soviet espionage technology and his biggest coup, The Thing.
I did these all cotton/ rayon on cotton. I drew out the portraits from some classics. The majority of each piece is done with a basic chain stitch except for some detail work, like eyes.
Coming soon: Tesla vs Edison. Fight!
I’ve been working on some valances for my windows made of connected rows of these adorable cotton crocheted skulls
For some reason these are easily the most annoying pieces I’ve ever blocked. You really had to work on pinning them correctly to get the look you want on the skull’s face, its quite simple to mess up and get something too goofy.
I’ve crocheted and blocked about thirty of these skulls in varying shades of off white. I’m still working out the pattern that allows them lay correctly when they are attached. My first attempt was no good, I underestimated how much the weight of the yarn would pull down and distort the skulls. I need to create a solid top with hooks. It shouldn’t be long now
I’m very excited…I’ve decided to open an etsy shop. So, start saving your pennies to purchase my prettys. I’ll let you know when I’m ready.
I spent most of Saturday at Staple! The Independent Media Expo. A small press comic convention here in Austin. It was great. Stan Sakai and Jeffrey Brown were the guest and both of the panels were great. I happen to be a huge Jeffery Brown fan so it was fun to get to meet him. I am super shy and dorky and I totally chickened out and Chris, who is the creator of Staple, came to my rescue and I got this gem of the three of us.
I was visiting my friend Doug in Los Angeles this past week. I woke up on Saturday to realize it was Free Comic Book Day. Doug was kind enough to drive me to lots of the Comic Stores in town he knows, and a few others he had heard of. We hit up Meltdown, Secret Headquarters and HideHo Comics.
We have a really awesome comic book store here in Austin with a really nice indie selection, but I was blown away by the comic stores we went to . Especially Meltdown, which was gigantic and had an amazing selection of everything. I was especially impressed with their local mini comics and the small press stuff. I haven’t been in a comic shop that large since Chicago Comics.
About forty blocks up on Sunset we went to The Secret Headquarters. This place is tiny but beautiful…all dark wood and nice lighting, more like an old library than a comic shop. I was amazed at the amount of books they were artfully and comfortably able to cram into their small little space. Plus, did I mention that it was mostly European and Small Press Titles? I was really impressed, really.
I found the parking signs at Hideho amusing.
Instead of just being happy with my free comics. I went out of my mind buying tons of comics that I could not afford. I suppose that is part of the point.
“So, Jennifer, what did you do in L.A.?” “Oh, I bought comic books for a week…and ate.”
Here is a small glimpse at what I got…
I hope you got your free comic books this year.