Saturday, November 25, 2017

Christmas Ornament Reveal

As we have for years, we celebrate Thanksgiving with my parents and then, in the same visit, also celebrate Christmas.  That means it's now time for the Christmas ornament reveal.  

I always planned to make something for each of our children, but earlier this year I was at a needlepoint shop when they had a trunk sale.  There it was: a Xavier University ornament.  My father-in-law is a Xavier alum and it seemed to be a sign.  I had to stitch it for him.  Well, if I was going to make something for him, then I had to make something for my mother-in-law.  And heck, if I made something for my in-laws, I should make something for my parents, too.  That impulse shopping meant I had a flurry of stitching ahead of me.

Well, my eldest didn't get an ornament per se.  She's busy as an investment banking analyst and that leaves little time for Christmas decorating.  I stitched a small tree for her to set on a shelf so she can have a bit of Christmas spirit at home.  It's a little more than an inch thick and can stand on its own.

The tree is stitched in Alternating Mosaic.

You can guess what my son loves on all his sandwiches.

I stitched the bottle with a thread that has a bit of a sheen to resemble a glass bottle.

No surprise as to why my youngest got this ornament.  She's having a great freshman year.

The words Fighting Irish are stitched with a metallic thread
My mom got this chickadee ornament.  I loved the stylized bird with a minimalist twist.  Unfortunately, she's having a hard time deciphering the image.  Bummer.  Do you see it?

The berries are beads and the background is stitched in Alicia's Lace varation.
I made this one for my dad.  It's a "stash buster", the kind of thing you can stitch using what you've already got at home.  Thought it's hard to see, the background is a pretty metallic blue.

I'm heading out for a visit with my in-laws on Tuesday, so I plan to take these along.  Hopefully they'll find a spot on their Christmas tree.

The sign: I never thought I'd find a Xavier University ornament on the East Coast.
I'm hoping this Bethlehem scene will appeal to my mother-in-law.

And, finally, here's the stocking I stitched for our own tree.  Once our children take all their ornaments with them, our tree will look bare - - unless I get busy making some for us to keep.

Probably no surprise why I made this one for us.
Yep, it's actually a stocking!
And now it's time to get moving on something for my husband's birthday.  Fingers crossed I can get it done.  SHHHH!!!!!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

What would you include?

I'm prepping for my Object Out Loud: Arman and Nick Cave tours at the KMA:   public tours and stroller tours.  The latter are designed for caregivers with children under 18 months old.  The museum opens up early on a designated Friday once a month for these tours; the second in the "series" is happening this Friday.

Why do I call it a series?  Well, there's a chance that someone returns a second time.  Maybe because they like the exhibition.  Maybe because they want to get out of the house for adult conversation.  Whatever the reason, there are usually three stroller tours per exhibition and I have to be prepared to lead three different, but complete, tours, so that the material is fresh for any repeat visitor, but still captures the exhibition for someone who only comes once.  It's a challenge I enjoy.

The first stroller tour was about identity.  The identity of the artists themselves.  The identity of the visitors.  For example, you can see the influences of their respective identities in what the artists have created.

Arman (among other things):
  -- an immigrant
  -- a French-American artist
  -- an activist making statements about materialism post-WWII
  -- a music lover

Nick Cave (among other things):
  -- a black man in America
  -- an artist whose start was in fashion and design
  -- a "messenger" focusing on civic responsibility
  -- an artist pondering the past, and new future, of objects

And here's a fun thing to consider: if you had to use objects to identify who you are, what would you choose?  What objects do you think help to celebrate and capture some or all of the aspects of who you are?   Here's how Arman and Cave have shared some of their self-reflection -- and statement making -- through their art.

Arman, Robot Portrait of Arman, 1992
In exhibition
Nick Cave, Hustle Coat, 2017
In exhibition