I thought it was time to check back in and share my "February" progress. I'm getting there, though I had actually hoped to finish this in February. Now I am trying for the first day of spring. As that is only two weeks away, it may be wishful thinking, but I'll keep working away on it. I think I am ready to work on something a little more colorful, but I don't want this one to turn into a UFO.
I'm just about ready to begin the finishing on this little bee skep. It is another Prairie Schooler design. I just need to stitch my name or initial and the date, which I think will go on the back side. I'd like to stitch over one, so we'll see how it goes. I think I can manage this one before March 21.
And then there is my poor "Mystery Sampler" which I have completely stalled on. I don't think I have picked this one up once this year, so I am hoping to pull it out and start working on it again. There's quite a lot of filling in on this section and I'm just not motivated with that house! If I can just start adding stitches, I think I can fall back into the rhythm of working on it once again.
I though you might like to see the books I received for my birthday, which I just recently celebrated.
The top book is Rebecca Stott's Samplers, which is a survey of the history of samplers from the 17th through 19th centuries both in Britain and America. "This book, written by one of Britain's leading experts on the subject, and illustrated with superb photographs of a great range of samplers from Britain and the USA, provides an ideal introduction to these amazing embroideries, for collectors, and those interested in social history and the history of art." Connecticut Needlework: Women, Art, and Family, 1740-1840 by Susan P. Schoelwer is another lavishly illustrated book with selections of needlework from the Connecticut Historical Society. There are seventy examples of needlework. With each plate is a detailed description of the piece along with its history. I'd forgotten how much I love these sorts of books. It's been a while since I've bought myself anything so nice. A good friend gave these to me. I need to get back into the habit of reading these sorts of books--I miss them.
The bottom book is not one I had come across before and was a lovely surprise. Collect Raindrops by Nikki McClure is a book of the four seasons. At first when I flipped through I thought it was illustrated with woodblock prints, but these are actually intricate paper cuts. In her introduction, artist Nikki McClure writes:
"I make my pictures by cutting away at black paper with a knife. The paper becomes lacelike and everything becomes connected. What remains is a paper-cut, just black and white. Color and texture are added later. My words are letter-pressed or cut out by hand."
As the book is on the bottom of the pile (due only to its size), I'm not doing much justice to it. You can see her work here. I might just have to go back to collecting art books!