Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted

I'm a big fan of the Assassin's Creed video game series. I used to find running along the digital rooftops of Italy as calming as stitching (y'know, back when I had time to play involved video games and work on big embroideries), so it was natural to combine the two into one geeky, crafty project.

I started this project back in early 2011. To give you an idea of the size of the emblem, it's hung in an 8" hoop. My original idea was to satin stitch the whole thing in white for a sleek, textured effect. After an inch or two of stitches, though, I realized the logo was too big, and there would be saggy bits. No good.

So, I scrapped that idea, but not the whole project. I'd been dabbling in acrylic paint around the time, so I got the idea to paint the logo onto the fabric, then embroider on top of it. I was inspired by Ezio's (the protagonist of the second series of AC games) color palette, and opted for burgundy paint and silver thread.

I couldn't just stop at outlining the emblem. Oh, no. I wanted this to be something truly special. So, for the first time, I experimented with freestyle embroidering.

Hundreds, maybe thousands of tiny, meticulous stitches went into this. It was both wonderfully meditative, letting the stitches take my fingers where they wanted to go, and pretty annoying, as metallic thread is damn finicky. It got so bad I put the project down with only about three inches on one leg to go, and didn't pick it up again for over a year.

I resuscitated the project in the ninth month of my pregnancy, as I was tying up loose ends on my crafting projects. It only took me a couple of evenings to complete, including mounting it in a silver-painted hoop.

After all that work, there was only one thing I could do with it: give it away. I gave it as a Christmas gift to my brother, the one person I knew would truly appreciate it, both as an Assassin's Creed fan and as an artist. The look on his face was priceless.

When I have time, I'm planning on experimenting again with freestyle-stitched, mixed-medium embroidery. I could probably do with a little meditative crafting these days!

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Best Reason for Not Blogging

My baby boy Vincent. Born December 13, 2012 in Oakland, CA. He's now over a month old.

Not much time for blogging--or crafting, or writing, or anything else--when you're trying to get the hang of an entirely new way of life: diaper changes, round-the-clock feedings, obliterated sleep schedules. 

I admit it, this has been the hardest month of my life. I wouldn't have made it if it weren't for an incredible network of family and friends that rallied around my husband and I to offer tons of love, support, and hot meals. I now understand that saying, "it takes a village to raise a child." It's really, really true.

It's all been so very worth it, though. I love my little man like I've never loved anyone before. It's amazing to watch him develop slowly from an eat-sleep-poop machine to a human being. Sure, it's only been a month, but in that time he's come so very far. All of us have. I've gone from feeling like a terrified newbie into feeling like, well, a Mom. 

Here's to the first month, and to many, many more, my boy.