Southern BBQ Review

Cribbed from a blog: This is Life! Revolutions Around the Cruciform Axis (who got it from an email someone sent him). Truly a hard thing for Orthodox viewers on a Friday, but it is delightful!

Night Flight Update

Please see the earlier post for the last photo of Night Flight. I love this design, it is an Amy Bear design and while some of her designs at least approach that “cute” category, this one does not. Please note that this is only about 1/3 complete, and will likely take me at least another year to finish. I am waiting for a design to start another liturgical embroidery project, and all other embroidery projects will once again be set aside when that comes. Of course, that depends when it comes, the last time I waited for almost a year to get the design 🙂

One of the things I love about Amy Bear’s needlpoint designs is the sheer multiplicty of stitches that she uses! That doesn’t mean I don’t “tweak” the stich used for a section if I think it neccessary, but the array of stitches adds texture and visual appeal to the project. This is NOT the needlepoint from the 1960s!

Please note that this has a companion piece, that one is called “Sunset” and is the mirror image of this piece, but the colors chosen are that of sunset, and a different palate of stiches were chosen. I will not do that project, I find the colors in that project less appealing.

Forest Update

I promised interim reports, and pictures, of this lovely shadow-work project from Berlin Embroidery. Tanja Berlin (a Canadian designer) has the most exquisite embroidery designs and what is even better – none of them are “cute”. I strongly dislike “cute”.  They are, however, beautiful, some even elegant, and are in a wide variety of techniques. Also, once you purchase one of her kits, you are free ongoing critique available – she will help you if you get stuck! All you have to do is to send her an email.

Scroll down to the earlier post to see the mounted silk organza (transparent) with design drawn on. Here is a picture of what it looks like at this particular moment in time. I think I would already be done with it if I didn’t have an index due!

The little threads you see going off in different directions are called “away knots” – except for the really long on that is simply the current working thread. One must be VERY careful as both sides are visible so you have to be especially careful in ending/beginning threads. I think this is going to be striking when done – though I have not perfected the Herringbone stitch yet. One thing is sure, when working with transparent material and the needle HAS to use previous holes, the brightest possible light is needed.

Meg asked about my working area – here is a photo of what it looks like when I am actually stitching. I do not have a single place where supplies are stored, they are stored wherever I can find room for them. I do have a table in the living room on which is stored all of the current supplies for works in progress.

Heart of a home – prayer and work

It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to have any time for needlework. It is most enjoyable while it lasts! I had forgotten how much I enjoy it and hope to be able to adjust my schedule enough once I am back to both jobs full time so I can have at least a few minutes set aside for sharp pointed objects with holes in them 🙂

What is the heart of a home? For some households it could be said that it is the kitchen, or the dining room table. For those with families, this makes perfect sense – we are taught that our home is indeed an microcosm of the Church, and of course that table around which families gather to pray and to break bread together can be the heart of the home. If it is an Orthodox Christian family, then chances are there is at least a small icon corner at which the family meets for prayer, and that is certainly another heart of the home.

But what if there is no family? What about those Orthodox households in which there is only one person? Where is the heart of the household there? The answer is even easier – though it must be stated that we are NEVER alone, which is one of the wonderful things that our Orthodox faith never ceases to remind us.

I like to think that my apartment has TWO centers, though one is vastly more important than the other. The first is, of course, my icon corner – this is where I pray, and read, and sometimes just “sits and thinks”. This is a private place within my apartment that is located outside of public view and few people ever see.

The second “center” (a loose term), is far more public and, alas, not used near as much as the more private icon corner. However, it is a very special place as well, and as all special places, there are special needs in order to make it most useful. This would be, of course, where the needlework is done – as referenced by the comment above on sharp pointed objects with holes in them 🙂 Here is a picture – and also a nice way to show off my new and quite special floor lamp!

Needlework area

Needlework area

Doesn’t look like much, does it? A wooden rocking chair, a floor-stand frame holder for those projects I need both hands for, and a brand new Mighty Bright LED floor stand with magnifier (which does a fantastic job, I might add). Why, look at all of that empty floor space? That’s good, it means it is easy to find all of those threads and other supplies that get strewn around in the process of working. It doesn’t look like a second center of my apartment, does it? Appearances can be deceptive 🙂

So tell me – here or on your own blog – what is the center of YOUR home? Is there more than one?

Forest – New Shadow work project



Forest – Start

Originally uploaded by ckostyn

This is different from any embroidery I’ve done in the past! The ground fabric is a fully transparent silk organza, and the marks are the design that I drew on the fabric. I had to put some paper underneath the fabric so you could see the design!

True shadow-work is reversable – which means that traditionally it is mounted or hung in such a way that both sides may be seen. Most of the work is actually done on the reverse side, and the colors are seen through the transparent fabric. The stitch used is a Herringbone stitche (which is basically a back-stitch) that creates the reversability of shadow-work. I suspect that this will go pretty quickly once I get the hang of it 🙂

More posts and pictures as it progresses!

Night Flight



Night Flight

Originally uploaded by ckostyn

This project has been around for longer than I care to admit. It is my “traveling” project. It tends to wait around for when I go on trips for me to work on it as it doesn’t require special tools or magnification. I intend on doing some work on this over the next three weeks and see how far I can get. It is one of two projects that will get attention before I return to work.

Update – Health

Thanks be to God, the surgery was successful and I am doing better. Thank you for your prayers in my recovery. I still have 3 weeks before returning to work, and I am finally starting to feel well enough to take advantage of the time. Thankfully no cancer, of any kind, was found, and the answer to some questions were found – and they promise I will be pain free once recovered from the surgery. I am thankful.

I cannot do much physically yet, I still have major lifting restrictions, and while I am going for walks they are still rather short. However, that leaves lots of time for needlework, reading, and other calm activities. I am so very, very thankful that chemotherapy is not included in that list! In the next post I have two pictures, but they deserve their own post.