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This much I know!

Our house is coming along, I finally feel connected to it, it seems like it may be the place we will live in. All the drywall is completed, next week they will begin putting in the wood floor and the tiles. Here are some of my choices for tiles:
This tile is called Puzzle. It is a cement tile and has a earthy look to it.  It comes in boxes with 6 different tiles as shown in the photo below. Then you lay them out in whatever design you want. You can see a sample of a dining room with the these tiles. They will be in the area between the wall of cabinets and the island, sort of like an area rug. 

The bathrooms are going to have white tiles. I had all sorts of plans for color but somehow price and area constraints led me to white. We will have pattern though. The photo below is of the wall tile. The tile is a chevron shape so we will play with the options shown in the photos below.

The powder room will be more dramatic. I am going with a cement tile, (a leaf pattern), and will paint the walls in a dark aubergine or dark blue. The faucet is the one shown below.

The other item I am excited about is a piece of furniture for the kitchen/dining nook. This will be alongside the modern kitchen cabinets we chose, and will give the kitchen a warmth and interesting vibe.

So, that's what I know so far.


"Saudade", melancholy.

There are times when you should not say a word. Just let the artist speak:

Joana Choumali writes:

The pictures were shot with my iphone, 3 weeks after the terrorrist attacks I chose to use my iphone instead of my DSLR camera to capture people discreetly. They don' t know that they are photographed, so their attitude is natural. I took the pictures as if i was doing a scan of the city.
It took me one month to embroider the pictures as i was sick with malaria and also "sick of all this nonsense"..
This series is a way to cope with my own sadness and a way to witness the (denied) traumatism of people living there.
Bassam is my refuge, the place i go to unwind and to be by myself. At one hour drive from Abidjan, Bassam is a place full of history, a quiet and peaceful little town. Bassam reminds me of insouciance, my wedding family lunch, all these childhood sunday afternoons i used to spend with my loved ones on this same beach where the attacks took place.. To me, Bassam was a synonym of happiness, until that day.
3 weeks after the attacks, the atmosphere of the little town changed.. The sadness is everywhere. A "saudade", some kind of melancholy invaded the town.
Most of the pictures show empty places, and people by themselves, walking in the streets or just standing, sitting alone, lost in their thoughts. "ça va aller" means "it will be ok" . This typical ivorian expression is used for everything, even for situations that are not going to be ok.
This work is a way to address the way ivorian people deal with psychological suffering.
In Côte d ' Ivoire, people do not discuss their psychological issues, or feelings. A post-traumatic choc is often considered as weakness or a mental disease. People hardly talk about their feelings, and each conversation is quickly shortened by a resigned " ça va aller".
The attacks re-opened the mental wounds left by the post electoral war of 2011.

Each stitch was a way to recover, to lie down the emotions, the loneliness, and mixed feelings i felt.



Just things and stuff

I hate it when a blog I enjoy following goes silent. That is usually followed by an apology which often is followed by another silence. I'm not going to do that. Apologizing may be bad karma in this instance so know that I am aware and feel bad about not writing in awhile and that even though I have been sick, nasty sick, that's no excuse and I'm not apologizing, even if I am really sorry for disappearing.

One of the great joys of my work has been the design class I am teaching online. What a fantastic group of stitchers! More than anything I admire their courage and am thankful for their willingness to go off on this strange journey with me. Not knowing exactly where I will take them, but coming anyway, is something I am very grateful for. We started back at the beginning of February and only now are we taking needle to canvas! We have been designing, and working hard, but only now are we going to see how it all comes together.

I  found a few more watercolor creations that I thought I'd share with you here. These are from a few weeks ago.


Lion getting ready to roar!!

Making progress ;)


Sometimes I can't get it right!

I've been playing with the colors of this photo and I just can't get them right. I  finally decided that I would share it as is because I could have spent all that time stitching instead of messing around with the colors. So here is my progress, (except the colors aren't quite right)...


Art taking flight.

Rebecca Jewell is a British print artist. She discovered the beauty of printing on feathers. I'm speechless.


Dare Design - amazing needlepoint in watercolors!

How do you teach needlepoint design? If you are me you take a road less travelled, some may even say strange.
In my new online workshop "Dare Design", I asked my students to paint triangles using watercolors. These triangles were to be filled with smaller shapes. Go wild with color and design, I said. They did.  Next, taking their triangle creations, we tessellated, turned, flipped, and manipulated. The results are knock out!
All of this happened before we talked about any stitches, certainly before we touched the canvas or threaded a needle.
This is not for the faint of heart...

Let me share some creations with you.

Here is one of Lauren Bloch's triangles and two tessellations of it below:

Here is a triangle by Ann Moody, tessellated in two different ways:

Melita Glavin's triangle has a kaleidoscope look that is dazzling when tessellated!

Susan Heider's example is of the same triangle, painted in two different colorways, and then tessellated together:

Sally Bee's triangle is another example of same triangle, two different colorways:

Mary Frances Kelly-Poh is in Brazil but that hasn't stopped her from working on triangles! The effect here is very almost like a weave.

Kari Hofer's triangles have a bit of fantasy to them. Two colorways tessellated beautifully.

Lynn Decker gave her triangle two unique colorways and they make for a very interesting tessellation.

Patricia Mott Karpenko came up with two colorways that could not be more different! Look at what happened here!

I have only shown you a small collection of these amazing pieces of art! 
There are many more to share.  The work presented by this group of students is spectacular. 


Sandy's Coqui in Orange - Amazing!!

Dear Sandy Nelson has allowed me to share her beautiful stitched Coqui with the orange background! How happy am I????  It is spectacular, what a talented stitcher you are, Sandy! Thank you for bringing out the best in my design.

"Coqui" is my design honoring Puerto Rico and the relief efforts following the devastating storm, Maria. The massive destruction and loss of life in Puerto Rico as a result of hurricane Maria continues to be heartbreaking. You can read more about it HERE.

THANK YOU, Sandy!!


We LOVE our dogs, (and cats)!

and so does Emillie Ferris! Take a look at these hyperrealistic portraits she has stitched of these beyond adorable pets...


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©Orna Willis
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