My friend Janie and her husband moved here about a year ago after living more than a few places around the globe. I’ve enjoyed getting to know her. She’s witty and pleasant. Janie is one of those people who can flexibly adapt to many situations. She blends in with a group well, but is more than satisfied to spend time alone. When I first met Janie, I didn’t know how creative she is. And if her husband hadn’t pointed out her handiwork, I might still be uninformed as she is too humble to ever call attention to her own talents.
Janie guides needles in a most beautiful way, crafting masterpieces from ordinary scraps. Her home is filled with her artwork and the pieces shine like jewels. I was excited when she and her husband agreed to share pictures of her handiwork and consented to let me share them with you.
Janie liked the works of a particular artist, M.C. Escher, so she copied the design format of her favorite piece of his and set out to create a version of it. She stitched 30,000 individual beads to a cloth backing to recreate the interesting artwork. The end product compliments both the designer and the artistic copy and dazzles the eyes of any who view it. Look closely at the enlarged picture below to see the detail and shimmer of the beads that make up the design.
Another handmade creation she made shows a counted cross stitch rendition of a painting called The Quarry by Julian Onderdonk, about 1915. The flowers are Texas bluebonnets. It has about 131,000 stitches.
Janie is a lover of flowers. This piece of art was made by her and showcases five different types of flowers:
Here they are individually in order. Please note that the second and fourth appear to be mirror images of each other. I love the way this adds symmetry to the piece as a whole.
Another cross-stitch piece is an eye-catching image of an apple blossom.
In addition to stitching images of flowers, Janie grows real ones. Over time, she has learned what works best to grow African violets. She is so successful at growing them that she has now learned to splice/graft leaves and grow additional plants. After a December visit to her home, we were presented with a beautiful purple flowering plant, wrapped in pretty Christmas paper and tied with a glittery bow. It sits handsomely in my living room and I plea with it to survive in spite of my lack of a green thumb.
Janie and her husband have some large fluffy throw pillows on their sofas. Janie made covers that slide over the pillows and can be changed with a few simple motions. When the pillows have the covers centered on them, their original color still shows on the sides, and Janie’s art is shown in the middle.
There are several stained glass lamp shades in their home. Janie stitched the pattern design of one of those lamps onto cloth to make pillow covers. The first picture below is the lamp and the second is the pillow cover she made. Note how she bridged the two halves together to make one long design, and please notice that the design is made completely of beads!
Another pillow’s creative cover shows a Bible verse beautifully stitched. The fabric around it matched draperies in their home.
On yet another pillow cover, something even more creative is given a home. Janie and her husband have a puzzle they enjoy doing together. The puzzle has a number of pieces that fit together in different directions and places allowing many solutions for their combined desired shape. This game/puzzle kept their minds and hands busy during times in their lives when there wasn’t much to do in the way of entertainment. I believe this shows their contentedness in any situation and their ability to stretch their minds and imaginations. Janie kept track of the many solutions they found for the puzzle and then she used them to stitch a very colorful pattern onto a pillow cover.
I look forward to showing more of Janie’s creations in my next post. Part 2 will include her Christmas decorations.