A lot has changed

I moved across the country.  I changed my specialty to the emergency department.  I changed my mind about NP school.  I’m applying to grad school to study forensic nursing (long story) and I did a little show for Betsy Greer of Craftivism.download

I think about deleting this blog all of the time.  I would just die if any of my coworkers found it.  I have absolutely no friends here, but I’m constantly worried about revealing myself to anyone.  I keep the blog around for the knitting patterns, but part of me really cringes that I ever shared my feelings with strangers this way.

I’ll think about it.

How can I explain?

How can I explain?

I’ve been busy. We got hit by that awful tornado on May 20 in Moore, OK. This is my daughter’s classroom. Her desk is under that truck. She was in that school when it got hit and she was pulled from the debris.

I don’t feel good. I went into Addisonian crisis during the tornado. I’ve been on extra steroids for months. I blew out my thyroid. I’m still in school full time, but I don’t work right now. I’m starting nurse practitioner school in the Fall if my health doesn’t get any worse.

I’ll be making some art for a show in May. I might post to this blog, or I might delete the whole thing. When I start seeing patients as a ARNP, I probably won’t want anybody snooping into my private thoughts. That wasn’t something I thought about when I started blogging in 2007. My name is all over interviews and artwork. I didn’t hold anything back. Sometimes I wish I could take it all back. Can you think of anything worse than having your most raw emotions show up when someone Googles your name? I didn’t know that I would grow up to have a license and patients.

Old Abe

Untitled, originally uploaded by Drucilla Pettibone.

Here is a piece from the lovely and amazing Drucilla Pettibone for the Gay for Eagles show. I love her. I love that her artwork has her hand all over it. I can tell by looking at a thumbnail that something was made by Dru. She mixes vintage fabrics with rich embroidery and makes frickin’ awesome stuff. Check out the texture. My goodness…

More show info here: http://www.hotelhadleystudios.com/?p=453

A lot going on

Many good things are happening these days.  The lovely and talented Dru curated a show based on my Gay for Eagles piece.  Check it out!  A couple of my pieces didn’t make it to the studio, but I have some weapons and a self-portrait hanging. 

I’m extremely depressed that I spent my day taking a miserable Mental Health Nursing exam instead of attending the show at Hotel Hadley Studios.  If I had known how bad the test would be, I’d have tried harder to go to NC.  School is such a beast right now that I can’t even schedule a doctor’s appointment.  I can’t miss 5 fucking minutes and non-nursing students have a hard time understanding that.  The end is in sight, but it feels farther away than ever right now.  I graduate June 10, then I get to sit for the NCLEX-PN.  Then I get to do another year of this to become an RN.  I’ve decided that taking some time off to just work as an LPN is the best decision for my mental and physical health right now. 

Every LPN to RN career ladder nurse I’ve met says that the RN (care plan writing school) portion of the ladder is much easier than the LPN portion.  I didn’t respect LPNs the way I should have.  I thought they were just glorified CNAs.  I had no idea how hard the schooling was.  I had no idea how hard they work.  With the exception of hanging blood, pushing certain IV cardiac medications, and writing care plans, LPNs do full nursing duties.  They just don’t get paid much to do it.  They also don’t get the respect they deserve.  God bless nurses no matter what letters follow their names!

In other news, Leanne Prain wrote a book about unexpected embroidery to be published this Fall.  I am so honored to be interviewed in this book.  The Amazon page is up.  Add this baby to your wishlist!  Here is the publisher’s description:

Hoopla, by the co-author of 2009’s bestselling Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti, showcases those who take the craft of embroidery where it’s never gone before, in an astonishing, full-color display of embroidered art. Hoopla rebels against the quaint and familiar embroidery motifs of flowers and swashes, and focuses instead on innovative stitch artists who specialize in unusual, guerrilla-style patterns such as subway maps, feminist Girl Guide badges, and metal band letterforms; it demonstrates that modern embroidery artists are as sharp as the needles with which they work.

Hoopla includes twenty-nine innovative embroidery patterns and profiles of contemporary embroidery artists, including Jenny Hart, author of Sublime Stitching; Rosa Martyn of the UK-based Craftivism Collective; Ray Materson, an ex-con who learned to stitch in prison; Sherry Lynn Wood of the Tattooed Baby Doll Project, which collaborated with female tattoo artists across the United States; Penny Nickles and Johnny Murder, the self-proclaimed Bonnie and Clyde of embroidery; and Alexandra Walters, a military wife who replicates military portraits and weapons in her stitching.

Full-color throughout and bursting with history, technique, and sass, Hoopla will teach readers how to stitch a mythical jackalope; needlepoint nipple doilies, a ransom note pillow, and mean and dainty knuckle-tattoo church gloves; and create their own innovative embroidery projects. If you like anarchistic DIY craft and the idea of deviating from the rules, Hoopla will inspire you to wield a needle with flair!

I’m a little over 1/4 of the way through my 1000 miles of running.  I’ve been struggling with keeping my blood pressure high enough with my Addison’s Disease and the stress of nursing school, so I don’t run as often as I want to.  I had an adrenal crisis in March and had to take massive doses of steroids for weeks and they make me feel like crap.  I’m seeing a new endocrinologist who is going to try to keep me healthy and energetic, so I have a lot of hope that I’ll be back on track soon.

Enough about me!  What have you been up to lately?

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 10,000 times in 2010. That’s about 24 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 50 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 285 posts. There were 52 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 75mb. That’s about 4 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was May 13th with 305 views. The most popular post that day was Mission Accomplished.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were kniterdone.blogspot.com, ravelry.com, flickr.com, feelingstitchy.com, and facebook.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for suicide notes, crochet bags, cervical dysplasia, pictures of cervical dysplasia, and sewing blog.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Mission Accomplished May 2010


Crochet Pattern: Stethoscope Cozy June 2010


Interview with Penny Nickels June 2010


Crochet Pattern: Papa’s Hobo Hands November 2008


When I had Cervical Dysplasia… May 2009


I’m a little late announcing this, but here is the information on the show where you can buy a Pez portrait.

The theme is childhood holiday memories and consumer consumption.  Artists with very different media all contributed.  I was pretty impressed with David Todd Trost’s ceramics (below).  The whole show is really fun, though.  You can purchase by contacting Jordan through   http://www.360seegallery.com/exhibit/door_busters_bigtime


This candy necklace by Rebecca Zemans is pretty fun, too. 

Check it out.  Stop by if you live in Chicago.  There is free Christmas Eve/Hanukkah delivery within 20 miles for all purchases.

I Love My Dead Gay Son

I’m so busy. I only have about 2 minutes to blog, but I wanted to share some awesomeness with you guys.

Here is a WIP from Schindermania (Ellen Schinderman.) She’s working on one of the suicide notes from Heathers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heathers

Click through to see the rest of her photos. Her blog is here: http://www.schindermania.com/.

I got an A in Nursing Concepts. I’ve lost 32 lbs and my running routine is getting easier and more rewarding. We move into our beautiful new house this Friday. (We got the corner lot with a fireplace.) Life is still kicking ass.

Now I need to pack lunches, study A&P, and get the kiddos ready for the first day of school.

She must be a narcissist.

waiting room WIP, originally uploaded by alexcateye.

This self portrait is about 50% done. You can see how I build my colors if you click through and view the larger size. Part of the reason that I work so slowly is that every piece is embroidered in layers. Some parts are stitched 5 or 6 times to get the effect I want. My pieces are very thick, up to a half of a centimeter in places. It just feels “right” to me.

I didn’t really want to do another self portrait. It feels dirty, like art masturbation. I need to do this, though. I am trying so hard to love the face I’ve been given. I’m trying to love the body I’ve hated all of my life. I’m finding beauty that I didn’t know I had and it has nothing to do with my looks. It’s a wonderful experience.

We just closed on a new house and I’ve started school, so blog posts will be a little slower for a while. My husband seems to think that packing and studying are more important than embroidery.

Don’t forget to add your work to my blog Flickr pool. (http://www.flickr.com/groups/1396676@N24/pool/) I’ll be blogging about my stitchy friends even when I don’t have time to finish projects of my own.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder

Here is my self portrait. Some yarns are hand spun and dyed. The rest are commercial crewel wool. It also contains hand spun buffalo down in the hair. (I collected it from tree trunks while camping in Montana, Wyoming, and Utah.) The bottom half is covered in English paper pieced hexagons of repurposed ABU pixelated camo. They were scraps from my husband’s USAF uniforms. (The insides of pockets are sometimes cut out and sewn flat to give a neater, more professional appearance.) This measures 11″ by 14″.

The juror in a local fiber show gave me a stinging comment about my bad design. I know the formula for a perfect composition. I’m pretty sure that most high school freshman art students know it, too.   Edit:  My point is that I choose not to follow rules and formulas.  I make what I want to make. 

I hope that you can see a sharp disconnect between the head and the “body.” That disconnect represents the friction of being a military spouse. The heart and the head aren’t together. The head must soldier on in real life while the heart must stay flat. I hope this is making sense.

Soldier on, friends.

Little white lies like I was there.

This amazing piece landed in my Flickr group. I have to share it with you. The blue words look so much like sutures from a distance and I love the clotted texture of the reds. It makes you wonder about The Accident.

Here is what the artist said:

There are some unwieldy things I knew deep down that The Accident made me acknowledge.

1. People get away with heinous crap every day and never have to pay for it. The person who crashed into my mother’s car continues to rack up citations — civil and criminal — but never seems to suffer for it.

2. You never know how attractive others think you are until they make comments regarding a facial disfigurement. And now I must cope with that and looking 1/16th Klingon when I stand in good light.

3. I have ceased to be a patsy under the guise of anti-litigiousness or the desire to just let things rest. I still don’t like that change in attitude, but this is entirely necessary until people change theirs regarding how much concern they should have for others.

Flickr streat for l33tware is here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/25370385@N02/ (Or click on the photo for a closer look. It will lead you to l33twave’s photos.)

We are changing this art form

, originally uploaded by Drucilla Pettibone.

I’ve been on vacation and I have some catching up to do. I want to show you this amazing embroidered and appliqued fox by the talented Ms. Drucilla Pettibone. She combines commercial and handspun threads as well as vintage fabrics. (Handspun!)

I hope you click on the photo to see her Flickr stream. She is passionate about her work with rescue dogs. She’s also a damn nice person. Here is her blog: http://drucillapettibone.blogspot.com/.

So many amazing artists are out there challenging and changing embroidery. I’m constantly amazed by the new subject matter and techniques. Invent your own stitches! Invent your own materials! This is a great time to work in fiber. It’s time to shake off the image of fiber artists producing nothing more than overworked, overbusy quilts. Our art form is powerfully emotional and visually exciting. Go make something right now!

Just to update everyone, I got into the nursing school that I wanted. I feel as happy as I did when I found out I was pregnant. I’m scared, but I know this is going to complete me.

An Early Mother’s Day Gift for You!

One of the floss winners, Ellen Schinderman, posted this project on Flickr and it really made me smile. It combines, drugs, embroidery, and handspun wool. Can’t beat that with a stick!

I really wanted to give out more floss, but it is really difficult to use, especially with tightly woven fabrics. It tangles and kinks up and misbehaves a lot. I can’t imagine anyone getting it to make readable text, but Ellen did it and I’m happy. (My handspun embroidery is very blurry and loose, so the material works well for me.)

If you like embroidered nekkid people doing naughty things, check out Ellen’s shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/schindermania
Her Flickr stream is here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/schinders/
Her website is here: http://www.schindermania.com/

She is never safe for work, so you’ve been warned.

I hate girls who write like this.

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They eat whatever they want and never gain weight.

I would have died for girly handwriting and a girly name when I was in junior high.

I am Alex and write like a boy. I’m happy to be who I am.

Stitching Along

Major General Clarence Tinker is my subject for the Okie Stitchalong. I was afraid to do a portrait, but I like it so far.

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