I see crafty content on the web via many different routes ... google reader, twitter, ravelry, my commenter's blogs, clicking random links ... it's an overwhelming sea of images. I don't organize my favorites or mark them to find them again. I know that if I started a pin board, or link folder, or whatever, it would either grow uncontrollably and/or never be reviewed.
So it's a special occasion when seeing something on the internet spurs me into action. In the case of the art on Saylor Made
, I'd followed links from her tweets over and over and her drawings and paintings always affected me ... and at a certain point I decided I *must* own some of her art.
I looked for a store link on Jeannine's blog and twitter with no luck. Searching around, I realized she didn't knit or crochet (at least not publicly) so I thought, "Maybe I could make her something to swap?"
Without too much thought, I DM'd her on twitter and asked if she'd be interested in doing a swap. Maybe I could make her a cowl in exchange for a drawing/painting? She accepted. I was excited for about 30 seconds. And then I started worrying.
Hilariously, she was having the same worries
. Since she provided her internal dialogue, I'll reveal mine ... Does she know what kinds of fiber she likes? What about color? Is she going to like what I make? Will it look fancy enough? What if she has a tiny neck? What if she has a gigantic neck? I've never made a cowl in my life ... how does that even work? Why did I suggest a cowl? She is going to be so disappointed. Why did I ever suggest this? She'll never think something knit is worth parting with her art.
The yarn part was easy. She picked a washable wool in the colorway Squirrel (a color I'd wanted to buy since I'd see the name). Whew! Then I had to actually make a cowl ...
For weeks and weeks, I knit a slew of cowls. Seriously. I tried all sorts of fancy stitches and constructions. Jeaninne sent me some links to simple cowls ... spectacularly, one each of knit and crochet ... but I still felt like I should do something super fabulous complicated. In the end, I made two sweet, squishy, and simple cowls for her
... one knit and one crochet. She is seriously gorgeous
I sent my package first and I was so deflated when they were gone. "Oh, no," I thought, "she's going to open that box and think to herself, 'I've made a terrible mistake.'" Well, both of us worrywarts were pleasantly surprised.
Can you believe how wonderful my package was?! I was only expecting one piece of art. I got two paintings and sheets of hand painted stickers on top of it all!
These, she said, were for use with my letter and post card writing. I plan on buying some very simple stationery to use with these. Are they gorgeous or what?!
In my stream of consciousnes email to her about what I was interested in (in relation to her art, style, and subject matter) I mentioned that I was reading The Hobbit and I'd just finished the part where they journey through Mirkwood.
She immortalized this amazing quote for me from the book. It's perfect for me both personally and professionally. I've made a color copy to hang next to my monitor at work (and I get compliments on it all the time) to remind me and my coworkers that it's always best to do things right the first time.
Oh, man, this is some amazing work right here. Unwrapping this painting made me tear up a little. It was everything I'd been hoping for ... and much more.
The colors, the shapes, the trees (OMG I cannot tell you how amazing all those trees are!!!) all throw me into a zone where I only have "feelings" and no words can explain it. This painting touches me on the inside. Beauty only begins to describe my thoughts.
Here are some of my favorite bits up close ...
What a fantastic tree. And birds! The way the colors mix and bleed and layer fascinates me to no end. I can almost see them moving in the back ground.
My heart reaches out to the broken leaning tree on the right that is just out of the color field as if it's about to fall off the Earth altogether. It's lonely sad and loved.
This is a sewing pin to contrast with just how spidery-delicate her pen strokes are. They boggle my mind.
This is my finger hovering just above the canvas for scale. Seriously super tiny trees.
To my delight, Jeannine has suggested we do it annually. I can't even express how amazing this process has been. It's been as satisfying and joyful as a big long hug from a friend who's been away. I can't wait to do it again next year.