Aug 29, 2011

Still here despite the crazy weather....

Coney Island Mural
After experiencing my first earthquake and my first hurricane (or was it eventually just a tropical storm?), I am still standing here in Brooklyn.  The studio survived both with no damages.  I'll be back here in full force after labor day, but thought I would check in to say hello.   I've added a new toolbar up at the top of this blog, and listed all the classes and workshops that I'm teaching this fall there.  Please check back soon, as I'm adding a few more this week.   In the meanwhile, please enjoy these dog days of summer.  From now until labor day, I'm offering free shipping in my online shop.  The secret code is LABORDAYSALE  See you soon!

Aug 17, 2011

Cottage Life

I have always thought that I could live quite happily in a city apartment if only I had a cottage on a lake or ocean somewhere to spend most of the summer..  A small little place, with original Fiestaware in the cupboards (chipped) and stained vintage tablecloths and that mothball smell when you walk in the door.  Water that tastes great right out of the faucet, old quilts, bacon in an electric frying pan, pancakes even though it's Wednesday morning, crows in the woods to wake me up if the bacon doesn't do the trick.  Gin rummy and beer in glass bottles after dinner, a kayak or paddleboat ride around the lake at sunset to watch the fish jumping.  Old paperbacks, bird identification books, barbeuqued chicken and hot dogs.    Do you know the place I'm talking about?  Have you been there? My grandparents had just the place.  A real escape from it all.
Nowadays, I talk all the time about how to bring cottage life to real life.  How do I make our apartment in Brooklyn feel more like an idyllic cottage in Michigan?   I listen carefully so I don't miss the crows in the backyard, I play a lot of cards after dinner, I eat on (not so chipped and actually brand new Uranium free) Fiestaware.  I have three drawers full of vintage stained tablecloths, and all those animal identification books from the old cottage.  Once in awhile, when I wish more than anything to be at the cottage and not in the stiffling stinking heat of New York City, I open one of those books and take a deep breath, and if my eyes are closed I can imagine that I'm there.   Mothballs are transporting. 
Today, in an effort to soak in a modified cottage life, I woke up early and headed to Brighton Beach and combed the seashore for signs of life.

Clams, muscles, sponges, crabs, jellyfish, and this fellow, a horseshoe crab!which I can not identify.  All of my animal identification books are from Michigan, where surely this guy wouldn't stand a chance.  I should have put my foot next to it while I was photographing it, because you might not believe that it was at least twice as long as my foot.   It's huge!  Do you know what it is?

Aug 16, 2011

Announcing a Paisley Workshop

I am happy to say that the next few seasons are filled with lots of teaching opportunities for me, which I'll share with you here as they go online.  I love being at home, but I also love traveling, and I feel lucky that this year my job will be taking me to lots of different corners of the country.  Especially lucky since I have friends in so many of those corners that I wouldn't otherwise see.

 However, I'm also so excited to be teaching this fall right here in New York City at Pins and Needles and up the river in Rhinebeck at Wing and Clover.  Details on all the workshops are over on the sidebar under classes.    When I taught at Squam in June, so many people asked me if I was teaching any local classes back in the city (or nearby), and it feels good to finally say YES!  People of Squam- these classes are for you!!!!!! 
This fall I'm teaching mainly classes that are based on my printed sampler collection.  These one day workshops are perfect for people who have never embroidered before, and they are also a lot of fun if you already know embroidery but want to master some new stitches and hang out.      Since Paisley debuted here yesterday, I am particularly excited to be offering a workshop based on this sampler in November.  Details are below, and registration is now open over at Pins and Needles

Paisley Embroidery Workshop with Rebecca Ringquist
If you have been looking for a the perfect winter project, this is it. Come and perfect a handful of embroidery stitches while you begin working on this new paisley printed embroidery sampler. Chain Stitch, French Knots, Backstitch and more come together to create a dazzling new pattern, suitable for framing
$180 (plus materials)
Thursday, 11/3 & 11/10…6:30pm – 8:30pm
Skill Level: Advanced Beginner

Aug 15, 2011

Introducing: Paisley!

I'm excited to finally be able to share the newest sampler pattern with you.  Paisley is here!
The original idea behind this sampler was to make it more like my artwork.  I wanted to draw and stitch a sampler that was as dense and colorful as the studio projects.  I am so happy with the result, and I hope you will be too.
It was inspired by Indian paisley patterns, and in particular my favorite deck of cards, stolen from my parent's house as I was leaving for college because I loved them so much. I don't ever play gin with these, but I do, on occasion get them out and have a look.  I love the red and yellow super seventies design.  You might see some carryover into the embroidered pattern.....
I stitched my example as a stash buster, grabbing the nearest collection of bright perle cottons and going to town.  However, I'm thinking of stitching up a second in a more monotone palette, like these awesome blue and white bandannas.   I can't wait to see what you all do.  Please keep on adding your awesome work to the sampler flickr page.  My own example is not quite finished itself, so please stay tuned for the grand finale.  I've still got some pinwheels and lazy daisies to fill in...... The new sampler is now live in the etsy shop.  Thanks!

Aug 14, 2011

Heads up Brooklyn (and elsewhere)

I'm popping in on a Sunday to let everyone know about this event, an embroidery meetup at the Etsy labs, tomorrow afternoon.  New Yorkers can take part in person, but everyone can take part online.  It sounds like so much fun!  It's supposed to be another dreary rainy August day here in Brooklyn, the perfect Monday for embroidery.   I'm pasting the information below:

Embroidery With The Merriweather Council
Using basic embroidery stitches and techniques, each participant will create their own personal, simplified mandala. Colors, imagery and composition are up to each artists’ own discretion.  Without strict instruction, each piece will be representative of the artist who made it and their personality. It is considered somewhat therapeutic to work within a circle and mandalas have a long history of being a sort of self portrait of their maker at the time of making.
When is it? We'll host demos hourly at 4:15, 5:15, 6:15, and 7:15 p.m. on Monday, August 15. (Clean up starts at 7:45 p.m.)
If you can't make it in-person, we will be hosting a live Online Lab at 3:30 p.m. ET of this very project.
What should I bring? All supplies and materials will be provided, though you are welcome to bring additional fabric, embroidery floss, and 4" or 5" embroidery hoops. (We'll have enough supplies for 1 hoop per person.)
Who is teaching? Tonight's visiting artist is the lovely Danielle Spurge, a.k.a. The Merriweather Council. Check out her shop on Etsy!

Aug 10, 2011

Coming soon....

Heads up that a new sampler is in the works. I won't give away all the details today, except to say that the new pattern is inspired by a summer spent looking at and drawing textile patterns at the New York Public Library, as well as lots of drawing at home, while sitting next to this book for inspiration.  The new pattern will be listed in the shop Monday morning, but check into the dropcloth facebook page for a sneak peek later this week.  

Aug 9, 2011

Dish towels

Because she knows I love pickles and old dish towels, my friend Rachel brought me back this towel from the Brimfield market for my birthday.   Not only do I love both of those things, but I also love red gingham, and I happen to also really love those canisters (which she knew).  Check out the detail of this print, made a few years ago, that includes the very same pattern, printed here in black textile ink on hand dyed cotton.  It sure makes me miss printing. 

Aug 8, 2011

Studio Clean-Up & Stoop Sale

I spent the better part of the weekend cleaning out the studio.  It felt good to uncover things that I had given up on ever finding and to sort through heaps and turn them into better organized piles.  All the pencils are with the pencils, and all the pens have found their way back to the pens.  The reds are together again, and so are all the greens.    One of the reasons I wanted to clean up was to make way for a desk space.  I turned one of my racks into the perfect spot for my laptop.  I cut a premade countertop into the perfect workstation using my scroll saw, attached it with clamps and viola!  A fourth work station dedicated to my computer in the studio.
 Rearranging always makes me feel brand new, like I've magically moved into a new home.  I love it.  After the desktop was in place, I spent yesterday afternoon tackling a huge basket of fabric that I hadn't sorted through since September.  Which means, if you're paying attention, that it was packed and moved across the country as a total mess.  Whoops.  HOWEVER, it is now organized! There was lots to throw out, but there was also lots that I can't hold onto but is too good to throw out.  So, in the spirit of Brooklyn, I'm hosting an online stoop sale to get rid of it all and share the love.
Photographed on a real Brooklyn stoop!
There are eight bundles of fabric, roughly organized by color and or pattern, including hand printed and dyed cloth, new and vintage commercial fabrics,  embroidery, misprinted samplers, and more surprises.  All the pieces included in the stoop sale bundles are big enough for projects, and perfect for adding a fun burst of handmade color to your summer.

Each bundle comes wrapped up in a small flat rate envelope, packed to the brim with goodness.  You won't be disappointed!  Check out the dropcloth facebook page for more pictures of the stoop sale goodies, or to buy one, head on over to the shop.