Saturday, October 4, 2014

Unusual Stumpwork Picture

Very unusual arrangement of scenes that could almost be framed
by casket sides instead.  National Trust
I was looking at pictures tonight to wind down after two straight days of robot coaching (having so much kid energy to direct can be pretty exhausting).  It both makes you feel alive... and old.

So I came across this piece and I found it really unusual in its design.  First, the four corners have been treated like little vignettes with their own 'sets'.  Architecture and details that you don't normally see on pictures but might on the side of a casket.  If those of you out there are interested in the Esther story and the scene around the table - there is a nice drawing in the upper right corner.  The other item I find fetching is the
A more typical treatment with castle at top balanced by the grotto.
Flowers in the corners and birds/beasts to balance out.
National Trust
castle in the bottom left.

If you stare at it long enough, you will see the turkey in the piece!  Quite a few things to make one look twice.

Check it out magnified on the National Trust website.

Now contrast that with a more typical stumpwork picture, another one from the National Trust collection.  This one also has a tent stitch slip in the center but the corners and cardinal directions have more predictable content.  Really nice to see the contrast.

Building big metal robots.  Nine lanky
teen boys in a small area with nuts, bolts
 and rivet guns all over!
How many little robot kids can
fit on one small couch while
analyzing the robot missions in a
huge projected spreadsheet
So I need to take a hot soak and get some sleep - tomorrow there are work sessions by the robot kids too... My house looks like a war zone.  Caskets in the dinning room, boxes of kits everywhere, I am about ready to do the Winterthur pack and robot pieces and empty chip bags are everywhere.  And to top it all - the robot challenge this year has 140 whiffle balls that fall out of a structure onto the field.  Yes - 140 whiffle balls rolling around the house right now.  (Our testing of methods to get the balls into the tubes for scoring was totally hilarious - 10 people throwing them into the air to see if the 'shooting' method had merit.  Think I will have to repaint the darn walls again!).  And a whole tour of lovely needleworkers to show up in three weeks.  Gotta find a place for these robot parts to hide away!

Ok, these walls were only painted four
months ago.  Oh well.  
I have a lot of work on my plate in the clean up.  I am my own worst enemy.  I had the little guys go through an exercise in goal setting -- and so they plastered the walls in my hallway with post it notes - things that they want to do in their life.  Was so cute and so illuminating about their inner thoughts.  We are going to continue the exercise next week - trying to teach them about thinking big for their life and how to break dreams down into small goals to try to achieve on the way to big ones.  I was thrilled to see that every one of the 9-yr olds had 'go to MIT' on their list.  'Invent something that changes the world' was one of my favorites too.  And funny to see how many of them want to start a company with a teammate.  Cool.  I want some stock options kids!  Payback for the investment in the startup of you.

The funny thing was about fourteen years ago, my husband and I did this post-it note exercise ourselves.  It is a very illuminating exercise, focuses one on what you are doing now and what you really want to be doing.  One of the things on my list was 'make a casket'.  We are almost there!



  1. Walls can be repainted--a chance to inspire and encourage is much more important!

  2. Leave the "decorations" up, please. We'd love to see them!

  3. Love it!!! Robot kids rock! And don't worry about empty chip bags and whiffle balls everywhere for the tour- it will make me feel like I'm at home! :)

  4. Ditto on Anonymous#1's and Mendy's looking forward to finally getting to meet you and (perhaps?yes) some of yours! And the post it note method is really powerful - have each kid make a personal 'place it in their own space' file or poster when/if you take them off the wall as a tangible reminder and life map. Whatever you do with the notes - DO NOT throw them out! And thank you for generously supporting a wonderful New England (CT) industry. Everyone should own at least one Wiffle ball. 140? LOLOLOLOL!!!!