Monday, June 12, 2017

Art Review: 140 Unlimited at the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum

It was a privilege and an absolute pleasure to view 140 Unlimited: Recent Acquistions in Honor of the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum's 140th Anniversary during its final days.  

View of the Caroline R. Hill Gallery, 2016
Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, South Hadley, Massachusetts
Photograph Laura Shea

The exhibit, which was on view from September 2016 until May 2017, was conceived in celebration of the Museum's long and storied history.  The Mount Holyoke College Art Museum (MHCAM) is one of only a handful of collegiate art museums with such longevity.  The hallmark of the MHCAM is the fact that its collection is uniquely comprehensive, spanning from antiquity to the present.  As a top teaching museum at one of the nation's finest institutions of higher learning, students can interact with art to gain deeper understanding of chemistry, biology, literature, film, physics, and art history.  The museum staff is collaborative, open, and education-focused, working to foster visual literacy and other important skills such as close observation, conceptual linking, creative response, formal analysis, and primary research.  (source)
While Mount Holyoke students are privileged to have the museum right on campus, the surrounding community is welcome to enjoy and learn from the rich collection housed within the museum.  While I was on campus for my college reunion, I was delighted to view the newest acquisitions.  The collection was impressive, inspiring a fresh, personal emotional response to each piece.  Sadly, I only had a few moments to take it all in, but I was thrilled that these pieces have a home in the permanent collection at my alma mater.
What follows are images of two objects from the 140 Unlimited exhibit.  To read a collection of insightful essays about different pieces in the exhibit, please check out the museum's newsletter 140th Anniversary Special Edition, and open the pdf.

Guanyin (Avalokiteshvara), 960-1368 (Song Dynasty or Yuan Dynasty)
Chinese
Wood with traces of gesso, paint, and gilding
Gift of the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation
Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, South Hadley, Massachusetts
Photograph Laura Shea
MH 2012.40.2

Faith Ringgold (American, b. 1930)
Somebody Stole My Broken Heart, 2007
Ink on paper; screen print, edition 27/60
Partial gift of the Experimental Printmaking Institute, Lafayette College and purchase with the Susan and Bernard Schilling (Susan Eisenhart, Class of 1932) Fund
Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, South Hadley, Massachusetts
Photograph Laura Shea
MH 2016.2.9
Bonus:  You can search the MHCAM and the Five College collections here.  If you would like more art reviews, please let me know by leaving a comment or contacting me at artlikebread (at) gmail (dot) com.  As always, thanks for reading the blog!  Please leave your thoughts, ideas and questions in the comment section below.  If you liked this post, please share this post with a friend through social media & share the art & education love!

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Friday, April 7, 2017

The Great Spring Crochet Destash! My Latest #Crochet Writing

This is my latest blog post for Crochet Spot! Read the whole article on crochetspot.com

It is hard to believe that one quarter of 2017 is already behind us! For readers in the northern hemisphere, it’s time to gear up for warmer weather and sunshine, and shed all of the extraneous yarn and supplies that kept you warm all winter long. But regardless of your location, now is a great time to make a commitment to destash! Read this post and make a plan to get rid of the supplies that have long plagued you and get your space ready for creativity.





Before we begin, let’s take a moment to reflect on why we need to destash this spring in the first place. Years ago, I asked What’s in Your Stash? and you answered. Ask yourself that question now. For some of us, it could mean a lot. And, yes. A crochet stash could be too large: case in point. Yet, we can stash down! And here’s a foolproof plan to do so.

Sometimes it can be hard to part with the luscious yarn, so luckily I’ve rounded up a bunch of patterns designed to eat up yarn. You can always use up yarn more quickly by doubling it all up! Don’t forget you can share with friends and arrange a crochet giving circle.

When you’ve finally gotten all of the extraneous supplies taken care of, you can give your space a good scrub down with these spring cleaning crochet tips. And then, to maintain your new, clearer space, use these tips to organize your crochet stash.

So what about you, my friends? What are you looking to destash this spring? How are you planning to do it? Please leave your thoughts, ideas and questions in the comment section below.



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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Book Review & Giveaway: Melissa Leapman’s Indispensable Stitch Collection for Crocheters My Latest #Crochet Writing

This is my latest blog post for Crochet Spot! Read the whole article on crochetspot.com

Melissa Leapman is fiber arts royalty as a prolific and celebrated designer. Known for knitting as well as crochet, Leapman has built a robust career with over 1000 published patterns in print. Her wealth of design experience serves as a foundation for her beautiful, new reference book, Melissa Leapman’s Indispensable Stitch Collection for Crocheters. Read on to find out a bit about the book, and to see how you can win a copy!






In this 176-page book, we are introduced to a comprehensive collection of crochet stitch patterns divided in to six categories: Simple Solid Patterns, Shell and Fan Stitch Patterns, Openwork and Lace Patterns, Textured Patterns, Colorwork Patterns, and Edgings. There is also a useful resource guide in the back of the book with information about reading symbols, basic stitches, and abbreviations. These features combined with Leapman’s introduction with useful tips about how to use the stitch patterns make this not only a useful, but also a fun addition to your crochet library.

I have seen (and I own) a great deal of crochet stitch dictionaries. I can say from experience that this is a very high quality reference to have on hand. There are beautiful color photos of each example, along with crochet symbol charts and written directions. The stitches move from simple to complex, so it’s a good learn-as-you-go type of book.

If you’ve pledged to increase your crochet skills in 2017, then why not let this book be your guide? If you crochet a swatch of each pattern you’ll have a huge skill boost and a collection of pretty squares to join!

In order to win your copy, enter by commenting on this post until January 31, 2016. I’ll contact the winner via email afterwords.

What about this book sounds best to you? Is there a certain type of crochet stitch you’d like to explore? Please leave your thoughts, ideas and questions in the comment section below.



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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Crochet Pattern: Tall Ice Cream Cone Applique My Latest #Crochet Writing

This is my latest blog post for Crochet Spot! Read the whole article on crochetspot.com
Ever since I attended a craft party for the charity Sole Hope, I have been thinking about crafting with denim in new ways. During the party, we cut up old jeans into pieces to make shoes for children who need them. Thinking of old jeans as a textile, I began imagining painted denim canvases and tote bags. And a denim tote bag would look great with a crochet applique like this one on it!

Skill Level:

Finished Size: 5″ (13 cm) wide, 8″ (20 cm) tall

Materials:
Medium Weight Yarn (approximately 25 yards of each color)
Crochet Hook H (5.00 mm)
crochet yarn size 4

Gauge:
Rows 1 – 6 in pattern measure 2.5 inches (6 cm) by 2.5 inches (6 cm)

Need help understanding the abbreviations and symbols? Check out the crochet abbreviation chart.

Crochet Pattern: Tall Ice Cream Cone Applique
Row 1: with cone color, ch 11, hdc in third ch from hook and in each ch across: 9 hdc
Rows 2-8: ch 2, turn hdc in each hdc across: 9 hdc
Row 9: ch 4 (counts as 1 tr), turn, 4 tr in first hdc, hdc in each of next 7 hdc, 5 tr in last hdc: 17 tr
Row 10: change to ice cream color, turn, (ch 4, sc in next tr) 17 times: 17 sc
Row 11: ch 3 (counts as 1 dc now and throughout), turn, skip first 2 sc, dc in next sc, dc in next 11 sc, skip 2 sc, dc in last sc: 13 dc
Note: Push all “loops” to the front of work.
Row 12: ch 3, turn, skip first dc, dc in next 9 dc, dc2tog: 11 dc
Row 13: ch 3, turn, skip first dc, dc in next 9 dc: 10 dc
Row 14: ch 3, turn, skip first dc, dc in next 8 dc: 9 dc
Row 15: turn, skip first 4 dc, 12 dtr in next dc, skip 3 dc, sl st in last dc: 12 dtr
Finish off. To close hole made in the middle of row 14, weave matching scrap yarn through the base of dtr stitches and pull tight.

Need help while crocheting? Feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll help you out!



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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Crochet Pattern: Reusable Gift Bow My Latest #Crochet Writing

This is my latest blog post for Crochet Spot! Read the whole article on crochetspot.com
The holidays are just around the corner. How are you doing with your handmade list? Well, sometimes you’d like to add a handmade touch to your gifts, even if you have to buy the gift itself. Previously, I shared Three Ways to Incorporate Crochet into Your Gift Wrapping, and those ideas still hold up. Today I share a simple pattern to make a crocheted bow that you can use over and over. Switch up the colors to match any gift wrap or theme!

Skill Level:

Finished Size: 5.5″ (14 cm) wide, 3″ (7.5 cm) tall

Materials:
Medium Weight Yarn (approximately 10-25 yards of each color)
Crochet Hook H (5.00 mm)
Yarn Needle
Optional: Twist Tie
crochet yarn size 4

Gauge:
Rows 1 – 7 in patterns measures 5.5″ (14 cm) wide, 3″ (7.5 cm) tall

Need help understanding the abbreviations and symbols? Check out the crochet abbreviation chart.

Crochet Pattern: Reusable Gift Bow
Row 1: ch 20, hdc in third ch from hook and in each ch across: 18 hdc
Rows 2-7:ch 2, tuurn, hdc into each hdc across: 18 hdc
Finish off.

Border
With a contrasting color, single crochet evenly around. Finish off.

To form bow, using contrasting yarn, weave a loose running stitch up the middle of the rectangle (as held lengthwise). Gather the crochet fabric as it puckers in the middle. Tightly wrap yarn around the middle of the piece. Tie with a double knot to secure. Add a twist tie to the back of the piece in order to use the bow over and over.

Need help while crocheting? Feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll help you out!



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