It's no secret that I'm in love with the open road. 

So when LittleGrayFox offered up her newest Crafty Challenge theme, "someday you'll ache like I ache," my mind immediately heard one word:  fernweh.

photo from one of my trips across the country...i no longer recall which one

Fernweh is an old German word, for which there is no direct equivalent in English.  When I first discovered it, it was defined:
"a longing for, a desire to return to, a place you've never been." 

Wiki has an alternate definition which places it more clearly in the context of this challenge theme:
"an ache for the distance."


So this is where my mind went when the challenge was proposed.  I've recently become interested in embroidery, so I decided to attempt to translate the above photograph into a stitched piece.

I left a lot of the details out, and tried to boil the photo down to the just the essence of what Fernweh means to me.  A lonely road to nowhere is sort of iconic in my mental encyclopedia.


After stitching, I placed the muslin in a kind of gothic-y frame. 
It's a little "emo-crafty" but hey, it seems to work.


Some close ups of the stitchery.  I tried to stick to a simple gray scale, which was a bit harder than I'd originally anticipated.

I am SO not a stitch-y expert.  I am just really enjoying messing about with embroidery these days.


In the end, it looks a good deal different then the photograph, but hopefully still captures the spirit.

Be sure to visit LittleGrayFox tomorrow to see all the entries.  I am so curious to see how everyone else intrepreted the challenge.

{ do you ever feel a little 'fernweh' ? }

Pssssssssst! oh. em. gee. tomorrow is the Virtual Fashion Show!
Thank you to all who submitted photos -- I am soo excited!!


32 notes

  1. T@PoppyPlacePdx on October 21, 2010 at 10:25 AM

    WOW! Kelli, that is so pretty. I love it. You really captured the essence of the photo and the grey scale works perfectly.

    I think I am a nomad at heart, so yes, I feel 'fernweh' daily (does that sound a little naughty?? (He! He!)

    Have a lovely day, T. :)

  2. paislea on October 21, 2010 at 10:29 AM

    ummmm...that is amazing. i would like to buy it. hahah. it's so gorgeous!!

    allister bee

  3. cb on October 21, 2010 at 10:36 AM

    wow what a beautiful word! i love your embroidery!! so great!

    that sucks about your friend, i hope she was okay. the same thing happened to me...i stopped pedaling and didn't realize that my feet were still in the clips and just feel right over! it sucked! fell right onto hard concrete and had huge bruises and scratches for weeks. learned my lesson!!


  4. Janet Mazorie on October 21, 2010 at 10:57 AM

    So impressed! I think "flaws" are what make this so personal and awesome. Love it

  5. Unknown on October 21, 2010 at 11:03 AM

    can'tr wait to see fashion show!

  6. yourstrulydear on October 21, 2010 at 11:21 AM

    umm WHOA kelli you are freaking awesome. this looks amazing, you did a fabulous job!!! my fernweh used to be a lot greater. in the past few years though i've definitely become more of a homebody. i still want to go to some specific locations though :]

    ps i am PUMPED for tomorrow!!!

  7. Stacey on October 21, 2010 at 12:15 PM

    You surprise me more and more! Now you're embroidering and doing a darned good job too! XX

  8. Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird on October 21, 2010 at 12:24 PM

    Wow that is so so pretty!

  9. k on October 21, 2010 at 1:06 PM

    That looks so good - I"m super impressed. I love that it means something special too - And "fernweh" - what a pretty word. I'm learning german and (well, i use google translator a lot) - and it translates as wanderlust! I love the remote aspect of it though. Fern translated to distant i think.

  10. k on October 21, 2010 at 1:07 PM

    then mark informed that wanderlust is a german word. i'm all confused now, honestly! :)

  11. k on October 21, 2010 at 1:57 PM

    yes, well I like where you are going with the word, haha! do you know german? it would be: vahnderloost. haha, sorry, i'm a nerd too! and like learning it! and teaching it apparently

  12. k on October 21, 2010 at 1:58 PM

    and saying haha a lot

  13. Andrea (Panda) on October 21, 2010 at 1:59 PM

    i think it turned out great! too bad im lame and missed this crafty challange this month. boooo

  14. Diana Mieczan on October 21, 2010 at 2:25 PM

    You are incredible! You totally impressed me with this embroidery! Its so beautiful and captues it all:)
    Have a great day,sweetie

  15. Diana on October 21, 2010 at 2:27 PM

    Wow. What a great word! So mysterious and romantic sounding.

    I love your piece to go along with it.

  16. Diana on October 21, 2010 at 2:27 PM

    Also, you are so stitchy.

  17. k on October 21, 2010 at 3:03 PM

    hieeee, me again, just wanted to say thanks for your comment on my guest post. ok i'm done now for real

  18. Alycia Grayce (Crowley Party) on October 21, 2010 at 3:20 PM

    beautiful :)

  19. Molly Page on October 21, 2010 at 6:44 PM

    First, your project is super cute. Yay for new crafty hobbies!!!
    Next, I love the term "fernweh". It's definitely something I experience on a REGULAR basis. So, I'm loving that there's actually a word for it!!
    Finally, CAN'T WAIT for Virtual Fashion FRIDAY. WOO HOO.

    Leaving the House in THIS?!?!

  20. ana on October 21, 2010 at 6:49 PM

    yo. your embroidery skills are awesome. i love the way this came out. looks vintage.

  21. Tsuki aka LittleGrayFox on October 21, 2010 at 7:34 PM

    awww it's so perfect!! I love it! Great translation of the photo.

    how funny that both of our projects ended up in grayscale. I guess it's the moodiness of the theme. :) Really great job!

  22. Anonymous on October 21, 2010 at 8:43 PM

    Such a beautiful word and I love how you captured it so creatively. Really, really impressive.

  23. Lauren on October 22, 2010 at 12:17 AM

    Wow, I think this is fantastic.. so beautiful!

  24. C'est La Vie on October 22, 2010 at 12:47 AM

    this is incredible, i'm impressed :) you are inspiring, to say the least :)

  25. Leia on October 22, 2010 at 2:40 AM

    I think you did a great job! The only type of stitching I can do is cross-stitch, haha


  26. My Life Under the Bus on October 23, 2010 at 7:22 AM

    It's AMAZING - you totally captured the feeling you were going for. I think they greys just added to the feeling of sadness or longing to be somewhere - Beautiful job Kelli!!!

  27. amanda on October 23, 2010 at 2:02 PM

    oh my goodness, have you got some talent girl! this looks fantastic! good job!

  28. heather on October 24, 2010 at 4:51 PM

    Oh dear Kelli, how I adore, i mean really adore this post! First that word is just amazing, especially your first definition of it. Something like feeling a nostalgic longing for somewhere you've never been. Oh the "places" I could go with just that idea/topic/word!

    AND that you area an awesome little embroiderer! What a wonderful challenge and end result! I love the photo and your embroidery SO much! I think you should create a photo wall and frame both of them together (tho maybe apart) somewhere in the field of art!

  29. Holly Knitlightly on October 25, 2010 at 10:51 AM

    Wow, I think this is incredibly wonderful! I love it.

  30. Unknown on October 25, 2010 at 6:53 PM

    I love it! Beautiful!

  31. Unknown on October 26, 2010 at 12:54 PM

    So pretty! I love the idea of embroidering a favorite photograph. You did a great job!

  32. Anonymous on October 29, 2010 at 8:28 AM

    OMG. This is wonderful! I've seen some of the most wonderfully simple embroidered pieces lately and have been wanting to try. I love this....your stitches seem pretty expert to me :)