For centuries women have used cloth as a tool of comfort and as an expression of beauty within their homes. Creating cloth for warmth, cloth for shelter, our female predecessors embellished these linens with hand stitch using laborious and time consuming techniques thereby enhancing the functional beauty of objects which enveloped and protected their families. Inspired by these women I hope my creations pay tribute to and recognise the devotion expressed in cloth by our female ancestors .







''the use of traditional often time consuming process alludes to the devotion of a mother''. c K. A. Ruane 2007







Thursday, May 5, 2016

continuing in cloth







Remember this from Tuesday? These images are of the piece which followed that. Layers of lace and fabric, doodling onto cloth, embroidery......I like it, I like the one from Tuesday...but....I still don't really know where I am going with this. I still feel directionless in terms of my own work, what I want to do outside of class, what I want to do for me. I need to shut my eyes for 10 minutes and think, get lost in thoughts of stitch, paper, doodles.........let my mind wander.....failing that I will look back at old work....that usually sparks something. - See more at: http://karenannruane.typepad.com/karen_ruane/#sthash.wrKpvxPq.dpuf

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

layers, textures,






Yesterday if you remember I was talking about some thoughts I'm having about taking a different approach to ledgers, artist books. This is the start of that, mixing surfaces....cloth and stitch with doodles and texture....larger pieces than I normally use in my artist books. I wouldn't say I'm there yet in terms of firm plans, I'm still playing and thinking and making notes. Maybe I will overlay pages with fine papers, sheer, lace like papers......again I'm just wondering, considering, laying those down. At the moment the overlay in the fourth image is my favourite, it's lighter, more delicate.
There's still a long way to go with these. I will keep playing, testing....
- See more at: http://karenannruane.typepad.com/karen_ruane/#sthash.cOQ3T8Wk.dpuf

Monday, May 2, 2016

two from France





Two of these little stitched and titivated artist books made it home with me from France. If you want one they are now in the shop.
It seems I am consumed with all things ''ledger'' at the moment. We are working with ledgers, books, illustrations in ''stitching a story'' and I have plans which excite me regarding ledgers in another form...same principle, different presentation, different approach. It's quite possible I will begin work on that idea later today.
To all of you amazing, wonderful, patient people who have stuck by me through my silence, my non response to e malls and comments through the hectic weeks leading up to France....thank you. I am hoping to make a start on replying to you all later today. If I don't get round to you today it will definitely happen this week. Thank you a million times over for your willingness to keep turning up when all you get in return is zero...zilch....it's appreciated and then some.
Finally...if you are registered for Stitching a Story you should have received sign in information etc this morning. If you didn't receive that will you please let me know.
- See more at: http://karenannruane.typepad.com/karen_ruane/#sthash.C3XMERcy.dpuf

Sunday, May 1, 2016

lace on silk



White lace, white silk, an embroidery hoop, pale thread, flowers, French knots, buttonhole stitch, lazy daisy stitch, cross stitch....a new piece of work started before I went to London and continued today on video. This one will eventually form a very small part of a wrapping cloth, eventually. 
London was good, London was great, London is always great. We celebrated a birthday, visited some of the sights...and visited Liberty. I was very restrained, you would have been proud. (There are London pictures on my Instagram if you want to take a peek.)
It's all systems go now for ''stitching a story'' which starts tomorrow. I'm ready, videos made, pictures taken.
(I sent a mail to those of you who have registered for ''stitching a story'' this morning. If you didn't receive that can you please let me know. I know of three people who won't have received it as theirs just kept bouncing back. I tried 3 times. Laureen, Helen and Cynthia....any idea why that would be??? Laureen and Cynthia I have sent it to your flickr mail....Helen? Help)
- See more at: http://karenannruane.typepad.com/karen_ruane/#sthash.gb5DDvY6.dpuf



Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Bullion loops




I'm convincing myself that I am capable of embroidering a bullion loop following on from my chat about failure in that department in France which I posted yesterday. I'm also unloading a bit today about my lack of direction, my floundering as I am ''between'' things, classes and such like. I'm also talking about the fact that I am going away again tomorrow......sorry.....it's compulsory, there's a special occasion I cannot avoid. Because of that, if you register for ''Stitching a Story'' after today you will need to wait 72 hours for your ''welcome'' mail....thought I best explain that one. I'm not completely abandoning you though. I am working very hard to pre time blog posts for when I'm away....you don't get rid of me that easily.
If you weren't here yesterday I can recommend the video...a chat about my workshop in France. 
- See more at: http://karenannruane.typepad.com/karen_ruane/#sthash.aLhi1j66.dpuf



Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Workshop chat, a video about France






OK.....France again...you were warned. A video for you in which I ''bang on'' about the workshop and other things....
Your response to yesterdays post was phenomenal...thank you. I'm still not back to ''normal'' but this morning the unpacking, tidying and sorting out took a back seat as I introduced myself to Clara and prettified her a little ready for next Monday. 
- See more at: http://karenannruane.typepad.com/karen_ruane/#sthash.Y2GWJr8K.dpuf

Monday, April 25, 2016

France




vintage buys

workshop in progress


someone brought me a beautiful gift


oops, more shopping

I'm back.....there's no place like home. I am unpacking, washing, putting away cloth, salivating over one or two purchases and trying to take in everything from last week, how amazing it was, how exhausting it was, how busy it was (at times I struggled to get anywhere near my space), how friendly the people were, how excited they appeared to be about my work. I was humbled on more than one occasion and if I never hear the word ''magnifique'' again it won't matter because I heard it a zillion times last week. (there are many more images on my Instagram, there are also a couple of 16 second videos on there.)
The workshops were so successful, the learners were engaged and enthusiastic, leaving apparently very happy and excited to go home and finish their lace embroidery. I like to think I made some friends.....who knows, I feel as though I did.
I sold out of puffs, I sold a lot of buttons and ledgers and packets of embroidered cloth. I sold paperwork.....I didn't sell any pockets. I'm not actually surprised at that. The show was more of a venue for buying ''supplies'', threads, fabric, needles and such and I think  most people attending would feel capable of making a pocket for themselves. (having said that...you would not believe the number of people I met who had NEVER stitched a French knot) The French knot and I were inseparable last week, I must have stitched hundreds of them for demonstration purposes and not in the workshop....for customers.
I did get offered a lot of money for one of my ''not for sale'' wrapping cloths but they are far too precious to part with. Lot's of leaflets regarding ''Stitching a Story'' were picked up too, there were a lot of questions about that so who knows....that class may well have a ''French'' feel to it.....we shall see.
I am very, very happy to be home. I have so much more to say about the past week...prepare yourselves if you have signed up for class....... I will have you yawning before the second week is over! I will speak more about France on here of course but I can guarantee I will be ''banging on about it'' in class for weeks.


One or two of you expressed an interest in buying certain pieces if they did not sell in France. I can't remember who wanted what so if you want to ask about a particular piece please just mail me.
- See more at: http://karenannruane.typepad.com/karen_ruane/#sthash.wyCp5a21.dpuf


Saturday, April 16, 2016

white




I did it, I managed to find the two spare hours needed to satisfy the hankering I had for white lace cloth...I spoke about it yesterday. The two hours were hiding in the cupboard marked ''don't panic you are running on adrenalin''. I'm so pleased I did this, I love it, it makes me happy, it completes my preparations.
I'm closing the shop later today, the registration for my new class will open again a week on Monday. I will be back on here a week on Monday. I need to pack. I need to iron. I miss you already.....got to dash....

(patched pockets girls....I am waiting for the men to vacate the house, go to the football before I make your video...an estimate....it will be ready in a  couple of hours....when have I ever let you down?...OK...don't answer that!!)
- See more at: http://karenannruane.typepad.com/karen_ruane/#sthash.TrnXCnwE.dpuf

Friday, April 15, 2016

lace and beads






Lace cloth is now in rolls...as opposed to coming out of my ears like I said earlier in the week. I love how it looks rolled like this, it also makes me realise how little housework I've done lately....stitch and housework can't be done in unison. (my house is like a bomb site...I'm not in the least bit bothered...please don't judge me)
The puffs, the padded Suffolk puffs....I was going to say they are the final thing I am making to take with me but I'm not sure they are. I have an overwhelming desire to make a piece of white lace cloth....pure white.....I obviously haven't formed an aversion to creating lace cloth after the past weeks marathon which is  good thing. I now just have to search for the spare couple of hours I need to actually satisfy that urge.
- See more at: http://karenannruane.typepad.com/karen_ruane/#sthash.3p0OmNon.dpuf

Thursday, April 14, 2016

books, bags, labels, buttons








A glimpse for you of what I've been doing. There's been a bit of French printing going on as you can see. There's been a lot of stuff put in bags...(for protection in transit and for display). Cloth pieces such as pillows, pockets and wrapping cloths won't be going in bags.......but for travelling they will be wrapped in white acid free tissue and bubble wrap.
The little thread cards with the labels tied on with ribbon......they will very shortly have coloured thread wrapped on them for my workshops...pink and green to be precise. 
Next on my ''to do''  list is exactly that, thread wrapping.....
- See more at: http://karenannruane.typepad.com/karen_ruane/#sthash.Wk28C8mR.dpuf