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







Saturday, September 20, 2008

Artwork revisited and 200th post give away!

I have been trying so hard to create some artwork as a means of moving my work forward........It is so hard! I was never very confident with pencil and paper or paint and paper, you name it, we didn't really get along. I always wonder how I managed to complete a three year art and design degree with masses of artwork required! Maybe it was a dream. The first two pictures here are of my latest feeble attempts. I really think this is rubbish, I don't know where I am going with it at all.
Then I had a bit of a revelation moment, get out your old stuff, it may help. So here we have some artwork from a time long ago when I felt I could at least make a half decent job of it. You will notice though that even with these it's not absolute art, exclusively paint and pencil. I am obviously only comfortable with needle and thread.


All is not lost though, just from examining this work I feel I can move on. I have started to embroider a new piece which will not be a wrapping cloth. The usual techniques, patterns and embellishments will still be there but these will morph into a different conclusion.



I hope to have some embroidery to share next time and then it may become clearer.
Now for the big drum roll (close your eyes and imagine).............this is my 200th post!!! It is such a massive milestone for me. I remember in the beginning how lonely it was in blog world, hardly any visits, never any comments and now, well I cannot believe how many of you are interested in my incoherent rambling! I can't imagine a bloggless life at all any more so I am sure I will get to 300, 400, and on and on and on.......In honour of the occasion I am going to have a give away...with a difference. For the winner I will make a piece of work to your specification. It can be any size up to 10 inches square, that's 25cm , (it is quite small but these things take such a long time!) using techniques seen on this blog. It can be all one technique or as many as you like. So leave a comment, tell me your preferred techniques and hey presto! I will draw the winner on september 30th.
Have a lovely weekend!

32 comments:

jude said...

wow, a milestone indeed! congrats! isn't it amazing how much we actually get out there? i love what i am seeing here with the stitches on the pinholes. nice combo.

jackie said...

I would be pleased with anything you stitched. Having just completed an Access course, I now realize that it is not about great drawing or painting skills, its the creativity which counts.I nolonger feel ashamed of my drawing skills, which has allowed me to start an experimental drawing class.

méri said...

Congrats for youe 200th post!
i love all your work. But I have to say I simply adore those knots, there on your blog header...:)

ginie lee said...

Hello, congrats on your 200th post and thanks for the encouraging comment you left on my blog! I simply love the cutwork that you do with the vintage embroidery beneath, the pinwheels and the appliqued flowers, in fact everything!

Sue said...

Happy bloggiversary, Karen, and congratulations on creating such an enjoyable blog as well as delightful stitchworks. I love the reverse applique with lace and/or pre-printed linens with the blue and white, the knots and the pricking patterns.

Karen said...

Happy 200 post! I'm fascinated by all your work and would love to own any of it!

Gina said...

Karen, your artwork is as beautiful as your embroidery. To me it is ethereal and delicate. I love it all! Congratulations on reaching 200 posts - we've got there at about the same time!

Ulla said...

Congratulations on your 200th post! Your new cut holes in the fabric look so fragile; I wonder how you are going to use them.

ger said...

I enjoy looking at your work a lot - and that includes the drawings! I like their lightness and understatement, it´s thoughtenhancing and restful. Congratulations on No. 200 - I´ve just passed 50, and already don´t like the idea of a blogless life ...

paulahewitt said...

congratulations! I would love to own something you've made. I like it all - but particularly the applique petals and eyelets with the vintage embroideries.

Martha said...

Karen, Happy 200th post! I am always checking your blog to see what you are up to and how your work is progressing. You inspire me to keep working on my own embroideries. I love the different ways that you manipulate fabric.

Jamie said...

200 posts? That's great! I love your flower petals and the cutout work with the embroidery underneath! Everything you make is wonderful! Jamie V in MT
http://rem-nants.blogspot.com
amzanioli@yahoo.com

Tiffany said...

I'd be honored to get anything made by you! If you want specifics, let me know if I am the lucky winner and I'll try my best.

--Tiffany

craftydiane said...

Congratulations on your 200th post! I love all your work. I love the way you take an embroidery piece and then work button hole stitches around it.
Blessings,
Diane

Venetian Blue said...

Congratulations on your 200th post, it does feel lonely out there sometimes when you are blogging but I think it does help creatively to sort your thoughts out. Don't give up on the artwork I think it is lovely - keep at it. I like the photo 5th from the top - the techniques in that are lovely - the pinhole work and the petal shapes showing blue flower outlines underneath and then a darker blue stitching - really nice.
Jacqui
http://www.jacquidodds.blogspot.com/

Miss 376 said...

Congratualtions on 200posts and what a generous giveaway. I am so pleased to have found your blog, love everything you have done. I like the white on white with the cutouts and the words. The list could go on.
Good luck with the new piece

jennyflower said...

Wow wee! I hope I win! I like your mended vintage things, and I like it when you use some colour. (now you really don't want it to be me!) I am doing a 100 post give away at the mo if you fancy joining in. xx

Marty52 said...

Congratulations!! As always you inspire me... I especially love the knotted letters (are they french knots?), they are timeless.

prairiethistle said...

Congratulations on your 200th post.
I was first drawn to your site by your cutwork eyelets and petals with the embroidery underneath, but love all of your work.

Emmy said...

congratulations on your 200th post
I love all of your embroidery so if i am the lucky one I wil be so happy I love it all

Victoria said...

Congrats on your 200th post, Karen!
I simply love everything that you do and would be thrilled with any of your wonderful techniques!

Threadspider said...

Happy 200th Karen! May you quicjly reach 1000. I too love all your embroidery, but it's the pleats and the tiny coloured appliqué flowers that I especially love.

christine said...

Congratulations on your 200th post - don't be unconfident about your artwork - what you've done in the past looks beautiful and very evocative - I'm sure its just a question of finding your feet with it again - and of course your finished embroideries are wonderful! and thats the main thing! - I would be over the moon to win a piece of your work - I especially like the pieces that use vintage embroidery and applique.
Christine x

mrsb said...

Congratulations! I hope many more posts will follow. I love all your work, but especially the vintage embroidery! Just a little bit of colour on all the beautiful white!

Kayla coo said...

Thank you for sharing your lovely work, it is so beautiful.
The person who wins will be very lucky.
Draw as you would stitch also it some times helps to draw over a pale wash of water colour, not as intimidating as a stark white page.

Philippa said...

Well done on 200 posts - I love dipping into your blog and admiring your amazing work. I share your love of old textiles & embroideries and think they can add so much to new work. Anything showcasing one of these would be a complete delight! Looking forward to reading many more posts. Thanks for all the inspiration.

Ouissi said...

I love your work...absolutely beautiful!

congratulations on the milestone ;)

Ouissi x

Anonymous said...

Dear Karen it has been some time since i looked at your blog, so pleased i did cant believe my luck to choose a time when you are having a give away. Your work is inspirational as always!

Lisa said...

Congratulations on your 200th post! I love seeing each new thing you do. The knotwork, cutwork, white on white. All gorgeous. And the way you create, then deconstruct and then reconstruct encourages me to keep thinking beyond the obvious! I would love to be entered in your drawing!

Blessings and peace,
Lisa
http://ivoryblushroses.blogspot.com

Nancy McCarroll - Arts, Crafts and Favorites said...

Lovely work you do. So count me as the 30th entry; good luck on more blogging (although you have quite an audience already ! ;O)

Jacky said...

Congratulations on your 200th post and the wonderful following you have gathered. I know I love visiting your blog to see what you are up to, your wrapping cloths are amazing!
I love everything you do (and do love those where a splash of colour comes through - such understated elegance). Love your cutwork with vintage embroderies and lace, those wonderful knots, the text... love the text too and those hooks and eyes you used were fantastis.... Ohhhh too much you say, that will never fit on a piece that size.
Dont worry, if I'm lucky enough to win I will love anything you make.
Looking forward to many, many more posts and cant wait to see your latest piece developing.

Shell said...

Hi Karen,
I really love all your work. It's truly incredible and I love to visit your blog. I found you through Jude's and I'm glad I did. Congratulations on 200th post.
Hugs,
Michelle (shell)