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, January 1, 2009

Renewed determination

Hi!!! I'm back, it's been a long time. I am reluctant to wish you all the usual 'happy new year' stuff. I'm not being mean it's just that wishing it today implies I don't care the rest of the time and anything I wish you today is wished 365 days a year, so as far as I am concerned it's thursday and I hope this thursday is as good as the rest of the days that lie ahead! You will probably know that I have been on holiday since before christmas. Well I had plans, boy did I have plans, unfortunately my plans weren't on the same astral plane as flu. I was laid up for a little while and didn't achieve all my aims. It's not all bad though. We had a lovely christmas, special recipe avoid the sneeze turkey and so many gifts, wow, am I one spoilt lady. You know how when you have children they always have the biggest pile of presents......not in this house... it was me. I may take some time to share my gifts with you sometime but until then I must send special thanks to blogworld, namely Ulla and Kaija, such loveliness in a packet!!

I have been doing a lot of thinking this past couple of weeks, (more angst, sorry!!) It revolves around ambition, work, creativity, you know the theme. Now don't get me wrong, in terms of work, proper tax paying kind of work, my job is pretty good. If you have to go out to work it's probably one of the best places to do it. However, I had a dream. I still have a dream, a dream that I can make a living from my embroidery. The fact that I now have to go out to work instills in me a sense of failure, I can't make a living from my enbroidery. I had this conversation with a very good friend of mine and she said, ' you haven't failed, your time will definitely come'. So I have shaken myself down, kicked myself up the backside and ralised that only I can make this happen. Use my new found wealth (after the taxman has taken his cut) for the purpose I originally intended, promotion. So I have plans which will become clearer over the coming weeks. I am going to do this, it will work, I will be able to stay home and create again, stay tuned!

Now back to embroidery. Remember this? Well the lining is now damp stretched and construction of the final piece is about to begin! I have plans again, this weekend fingers crossed.







Then there was this, I really enjoyed the process of heavy hand embroidery as opposed to minimal stitch and then manipulation of the fabric. I also liked the combination of contemporary linen alongside traditional process, the appliqued petals in more modern cloth alongside traditional embroidery which led to this new piece. This is now damp stretched awaiting an edge, a back and a twist.








In this image you can see the linen peeping out from the cutwork hole. I love here how you can see the freshly sprayed water on the pins. The continuous line of stitch that are visible are tacking stitches, they are removed now, I put them there to hold the pleats while I damp stretched.




















This piece is only half made. I intended to use it as an edge for the new swaddling band. When I tested that option last night though I'm not sure anymore. It doesn't have that 'thing' I'm looking for. I do like it on it's own though, I have basically heavily machine stitched a piece of silk muslin. It has a really good surface texture, ideal for stitch and I think I may use it in other work so it's not a total waste. The last image shows the back of this piece where the machine stitch is more obvious.

































































Finally!!!!! haven't I gone on and on today??? I managed to find the time to play on flickr!! Do you like my mosaic? I love it and I have a feeling there may be many more of these in the future.
















13 comments:

Ulla said...

Look Karen, we are all here the minute you post! Good to hear you have beaten the flu. The mosaic is great, I see some familiar pictures there, and I love the use of colour in your new pieces. Have a nice thursday today!

Victoria said...

You have a true gift. May everyday in 2009 see your creative hopes, wishes and dreams turn into reality. xo

jude said...

i love all of it and especially that new texture on the silk muslin, really exciting. warm wishes for this coming year and all it can offer you...

Gina said...

Beautiful mosiac of beautiful embroidery. Wishing you all the very best for every day in 2009 Karen, and all the success you deserve.

Gunnels blog said...

Your stitching are always so beautiful! I wish you a new creative and good year :-)

jennyflower said...

Happy Thursday to you too! Sorry to hear you have been poorly, but glad you had some lovely gifts. I hope this year brings you another step closer to your dream.

Miss 376 said...

Hope the creative juices will flow now you have got rid of the flu. Love the embroidered band, looking forward to seeing where it appears next

Threadspider said...

With your unerring sense of design and style, I can't wait to see you succede mightily in 2009. We are all cheering you on.

Jacky said...

Looove this post, so much to see and read (thank you).
The montage is beautiful. I have been trying to do one of those myself... yours looks amazing with all those wonderful snippets of your embroideries.

hens teeth said...

Karen
I have been thinking about your post.
This is going to sound so perfectly selfish, but my day job brings me frustration and tiredness, but like you I have a very good job, in as much it affords me long holidays. My days are spent longing to be at home in my studio. But the mighty dollar speaks and it has to be done. I have no alternative.
Forgive me for going on about myself but I just wanted you to know that I understand the frustration you feel.

Diane said...

As always I love your work. I too really like the cutwork and the linen peeping out of it. Your pictures are wonderful and make my fingers itch to get back to the needle! Glad you are feeling better and I hope your dreams of stitching for a living come true. I am fortunate as my hubby is behind me 100% when it comes to me doing the same thing...creatin for a living...

Kayla coo said...

Happy New Year!
Like Viv I am in a very similar position.
It would be a dream to make my living from my art but I have to work as a teaching assistant to help pay the bills.
I wish you so much luck as your embroidery is so very beautiful.

Hotter Than... said...

Karen I hope you had a wonderful Thursday and equally your Friday went well too. (I'm sure we'll get to the other days as they happen).

You'r work is as always beautiful and fills me with ideas for my own creations - though nothing so grand.

I hope you realise your dreams in 2009 - can't wait to hear how things happen x