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, January 30, 2010

finished

First things first, thanks so much to everyone who wished me a speedy recovery. As you can see I am back in the land of the living, just. Not quite out of the woods but getting there. Relax and rest were the orders so who am I to argue. Embroidery equals rest....doesn't it? Sitting with your feet up, hoop on your lap, requesting liquids at regular intervals off harassed relatives.....works for me anyway.
Back to the substance, the embroidery, as you can see I have finished my colourful piece. What do you think? I made these little flaps for the edge, partly because I like them but also to give it some length. They are so simple to make yet are so effective and it's great to create a contrast to the main piece, little parts of the pattern seperated out.





my little pocket is fastened with hooks and eyes. The pocket itself is created from the very first piece I made in this colour scheme. Taking you way, way back to the first days of my documented ramblings, do you remember the significance of the pockets? To remind you, (or maybe bore you to sleep) pockets, folds, pleats etc etc are all a way of expressing my desire to protect my children and the emotions associated with motherhood. A way of keeping them private, hidden and safe. I didn't just flip and place a random, useless pocket on this piece, there is method in my madness! I need to hold onto that, being housebound allows you time to think and thinking, (if you are unstable!!) leads to creative angst but I am not going to go there today, maybe next time if I am feeling more human.



and finally, images of the back. The text is partly visible on the front and forms the whole of the back. Once again.......what do you think?

Now an illustration of what a terrible business woman I am and why I will never be worth millions. I want to plug my shop. My shop is so quiet at the moment. I am embarrassed mentioning my shop. Why is that? Is it an English thing? Reserved and all that? Some people are experts at it and I admire them. Anyway I've done it, now I'm off to hide under a blanket.

22 comments:

Elizabeth said...

It is soooooo beautiful. I love the way you explain the pocket, that gives it an extra dimension for me. And your oh so cute french knots a delight to look at.

Have a great weekend with also a lot of rest.

xoxo Elizabeth

Miss 376 said...

It is really beautiful, the little pocket is wonderful and I love the idea of the larger areas of the text.

JP said...

glad you are feeling better - this work is lovely

IamSusie said...

Your work is absolutely wonderful and you also take beautiful photographs of it! Lucky for us readers! Good luck with your shop. I find that I enjoy making things a whole lot more than I enjoy selling them!

karen said...

Hi Susie. I also get massive pleasure from making, it really is a joy yet if I am to make a living from this I need to sell. My dream is to do this full time, give up the day job. We need to dream don't we?

Sarah said...

amazing. that is the only word I can think of to describe your latest piece. Well done x

Joey's Dream Garden said...

I love this! It's really beautiful. I like how you've used mainly white and then introduced little dots of colour with the reverse applique and the french knots in that lovely thread!
This is my first time to your blog, via the Flickr group Hand Embroidery Network, just so you know. ;-)
And you don't need to embarrassed about mentioning your shop, people will WANT to know where to buy beautiful things!! AND I'm British too!
best wishes
Joey

Jacky said...

Wonderful, whimsical piece...I especially love the back that text and the hooks and eyes. What a treat to turn a piece over to look at the back and find such detailed, beautiful work.
Good luck with your shop and I am so glad you are feeling much better.

Jacky xox

Pots and Pins said...

So are you feeling better? I hope so! After looking through your latest projects I certainly am feeling better - you are SO amazing!! I love the color work you did...but your latest is just incredible - I don't know how you find the time - are you still working? I saw a movie today called Leap Year - filmed in Ireland - which, of course, is not that close to where you live but closer than where I live - anyway, it made me think of you and all things British/Irish/Scot and got me wondering what you've been up to...now I know! I do hope you'll be back to feeling 100% soon! xo, Nan

sparkle jars said...

Absolutely lovely and I love the little pocket and tabs.

Marie said...

Hope you are feeling better : )
The stitching is lovely as always
and I guess I missed the part early on about the hooks/pocket but, I do understand about keeping the children private.What a wonderful metaphor you have created for that! I feel the same way...protective.

méri said...

Glag to hear you are feeling better! Take care. xx

Joei Rhode Island said...

Very contemporary...Little square tabs at the bottom with all that color. And I love the story of the pockets...and the thoughts of family while you stitch.
Glad you are on the road to recovery.

jennyflower said...

So pleased you are feeling brighter and am really pleased to see your finished piece. It's really fresh and bright.

Kayla coo said...

Hi Karen,
Sorry to hear you have been unwell.
Your finished piece is quirky and fun!
I know exactly how you feel about talking shop, I'm just the same.x

Gina said...

It is beautiful Karen. I'm working on hidden pieces of cloth and button fastenings as a way of concealing and protecting at the moment - a theme that has also been running through my work for a while. Glad you are on the mend!

Angelcat said...

Glad to hear you are feeling better, I agree what better way to relax and unwind than with embroidery hoop in tow :) Your colourful piece is just gorgeous!

Swirlyarts said...

It's beautiful!

Amelia said...

The work is stunning and it's lovely to hear the ideas behind it. I feel inspired, and I'm glad to hear you are feeling better too!

Amelia.x

Kaye Turner said...

Yes, it's an English thing, I think. The new work is very beautiful; your stitching is exquisite.

Catherine Rosselle said...

Your work is so beautiful. I love the pockets and their signifiance.

Threadspider said...

It is an English thing-goodness knows why, but it is.
I especially like the little edge flaps-that little print gives them a very modern twist.