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, September 23, 2010

this and that....

Wedding favours are ongoing and that's a phrase you will be hearing for a while! In the meantime I was asked about brooches, one I already had, another one a request for the same person. This provided me with a little diversion last night, a very pleasurable diversion too. The two ''special'' favours are now damp stretched, only another 40 to go. Just to clarify, these are a gift for my cousin, the groom, and his bride. Willingly and lovingly created to make their special day a little more special, or not, depending on whether they like them! Yikes! and Like I said to someone yesterday, who knows, if they have kids they may even let me babysit so there is method in my madness!!






Now just a few words about what's going on at the top of the page. I am often asked what drives me, what inspires me. Well there you have it. Now you may be thinking what has that got to do with brooches, purses, even wedding favours. Well I will explain, every stitch I stitch is making a mark on cloth in the same way it would have if executed by my grandmother, your grandmother, her grandmother before her. Traditional stitch, traditional techniques, surface pattern inspired by my stash of vintage domestic cloth. I hope that those factors are what links me to the past, my use of the same process. I know for certain that those are the thoughts and memories that drive me and I also know that others who use hand stitch are feeding from that even if not in a conscious way. The difference with me I think is that it is the cornerstone, the base, the reason for everything I do. So my little statement is there to answer those questions, to explain a little, to hopefully make things a little clearer. If you think about it one hundred years ago if somebody wanted wedding favours for a loved one could they pop out to the high street and buy them? Probably not, they would have taken time, embroidered them, lovingly by hand.
Yesterdays conundrum has also been solved, what to make alongside the gold hearts. I saw an image online yesterday of rows and rows of quilts, throws, beautiful linens on a washing line. I was jealous, I want some of that I thought. I aspire to have a line like that. Then I heard somebody say ''well make yourself some you stupid woman'', yes it was me saying it. So tonight, when I have cleaned some of the cobwebs from this condemned structure that is my home, I am going to start something for me, a throw perhaps, who knows.
I do know that I feel some hexagon cutting coming.....

16 comments:

sylviesgarden said...

Cor, those brooches are the bee's knee's. I just spilt coffee down the front of me when I saw them, luckily I'm wearing black.
I think that you truly deserve to make something beautiful for yourself.
I hope that your house isn't really condemned. Take care my dear.
x

fabriquefantastique said...

love the brooches/buttons.....they have given me a great idea!!!

Gina said...

Stunning brooches Karen... I do hope you are charging a realistic price ; )

Wendy said...

Stunning work as every, the little brooches are gorgeous and the bride and groom are EXTREMELY lucky to have your hand made favours.

DK said...

I had to click over from google reader (which is where I normally read from) so could see what you were talking about in the 2nd to last paragraph. I agree wholeheartedly. While it is not the cornerstone of why I stitch and create, it is a huge part of the reason why I do it and have kept with it over the years even though I was not conscious of such until I got to see a couple boxes of hand stitched and partly hand dyed quilt tops and several embroidered items made by my great-grandmother earlier this summer. I think I jokingly told my sister that night that I used to tell people I wanted to be an adult when I grew up, but that now I really knew what I wanted to be when I grew up and that was my great-grandmother.

Miss 376 said...

It's about time you made something for yourself. I am sure these favours will be loved too, and treasured for years to come

meandering pearl said...

oh they will love these!!! i heart the words at the top of your page!!! you are so beautifully inspired!!! loveliest thoughts

Rachel said...

It will be interesting to see what you make for yourself, having been slaving for others all this time!

Victoria said...

Beautiful sentiment Karen.

helena said...

They're so lovely, these brooches!
Your cousin will love the gifts you're doing!!!

Gina said...

I'm glad you explained the added text. Today is a bit of a blur but I couldn't remember seeing it before and wondered if I had really passed it by.

I love the way you embroider those teensy pockets with surprises showing through in various shapes.

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for showing us your lovely brooches.

Things Hand Made said...

I love that phrase, it says a lot. its hard to say what pushes you to keep putting needle through cloth. i find it meditative it givesme space to think... not sure what about!

Jackie said...

Your brooches are perfection itself.
Love the small touches of colour, as in the wedding favours. I think yellow is undervalued.

Tammie said...

homemade gifts and items are always the most meaningful to me. Lovely to keep the traditions continuing on!

Karen Turner said...

Fantastic. Love it - your words about women, the past, stitching - and the planned quilt. Excellent. Oh, and the favours are pretty good too ;-)