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 26, 2012

hearts.....





Whilst I was damp stretching the piece from yesterday again.... last night, (yes again...because I had finished the section with two hearts and added web stitches and French knots) I realised that hearts are becoming a recurring theme in my work. Then I got to wondering if you all thought they were there for ''pretty'', ''cute'' or ''sugary sweet'' reasons......well to explain.......they aren't. Hearts are there because historically they were used in abundance on domestic samplers, domestic linens and cross stitch pieces. The heart motif is as old as time and that my friends is why I use it almost to exhaustion...

18 comments:

Suztats said...

Sugary sweet, or just for history--it doesn't matter because they're gorgeous and I love them!

Miss 376 said...

I love the way the hearts are replicated in the various forms

Coach Tina said...

I love the hearts in your work-I think it is telling of how much love you put into your work-your love of family, etc.

GREAT WORK!

Iceni UK said...

super embroidery Karen, hearts reflect the love your have for everything you do.
x

Peggy Holt said...

I have been trying to stay away from hearts in my work, because I felt they had been overused and become trite....as in I "heart" my honor student.....But now I must seriously reconsider my aversion because, incorporated into your work, they are stunning, and an important, integral part of the beauty you have created.

Are you getting tired of my saying how inspirational your work is for me? ;)

barbara l. hale said...

Love the hearts!

Jeannie said...

I don't classify your hearts into the cute genre. They are elegant, sophisticated, and beautiful

PamMcd said...

I cannot get over my aversion to the heart motif. I feel it's been hi-jacked and cheapened so many times that it has by association become connected in my mind with a society that literally wears it's heart on it's sleeve - trite and meaningless.I think that the richness and quality in your work somehow puts the value and meaning back into this motif.I suppose the answer is never use a heart lightly.

Flaming Nora said...

Now now Karen, face facts, just as all your work is not really about the history of women and domesticity it all about a trip to the seaside, so the hearts are not a relevant historical reference but the cute and sugary sweet toppings on the ice cream. In fact I think they represent a trip to the pleasure beach at Blackpool. The french knots look suspiciously like the trim on a kiss me quick hat to me! xx

Elizabeth said...

They are just gorgeous!

helena frontini said...

Well, it seems S. Valentin is coming!!!
Kisses, kisses.

Wendy said...

Your hearts are just stunning and I love looking at them.

azteclady said...

I am in absolute awe of your work. Thank you for sharing it with us.

sharon young said...

As usual you've created a most wonderful foil to the work so far, that small dash of colour is outstanding, and the shape of the hearts are a stunning addition.

stitchinglife said...

The hearts are lovely, Karen. I often wonder how hearts came to be 'heart-shaped' when real, beating hearts are more sort of fist-shaped.

Rachel said...

Lovely - particularly the tiny, brightly coloured prints peeping out from some of the cutwork hearts!

jill said...

These are absolutely stunning, well done. I have no words good enough to express how beautiful this work is

Magpie's Mumblings said...

I don't look upon hearts as being 'cute' - I think of love when I see them. Love for family, love for friends, love for embroidery.