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

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


cam·e·o  (km-)
n. pl. cam·e·os
a. A gem or shell carved in relief, especially one in which the raised design and the background consist of layers of contrasting colors.
b. The technique of carving in this way.
c. A medallion with a profile cut in raised relief.

I think I may have been creating Cameos.....unintentionally but that's what this is saying to me...hope you don't mind me indulging my obsession with definitions either, sometimes I just can't help myself. 
All I have done here is edge these surfaces with buttonhole, twice around but in different directions....sort of. You won't be surprised to see a few bullion knots either....another obsession. I'm afraid I can't clam credit for the beautiful coloured areas, they are vintage scraps. I am taking care of them though, respecting them, hopefully enhancing them and transforming them into something contemporary.
I have a question now. Are there any photographic/video geniuses out there? I was thinking of buying some lights to enhance photo and video whilst we live through this rain and storm....I googled, I looked and all I got was confused. I don't have a clue what I need. I don't want to spend a small fortune and I don't want anything bulky or non portable because basically I live in a cupboard.


deanna7trees said...

love the sound effect you
i know i've seen small light sets for videos but don't remember where. i'm sure one of your readers will help.

Anonymous said...

these are beautiful, Karen!! those clip on lights that hardware stores carry are portable and versatile -- you can also buy a pole that telescopes to various heights that you can then clip a light like that on... Also, using mirrors or boards wrapped in foil and bouncing light off of those onto your work can be a help.

henrietta (aka ani aka zani) said...

well, you could always get one of those miner's helmets! would look very smart...only teasing you. my twopence worth - i would go to a camera shop and explain what your needs are and your general set up and ask what they would advise. the work is lovely and has that vintage appeal.

Miss 376 said...

I love that vintage cloth, especially the one with the pink, your stitching really adds to it. You've done it proud

debbie eaves said...

absolutely beautiful cloth. I love it. As far as lights, I one time did use the cheap clip on lights with the silver bell from a hardware store and made walls with a card board box that I could collapse down. I would cover the walls with what ever I wanted (light colored) as back drop. It made the light source stay focused in an area. A camera shop can show you what you need, but then walk away and see if you could do something less expensive with the theory.

Suztats said...

Cameos! Now, isn't that clever! I love the little peeks into the coloured bits.
Can't help with the lights, sorry, as I have no experience with them.

Rachel said...

It's charming work, Karen, I rather like your cameo idea!

Linda Carole Bloom said...

Hi Karen, I love the cameos! When I get finished with my white cloth, I think I will do the next white with just touches of color like that.
I don't have much of a suggestion for lights. I just keep on snapping until it looks ok and delete the rest. (I should probably read the manual). Love, Linda

barbara l. hale said...

Two thumbs up on these cameos! Sorry, but I know nothing about lights.

silk said...

Way back in the day, before digital cameras, I used two daylight photofloods (purchased from a photo supply store), one to each side of flat artwork aimed toward the center of the work and far enough back from the surface to create an even lighting. I used the hardware store clip-ons. If the work was dimensional, I only used one light source in order to depict the dimensionality. When I bought some photofloods a few years ago, the supplier still had them but said most people don't use them because they can manipulate the light in photoshopping their images. I guess it depends how much tinkering you are willing to do. I prefer getting the lighting right in the initial exposure.

debbie eaves said...

I also enjoy making the colored embroidery part. Can you tell me what kind of fabric the your vintage pieces may have used. I have used linen but it seems to thick to later use in cut work and it's loose weave to where small pieces of cut work I'm afraid might unravel. I bought some vintage black dish cloths that are 100% cotton that I am thinking about trying.

Marta Guàrdia said...

Hi Karen!

Abou the lightning, maybe this videos can help you:

Once you have seen them, you can look in Amazon for some cheap supplies!

Bye ;)