'If you make happiness your goal, then you're not going to get to it… The goal should be an interesting life."

Dorothy Rowe

Sunday 25 November 2012

Playing around...

with my Karen Ruane piece.

Look at this piece and admire the dedication that made me tackle two of my least favourite stitches - cross stitch and bullion knots.

I must admit that I love the look of the cross stitch hearts on silk, so much that I bought some more waste canvas.

And my bullion knots are better now that I know the right way to do them (milliner's needle, wrap clockwise). Not good, you understand, just better.

The more I do on this piece, the more I like it. I can see so many things that I could have done better, but I still like it. As there is a lot of stuff in it which I inherited from mum, I find myself thinking about my somewhat ambivalent relationship with her as I work on it, which is quite bittersweet, and adds to the process.

Working on it has reminded me how much I enjoy flitting from one process/stitch/patch to another - low boredom threshold! Only having a little bit of cross stitch or a few bullion knots makes them tolerable and doable. And, as Karen points out in her videos for the course, you can always add more. I like to kid myself that I have a 'less is more' aesthetic, but  sometimes nothing succeeds like excess. 

I think it may become a work in intermittent but continuous progress, as I make more blocks to add to this one. 

I have also been playing with my tiny Sandra Meech sketchbook. I have a collection of printouts from the Internet for ideas for sketchbooks, and I decided to work my way through them with no very clear idea of where I was going. It ended up being a very productive process, giving me lots of ideas for my piece for the NEC in March. 

Hence the scribble on the yellow spread. 

It is definitely going to be called 'Moving On' (maybe).
It is definitely going to be a small concertina book (maybe).
It is definitely going to have eight pages (maybe).
It is definitely going to include those arrows (maybe).
It is definitely going to involve patching and layering fabric (maybe).
It is definitely going to use the indigo fabrics I dyed with Tiggy Rawlings last year (maybe).
It is definitely going to be hand stitched (maybe).

That led to some explorations of ways to join fabric together - only with paper. They are mostly stitch, although I have to admit that a little glue was involved, purely as a temporary measure, you understand.

The second image is the reverse of one side of the first one, and I included it because I like the way the backs of the stitches seem to develop from the black marks on the left - a B&W print of the over-enlarged detail of foliage on the right of the top image. The foliage is in the apped photo of a truck at the top, except I ripped that bit off.

I trust I make myself clear?

More joinings. I vaguely remember doing something similar for City and Guilds, except that variations of faggotting were involved in that one, and mine, which was black and magenta, ended up looking like a section from a tart's corset. Which in turn reminds me of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, although I don't remember any magenta corsets in that, even on Magenta... 

And as I correct yet another nonsensical autocorrection, I must point out that any post which is even more gibberish-ish (yes, autocorrect, that is what I meant) than usual is all the fault of Paddy the iPad (maybe).

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