Friday, 6 July 2012

She was a sewing machine...

I have actually stuck to my word and haven't left another five week gap between posts!I really wanted to show you this latest piece in a separate post as I'm quite pleased with how she turned out and she took a long time to complete.As much as tales of the past make my soul sing,imagined tales of the future captivate me equally.I've always had quite a soft spot for science fiction and the idea of androids in particular.So an image of a pretty stitched robot lady flitted around my mind for a fair time before I thought I'd see if make it work as a textile piece.

Her gold hair was a real labour of love and took around twelve hours to complete.Her dress is made from a vintage tablecloth that I dyed and some vintage lace doilies and buttons adorn the piece too.I also used paint and coloured pencils and the piece is completely hand stitched which is apt as the title is 'She was a sewing machine..'

I hope that people can see many different possible ideas in the piece as that was my intention.So I would like to leave it up to you to draw what you want from the piece but one thing I would add is that I have been pondering more and more over the perceived 'value' of traditional craft skills such as embroidery in our present time.I know a lot of my lovely blog readers (like myself)have a fondness for all things old and cherished because their flaws tell tales and they also carry remnants of past attitudes.My family have always fondly teased me for my 'granny like' tendencies and I have always taken it as a great compliment because I always felt out of sync in my generation(I was a child of the eighties)As I grew up I did meet other vintage lovers(my husband included)and obviously through the internet have discovered there are a lot of us!

I feel saddened that so many traditional crafts have been undervalued and lost throughout my lifetime but have real hope that in the future it will all come full circle and technology ironically will be the saviour of handmade.I feel like now is quite an exciting time to be an independent maker as we are using technology to allow us practice the traditions of the past instead of allowing progress to replace our past.Imagine if Etsy existed in the eighties..I'm not sure I can.

I'd love to hear your opinions or just to hear how you all are? 

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Embroidery catch up

This is going to be one of those catch up posts so I hope you don't mind if it is slightly disjointed.I've been doing a lot of drawing and stitching as of late as I'm trying to build up my illustration portfolio again and also I'm planning to start offering postcards for sale and fingers crossed eventually prints.I've been considering this for quite a long time now as the embroidered artworks are extremely labour intensive and from a 'business' point of view it makes much more sense to be able offer reproductions which will be less expensive.Well that's the theory.So I have posted some of these pictures on facebook and flickr but thought I'd like to elaborate more on them.

This first one is The Parsley Girl and any early followers of my blog might remember that I illustrated this tale previously but in paint.Click here for original post It may seem a bit odd to use the same fairytale again but since discovering embroidery I feel like I have a whole new way of working and I can't help wanting to illustrate stories I have always loved.I'd love hear how you feel about returning to previous themes and reworking them?I remember being told at university to forge forward always and not go back but I can't help returning to my favourite fairytales and my strange obsession with drawing hair...might just go with it for the time being!

This was my first piece that I have mounted on stretchers instead of a hoop and it was quite refreshing to not be constrained by the circular shape.I embroidered her hair freestyle and sneaked in some parsley and had great fun choosing fabrics for the birds and her dress.I'm tempted to  make myself a dress using the purple repro feedsack's so pretty!I've included the original sketch below as personally I love seeing people's sketches(I'm quite nosey really)

I also stitched a Summer Wandering piece as a gift for someone special who requested a hair and eye colour.This was lovely to do and I really liked the piece in these colours.

A little brooch..

I have got one more piece to show you but I think I'll do another post about that(dare I say later in the week!yikes,a five week gap and two in one week!)I also wanted to say a big hello to my new followers...nice to meet you and hope enjoy your little visits.
Take care