Sunday 10 September 2017
Only three inches by three inches but full of power. For mothers out there who are doing the best they can...you are good enough. For anyone out there who is doing the best they can.. It's so easy to get caught up in it all especially with all the beautiful images of motherhood and family life that are shared on blogs and instagram, that I too am guilty of looking at and judging myself by comparison.
You give everything to your child but often it doesn't feel good enough and leaves you utterly depleted...and the energy you use up being a mother leaves little for other areas in your life, making you feel the guilt of also not being a good enough wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, artist, the list goes on. So I made myself this little reminder, on a scrap of dirty old frayed quilt. Even when I think I'm not...I am good enough. I hope it helps you too.
Posted by gentlework at 09:23
Thursday 31 August 2017
I like to gather materials together, adding and taking away before I start a little project. This beautiful vintage box was given to me by my friend Anke from Belgium at the last workshop I taught before I had my little boy, back in March last year. I knew I would make special use of it but was just biding my time... then recently I had an email from a lady called Sylvia. She was lovely about my work and the words I use and shared with me her favourite word, Pause. She said she could imagine me using it in a piece, so I did. Thank you Anke and Sylvia
I've used some threadbare vintage quilt which is cream floral on one side and red floral on the other. You can't see from this picture but the sides of the box are a deep red. You can see I have cut out the tiny leaf and flower shapes from the piece of net lace from the top picture and appliqued them onto the quilt...
I think it's an idea for us all to take a moment from time to time, pause, notice, take a breath. It's good advice for all of us Mothers out there, or for anyone who spends a lot of time caring for others, take a moment to come back to yourself.....
Posted by gentlework at 04:53
Saturday 26 August 2017
This little vintage baby collar was one of a number of treasures I came across lately. I knew it would become something, but I didn't know quite what at first.....It's plain but it has been lovingly hand stitched, maybe by another mother from another time....so I stained it's perfect whiteness and added this mother's stitches to it......
Becoming a mother was something I longed for for such a long time...it feels like coming home at times and sometimes it just feels surreal, that it has actually happened. It can feel like the most natural thing in the world, and sometimes totally bewildering. At times I feel like I have lost myself, caring so completely for another person. Stitching is my way of finding myself again.
Posted by gentlework at 06:28
Tuesday 15 August 2017
As much as I love being a mum to my little boy, amidst the joy and wonder of it all, a lot of the time I just feel worn out, fragile, frayed at the edges. I think that being able to experience the joy despite that feeling of utter depletion is one of the greatest challenges of motherhood, a challenge I know I am not the only one to face.
Stitching is something that helps me rise to that challenge, finding myself again briefly in the gaps between mothering, soothing my sleep deprived self with rhythmic instinctive stitches. Working with threadbare scraps and fragments, using up what was there and allowing myself some randomness, helped soothe my soul. It's not my usual stitching style, it's not my finest stitching hour but I created some ragged beauty.
Posted by gentlework at 14:11
Sunday 13 August 2017
Hello again....Since having my little boy, I have been struggling to find the time and energy to stitch in the way that I used to. In the past I had my own workroom with all of my many materials to hand with space to lay them out, this is now his lovely nursery. I also used to take my time to stitch, my work is slow and very considered, I take a long time over the placement of different elements and by it's nature hand stitching and tiny details are time consuming. I have lots of plans for larger pieces of work, some of which I have started but for now these feel overwhelming. For me, not stitching is not an option, it's like breathing to me, more like taking a breath from the whirlwind of parenting a small child. It is what connects me to myself and also to others. What I've realised is that I need to find a new way to work for now which fits into my life as it is. When I wrote a post how hard I was finding this on instagram recently, I had lots of encouragement with people urging me to to do 'just a few stitches' in the little time that I had. Well I took that advice to heart and with just the little scraps I had to hand in my workbox, I stitched this little piece, not worrying too much about it but just enjoying passing the needle and thread through fabric and making something that meant something to me....
Posted by gentlework at 13:59
Wednesday 19 July 2017
I'm so sorry I have neglected this poor blog for so long! I have just realised that it is almost a year since I last posted here...
As you can imagine with a very active one year old to care for, I get very little opportunity for stitching, but I've been looking back and I have made some things I haven't show you here so I thought I'd share them with you. I have posted some of these on instagram already so if you follow me there you will have seen them. I have to confess the immediacy of taking photos on my phone and posting on instragram is so much easier for me at the moment... I can do it one handed for a start! than taking 'proper' photos with my camera and uploading them to the computer and then writing a blog post. Unfortunately I almost never get chance to do this but I am going to try to as I'm grateful to all who follow me here - I'm sorry for neglecting you!
I made myself this little sewing case, I almost never make anything practical for myself and I've made needlebooks to sell in the past so I thought it was high time I made one for myself, Here is the inside...
This little box I made to house something special...
...a jay feather that my husband found for me, it is such a small, beautiful and delicate thing, I thought it deserved a special home of it's own.
Another little box I made, just to celebrate the beauty in nature....
I've also been working on a larger piece that is far from finished but I've been managing to do little bits here and there. The words are the lyrics to a song written by my husband.
That's all for now, I'll be back soon, I promise!
Posted by gentlework at 09:06
Tuesday 2 August 2016
As you can imagine with a new baby, it's hard to find time for stitching in the way that I used to. I also want to enjoy every moment with him. There are some stolen moments though, especially when he's sleeping, so I managed to stitch this tiny keepsake which I thought I would share with you.
Also just a reminder that you can still see two pieces of my work at the 'A Group Gathering' exhibition at Unit Twelve Gallery until 27th August. If you can't make it - here's a peek at my Daphne's Glove piece in situ at the gallery...
And a closer look...Photo below by Gerard Hughes Photography. Don't forget if you can't make it to the exhibition you can see the other pieces and read all about both Group Gathering projects on the Group Gathering blog.
Posted by gentlework at 10:15