Tuesday, 15 August 2017

worn out

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.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Finding a new path

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....

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Catching up....

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!

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

stolen moments .....

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.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

A Group Gathering at Unit Twelve

I'm excited to tell you that the 'A Group Gathering'  exhibition opens today at Unit Twelve Gallery in Stafford.  This exhibition provides a unique opportunity to see the artwork for both of the Group Gathering projects - The Shirt Collar Project and Daphne's Glove - together. The Private View is on Saturday 30th June from 2-4pm you are welcome to come along and meet some of the artists.

You can read about the inspiration for my Daphne's Glove piece over at the Group Gathering blog, here.

I realised I didn't do a blog post on my Daphne's Glove piece, so here are some glimpses of it for those who can't make it to the exhibition.

Thank you for all of your warm wishes about my pregnancy in a previous post, it was much appreciated. I had a baby boy on 25th April and we are both doing fine. My stitching is taking bit of a back seat at the moment as I am just enjoying caring for and spending time with him. I am a bit tired (!) but very happy. Christine x

Sunday, 10 April 2016

A Wedding

I made this little fabric memento for myself to commemorate my wedding day.  I got married on a tiny island in Scotland called Sanda back in 1997. Back then it wasn't the swanky holiday place it is now. My husband and I had been on holiday there the previous year and he proposed to me on the beach, we were the only people staying on the island which only has a few cottages and a lighthouse, and it was very magical experience, so we decided to go back and get married there.  It was a bit of a logistical feat, we had to take everything over there by small boat, cake flowers, table linen, the lot, as well as our guests. It was a small homemade affair before homemade weddings were fashionable, and the daughter of the then owner of the island made all of the beautiful food for our special day as she was studying at catering college.  A few days before our wedding the weather was so bad we didn't think we would be able to get over to the island but the day before the seas calmed and the sun shone on us on our wedding day.  On our holiday there before we got married I collected lots of shells from the beach, which I have kept all these years.  There were lots of these worn limpet shells with holes in the centres which I love and I've used one as the central little 'frame' on this piece. I've embroidered our wedding date inside...and of course a tiny boat.

Monday, 4 April 2016

'She wears her words'

You may have caught a glimpse of this new piece on one of the photos from my last workshop but I thought I would show her to you in more detail. She lives in a drawer covered with the title pages from vintage books. Her paper and lace skirt is made from words and she also wears them in her hair. She has a little stock of vintage books with her as she never likes to be without some reading matter....