The ever lovely Bridgeen of Cherry and Cinnamon invited me to participate in the blog hop that’s been going around. See her post here. So here’s a look at what I am working on and a bit about how I work.
What am I working on?
Honestly, I’m working on figuring out what I want to work on next. I’ve been thinking about doing some simple Hedebo embroidery (pictured above) in combination with a moth wing. I’m still contemplating how exactly it will work.
While I ponder away on that, I’ve picked up the burlap sack again and started on a snake and some apples. Plus, I’m stitching up some baby presents for a few friends. Keeping my hands busy while my brain works on another problem works well for me.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I like to think that my work has a certain something to it that makes it special. I’m always drawn to little things in a book that make it unique — typography, illustrations, water damage, embossed pages. I love a sense of story in a piece. Sometimes that comes from a photo that I’m working with, and sometimes it comes from the narrative that a book tells itself. I am certainly not the only person who uses embroidery and paper together, but I think my work has its own definite look about it.
Why do I create what I do?
I love the satisfaction of creating something out of an about to be discarded item. And I love the sound that thread makes going through paper. Embroidery also lets me slow things down. Having a job and two kids means sometimes things get a bit hectic.
How does my creating process work?
In large part, I start with a page and then figure out what to put on it. I keep lists of topics that interest me, and of possible images that might go together well, but I try to just let the embroidery take form as I go along.
I’ve been trying to keep things looser lately. The first burlap side came together casually, and my last few paper pieces have been more improvisational. I am starting to really enjoy working without a very specific plan. Over-thinking can be such a barrier for me.
For next week…
And so many other awesome folks have already written a post for this “hop”, I encourage you to check them all out. The aforementioned Bridgeen, Sol, Rebecca, Julie, Carina…And in the non-embroidery world: Chiaki, Roybn, Katie, Kim, and Rachael (and so many others…).
I am now calling this piece finished.
I actually stitched a bit more and ended up not liking it at all. It is a hazard of working without a real plan and on paper (that is by nature not forgiving to mistakes). But after I took out the section directly above the flower, I didn’t even mind having the holes there. I don’t mind them. And they aren’t distracting. In fact, I wonder if you even noticed them in the photo without me pointing them out.
This Memorial Day weekend, we don’t have any big plans. We had some family to visit yesterday afternoon but, that’s it. No parties, no softball games, no running the kids around. Nothing but free time. It took me a little bit to work up the nerve — this flower was inside this Hungarian cookbook (and on this page, even). Once I stuck it down (I use these scrapbooking adhesive squares) I just sucked it up and went for it. It’s very much not close to done, but I’m happy with how it’s going so far, particularly the bits around and over the flower.
Sometimes, a pattern comes along that just needs to be stitched up right away. That’s how I felt when I saw Bridgeen’s Kawaii Surfin Godzilla pattern.
I simply had to have it and stitch it right away!
I realized the other day that I haven’t done much stitching in the past few weeks. It’s been a bit on the busy side in my day-to-day life as of late. I resolved to correct that last night. I’ve been thinking lately a lot about what is in the spaces between things. Meaning, things that don’t fit into any one category. People that cannot be categorized. Things that live in the cracks.
I started this without much of a plan. I knew I was going to piece together scraps from the paper quilt, and I knew I wanted to use the blank (or mostly blank) sections. But that was it. I tried to challenge myself a little bit by not sketching anything anywhere. Not on the back, not on another paper, no planning of where the holes were going to be, just to go for it.
In the end, I’m pretty pleased. Once those seed stitched circles happened, I felt like I was on the right track.
I’m hoping to do more of these improvisational, smaller type of pieces. It feels good to just start off running without knowing where things are going.