Monday, July 16, 2012

Back to Basics Updated with Competition

2012. A new age.

Some think 2012 will bring in the end of the world (I am not one of them); others feel that the world's energy is shifting and that a time is coming when we have to learn to share the world's resources and move away from the consumerism which is effecting the environment, the availability of materials and dare I say human health?  Whichever side of the spectrum you may live on, health will be a consequence of either not having enough or indeed, having too much.

Look around you.  Look especially at the blog lists attached to each and every craft blog you will come across.  Followers and followees (I believe I have just invented a word lol) alike in this blog world offer prime examples of a rare breed of people who are content to sit quietly and with each movement of a needle enter a world of creativity, art, inspiration and importantly, practicality.  We are happy to sit in the mood and thoughtful contemplation which accompanies our needles or our scissors and glue just as hundreds of generations of women (and men) have done so before us.

I am sure most of us have a great quality of life: homes with mod cons and piles and piles of stash: charts, threads, fabrics galore...but equally more and more you will see crafters who save every scrap of fabric rather than waste it: who turn scrapy bits of thread into colourful visionary genius in a jar (TUSAL) which proudly decorates the home.

And this lovely breed of people, I find, are generous to a fault with what is born out of a night's  stitching.  Gifts for birthdays, Christmas, RAKs, PIFs, and even sending a portion of a precious stash collection with a small finish just to say hi, we know you are having a hard time, I hope this surprise parcel makes the day a little more bearable.  I know when I was kindly given my cancer diagnosis, I was also gifted by many of you with cards, messages, little finishes all designed to help me push through the treatments and to feel loved and wanted. 

No easy consumerism here: rather effort, time spent to thoughtfully produce a unique piece of oneself in material form.  More material than materialism.

And more and more as I read blogs I am realising that life is getting hard for many of us.  I myself am now out of work and seriously out of pocket as all the money I invested in my new business went down the pan with my illness.  And even if not self employed, cancer is a pricey business.  And many of you are sharing your tales of losing jobs and decreasing incomes.  Well, if nothing else, as part of the sisterhood of stitchers, we are in very good company as a sisterhood of becoming broke!

Well, where is this going?  Doom doom doom?  No, not at all.

With the changes going on in our lives, as you read through blogs (blog-hopping) see how our blogs are evolving: shifting alongside the world's energy perhaps.
Ever increasingly our sisterhood are inventing brand new uses for our crafting skills.  Practical creations to decorate the home and often for actual tasks around the house.  The shrinking finances seem to be inspiring our sisterhood into inventing scissor holders, peg-bags and a whole amazing host of home-made products for the home which if bought would probably be out of most of our price ranges. Gosh we are clever really aren't we?

Even I am finding myself pushed into making items which as a career women in years past, I would have just nipped out and bought.

I cannot afford to decorate my bedroom,repainted to become a more healing environment rather then the boudoir of potential passion as it was before with it's vibrant crimsons and black and white toile.  The passion by the way rarely occurred..not with a teenage son in the next bedroom.

So, on cheap canvas (very cheap) and paints stolen borrowed from younger son, I made my own. I am no artist and when I look at the daisy in particular, the biologist in me realises how anatomically incorrect it is.  However, they were such amazing fun to paint...I whipped them up in about 15 minutes each and I played...oh how I played.  And they match the aqua bedding and fill a wall space.

Dreamy Daisies

And the need to make sure the house is sorted and looking nice in case I get ill again on a budget of zilch is driving me to try new things: things which before I was just too scared to go for in case I got it wrong or heaven forbid...not perfect.

I know, I know...I can see you all shaking your heads in disbelief...of course home-made isn't perfect!  I did however find it difficult, probably because of the scientist in me, wanting exactness and precision...complicated wee little begger I am.  However, necessity has led me to realise it is the fun in making things which matters most,along with the satisfaction of making my home truly my own.  And of course there is a little bit of me which sees my pictures and stitching hanging up and I know that even if I pass, a little of me is left behind.

I have finished hand quilting my panel. 

I was surprised to have my stitching complimented by the more experienced quilters in my quilting group...all that cross stitching must have enabled me to stitch small, neat stitches.
We don't have a  headboard on our bed so I have decided that this will hang in its place, completing my bedroom.

I just have to get the material to bind it and work out how I am going to hang it and voila..job done.  I will add a piccie when I have finished it.

And (those of you who have known me a while will be amazed) I have finished cutting out material for my next quilt which will be a layer cake quilt. 

2012???  Bring it on!!!

Have a fantastically creative week everyone xx  and see my Thankfully Frugal competition link on my sidebar...looking forwards to seeing what you all come up with!


  1. Beautiful post! 2012? I agree with you-bring it on!

    (love your art)

  2. Did you enjoy stitching on your panel? I looks lovely and will make a wonderful "headboard"

  3. Such a beautiful post.

    All those creative juices flowing into your beautiful paintings. I love homeamde things, they shout out love time and effort, i think your daisy painting are wonderful, the detail in the middle bit (yeah i do know what its called but its early yet and i'm still in my pj's, the brain hasn't woken up yet!)

    The quilt panel is fabulous. I dont have a headboard, what i do have is 2 pillows in pillow cases hanging from a wooden dowel pole, much better to snuggle into when reading a book in bed. I sewed on two tabs like tops to thread the pole through - hope this makes sense?

    I seem to be reading more, life obviously thinks i need to be quiet and still right now, i shouldn't complain i'm enjoying it.

    Much love and friendly ((huggles))xxx

  4. aww such a lovely post..
    hugs xx

  5. I love your paintings, I think they are beautiful :)

  6. And you are telling us you are no good with a sewing machine, dont believe you anymore, that panel is stunning and will look fab on your wall.
    Well done..
    Love the post, cheered me up no end. ;-)

  7. Love this post, the competition is a great idea. Your paintings are beautiful, you should be proud of them, along with your new quilted "headboard."

  8. Fantastic post ~ love your paintings!


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