Stitching in Art & Life

   Hi there, friends~
    Thanks for coming by to see me today. I do appreciate you taking the time, and I want you to know that! So often social media can feel like something that needs to be stepped away from, its too frantic, its too confrontational. I miss the ‘good ol days’ of low key blogging….when we just made stuff and shared it and visited eachother. I wish I could figure out how to find that sweet blogging spot again (blogspot? lol) til then, I will keep coming here and writing to you, hoping that perhaps we can get a bit of that old blogger magic back.

   As for my latest ‘I made this’ post, I am very happy to show you this latest painting “Stitching Lessons.” The idea for this piece was born from my interest in cross stitching, and the history of it (the ‘history of it’ aspect is always my favorite part of everything, be warned!) Cross stitching and embroidering in general used to be just one of those skills that most women knew and taught their daughters, nieces, neighbors. Like weaving or knitting, knowing how to stitch was very important.

  Imagine, if you will, the wash pile from the Bennet sisters in Pride & Prejudice. So many white petticoats, chemises, drawers! All made from the same material no doubt, and made identically. How then, was Jane to know her chemise from Lizzie’s? Why, by the stitching of her initials in her items.

   Our love of monogramming everything from diaper bags to napkins stems from this ‘olden day’ way of marking your precious linens as your own. It was also a way of beautifying your every day items— from your clothes pin bag to your favorite pillowcase. Marking and beautifying things with needle and thread is another way our ancestors lived their everyday lives and used their artistic talents. And that is the idea that inspired my painting “Stitching Lessons….”

    I have been practicing my stitches as well. Although the days have passed when I would have had to mark all my things, there is still a lot of opportunity to make some pretty lovely items for my own enjoyment using cross stitch. Right now I’m working on a pin cushion barrel inspired by Hunter’s Home (which was until recently called The Murrell Home), where I regularly volunteer.  I wrote a post about it when we first discovered it, but I think I will start sharing more with you about it as I return as a volunteer. I’ve really enjoyed my time out there, and it give me a chance to indulge in some of the old fashioned pursuits I enjoy and share them with other. Last time I was there, I was working on this piece. I hope to have it finished soon so I can take it back to the house to show my friends!

   I also made myself a little sewing box not long ago, and it has a little velvet pin cushion glued into the top. I really like how it came out, and its the perfect little box to contain a project, a collection of thread, my scissors, waxer, and a thimble. The waxer is a little cake of wax I made a while back out of pure beeswax (I just bought a block of it at Michaels, use a coupon and get it 40% off!) and an old iron mold pan I have (because I have old random stuff like that, being the person in my family who takes in the old things!)
 
   I found that the easiest method to make the waxer was to spray each mold with Pam cooking spray, pour in a bit of melted bees wax (I double boiled it in a glass measuring cup that is now JUST for wax….’cause its covered in wax now!) and let the wax dry. Thanks to the Pam, the waxers popped out of the mold pretty easily once they’ve hardened.! To use my waxer, I run my embroidery thread along the waxer to make it a bit stiff so it isnt as likely to snarl and tangle, and I find it makes it easier to thread through the eye of the needle as well. You can see in the photo below that my little waxer has gotten a lot of use, but its still got a ton left to use of it! I love that its something that you can use up to the last bit. Its also something that I gave for Christmas to my friends who like to do hand sewing. Isnt something pretty and useful the best gift?

   Well, I will go for now, but again— thanks for your visit! I will order prints of “Stitching Lessons” soon to put in my etsy shop if anyone is interested in having a print! The original has already sold 🙂
   I’m thinking now about spring art, and thinking about flowers. I noticed today that little fronds of daffodil leaves are sticking up out of the cold ground….those silly things…they do this every year, pop out a bit early and then always regret it! Yet so far, we really havent much snow this winter. Sigh. We need at least ONE good snowy experience, don’t you think?

   Well, snow or no snow—
As always,
Take Joy!~
h

7 thoughts on “Stitching in Art & Life

  1. This is a lovely post. I, too, am intrigued with the history of handwork, homemaking and life in general (yes, history buff) so I always like how you feature those things in your art—thank you! Please make prints of The Stitcher! I’ve been stitching since I was 17 and still love samplers, folk art and primitive stitching designs! Bless you for sharing with us all.

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  2. Love all of your work! Recently ordered a print of the father reading to his children to put in our nursery. Our baby Cecilia is a bit young to appreciate it, but it's such a peaceful image that I'm sure she will cherish later in life. I've been cross stitching since I was about nine. My mother taught both my sister and me, although my sister never liked it. She's more of a knitter! My mother also taught both of us to sew clothes, knit and crochet. Her motto is: \”Never waste a moment to do some work!\”. If we wanted to watch tv, we had to do some needlework as well. I'm so glad she taught us! 🙂

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  3. We are kindred spirits! The old samplers and folk art style stitching are my favorites too. I've been working on them, and maybe might design my own in the future when I feel like Ive got a hold on it! 😀

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  4. Aw, that is so wonderful that your mom taught you and your sister stitching! I am the same way when I sit to watch something on tv…..I need something to keep my hands busy. And then afterwards, you feel like no matter what, it was time well spent! Thanks for coming to visit me here 😀

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  5. This is a beautiful print, Heather! I'm enjoying catching up here, and I agree with you about missing the good ol' days of blogging. As you remembered correctly in your comment at my blog, we were indeed published in the same magazine (perhaps Artful blogging?). And yes, we both have Audrey girls! It's so sweet of you to check in at my new blog. Yours is looking wonderful here, and it's fantastic to hear about that historical house you volunteer at. You're always full of inspiration. 🙂

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