A necessary break.

It’s been a while since I blogged and indeed a while since I’ve done any work, apart from the faithful, ever waiting and ready to be completed needlepoints I have on the go.

This is because my mum died at the end of February. She had been ill for a few years but over the last year had been continually in various hospitals and care facilities. It’s a common story, and one feels helpless, but you do your best to make everyday life as good for the person as possible.

Close family and some really good friends were beyond helpful, merely saying thank you doesn’t seem quite enough.

So there we are, and now it’s time to get back to the sanctuary of work. I’ve been moving on with a couple of projects, albeit slowly.

I started to make a large piece, ‘In the Blue Forest’, some time ago, but decided it wasn’t quite right. It’s been cut into portions and has now become one largish picture and an artist’s book. The piece is based on some haiku I wrote last year.

Above are some of the fabric portions I’m using in the projects, and two birds that will be in the mounted on the canvas version.

You can see the painted canvas here at the top of the image, and some Khadi paper I painted below, for the book pages.

I used indigo dye and Graphitint pencils to achieve the washes and brush marks.

I’ve printed the haiku out in rough here to plan the progression of the pages. It may be a bound or a concertina book, I haven’t decided yet. I am tending towards concertina, as the whole book can be seen at the same time and therefore will describe the walk through the Blue Forest along with the haiku.

The canvas is 100 x 40 cm; the layout of the piece is shown below. I’ll finish stitching the pieces individually and then attach them to the canvas.


Some pieces are already machine stitched from the original piece, and I’ll add hand stitch and beads.

I must get back to my plan of posting inspirational books; next post, hopefully.



10 thoughts on “A necessary break.

  1. I’m sorry for your loss. It’s good to know you have had such great support from family and friends.
    Don’t drive yourself too hard, but getting gradually back to work will help.

    1. Many thanks Rachel. You’re right, the gradual return to work is the way, giving yourself time to think and enjoy feeling creative again rather than charging in, which was my usual method in the past!

  2. So sorry to hear about your Mum Steph. Aging parents and their care is a huge part of our lives. I hope you are coping well. It sounds as though you have some good friendships to help you through.
    It is as lovely as ever to see your work evolving.
    Very bestbwishes
    Vicki Honeywood

    1. Hi Vicki,
      You sound as if you have been through something similar; thanks for your kind words. Hopefully the work will now continue to evolve after lying around for so long, itv would be quite nice to finish something soon!

  3. So sorry to hear your mum has been very poorly and that she has gone Stephanie. Just sending love and best wishes and glad support has been there when you needed it. It’s good to see the book developing, that indigo dye is lovely, but your birds are absolutely great, all those elements are looking fab together.

  4. Hi Phil,

    Many thanks, you are very kind, it’s great that people have taken the time to comment, it’s not easy. I have been very lucky to have good friends and close family. There’s a lot to be grateful for!

    I love indigo, I use Procian dye on Khadi paper, it’s a little addictive; I’ll have to be careful or everything I’ll be making will be indigo. I’m glad you like the birds, I seem to need to put something animate in most pieces of work, and birds seem to frequently invite themselves.

  5. Steph, As time advances we get prepared for the inevitable but there’s something about a girl losing her Mum that takes a long time to take in. My friend’s mum passed away last week at 95 and it was she that told me, when it happened to me, to plan on at least two years before I thought of my own mum’s passing in a positive rather than a negative way. She was absolutely right and your absence here is very understandable. You have my condolences and a return to work will start the healing process. I’m already loving the mix of blues and those striking birds. A day at a time will see them work out right.

  6. Thanks Lesley, sound advice there.

    I’m not anywhere near up to the speed I used to be with work but that’s ok, it was probably too full on in the past anyway. I’m looking forward to trying out a few new ideas too.

    I hope your work is going well, I spotted an image of you teaching a workshop on Sue Brown’s blog, it looked wonderful.

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