Monday, March 19, 2012

the bittersweetness of...

... a first love

I dabbled in different things when I was young: painting, knitting, crocheting, patchwork, sewing but at about 21, I discovered needlework - a different kind of coming of age maybe?

quilting took over though, after a few years...needlework supplies were hard to get and framing it all was frightfully expensive, so quilting became a new passion for me

but yesterday I went back


back to simple counted thread embroidery, where all you need is a piece of evenweave cloth and one colour of thread
I'm teaching a course in blackwork embroidery tonight and yesterday I played

the tree above and below is my own design based on 16th century stitches

I've always been drawn to the lace-like stitchery patterns
and the endless stitch combinations
how an extra stroke here or there can completely change the look of a motif

this little tree I adapted from a larger design I found on line (I can't find the link but will add it when I do!)
a modern take on an old art form

it wasn't until I began playing on the graph paper that I realized just how much I miss this
I've been in a dry spell lately, reading a book called 

by Julia Cameron

I started reading it just because, but quickly realized it is for creative people when they're not feeling so creative - yup, that's me
and I read something that stood out the other day...

when you are creating for a financial benefit it is easy to lose sight of your creative spirit

me again

some very good insights that gave me a lot to think about, and
coupled with the time I have spent with my blackwork yesterday and today
and realizing in my quest for other things, 
I have neglected some things that matter greatly to me

and I remembered what a wonderful time it was, up north, in the needle arts guild when we were so young and enthusiastic and tried everything... and my friends came to mind and their names fell from my lips as I said them out loud and I remembered...

 first love is the best love


Marj Talbot said...

That is very very nice - I'm afraid I'd never have the patience for it but it is very nice. That would be a nice idea for window cards I think.
Thanks tons for sharing such a lovely piece.

Suztats said...

I think it's the meditative aspect of hand stitching that I find so enjoyable. Time can stand still as the thread moves, making marks on fabric, creating something beautiful and useful from basic supplies and my own hands. Perhaps it's also infusing the work with a bit of myself, my thoughts, and energy.......

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Jillayne,

Your tree is beautiful and isn't doing needlework, therapeutic.
I am also doing a cross stitch and I enjoy seeing the pattern take place.

Have a lovely new week

Createology said...

As I am reading your post I am thinking so many times we go back to what we initially enjoyed doing and this is exactly what you are doing. I totally agree with the wise words on doing for financial gain. When I lost my job and felt that I must still contribute financially I was frantic to sell what I made however I am not a salesperson and therefore didn't sell enough to even pay for supplies. When I gave up trying to sell I found a new enjoyment of just being able to create and how wonderful that feeling is. My best wishes to you being able to just enjoy your passion. Such a great tree with stitches that give it movement. Creative Hugs Dear...

The English Romantic said...

Hello Jillayne,
I agree it's so nice to revisit past passions and just stitch for pleasure.
I just arrived home after teaching at Stitch and Craft in London and found your 'Hugs' star had arrived.
It is lovely and really cheered me up after a long drive.
Have a great day.
Hugs and 'Hugs',

MosaicMagpie said...

Wow......when you are creating for a financial benefit it is easy to lose sight of your creative spirit.
How true is that! Creating from the heart and just because, is the best form of relaxation. Your mind is free to go to it's happy place and your hands seem to work on their own. I don't think we realize that the enjoyment is missing until we do create something from our heart. The blackwork tree is neat, fun how you played with the stitches.

Bead and Needle said...

I LOVE handwork...this is beautiful, Jillayne! And, I PROBABLY should have written yesterday, but I received a most special little star in my mail this weekend, while I was at a class. It is sitting next to my Probably Rock - it's lovely and will UNDOUBTEDLY be cherished. You, my friend, DEFINITELY ROCK!!! Happy Tuesday - XOXO

Dorthe said...

Oh dear Jillayne- OH I know- creating for financial benefit, can be sooo difficult, I think that is also why, I`m sometimes so stressed ,that things happen!
But what can we do-when we actually have to live from thaT -or at least try!!
How sweet is your mini tree-
I hope your teaching went well, dear friend.
Thankyou for your sweet words on my blog.
Hugs and love,Dorthe

Celestina Marie said...

Hi Jillayne,
Isn't it great to visit back to something we once enjoyed creating?Your tree is darling. Your design is wonderful. I love stitch work too of different types. So relaxing and love the outcome. Hope your classes went well. Anyone taking your class will be truly blessed to learn from you.

Your book sounds great. I can so relate to hitting dry spells with creating. That's when I get out and shop. LOL and then go to my favorite antique markets for inspiration. And, I spend hours going over my interior design books that give me tons of inspiration too. Some days creating for benefit can be overwhelming. I say, lets just take away the pressure and work like it is just for fun.

Happy Spring and Happy Creating.
Hugs, Celestina Marie

Michelle May said...

A beautiful post and something I can truly relate to.

Cheryl said...

I don't do my craft for financial benefit anymore, but I feel that to justify spending money on craft supplies I have to make useful things and sometimes I would love to just do some embroidery, just for the love of it. I love your work you are so talented!

Alisa Noble said...

Such a lovely design.
I think it's really great, Jillayne, that you've picked it back up.
I know it always feels good to get back to your roots.

Wendy said...

Oooh, this is going to be gorgeous! I bought a book on blackwork as I also love the look of the stitches... haven't got round to it of course!

suziqu's thread works said...

Dear Jillayne
It is a wonderful feeling to be able to revisit the crafts that we once received so much pleasure from. Your blackwork here looks so pretty and it's nice for you to share this with us.
I have never done this type of stitching but it looks so neat and fresh.
I am so glad that you have received the collage and you can hold it in your hands - enjoy!!!
I have been using that lovely script cotton fabric in a few projects too lately!
Hugs and love to you,

Anonymous said...

Jillayne, so true! Creating art for income very often saps the truth of it from the process and the results. How well I know! As I mentioned on my own blog, that today I'm blessed with both an assignment AND inspiration at the same time. Rare and wonderful! It sounds like you're in the same place with your blackwork - which is lovely, btw. Seeing it on the cuffs of royalty in paintings at museums...oh! Just think of the "armies" of seamstresses royalty had at their beck and call to create those beautiful garments!
I know what my job would have been had I lived back then!
XO Diane

Rebecca said...

Lovely post! Thanks so much for sharing it with us. Love the black needlework.

Lynn Stevens said...

Gosh its been years since I did any needlework. your tree is darling in its simplicity, sometimes it good to go back to our roots.
hugs Lynn