Friday, January 24, 2014


odd how something as strong as linen can become so fragile...

this towel was truly on it's last legs when i pulled it from active duty, the fibres literally turning to powder in my hands

the machine embroidery has stabilized it somewhat, but still, it wasn't going to stand up to anything, let alone be a book cover

so rather than just placing bits of fabric behind the open spaces, i decided to back them in their entirety... that way, if the linen falls away even more, there will be calico to back it up - beautiful, old, blue and cream, adding to the aged look 

this shall be the front cover - finished now, just in need of stretching

only a little hand embroidery - french knots and feather stitch

exactly the right cover for a little book of my history in stitch

one lazy daisy flower

the back is next... I want to add a little embroidery, but i really want this book to lie flat, so nothing dimensional

i'm beginning to think the little bits of lace on the towel might be enough

 letting the texture take centre stage

 {i almost hope the rest of the towels wear out soon}

fragility is a good word, don't you think?

fragile things make you look at them a little differently, taking care...

i've been on a mission this month, establishing new patterns, new routines, good habits, taking time, making time
and it's all good when most of the rest of your life stays in place

but new habits are fragile things

easily broken

they need to be protected

i've learned that this week, and i'm happy to say, learned it well

 one thing i started this year, on january 1st to be precise, was to work my way through the book "the artist's way"

i have done the daily three pages of writing every single day, almost always before 9:00, and loved every line

i've kept the artist dates and spent time exploring, playing, reading and learning - i won't give those up without a fight either
although i have had to get creative with how i fit them in

i've made a conscious effort to use what i have, even when it wasn't exactly the right thing, especially when i knew i could go out and just buy the right thing

and every night when i go to bed i write down five things i can do for myself the next day

five things for me

we're always taught to be selfless, think of others, be charitable

those are certainly good things to be

but life is fragile, as are we ourselves

and i've found those five things are the hardest to think of and the hardest to keep

meditate, stretch, eat a salad, have hot chocolate with hot, buttery cinnamon toast to dunk in it, wear a pretty scarf, find new books for the night-table...

write a note to my daughter, send a letter to my mother, watch my husband's hockey game

you might think the latter are things done for others, but they truly are done for me - i feel better about myself when i pay attention to the people i love

 i like that me

i want to be healthy, feel worthy, be happy, be kind

 i want to love life; i want to love me

so every night, i think of five things i can do the next day that help me to take care of me

at the end of the day, when everyone else is taken care of,
what five things might you do for yourself?


Bead and Needle said...

You amaze me, my friend!!! TRULY! It is the PERFECT cover for that book...AND, doing things for myself is, indeed, the hardest! Good on ya' - I'm gonna' work on that this year, too. Back from another extended trip with my folks, and son, for the holidays. Recovering from a wicked cold - on the mend and rarin' to go. Hope your New Year is off to as grand a start as I think it is! XOXO Tanya

Mosaic Magpie said...

Interesting post, thinking of the fragility of most everything and so well exampled in your cloth.
I would imagine trying to come up with 5 things to do for yourself, is a tall order. In the blink of an eye we could think of things to do for others, but when it comes to ourselves....we are stumped. Good food for thought.

Suztats said...

Your cloth is like life, I think, fragile in places, shored up in others, patched like our broken hearts healed, but still tender, with beauty breaking through in places, strengthened by our values, with marks left by our encounters with others. In its fragility, there is still much to admire in the intricate patterns bared, and to honour its usage, worn away perhaps by hard living or damaged by its careless handling. Such a cloth evokes tenderness and wonderment. It's perfect.
I love "The Artist's Way"! This book had an amazing impact on me, and I wish you much joy as you follow the journey.

Tina Smith said...

What a fabulous piece of work Jillayne!!! And what a loaded question you posed at the end of the post! Lately I have asked myself that same question and I am making a little headway! After all I took the time to blog this morning and that my friend is a HUGE step in the right direction for me.
Have a happy weekend and stay warm!

Tina xo

deanna7trees said...

the old worn out things have so much more appeal these days, don't many new possibilities. don't believe we can truly feed others unless we have have fed ourselves first and feel good about who we are. sounds like you are on a good path.

Dorthe said...

Dear Jillayne,
your fragile book piece is stunning in all your embroidery and sweet pieces added- such a beautiful piece to be taken care of,-just as you say we have to do with our self,too!!
And you are ringt,--in the morning wanting to do some things for myself, very often I reach bedtime without having done anything !! A day is filled with things we have to do, we need to do, and also love to do, but often it does not have hours enough to incorporate ourself!!
A wonderful thing to try to add to your 2014 life, my friend.
Hugs from Dorthe

Marj Talbot said...

Totally agree with everyone - life itself is fragile as are many things that we have or have had. Most of what we do is for others, but because of satisfaction in doing things, it is for us in the end. Your book will be a treasure as it begins with a treasure - thanks for sharing this project and your thoughts.

Louise Michie said...

Doing things for yourself, with knowledge and planning. A wonderful way to live. Never mean or selfish. Mindful. Conscious. Setting a good example. I will try this, but on a smaller scale.

Createology said...

With tattered linen and the love you have strengthened it with your stitching book will be perfect. Five things to do for that is tricky. We are always doing so much for so many that this is quite a foreign idea to me. I shall work on this as it will be a very good exercise. You always have such a way with words and fabrics and I am enchanted my friend. Creative Bliss Jillayne Dear...