Last day of Feb- can you believe it? Here are my perpetual journal pages. Second year round now so I am enjoying the drawings and comments about last years Spring. The flowers are earlier than last year and everything is greening up despite all the storms and the huge amounts of rainfall. There is water lying in all the fields. Wherever there is a dip there is a puddle or a lake.
At last this piece is finished. 6weeks solid stitching but worth it.
Each little square became an achievement in itself and a daily goal so it was like a calendar of Winter, recording the cold blustery,wet days as well as the landscape. There in the centre are the bare trees in the winter wood, all twigs and movement. In the field squares around it are furrows, sunshine and the crossed out days of illness. I decided to leave some blank to allow calm and silkiness to contrasdt the busy stitched squares. There are french knots around the wood to lead you in and add a raised texture.
Last picture are of silk cards - little magic carpets to go to the exhibition in April at the Guild at 51.
Not much progress stitching this week because I have not been well. Instead the blue skies on Weds over the Aboretum and a rhododendron in flower. Everything is early this year despite the gales. In between two at the moment. So this the calm between storms. Two more birds for the journal - sparrow and bullfinch.
I made a few cards to take into the gallery in Cheltenham this week. They are machine embroidered but still take a long time, drawing, stitching,painting and finishing. But they are, with my photocards, an affordable option and when the fancy takes me, fun to do.
Sitting in the gallery on Thursday stitching was interesting too. Getting to discuss the work with the visitors and the gallery manager ,the lovely Jo. The stitching is repetitive and calming which occupies the left hand side of the brain and allows the right hand side to wander freely. ( see my post on Instagram) It takes a long time but the time, somehow sinks into the cloth. I have the time to consider the symbols and meanings. and it has become a calendar of these winter weeks.
The practical bit- it is thin silk on 4 backing layers of cotton.( an old well washed table cloth so very soft.) the whole thing is lovely to stitch because it is soft as butter for the needle to go through. It is kantha style stitching ( fro India)and tradtitionally old saris would have been the backing layers. The running stitch causes a puckering that the silk lights up. it is worked in the hand rather than on a frame like traditional English quilting where the backing fabric is held taut. Most of the threads are silk and it is destined for the Guild Gallery mini exhibition, Silk, within the gallery in April. So I have to get on with it! I am putting silk binding around the edges - work in progress above.
I was really excited to come round to my January pages again. I did quite a lot of drawing last year and this year. More time indoors. Some of my summer pages have nothing on them....yet.
Anyway it was great to see what I found last year and I intend to do more little notes to myself this year. The wildlife motion triggered camera has been a huge bonus to know what is around at night.
It's been a mild January and things are appearing about the same as last year.
Drawing the muntjac deer was my hardest challenge. But I love doing this. I will bring these 2 journals to the Rodmarton exhibition in September when I am stewarding or demonstrating my stitching. But next year will be even better when i come round for a third year.