Stitches with a Difference

When something wears out you either repair, replace or renew. I've played a lot of sport and my knee has suffered various injuries.

These injuries were something a plaster wouldn’t fix so in March I had a knee replacement.

My surgeon could well become the invisible stitcher. A running stitch with dissolving thread.

Recently my artwork has included many varieties of stitches as I learn to embroider.

4 months later and I’m still recovering.

Motivation is not high up on the list for finishing a project I started quite a few months ago.


Suffrage in Stitches Part 2

This great initiative organised by St Vinnies in Wellington saw me busy over Christmas. I've enjoyed every stitch and bonded with Jessie pollock very early on.

My process is about making a beginning and things develop from there. Using raw threads shows the workings of the piece.

I have a stash of treasured stuff that is very old and fitted perfectly into the vintage theme. I’m grateful for the donations from friends when tidying their cupboards.  The tatting came from my late Mother’s sewing box. It had a label DIC 2/6d and i used her embroidery thread. The blanket for the nurturing all the women did.

I contacted her Grandson and this is his recollection.

 " Jessie Pollock was born in 1863 Jessie married twice.  The first, against her mother’s wishes when she was about 22, in 1886. Henry was a scion of an English clerical family of some repute, but had been sent to the colonies to redeem himself, it would appear. His occupation was given as bottler on the marriage certificate, so presumably he was working in a brewery.. The marriage ceremony was given publicity in the local papers in Dunedin, as the bride wept throughout the ceremony, and having said “I do”, dashed out to the graveyard area accompanied by her puzzled spouse and they spent the the next few hours discussing matters. The upshot was that she went back to her mother! 5 years later in 1891, she divorced him, amid attendant publicity in the local Otago Witness paper, and later had, at age 33, a very successful marriage to Bob Garrett.  Nothing of this earlier marriage was ever talked about in the family. Indeed, it was only when we were examining the marriage certificate between Bob and Jessie that we noticed that she was defined as “divorced” rather than the usual spinster! This set us off on a hunt to discover what had taken place. She is reputed to have met Bob whilst out riding a horse along the banks of the Taieri River, Mosgiel area. She ducked her head to go under a tree branch, insufficiently as it turned out ,and off came her bonnet.  Bob was minding his own business, sitting by the river bank, and laughed at her embarrassment. Jessie turned her steed around and proceeded to to give Bob her opinion of people who laugh at others’ misfortune. So!  Bob picked up her hat and thus she went and married him! Jessie did have strong opinions, regarding Temperance, and Suffrage, and worked to improve the lot of women in general.  She and her mother both signed the petition. She wrote to the ODT, under the pen name of Lola, on numerous occasions.”

Thanks to Malcom Garrett her Grandson for the information. 

view the link for more information.

Jessie and her mother Janet appear on sheet 86 

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Art from Family Photos

Old photos have an energy that fills me with happiness. Sepia or black and white they have distinct clues about the era they were taken. The clothes, the stance, the interaction. Dominant genes passed on can show uncanny similarities.

When a baby is born relatives search for likenesses. “He looks so like his Grandmother.” 

“Where does his red hair come from?"

These inherited characteristics make you part of your DNA family.

Now with DNA testing kits you can have a link to family you never knew you had. 

I’m about to start using old photos on fabric to create my next piece. 

An Interactive Artwork

When my sister visits she take great pride in rearranging the ‘Cushies.’ This physical presence of her contemplating her next move, appears like a draughts player with a new strategy.

The humble pin cushion is its own work of art, with a new artwork everyday. This re arranging is a bit like life. You need to make adjustments, change things up a little, make something appear new and different.

 Maybe it’s become an interactive artwork.

Learning a New technique

Beading and embroidery go hand in hand. It’s not something I've done before but the process is somewhat challenging. At first I started with silk thread and chain stitch. When part way through I moved onto the beading. Three beads at a time on a fine needle and then a knot at the back to make sure the stitch didn’t come undone. 

I was surprised how quickly it grew. 

My cat showed a complete lack of interest.