Monday, February 15, 2010

Winter muse

In February most people are beginning to think of winter as a drudgery. Cold, and in my case snow, and cold winds often make us long for spring flowers and sunny days. I am no different but it is not a driving force on these winter days for me to long for spring. The fact is I still have a long list of things I want to do before the warmer days of spring arrive.
I find all sorts of ways to meet the needs of the "creative me". Some of them are more traditional than others. One of the ways I have expressed my creativity is with paper embroidery. Pricking small holes in cardstock that form a design and then stitching it with threads. It is a relaxing pastime and makes me think of my mother.
When I was growing up, my mother spent her time of relaxation embroiderying dresser scarves, pillow cases, dishtowels and even tablecloths. She was known for her fine stitches and she had a wonderful sense of color. She did try to teach me but I had little patience for the work as mother told me what the back looked like was as important as the front. Besides I always ended up with my thread knotted. It was a work of frustation.
Over the years, I have created all sorts of things in all kinds of mediums. But embroidery as mother did it never called my name loudly enough for me to pay it any heed. But then a few years ago I received a lovely paper embroideried card from a fellow artist and I noticed that the back of the work was well hidden by another peice of paper. Suddenly I felt a spark of interest.
I have been doing paper embroidery for over 4 years now and finally understand why my mother was drawn to the work. It is like almost any other artistic work. You begin with the raw materials, and turn your creative muse loose and if you are lucky you end up with something that gives you inmeasurable joy. In my case, after completing the work I turn them into greeting cards and send them off, in hopes that they will bring someone joy. Above are two of those pieces. The one on the left was sent to my mother for Valentines Day. She loves cats and children. I hope when she sees the stitched card she will know that all those hours of trying to teach me to embroider were not wasted.
It is good to know, that whatever we learn, even though it does not seem to "stick" at the time, is there for us to draw upon like water in a well.
Hope each of you will be able to dip in to the well of resources you have and find pleasure in the work of it and fuel for your muse.