Friday, January 15, 2016

Life and Embroidery

Many of my ancestors are from Scotland. We can seem to be a rather stern, taciturn clan with the sound of bagpipes in our mind and the lilt of the language in our ears.
Much of what shapes our lives is inherited from our ancestors through genetics but more so by the family traditions and ways of looking at things that we absorb in our families. My Father was a most modest man who had great talent in many areas. He oil painted, carved birds, and created jewelry among other things. He and my Mother are the reason that I am open to trying new things and the attitude that I can create what I can imagine. The things of this world will one day turn to dust but what he gave me will be part of me forever. In December he left us, quietly and without much fuss just like he wanted but the hole in my life is giant. My parents are so much a part of me and I have been so lucky to have both of them so long that although I can no longer see him, he is not gone forever and I shall see him again. He painted this wonderful desert scene and among all of his painting it is the one that hangs where I see it as I stitch.

My Mother's father was from Scotland and she has always loved thistle. I stitched this piece for her to give to her at Christmas. It is stitched with wool thread with just a touch of metallic gold.
 From my Father's Scottish side of the family comes the name of a new piece that I am working on. It is a 17th century whitework band sampler named Isobel Lyon. Isobel is in my father's direct line from Burntisland, Fife. This band is a technique sometimes called Lacis. It is form of lace in which many of the threads are cut out and the remaining threads form the base for weaving and dove's eyes. Isobel is the Grandmother of Kathrin, so it fits in the narrative of the story of Katherin's kist, the embroidered casket.
 I have added a small but fun piece to my needlework tools. This rosewood thimble with its pewter bee is just for decoration but looks great on the shelf with the other more useful tools.

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