Thursday, 24 March 2011


A stitch in time...
Have I ever told you how much I love embroidery?
Well I do.
I love hand embroidery, but find I don't much have the time for it. I started a huge old treasure map for the ginger one's 4th birthday.....
He will be 8 in a couple of weeks time.
One day.
But I really love machine embroidery.
I'm not sure how technically great I am being almost completely self taught, but I do love it.
I say almost completely because my very good friend Miss Moonie Moon is ever so ever so good at it, and I spent a few weeks sharing a table with her when we were working on "Gladiator" ( Yes that Gladiator) many moons ago,
I was zooming away making vaguely roman garments
and she was doing a wonderful job embellishing them all with gold thread.
So I kept my eyes open and asked the odd question, there really is a lot you can absorb through osmosis, let me tell you.
Though I never could manage to machine my beads on like she does.
Any way the love of machine embroidery was born.
What I really love is the fact that when I'm doing it I have to really concentrate, so all the other stuff goes away.
I'm not thinking about the constant deadlines I work to, I'm not thinking about the effect an insomniac child is having on us all, I'm not thinking about the state of the house, or our finances, or friends, or family, or the shopping, or the boring politics at the college.
I'm just thinking about the thread and where it will be going next.
Afterwards I always feel quite calm and fresh headed.
Guess maybe its my form of meditation.
Wish I could do more of it.

All the tutors past and present have been asked to submit a piece of their work for a book celebrating the foundation course at Wimbledon College of Art.
This is because it is closing, the site being sold for development, and the ragged remnants of what was once the best foundation course in the country merged with the ragged remains of other courses and about 700 students(!) shoved in to what I have no doubt will be a woefully inadequate and understaffed new site.
But Hey lets not get me started on this subject as I may be here until the middle of next week ranting on without drawing breath.
Any way back to the point, the book, I decided to submit a piece of embroidery I did a while ago to advertise a sewing machine workshop I was running.
The remit was that it should be a drawing, and I thought drawing with thread was about the best I could manage!

To continue with this embroidered theme I made this for a friend who recently did me a huge favour.

She sadly lost her mother last year, and in the process of clearing out her house saved all the old cotton reels for yours truly.
I used one of the afore said wooden reels to make this, I used up lots of bits of the thread she had given me to do the embroidery.
The fact that it was near to pancake day when I made it and used the "lemon" cotton reel appealed to my sense of humour.
Making a special memento for some one out of junk that once belonged to someone they loved was a really great feeling.

And finally Beth Nicholls great big stitched postcard swap.
What could appeal to me more?
The theme was "love".
So using my new found friend the typewriter and a little bit of inspiration from Cole Porter.
I made this.

It was only when I uploaded the pictures here that I realised what it was that had been
bugging me about the bee.
No wings.
Woops.
The lesser known south London flightless bumble bee.
However I was very very pleased by my educated flea.

You can find many more tales of other people's creative spaces over here.
Love Nora xxx

13 comments:

  1. Oh wow that piece of embroidery is a complete work of art! You really are so incredibly talented- amazing!

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  2. What a great card - lucky somebody, love the little bird.
    What's not to love about embroidery and typewriters - seems peachy perfect to me.

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  3. Oh I love the flightless bumble bee :) Gorgeous work!

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  4. Beautiful work....sad to hear about Wimbledon Art College :(

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  5. I am so glad I found your beautiful blog. What an exquisite piece you made. I used to love embroidering as a wee girl and haven't done it for years. You're very talented.

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  6. love the sewing machine drawing :-)

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  7. the gift for your friend is both beautiful and thoughtful,I am certain it will be cherished. As for using thread to forget the ''boring'' stuff of the everyday like finances, work etc...I couldn't agree more.

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  8. Hi,
    Love your blog, so inspirational to me, and always makes me laugh, i have awarded you the versatile blogger award.

    Sarah
    guernseygirlgetscrafty

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  9. Wow! That postcard is just fantastic! I love embroidery too - so inspirational :) Kx

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  10. Yes, I have heard about the South London flightless bee, we see them from time to time in our neck of the woods. Your work is beautiful, and so neat too. I'm intrigued though at the mention of working on Gladiator. I assume you mean Russell Crowe, rather than 'Hunter' and 'Wolf' !

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  11. All of this stuff is absolutely lovely.

    I am very scared of machine embroidery... even the words 'lower your feed dogs' throw me into a frenzy of fear..

    Sorry to hear about your college woes - it sounds very difficult.

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  12. It's GORGEOUS, Nora. No wonder you love it so. I wouldn't know where to start with any kind of embroidery, but I have always loved the finish. x

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  13. love all the embroidery, so beautiful,

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