I can constantly be a bit torn about whether I need to lay off embroidering other people’s patterns and start doing more designs that are truly my own or whether I should continue just as I am because heck, I like working with other people’s patterns, there are so many amazing designers out there, why should I stop myself embroidering their patterns? I guess you could answer that in that there is only so much time in the day to embroidery and if I’m serious in developing my career in embroidery I need to work more on my own stuff, instead of just once in a blue moon but on the other hand each time I embroider from someone else’s pattern I feel like I’m learning something. I have come to the conclusion that I am still very much learning as an embroiderer, I found some of my very first pieces that I embroidered (so about 4-5 years old) the other day (I should post them here one day) and ooh they weren’t very good, I even recently re-embroidered a pattern for a quilt project (that has yet to see the light of day on this blog – although if you look at the first photo in the mosaic I’m going to show in my next post, you may get a little hint) that I embroidered a year ago that I wasn’t happy with (and I was a lot happier with the result when I re-did the pattern a year later). The learning thing is why I love embroidery so much, something that is relaxing and at entry level is relatively easy to do, yet can provide so much of a rewarding challenge as you progress in to it, with new techniques to learn, more detailed patterns, different styles, different materials, thinking more carefully about colour, you name it. I think I’ve sat back a little with my embroidery and haven’t been pushing myself too much and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that but I am the sort of person who likes a challenge and relishes the buzz of learning (and hopefully succeeding at) something new, so I do need a little push at developing more of my own patterns. Soooo . . . that’s where the embroidery journal project over on The Floss Box blog has come in as a very useful prompt, you can find out more about it here, but basically it’s embroidering something that means something to you, every month of 2012, so I’m going to do that and I am not saying that I am never going to use someone else’s published pattern, if I find something appropriate to the month I’ve had but I think chances are as the person who has lived said month, I am more likely to find inspiration in something I have designed myself. So, waffle aside, *drum roll*, here is my piece for January 2012.
I should note that I may not always explain the meaning behind a particular piece in this project, but I’m happy to explain this one, on 4th January I had a small, minor procedure on my right wrist, I clumsily took the photo I based this pattern on, a few days after and I should point out that at that point blood was not dripping down my wrist! The blood drop is more metaphorical, as I did loose quite a lot of blood in the procedure, as you would if someone was performing minor surgery right at the point where you’d want to slit your wrists if you were so inclined. I had a local anaesthetic during the procedure but I could still literally feel blood welling up and dripping down my wrist, it wasn’t pleasant (sorry if that last line made anyone’s toes curl!). Anyway, I could barely use my hand at all for the rest of the day, could barely use it the day after, did manage to get some embroidery done the day after that (I’m right handed), the embroidery actually helped, if I didn’t over do it, with stopping my hand cramping. In total it took a couple of weeks for it to stop hurting like hell and even now it can still be a little tender and I still have some really interesting bruises. So that was my January, getting my hand back up to scratch again. I will probably need more work on my wrist, so don’t be surprised if more months in this project are various angles of my hand, if I’m still capable of embroidering them that is, fingers crossed (or maybe not, ouch!).
But anyway, considering embroidery is so important to me and I’ve started this year being at least temporarily restricted in doing it, I thought embroidering my limitations was apt . . .