Friday, March 27, 2020

Long overdue

I think, no, I know, I dropped the ball.
I have not stitched anything for weeks, nor have I visited the blogs I usually enjoy or engaged in any other social media stuff... I just dropped the ball and have not even tried to pick it up.
The things I have been doing, that are ever so slightly embroidery related, have not been things that offered anything remotely interesting to share.

Like the rest of you, we are adjusting to the same crazy and unnerving times, with plans now all 'unplanned' (is there even such a word?) and the simple way we do, or did, everything rapidly changing day by day. All my immediate workshops and trips have of course been cancelled or rather postponed for the time being. The new patterns are coming along and hopefully I will have them in the shop soon.
When I don't work on my embroidery, I work part-time in the call center of our emergency services. I had scaled that job right back, and was lucky to be able to do so, but with the current situation, I will be back on 'my perch' more regularly.

But some things don't, or can't, change (much) and we have been going through this years grape harvest for the past few weeks. Because we have several varieties of grapes, harvest is spread out of a several weeks, depending on the season. We finished this morning with the last little lot, leaving for the winery. Ideally the winemaker would have liked to leave them on the vines for another week but the winery where she presses closes its doors to external users this afternoon, so she had no choice. I don't mind - it always a welcoming feeling of relief when it is all done and we can relax on that front of a little bit.

So after what feels like weeks and weeks on no stitching, or to be honest, not really even feeling very inspired, I have picked up the needle again.
A friend of mine, Ansie ( alerted me to a call-out by textile artist, Ellis Schoonhoven named LOST CONNECTIONS. Ellis had started working on the project back in November, long before most of us even knew that Social Distancing was even a thing. She wants to create awareness to our lost connection with each other and the world around us while also connecting people. So she set out to find 50 stitchers from all over the world to stitch the words LOST CONNECTIONS in their own language in gold thread. The pieces will then be made into pillows what will surround a large veil she is creating from antique pieces of lace.
At first, I clicked past it. You can only get involved in so much, right? But this one wouldn't go away, so I went back for a closer look and decided it was something I would really like to be part of.
Although I have called Australia home for more that half of my life, I am still Danish, so I will be stitching the words MISTEDE FORBINDELSER.

The brief is pretty open, with just the size and the words stitched in gold threads. Ellis also suggested that the words be accompanied by something that signifies the country, something that is iconic either to the people as a whole or has an iconic meaning to the person stitching...????
I knew from the start,  I wanted to include water. Denmark is tiny and there is water everywhere. Historically it is a nation of seafarers and farmers (well roughly spoken). More importantly, I wanted water because water both separates and connects.
But water alone is not iconic to anywhere in particular, so I had to put my thinking cap on before settling on...

... The Little Mermaid.

1) I think, she is iconic to Copenhagen in particular. (And yes, she is really is very, very tiny)
2) She sits in the water, staring out to sea.
3) I grew up with Hans Christian Anderson stories and still love them.

After having the drawing pinned to my wall for a few day, I got it all ready last night. The pattern is traced onto a light sea-green/blue linen. I bought this piece in Thailand some years ago and the colour is just perfect. The weave however is a little too open to hold the embroidery, so I have had to back it with a calico.

It is now all framed up on my favorite rosewood slateframe and is ready to go. It feels really good to be doing something creative and positive again.

Stay well,
Anna X