Thursday, February 07, 2008

TIF Feb - Memories - Later Years

A stitch in time: Signing up for City & Guilds Creative Embroidery.

I wanted something to occupy me while I watched TV with the other occupant of the house! Painting, my other passion, was too messy and needed too much equipment so I thought I would try some embroidery. As I got better and more creative I thought (in one of those Gestalt moments we have heard about) ‘this is not just a craft, this is art!’ I wanted to do it as well as I possibly could. When I saw a City & Guilds course advertised I went along to see the students’ work. In response to another of those light-blinding moments, I signed on in 1991 and I carried on going on and off, between work contracts, for the next eight years; purely for the joy of it. There were times when studying embroidery took precedence over almost everything else. Whenever I came across a new technique or a new idea I had to try it out immediately. Each new book or magasine had to be devoured at once. The house was a mess; every available surface was covered with snippets and threads and my hands were always coloured from the dye bath. Yet still I strove to be neater and more innovative. I was never satisfied. Nothing has changed!

At last I have my topic for design

All this reminiscing has finally given me my subject for this month's Take it Further Challenge. I can remember the days before central heating - tracing with my finger the frost patterns on the inside of the bedroom windows in the winter mornings. It was the first thing we did on those cold dark mornings at the beginning and end of the year - leap out of bed and rush to the windows to see if 'Jack Frost had been' and marvel at his beautiful patterns. Sometimes, to me, they looked like pine tree branches, or spiky barbed wire, and other times like curled acanthus leaves. This gave the name 'frosted glass' to the glazing material that was produced to give privacy to bathrooms and the like, now superceded by 'opaque' patterned glazing. (The old style frosted glass produces great rubbings - I wonder if I can find some?). My daughter has never seen frost on the inside of windows in the house, and nor have my grandchildren - they were fascinated when I told them about it!

Here's a nice link to some information about frost

and here's another

Lots of inspiration for me!


arlee said...

Lovely that inspiration will come this time from Memory. I too remember the frost inside :}
Hmm, perhaps a trip down memeory lane for me too will result in some new "topics"........

fiona d said...

I remember it too! 'Jack Frost' is a great take on this. I've enjoyed reading your stories very much - and thanks for the link to the snow crystals site.

Sue in western Washington, USA said...

I remember frost on the *outside* of our second floor windows in the winter. It was still pretty - great idea!

Threadspider said...

Brrr-I remember the frost on the insides of the windows too.Brilliant idea for the TIF challenge.