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Cells, stem stitch

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Cell stem stitch

A quick post today. I’ve put aside the stitched electronics for a while after feeling inspired by the cell images I posted earlier. I’ve started *something*. Maybe a needle book, maybe a little pouch, I’m not sure yet. There will be lots of french knots on this too. Lots and lots. I’ve already started the knots and they look lovely… and feel loevly – I’m enjoying running my hands over the surface and feeling the bobbliness. Plus I love the way ‘rough endoplasmic reticulum’ rolls off the tongue, It *feels* bobbly.

And maybe there’s a visual pun in here somewhere… cells, stem stitch…

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Thinking, drawing and cats

Warning: many images in this posts: cats, doodles and ideas.

This week, I went to the Cat Cafe in Melbourne with some friends from work. You can read about the cafe here, but for the purposes of this post, I’m just going to throw some photos I took while I was there. It was a strange experience, but the cats were beautiful.

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Okay that’s enough cats. 😉

This week has been more of a thinking week than a stitching week for me. I’ve been mucking around with my ‘electronics’ pieces, adding little components as I feel the whim. This is fun, but I’m in the midst of thinking about something larger – more significant and closer to my current line of thought.

Confession time. I’m a doodler. I have lots of ideas when I’m doodling but they are lost in a million different work notepads. So I’m going to start to keep my doodles in one book that I take with me everywhere (including boring meetings).

This is the kind of thing I doodle:

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Repetitive, rhythmic, patterned but also organic.

So yesterday I went to the library in search of a book about cell biology, and started browsing. So many inspiring textures and images:

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I sketched as I browsed and now I have a myriad of ideas that I can’t wait to stitch.

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Getting over myself

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I’ve been playing with my new coton a broder threads: they are delightful, glossy and strong and bright. I bought a handful of colours and some lovely linen twill from Hedgehog handworks. They took a while to fly their way here from the US, but it’s all so beautiful. I doodled some little test ideas on a small piece of cloth, but now I’m in flight on something slightly more substantial.

But I’ve also decided that it’s time that some of my doodling was my actual work, and my work was doodling. I’ve been overplanning… even procrastinating starting because I’ve been afraid that my work won’t be perfect. This has to stop.

I’ve always worn my “Hello my name is A Perfectionist” badge with an air of pride. I now realise that this is foolish, as it’s stopping me from doing what I enjoy: stitching, blogging, everything. It’s time for creating to be a joy again: an act of experimentation and learning. I need to *stop* saying “I can’t start until it’s all planned out”. I need to be spontaneous. I need to be improvisational. I need to play.

A few things have lead me to this place. Strangely it was discovering Iris Grace‘s art work that started the cracks in my facade. No fear, no inhibitions. Joy, playfulness, beauty. Why couldn’t I do this?

One thing led to another and I was reading Robin Atkin‘s free book “One bead at a time” and it resonated within me. The cracks grew.

The next and chink fell when I discovered Karen Ruane‘s amazing embroidery. It was an epiphany for me. Spontaneous, playful, beautiful work could still be structured. I can still create coherent pieces that speak to me as they grow that have the order, rhythm and repetition I crave as I work.

And finally today, this article from the Slow Stitching Movement appeared on my blog feed “Letting go of Perfect and Jumping into Creative” (via Nuts about Needlepoint). The camel’s back may have found its straw.

So. Back to my current piece. I’d been putting off starting for so long as I didn’t have the perfect ‘circuit board’ in mind, sketched, charted, planned. After days of procrastination my partner finally suggested I just lay the components out as if they were decsontructed: pullled out from a circuit. “Then you can lay them out however you want” he said.

“Then you can lay them out however you want.” This shouldn’t be a revelation, but it is. So I’ve started. I’ve roughly tacked out some areas to guide me, but I’ve already ignored them a couple of times when they didn’t suit me. I’ve stopped when I feel like ‘that’s enough’, and changed colours on a whim. Just because. I’m enjoying the satin stitch capacitors so much I may make a lot of them. Maybe hundreds. We’ll see where the piece takes me.

I’m enjoying stiching again.