For centuries women have used cloth as a tool of comfort and as an expression of beauty within their homes. Creating cloth for warmth, cloth for shelter, our female predecessors embellished these linens with hand stitch using laborious and time consuming techniques thereby enhancing the functional beauty of objects which enveloped and protected their families. Inspired by these women I hope my creations pay tribute to and recognise the devotion expressed in cloth by our female ancestors .







''the use of traditional often time consuming process alludes to the devotion of a mother''. c K. A. Ruane 2007







Thursday, February 4, 2016

a five minute page


Thursday, wet and dreary Thursday. What to do? What to do to make the world seem brighter? Play....so I did. Five minutes, a little scrap of paper and a tiny scrap of snippet cloth and hey presto another page ticked off the ''to do'' list. I reckon if I have a few  more of these five minute play times over the coming weeks I will have my little books crammed in no time at all.



Wednesday, February 3, 2016

layer upon layer of hankies







Compare these images to these images......it's come a long way. The upper surface now has complimentary strips of silk habotai, metallic silk tissue and lace secured and embellished using gimp, bullion knots and French knots. This piece is slowly evolving over in class, one of many things evolving over there including buttons and pin pillows.
There is still quite a way to go with this one though. Two seams here still need bullion knots added and another panel is being embellished in the background to add to this later. It will then need to be backed...with what? and there is also a lining to consider.  It might be a good idea to put the kettle on....

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

ingredients for a pin pillow



Embroidery is now complete on the pin pillow cloth from this post. It was damp stretched last night and now the fun of putting these two pin pillows together can begin. That will involve adding beads to the surface, tiny glass cubes.....they will be given an edge of gimp, (like spaghetti) and there will be buttons, label buttons just like these. I am going to miss working on this cloth, it's such a beautiful surface to embroider. I would watch this space as the pin pillow cloth could reappear in another form some time soon. - See more at: http://karenannruane.typepad.com/karen_ruane/#sthash.Xw7qmNwK.dpuf

Monday, February 1, 2016

a button as a finishing touch...a video.










It languishes no more, forgotten on the ''in progress'' pile. It's finished. it has a button now, a label button tucked just inside the lining. I said here that I hoped to finish this one over the weekend and I made it....I love it.
We are entering our fourth week of twelve over in class. Patched pockets has morphed into more. Yes there are pockets, there are lots of pockets but there are also buttons, ledgers, pages. We will be playing with scraps of paper and cloth too, creating more pages, embroidering lace cloth...all manner of things and I am so excited about what we are making on Wednesday of this week that I need to go and lie down! Unlike some online classes this one does not close down after a set period of time. You keep your access to all resources including videos forever. You also get to keep me forever too if you like for support and feedback. (that however is not compulsory...lol...feel free to disown me any time you want) Take a look here whilst you decide if you want to join us.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

hankies, pin pillows and almost finished work....










It's been a busy week and a mixed week. I've started new pieces and almost finished others. I've pinned a lot and tacked a lot. I have looked at old work hanging next to new work whilst planning new pieces. I have acquired emery sand....the jury is out on whether that's a blessing or a curse. New labels which were ordered have arrived....they excite me a lot!! I commissioned those from the very talented Anna.....they arrived so quickly too all the way from the USA.
Today I have a real feeling of satisfaction with where I am creatively...I mean in terms of preparation for upcoming events. So far so good. So far the plan is working. So far I am making good progress.
- See more at: http://karenannruane.typepad.com/karen_ruane/#sthash.Tb2ZWF45.dpuf

Friday, January 8, 2016

Lace....undressed



This piece could have easily been described as naked, (undressed). Basically I mean it has no hand embroidery added. If you look at yesterdays piece and this one you can see the difference hand stitch will make to this lace cloth. I need to create 20 pieces, 25 cm square of this........... no prizes for guessing what I will be doing this afternoon.... - See more at: http://karenannruane.typepad.com/karen_ruane/#sthash.rdCtBxTc.dpuf

Sunday, January 3, 2016

titivated










I doodled on white silk....then I added applique and hand embroidery, voila, a pocket. The reverse is embroidered, the lining is embroidered. It's finished but it's not finished if that makes sense? It doesn't? Sorry, there's one more thing to add but that's been held up because I need to order a vital component......more of that when it happens.
I love it, I do. It's for France. It's the first finished thing for France and if I get my act together and stop getting my colours mixed up I should have a couple more pieces finished quite soon.
This morning I was surrounded by lace and hankies.....I was drooling......more pockets, online learning......I do believe I am quite organised. The first post is ready for the morning and half of the next post is done too. It's not difficult to motivate yourself when you get to play with lace and hankies all day.
- See more at: http://karenannruane.typepad.com/karen_ruane/#sthash.P2Xq2dSk.dpuf

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

an embroidered ironing board






No, your eyes do not deceive you, it is an embroidered ironing board. It's this piece, you've seen it before. Today stitch has been added to the actual ironing board. I could say that this is finished now but it isn't. It's too narrow. I am going to extend this width ways, add another panel and yes...there will be ironing boards.
Everything is gearing up for the big day now. Shopping, wrapping, cleaning. I'm keeping on top of everything except the wrapping. I dislike wrapping and I swear it doesn't matter how much wrapping paper you buy....you always have to go out and buy more. I tried to finish it all yesterday, failed. Later today I will have one last push. Tonight I sew.....and soon it will be time for the plump jolly fellow to visit and all the wrapping will have been worth it.

Monday, December 21, 2015

front and back




The front and back of this silk pocket are embellished, (yes I decided on  a pocket)...now I need to think about the lining. The reverse has three stems with a Suffolk puff at the top, a flower, the sense of a flower. More Suffolk puffs will be added to the front before it's all put together. I am tempted to embroider the lining too. Simple embroidery similar to the reverse, perhaps just one stem and one Suffolk puff. What do you think?

Sunday, December 20, 2015

all things silk and lace





Yesterday afternoon and playtime.....silk lace, metallic silk tissue, net...frothy cloth, unique surfaces and the beginning of plans for Patched Pockets and France. Creating this froth and these wonderful surfaces will form part of Patched Pockets. No prizes for guessing what will then happen? Pockets will be created, by hand, embellished, patched (of course) patched with these pieces and other cloth.. We will have pockets coming out of our ears.
As I'm sure you know...it's almost Christmas. The internet is mostly dead, quiet as a mouse, people making plans, stuffing turkeys and other things. Me? I'm organised!! Lol...yes...I know, what happened? There are only three of you reading my ramblings this week...thank you...you know who you are. Point is.....I'm going to keep going until THE day, until my sprouts need to go on. I need this place a lot more than it needs me. This is my record, my diary, my calendar....it keeps me on my toes....keeps me awake...if you're sticking with me...thanks...you're amazing!!