What a difference a day makes…

miniature embroidered ribcage pendant

Well this is embarrassing.

Ten days since my last post. First of all lets deal with this here silk ribcage, which will go into the Midsummer Collection and which I completed on Wednesday. Then I gots some explaining to do.



I filled in the rest of the shape with my fine fine machine weight silk, chose a couple of other warmer shades for the spine and added some french knot spiny processes and (you probably can’t see this but) some subtle shading lines on the under edge of each rib.


Then I spent some time outlining the ribs in a dark grey cotton. Here’s a better view:


Finally I mounted it in a plain wooden frame:


I know this is well trodden ground for me, but I love to revisit a design and see what improvements I can make as my technical knowledge grows.  I also LOVE how this version pops against the black fabric and how you can tell what it is from across the room.

So, back to my life and stuff. As you know, I have now been living in our ‘dream location’ – the south coast near Brighton – for not quite 2 months now.  I’m currently into my third week at my new full-time job at the whole/health foods workers co-op. My daily commute door to door is only slightly longer than it was in Leeds except that it’s 5 days a week, and the work is pretty standard fare as far as all my years in retail jobs go; I like it, I love being in Brighton every day, I LOVE seeing the sea everyday and I love our flat, the light, the seagulls, the wildlife…all of it.

I do miss my friends though, and I do miss my time. After today it will be 6 days until my next day off, which is my birthday and I have plans for which don’t involve Mother Eagle. In SO MANY WAYS we are living the dream quite literally. I am so blessed to be able to sit here knowing that the uphill road to getting here, lasting nearly 2 years (or 16 years if you’re counting from when the intention was there) has resulted in such a reality. But I am a planner. Somedays a control freak, clutching at the world, trying to bend it to my will. That sounds a bit melodramatic doesn’t it? But my point is, as it pertains to the dropping off in steady work flow into this blog etc, is that subconsciously or otherwise I think I expected to be churning out the goods at a rate similar to when I had the same 4 days off a week as before. You may scoff, but this is the kind of expectation I set for myself. I now live my ‘life’ around a rota system and with that other responsibilities and choices have come up: Sometimes I won’t get home until 9 or 9.30pm. Usually it’s half 7pm. If I don’t want to survive on pasta with pesto and toast and cereal then I better get organised and plan meals and shopping and stuff according to the time I do have. Cook more. Also means when I get home (at the moment) I’m pretty knackered so usually fine hand work isn’t the best way to rest. I’m using my body a whole lot more in my job: lifting, carrying, pushing, and walking more, so I have taken up relaxing yoga again – daily as much as possible to help stretch and strengthen my body. Plus, it’s just a whole lot of new energy and stuff to assimilate in your life when everything changes.

I don’t normally talk about my life but it is useful to do so on the blog sometimes because I rarely write down my thoughts and feelings and live in my own head a lot. Some of these things have left me feeling like I’ll have to ‘give up’ Mother Eagle; I want it to be a business, to make a profit, not just an indulgent and expensive hobby which it has felt like lately.

I’m not going to give up though. It’s what I love, how could I? But I do need to listen to people who love me and stop being so hard on myself – it’s a big thing we’ve done, a big big change. I’m going to carry on producing my art as much as I can and as much as I WANT TO. I can’t let Mother Eagle become the mistress of me, I am the mistress of her. So, at least for the next 6 months, I will work at a pace that is still nourishing for me, share with you as always, and actually give myself the chance to experience and enjoy the life down here that we worked so long and hard for.

I’d love to know if any of you out there have ever felt anything like this and what you did?

Thanks for listening folks. I’m going to try and start this bloody Foxglove Stumpwork now.

6 thoughts on “What a difference a day makes…

  1. Hey there Mama Eagle, love the redo, just shows even more how much you’ve Grown. The original was beautiful, this is just sublime. Just a thought, maybe Mama needs some space to put her roots back down. It’s obvious that you are where you should be, but none the less roots have been pulled up and it takes time to re-establish that grounding. You know your heart follow it, whatever feels right that day is right that day. Only one word of caution, based on my experience not a comment on you. Don’t slip back into what you can do just because you are good at it! It’s good whilst you enjoy it and it feels right but it’s too easy to end up staying too long. I know to my cost you’ll risk getting hurt or worse hurting yourself. Not saying it will go that way just a risk. I left a job I was good at to start my family, rather than taking the opportunity to grow and move into what I should be I trod water and eventually went back to what I knew. At the time that was the right thing to do but now I realise I stayed far to long and it’s bitten me royally! I’ll recover and all experiences are good for learning but for me there could have been a shorter route to where I feel I am now heading. Totally my personal experience but that’s what you asked about. Personally I feel your just in the right place, doing the right thing right now, just keep your heart and ind open as usual and you’ll be fine :)

  2. I can completely empathise as I’m one for putting myself under a lot of pressure too. But sometimes you need to cut yourself some slack. You totally deserve to give your self a break, a big move and a new job are a lot to take in at once, and your blog should be a joy for you at this time not a chore. Maybe set yourself a loose guideline of one blog post a week- but keep them short and sweet – and talk about something other than what you are making, for example about your tools, your inspirations, shows you’ve seen, whatever- so that you don’t always feel like you have to have some specific work to show off. Then catch up with your stitching workload when ever you are ready to. Hope this helps.
    Enjoy your new home and all the changes you hoped to make. Don’t give up on your stitching, but just do some for fun rather than ‘work’ in the meantime.

    1. It does help Bridgeen, but not as much as your general niceness and support! I really really appreciate the feedback on the blog too, and it’ll be fun following some of your suggestions x

  3. I know exactly how you feel, although I don’t go out to work, I am a full time Mum. I am so lucky that we can just scrape by on the one wage, but my mind and my sense of independance drove me to start my business. I don’t want to let it slip but I struggle to find an hour at the end of each day to sew and, as you say, it’s not always the best time to do fine work. I am trying to be relaxed about it, keep working a little bit at a time, build the business organically over time. It may take me several years to build the reputation I would like but if I keep chipping away I will get there. Don’t drive yourself into the ground, you already have a reputation and a body of work to be proud of. :-)

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