Second thoughts, panic and a question

I’m in panic mode because four of my samples from this summer are missing. I had them Saturday. But today when I went to get them for photographing…no where. This is one sample from this weekend. I’ll be back with a post on the topic once I relocate those samples that go with this one.

I’m having second thoughts on my “ugly” post from Friday. Maybe there are another few lessons from that piece that I need to learn. I received two comments about that piece and both touched on the appropriateness of that designation.

Perhaps I could say “disappointing” instead of “ugly” that relates only to my feeling about what happened with the piece. We have a saying, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Maybe ugly is, too. Usually I don’t even think of whatever I happen to be posting in terms of degrees of beauty or ugliness. I’m not even sure that when I’m stitching something that I even aim at making something beautiful. Do you have any thoughts about the part beauty plays in your stitching and once it’s finished do you come to a judgement about the level of beauty achieved? Please leave a comment, if you do. I would like to think more about this subject and other people’s input is always helpful.

One of my other endeavors over the weekend was to learn the diamond stitch. I’d found it in a book and then went hunting on the net because I couldn’t make the knot on the left hand edge turn out well. And I couldn’t find an illustration of that portion of the stitch in step by step. If any one can clue me in about how to do this, I’d appreciate it.  Thanks very much.

Next scheduled post: Wednesday (us, west coast)


8 Responses to Second thoughts, panic and a question

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Many thanks to Julie in San Diego who has told me that Encyclopedia of Embroidery Stitches, Including Crewel by Marion Nichols, Dover Publications has a very clear version of the diamond stitch in 7 steps.

    I’ve put the book on order and should have it by Thursday. I’m still interested if anyone else has other recommendations.

  2. neki rivera says:

    when i finish a piece and i’m pleased with the outcome i feel a sense of wholeness and tranquility edged with excitement. then and only then i can say it’s beautiful.

    neki desu

  3. coral-seas says:

    Hi Elizabeth, the wonderful Mary Corbett has a video on how to do this stitch.

    [url=]Knotted Diamond Stitch[/url]


  4. Elizabeth says:

    Many thanks, Carol-Anne.

    Here is a quick link if anyone would like to take a look. I’m off to start practicing.

  5. paulahewitt says:

    I *want* to make beautiful things, but i usually fall short of my expectations of myself and/or my stitching. i keep going though. I have come to the realisation that I wont ever be able to make beautiful things if i dont make some ugly/disappointing/ordinary stuff along the way. I guess though I dont judge my work by its beauty or otherwise, as much as whether I acheived what I set out to achieve – usually the finished product turns out to be less than what i envisoned, if that makes any sense at all.

  6. MargB says:

    Elizabeth,” beauty is in the eye of the beholder ” is definitely true as far as I am concerned.

    Can I produce a ‘beautiful’ piece? Not sure that anyone else might think so but very occasionally I have woven a piece of fabric that makes me feel “Well that is beautiful – I am so happy with it!” – I live in hope I may get there one day with my embroidery!! Neki has put the feeling into words much better than I can.

    The perfect piece must surely be derived from the accumulation of wisdom and practice as well as talent. When I took pottery lessons the teacher (who did make extremely beautiful pots) said “You rarely manage to throw the perfect pot the first time!” (Sadly, I never did attain perfection – or even mediocrity- in my pots at any time!

  7. Lynne Braga says:

    Hi Elizabeth,
    I didn’t think I’d be back so soon, but since the subject of “beauty” has come up, I’d like to comment. I’ve been taking a course on Plato’s Republic this fall and have just become familiar with his concept of Forms or Ideas. So here we are talking of the essence, the common nature or quality of, for example, Beauty–an ideal that is stable and unchanging. So Beauty may be seen as an abstract “idea” that we humans do seem to have some knowledge of and connection to and that we ascribe to ordinary sense objects in this world. However, these objects are imperfect and always changing and since most people are only concerned with this world of fleeting appearances, they see mere hints of the ideal and permanent Beauty. It is the philosopher (or mystic) who attains full knowledge of the real and the essential, or as mentioned above, the Idea or Form. This is as well as I can explain what I have learned so far–perhaps not the best explanation. In light of what Plato had to offer, perhaps we do not “see” beauty, so much as we “feel” it (or discover it!)…and it is often difficult to describe. In any case, I think the subject is one worth contemplating and I’m glad you asked about it. Some of my best artwork has been done spontaneously and quickly–letting it “happen” rather than deliberately planning it.
    On a more practical note: is there anything more irritating than losing pieces of work?–I hope yours show up soon!

  8. tenar72 says:

    Sorry for responding so late, no time for the inet during the week.

    I love beauty. This is a big part of what keeps me fascinated with crafts, art, nature, and a lot of other things. I strive for beauty in a lot of my work, and all stupid self-criticism aside, i think I sometimes achieve it, if only in an earthly way and not as in the perfect platonic ideal form or something.

    But then, in other pieces I don’t aim for beauty. I have learned not to shy away from imperfection or plain uglieness in exxperiments and stidies. Sometimes only mistakes make you learn, after all.
    And sometimes, I do break the rules of beauty. Either in a “it’s so bad it’s good again” sense or because I think I have an ugly message to convey. For me, it was an important and very liberating lesson to learn that it’s ok to express bad feelings, or show the ugly side of things.

    Lynne, it is so true for me either that the best pieces just happen, or are at least based on something that just happens. Intresting what you say about feeling beauty rather than “seeing” it. I think this is very true, but I could never have put it inro words that well.

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