Marilyn H.

Make time

This resonated with me straight away, even before I read the essay.

I need to allocate the time to focus on my broadest creative practice:

Journaling regularly – this needs to become a habit that I miss if I don’t do it as these few weeks have made me realize that writing is a really useful tool, it unburdens the cluttered mind and allows new thoughts to emerge without fear of forgetting what was stored in my head!  Writing about ideas and concepts, notes, plans, mind maps

Regular drip feed of making, a little bit regularly

Contemplate, read, research as a regular part of my practice

Take time




Slow down, make, with hands, appreciate the time it takes, a gentle pace. 

My yoga breathing practice mantra is‘I breathe in peace, I breathe out tranquility’

This only comes with slowing down.

Let it all unfold, unfolding is gradually revealing. Thoughts and ideas blend gradually to produce worthwhile making.  Whilst ‘time and tide wait for no man’ equally you can’t hurry nature, it happens in its own time.

A very small bit of making or progress done slowly and thoughtfully is more worthwhile and rewarding than a lot done quickly and in a hurry.  Getting rid of deadlines and making work for the sheer pleasure of doing what I love, savouring the process, is my way forward.

Cloth is one of my passions – new or old, natural cloths and one of my exercises that I enjoy is my ‘closed eyes’ practice.  Close my eyes and hold the cloth – move it around in my hands, touch it, feel it, smell it, stroke it, allow memories in;  listen to what it is telling me, think carefully and record what I ‘observe’.  It adds another dimension to the experience of the cloth that isn’t related to the visual, it emphasizes the other qualities of the cloth that are so special to me.  I like to try this with all kinds of cloth items; cloth I use for my creative work, garments, bedlinen, household cloths etc.

I also have a passion for simple, straight forward hand stitch. Its rhythm, repetition, slowness is a form of meditation, a time to allow ideas and thoughts to work in my head. I think, looking back over recent work, this is a bit of an obsession for me as much of my work is centred on hand stitch. Large, indigo dyed cloths were hand stitched and strips of sari silk were hand stitched into 20 metre long hangings.

This week I decided to stitch a piece of cloth with 63 rows – my number of years so far.

What a pleasure this has been, I took a random off cut of crisp, new calico and hand stitched a row for each year of my life.  It has welcomed me back to my favorite – the simple pleasure of taking a piece of cloth and stitching it. The stitch brings the cloth to life and starts it on its journey, it tells a secret story, and I (and you) know what it represents.

The significant point here is that I didn’t want it to end, I wanted to keep going!  I think I might do one for each year of my life 62, 61, 60….All the same size but with reducing numbers of rows, stretching back through time.  The lines signify the building of a life. As a newborn, life is new, fresh, untouched, like the new piece of cloth but as life unfolds, it leaves its mark as the stitching does.