Cleo C.

Seeking Alignment—Week 6



            This was hugely important for me on so many different levels.  I read the essay several times and  found that answers to each question or challenge brought up new questions, challenges, and issues that needed further mental energy and honesty to clarify and enrich my creative life.


            Order, Discipline and Structure always help to clarify matters, so I decided, as suggested, to be methodical and move step by step to get an understanding of my urgesfor ‘making’, if, and how best, to follow them and move closer to alignment


Part 1   Skills                                 

                                         What I feel I do well


I enjoy writing.  I am at ease with composing short descriptive pieces, and have composed the odd poem -------Rating5/5                                                          


I am good at and enjoy hand sewing and embroidery. -----------Rating 5/5

 Something unusual and unexpected….. As one of the few persons here working with fabric I was asked to repair a few commercial quilts for friends.   I enjoyed the challenge, results were successful and I enjoyed cheating decay….more like re-making than making. -------------------------------------------------Rating 4/5   

                                                                                                     Rating 4/5 

Patchwork quilts and hangings with simple quilting -------- ----  Rating 4/5

Simple garment making --------------------------------------------------Rating 3/5                                                             


                                                What to keep….What to discard


All of the above----- I have too few skills to discard anything!

 Not confident or versatile enough not to try to learn new techniques either.  Sometimes I feel this fear that I need to learn new skills has me looking at and trying new techniques, making me…spread myself out when I should be concentratingand ‘aligning’ myselfwith the skills I am most comfortable with, to build self confidence.


                                                What needs improvement

Practice writing skills.

Practice to improve accuracy in cutting for piecing.

Experiment with hand sewing and learn new techniques in embroidery. 

Learn to make unusual garment patterns that could accommodate creative hand and machine embellishments.

Learn to become more adventurous with colour

Learn to draw

Learn to use simple tools like drills etc more comfortably



I don’t know about perfection.  I know how I feel when I am happy with what I’ve created. If I feel I have done the best I could have, with the materials and tools available, and feel that I have conveyed the message I meant to convey, it is perfect to me. 


Part 2   Review          

                                         Oscar theOctopus


I used a transparency designed for cyanotype and embellished the image with snippets of white net, and white and silver French knots to emphasize structural features. The whole image is outlined in simple running stitch.   I love doing cyanotype and have used it in several small and large pieces.   I enjoy hand stitching, so the embellishing was a happy choice for me.  I am pleased with the results.


 Here is the weak link, though. As often happens, I start with an ambitious plan and don’t carry it out.  This piece was to be one of several others making something larger, with a sea theme. It is still the only section done. I need to think why I sometimes abandon work, often after a good start.   I’m probably afraid that this is just a fluke and that the lucky streak will run out!   I need to build more confidence in my skills.


 I think Perfection can be, in many cases, in the eye of the beholder, or of the receiver of the artwork.  To the mother, for instance, the handmade card from her four year old is perfect.

Clearly, aspiring artists like myself, must strive hard to always do the best we can and to keep learning techniques to strengthen our craft and hone our skills.

 When making a cyanotype, as with this piece, there can be an element of surprise  due to variations in sun strength or from a sudden puff of wind on an unsecured area of the fabric.  I was happy to find that my print offered many opportunities for absorbing stitching.     

The search for alignment continues with the evolution of personal style, and the import of the work that is produced.

          “…. to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit”