Setting out

Happy new year!  As our planet sets out on another lap around the sun, the rest of us are setting out on our own journey through another year.  Some of us know where we’re going, some of us haven’t a clue; most of us will get a little lost along the way, and none of us can know for sure where or how we’ll end the year.  Roll up, then, for the magical mystery tour!

My plans for the year, as you know, involve slowing right down to my most leisurely pace ever.  I will be ambling, wandering, sampling and tasting, meandering here and there, meeting some new materials and techniques.  I don’t intend to sell any work this year.  Everything I make will be for my own records, for my own development and growth.

I’ve begun by making tracks.  Literally.  I took some photographs of tyre tracks in the snow:

Tracks show where we’ve been, but not where we’re going.  They are the evidence of our presence somewhere; they say ‘I was here’.  Tracks seemed like a good metaphor for setting out, for marking the transition between the old year (where we’ve been) and the new year (where we’re headed) – and they also provide the basis for some very simple mark making.  I’ll be working mostly on paper this year, with some small stitched samples but no major stitched work.  Just wandering through colour, texture, design and composition.  I’ve prepared some papers from which to form a small sketchbook on this theme:

Standard sketchbooks generally don’t work for me.  I prefer to work on loose paper and bind the pages into a book when they’re finished.  I get very anxious about whether the pages are in the ‘right’ order, and if they’re loose to begin with, you can shuffle them around as much as you like.

Textured card and paper with gesso and watercolour


kitchen roll and handmade paper with gesso and ink

So – having prepared some ground, I’m ready to begin. To set out.  I’m not usually a good traveller, but I think on foot I will be OK.

** Just a brief technical note: I’m having huge trouble getting in to google reader lately, and the only way I can keep up with other blogs is to trawl through my own sidebar periodically.  I’m also having trouble commenting on other blogs (particularly blogger) through my google account under my own name, so I’m showing up in most places as stitchinglife2.  It is I.



This entry was posted in work on paper and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Setting out

  1. Jill says:

    What a wonderful approach to your new journey – you are so clear about your intent .. i marvel at this :). You sound so calm and centred in this post, just lovely.

    • Karen Turner says:

      Do you know, Jill, I actually feel pretty calm and centred. And that’s really not like me at all! Maybe the break did me more good than I thought. Thank you, for noticing. You made me notice it too.

  2. karen says:

    have an amazing journey! Do you mind if I tag along??

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Well you got me curious about your new travelarrangements, so I also would like to tag along together with Karen and all the others.

    Have fun.

  4. Liz Price says:

    yeah Karen’s back – Happy New Year…
    I have made my first fabric book, I will have to work out how to put pictures up! Nothing ritzy and a bit too bulky but a fabric book with three signatures non the less.
    I received Jan Messent’s book “Celtic, Viking and Anglo-Saxon embroidery ” for Christmas – lots of lovely fabric/and paper books with much detail – have you seen it?

    • Karen Turner says:

      Excellent! Well done on the fabric book – look forward to seeing it when you get the photos sorted.
      And yes, Jan Messent is one of my stitching heroines. It’s a truly lovely book. Awe inspiring.
      And a happy new year to you too!

    • Sweetpea says:

      oooooh, that book sounded so fab I just went over to Amazon & added it to my “Wish List” (which is already waaaay too long)!

  5. Penny says:

    Happy New Year, Karen…Enjoy your expedition into tracks and relaxation.

  6. kaite says:

    you said you’re having problems getting into blogger and leaving comments, well so is arlee and she’s on wordpress as well, so there might be something about wordpress and blogger that doesn’t communicate.
    anyhoo, sounds like you’re going to have a quiet paper trail this year, excellent idea. wish you well. kaite

    • Karen Turner says:

      I wondered if it was anything to do with changing to Firefox (from Internet Explorer) – I think the problem started soon after I made the change.

  7. Amanda says:

    You still have a wonderful ability to just ‘be’ and to just ‘do’, look at all those lovely papers!

    I have it all in my head it just never wants to come out and play without a lot of complaining, kicking and screaming.

    I think the computer people are finding ways to scramble thier competitors. I was losing the plot with Blogger until I added the Chrome thingy now everything is fine. And of course it was you posting on my blog and you could come and pet the lovely threads, but they’re mine!! (insert cackle here).

  8. I have trouble with sketchbooks aswell. Maybe I should try binding them afterwards.

    • Karen Turner says:

      Joanna, do try it. It really works for me. The spiral bound ones are easy to undo temporarily, then you can rebind the pages with thread or metal rings.

  9. jude says:

    well we know you are here, so no worry. as long as you don’t cover your tracks. safe journey…

  10. Marti says:

    Journeys can have specific destinations or none at all. They can be of long duration, spur of the moment short rambles, or inward. What they all do is leave tracks to say we are here. Cloth, fiber, stitch, woven, paper, drawn, painted, dyed bits and bobs, all are the sign posts that say we are connecting with knowing who we are and where we are going. It’s so nice to have you back on this blog highway Karen and delightful to be hitching a ride on your paper trail.

  11. Penny says:

    So glad to have you back! I consider myself constantly on a journey and would love to tag along on yours. As the years pass I find myself thinking that although we have some control over our journey many times its best to just sort of tag along letting our hearts, minds and bodies take us along for the ride.

  12. Deborah says:

    Great post. I’m looking forward to following your journey.

  13. arlee says:

    Patience is a virtue, they say, and we all need to learn to be patient with ourselves and our goals—as i get older i appreciate that not everything has to be instant gratification–i think your journey will be as exciting as any fast paced (mis)adventure:)

  14. twhich aye says:

    a magical mystery tour… yay! allons-y! 🙂
    much love!

  15. Lilli Sutherland says:

    It has been lovely to read everything and to learn more about patience! That is an area that is a challenge for me. This year I have reduced my commitments and I’m hoping for a slower year with more time to be creative, and time to rest.
    I love this blog!!

    • Karen Turner says:

      Well, patience will be a challenge for me too! We’ll see how I cope with that. Wishing you a restful and creative year, Lilli x.

  16. Ger says:

    Ah, yes, slowing down… – it´s so very necessary, isn´t it – I intend to too – not to the most leisurely pace ever, as circumstances don´t allow that, but with dedication nevertheless – + on foot… – looking forward to see some of your meanderings…

  17. Sweetpea says:

    HApPy nEW yeAR, K!
    Lovely to catch up on the new tracks you’re making…but I am curious so I will boldly ask…what is it about working with papers that pulls you so? Won’t you miss cloth making?
    You are not required to answer ;>}

Comments are closed.