Spots of Time

I’m aiming to use a different template for each month this year, just to see how that works. February is pebble-shaped ‘spots of time’, a phrase from Wordsworth’s long poem The Prelude.

1st and 2nd February 2023

From Wordsworth’s text:

‘There are in our existence spots of time,
That with distinct pre-eminence retain
A renovating virtue, whence…
…our minds
Are nourished and invisibly repaired’

William Wordsworth, The Prelude (1850), Book 12, ll.208-15
3rd/4th/5th February 2023

Spots of time in this context are visual representations of time and memory, a spotlight on a few moments of life, that can hold peace and bring renovation. Time, experience and memory are really all we have. That’s our life. With the passing of time, experience becomes memory.

4th and 5th

A few stitches on a cloth is a few footsteps on a path. We may not know how long the path is or where it goes, but along the way there will be these little dots of peace and joy.

I really like the fact that this is one single layer, and that the back is accessible. I’m not so sure how that will work when the whole thing is folded concertina-style into a book, when the back will then be hidden under the folds.

The other side

The cloth is starting to soften very nicely. It’s just like getting to know a new friend.

Author: Karen

Textile and mixed media artist

19 thoughts on “Spots of Time”

  1. I love the effect with the pebbles on your cloth. In my daily walks I make pictures now of patterns and nature elements to integrate in my daily stitching. At home I make sketches for later use in my embroiderie. Hope it helps me through the year.;)

  2. The pebble space is unique and loosy goosey in a way that makes movement. So clever.

    1. Mostly these things happen spontaneously. I like the arrangement to imitate life, for which I have No Plan 🙂

  3. Great idea, it fits so well with marking time. Plus as I am a later starter, I can get to grips with the drawing of this one quickly.

    1. Thank you, Jane. No such thing as late though! Days are just time, it’s all the same. New Year’s Day is no different from any other day really.

  4. the other side reveals so much … I especially like the subtle differences between couched versus wrapped lines … and, as ever, the variegated threads add so much visual play

    1. Thanks Liz – yes, I really like the fact that couching and whipping don’t show up on the back. You need to see both sides to make sense of it. I do love my hand-dyed threads. They change colour and shade all on their own so much better than if I were trying to direct it.

  5. Oh, how I wish I had discovered this earlier. I want to pick up my needle and begin to stitch. I have not been very productive in the last several years with my needle that has been a part of my life for so long. I miss my dear companion. I wonder if I should be able to catch up if I begin once I find something in my stash to stitch upon. Your work is lovely. I have no blog, nor Instagram. I found you through my one concession to technology…Pinterest. I need to concentrate on something that will keep me from a world of worry, and I think the ability to use my needle in such would benefit me greatly. Thank you, Karen, for you lovely works and words. I will go back and view all I can for as far back as I can. God Bless from the USA.

    1. Thank you so much for your really lovely message, Linda. Days are just days. You can start any time you like – February to February is as much a year as January to January. There’s no need to catch up. Just start, and see where it goes. Ironically, Pinterest is the place where I spend the least time online, but I’m glad that some of what I do has struck a chord of memory in you. There is indeed great peace to be found in needle and thread, and stitches are well known for their ability to mend. Good luck, and happy travels with needle and thread.

  6. Your work is lovely and I love the fact that you are using the concept of spots of time from Wodsworth – what a fantastic inspiration!

    1. Thank you Alexis. Wordsworth is one of many favourite poets. I love his concept of spots of time, and emotions recollected in tranquillity.

    1. Yes, they really do create a different feel. I found it quite disorienting at first, but I really like the negative space as well now.

  7. I have been making small sketches of textures in nature also–to use in my stitch journal. I am not “caught up” yet–but have decided I don’t care–I just stitch on—-I took a year long class on line with Karen Stone and learned so much about the simple stitches used in many different ways.
    I certainly am glad that you are blogging. So many people now only do the Instagram thing—not satisfying for me. I love your blog.

    1. Thanks so much, Janet. I prefer the slower quieter pace here too – Instagram can move pretty quickly. Glad you’re taking your time with the stitch journal too, there’s no rush and no pressure. I’d also like to do more outdoor drawing this year, and hope to have a bit more time for that. Your texture drawings will be so useful.

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