Crossing Over To The Dark Side …

I’m an embroidery designer.

I have always been an embroiderer, and more recently a designer, and have always felt that I couldn’t possibly get involved in any other type of craft because I was so focused on fabric and thread. I used to call anything to do with scrapbooking ‘the dark side’ and sit and scoff at those who were enticed there.

The rot set in about a year ago when I discovered cartonnage – the French art/craft of making cardboard boxes and covering them with fabric. I told myself it was OK because those clever French  girls (well, mainly girls, but I bet there are boys who do it too) also include lots of beautiful embroidery in their finishing. So … my studio expanded a little to include glue and board and lots of lovely patchworking fabric and I was happy for a bit.

Then I happened to need a little manual machine to cut circles which meant I had to go into a scrapbooking store. I REALLY tried to not look too closely at all that lovely patterned paper, and ribbons and stamps and glitter and, and, and …  I did, really! I bought my little manual machine and headed home. I played with it. I cut lots of circles with it. I looked it up on the internet and found out what else I could do with it. I was reasonably content that it wouldn’t take over my creative life, but it was there if I needed it.

I continued to design embroidery, and cartonnage projects and blend the two together. But then I decided I needed something a bit different. I needed an edge to what I was designing. I signed up for a wonderful on-line magazine which was full of the most amazing mixed media projects. I devoured every new issue as it was published. My creative juices started to run. I began to see possibilities. I could see how I could put a bit of an edge on my future design work.

And now it’s happened. I have crossed over to the dark side!

I have ordered (and eagerly await) an amazing machine which interfaces with my computer to design and cut fabric, paper and 1mm cardboard (chipboard) into anything that I might fancy designing. The only restriction is that it has to fit into a space 12″ wide x 24″ long.

My mind is full of ideas … journals, bookmarks, things to hang, things to sit, the basis of things that I can then cover with fabric and stitching. Did you notice I said stitching? I can’t let the stitching go … but now I feel as though I can include it into this wonderful world of mixed media which I have discovered lurking just over on the dark side.

Do I now sign up for classes at my local scrapbooking store? I’ve already signed up for two monthly newsletters from two stores close by to where I live. I think it’s only a matter of time …

4 replies »

  1. Welcome to the dark side, Janie! You’re in swell company, I assure you. I love mixed media embroidery. Kat (Cross Eyed Kat) and Heather (monsterbubbles) play over here, too, as do many others.

    I’m excited (and a little envious) about your cutting machine purchase. I’ve been looking at those, too, and look forward to seeing what you with it.

    I’m a huge fan of your cartonnage projects and patterns. So pretty and useful.

  2. Oh how seductive the dark side can be! I love how you tell the tale.
    You can reassure yourself that you are an innovator in the shadows, not just a follower.

  3. Phew! It’s good to know that I have friends on the dark side 😀

    I shall keep you informed of my adventures as I descend, ever deeper, into the shadows.