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Friday, April 27, 2007

Being Creative vs. Being Artistic Continued.....

Yesterday, I explained the difference between what being creative means vs. what being artistic means.

Today I will share with you, stitched examples so that you can see the difference in terms of needlework.

The following embroidered peacock is an example of being creative:

Ginas Peacock 4

I re-created a pattern from an embroidered piece in Gina's collection of vintage embroidered linens. This is not one of my original designs. I simply made a copy of the design (with Gina's permission) from a photo of the stitched piece. For all practical purposes, this is copyright infringement. We have no idea who the designer is. We do not know who the copyright owner is. We do not know when it was designed and we do not have the designers permission to make a copy for our own use or for the purpose of distributing it. Based on my own knowledge of embroidery design styles, I would say that it's from the 1940's. Well, anything from that era is still protected by copyright law.

Since my article today is not about copyright law but rather to share stitched examples to show the difference between being creative vs. being artistic in regards to needlework, I will continue on with the topic at hand.

From the pattern that I re-created from Gina's vintage linen image, I traced the design onto a piece of muslin that I myself hand-dyed:

Embroidered Peacock

I then embroidered it using my choice of threads which are Overdyed Floss from Needle Necessities and black DMC embroidery floss:

Embroidered Peacock

I embellished it a bit with some beads and some sequins to enhance the eye feathers.

This is an example of being creative. I created a stitched duplicate of the pattern. There is nothing artistic about it on my part. Yes, I chose the fabric, yes I chose the special threads and the beads but in all honesty, this is simply a duplication of someone else's artwork.

The following image is of my Bird Purse. The stitching is complete and this is most definitely an example of being artistic:

Bird Purse

You may remember from yesterday's post that I said, "inspiration is everywhere". This piece is an excellent example of seeing inspiration in many places and using that inspiration as a starting point, expanding on it and adding much of myself and my own ideas to it.

First, I have to refer back to Sharon B. who's In A Minute Ago blog inspires me constantly! It was Sharon's beautiful and heavily embellished Unicorn block which appeared in the Winter 2002 issue of Quilting Arts magazine that inspired me to try my hand at crazy quilting. I was quite taken with the intricate stitching, the extreme amount of embellishments, the colors and the composition of the design. I was also intrigued by the free form and abstract style of crazy quilting. That was my first inspiration.

If you look closely at my embellishments, you may be able to see where some of my other inspiration came from.

The vintage bird pin for example is what inspired my color choices. I did not design nor did I create the bird. It's a vintage piece that I found at a flea market but it is the basis and focal point of this design. I simply started with the bird and using it as my inspiration, I chose my colors and I worked my art around it.

The Buttonhole stitch beneath bird was indirectly inspired by Sharon. I had attempted to learn the Palestrina Stitch which Sharon named as the TAST focus last week. Due to my frustration in not being able to get the hang of doing the knot, I opted for the Buttonhole stitch instead. That produced the look that I wanted but without the cool knot on the edge. To compensate for that, I used some seed beads.

Moving to the appliqué above the bird, I did not design the lace appliqué. I used it as a starting point to add movement. I hand-painted it, I added the sequin flowers to the centers which were inspired by Jo in NZ and then I added more beads and sequins to the vines on either side of it.

A bit more inspiration comes from Pat Winter. She does beautiful Silk Ribbon Embroidery and although I never cared much for doing that technique in the past, I am so inspired by Pat's work that I'm am now adding more of it to my work. This is not a copy of anything that Pat has done. I added my own artistic interpretation of sunflowers to this piece using the technique of SRE.

I think it's safe for me to assume now that you understand the difference between what being creative means vs. what being artistic means.

I will leave you with some words of wisdom that came from my dear husband.

If you look closely at the dragonfly charm in the top right corner of my Bird Purse design, you'll notice that one of the yellow rhinestones is missing. I didn't see that until I had the charm sewn on.

For 1/2 an hour I had a little tennis match going on in my head, should I replace it or leave it on?

Scott then reminded me of a Swallowtail Butterfly that we saw in our garden last Summer. This gorgeous creature had a slightly broken and quite tattered wing. Scott asked me if the tattered wing made the butterfly any less beautiful. I said no. He then asked me if it made the butterfly any less able to fly. I said no. Here are Scott's words of wisdom:

Sometimes nature causes imperfections on purpose, so that we notice it and stop what we're doing to focus on it's beauty.

I will be leaving the dragonfly charm as is.

That has to be one of the most profound things that my husband has ever come up with! Of course, this is the same man who woke me up 3 times from a sound sleep that night to tell me about all the available ringtones that he had to choose from for our new cellphones! Go figure!


Kim said...


Your purse is gorgeous! But, it must weigh a ton with all the embellishments! I'd love to see this one IRL, and look at every stitch so that I could see exactly what you did.

I am totally amazed at your creativity!



Susan said...

I love Scott's wisdom. Don't they just surprise us sometimes, even after years? =) Thanks for sharing the block and the peacock. I love peacocks, as you know. =)

Susan said...

BTW, there is a video of the Palestrina stitch being done at

crazyQstitcher said...

I have never visited your blog that I have not been thoroughly inspired. Thank you for sharing. Maureen

Sue in western WA said...

Have you added your husband's words of wisdom to SharonB's collection (I think she's the one)? Is is called "Wisdom of the Ages?" Hopefully you know what I mean as I seem to be functioning on only half a brain at the moment.

Also wanted to thank you for referring me back to an early Quilting Arts magazine. Any excuse for spending time on eye candy!

Inspiration was always a sort of elusive thing for me. I am artistic (can't stand following a pattern!) but I have a hard time identifying my sources of inspiration. Which wouldn't be a big problem except that when I'm stuck it might be nice to know where to look to get going again!

Gina E. said...

Thank you for sharing your work with the peacock embroidered on the hand dyed muslin. You have given me an idea on how to use one of the dyed fabrics you sent to me recently. I have some peacock transfers, so I'll iron one on to that fabric and play around with floss colours to see what I can come up with!

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