Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Practically Beautiful

I am a self-professed Jane Austen nerd. Whether it is her written word or the many film and television adaptations; I love it all. I think there is something in me that longs for that time (though I do think I could do without the whole oppression of women thing). I think that is why so many of my Snugs have feathered hats, lacy decoration and over-the-top embellishment.

I love the idea of a group of women sitting around together, making beautiful things; hats, screens, dresses, pictures, handkerchiefs. I know logically and rationally that a lot of those women pursued such employment because it was respectable; it showed their skills and talents to prospective husbands and mostly, they were not allowed to do anything else.

 But I do sometimes wonder and think about the women at that time that really enjoyed being creative in this way. I think of all those unnamed artists, whose work decorated their own homes but were never to be seen in a grand exhibition or never to be sold so that they could be financially independent.

I love all that can be created with a needle and thread. They can be practical, useful items like clothes and embroidered sheets, but also great intricate tapestries and small hand made dolls. So many people have precious items like hand-monogrammed lace handkerchief or an embroidered patch on an old pair of jeans. These are beautiful, simple things lovingly made special by the touch of a hand with a needle and thread. 

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