I'm an interdisciplinary artist in Winnipeg. My work is pretty much always about feelings.
Interested in quiet, soft (both literally and not) forms of feminist practice, unicorns, and TMI.

Embroideries for grandma

I’ve been making tiny embroideries about my grandma, because I’d been embroidering a lot anyway, and when we were cleaning out her suite we found an ancient sewing basket, with hoops and random lengths of elastic. I decided it would be special to use her embroidery hoops to make objects for and about her. They’re really personal – little quirks and family jokes. They allowed me to think about her when she was a lot more healthy and coherent, which is something I think we’ve all kind of shut away because it’s so sad to see how far downhill someone’s gone, so we’ve been thinking about her in a constant present tense for the last while. They’re not perfect because I also used them to learn different stitches, hence the jagged “OH HI” and slightly weird chain stitch on the second one. I worked on them while I was in Golden, which was kind of nice because it was such a ridiculously hectic trip, and I didn’t get to be alone at all. The last one(the pepper), I made on the Greyhound trip back, which was a 4-hour air-conditioningless hell, with drunk guys on their way to the stampede being generally rowdy. Near the end(of the embroidery and of the trip) one of them leaned between the seats and said, “Excuse me, what does that say?” I really didn’t feel like explaining something so personal to a drunk guy on a bus, so I was a bit vague and didn’t say anything about the fact that she had died. He said, “Hey guys, she just sewed this pepper shaker, and it totally looks like a pepper shaker! Hey, you should sew my initials on there because I was, like, here and stuff.” Eugh. I guess that was a compliment, but I feel like people have been violating my personal space like CRAZY for the last couple of weeks. Stop asking me questions! Just be quiet for once! Geez. Explanations to the pieces follow.

When you'd answer the phone, there'd be a pause while she was trying to figure out who it was, then she'd blast an OH HI into the receiver to greet you. It was so loud that my mom ended up getting call display.

She had different phases of random foodstuff to offer. The last couple of years it's been those babybel cheese balls. She'd offer them to EVERYBODY. At the tea we got a bunch of them and put them on all the tables, and everybody knew what they were for.

During dinner, she'd shake an inordinate amount of pepper all over her food, then sneeze several times. Her sneezes always sounded kind of like an angry man shouting the word "THRESH!" for no reason.

So yeah, I still need to get the pencil marks off of them and iron them, but also I still don’t really know what form they are going to take.  I might make a few more… My mom suggested making them into a quilt but that does not appeal to me at all.  Maybe just set them together in small frames and have the group function as a sort of portrait.

  1. Aug 21, 2010 3:52 pm

    I love the pepper shaker!

  2. Aug 21, 2010 3:55 pm

    I’ll never be able to look at those Babybel cheeses and not think of Mom. Did you know that she didn’t eat them, she bought them to give away.

  3. Aug 21, 2010 3:57 pm

    The “OH HI!” blasted my eardrums out so many times it’s a wonder I can still hear :) If I could only hear that again….

  4. Sep 22, 2010 9:01 pm

    Awee Lindsay these are wicked cool!