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This Blog is a personal record and an honest illustration of my life as a full time embroidery artist. I hope that you find it entertaining and inspiring.

shown here are the Copyright of Louise Gardiner 2012.

Thursday, 19 January 2012


Connect with Collect - 1

Well I think you can safely say that my mission has been accomplished.  

I am now a bag of nerves.  

A wobbly and pale bag of wobbly wibbles.  I feel weak.  I have lost my appetite.  I feel like my identity hangs in the air. 
I feel like I am going into solitary confinement until Spring.  
I feel very melodramatic.  

I have been in  london for 5 days.  
I have visited the Saatchi Gallery and the Crafts Council in preparation for the exhibition Collect.  I have spent two days buying new fabrics and spending a small fortune around Soho.  You could say that I have successfully given myself a jolt of lightening right through my middlies and I feel like a hole has been blasted straight through my tummy through which wind is whistling through.  Empty whistley wind noises.  

It is time to get started Louisa!  
I have 15 weeks.  
5 canvasses.  Designed, created, stretched, finished and framed ready for Saatchi.  
I am already cutting it fine because what with Christmas, New Year, endless commissions, my 40th birthday and the design of my new website to be launched this FRIDAY I have been overcome with procrastination and 'other things'.  
That has now been replaced with  a wall of fear and a strange lingering lethargy.  A feeling of 'I just can't be arsed.'  
Its kind of 'nerves gone rebellious.'
I just need to start. 

"But but but…"
'I cant. I can't Start!"

'Yes you can, you can start, you have to start.'
"But where do I start… I have forgotten how to start!.'
"No you haven't forgotten you cretin.  You just start…. anyhow … anyway… but NOW…… Start with a pencil… with a biro… with a bit of paper… Just get on with it and stop being such a nonse! " 
'Whimper whimper.....'

I feel like Orvill.  
Remember the record?  Green bird wearing a nappy who used to say "I cant!"   What a HIT! It has stuck in my head all these years... its no surprise I AM GOING MAD.

I am going to have to employ a spiritual zen fitness plan as part of my program in order to keep on top and conquer these nerves, this lazyness.  I need a guru, a spiritual guide,  a sweat shop full of magic elves.  

I have been selected for my work by a panel of 3 distinguished people out of roughly 70 applicants and
YES I AM PROUD.  However, I feel completely bereft of any energy, talent and ability.  

It just fell off.  
I want the work to be so good I cant actually think straight.
I feel like I need to reinvent myself.  Become someone else.  
I keep reminding myself that the work I have done so far would look great as it is.  But I no longer have that work …. its gone and I have to start again and I cant remember how.  This isn't 1 canvas or a commission for a singular happy, eager and relaxed client but 5 canvasses for a million selective and educated eyes; the who's who of the world of craft and design, the 'hobnobs' of 'hobnobbing'….. Kings Road Chelsea, Sloane Square, Saatchi and Crafts Council Groupies who KNOW their stuff ….. Curators and collectors from around the world.  The big wigs… the people in the KNOW.  And I am going to have to stand there in front of my work, farmers lass from Cheshire. 
It HAS to be BRILLIANT.  No pressure.  

Yesterday, I sat in the Saatchi gallery staring at the wall where my work will hang.  There is an air of sophisticated high-brow coolness which is hard to explain…. at the moment the place feels untouchable.  The walls are huge and the atmosphere is distant and minimal, as is the art.  I sat there as people wandered round and the thing I heard the most was 'I dont really get it.'   I liked more than I expected and the gallery is swish but more 'characterless' than I anticipated ....  a blank canvas ready for anything ..... I think COLLECT will look amazing there as its so slick and bland yet warm and neutral and modern.  

My 1 meter square canvasses now feel tiny and I am worried that without careful execution and forethought they will get lost in Mr Saatchi's cool cream square sea.  They will have to be bigger.  

I cant eat my sandwiches.  My back aches so much already.  I feel sick.  I need a cuddle.  HELP!  
I'll have a G and T.


  1. Hi Louise, love your work and your blog! Yes you can! You've got the gift, gonna stick it in the goal, its time to move your body! (Or pick up your pencil!) Good luck with the creative process can't wait to see what you are going to make!
    Sally x

  2. You go girl... you know you can do it!!!

  3. Your work is amazing - remember the tortoise - to get anywhere he has to stick his neck out!!! Go for it girl - you will be fine. All the best. -Jo

  4. I feel anxious just reading about the task you have ahead!! But you know, you can do it and you are very talented.....it is taking the first step that is the hardest (like I have any idea, LOL!!!) A G & T would definitely be my advice

  5. Blimey, well done you, no wonder you're having a fit of the hibbie Jibbies.
    When you've worked out how to get started , let me know will you, as this describes just how I feel most days and then waste so much time, with all this shit, I get so angry at wasting the time.
    Good luck, and remember You've already done the work to get there. if all else fails Cake is the answer :)

  6. I CANNOT wait to see your work in person :) I've only been able to admire it from afar via a computer screen so far.

  7. It is SO NICE of you all to send me well wishes. Thank you!!!!
    I spent the whole day in the studio and started a commission that I have to get done. Its figurative and I spent the whole afternoon trying to get their legs and arms right (a weakness big time) ....
    Still such a long list which I will have to plod through here and there as I work on the 5 canvasses..... But I have layed out all my fabrics and I have set up my new AMP and speakers that my friends and family bought me for my birthday and it ROCKS THE HOUSE! Louiji. X

  8. They do say to start "do anything, something" just do. Good idea but still can be a fight. Sometimes its better not to start with the stitching... but if you have other tasks, like blurb to write or a list of who to invite to the pv, go with that. But I'm not making... no but this other stuff still has to be done, it also has a deadline for it. Its almost doesn't matter which you do when, because its ALL needed, and achieving something gets things rolling. How Do You Eat an Elephant? One Bite at a Time!!!
    Good luck, you know you can!



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