Friday, August 14, 2009

write you a letter tomorrow

Yesterday I posted an image of a finished portion of The White Lady / The Lady in White. Here's a look at the background fabric for the piece. It's a work in progress and it will look different when it's finished. White thread against slightly off-white muslin is not the easiest thing to photograph or scan - go figure. If you can't quite make out the words, it's As you are now, so once was I. As I am now, so you shall be -two lines from a common epitaph:

Stranger, stop and cast an eye.
As you are now, so once was I.
As I am now, so you shall be,
Prepare for death and follow me.


I'm repeating the middle lines over and over again. Although mine is a mighty lame homage, samplers are the source of inspiration. Below are two beautiful examples of samplers and they show how it's really done. The text that accompanies Mary Ann Beard's sampler reads, "The embroiderer was probably quite young when she made this sampler as it is not as finely worked as many others." Show off.

American Sampler by Elisabeth Stewart Fraserburgh, 1812
(Source for image: Samplers by Susan Mayor and Diana Fowle, published by Moyer Bell, © 1996 ISBN 1559211547)

Sampler by Mary Ann Beard, 1842
(Source for image and quote: Samplers by Susan Mayor and Diana Fowle, published by Moyer Bell, © 1996
ISBN 1559211547)


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