Pansy Sickness

Pansies are a flower close to my heart, as I've explained before. I'm even considering getting a tattoo featuring one. So I had to focus on the humble pansy for a page of Milk Thistle.

I chose the most gloriously lurid 60s cotton for the background of the page. This is  because I based the text of the page partially on The Yellow Wallpaper, a late nineteenth century short story about a woman's descent into madness when she is essentially forced into house arrest by her husband, holed up in a room with yellow wallpaper which takes on an increasingly sinister edge. 

My text reads

In the darkness thorny thoughts crowded my head

and I thrashed in my flower bed so ineffectually

a delicate flower choked by creepers

bound up by pansy sickness

The text was also influenced by the meaning of the pansy as given by Kensita's cigarettes; "Thoughts: Think of Me".

I scanned my first blooms to be dried in my flower press (pansies of course!) to become the pocket in which the Kensitas woven silk pansy would be kept. I rather like the vibrant purples and yellows against the yellow, orange and lime green cotton. A ghastly clash to reflect the "thorny thoughts" and "pansy sickness" (which is in actuality a fungus which attacks the pansy's stem and may cause it to collapse).

I have another page to share over the next few days which I completed during my stay in the Highlands; it was quite a productive trip! Two more pages to go after that; I'd better get stitching.


I've just completed my most ambitious embroidery yet (at least in terms of scale), and it seems very apt now that the summer weather finally appears to have arrived (fingers crossed it stays!)

It's hopefully for inclusion in a little exhibition at The Lexington (where I saw The Wave Pictures play last night) all about, quite literally, the birds and the bees (wish me luck during the selection process!)

I decided to return to my melancholyflowers theme, imagining the honey full of sorrow that bees would make from melancholyflower nectar.

I aimed for the look of a botanical illustration with the bee and pansies I stitched (I chose pansies as they are a flower associated with melancholy).

I feel that I'm beginning to build more of a cohesive body of work, and that's a very satisfying feeling indeed. I can also see how my embroidery has improved during my journey with the medium; I'm so looking forward to developing it further when I begin training at the Royal School of Needlework.