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July 28, 2015


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Thank you so much for the introduction to this artist. Sounds like a wonderful book!


Thank you, I really enjoy your book reviews. This has been on my radar for sometime and I may now make the purchase. Sounds like a book to buy rather than borrow from the library.

Penny Cross

We live close to a very large, but sadly neglected, John Craske embroidery, and have long admired it not just for its artistry but its poignancy of subject matter as well as an insight into his sorrowful life. Julia's book, like all her other ones, beautifully conveys a subtle multi-layered story of depth and sadness. I don't think of Craske as an artist but as someone who, helped by a profoundly wise and perceptive wife, took up paints, textiles and threads as a therapeutic exercise to relieve his anguish and suffering.

One day someone - like you perhaps, Jane - may write a book that attempts to explain why it is that embroidery, particularly, has long lasting beneficial effects that help to heal those suffering in varying degrees from sadness or from extreme physical and mental traumas. The Penelope embroidery kits for injured WW2 ex-servicemen have a particular relevance to this.

I expect you've seen the astonishing embroidered "rants" of Lorina Bulwer, a very sad, mentally ill woman but one more than competent with needle and thread. But why did she feel more compelled to embroider such time-consuming thoughts rather than write them down on paper?


Jane, thanks so much for recommending what sounds like a wonderful book. I have just ordered it for my mum, a keen embroiderer. Having lived a year near Cambridge, I know she will have many fond memories of those East Anglian landscapes.The not-so-neat backs definitely appeal too!
I continue to be inspired by the blog and your beautiful Instagram posts, thank you.

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