White Paper Two: Cross Stitch City

Sew. I don’t really sew. The art of brandishing such a tiny needle makes my neck ache just thinking about it. But there is something about a city like Augsburg that beckons different sides of you from the dark places you shoved them and lets them out into the sunshine. In fact I hadn’t been out in the sunshine for a very long time and with a strange city sitting up and begging to be explored, it was about time that changed. There was White Wall to be filled in the town square:

An expectant White Wall

So Kaja Marie and I took to the streets with two pairs of feet, two cameras, two brains full of jumbles of words and two blank sheets of paper held expectantly in our heads. And this is what we saw:

What's a town without a clock tower?

Small people with a serious case of football fever

Dragon slaying

Non-drinking water

Ivy stubble on houses

Graffiti Michael Jackson?

Graffiti wildlife

The river Lech popping up unexpectedly

A lazy duck

Fairytale streets

Hund graffiti

Emergency hair

The fabulous Fuggery

Snake cocktails for all!

Graffiti to make you wait...

More sneaky river

Pretty pretty city

This little pinecone tree is everywhere. EVERYWHERE!

A stellar toothpick star by local artist Sophia Kosakowski who invited us in for glasses of Hugo

Holy heart-shaped windows, Batman!

Oooo! The stunning ceiling of the Roman Museum.

A bat-faced doorhandle

A shopkeeping German shepherd (or are they just called Shepherds here?)

Beer! (We have seen a lot of this)

Meat! (We have seen a lot of this too)

Growling door handles

Construction everywhere. You can hear the city growing.

Pounding the city streets doesn’t really leave much time for conjuring up a piece of art when you get back. With this in mind I skipped dinner to spend my evening pixelating everything I had seen and then punching city-shaped holes in my second White Paper.

*pock, pock, pock*

The beginnings of a cross stitch city

Holey paper city, Batman!

Seeing the idea go from the mush of my brains into the paper was surprisingly astonishing to me. It actually worked. Phew.

Cross stitch city of lights

I then sacrificed most of my sleep that night (which seems to be the done thing this week in the White Room) to the low but satisfying hiss of embroidery thread being pulled through paper.

My bleary stumble from our little apartments to the White Room at 5.30am (that 6am White Paper deadline has eaten little bits of my soul) was made bearable by chancing upon the shambling zombie of a sleepless Keiko returning from a night making White Paper madness of her own. She stopped in the street as we passed and we exchanged an exhausted hug against the great yawn of arty obsessiveness before plodding on our separate ways.

My second White Paper made it just in time. And here it is, my unfinished definition of a strange city, with needle still attached:

Cross Stitch City complete(ish)

You can see it in its proper place all scanned and hi-res over at defined by.


And while you’re there you need to see the beautiful brilliance my fabulous fellow artists have made:

Kaja Marie’s lovely little side street of words

Keiko’s many many doors (click the link on the page to watch the video. Go on)

More White Paper madness, more beer, the phrase Boring 747, and other Augsburg defined by chaos to be blogged soon. Keep an eye on the defined by blog too, which uploads stuff much quicker than I do…


  1. Ellen L.
    July 10, 2011

    Love the embroidery, Lauren! What a genius idea. – Ellen L. Fleecester.

  2. April
    July 10, 2011

    A great city tour. It’s the small details that really make it.

    I love your cross stitch clock tower. Say that 5 times fast.

    • Deadly Knitshade
      July 23, 2011

      Thanks! Glad you liked it. It was tons of fun to make. Even more fun to leave it unfinished. 🙂