Friday, December 11, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Nonetheless I have done some stitching which I really enjoyed. (Sometimes I ask myself why I don't just stick to my comfort zone instead of attempting techniques beyond my capabilities). Also this was stitched at a leisurely pace and that was a nice bonus.
This is the lid for another box . There were seven boxes in all - five became gifts last Christmas. This means I have one left for us. The design is offering a challenge at the moment but I guess it will suddenly appear clear.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
A full sized hanging and the lit section. Quite difficult to believe that this is actually a flat two dimensional piece of fabric mounted on a stretched canvas!
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
So far so good! In any case I have decided that I can work at my own pace and will still learn as I plod along. This is a couple of weeks' worth of stitching. I can only stitch using a magnifying lens so this will be slow going.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
I found this very enjoyable despite some stitching that needed unstitching - a small price to pay for designing on the run. This is where I decided to stop ( always a difficult decision to make, I have found).
I think I have followed Sharon's Sumptuous Surfaces guidelines despite the low level texture in the finished piece. That class was so good and I learnt so much - I keep hoping she will offer Sumptuous Surfaces 102 some day soon - hint hint.
There are only four stitches used - satin stitch, stem stitch, wave stitch and foursided stitch and the thread is all cotton perle , #8 and #12. I deliberately changed the size of the 4 sided stitch in the leaves in a couple of places - not sure whether to leave it or try again - this show up only in the enlarged version.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
However to move on to what I have been doing in the last couple of weeks - well, not much really- but I have started a couple of 'new' pieces. The first one is based on a drawing I did of some gumtrees that I can see from my workroom window. I tacked the design onto linen with the intention of using it for my TIF challenge in January last year. I did make an unacceptable attempt and spent some time with the quick unpick and it has been sitting in the box ever since just waiting for inspiration . Could I do it in straight stitch in the style of some of Jan Beaney's work that I admire? Could I try some pulled thread stitches to show the bark changes across the trunk? Or even some blackwork? Talk about the dabbler in everything but the master of none!
I am not sure what eventually inspired me - perhaps an abstract from Edna Wark's book on pulled thread, perhaps Sue Dove, perhaps both of them. I do know I intend to use some pulled thread stitches for the background. At the moment I am considering the possibility of only working one trunk as two might be just too much for the space - 6 x 4" if I want to add pulled thread.
The next piece is another that has been also languishing in the box - I was given Trish Burr's book for my birthday also in January 2008. While I like to work designs of my own I feel that for some techniques I need to follow instructions, at least for the first piece in that particular technique and thread painting falls into this category. I bought a cheap canvas mounted on a wooden frame - traced the rose from Trish's book and stapled the calico onto the frame and then carefully removed the original canvas - collected the floss that was needed. - 5 greens, many pinks and a number of gold shades. This then also sat quietly in the box waiting for me to feel confident enough to start. Well, this week I needed some colour to brighten up my stitching moments so maybe it was time.
More to larn! This is a departure from my usual working method as it needs to be stab stitched and, although I usually use a hoop, it is loose enough for me to scoop stitch. It took me a little while to manage the technique for the stem stitch stems but suddenly it fell into place. Sadly I have not done enough to photograph - just a stem with its nasty little thorns and the split stitch outlining of the leaves.
I love working in monochrome but every so often I feel the need for colour. The thread painting colour is sandwiched between the gum trees and my whitework sampler which is progressing slowly.
When I began the hardanger pieces I intended to cut them out and make a pincushion or biscornu. However I added my drawn thread squares to the same piece of linen. So after deciding it was a learning sampler I needed consider the total design and see if I could make it a half reasonable piece of work. Not sure I will succeed but these latest little hardanger squares may help the process. I want to try various needleweaving ideas from The complete book of Hardanger by Janny Geldens . This interesting book I have borrowed from the library is full of new ideas for me to try. I am hopeful that some of these hardanger techniques can carry over into other drawn thread work I would like to pursue.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
The front worked up quite well without too much effort but I needed three attempts to complete a satisfactory back . The first one I ruined by drawing on it with pencil and then trying to remove the marks. I now know that Aida will not submit to any kind of abrasion! The second design I didn't like at all and eventually decided that I really must be happy with the third! (Does this story remind you of Goldilocks or not?) I do try to make both sides of my biscornu different - probably because I get bored with too much repetition.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
I was not at all happy with the big gaps in the corners of the drawn thread samples and decided to sort them out.
For this one I used wrapped threads to fill the corners - this was chosen because the threads in the drawn will be removed.)
When it came to this sample I enjoyed the wrapped wheels but decided that on such a small (4 inches square) piece of work more than alternate wheels would be overpowering. Because I feel design is still quite a weakness I try to work at it for everything I do. Again I tried to tie the corners in with the needleweaving I had done in the edge.
This did not work so well - perhaps filling all four corners with buttonholed bars, single and double, might have been better than only three.
This is the lovely biscornu that I received in the stitchin fingers crossstitch exchange from Gina. Interestingly each of the biscornu I have received on exchange has been smaller than the size I normally stitch. I do like these tiny ones. The one I sent Gina in exchange I will put in a later post - enough pictures for now.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Jane and I are having a private biscornu swap and this gorgeous little piece of crossstitching arrived for me the other day. It is so tiny and perfect. Scary really, as I know mine won't be perfect. The other thing that disturbs me is that Jane has managed to get this to me from Britain and I am still only on the first side of hers. I am enjoying the stitching but it is, as ever, a slow process - hopefully I will manage to get it done soon. I am not adding any photos until it reaches her, nor photos of the crossstitch one for my swap with Gina. She also finished before me but mine is ready to go in the post tomorrow.
My first attempt was shown to the resident critic for approval - the comment was "What fun! A great grub and maggots!" Definitely not my intention! I guess the colours chosen helped with the impression. I have since added some bullion knots and hopefully I have altered it.
Monday, April 13, 2009
I find the ‘design as I go’ method that I use for this style of embroidery much more satisfying than design for a crossstitch biscornu I have been stitching each weekday. (Work on this piece has been restricted to Saturdays ) I can’t design crossstitch the same way, especially for a biscornu, and I have found work on it quite constricting in comparison.
I discovered while stitching Ziggy’s surrounds that I can control my buttonhole stitches much better without a hoop – previously I had realised stem stitch was always more even when I held the fabric in my hand but was surprised to discover the smae applied for buttonhole circles as well. Then I decided to try the wrapped wheels and guess what! The same result!
The fabric is 32 count linen - a dream of a fabric. The threads used are all cotton either, Finca perle #8 and # 12 or DMC stranded floss with just a touch of one Light Effects thread. I think I am in a cotton rut but I do enjoy the feel of the thread and have quite a good selection of colours.
The stitches are pulled satin, fairly random, wrapped wheels, buttonhole, bullion, and French knots as well as the original stem stitch, pulled Chinese stitch and pulled eyelets - a slightly enlarged stitch vocabulary for me. Now I need to decide how to stitch the nose and eyes.
My crewel-style fishes are creeping along – I save these for lazy Sunday afternoons. I admit to being amazed that I have managed to stick to this timetable but my weekend embroidery is the carrot at the end of the stick. "Crewel style" is a very loose definition for what I have been doing. The thread is cotton floss, DMC, once again and the fabric is a silk/wool dressmaking remnant, very slubby - difficult for a not so skilled embroiderer and a penance after the previous day's work on linen. I think my next attempt might be with a firmer fabric and, perhaps, I could invest in woollen thread.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
I decided to do the Stitch Explorer challenge for this month. Voided work appeals to me very much.
A birthday gift from my daughter was a copy of Lump, the dog who ate a Picasso by David Duncan -a marvellous book of photographs of Picasso with Lump.
The book enthralled me since the photographs could have been of Ziggy, a dachshund that my children gave me as a birthday gift in 1982. Ziggy was the light of our life for twelve wonderful years. We never managed to train him but, naturally, he had us very well trained. It is amazing how much we still miss him after fifteen years.
The next part of the narrative comes with Mabel McAlister's book and her wonderful series of cat embroideries. A dachshund has such a wonderful shape - totallly recognisable, and even I can manage a likeness. So I have been having a wonderful time designing the series - no doubt it will change many times but that is half the fun!
While I intend to use his full shape for some of my embroideries I decided to start with his head.
I outlined the head in stem stitch and then started the pulled thread background.
This certainly can't be finished in another week, but I have made a start.
The fabric is 32 count linen and a lens and lamp is needed for the Chinese stitch and eyelets in #12 perle. As you can see, I have done about a square inch! A good day's work!
The pulled thread work in closeup.
I could not imagine why anyone might call a dachshund, Lump. After some hunting I discovered this piece from the NYTimes. Yes, definitely, a rascal! That fitted nicely!
Today's effort was not worth photographing. Hopefully by next Sunday night I will have enough to share. This is some crewel embroidery. I have read a number of books but could not decide where to begin. I love the traditional tulips, pomegranates etc but really wanted to practise stitches and design on other shapes and eventually came up with fish.
All I managed this afternoon was the outline of a tail with split stitch, plus some long and short stitch . Can you believe that this is the first time I have ever tried split stitch?
It is one of those stitches that I look at and feel assured will be easy. While it is not as easy as it looks on paper I eventually managed to finish that first small shape and feel that by the time I have done seven more I will be happy with my split stitches. This will not be the only new stitch as I have not done any couching or laid work previously.
Friday, March 20, 2009
This is the Brisbane City Hall, a beautiful building which is currently falling apart. Hopefully it will be repaired (there seems to be some discussion at the moment on whether or not it is a reasonable thing to do) . I do feel since it is part of Brisbane's history, it would be very sad to do nothing about the problem. For many years the City Hall clock could be seen from all over the city - not so now - one can manage to see the clock face from only a very few vantage points, but at least we can hear the chimes! (If the traffic noise is not overwhelming). This year is the 150th anniversary of the declaration of Queensland as a separate state - just a youngster, really!
Monday, March 16, 2009
What is next ? Paula has loaned me two books on crewel - I want to make a start on that soon. Perhaps I should begin to stitch one of the three biscornu that I am committed to make? Maybe some cutwork? I have an idea to use for the Stitch Explorer Challenge for March. I am having trouble in sticking to my resolution to start and finish one thing at a time as there are so many exciting projects calling.
This is the front garden frangipani - the one with the amazing fragrance.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
I am happy with this work - I had so many bundles of loose threads along each side of the square - why would one do something sensible like calculating in advance? So the problem was - what could be done with 15 bundles? - and this is where I finished. Is this called designing? I hope so.
Some of the marking threads are visible - I have become completely paranoid about miscounting early in the piece (and, even worse, later in the piece) and, in this case, not ending up a with real square so I thread mark every 10 threads in both directions. I started to do this with my second piece of Hardanger and found it wonderful not to need to unpick frequently. One can wing some things but definitely not Hardanger!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
The old Brisbane School of Arts - the middle floor of which housed the City Library for a number of years has its lace petticoat and the ground floor well hidden by the greenery that has grown so quickly.
The jewel colours of this DMC perle appealed to me in the shop but when I try to stitch with it on calico I wonder why. Perhaps it will look better on a dark fabric - I hope so.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Here is the first pair and maybe the other pair can be finished today.
Now I can't wait for winter – (it is still 33 degrees here, Centigrade)! These will be just the go for those early morning walks - soft woollen socks.
It is no wonder I try to keep my embroidery pieces small and to finish one piece before I start the next! A good idea but not always followed!
I really wanted to finish this hardanger sampler before the end of February but my wrist is playing up at the moment and it is impossible to stitch for more than an hour at a time.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Sorry for the confusion.
So here is a (crooked) photograph of the current state of this sampler. The reverse diagonal faggotting is finished. The mitred corners could be better but, this is a first attempt and I do like to leave room for improvement! Now it is time to cut threads and needleweave and I certainly need fantastic light for that exercise. Tomorrow is busy so it will probably have to wait until Saturday.
There was very little stitching done today. I spent quite a deal of time working on some designs of my own. I feel the time has come to try for some originality - not sure that is the right word as most of what I do is inspired and derived from many sources - perhaps personal slant might be better. the only personal slant in most of my work this year has been the mistakes!