Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Some new beginnings

Neki from A movable feast has been working on an exciting series and mentioned how many pieces she works on for a series. This has made me think about my working method. The problem is I seem to need to try out new things and although I sometimes consider doing a series on a particular theme that is as far as it has progressed. The truth of the matter is probably just that I have so much to learn in technique and design before I can possibly begin to think in terms of a series.

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

A better photograph and another biscornu

I was unhappy with this photo on the previous entry so decided to see if I could do better - maybe a tad!

This is the biscornu I made in crossstitch for the exchange on stitchin fingers. I find it quite difficult to design for crossstitch - not sure why that is so. Also these days I find it very difficult to work to a deadline. Gina was very understanding but, nonetheless I felt quite stressed about how long it took me to finish this.

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

Some tidying up and an exchange.

I have done very little work in the last couple of weeks thanks to a slight problem of a broken jaw. Although why a broken jaw should affect my stitching fingers quite eludes me - nonetheless I have only managed to finish Jane's biscornu, tidy up my drawn thread samples and finish my castalguidi piece. When I write this out it sounds impressive but the actual stitching time was not all that long.

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.