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.