Monday, October 17, 2016

No, Emily Post Would Not Approve

Have I complained lately about trying to get anything done amid an unending house renovation?

You really don't want to hear it.  But it does explain the disconnect between today's date and that in the photo.  That's right, the wedding was last August. . . way beyond the year traditional etiquette allows for a wedding gift.

The really good news is the happy couple remains a happy couple, and hopefully this very belated gift will give them the opportunity to relive their special day.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut

Slow progress continues on the 17th century pastoral panel.

I'm still avoiding completing the tree trunk. . . moving on to work on some of the acorns.  Here are the first three completed.

The bottoms of the nuts are in ceylon stitch, while the caps are in a woven technique working the silk thread over and under a trellis of vertical linen base threads.

The right hand acorn shows the cap with the linen base threads in place.

And here is the "weaving" step in progress:

Monday, September 5, 2016

A Rather Troublesome Leaf

Let me digress briefly to bemoan the travails of surface embroidery for those of us who are counted thread stitchers at heart.  Ah, the comfort of knowing exactly where the needle is supposed to go. . . and the stress of having to decide exactly where to place a stitch.

Behold Exhibit 1, the latest leaf in my pastoral panel, the yellow and green one on the lower left:

According to the instructions, this leaf was supposed to be a similar shape to the ones above it, with scalloped edges on either side.  Sadly, the pattern -- in indelible ink of course -- didn't trace exactly that way on the fabric. . . . and the lower part of the upper leaf was way too close to create a scalloped edge along the top.

Since there weren't too many options available (assuming I was NOT going to rip out), I tried to make it look like the top of the leaf might be folded back, obscuring the scalloped edge.

Right now, it's still kind of bugging me, but probably once a little more stitching is done, my annoyance will move on to other things!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Another Leaf

A little progress to report -- one little striped leaf (the one at the lower left):

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Where the heck. . . .??

. . . have I been?

Well, the year plus absence would seem to warrant some wild and exciting story.  Not really.

In addition to a great big ol' stitching slump, DH and I completely lost our minds and contracted for a big house renovation, scheduled to start in August - September 2015. . . and take about four months.
Need I say that things did not turn out exactly that way?  Heading into September 2016 we're moving into MONTH 10 of our 4 month project. . . still with no real finish date.  Grumble grumble.

In any case, my stash was carefully packed away last July, and since construction began in November the house has been generously festooned with deep dust.  But I was determined to eventually start stitching again. . .. so I had a plan.

This spring, I signed up with The Essamplaire for an on-line course that began in June -- by which time our renovation (according to schedule 4 or 5) was SURE to be done.  I had wanted to take this class in person several years ago, so decided to go with it.  Just the thing, a brand new project -- no unpacking of stash required -- ready to start in June!  Wonderful!  Here's a photo of the piece.  Looks like fun, right!

Well, delay is my life these days, but in mid-August, enough construction work was done that dust could be kept at a reasonable level. . . and I actually started stitching.

The first step was to stitch the entire tree trunk -- using detached buttonhole in green and yellow silk to couch silver thread return.  As shown in the photo below, I have at least gotten a good start on this. . . although there is one big side branch to go.

Stitching that big branch got a little tedious, so I jumped ahead and stitched three of the leaves -- two in multi-color detached buttonhole, the third in multi-colored stem stitch - and one little acorn.  Here's what's done so far:

Friday, June 12, 2015

Playing with Dolls

I wanted to post some photos of a super fun little project I completed earlier this year.

Each January our EGA chapter hosts a workshop that does something requiring a needle and thread. . . but usually a little outside of traditional embroidery.

This year our guest teacher was beading instructor Cathy Helmers, who taught a 3-dimensional beading class.  You can see some of Cathy's work here.  We could choose either a little fantasy animal (called a snootie) or an art doll.

The stuffed fabric doll and snootie forms were premade (complete with the cabochon doll face), and we were each allowed to select from a great selection of fun beads.

I chose the doll was thrilled that I completed her over the winter.  Here she is in all her glory:

Back view (love the wild and crazy hair!):

And here's a super close up that shows the underlying fabric.  Deciding what to do was a challenge for me (at heart I'm a counted thread embroiderer).  But I'm really happy with the large diagonal motif across the front and back.  I think the brown textured beads were the key here.  They provided EXACTLY the right amount of color and texture contrast.  And I went all out and added the tiny pearls all over where there were little white dots on the underlying fabric.