Saturday, 23 April 2011

And again

This time I've gone for the turquoise & golden look, I do love these colors. These are all recycled fabrics & coppery chocolate paper, but I had a rummage & found some more bought 'ribbon' & cut it in half for the edging.

I enjoyed couching down with my favorite zigzag a mix of wool, twisting as I went. I stiched the 3 seperate shapes down & it looked ok but the free motion stitching seemed to transform it into opulence, not sure if you get that from the photo, & not sure why doesn't seem to enlarge enough.  Beads & french knots in various corners. It matches last weeks quite nicely, I think.

A sketch & a minescule sample ;)

I completely forgot to look at the sketch when I was working out the bottom half of the piece - way off with my poportions, anyway, so I thought to add the oblong across the top when I looked at last weeks piece & tied it in with some more exes - kisses? Why not.  My DH asked me what these pieces were meant to be, anybody know? ;)

I'm humbled & so grateful to have seen swallows this week. I don't mind the winter, really, but this does seem to have been a long one. We had a couple of very calm warm days & I grabbed the chance for my first kayak of the season. I don't go far, only just out of sight of the house, across the bay & just peeping into the Sound, the water between us & the Mainland. It was a truly magical haze over everything so I went back for my camera even tho I was terrified of dropping it in the water. My top half felt well excersised! These photos don't really capture the feel of the place but I'll put them up anyway.

There's a boat pulling a fish farm along somewhere in the 2nd to bottom. & the last one has Oyster Catchers courting,the screeching has got to be heard to be believed!

Saturday, 16 April 2011

A little bit different

I've been inspired by Janet Edmonds for a long time, ever since I bought her book "Beginners Guide to Embroidered Boxes" & thought I'd NEver be able to make one of these, let alone stitch something like it. I took it along to my wokshop in February for inspiration so it's been knocking about, not hidden in the bookshelf desperate to be read. So I've been reading it & thought, now's the time, not to make a box but to make a panel. I read every word of the instructions, instead of skipping half of them & getting in a muddle. I drew bits that I liked, aiming for my own spin on her designs.

I'm pleased, my first symmetrical pennant type thing. It's a ruler by 4 1/2". My DH is gobsmacked, finally, something he understands! It went a little skew in places but I like that, a bit quirky & NOT perfect, Heaven forbid!

As I didn't want to make a box I just turned the box side shape on it's head. I used chocolate paper foil, (of course ;) & can't seem to get away from burgundy & dusky pink. I don't mind. Janet usually stitches thru 3 layers - felt for the base/inner box, Vilene in the middle then a good cotton fabric for the background. I used shiny cotton (old curtain lining I think) & a white damask napkin from the 'stuff I'd never use in real life, why did I get it?'  pile for the middle layer. Once I'd finished I zigzaged round & attached it to the inevitable sturdy backing of denim.

Janet then builds designs from shiny fabrics or painted vilene or netting, lots of things. She seems to stitch all over the background, then adds the design but I've got to say I'm a skinflint where gold thread is concerned so I fme'd round the additions once the shapes were stitched down ;)

The sketch. I turned the udder lookalikes into arches using sari silk 'thread' I zigzaged over embroidery yarn on top of organza 'ribbon' that I made - hopelessly slippy, I shall be looking out for more braid - all I could find in that dept was the piece in the v at the bottom. Then I stitched turquoise all round, subtle but makes a difference. I made the 4 ovals which looked a bit like leaves but I loved using 2 layers with inner stitching, knowing I was going to expose the second layer by snipping off the top sliver later - fancy thinking ahead like that! Really enjoyed the bulbous circle in the middle altho I nearly lost my fingertips!

I made a cord, haven't done that since,  you guessed it, the Jan & Jean class 100 yrs ago ;)

(I think all these smily faces mean thanks for being patient with me! )

I added it next to the braid at the bottom & then used it to make a little dangly bit with a tiny tassle. I beaded in the corners, really. Being so symetrical I was kind of 'told' where the beads should go. (oh no, my piece isn't 'speaking to me' is it?!) I had to remove the bead from the bottom tip to zigzag round, I might remember to put it back.

I've really enjoyed this departure from my usual mess - Jill said my work had 'sponteneity' which I was delighted with, thank you! It's relaxing tho to have a different way to work. I must find my own patterns in old buildings & watch the Tudors again for symbols & shapes. I not long ago started a little found pattern book, now here's another place to use it. No samples this week, I was too excited to get on! I will make some tho, Janets are beautiful & she made a fabulous book to put them all in, to die for.

Hello to my newest follower, could you add a link or comment? I'd love to visit you back.

I need to go & unbend my stitchers neck & wander about the garden for a bit - my sweetpeas have germinated!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Another seedhead

Well a seed really from Acer Palmatum or some such. Known as a Samara or more commonly,  helicopter wings ;)
I thought I'd finished with seedheads for now until I saw my tiny Acer tree just starting to come into leaf. It's been torrential rain all week till yesterday & today it's been glorious warm sunshine & I actually had a chance to get into the garden. I remembered I had some little seeds pressed betweeen the pages of a book that I'd collected from my parents' tree last October.

Sample 1

Scuse the flash, well it was bright earlier! The seeds are stitched by hand ( & gel medium above & below for strength) to a silver metallic powder painted piece of blue paper, the like of which I've never found again. So I used it instead of keeping it 'safe' in my paper stash. There are small bits painted papers from last week all stittched onto a 'matching' piece of found fabric. I've scribbled here & there with oil pastels & oil sticks & highlighted parts of the seeds with silver wax. A few beads & lots of messy threads, delicious!

Sample 2, more of the same but different.

A small collage about 5" x 7"

& one about 10 x 6". No idea what to call them, this one is really glowing!

I haven't read any blogs the last few days so after supper I'll treat myself to a little blog hopping, lovely for a Sunday evening.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

I've had a lovely day, hug from youngest & chocolates ;) phone call from eldest - don't think middlest knows it's mothers day, don't mind at all as I saw him "last active 12 hours ago"commenting on someones facebook. Not exactly a relaxing day, but that's fine - went to a party last night, not that late as we had lovely B&B guests, a couple of visitors in the studio & once again trying to come up with a finished collage. I had an idea in the back of my mind I'd watch a film - didn't get into the garden as it's been sunshine for 5 mins followed by hail or rain & a bit breezy to feel comfortable in the greenhouse! I did get my sweet peas & tomatoes sewn earlier!) I don't understand people who say Sundays drag!

Sent this to my Mum, she loved it. I'd covered the 'relief' stitched petals with some plastic & masking tape so it wouldn't get squashed & I added a note asking Dad to remove it for case they thought it was part of the design ;) !

sample 1

Sample 2

sample 3

Idid a little hydrangea sketch but forgot to photgraph it. I seem to throw little samples together with abandon, they're only 4" x 3" or so & I love zooming around with stitching adding a bit here & there, using recycled fabrics,(shiny blue this week) newspaper 'drop cloth', painted papers from my pile, & skelatalized & pressed hydrangea petals/bracts from the garden. 

When it comes to 'the real thing' I sort of sieze up & don't let myself relax enough playing with different selections of paper & fabric. Next time I'll pretend to myself I don't care, that they're really samples... Above is the start of one collage about 10" x 4"

& the start of another one. I will get there. I think all the work in the studio has taken more time than I thought - I have almost a wall full of hung & mounted stuff & feel pretty good about that & a card order to get on with.

Hope you all had a great day, too, now I will go & watch that film.