Friday, November 2, 2018

Crewel & Colour

I have been out of action for almost 4 weeks now - needless to say; it is driving me crazy!!!
One thing is being too unwell to go to work, but being too unwell to do anything around home is just horrible, right?!


Anyway, I dosed up on painkillers this morning to just play with some yarn colours for a new crewel embroidery design. It is for one of my two workshops at The Embroiderers' Guild of South Australia's Summer School in January so I really kind of need to get moving.
In most workshops, the design is all planned out, colours and all but for this one the participants will be working using their own colour palette. I did a similar workshop for the Guild years ago using Jacobean Leaves and it was awesome to see the many beautiful variations of  colours people came up with and how it changed and personalised the design.

I know from experience that once I show my colour choices it makes for some people to visualise their own, so this post will be the only one where I share pictures in colour. 
I still need to stitch my version, to work out stitches and colour distribution, so I do have some decisions to make because I am not going to stitch this in all the colours of the rainbow as the first picture show (could be kind of fun but it is not big enough - LOL).

TULIPA Bird
Laying in bed (which I sadly do a lot of lately), I suddenly had the idea that stitching the new design in my favourite colours teal and coral would work well. The colour scheme would be somewhat similar to the TULIPA bird, but in reverse - much more teal and less coral/orange and more teal.


Dusky blue-greens and terracotta is a somewhat traditional colour scheme often used for crewel embroidery. I find that if I choose shades of blue and reds with less black in them, I get a slightly more contemporary result. I liked the colours when I laid out the bundles to get a rough idea of the palette but then again...????


Looking at the original picture with the colour wheel it might be fun to do something really bright and chirpy... like my woollen Spring Sonnet blanket from Inspirations issue 68 (the pattern is available HERE).


It could be fun to do something really bright and fresh and summery...

While I ponder and decide on my colour scheme (I might well end up with something completely different) I thought, I could at least make a start by getting the pattern transferred and the fabric framed up. One flower, one stem...


... that is as far as I got before my body tells me that is enough bending over for now. Better than nothing, isn't it. At least I have made a start and it feels SOOOO much better having had a bit of yarn in my hands even it is only for a very short while.

Best stitches,
Anna X

Monday, October 22, 2018

😐 Out of Action 😐

First of all - do you remember the Blue Birds?



After leaving my frame, they flew back to Nicola Jarvis, were mounted into in beautiful pillow and then toured the UK as part of Nicola's 'Art of Embroidery' exhibition.
About 6 months ago, Nicola contacted me to say she would be bringing the pillow back for me when she was coming to Adelaide for Beating Around the Bush in October. Now that was a surprise. When I originally embroidered the piece it never for a moment occurred to me that I would be getting the pillow back once the birdies had finished fluttering around on show!


I love to embroider, but I have very little embroidery on show in my house. Once I finish something, it usually ends up in a cupboard or drawer, only to be brought out when needed for classes. This is such a pretty design, so I thought it would be a shame for it not to be on show. Instead of having it returned to me, I suggested it be auctioned off at the Beating Around the Bush Gala Dinner and the proceeds go to charity. That way the cushion was sure to go to a good home where it would be treasured and funds raised go to a good cause.
I want to sincerely thank the bidder who is now providing a loving home for the Blue Bird pillow and by that enabling us to forward a very generous donation to The Smith Family. Sadly (due to what comes next...) I was not able to be at the Gala Dinner to thank you in person.

The Smith Family is a children's charity helping disadvantaged Australian children to get the most out of their education, so they can create better futures for themselves.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

With teaching trips to Thailand and Europe, followed by Beating Around the Bush here in Adelaide in early October, I have been rather busy for the past few months . All of it was fabulous, I love teaching, I love meeting people from all over the place, but I was also starting to look forward to a  bit of 'time-out'.
One of the best ways for me to unwind is to go bush and we had planned a driving trip to the Gawler Ranges - well, things didn't quite go to plan.
Midway through Beating Around the Bush, my back/neck gave in. At first I thought I had just pulled or strained a muscle or something like that, but it turns out I did a really good job of it this time!
Verdict: herniated disc in my neck. Result: pain, numb fingers, more pain, sore arm, more pain, no stitching! (what!!!), more pain, no computer.. (well, minimal)

In short it is a Pain In The Neck in more ways than one and not exactly the kind of Time-Out I had been looking forward to!!!!
For now it is rest, wait and see. I will be getting a steroid injection into my neck this coming Friday and fingers crossed it will help. After that it is still a case of taking it easy, letting it heal, and lots of therapy. I will be looking at getting back into exercise to strengthen the muscles so it doesn't happen again... for goodness me, I have never been in so much pain!

Until then, the projects I was looking forward to stitch:


... a new crewel design for the SA Embroiderer's Guild summer school in January, and


..this little fellow: 'It's a Juggle' will be my next stumpwork little person.
It seems like forever since I last stitched a little person, and I am more than itching to embroider this one. - but for now
I am out of Action...!

Best Stitches,
Anna xx

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Queen Bee

I am most likely nuts!


You may remember Queen Bee, the little Or Nue piece I stitched a VERY long time ago. Anyway, it has been sitting, quietly tucked away in a deep, dark cupboard (along with most of my other embroidery) ever since. About a year ago, the good people at Inspirations asked if I would teach it as my one day workshop at Beating Around the Bush 2018. Of course I would, it would be perfect.

Beating Around the Bush opened today. Opening day is always such a buzz and it was fabulous to catch up with so many stitching friends (if only quickly) from all over the place.
So back to why I must be nuts?
I have been busy getting ready of course and during all of that I kept thinking I would pop Queen Bee (which I am teaching this coming Sunday) into a little neat frame - Easy, right?!

But then, all laid out and ready to go I really didn't like the matt close up against the stitching, nor did I like the plain cream linen it is stitched on visible. While packing kits late last night for my mini classroom pop-up shop I suddenly thought it would look really nice on a natural coloured linen ground, perhaps even as a box top.
Nothing quite like a last minute idea is there??



This morning, before heading down to up to set up my classroom, I got the linen ready and tacked Queen Bee into place. I didn't want to turn the edges of the linen under, so it is just tacked flat (Fingers crossed, I have been accurate enough with aligning the grains for the fabrics).


I then, ever so carefully stitched the piece in place with tiny invisible stitches around the edge of the gold.


Next, I stitched around the edge in stem stitch using the same colour silk as for the honeycomb. The plan is now to cut away the cream linen, leaving just a narrow seam allowance and then cover that completely with a satin stitch border. I will let you know how I go
I am really happy with how it is looking so far and happy I made decision to not just 'pop it in a frame' - but it would have been nice to have had that idea a few weeks back - it seems nuts to do only a few days before a class. Oh, well nothing like a challenge is there...?

Best Stitches
Anna