Tuesday, January 8, 2019

It's a Juggle - WIP

What do you do when you have a to-do list as long as your arm? I sit down and stitch, telling myself I will 'get onto it in a minute'.

I have been working on the instructions for my last crewel embroidery 'Sweet Repose' and I am getting there, but I simply can't not stitch in between. I do have class projects that I need to start work on, but I figured perhaps I should try and completely finish one thing before starting the next for once. I needed something where I just need to stitch without thinking about taking notes so I dug out the raised figure, I started towards the end of last year. 

To my very pleasant surprise, I had made more of a start than I remembered - but sadly the photos are not very glamorous. 

I had made good headway with the hills and would usually complete the background before starting on any raised work. But I had stopped when I realised that if I was going to embroider his socks as I intended, I better do that before going any further.
and that is how I found it - bare legs and no socks.

I wanted the socks to be stripy, down the leg so had planned to stitch them in raised stem stitch. Because it is all very tiny and very tight, it is easy to accidentally catch the finished stitches on the background, which is why I had decided to work them before completing the mountain (or hill) of tiny chain stitch.

Socks complete. The pin is just there to give you an idea of the size. 
I was meant to do some 'serious online stuff' but since I am now able to work on the hills again, I might just finish the chain stitch one first....

I am not sure if the left hand side is not too busy. I like these backgrounds to just be just a gentle backdrop - not too 'in your face' - We'll see. It might have to come out..
I had also toyed with the idea of leaving the road unstitched. I thought perhaps the negative space would work well, but because of the colour of background silk (which is impossible to photograph and changes colour every time) I think it is a little bit too 'yellow-brick-road-ish. 
I will put is aside for now and look at it in a day or two and decide how I feel about it.

In the meantime, I will get back to the notes for 'Sweet Repose' I only have half a dozen diagrams or so to draw, then I can put it all together and get it off to the printer. The fabric pieces went to print just after Christmas and should be ready next week and the yarns are on their way. If all goes to plan the kit should be in the SHOP within the next two weeks. 
If you are interested in the kit, please send me an email me to pre-order and I will make sure I keep one aside for you.

We are busy getting the vineyard ready to net the vines. These crazy plants just keeps growing - even with the hot weather we have had. We have spent hours (of fun) trimming them back, surely they will stop growing now...

Best Stitches and sunshine to everyone from a small vineyard near Adelaide.,

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Turning the page to 2019

I hope you have arrived safely and happily in 2019

I still like to have a wall calendar to keep track of where I am at, but like most years, I have not managed to get a shiny new 2019 calendar yet, so I haven't actually turned any pages to the new year. 

Nor have I found my word.
I don't do new years resolutions but for a number of years now, I have had A Word. At the start of the year I choose a single word - A word that I focus on and investigate, A word that I make part of my everyday, A word that I refer to for inspiration. And I have discovered just how important and effective just One Little Word can be. I have not found my word for 2019 yet, but it will come to me. 

The start of a new year always feels a bit odd to me. In reality, 1st of January is like any other day (well any other day, feeling a bit 'tired' after a big night) but at the same time, it feels different. I feel there is a stillness and calm, and a quiet anticipation. Like an old steam train, I pulled into the station, huffing and puffing with screaming breaks and hot steam flying everywhere to finish the year. I have had time to rest and let the engine cool off a bit - have a big sigh. Now, I need to put more coal in the furnace and get going again, but like the big, heavy, old train, it takes a little time and carefully measured energy to get enough steam build up and get going again. I will get there - but I don't feel rushed.

I should probably start by making a list. I like lists. I often loose my lists, or change them, or write new ones, but without them I am way too easily distracted and side tracked. I think, I will be busy, so the best way to start is to start a list...

... or perhaps I just pull out my needle and stitch for a bit, while I contemplate what needs to go on my list and in which order.

Best Stitches for a fabulous year ahead.
Anna X

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Happy Holidays...

I finished the pinks.

I was determined to finish the stitching before Christmas and the last few stitches went in only a few minutes ago... about the time it takes to snap a few pictures.
There was a bit of 'reverse stitching' involved towards the end but I am really, really happy with how this turned out.

The left hand flower spray is stitched to mirror the one on the lower left, only the choice of stitches vary. 

The pair of leaves in the middle were next. It took a little bit of experimentation, but the end result was worth a bit of restitching. 

I was happy with the way the double blanket stitch worked for one half of the leaf, but had at first stitched the other side with blanket stitch veins and knots (French or colonial, I can't remember).

Looking at it, I felt it had ended up looking too busy, so I ripped that out and filled it with satin stitch instead. I like these and I am pretty sure I will be using this stitch combination for future projects

The last thing to finish was the right hand flower - the one that is paisley shaped.
I had a pretty good idea of what to do about the flower itself. Satin stitch for the 'seedpods', grading from light to dark pink. I wanted a really smooth look for the band along the left hand side and ended up with close rows of stem stitch. I worked a small trellis for the curled under tip and added seed stitch around the seed pods. I now have seed stitch in all three flowers, which makes a nice visual similarity between the three. 
Then came the leaves... ???

... I really wasn't sure how to go about them. I had drawn them up as more 'solid' shapes, with no detail other than the wide centre vein. At first I started filling them in with long and short stitch, thinking it might be nice to grade the shades but it just didn't look right. 
The I remembered that the leaves on my Purple Grace were similar, lobed shapes to I embroidered these ones in a similar way. It works. Dainty and pretty. 
I guess there is no need to reinvent the wheel if something works, LOL.

So, really it was finished, except...

... the keen observer would have noticed a change since I last showed you the project. The blue is gone.
With everything else complete, the teeny, weeny bit of turquoise suddenly looked out of place. I have restitched that in other colour; dark pink for the three little leaves and a soft green along the stem. 

I really didn't expect to finish this piece before Christmas, and it is really nice to have it done. The notes are well under way, so I am planning to have it available as a kit early in the new year. I will be calling it SWEET REPOSE.. What do you think? 

For now, I am going to have a little break. I have decided to take a bit of time out, between Christmas and New Year (shock, horror) - I might stitch if I feel like it, and I may not.. 

Thank you so much for your support and interest in what I stitch, and for your comments and encouragement along the way. It really means a lot!!!

For now, I wish you all a happy and hopefully relaxed Holiday Season, in company of family and friends. If you travel - stay safe.

Best Stitches 
Anna XX