Friday, March 8, 2013

Feathered friends



I have been walking lots lately and my back is much better. Thank you so much everyone for your concern and suggestions. It seems that I am not alone when it comes to getting so engrossed in what I am doing that I forget time and place.

I used to walk a lot and I have been making an effort to go for a nice long walk each day. A 'short lap around the block' where we live is a nice 3km round trip.
It has been very hot lately though and since I am not at all a morning person, walking is only good in the early evening when the gully breeze cool everything down just a little. I don't think we have had any decent rain for about 3 month and everything is looking parched and dry. I think it is beautiful in a strange way, like it is waiting for the change that the autumn rains will bring - if they ever get here that is.
I gave up on my veggie garden a few weeks back but I did manage to find one little lonely flowering fuchsia in the garden this afternoon. One little lonely splash of colour in all the dry.

Happily back at my embroidery stand, the Blue Birds are taking shape. I am happy to be back at my frame working on the beautiful Blue bird design. It is great to get the opportunity to interpret somebody else's design for a change. You might be puzzled as to what the mellor is doing there. (a mellor is that flat tapered silver tool next to the scissor). I always have it at hand when I am working with silk and use it as a laying tool   - it fits so nicely inside your hand when you work. I really need someone next to me to photograph what I mean so that I can show you, don't I?
I had begun the shading of wing feathers the other day. I know how easily silk attracts dust and dirt so of course when I am not stitching, the frame is covered and stacked away. To keep it as clean as possible and protect the completed stitching when I am working, I have cut a hole in a small piece of non-fusible interfacing. It works really well and I like that I can still get a sense of the completed stitching underneath.

The shading on the wings is in one of my favourite colours - teal, and I am loving blending the shades to make those delicate leafy feather shapes. I must be honest though, that long and short stitch is not my strong point and getting smooth shading the small narrow shapes was a bit of a challenge at times. The wing on the right hand bird is finished and over all, I am pretty happy with how it is coming along. 
As much as I am itching to move on to the next section, I'd better finish the few last feathers on the left hand bird before I do...

sadly I have been getting more and more spam in the comments box which is rather irritating, so I have decided to activate the word verification on comments. I know they can be a bit of a pain, but please don't let that stop you, I love hearing from you. so I am really sorry if it is going to cause you trouble. If you have problems with it let me know via email needlenotesATbigpondDOTcom and I will find out how we can fix it.

Have lovely weekend,
Anna x

15 comments:

  1. Your birds is becoming a precious work - naturally as expected :)

    I know well the troubles with spam... hate them, I get them from Brazilian Hotmail addresses!
    Happily WordPress has the Akismet - so good they all go for a spam queue for my approval or not

    Have a great weekend!

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    1. Hi Meri and thank you, I am really enjoying stitching it and just hoping I am not boring anyone.
      Blogger does have a filter also. If the work verification causes too much trouble I might switch if off again, because I love hearing from everyone.
      Anna x

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  2. Está ficando deslumbrante! Parabéns!
    Um abraço!

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    1. Eu não falo Português, mas de acordo com o Google: Muito obrigado!

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  3. Beautiful work Anna! Funny I just posted yesterday about using Handi-Wipes when embroidering like you do the nonfusible interfacing. I was going to try using it next.

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    1. What a coincidence, Rose.
      Yes, the wipes are great too. What I really like about the interfacing is that I can see the completed work through it. I only found that out by accident because I didn't have any of the wipes left in the house - how funny is that? Anna

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  4. Anna,
    The birds are looking so lovely. The blues are luscious! Am really enjoying watching your progress on this piece. Good tip about the interfacing. I have used cling wrap (American term), and although it works, it has a tendency to be too sticky when you are working, and then it "crawls".
    -Sharon in France

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    1. Hi Sharon. I use cling wrap too for some things. I like if for stumpwork where I tack it in place over any raised areas - it help the needle slide over it rather than accidentally catching the stitches. It is true it can get a bit sticky though.
      Anna x

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  5. The birds are very beautiful. Dreamy colours.
    Now about your back ... If your back hurts it may be a sign that you are losing strength in certain muscles that hold the torso erect. Slumping perhaps at times? There are many easy exercises that will help. It is probably the obliques and the core of the body that need strengthening the most. Try gently twisting the body. Sit on the floor with arms out wide. Turn as far as you can to the left and then the right. Repeat ten times. Build on this. Remember those ballet exercises from childhood? They will also strengthen these muscles.
    Your body is a tool in stitching so look after it well.

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    1. Dear Louise, thank you for the exercise tip - I will certainly try that one. I am back walking and back at the gym doing what-ever classes I can to strengthen those core muscles! Believe me, the last thing I need is for my body to prevent me from doing what I love and I know I need to look after it.
      Take care, Anna x

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  6. Anna, at first I thought your teal feathers were done with variegated thread..I'm stunned to find out you're doing a long & short satin stitch.. your shading is flawless.
    So glad to have found your blog & your birds.. now I can watch the progress!
    xo
    Jen

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    1. Hi Jen - that is very generous of you, thank you and welcome to my little space - I am glad you will join me. Anna x

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  7. Your shading looks perfect. I know how hard it is to create a good shading.

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  8. Hi Anna!
    I so enjoy reading your blog and oh the eye candy! I am interested to know if you would make these gorgeous birds into a kit??? Or just the pattern for purchase??? Your work is exquisite! Thank you so much. :D
    Catherine

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    1. Dear Catherine, Thank you for stopping by my little space here, I am glad you are enjoying it. I am stitching these birds for Nicola Jarvis for an exhibition she is having at the William Morris gallery in London later in the year so they are not actually mine as such. I believe Nicola will be making some of the designs available as kits at the time of the exhibition so I suggest you check her website http://www.nicolajarvisstudio.com/ for info or contact her directly.
      Best wishes, Anna

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