The big lambs are happy that the grass has begun to grow again - I don't think they remember what 'green' looks like.
I was determined to finish the small stumpwork honeysuckle...
... and I did! Happy, happy, happy! I admit it was a bit of a mad stitching session towards the end - as we had to go out, but I finished...
What a mess!
Are you good at staying tidy? I try to be tidy when I work, especially when preparing a class project, but usually when I am near the end, it gets a little out of control. Especially with project such as this where I need to use so many bit and pieces. Various threads, several hoops, wires, beads, felt, tweezers, wire cutters and a multitude of needles...
The last hurdle was the little bee. It has been a little while since I have done a bee like this. It is not too bad, but not my best either. It is basically based on the method Jane Nicholas uses for her bees in all her books. These 'things' are a bit fiddly but enormously fun when they come together. After starting out with strange looking tufts of thread that looks like a birds nest gone horribly wrong, a few lengths of wire and threads that doesn't really seem to be meant for hand embroidery - you suddenly have this little 'critter' on your 'canvas' and it makes it all worth while.
I find stumpwork is a little bit like that: fiddly and completely addictive. I had a student year ago (I know she won't mind me sharing this story), working on her first piece of stumpwork. She was so excited. Well partway through most of the comments were along the lines of 'this is just too fiddly' and 'I will finish this, but I am NEVER doing stumpwork again'. Then she started putting all pieces together, like a puzzle, and she was hooked. I don't even know what number stumpwork project she is onto know, but I have seen her work on quite a few since. That is the thing with stumpwork (or raised embroidery), you stitch and stitch on all these little pieces and then at the very end - bingo it all comes together.
It has been a little while since I last did a piece stumpwork and though I don't know that I have a favourite embroidery technique, I certainly have enjoyed this project and do find creating work with a 3D effect very intriguing.
Have you ever tried it? How did you find it? If you haven't tried, I do recommend you give it a go. In essence the stitches can be very simple - it is all in how you use them.