Thursday, March 30, 2017

A new...

... Crewel Embroidery design is slowly taking shape.
It is not just 'any new project' but something a little special - or I think so anyway.

I am really excited to have been invited to teach at the Alpine Experience, in Les Carroz in the French Alps in 2018. I mean, how amazing is it to be given an opportunity like that?
I have known for a while, and been pondering what to do with the class. Not only is it an amazing place to be invited to teach, but it is not often as tutor or student, you have the luxury of 5 days together.
With that in mind, I wanted to prepare a new project especially for the Alps but was finding it hard to work out exactly what: crewel work, stumpwork, crewel work, goldwork???
And then suddenly it just fall into place about a week ago.....

... when I was doodling between jobs and this 'scribble' emerged.
And with that... Crewel embroidery it is.
I have for a very long time wanted to design a Tree of Life crewel piece. Something that will allow me to use plenty of different stitches and laid fillings. Traditionally this kind of designs will often have a stag or at times a dog or leopard at the bottom of the tree but for a bit of fun, this one will have a goat...
It is funny how we all associate different things with different places. Apart from tall, snow capped mountains, one of the things that springs to mind when I think of the Alps is goats...

... in particular the silly, bouncy goats from the puppet show in 'The Sound of Music'.

The project is going to be a decent size... not massive, but still large enough. At about 45cm wide it will make a very nice large rectangular pillow.

The colour scheme will be that of the alps on a sunny day with GREEN grass and BLUE skies as the primary colours and golden yellows and terracotta reds for accents. Pretty close to the colour scheme for Jacobean Leaves....

... only less yellow and a little bit brighter perhaps.
I never do detailed colour and stitch plans.. I find it hard to plan everything ahead and like to let a design grow and develop as I stitch. However, with bigger things like this one, I will make a 'rough' colour plan.

I start by picking out my main yarns... That doesn't mean I am going to use them all and I may well introduce others... I think of these as my 'colour brief' and like to have the colour scheme in front of me. It is impossible to match colour pencil or any other colouring in tool with the shades of yarn or thread so the plan is only to give me an idea of how to place and distribute the different colours. I am most likely to stray from it once I start, but is is a nice starting point....

So from a little scribble on my notepad, I am now almost ready start stitching my Tree of Life...

Happy Stitching,
Anna X

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Around here...

... we have had a bit of a bumpy ride.

It was off to a perfect start when we decided to take a couple of days 'time out'.  There is something really nice about just jumping in the car and go and it was SO nice to get away for a bit..
We found a little cabin and spend a few nights in Clare valley, riding our bikes, walking, eating and relaxing before we picked up this little girl...

...Tilly, on the way home. Have you ever tried to keep an 8 week old puppy in a car on an almost 3 hour car trip??? Interesting, but we there..

The idea was go get back to work as soon as we got back. Well, needless to say with this little distraction in the house, getting anything done is rather tricky..

On top of settling our new family member we received the phone call every parent dread in the early hours of Sunday morning - Our youngest son was in hospital following an 'incident' in the city. Most importantly, he will be okay! They never tell you much over the phone so we didn't know that at the time and the hour it took us to get to the hospital seemed like forever...
He had been out with friends and was sitting in the main mall, minding his own business when he was 'coward punched' by some low-life thug (excuse the language, but I have absolutely no patience for this kind of people). From what we have been told, he took a blow to the back of his head and must have landed square on his chin so his jaw is broken clean down the middle. He remembers none of it.
There has been so many cases of young people ending up with permanent brain damage after these kind of cowardly attacks and we are just so grateful and relieved that he has escaped with 'just' a broken jaw and a few gases - it could have been so much worse.
The patient is back home, sore but in one piece and already complaining about the prospect of 6 weeks on soup, soup and more soup... What is is with men and food????
I am just tired following it all and finding getting back into things a bit tricky - but I will get there. Hopefully I will get back to my stitching this week.

Best stitches,
Anna X

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Goldwork - Finishing

I have been chipping away at it...

... covering the padded petals of the flowers with tiny pieces of gild check purl.

I thought I would try something a bit different, so at the 'fatter parts' I added tiny seed beads between in purls. It might be a bit hard to see - oh how I wish it was easier to photograph this 'shiny stuff'

To finish the flower, I stitched the tiniest  palliettes down with fine red silk....

... and neatened the edge of the leaves. And viola... 

... It is finished!!

Now all I have to do is:
... lace it and frame it...
            ... name it (any suggestions??)...
                         ... write it the instructions ...
                                       ... and kit it - ready for the shop and classes.

Have a happy, stitchy weekend,
Anna X

If you want to re-visit the progress of this project you can check the previous posts here:
1) New Goldwork project
2) Attaching gold kid leather
3) Pearl purl
4) Couched leaves