Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Well Hello There - It's a Juggle, WIP

Long time, No see...

I am pleased to say the juggling jester has finally showed his face.

But before I get to that part, this is what went on before I got to that:
This project has been sitting on a shelf in the corner (like a naughty child who has been sent to the naughty corner to have a good long think about it) since.... checking back, February. This is the last photo I shared of him, headless and missing half his pants.

The whole thing had come to a grinding halt, when I discovered the second trouser leg did not fit at all. I had somehow managed to stitch it with a completely wrong curve...

First thing, I discovered when I pulled all the bits and pieces back out, was that my line drawing was no longer with the rest of the stuff. Goodness knows what I have done with those? I still have the initial sketch, but I had resized it so had to make a new 'pattern'. 

I had been a bit worried that I wouldn't be able to match the 'lacy' frill on the cuff of the pants. I don't do needlelace often enough to have tension and that kind of thing as 'down packed' as I would like but I think it turned out ok. 

The wee chap looks happy enough, skipping across the hills in his new pants, don't you think?

I have a 'million' thing I should be doing, but they are a lot less fun than this, so because his feet now looked so happy, I just had to make his head. A torso on legs skipping across hills, just looked too wrong!


That is so much better. A happy chap, he is going to be. 

Have a lovely week everyone.
Best Stitches,
Anna X

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Step by step

Spring this year in Adelaide has been strange to say the least. Mostly cool for this time of year, with very short bursts of exceptionally hot days. 
We have been following the devastation of the fires on the East Coast and, as we are bracing ourselves for over 40C (104F) and very high winds in South Australia today with 'Catastrophic fire danger" declared for large parts of the state, today is one of those days, you just want to get over and done with - praying that we get through the day without any major incidents. 

I have been working the instructions for my new little crewel panel Very, Very Berry.
Although that kind of work does not leave much to show, it is coming along nicely. The text is done and I am almost finished drawing the diagrams to go with it.
Although it can be time consuming (and let's face it - I would much rather be sitting over an embroidery frame than over a keyboard) I do find it rather satisfying trying to replicate the steps and stitches in drawings.
It is not my favorite part of the process and I guess, I could try take more photographs while I stitch to try and skip the drawing stage after. It is just that I find that 1) I forget to take enough photos, 2) the photos are not a good enough quality and to improve that I would have to get up each time, and place everything into a good lightbox + invest in a much, much better camera, 3) At the end of day, I do find that I can show what I want much more clearly in diagram, which I hope make the instructions more user friendly at the end.

The weather might be awful today, but it is perfect for me to stay put and get the last diagrams drawn up. Then I will need to put it all together, and get the booklets and fabric pieces off to printers. I would like to think the kits are 'on the shelf' this side of Christmas.
My plan is, that while that is at the printers, I will make the panel into something. Most likely a small pouch, similar to the pouch I made ages ago for the Tulipa Bird. I use that one all the time and this panel is the same size. Should I make a matching pincushion or needle book to go with it, do you think.

But just quickly, before I get back to work: Look what just arrived in the post! Stunning floss silk from Pipers Silk. Aren't they just gorgeous? I have not yet decided what to do with them - I just thought they would make a nice addition to my stash, just in case I suddenly had a brilliant idea...

Best Stitches,

Monday, November 11, 2019

Break Away

The saying goes: '.. a change is as good as a holiday...'
Having just come home after a fabulous 2 week break away, I will have to confess, I don't think anything quite compares to a holiday - no matter how good the change is.

Before the real break, I stopped by Canberra then on to Launceston and Hobart in Tasmania for workshops. I know, I have said this before, but one of the top perks of doing what I do, would have to be getting out and about to meet and spend time with dedicated stitchers in so many different places. I feel incredibly honored and privileged to be offered these opportunities.

A big thank you to 
... the the lovely group who joined me for an Introduction to Crewel Work in Canberra, stitching Blue Elegance and Autumn Gold.
... the wonderful Launceston group, taking part in 2 or 3 days of Raised Embroidery and making great progress on their Toadstools & Brambles and Superb Lyrebirds.
... the fabulous stitchers in Hobart, both those who made an epic start on Scarlet Glory and those who braved the large Mountain Oak in just two days.
... and not least to My Wonderful Hosts!
I hope you all enjoyed the workshops as much as I did. I hope to see you again some time and please, don't forget - I love photos...

Adrian met me in Hobart after the classes and the plan was to hit the road right away, BUT - we were both pretty tired. He from driving from Adelaide and catching the fairy across, I from the fabulously hectic week just passed.
So we stayed put in Hobart for a day and took in the (freezing cold) views from the top of Mt Wellington and then lingered around MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) in the afternoon. What a place that is! And surprisingly among all the very modern (and sometimes strange) art, we found two pieces of fabulously textured embroidery by Renate Rabus.

'Accouplement'  1989, Renate Rabus at MONA

Then we hit the road.
Tasmania is spectacular and we have photo after photo after photo.... 
We snaked our way from the South to the east coast

... across the midlands to Mt Fields and ..

... on to the temperate rain forests on the west coast.

We had planned to camp some of the time, but let's face it... it is still cold in Tasmania this time of year, so we chickened out and booked into B&B's along the way. The only exception was this fab, perhaps not to everybody's liking, little hut in the middle of Mt Field National park.

The weather was spectacular and we were joined by some unexpected dinner guests.


We walked... A lot.
Along beaches, and through forests.
Admiring all the green from the tiniest of mosses and ferns to the tallest of tall trees...


... through forests 
to the bottom of waterfalls and to the top of waterfalls. 

We got snowed on at Cradle Mountain...

... and made sure we stopped whenever we could to take in the views.

... and just as I was making note (complaining) that I had never seen a wombat in the wild, we spotted this guy and half a dozen of his friends.

It was the best break away we have had in a very long time. I don't think, I had realised just how much I needed it. 
Now I am ready to get back to work.
Step 1 - write a new To-Do-List... it is going to be a long one!

Have a lovely week everyone. 
Best Stitches,
Anna X