Well, every once in a while I can easily spend a day surfing around, checking out sites, pics, narrative, blogs, pics, more pics, etc.etc. Today I still have a lot of work to do, but I find myself flitting around a lot, from my chair to the dining room table where stuff is laid out back here to the computer, surf a few ideas, back to my chair. Maybe for me it's like constantly lighting my pilot light, not that it ever goes off, but maybe adding wood to the fire would be a better analogy...either way, you get the picture! So don't ask me how I found it, but check this site -- wish my pics would come out that clear!!
One of the things I have tended to do is practice my stitches on almost anything else, and then consider turning it into something interesting. This piece is still in the practice-my-stitches stage, but may eventually be a model for a bookmark. The lighting is a little off, as you can see...the monogram is red on a darker pink moire background. It's done in backstitch. The tree is black on a cream background. I may just use this as a bookmark the way it is and keep adding stitches. On the bright side (hahaha!), at least my camera works even if the picture is a little ... ummmm...!!!!
Ok, I LOVE CQ. I'm NOT great at it, but I love it. However, I practice, and I've learned a lot. Here's a piece I did recently with a dragonfly and a vine. The blue flowers I like. The leaf on the left is stuffed, and I don't like how it turned out. The small green vine with the red things next to it was my first attempt at SRE buds. Feather stitch is one of my favorites, and also chain stitch. I participated in two RR's through one of my Yahoo!groups, and I learned so VERY much. There are a lot of really really talented stitchers out there. Plus, Sharon Boggon's blog has that section she calls "I Dropped the Button Box" which is absolutely awesome.
I pushed my luck...I can't put two pix in the same entry. Well, I can but I don't know how yet. So we'll go pic by pic instead of one nice entry. Oh Well! Here is the pic for the Jacobean piece. I must say, I like the grapes. Each one is separate padded satin stitch, with a bit of thread change to make the highlights. I'm rather pleased. The cap on the acorn is French knots. The pale turquoise green I used on the leaf on the right (under the grapes) came out sort of blue-ish in the pic, but the veins are a darker green which turned out not too awful. As you can see, it's still in the draft stage, which means that all colors are subject to change; however, that leaf was a pain -- I did it in long and short, and the intensive curving is not something I'm used to. But that's the way the leaf is, so there you go!
OK, well, we'll see how this works. I want to include some pix here of what I've been working on lately, sort of the basis of the research or the quest. One of the things I like to do, besides learning the traditional methods for such skills as drawn thread work, pulled thread work, quilting and embroidery, is to try to apply them in various non-traditional environments, so to speak. So, here are some of my items.
This first one is technically a coaster. I let anyone use it as a coaster if they want to die an early death at my hand. It's an example of pulled-thread work, using the four-sided stitch, the eyelet stitch, satin stitching, and three-sided stitching as a finishing for the edge. The fringing was fun! I learned a lot on this piece, particularly how to take out incorrect pulled-thread stitches and re-do them correctly after having fixed back the fabric into place. Let me tell you how much fun THAT was...good thing my hair's already curly!!!!
I really like the patterning of pulled-thread stitches. In fact, several months ago, I ordered a book by Eileen Bennett called A Note Book of Pulled Thread Stitches. Eileen's site is The Sampler House . There she has a nice historical essay and some really lovely patterns available. Eileen also has two other books available, one on the evolution of samplers and one on reprints of articles. NAYY, just really like her site and have a great desire to get those other two books at some point in the near future.
I've just plotted out a small piece incorporating pulled-thread stitches on a "natural"-colored fabric...once I start it, of course, up will go the pix!
My next piece, and series for study, is Jacobean in style. For some reason, I'm absolutely fascinated with that era. So much was going on historically: Mary Stuart was faithfully (pardon the pun!!) doing her part to contribute to the needlework world, all these new ideas were being imported from foriegn lands, and it seems that a bunch of ideas in all kinds of areas rather exploded upon the hapless heads of the 17th century bunch! On this piece, I drafted several plant types together in a nonsense sort of theme (note grapes and acorns on the same plant -- artistic license strikes again!!!).
Well, there just aren't enough hours in a day. How many times have I heard that, experienced that, wished with all my heart it weren't true!! Getting this darn thing set up is a major pain, especially since I am NOT fluent in HTML. I'd rather be dealing with Russian. or French. or German. or shorthand, even. My next post will be picture-crazy -- I've got so much going on that I want to share, to get opinions on. And I've got more setting up to do. As you see, my sidebar is way down where it's not supposed to be. How to do it, how to fix it? humph. The other saying I hear frequently is "one step at a time", or "baby steps get you there". Dismayingly true!!