Friday, 22 March 2013

Site launched

The new site has launched today - - enjoy

Friday, 22 February 2013

New Website

I am going to be moving over to a nice new website in the next week or so. Things shouldn't be disrupted but if you have any problems the web address will be the same - - please come and find me in my new home.  I will continue to blog there but won't be able to take all these old posts with me so they'll still be here on blogger if needed.

Meanwhile good progress is being made on Christmas Chrysanthemums, this piece is nearly complete. I haven't uploaded the most recent photos, I'll make that my first post on the new site.

I have decided to re-name this piece after a comment from Sapphire from 'Through the Sapphire Sky' She said "I love the background colour too. It looks like Akane-iro(the colour of dawn?!)."  So Dawn Chrysanthemums it will be.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Gretel Parker

It was with great sadness that I read today of the sudden death of Andy, beloved of Gretel Parker artist, illustrator, and needlefelter.  You may remember Jack who arrive with me a couple of weeks ago is a piece of Gretel's work.
Gretel has no siblings or parents to help her through this time financially, so two of Gretels friends have set up The Gretel Parker project on Indigogo to help out.  If you know Gretel or of her work and would like to support her at this time please visit to do what you can.  Please don't contact Gretel directly at the moment, she'll be back with us when she's ready.  

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Chrysanthemums and kangaroos

I've been keeping in out of the cold this weekend, doing some stitching and catching up on some blog reading.  I've also been thinking about my journey along the way of embroidery and how some designs seem to fight me all the way whilst others flow from my hand and needles as though stitching themselves.  Christmas Chrysanthemums is doing the latter, growing steadily with only a few changes here and there.

To give myself a break from all the padding and white silk on the petals I decided to fill in the centre of the flowers.  I've done this with 2 strands of #.8 gold, stitching just partly across the centre. I'll go back and put in a few knots later.
One of the few things I'm not sure about is the gold background, I put in a few random stitches (also in 2 strands of #.8 gold) but have taken them out again.  I quite like the effect but have decided I'll use only 1 strand of gold and I'll wait until all the flowers and leaves are done before I put this in.
A few more leaves have been added, they still need the veins.

This is about 1/2 the flowers, the others won't take long to do as they are much smaller.
In my blog reading last week I was catching up with Gretel Parker and her needle felting adventures.  She had posted about her new creation, Jack the kangaroo, who had been designed and made for an article in an Australian magazine - Felt.  Jack 1 had been sold, but I was lucky enough to manage to buy Jack 2 for myself.
A few days later I had a message from Gretel to say that Jack was on his way to the frozen north.  I'm pleased to say he survived his journey and seems to be settling into his new home.


I'm not sure where his final home will be, I'm going to have to move some things around.  At the moment he's on my bookshelf watching over my stitching chair and I'm very happy he's here.  Thank you Gretel.  

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Christmas Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums may not be a traditional Christmas flower but this design was imagined, drawn up and transferred onto the silk over Christmas, so Christmas Chrysanthemums it has become.  It may get another name over time ... who knows.

The fabric for this is a lovely deep orange silk shusu, it came from an obi I bought from Ichiroya.  While the surface doesn't have quite as much as a satin finish as some shusu it still has a lovely sheen.  I've made reasonable progress so far, in between going back to work and putting up new wardrobes (with help from my friend and fellow JE stitcher Colleen-thank you Colleen).
The design was transferred using chaco paper which worked very well on the smooth surface of the shusu.  I'm using a fair bit of padding under the petals to give more of a 3D effect.  The smaller flowers have 2 or 3 layers of self padding and are embroidered with 2F.  
The larger flowers have 2 layers of padding cotton (4 strands).  
The leaves are horizontal foundation and the veins will be a line of held thread, not sure what colour yet - I may use #3 silver.  Even though the inspiration for this piece was a stunning kimono colour scheme from one of my new books I was a bit concerned if it would have the same effect on my piece.  Well I need not have worried, the colours work beautifully, I think the finished piece will be very effective and eye catching.  
The colour below is a bit washed out because of the flash, but it does show the progress.  Should we get a nice bright winter day here in the North West I'll get a picture outside to show the colour better.
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