Thursday, 30 October 2008

Spot the difference - 200 times!

Work is on-going on treasure ship but it is slow going at the moment, hence the lack of posts. Some NEWS I have just reached the 200 HOURS stitching point so thought I'd share it with you. Have been doing some work on the pines which is very repetitive but they are starting to come together and look the part. This photo shows the various stages, flat silk foundation, veins, and gold section.

This is the 'spot the difference' section :-) There is about 10 hours difference between the first and second photo.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Braided Chrysanthemum - what colours where

I've not been doing much stitching since I got back from Bournemouth. After five days of intense stitching I always seem to need some time away from it to gather my thoughts. Over the weekend I spent a few hours doing some planning on the chrysanthemum. As I changed the colours from the original it is not now possible to use the colour picture as a guide for stitching, so I decided to get out the felt tips and do some colouring in. I wanted to make sure that I didn't end up with too many petals of the same colour or with all the same colours in one section.

Version one

The petals which were white on the original I decided to leave white, so I marked them and then coloured the rest in. There is also a light blue in here, but I only had a light blue pencil rather than a felt tip, so it doesn't show up very well.

Version two

Then I did a second version just for some variation. Then I thought what would it look like if I used one of the colours more that the others (well I suppose that should be two colours, since the white petals are a colour as well of course), and so we have version three.

Version three

I think I've pretty much discounted version three, or at least in this colour way. The colours don't look the same on the white paper as they will on the red silk of course, perhaps when I actually put thread to fabric I'll change my mind.

No work next weekend so I'll be able to get some stitching done and will hopefully have an update on this and Treasure Ship.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Braided Chrysanthemum - the beginning

Wow, this is my 50th post, that crept up on me a bit. Happy Blogging to us all. This is the start of a new piece, Braided Chrysanthemum, you can see the original here on the JEC site - second row first on the left. I saw this on the Kurenai-kai site and just fell in love with it. The pictures here don't do the colour of the fabric which is a wonderful rich red. Each of the petals of this big spider chrysanthemum is formed either by a braid or diagonal layer. The size of the piece doesn't really come across in the photo here, but the flower goes almost from side to side of the fabric (about 30cm) and is about the same from the top petal to the bottom petal. This piece isn't either a phase piece or a practice piece, it comes from an obi design, so there were no instructions with this when it arrived just a colour picture, a design sheet, and a list of colours. If you've been to look at the original you'll notice that on this picture there is no blue dyed section in the centre of the flower. I was very disappointed by this when it first arrived, and really quite upset as I loved the original so much. However I was busy with Iris Stream and Treasure Ship, so I put my disappointment aside, put it in the 'to do' folder and tried not to think about it.

Having completed Iris Stream and with my stitching week in Bournemouth coming up I thought that I'd go back to this one and frame it up so I could sort out the colours when there. I also started doing some outlining of the petals, this helps support the cords during the stitching process.

Actually when I took this out of the folder to frame it up I decided I rather liked it without the blue section in the centre of the flower. So all turned out ok. I may decide to put some blue in with fuzzy effect once all the rest is stitched. Only time will tell. I always enjoy choosing colours but I haven't yet developed the skill of my tutor for putting colours together. So this is how we came up with a new colour scheme, first I placed onto the fabric a tube each of the colour scheme sent by JEC. Then I got out colours I liked and/or brighter versions of the original colours. Then they all went back again and I got out wild and wonderful colours, including the bright green I used on Himotabe below (which strangely seemed to work with the red) but I wasn't convinced. Enter Sensei Margaret stage left to save the day. After swapping colours around for a while we kept some of the colours I choose (including the green), added a couple of new ones, and kept a couple of the originals. I'm not going to share the final colour scheme with you here - it will be revealed over time. You can be sure that it'll be very bright and I think will make Himotabe quite dull!! Following the previous post about the copyright problems JEC are having. I'm not going to include links on any of the photographs on this blog any more (plus I'll be going back to take the others out). This means that it will no longer be possible to download any photos from here. Sorry, but I feel very strongly about this copyright issue. However, if any JE student out there would like a copy of a photo for reference when they are working on a piece I'll be happy to send a copy over - just drop me an email.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Copyright Theft

I found out recently that the Japanese Embroidery Center have been experiencing some problems with copyright theft of their designs. It seems that this has become such a problem that the Center have had to go to the trouble and expense of using special copy resistant paper for the design sheets which go with our pieces. I've thought about this for a few days wondering why people would do this or why anyone who knows about it would condone it and these are my thoughts. It is outrageous (not to mention criminal) that Kurenai-kai, JEC, and all the people past and present who have been involved in bringing Japanese embroidery to the west are being taken advantage of in this way. I have no idea who may be taking part in this horrible behaviour, or how many innocent people are being taken advantage of by being sold these pirated designs, but I really hope they are not connected to JEC in any way. I would like to encourage any Japanese embroidery student or tutor who thinks that they may have been a victim of this criminal behavior to contact JEC and report it. Even if you only suspect your design may be pirated please get in touch with JEC and ask them to check it for you. Lets all join together to support JEC in stamping out this dreadful behaviour.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Iris & class

Seems ages since I last posted, and having checked the date on the last post, it has been a while. Treasure Ship is progressing slowly but surely, but there have been very few changes which are interesting to share. At this point it requires a lot of repetitive work and one pine is very much like the next! For anyone who's counting I'm up to about 180 hours and the end is in sight. Just had a very enjoyable week in Bournemouth with all my stitching friends old and new. I always feel a bit cut off up here in the cold and damp north, hours away from everyone else, so it is always nice to meet up, exchange news, and catch up with what everyone has been doing. Two of our stitching colleagues from Guernsey are having an exhibition of their work which started yesterday. If you are going to be on the island in the next month visit the exhibition at the Coach House Gallery, Les Islets, St Peters, Guernsey until 7th November. Three of the five days in Bournemouth were spent working on treasure ship, one day was spent choosing colours and doing some preparation for a new piece, and another day on the iris' which are now completed. I am very pleased with how they have turned out and have learned a lot working on this interesting fabric, which will I'm sure stand me in good stead for future pieces. These iris' were always intended to be offered for sale at one of the local galleries here, but I have to admit I'll be sorry to see them go.
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