Monday, 28 November 2011

Black Heart


I've been working on some smaller designs over the last few weeks.  I really enjoy the larger pieces but when working on them from scratch they take a long time to complete.  Autumn Shell Box is up to 150 hours so far!  I've made more progress on it since I took this picture.


I want to get some more pieces done so I can add pieces into the Gallery on a regular basis.  So started this piece off in July of this year, well I'd done the transfer and spent some time deciding on colours.  I took it to our class a few weeks ago framed it up and made a start. The idea was a very simple colour scheme, the petals of the chrysanthemum would just be two colours.  The first colours were a bronze metallic and silk.  They looked lovely on the black and red.

However ... I put a few stitches in and hated it.  So back to the drawing board, various discussions were had with my stitching friends and I decided on black and red to match the fabric.  The weft of the fabric is red the warp is black, depending on the angle the fabric looks either red or black.



I decided to do the turnovers of the petals in red and the rest of the petals in black.  The petals were padded with either two or one layer of padding, a couple were self padded and the rest had none.


Most petals were stitched with flat silk, 2 strands, have I mentioned how much I love the effect of flat silk!


One or two of the black petals in the centre were stitched with a twisted black metallic thread.


The twisted black metallic was also used for the stamens, knots were formed with a black twist with a touch of gold.


#8 real gold was used for the leaf, 1 pair couched with black silk.  It has been impossible to capture the colour and beauty of this piece, the way silk glows against the dark background and the richness and variation in colour, it has turned out so much more beautiful than I had hoped and I am very proud of it.  I only wish my photos did it justice. 


Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Quick update

 Another busy few weeks here.  I've made progress on getting the house back into order. My bookcases were collected and put into place, which meant all the books hanging round on the floor could go into place and my frame stand could go back up.  This is the view from my sofa as I look across the room at my new stitching place.



Things aren't completely straight yet, but it's close enough and does mean I can stitch again after a few weeks of not being able to (hooray).

We had one of our twice weekly classes in Garstang.  Along with existing students, who are all getting along very nicely we had two new students who did very well and three students who finished their phase one and moved onto their next pieces. 



 This is a lovely group of students and I thoroughly enjoy teaching them.  We have a great week, they all work had but we do manage to have a few laughs.

I made two sales in the Gallery no originals sold yet, but the prints are starting to go.  Autumn Shell Box is coming along, but as I'm up to 150 or so hours yet and still have a while to go I thought I'd  start a smaller piece or two which I can get through quickly to top up the pieces in the gallery for Christmas.


 The first one I'm calling Black Heart!  The November light here is very dull so I'm having problems getting good pictures of this, but here are a couple of 'tasters'.


 The fabric is a lovely obi silk, it's two tone like a taffeta, in black and red.  I'd chosen the colours for this piece ages ago but as soon as I put the first silk petal in I knew it wasn't going to work.  Change of plan and discussions with colleagues, and I went for red (108) and black, with the odd piece of twisted black metallic thrown in.  I'm pleased with it so far, it's not going to be to every ones taste but they won't be able to say it's not eye catching!

Before I go here are some new links for you to enjoy.

A new site for JE frames in the UK.

A new blog about Japanese Embroidery - in French and English, Isabell is just starting out on her JE journey.

Website of one of our new students, Jill, who runs trips to Japan, courses on Japanese crafts and various other things - Festival of Japan

Have fun and happy stitching.

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