Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside . . .

. . . especially when the Red Arrows are doing a display! In Bournemouth last Friday they careered round the sky for half an hour while we ooohed and wowed on the East Overcliff. We also had a stroll on the pier . . .
. . . and in the Gardens - lovely exotic flowerbeds.

These beachhuts are very exclusive, costing an arm and a leg to rent.

I like the colours and the stripy deckchairs.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Introducing our new garden . . .

I can't believe we have a vine full of these in the greenhouse! And here's a selection of flowers

and something else to eat

Adding some texture . . .

. . . to the first, monochrome/neutral Sumptuous Surfaces project. Pic below is a bit fuzzy. Enlarging the one above will probably give a better close-up. Packing in stitches is harder than I thought it would be. I do a lot of random stitching that may or may not turn into a finished item. I think the aspect of this project that is giving me difficulty is that it involves working towards a planned design! There is meant to be a recognizable end product. Well, it won't hurt me to exercise a bit of self control.Thank you, folk who have commented on earlier posts, for the encouragement!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Sumptuous Surfaces, first stitching

I couldn't decide which pic to post so have put both on. This is the first stage in the stitching, outlining the main motif (the outer lines of the leaf) and adding some low relief (the veins within the leaflets). I then forgot to take a photo and began adding the next stage - building up some heavy texture in the spaces left, so ignore those bits for now! It is 6"x4", postcard size, on some linen I happened to have, using a linen thread dyed with coffee, a perlé and a flower thread. Stitches are barred chain for the main outline, stem for the centre veins and long straight stitches for the secondary veins.
A question I have is - the long straight stitches look the way I want, but, if this card were to be sent in the post, might they need couching down, as they might snag something in the mailing process? (Actually, I know that it is the thing to post fabric cards with no envelopes, but I don't think I ever would.)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Texture course . . .

The drawings promised in the last post - first one very rough idea - not so very interesting, I feel. This idea is better, but too complex. It has been recommended we use a fabric postcard format, so this is drawn actual size, but I can't quite see me managing to stitch it. But I like the idea....
...so - simplify by enlarging. This looks more manageable.

I can actually see how this might be stitched, wouldn't mind giving this one a go.

Joggles - Sumptuous Surfaces

I've decided to take one of Sharon Boggon's courses hosted by Joggles - Sumptuous Surfaces. It is about creating texture with stitches, which interests me particularly. It has a strong design component, which is useful, as although I've done design study relating to patchwork and quilting I've not done any directly relating to embroidery, and I feel the lack of it. So I have an idea - to do with moving and the potential for new developments, and a motif to express it - horse chestnut leaves. ( Sounds a bit unlikely? I'll explain it a bit more another time!). For now, here are some of my design exercises, in paint. There'll be some drawn ones next time.

First, made 2 print blocks, incising polystyrene sheet with a knitting needle, and a stencil from thin strong card, preserving the piece that was cut out.
Then I played around with them on the pages of my A4 size sketchbook. This was good fun but they don't say 'stitch me' to me yet.
Ink wash over the printed pages (acrylic paints btw)

Two postcard size efforts that are beginning to say 'stitch me', but I'm not sure quite how yet.

I've a couple more drawn ideas for the next post.

TAST catchup

During our move the only stitching I've managed are the TAST samples. Rather sketchily though, and I will come back to do some more sometime. So here are some pix at last - First, the latest - cast-on stitch. This I have to confess, was done at an EG workshop on Friday, and includes drizzle stitch, both single and double-sided. I will put some on my sampler strip, I promise.

Half and half chevron and cretan - interesting combination, but I wasn't sure what to do with it except stash rows together, and it kept slewing itself sideways. Hmm.
Underneath that - bullion. This is going to be useful for texture pieces. Bit of long/short at the side - can't get anywhere with that for now.

Then I tried a complex seam, which didn't work very well. Wheatsheaf I liked with the vertical lines different lengths, and packing it close is fun.

Arrowhead - just can't get it even, so gave up and went for the squashed effect with different threads, and the all over single stitch look. Also, the irregular lengths wobbly row. Suits me better!!

Buttonhole wheel - I love making the little holes in the middle - on the right. And piling up different sizes. Just started some distorted circles on the left.
I do like this sampling of stitches and wish I'd had more time and ideas. Am aware I've barely scratched the surface with many of the stitches, but I know I will be revisiteng them as time goes by.