Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

The brooch is coming along. Pearls have been added, and I'm stitching along on the small petals.

May this be the start of a happy, healthy, and prosperous year, for all of you!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Happy Saturday!

Well, there was a glorious full moon last night. Really beautiful. Tonight is supposed to be really good as well, so go out & take a look.

Today is a solid stitching day. I'd like to have this piece done for the new year (and spend New Year's day cleaning up the studio, to start the year with a clean slate)

Here are the progress pics, they were taken with my phone so the quality is a bit iffy.

Now to brew up the coffee and get to work!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Starting another flower

I've decided to start another flower. I'm plaing with ivory & gold, which I haven't done for a while.

These are the big petals, and there will be 2 more types of petals as well.

I'll post again, tomorrow. Until then, have a fabulous day!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hi Folks!

Well, I'm still alive. Sorry about the absence, the blog got a little lost in the shuffle when I moved. (I'm in my own apartment, and there will eventually be pictures of that as well.)

So here are the latest pieces that I've dropped off at the League of NH Craftsmen
The red minis!
These are the ones I think of as the 'red minis' They're little pieces, that are inexpensive, and were fun to do. Instead of my normal pin backing, I used a lapel pin backing (kind of like an oversized tie tack) These guys are $40 each. (My two favorites are the purple dots, and the gold with single pearl) As always, if it looks like a pearl, it is one. I found these fabulous 1-1.5mm pearls at my local bead shop. Yay, Bead It!
This one is called 'Red leaf" (because, well, it looks like a red leaf) . this was a learning experience. The central vein of the leaf is worked over padding-cords, that I tapered to either end, I also whipped it while changing colors of the thread. I have an idea for a project based on the human genome, and this proved that one idea would work. I'll be playing with this some more. The copper thread is done in raised stemstitch, which may be becoming my favorite. I'm using it a lot lately. oh, and yes, I did cap the runs of copper beads with buttonhole cups at the end. This one is running for $75. (Oh and the edging is done in flat silk. I like the effect, and will likely be doing that more often)

Blue leaf (not Brubeck) 

Blue Leaf (Brubeck
These two were inspired by music. The second one is inspired by a Dave Brubeck cover, that I remember seeing. (Since I named it that, I've gone looking for that cover without any luck whatsoever. It's entirely possible that it wasn't a Brubeck album cover, or anybody's album cover, and was something completely different like wallpaper or something. Don't be like me. Keep track of your inspiration pieces) The top one has detached-buttonhole strips cradling the rows of beads. I was sorry when I finished each one since they worked up so nicely. These guys are each $80. Oh, and as an aside, I really need to work with those colors of blue again. they take the metals I use and make them pop so nicely.

An example of the detached-buttonhole, over gold thread that I use for the back on most of my pieces. (The red minis are the only ones that don't have metal on the back, instead they have a denser stitch all in red.)

I think I've posted pictures of this one before, but I honestly can't remember. Anyways, it's called the amazon brooch because of the way that the raised area looks like a river going through the Amazon jungle. If you look at the backs of the leaves I also did a raised gold embroidery that exactly matches the raised embroidery on the front. (for anyone playing along at home, and trying to replicate that technique, I used a photocopy, traced it, flipped it over so that it would be properly reversed, hit the back with some graphite, and traced it on to the stitched backing, then stitched over that. I'm sure I'll use the technique again, but I might need therapy first) In the center of the flower are detached-buttonhole leaves, those are semi-transparent, and the wire edges can be molded in any way you like. And the very center is, of course, pearls and drizzle-stitch (Thank you Mary Corbett for doing such a fantastic tutorial)

And finally, this picture is of "Purple Holi" which is down at the League Headquarters, It's a slightly bigger piece then usual, since I wanted to use an amethyst bead in the loop. I know the quality of the picture is pretty terrible, but it was at an angle, no tripod, and through plexiglass. oy. So, the construction, in order...the base is multiple shades of purple and grey, with copper thread couched on top, then there are copper beads and very small pearls (about 2mm, give or take a smidge), there's whipped cording, and then a section of turkey stitch, which is as lovely as cut velvet.  That one is $150. (I had this one for a show they had there for holidays around the world. It was done on an extreme deadline, with a couple all-nighters in there. I was thrilled to discover that I could still do those, even though college is long in the past)

So for now, that's all. I'll post more pictures either tomorrow or Friday of the next pieces to be heading out. And I'm also working on an animated gif of the process for one of these pieces. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

More work on the sampler...

well, the sampler is coming along nicely indeed, there's sections of drawn thread embroidery (drawn fabric) and shisha, lots of eyelets. I'm just playing along on this one, testing out some ideas for future projects.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

From the phone

Hi folks! Sorry about the photo quality. The internet is still being wonky, so I'm doing this post on my phone.
I wanted to test some stitches so this'll be a sampler of sorts.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Hi Folks! Not much to update on the embroidery it's been a peculiar day here, but we had a heck of a rainstorm this evening.
These are pictures from July 4th, but the rain was about the same, a few hours ago.

I love this kind of weather, it just charges me right up and gets me moving. There might be maniacal laughter at the lightning too. (as well as the occasional "IGOR!!! THROW THE SWITCH!" thankfully the other artists here play along with embroidering maniac)  Yup, I like this kind of thing

Here are the pictures, and I hope you have as much fun as I do when it's like this.

From Rain!

From Rain!

From Rain!

Monday, July 16, 2012

internet is still a bit wonky,

but this weekend, I finished another illumination for the East Kingdom in the SCA and here are the pictures if I can upload them. I've spent most of the last three days in the studio, because it's air conditioned here. That's the reason for the wonky internet, we're on a wi-fi system, and sometimes it's good, sometimes, well, ...not so much.
As always click to enlarge...

Until later, stay cool!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Liberace variations

I decided I needed to have a whimsey project to go with the serious projects I'm working on. So I went to pictures of Liberace for inspiration (as one does)
And here's what I've come up with so far, it still needs more bling, and pearls, and beads, and bling, and three dimensional elements, and bling, and did I mention it needs more bling? I'm currently at 8 hours of stitching, and this has been a ton of fun.
The weather is lovely outside, so go have some fun!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

And the internet is back again! Woot!

Hello folks! Here's the 19 hour update on the brooch, I'm really enjoying this piece.

As a design comment, I'm doing four layers of color around the border. It starts with a very dark grey, goes to a brilliant blue, then to a medium grey, and finally an inner edge of very dark grey again. I want there to be just flecks of the middle two colors, as if it's representing smoke and flame (without being blatant with orange)and I'm really happy with it. Also the reason for bringing three of the layers right to the inner edge is so that there's an obviously shadow line on the inner edge. There will still be a wrapped cord innermost border, but I want there to be an edge next to it. And stitching that deep will give me the shadow I want.

I still haven't figured out the layout of pearls, or possibly opal, but that will come when the border is finished.

Until later, have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

It's coming along

So far I'm at 14 hours of stitching on the brooch and I'm pretty happy with it. I've been putting in the edge in long and short fill, (three colors, dark gray, blue, and medium gray) After this stage is done, I'll be adding the whipped cord borders and the pearls (or pearl singular, not sure which yet, need to play a little)

And if you're not reading Needle and thread you really need to. I've linked to her post about damp-blocking and Mary is absolutely brilliant. She's utterly demystified the process. I've always understood it, intellectually, but her pictures finally make it clear and simple. Thanks Mary!

Have a happy Fourth of July and happy stitching!

Monday, July 02, 2012

Projects update

Hello folks! Here's the current project status on the brooch, and a new piece of text art
The goldwork is coming along very nicely and has been a lot of fun to work. there's a small section where I'll need to add another strand of gold since too much of the white background is showing near one of the craters. It's a minor fix, and shouldn't take much time at all.

And here's the text art. The text is from Jules Verne's travel to the moon. I started with the gold layer, in Roman Rustic, then a layer of Gothic Textura, on the 60 degree offset. and finally a layer of gothic back on the straight up and down. I think this piece does need a bit of white, that may go in concentric rings, not sure yet. I'll figure this out later today.

And now for today, Happy Stitching everyone!

Friday, June 29, 2012

And the internet is back...

Hi Folks! The internet has decided to cooperate, finally. (1 am Friday morning) anyhoo...
So, I'm adding in the padding for the goldwork. This is simply Pellon craft interfacing (non-fusible and non-woven) I drew my circles on it, using a template, and fine tipped marker. And then cut them out with an exacto knife. Very simple. Stitching them down with a an easy couching stitch.

Remember in the last installment, I mentioned that I'd need to stitch from the back. On the right of the circle, you can see where I had to stitch from the back to find the edge of the design. Then I simply trimmed away the excess with a pair of embroidery scissors.

And here's the piece with most of the padding attached.

The next installment will show the goldwork, it's similar to Or Nue, done with one color, over padding.

Until then, Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sorry about the delay in posting, there's been wonky internet here. Seems to be fixed though. Also, the weather has gotten really nice. And here we go...

Hi folks! Today's post is about starting a project. I'm beginning a new brooch/pendant, and I thought it might be interesting to see how it all comes together.

This time I'm using a hoop instead of a frame. I wanted to have a piece that felt portable, and small, rather than large and stationary (I also thought this might be a little easier on my back, which has been well agravated this weekend)

I'm showing the back since I wanted to show that indeed I do wrap my hoops, it adds a nice bit of tension and grip to the hoop. It greatly improves even the crummiest of hoops. I also replaced the thumbscrew with a longer one to accomadate the added padding, it's a simple change but it makes the hoop a lot nicer to use. I didn't wrap the outer hoop because that felt like overkill. However, this project may need it, we'll see as I go along.

I'm just using basic cotton muslin as the ground fabric. It's rugged enough, and none of it will show on the final product so I have no problem with it. It's also a wide enough weave that the technique I'm using will work well. Other projects might have a tighter weave of cotton, or wool, it depends on what I'm doing of course (and what's right at hand on the desk. Not that that's a deciding factor or anything, really.)

 I like using tissue paper (standard gift wrapping tissue, buy the cheap stuff, it works better) to transfer a detailed design. I don't have to worry about the grain of the fabric, or running of ink, or anything like that.


 I'm just using a very small backstitch to transfer the design. Sometimes I use split stitch, or a running stitch. This time I wanted the back to look as much like the front as possible, in case I needed to find the edge from the backside of the fabric. (This does happen, and on this project I'm pretty sure I'll need to do that)


I'll post the next segment as the internet permits. 
Happy Stitching!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A finished example

This is what that whipped cord looks like when it's all worked closely together. I love the texture on this. It's very solid, almost like a heavy twill. I don't think the picture captures the texture very well, but it catches light differently by the direction you're looking at it. And I'm very happy with the turkey stitch heart.
(An alternate way of fluffing turkey stitch, is to use an eyebrow brush/comb, that's my preference, but I don't do large areas...yet)

If I can get some help with the photography, I'll post a tutorial on the technique. I *think* that it's a variation of overcast stitch but more 'whippy' if that makes sense.

Well folks, I'll see you Monday. Have a great weekend, and happy stitching.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Goes very slowly, but I'm at least enjoying myself. that's five hours of stitching that I've added to the necklace. I'll be doing a blitz on it tonight and tomorrow, so there should be more to see on Friday. I'm also doing sketches, and learning how to use acrylic paints (whole new medium for me, it's very interesting)

I believe that learning new skills, or revisiting old ones is a good way to keep the creative juices flowing and gives me more tools to use, to make my pieces. Sometime I'll write more on that. As for now, here's today's picture, and I'll see you all on Friday.
Happy Stitching!

Monday, June 18, 2012

I'm back!

Hi Folks, I'm, once again, attempting to post more regularly. So, unless it's raining (I carry my computer to the studio) I'll be posting on Monday, Wed, and Fri. If it's raining, there might be a quickie posting via the cell-phone-thingie.

So here's one of the projects that I'm working on... (click to enbiggen)
Once again, I'm trying to work on a necklace, this time it's going a lot smoother.
The technique I'm doing is wrapped cord. I'm using basic no.10 crochet cotton, wrapped with two strands of  Sulky rayon thread. I take two whips around the cord, plunge the needle and then back up, to take two more wraps, and then just keep going.
 I like to keep the cord on a needle to make it easier to plunge behind the embroidery.
The numbers in the circles are the order of work. It should make more sense when there's more done. Okay then folks, I'll see you in a couple days.

Happy stitching!