Friday, April 22, 2011

April iris

While waiting for the April inspiration to take hold, and still feeling in between projects, I decided to try some more Free Machine Embroidery and did this old picture of the jungle waterfall at The Eden Project in Cornwall that I'd taken years ago. It helped me get more comfortable with Cable Stitch which is difficult because you have to work from the back of the piece.

Anyway, I've printed out the pix from our iris and have decided to do at least two - one "portrait" and one "landscape" orientation. Started the sketches this morning, and thought I might try using some pale mauve organza for the top petals, stitching them down with dark purple thread, for the bottom petals, a bit of crochet chain for the beards, or maybe some of that eyelash yarn. May also try to go quite abstract. There's also some lovely silk thread I bought at The Knitting & Stitching Show years ago that is just the right colour for the top petals - may try that in the bobbin using Cable stitch. The twist on it is agonising - it wants to snarl up all the time, so it should be interesting to see how I get on with it...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Finishing & April inspiration

Probably like most people, I have an in-between-projects period where I'm not sure what to do next, so I look through the pile of experiments and do some finishing, in this case, making a little pocket from a piece of loomed beading where I used that chunky, uneven Colinette wool for the warp. Here are pix showing front, back, open, closed. May do a beaded rope cord for it later.

And here are pix of things I might do for April experiments - more blossom from our walks, and the medieval city across the river when we went to the market yesterday. The wisteria and the iris are also in bloom, and they are very tempting subjects. I'm being typically Libra and having trouble making up my mind. O well, sigh...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

March Experiments

First, in response to Carol's comment on my last post, here is a closeup of that piece. I was experimenting with cable stitch on the machine, where you wind some thick thread on your bobbin, then just use straight stitch. The tricky bit is that you have to work from the wrong side, as it is the bobbin thread that is making your design on the right side of the fabric, that is, the right side of the fabric is facing towards the bed of the machine. The background is a layer of plain cotton calico, then a layer of bright yellow scrim, then a layer of sludgy coloured beige georgette. In places I cut through the georgette, and I did beading. As always, you can click on the photo to see a larger version.

And here are the almond blossom pieces I did for March experiments with machine embroidery techniques. Enjoy.

Finally, here are pix of a little bag I finally made up from some embellisher felting experiments my friend Cyn sent me ages ago - showing the bag closed and opened.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A few things

I decided to not re-join the Bead Journal Project for this year, instead decided to do a piece of embroidery each month and try to teach myself to use new techniques. This is the January piece ... OK, I know I have no patience with taking photos but you get the idea - it's spirals and curves.

I thought I'd do hearts and roses for February - St.Valentine's Day and all that, but I don't really like the piece, although I felt I was geting better at using the machine to do cable stitch. So, no pic yet.

March is the totally inspiring almond blossom, and here are pix I took on our walks around the neighbourhood. I haven't finished the pieces yet, so pix next time, but here is one showing some of the materials I've used...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Another year finished

This is the November Bead Journal Project piece, showing the beads just sprinkled onto the backing fabric in the choosing process, then steps as it was made, including some pieces of lapis lazuli I picked up in Malta years ago, that I wanted to try to incorporate using a bezel technique, finally showing the finished piece.

These pix show the December piece being made. I decided not to join again for 2011, because I want to spend this year exploring a mixture of hand and machine embroidery, maybe including some beading. The topics I've chosen for this year are Parasol Pines which make lovely shapes against the sky, and the architecture around here - Cathar Castles and all that, not to mention the elegant French architecture of the Belle Epoch. There are also loads of wrought iron railings that could provide endless inspiration but I hesitate to go there because it seems so derivative - the artisans who made that wrought iron were inspired by nature themselves, so I feel I shouldn't copy them, I should go direct to the source, but use their works as a guideline in how to simplify natural designs for their artisanal purpose, if that makes any sense. Hopefully, I'll also be a bit more disciplined and blog more often... We'll see.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Catching up

After a very busy summer full of visitors from all over, I've started to catcb up with my Bead Journal Project pieces. July was about the reflections from the water in the pool. These first pix show me trying to take a pic of the reflections, followed by the bead embroidery.

The August piece was about heat and the beautiful canna that finally flowered this year, after we moved it from the front to the border in the back. I have yet to do a September piece for the BJP.

September was busy with visitors but I got working on this piece, not related to the Bead Journal Project, but based on goldwork techniques, using some Jap silver my friend Ruth left me, and some soft silver chainette my friend Ann brought me. Because of this, I've called this piece "Silver Sisters".

This piece is for the October BJP and I call it "Autumn Colours", and it is crochet chain over a warp of a novelty yarn that Ann brought, and using some of the other yarns she brought, along with bead weaving. Some of these new yarns are made from such diverse things as sugar cane and bamboo!!!

So, that's all for now - hope you enjoy, and apologies as ever for the poor quality of the photos - I seem to have lost patience with getting them to show the "real" colours and textures of the pieces I embroider.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

June Bead Journal Project piece finished

It's supposed to be the bowl of strawberries I collected from the potager, the pic shown in the last post. Disappointing photo, can't get the colours right even though I fiddled with it some - o well - you get the idea anyway...
No idea what I'll do for July, but I'm carrying my camera around. Maybe courgette flowers again, maybe swimming pool... market...aperitif on the patio... tomato plants... lavendar and bumble bees... something to convey the heatwave...