Sunday, September 28, 2008

September TIF finished maybe

This pic shows the curtain wall just finished.

This pic shows an experiment with a bit of crochet sewed on to represent the cobbles.

This pic shows the cobbles unpicked along with some of the blue shadow, and this is how I'm leaving the piece for now. As usual, I was wildly enthusiastic about it while I was working on it, but now that it's finished it reminds me of a cheap souvenir cushion cover - probably the satin backing making me think this. It's pinned up on the studio wall for now. I'm looking forward to the October challenge, and am starting to think what I want to do for my October BJP page as well.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Today's update & Thanks

Here's a pic of today's progress, and I'd like to say a big Thank You to all of you who have left comments on my blog over the year. I try to respond by going to your blog and leaving a comment or sending an email, but I don't always succeed. I'd just like to let you know that your comments light up my day and make me feel great - like a little kid with a wonderful new toy.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Picky Picky

More pix showing progress on the September TIF, a view of the medieval City of Carcassonne.

It may not be apparent in these pix, but I'v unpicked as much as I've sewn to get the balance of colours and textures about right. I hate unpicking, but I've actually done it a lot in this piece and I'm pleased with the result so far.

Here is where I'm at today. I think it may go faster now, as it's the curtain wall and the building in back of the lists that are left to finish. Then there is the vegetation up the hill and the cobbles along the front of the Aude Gate. I think some French knots for the former and oyster stitch for the latter, but we'll see...

Here is a pic from going to the market on Saturday - it's mushroom season, and these orange girolles looked lovely.

Walking back a different route through the Bastide St Louis, I took loads of pix of this architecture, but couldn't seem to get the whole facade in one pic because of the narrow street and losing patience.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

More September TIF progress

I'm trying to remember to take a pic at the end of each day to show how much I get done, but sometimes I just take a pic to show progress and stretch my neck & back. Anyway, here are pix showing some progress, including unpicking the dark brown in the far tower and redoing it in red with blue and copper couching, which I think "reads" better.

I am really enjoying this Bayeux Tapestry Stitch, now that I've started seeing the results of the horizontal couching stitches on top.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Progress on September TIF

Here are a series of pix showing progress on the September TIF, from choosing the background (the sky blue as opposed to the beige silk noile), selecting threads, and starting stitching.

I decided to do a lot of the vertical stitching to start, so I can do the horizontal couching all together. It's taking longer than I thought, but I'm making it up as I go along, so that's my excuse. I like the "hardness" of the chainette thread, reminding me of the stone in the architecture. In the real Bayeux tapestry, they used wool which would have given a softer effect. Also, my threads are different thicknesses, giving problems of scale that I have to resolve as I go along, but I'm enjoying it very much.

September BJP finished

...for now. Here are pix trying to show the sunflower piece for the September BJP finished. The colours are subtle golds, beiges, browns but after many attempts to get a good image, I resigned myself to the idea that the image will never show the richness of texture and colour that is the real embroidered & beaded piece. The pix have a blue cast that knocks back the yellow hue in real life. I think it needs more darks to represent shadows but it needs to rest for a while before I come back to that. It now lives in my BJP folder in a plastic pocket, waiting for me to come back to it at the end of the year (or perhaps sooner) for finishing.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Bayeux tapestry research

Having decided to interpret the September TIF challenge, lists, as the jousting variety, and wanting to try Bayeux Tapestry stitch to render a knight, I Googled to find information, and came across this wonderful YouTube take on the tapestry - check it out...

I should get cracking on sketches now, as I think this piece may take me quite a while...

More sunflower progress on BJP

Here are pix of progress on the September BJP page. I just have to stitch petals around the seedheads and I think I'm finished. I know these pix aren't very good quality, so I'll try to do better with the finished piece.

As for the field, this dirty great machine chopped them all down the other day - it made me feel sad.
On to the September TIF challenge now, in a separate post.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

September TIF ideas

Sharon B's September Take It Further Challenge topic this month is lists. I don't seem to do lists except for groceries. I used to do a list to keep track of things I want to look up on the internet. It makes me think that I don't have enough to do, but that's not right... To translate this into an image, I thought I could stitch some writing like milk, eggs, laundry soap, then stitch across the letters to show that they have been crossed off the list, but this just didn't inspire me. The colour swatch also wasn't speaking to me, but the journal page spread Sharon used made me think of castles and crusades, and that led me to...

Lists - the arena, sometimes within the castle walls, where jousting takes place.

Since moving to Cathar Country in the South of France, near Carcassonne, I've wanted to do something inspired by the area. This pic is taken from my tourist guide, along with a pic of a knight jousting that I cut out. This one may take me a while - current thinking is to do the castle as fabric collage and FME, then the knights using Bayeau Tapestry stitching...

Sunflower journal

Go figure - I found some more sunflower-inspired things I've done in the past. It makes me think that I chose this subject for the first BJP this year because it's something I'm familiar with and I wanted to start with something I find easy. Well, that's the excuse, anyway (grin). This first one is made up of needlelace petals on copper wire cordonets that I did for the cusion cover but that I decided not to use on that piece. I attached them to a cheap tin bangle, giving the circle in the middle.

This piece is my bag bag. It hangs in the kitchen, and I squidge up those plastic carrier bags from the supermarket into the top, then pull them out the bottom as I need them to line the kitchen waste bin.

And this pic shows as far as I got this morning on the 2008 September BJP piece - I stitched around the seedheads then cut back the silk dupion to show the darker silk noile. Now it's onto stems, shadows and tattered leaves before I can even begin beading the seedheads.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Woohoo - BJP started

I did a pencil sketch of the sunflowers, took out these materials from my stash, and I know just the dark brown and gold beads I want to use in the seed heads. I stitched the piece of silk noil to the back of the piece of silk dupion which I will cut through to reveal the noil for the seed heads. The sheers are for making raggedy leaves, and the black net for the shadow shapes. I'm a bit worried that the size of the piece is too small but I'll continue with it anyway and see where it leads.

Here are some I did years ago, without size restrictions - this first one is now my sewing machine cover. It started as an exercise in studying the way sunflower seeds grow in spirals. The closeup has gone sort of blue in color - sorry about that.

While I was on that jag, I also did this piece, based on a piece of Swiss cotton batiste that I'd shibori-coloured. The close-up is meant to show how some of the bugles are standing up. These pix also have a blue cast that isn't there in real life.

I may get out tomorrow morning and sketch some more in the field. By writing this post, I realise that I have a thing for sunflowers, just never realised it before. It's not that I'm obssessed or anything like that, just that I find them very moving. Now I come to think about it, I also have a book about them, David Douglas Duncan's "Sunflowers for Van Gogh". O, dear, this BJP is already turning into a journey of self-discovery...