Friday, December 4, 2009

I'm Back!

Sorry for the long absence from blogging - I was working on this piece and didn't want to post until it was nearly finished. It is just sitting on top of the background, waiting to be stab-stitched, which will eliminate the wavy edges.

In my previous post, there's a pic of the worksheet with inspiration pix, and you can see my initial treillage for the pansies in the left-hand frame of the triptych. As I completed the middle and right-hand frames (daffodils and iris, respectively), I realised that the techniques didn't seem to go together, so I cut out the pansies and redid them as shown in this pic. At this stage, the piece was still on the working backing.

These pix show the piece removed from the working backing, just laying on the table, and also laying on top of dark green fabric to see what that would look like. However, as the piece is supposed to represent Springtime, I chose the sky blue instead. I'm not sure I like it, but that's probably because I've been working on it for too long - I may like it again after it's been put away for a while.

Of course, now I have to start another project so I'm feeling insecure and flighty, and there's also the annual newsletter and Christmas Cards to do but hopefully I'll settle back into regular posting again and start thinking up ideas for next year's Bead Journal Project which I have now decided to rejoin...if I'm not too late. Thank you to all those who have left comments - they helped me decide to rejoin.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A word about couronne sticks

Here's a pix of a WIP that I've resurrected. I abandoned it in April but have found it inspiring again.

I've been catching up with reading my favourite blogs and on one of them, the author posted pix of her purchases at the Knitting & Stitching Show, which brought back fond memories, including a pic of a "stepped" couronne stick.

Here is a pic of the couronne stick I use, which I find works much better because you simply have to do the initial wraps further up or down the stick to get different size couronnes, and you can slip your needle underneath the wraps much easier because the "steps" don't get in the way. Also shown is my first "stepped" couronne stick.

This pic shows detail of a piece called "Sea Fans" in which you can see how I sprinkled the couronnes onto the embroidery.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Finishing BJP2009

Here are the last Bead Journal Project pieces for 2009. I fell behind in April when we went to Normandy to visit B's family because I was upset to see his brother ill (he's a bit better now). Then we had non-stop visitors all summer and we are only now getting back to normal. Anyway, here's April - wisteria.

May is B's roses growing against the wall with the neighbour's olive trees in the middle distance and the Montagne Noire in the far distance.

June is the lavender in the front garden.

July had to be fireworks for Bastille day, but it also represents courgette flowers that I love so much - their form, colour, taste...

Finally, August returns to sunflowers but more the feeling of them than an actual representation. Apologies as usual for the quality of these photos - they don't really show the true colours and textures but c'est la vie...

I also made these two cushion covers - B's nieces chose the materials from my stash when they visited and one chose a theme - love, friendship, fireworks - while the other just chose the colours and beads.

I enjoyed doing the BJP this year but felt pressured once I'd fallen behind, so I won't be joining in this year. I didn't look at the blogs once I'd fallen behind so I now have the happy task of catching up, which may take some time.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Visiting Carcassonne

Here is a pic showing some gargoyles on the cathedral of the medieval city of Carcassone, which I am posting to show my sis how to do it on Blogger. Apologies for not posting in so long - I'll write up more details later and put up pix of the BJP pieces I've done in the meantime.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

March in a flash

How quickly the time goes! Although I haven't posted since February, I've been busy...

March Bead Journal Project (BJP)
Here are pix of my March BJP - a pic I took of the daffodils on the front lawn, and a pic of the finished piece.

Needlelace Coral

Here are pix showing a piece of coral reef I did using needlelace techniques - the first pic shows the finished needlelace, taken off the working backing but still needing mounting onto background fabric. The second pix shows the outlines and the beginning of the fillings while the piece was still on the working backing.

This pic shows an experiment with treillage - Elicia's filling is the one that looks like asterisks and Katie's Kisses is the one that looks like crosses. I did them to see what they could look like thinking I might use them in the coral, but in the end I used Tudor Rose filling.

Fish Portrait

Here are pix showing what I am currently working on - a fish made up in layers - yukky blue satin background, some silk-painted scrim, some organza, some fish shapes cut from an unsuccesful velvet dvoree scarf I did in a class, some purple and turquise free machine embroidery that I did on dissolving fabric, all covered with another piece of organza. On top, I've stitched scales and parallel lines to show the fins - just finishing the tail fin now. One pic shows the layers, one shows what you see looking at the piece straight-on, and one is from an angle, showing the stitching more in relief.

I worked on some other things as well, but forgot to take pix - next time.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

February BJP finished

Well, I succumbed to the Valentine's Day idea and here is my February piece - love crashing down from the sky in the form of a star, shooting up the purple heart as ejecta. It's done on a background that was layered - a scrap of red silk for the base with some silk-painted ribbon lace on top and a piece of reddish gold organza on top of that, which I gathered in some places - you can see the gathers towards the bottom near the star.

Here is a pic showing the January piece from a sideways angle, so you can see how the florist's glass blobs are in relief. It took me a while to put this pic up because I had to buy another packet of rechargeable batteries.

And here is a pic showing the first six all together, stretched onto posterboard. I may do beaded edgings or make them into an accordian book - not sure yet.

I'd like to say a huge Thank You to everyone who has left such lovely comments on my blog - it's very encouraging and leads me to your blogs which is very inspiring.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

January BJP Finished

Well, after declaring that I was going to stay with the theme of nature for my Bead Journal Project (BJP) pages in the last post, I immediately did something abstract for January. It's supposed to represent snow and ice and freezing cold.

I also recovered these two stools and recycled an old quilt that was going raggedy at the edges. I felt a bit sad as I hand-quilted around the shapes because it's the first time I've ever done hand-quilting all by myself - it made me think of old friends.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happy New Year

As you can see I haven't blogged since way before Christmas - it's been a busy time but we're now back to normal. Here is a pic of my December Bead Journal Project page which I just finished today - it's the mistletoe in the almond tree outside the dining room window.

And here is a close-up. The background fabric is shiny polyester that made me think of the grey days of winter. I did some FME along a horizon line underneath to represent the line of trees in the distance, but they don't show up in the photo. I realised as I worked on this piece that all my BJPs so far this year are to do with nature - the things coming into fruit or flower at the time of year, and I'll try to stay with this theme.

Here is a pic of the additional Take It Further December Challenge I did based on the idea of Mother Nature & generosity.

And here is a pic of a little bag I made for the daughter of some friends who came to celebrate New Years with us.

Now I can start to think of what I want to bead for my January BJP page - probably something to do with freezing cold, snow, ice...