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...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Back to Basics

I thought I'd get out an old Stitch Encyclopaedia and work through, just to refresh memory about stitches that I don't often use, and here is the sampler. It's that basic exercise: one thread, one colour. I'm tempted to do another using the next exercise, which is many threads, many colours just to see what it gives. I didn't draw the sampler first - just did everything freehand, and I'm always amazed at how many different things are out there to re-learn.

I thought I might do something based on this bowl of strawberries we picked from the potager - the first batches are always the best and it is very June for the Bead Journal Project this month.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Iris inspiration

I finished the acanthus piece of needlelace and here it is.

The iris are superb this year and inspired both my April and May Bead Journal Project pieces. Click photos as usual to view a closeup. You can see on the April piece that I did a bit of fabric collage, then free machine embroidery over it before beading the standard iris. The blue and yellow ones were called Iris d'Holland on the packet and come up later and very tall.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Ah, yes, that time of year when the iris are going wild - and I'm still amazed that only about 6 weeks ago, it was all covered in snow.

Here's a pix of my March Bead Journal Project piece - inspired by fish, as Dear Hubby's birthday is the first of the month - Pisces.

Haven't decided what to do for April yet, as I'm in process of doing a piece of needlelace based on acanthus, inspired by some leaves from a piece of Point de Gaze in the Spriggs Collection featured in Cathy Barley's book, "Needlelace Designs and Techniques Classic and Contemporary". I don't want to put up a pic of it yet, as it's a Work in Progress, but here is a pic of the back of it, showing the couching stitches.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

And a bit MORE winter

Last time we saw this much snow in this part of the world was 35 years ago according to the telly. These are pix of the wild almond tree over the wall during the snow, at sunset couple of days before, and the day after the snow, showing blossoms and snow together - so cool, in many ways. My sister writes that I should use the snow as inspiration, so I may get out there and take some more pix, but I was just getting into daffodil mood, and now we can't even find them! Life is like that sometimes...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A bit of winter

Here is a pic from my book of Great Works of Japanese Graphic Art by Douglas Mannering, of the famous Beneath the Wave off Kanagawa, by the artist Hokausai (1760-1849). I started a waveform many years ago when I was first doing needlelace but hadn't figured out how to finish it until I was working with this white boucle thread that I used in my January BJP piece, which is shown further below.

Here's a pic of the needlelace finished off with the white boucle thread that I used for the crest. It is crocheted then couched down as the boucles wouldn't pass through the fabric. I think I will do a bit more foam, under the crest of the wave as it looks wrong the way it is - too topheavy.

Here is a pic of my January Bead Journal Project piece, representing snow and ice and the hole I feel in my heart at the death of my dad, whose birthday is in January. He passed away late last year and I haven't felt like communicating or being creative since, explaining my absence from blogging for a while. I'm finally getting to the place where it's less painful now, and where I can "talk" to him in my thoughts, like I do with other dearly beloved who have passed.

Here is a pic of my February BJP piece, still with the "hole" at the heart, but in feeling a bit less chill. It makes me think of moonlight on water and a star in the background.

I haven't decided what I want to concentrate on this year as a theme, so I haven't done much designing. Instead, I've been looking through unfinished pieces and thinking about them, but I really want to pick a "big" subject and see how I can develop it. Meantime, I'll bead away through the months on the BJP and hope something presents itself, and try blogging more frequently, as well as visiting my favourite blogs.