Sunday, October 18, 2015

Meet Snow Bee..

I had a sudden realisation yesterday that I hadn't designed my now annual Christmas bee bauble! For Since 2012, I've been coming up with a seasonal bee design...and I almost forgot!!

A quick doodle and the Snow Bee was born....

Isn't it cute?? 

Can't decide if its the carrot nose or the little coal buttons (antique glass beads) I love more. I even found a use for my white Swarovski crystals, which I hadn't got round to using.

Snow Bee baubles are made to order and come with its own calico pouch to keep out the dust when in storage. The are priced at £15 + Postage.

Past Christmas Bee bauble designs include:

Merry Santa Bee - 2012

Royal Bee - 2013

I still have a few of last year's design available to purchase (originally £15 each, now £7.50 plus free postage within the UK).

Sunday, October 11, 2015

A Little Dragon

Taking a break from the quilt project I started over the summer, though its not far away (on the table behind me...) I have started on a small embroidery project. Now some time I go I did doodle a design of a medieval inspired piece of a dragon, looking at illuminated manuscripts, but I never finished it largely because I didn't like where it was going. Now move forward several months, I find myself doodling another dragon. This one I am pleased to say showed early signs of potential and thus it will get finished!

As with anything it started with a little spot of preparation, in the form of little satin spikes, and several layers of felt padding.  

Over top of which I then placed a layer of silk dupion, without any soft/ light-weight vilene I had to settle for bondaweb (wasn't about to stop and wait till I could get some...I wanted to get on with it!). With that stab stitch down, I then set about cutting out the head with the help of the bondaweb again, now this was the third attempt as I kept drawing the head in the wrong direction. Got the reverse wrong....

A spot of silver passing couched down...

With the body couching down I heat applied the head to the body, you can't really see in this shot but one of the dragon's ears was stitched, as was the chain stitched tongue, before I properly applied the head, which was then stabbed stitch down. 

I toyed with leaving the teeth as they were, just green silk but I opted to do a spot of padded satin stitch instead, and I am rather happy with the outcome.

Once all the teeth are complete, there will be further work to do...including working out how I am going to do his eye. Now, I have an idea involving a Swarosvki crystal, and some stitching...but you'll have to wait and see the outcome!

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Goldwork A Look Back

Getting back into the rhythm of things of late sees me first taking a look back at past projects. Seemingly have a raft of work in progress or completely abandoned pieces of work. Recently whilst having a check at what pieces I have that I want to sell, I came across this piece of gold work, (see above) a Tudor Rose sampler, stitched in the first year of my apprenticeship at the Royal School of Needlework (sadly, they dropped the apprenticeship in favour of going the University route). 

To be honest it slipped my mind that I had even done it. To be fair it was 12/13 years ago. I do recall the first year being a bit tricky for me, the whole doing pre-scripted designs didn't really appeal to me. Still I did each of the projects. 

If you wondering it's purposely left unfinished, some in my year did go on to finish it but I quite liked the fact you can see the layers, which was the purpose of the piece. Goldwork looks really tricky but with practice you can get the basics down pretty quickly. Most of  the problems come from when you don't do the prep work properly, from the padding layers to working out the order of work. For instance you wouldn't necessarily start with the gold that is more delicate and liable to crack (i.e. in the case of the image above, the stem which is cut work), in an area that you also need to do a lot of other embroidery. Also simply taking your time with it.

It's been nice to look back at this piece, and perhaps it's about time I got it framed. For the time being though its time to look ahead.

Too the next post.