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. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Summer Holiday Unwind

Cor, blimey. 

It's been a while since I posted!

I am very much here, and stitching but the blog is pretty much in its summer hibernation mode as is my website and Etsy store. That being said I thought I would give an update...

I've working on the new quilt project, called 'Gossip in the Garden' it's by Hatched & Patched. It was tea related and had bees on it, so I had to do it. This weekend I managed to get all the appliqué completed for block A, I just need to finish the small patchwork block detailing before I move onto the next block. 

What's been nice about this project is the opportunity to use up scraps, and that it's forcing me to start making some sort of dent into the rest of my fabric stash. It's also been nice to do as it's making me stop and think about colour and print combinations too. Getting the old noggin working!

Lots of fiddly needle turned appliqué. 

When I haven't been playing with fabric, I've also been making a bit of a dent on my jewellery making stash. It was high-time I broke out the Swarovski Crystals. A made a rainbow inspired bracelet, see below, a long chain necklace and updated another long chain I picked up recently in the summer sales. 

Also celebrated Hamish the Hamster's 2nd Birthday. Still going strong my little ginger furball. He's currently on vacation with my Best Friend. 

And I've taken a small break from eyelets but it's coming along rather nicely. I can't quite decide whether to go all the way round or keep it to one side of the oval shape, a crescent of eyelets. But post my break I'm sure I'd have made my decision. 

And that my friends, is where I am currently at. I'll be back in proper blogging mode in September!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

A Little Hope and Wanderlust

With one project now properly concluded, finally sewn on the backing fabric, I can now really start to concentrate on the new piece, 'Hope'. There was a bit of a stumble with getting the pace and flow of this piece, but I am starting to get somewhere with it now. Two letters are near complete and the shapes, and curves of the letters are working better, though I say that, and looking at the shot below I am still a bit iffy about the top part of the 'H' but we'll leave it for now and see how the other letters look before I start messing with it any more. It is yet more split stitching, and two colours merging into one another. 

Once all the lettering is complete then I'll start to look at the border, which I envisage to be made up of oodles of little eyelets, and star-bursts in various shades of purples, lilacs, and pinks. 

This week I even made my way back to the Royal Academy, one evening after work, to check out the newest exhibitions, 'Wanderlust' on the works of Joseph Cornell. One thing I would say, if you are planning on visiting it does involve walking  up several flights of stairs, frosted glass stairs...which for me wasn't the best thing to be walking down (not a fan of any glass stairs, frosted or not *shudder*). 

Now onto his work. I'll admit I had never heard of the man nor seen any of his work before. This I feel is somewhat of an oversight on my part as his works are extraordinary. In more than one ways. Fantastical and whimsical. Makes you wish you could lay your hands on just a fraction of his paper ephemera collection. The lengths he went to construct some of his works are amazing. I was especially drawn to 'The Crystal Cage (Portrait of Berenice), 1943, not least for the work itself but it was the layers of back story that he constructed around the story of the girl called Berenice. 

I also rather liked the astronomy based works as they pull me back to my love of maps and navigation.

If you get the chance, perhaps combine it with going to see the Summer Exhibition at the RA, go and take an hour out of your time to view. Oh, and take a minute to watch the video of a man boxing with a Kangeroo...

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