Thursday, 18 April 2013

Getting a Head

(warning there will be several 'head' puns while I work on this piece)

Today I had time to start on this & I decided to start by finishing the techniques which looked unfinished. This allowed less thinking & let me spend some time with the piece which is helping me make future decisions.

Here is what I did today:

And here (as promised) is the updated finishing of the flutterby:
Over the next few days, i should have more time, in between my part time job, picking my daughter up from school, taking her to my friend in Timaru for the school holidays & then being involved in the local performing arts competitions... then back to work again.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Stitching for Others

my next project is someone elses. A UFO of a lovely inspirational lady, Joan is someone I have known practically my whole life, her husband used to take me to kindy, & they gave me one of my first jobs as a teenager. Joan is kind & patient & I don't recall her ever being cross with me.  She has always encouraged my own craftiness & I have several treasured things which she made for me & my daughter.
So to return some kindness, I offered to complete a piece of goldwork for her. Something she hasn't worked on for at least 5 years, due to several moves, reducing eyesight & as she says "impatience with the fine work required".
Here is what she has started:

& a close up.
Then I got given the box of supplies... oh wow!
Yikes! no pattern, no set rules... deep breath, challenge accepted! this is pretty exciting, kits make doing a particular technique easier. With rules, step by step instructions, you normally get a pic to show what it 'should' look like at the end... with this it's more up to me. pushing me outside my comfort zone with this technique.
Firstly, I organise...
one thing I like about this 'Egyptian Head' is that the part which is finer goldwork, is the hair, or as I like to think of it, the Brain. As the brain is segmented into areas, this is lending itself to applying different techniques.

Oh and I have a new tool - proper goldwork scissors, which Mum ordered through the class we took together:
One of the blades(?) is serrated which should make the cutting of gold thread easier with neater ends.

Oh, and lastly - tip of the week (from Mum) - we are spraying out flutterby & dragonfly with hairspray, to keep them from tarnishing & help them stay nice for longer.

Monday, 8 April 2013

linked and confused

the confused part is not unusual, but the linked thing is kind of cool...

basically I am participating in this:&Stitches tool kit competition

oooh and I made that work too :)

anyhoo, the post I entered in the competition was my first one I made for this blog - I'm not sure if that is ok, or if the "Tool kit" was supposed to be in this post, but heck, I'm a crafter not an internet guru.

in any case here is what my kit sometimes ends up looking like.

Also I need to do another pic of the butterfly, my mum gave me a suggestion for finishing touches, which I she is happy with it & I will get it back off her after guild meeting on Thursday where she wants to show it off.
In the meantime, here is some more of my letter done, but I am putting this to one side while I finish someone elses UFO.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Flutterby Complete

Yah! complete
here is a few of the steps:

All Finished:

so next, I shall go back to my illuminated letter

Tuesday, 26 March 2013


So it seems this may just be 'Goldwork' year. Sunday I attended a class in Dunedin with Alison Cole.
She has amazing kits & is an excellent teacher.

After making the Ladybug & then having a go at the Illumination letter, it was good to learn some more and spend some time with my Mum as well.

Here is what I did during the class:

one of the most important lessons I learnt was that I had to complete the rest in a timely manner as the gold threads will tarnish & unless I wanted half my project more tarnished than the other half - chop chop!

Since Monday:

 the red is long & short stitch, takes a while, but a nice technique.

outline all done with the Gilt Pearl Purl #2.
Today I have also done the vein lines, but I need better lighting to get you a pic... tomorrow :)

at some point I will also need to decide what to do with it... may even frame it! *shock*

Monday, 25 February 2013

New Tools

With the start of learning Gold-Work came the acquisition of 2 new tools.
Firstly the lap frame (or 'fanny-frame' as my mother likes to call it) proving to be brilliant as it gives me two hands to stitch with.
the base part simply slides under your leg, giving you support & the frame can be raised, tilted & swung around.
Second tool was a Mellor:

I got this at my Ladybug class, this one is made from stainless steel, here in NZ. otherwise hard to find, when I went googling anyway. It's great for pushing the metal threads into place & for stuffing small areas.

and an update on my letter:
Silver work all done.
and here you can see I have satin stitched the top corner motifs over felt which gave padding. Then I realised I needed another one - for the bottom left...

Friday, 22 February 2013

Illuminated Letter

Now I'm back into it - with a lap-frame making stitching much easier - I have started a project which I bought the pattern for back at conference last July.

Illuminations for Embroidery, an Annie M. Design. Letter K.
Part of me was reluctant to buy this as in my mind, it kind of looks like a B, but I was swayed as I want to do the technique & I had a voucher for Nancy's to spend. Also they told me that it has the lines top and bottom as this was the medieval thing to do.

So after feeling successful with my first go at gold work, I dug out the pattern & set about ensuring I had the necessary supplies. Firstly, fabric - luckily in my stash I has a beautiful piece of Dupion Silk, exactly the size required - yah!!
I also had the silver required - purchased with the pattern. Then tried to sort out colours to go for the flowers, leaves & some padding thing & the inside filling of the letter.
Got my carbon-type paper for putting the pattern on fabric, then off to the shops for some calico, and the padding thread. also got some invaluable advice from my Mum to make sure I was on the right path for the colours. (Hurrah for Mum!)
here is the pattern traced on, ready to stitch.
See - it looks like a B.
And after the morning at the A&P show here is todays work.
And a close up of the silver...
I'm not sure I am overly happy with the top & bottom lines, but I will do more of the actual K before I unpick those lines to re-do. I seem to be developing some form of perfectionism, which feels very weird.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Back to Stitching

Yah! back to stitching :)

there has been much moving around, getting settled & finding places for stuff, including my craft stuff. Even working out where I want to work on craft & how that will work in a new home.

The best thing, still, is my mum. She enrolled me in a class to make a 'gold-work' brooch, before I even moved down & that class has given me the push I needed.

here is what I did...

 Above is my progress through day 1

this is my finished Lady-bird brooch

"Gold-work" is the technique, although I prefer silver & so choose to use silver metal threads.

This is what my Mum made - apologies for the terrible pic, I was using my cell phone.

And now inspired I did this last night. I now have a lap-frame, which makes stitching easier than ever!