Monday, 14 July 2014

Memories of a summer holiday... vintage embroidery

I'm sure my mum would not thank me for titling this post "vintage embroidery"...So lets keep that between you and me ;) But during a rummage of old photo albums ,which my grandpa compiled oh so many moons ago, I came upon a photo which just made me smile....and had to sneak away with a plan in mind.
It's my Grandpa, my mum, Nana and Auntie Pauline on a holiday in mouse buckets in hand...I'm estimating  around 62 years ago. *Swoon *

So my mastermind plan was to recreate this mini photo in stitch for my mum's recent birthday. I initially  thought about going down the freehand machine sewn portrait route I've done before, but the urge to hand embroider, and to also try out something different was a-calling.
Under the guise of "experimentation" I'd recently bought some inkjet cotton fabric to print onto and after some deliberation decided to print out an edited version of this photo and then embroider on top.
Here is the photo which I edited using photoshop elements, the background figures have been removed to create more of a focus and I played with the posterize effect to create clearer colour contrasts.

I was drawn to using some of the brown coloured threads I'd bought for my bear embroidery (still not finished!) and wanted to include a pop of contrasting colour as my Grandpa and his family were far from sepia coloured :) 
The fabric was easy to set up and print onto, and once printed simply required the backing to be peeled off before starting sewing. I started embroidering along the dark lines that had been created, using various shades of thread and some added pink...
I also ended up painting gesso around the figures to help fade the busy background,
With more splashes of pink as clouds to finish it off.....
Had I had more time I may have filled in more of the areas with stitch but I was happy with the result ........  sweet summer holiday memories in stitch!

Ps.Mum LOVED her birthday gift. :)x

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

More forest friends.... sunshine doe and a unicorn

A big "Hello" from Sunshine Doe!

The love is continuing.... a couple of new foresty friendy visitors wanted to pop on by.

Sunshine Doe has been one of those projects where I kept on having to add bits/colour splashes/ embroidery stitches....until I got to a happy place with her. Many hours later she is ALL about the summer...and I'm liking her alot! She's a keeper.

On finishing my first batch of foresty friends my teenage daughter was the first to ask if I'd make her one....  How could I refuse her request of  a unicorn ...15 years old and still believing in magic...*love* :)

So meet 'Legolas'.....aptly named by Maia....its all in the ears we've decided!

He looks so funny front on...... definitely elfin ears!

Lovely Legolas..... and a pink one is now in the making for the 6 year old who most definitely believes in magic :)
Hope you're enjoying the glimpses of sun and delighting in the fact there is only just over 1 week of  the World Cup left!!x

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Bear unfinished....

I've been spending my evenings on a little sewing project inspired by some incredible artists that use embroidery as their medium. They deserve a post all to themselves (and completely show up my efforts!) but go check out  Hiroko Kubota  , Stephanie K Clarke , Tara Badcock , Kimika Hara will be amaze-balled (yes that is the proper term!)

Its a 10 inch embroidery hoop to give you some idea of scale and this shows the bear 8 hours this point I'm wondering if I have bitten off more than I can chew.
I got some lovely cheers of support over on facebook and with it a second wind to carry on 

12 hours in....can you even tell the difference?

This is where I am at now...around 16 hours later...... and I'm actually liking him less with the more stitches that fill him in. Hmph.....

I'm leaving him for a while until the next step becomes clear......maybe he'll end up amongst the many other projects  that were started but never finished .... however that's ok...nothing is ever lost. I walk away from this with the firm understanding that I work way better when the outcome is achieved under 8 hours! And I have developed an even greater respect and awe at the embroidered works of art I have the fortune of stumbling upon. x

Friday, 13 June 2014

Love & Magic!

I'm kind of in love right now.... and the most JOY-full of that "love" feeling is that is doesn't need to make sense in the slightest..... Now there's an opening sentence :)

I've been wanting to make some animal heads for a long time now, but couldn't quite get MY head around the fact that fake/fabric or not I would be creating something based on the idea that a dead animal head was going on a wall.... ick!
That was until active imagination stepped in (hallelujah!), and suggested that in actual fact the head belongs to a very much alive and  magical  (of course!) animal , who peeps in from some sparkly realm bringing with it a magical quality to bestow on the home it finds itself in.
Well....Yes! When you put it like that I can TOTALLY jump on board that creative adventure!

So let me introduce to you the new obsession  love  in my "forest friends"...... *sigh*
This is Bernadette, bestower of the magical quality FUN and playfulness...

 Little Doe......I really do love her..... and the magical quality of Innocence that she brings.

And Mumma Bear Mathilde...who's magic carries the qualities of nurturing and comfort.....

I have begun something I cannot stop...... Love indeed :)


Saturday, 7 June 2014

A recent reminder

You'll proabably start to notice the blog posts start to get a bit thin from now on...summer is on its way (yay!) and the school summer activites have begun,starting with a dry sports day yesterday!  My oh my!
I've been continuing on the sewing bonanza, which I will share with you soon.....I really can't wait! 
For now I'll show you the mixed media stitched piece I did last week when I needed a reminder...Exciting things are on the horizon for my family (not business related)  and I really have to let go and trust that it will all work out despite the little voice that says don't count your chickens until they are hatched....
So "let go" has been my mantra..... a good one to live by I would say!

I found a geometric pad full of  Stu's calculations when he was studying  architecture a few years ago... I thought it reflected perfectly the very limited part of me that was trying to figure everything out. (without much luck...because I have no control over it! Darn) So you can see a little of that in the background. 
I used acrylic paint and a few stencils I'd cut out on top and then hand embroidered the letters.
It now hangs right in front of me when I sit down in my studio to sew....... x

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Mini patchwork and embroidery patterns!

I'm in the midst of so many sewing projects here, and full embracing it....there is a sea of cushions going on in my studio space, getting orders ready for posting. I will share a photo of the mountain when I'm not too lazy to get the camera out of its case! (disgraceful!)
I've also had this urge to create some patchwork...all be it very small....of which I do have some photos....

You see, I've got this little owl design which fitted a tiny space on the fabric (which I hated to waste), I got printed off for my embroidery kits. Its about 3" x 5" (ruler is upstairs on shelf....laziness again..) .... which is a funny kind of shape to fit into a hoop, and the design itself doesn't really lend itself to embroidering. I have a few of these owls.....7 soon to be 23.....and after that even more! They are multiplying fast!

I'm not quite sure what to do with these owls...maybe you have a suggestion?

I've sewn on the owl part now...but with the camera still being in the case...well you got the rest!
I'm thinking it will be a tablet case and this is the front part. I'll add some more panels of blue fabric to make it big enough...and I promise to show you when it's done!

Asides from the patchwork, there has also been a whole lot of sewing related stuff going on over on my new spangly website...Did I tell you I'd had a re-do?! I've gone all fancy pants and  got a rotating photograph and all! oh lala!  Here is the link! 
With the introduction of my embroidery kits, I wanted to create a little online sewing classroom which offered links to the sewing related tutorials I've done, and pdf's to download. A great place for those who are new to embroidery and a little nervous! There are some free embroidery patterns too which you won't have seen before:

If any of these take your fancy you can download them here.

Last on the sewing front is a new kit without the "Frills" which I've added to my etsy shop (here).
Unlike the other embroidery kits I showed you recently, this kit comes minus the packaging and guides/instructions, needle and embroidery hoop. I liked the idea of this as it not only makes it cheaper, but also giving the freedom to stitch with your own choice of colours and stitches, and letting you use your already existing large pile of embroidery supplies! The finished piece fits a 4" hoop. Sweet!

 Phew! I think that's enough stitchery news for one day.......time to dive into that cushion mound x

Thursday, 22 May 2014

PULSE - part 2 - Anna Wiscombe

Wall bird families. Photo credit: Anna Wiscombe
At any kind of creative event be it Trade Fair or Craft Market, (as anyone who has ever been will know!), your neighbours play a big part in the whole experience. I've yet to find myself in a situation where  my  neighbour hasn't been absolutely lovely, supportive and happy to share their take on things. Which I have to say is the biggest blessing of the creative community.
 And at Pulse  Anna Wiscombe was my neighbour. Lucky me! 

Sunshine necklace photo credit: Anna Wiscombe

I had seen her beautiful work before, I think in Mollie Makes, and had been lead to her website to peruse her gorgeous items. Naturally, when I realised she was my neighbour it was with delight that I approached her to introduce myself. I do believe I mentioned the words "stalk you" in my opening sentence.......she very graciously chose to shake my hand anyway and be the loveliest neighbour from that point! 

Having been working with Stuart to create coasters (he now has an etsy shop open. Yay!), I  can completely appreciate the time and care that has gone into the pieces Anna makes..... a whole lot of love that is for sure. 

She's got a great range of items .....Necklaces and brooches..

And birdies for your little families of course.
So so lovely! The colours, the wood, the simple elegance...there is just something so peaceful about all Anna's work.

She introduced these very pretty  flowers too...the first laser cut pieces (the rest she does by hand....did I mention time and care!)

You know me..I was swooning of course!
Unsurprisingly and deservedly so, her stand was bustling with activity....I look forward to seeing more of Anna's hand crafted work spread its magic....
If you want to see more go check out her website and shop... I highly recommend it x