Sunday, July 28, 2013

Color study

I decided to do an experimental study with rules, a la Julia Caprara. I dug this felted piece out of the UFO basket, listed the colors and decided on a stitch for each. So, for instance, the hot pink areas will be filled with French Knots, the purple areas, Buttonhole stitch and so forth. No cheating, but I can change the shade of a color--as long as it is Buttonhole stitch, it can be any shade of purple. At first I worked the stitches very small and close together, but now I am working looser and I like it better.

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I finally finished this embroidery on felt. It is about 14.5" x 8.5".
Silk and wool, felted, and embroidered with a variety of threads. 
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Thursday, July 25, 2013

And Two Become One


My granddaughter Casey is taking photographs. This morning she posted some photos on Facebook which included a couple of self portraits. One of them reminded me of a photo I have of her Mother Robin. On a whim, I collaged them on Picasa and chose "Multiple Exposure" as the format. The picture above is the result, after only a tiny bit of tweaking. Isn't it wonderful how well they fit together? I could transfer it to Photoshop and do even more tweaking, but I rather like it like this.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Jam Jar Dyeing

I have been wanting to dye some fabric for a while, so yesterday, I crammed all these pieces of cotton cloth in a jar with some dye. I mixed up Cerulean Blue on the bottom, stuffed in some wet fabric, sprinkled on some Lemon Yellow, put in more fabric, sprinkled on some Plum and and topped it off with two pieces of batiste weight cotton. I let it sit overnight and rinsed it out this morning. Cool. I am satisfied with the results. I immediately set up two more jars--reds this time....... 
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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Ground Cover

Ground Cover
11" x11"

This is the new embroidery I have been working on. It is done on three vintage linen napkins. Each layer was hand embroidered separately with the same design in a different color. The three pieces were then layered on top of each other. Sections were cut away and more embroidery added. The  whole process was rather challanging as I didn't plan anything other then the original embroidery design. I am happy with the piece, but not with this photograph. I will replace it if I get a better one. For now, I am happy to put down the needle and go have some lunch!
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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Bottom Layer

This is the bottom layer of a three layer embroidery, still under construction!
The fabric is a vintage handkerchief linen napkin.
The embroidery is done in blue Coton A Broder.

Sunday, July 14, 2013



The beautiful Casey, my granddaughter has come and gone.
We had a wonderful week and she will be missed.
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Tessie investigates the signs left behind by
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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Embroidering Text

I am creating an embroidered piece to use under one of the embroideries on net. When I woke up yesterday morning, I knew I wanted to embroider words, the months of the year. I looked on line for transfers, but the search was long and tedious and I was tired of it before I had even begun. As it happens, I was going into town that afternoon, so I went to the craft store to look for transfers as I know they stock a lot of them. Well, there were no months of the year, not even on any pre-printed kits. I was getting more and more aggravated, but my granddaughter is here visiting and I didn't want to spend every minute of the day looking for transfers. I resolved to return home, print off the months on the computer and transfer them to the cloth. I started thinking about the best way to do the transfer, none of which appealed to me. But, as it turned out, once I got home, I had to turn around and go back to town within the hour (a twenty minute trip each way). However, on this trip, I had an IDEA! I would just draw the words on the fabric, not worrying about making neat rows and even layering them on top of each other. Fantastic. No messing about with transfers. That is exactly what I wanted to do and so I have begun.

The reason I am writing about this is because it occurs to me that this process is the often the way my pieces evolve. I start off with an idea, but I can't do it for one reason or another, and I have to come up with an alternate way of approaching it. Up against a brick wall, I have to figure out a way to get over or around it. In the end, what I come up with is more interesting then the first idea would have been. So, rejoice. Not having the supplies you think you need is just an opportunity to do something closer to your heart. 
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Embroidery Sampling

White cotton triangles embroidered with
Cross Stitch Roses
on net,
layered over a vintage embroidery. 
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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Fourth!

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Sampler 3

This is my third "Sampler" for Karen Ruane's "Gathering". Sampler 1 and 2 are also posted in this blog. In fact, I think I will put the photos on this post as well. This one follows the same format--white cotton stitching on a vintage linen napkin. The leaf shapes are applied with Buttonhole stitch and then the backing is cut away. I think this one is less ecclesiastical then the others. This looks more like Russian nesting dolls or a 60's design of some sort. Each of these three embroideries are completely spontaneous. I have marked off a grid of sorts and the started stitching. It is very fun to do as it changes constantly.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Oh Happy Day

Look what came today!
My beautiful
Pin Pillow
made by Karen Ruane.
Isn't it wonderful?
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Wildlife P.S.

I knew I was forgetting a couple of animals:

Wild Turkeys

Trailing Petals

I have been experimenting with applique and embroidery on net. You may have seen the penny-sized circles on a recent post. These little petals are cut from scraps of vintage embroidery. I believe it was a Cross Stitched Bow on a dresser scarf. I think that doing these on net, gives me a lot of options. I can insert it into or float it over another embroidery. These pieces are fun to make. I would like to have a box of them to play with. They would also be nice mounted in a sketch book, but that would anchor them in place and I would rather have them available to move around. Maybe I could store them between the pages of a sketchbook. That would work. 

Like pressed flowers............ 
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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Wildlife Park

I swear I live in a Wildlife Park. I really do. When I went out early this morning, half a dozen White Tail Deer were grazing in the back yard. Doves with bright red feet were calling to each other. Other birds were busy gathering supplies. A Jack Rabbit the size of a small dog, scampered off into the wild flowers. An unusual sound startled me. It sounded something like an abominable Snow Man, but my husband told me later that it was an Elk. A neighboring ranch has a herd. Elsewhere in the area, Axis Deer were feeding. They travel in groups and the babies are carbon copies of the adults. They are a pretty sight as they all have spots and the males have horns that you wouldn't believe. Then there are the small animals that live around here, Armadillos, Raccoons, Possums, Squirrels, Skunks, Grey Foxes, Turtles. I am sure I left some out. What about the Daddy Longleg Spiders pulsing in the corners. Oh and I almost forgot. Once when my husband was jogging on the road, he was surprised to see he was being followed by an Ostrich, matching him stride for stride. So I wouldn't be surprised, no not at all, if I walked out one morning and saw a Giraffe nibbling on the trees. There are some around here. Not in the wild of course, but someone might leave a gate open.
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Monday, July 1, 2013


This is sort of funny. Inspired by a swatch of Vintage embroidered net, and by a chapter in Mary Thomas' Embroidery Book, I decided to do some embroidery on net. I tacked a piece of white cotton to two layers of fine netting, and drew circles on it using a penny as a template. I then spent the weekend doing the embroidery and cutting away the background fabric. Crazy. The buttonhole stitching around the circles is too heavy. It makes the circles look like Girl Scout Merit badges. Of course I do deserve one after all that! I will try it again aiming to make the embroidery a little more delicate. Meanwhile, these circles on net look really interesting layered over another piece of embroidery..........