I lost a little interest in this because the cards seemed less challenging than the roses were but I’ve knuckled down this week and one card man is almost finished.
Yesterday I discovered that my new camera can isolate one colour from an image and render the rest of it in black and white so a little while ago I tried it with the coloured blackwork piece, selecting the four joined red squares as my colour. I think this might be a very useful effect for the future but it is just one of many things to learn on this Panasonic DC-FZ82 and it will take me lots of practice time to be able to use it without having to refer constantly to the 311 page manual!
For a few months now my camera has been showing intermittently that the card is protected although it’s not. My solution was to remove the card and re-insert it but last weekend it showed ‘card protected’ no matter what I tried or which card was inserted. It’s now away for investigation and in the meantime I’ve only got my phone camera or an older camera with batteries that don’t hold the charge for very long so any images here for a while will be even poorer than normal.
The orchard embroidery has been partially unpicked but not re-stitched so far. The absence of any comments on the orchard suggests that anyone who reads this blog agreed with me about the general bleh-ness of the piece and was just too polite to say so. That’s quite alright. I put it to one side while I made more chicks but I didn’t take any more chick pictures before handing them over for the shop window display. The latest ones are almost identical to the first ones anyway so you’re not missing anything by not having a picture to look at today.
I’ll soon be off to Beyond Up North (aka Scotland) and because much of my time there may be spent indoors, I wanted to take a long-term embroidery piece with me so I’ve chosen the John Tenniel illustration Painting the Roses Red from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Calico again for the ground fabric (what else!) and some background colouring done with Inktense blocks and wax crayons. After starting to stitch the leaves with satin then fishbone stitch and deciding that neither looked right, I’ve settled for fly stitch.
A charity shop find of the BBC publication of Erica Wilson’s tv series of the 1970s, Erica on Embroidery, included a crewel wool version of one of Van Gogh’s orchard paintings and my version of Erica’s orchard is what the sneak peak of the last post hinted at. (Four episodes of the original tv series are available on youtube if you fancy a touch of nostaglia.)
Now that it’s finished I confess I’m not a fan of it. There are more wrongs than rights with this piece and the fox and the birds were only added because JP commented that it was boring and I agreed. The fox has injected a little life into the piece but not enough to make me feel it was a great improvement. Once I pressed ‘publish’, I was all set to consign this piece to a dark deep cupboard and just clock it up to experience but the more I’ve looked at the photograph, the more I think I’ll actually unpick a lot of the orchard floor and re-sew it with a different range of colours.
Recently, I was lucky to buy a decent amount of mixed embroidery wool for just £2 from a local charity shop. Last week I finally got around to sewing something using it plus the Appleton’s wool I already had. I didn’t have the usual linen union fabric recommended for crewel wool work and since it’s outrageously expensive to buy, the back of an old linen shirt of JP’s had to do instead but it has actually been a joy to stitch on. Here’s a little peak:
I had a notion to make some flowers this week from paper instead of embroidering them. I have two books on making flowers but I didn’t have the patience to colour and then stiffen any silk fabric so of course I scoured the internet and having watched a pair of beautiful hands on You Tube make fabulous flowers of all kinds, I expected to be able to make a few passable versions with the crepe paper that I bought from a local stationers. Wrong. More times than not, when I gently twisted my paper as per the demo, it ripped. Turns out that there are two grades of crepe paper – the kind I bought in my local stationers and florist crepe paper which is much more flexible and stronger but is more expensive and only available online. Hmmm. I then remembered that I had lots of paper twist, which I bought for a long forgotten project many years ago. It wasn’t as flexible as I would have liked it to be but the results were acceptable. I have zero floral arranging skills so I won’t be showing any of the other flowers that I made, only these two little posies. No need to set myself up for further ridicule is there?