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.
Home again yesterday after three weeks of voluntary maid service to Big Sis following her extremely successful hip replacement operation, and this morning it was strange not to have Jasper greet me with much tail wagging. This was him before he had his coat clipped a few days after I arrived and he seems to be saying “Haircut? What haircut? No-one mentioned a haircut. Is it open to negotiation?”. It wasn’t and he was duly coiffed into a slightly neater version of what he looks like here, but his coat seems to grow so quickly there’s already talk of another trim this weekend.
Sadly, my camera repair is going to cost half as much again as the repair shop assistant suggested it was worth spending on the repair and as I’ve had it six years and camera technology has advanced a little more, I’m looking for a replacement instead. I’ll have to make do with my phone camera for the time being. I just wish I could retain all the phone techy camera stuff I learn from time to time and not have to refer to the internet for refresher lessons each time!
Painting the Roses Red didn’t get stitched at all while I was away except on the journey north, and I haven’t taken any update photos yet. I had also taken some aida fabric and crochet cottons to try blackwork which was a new technique for me. I only had a few colour options but I quite enjoyed the process and found it easier than cross-stitch but doubt that I’ll do much more blackwork in the future. I can’t see myself ever needing a bell-pull or a tray cloth or yet another needle case which were the suggestions in one book.
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: