Feeds:
Posts
Comments

It is high time I started to practise my metal-working skills again so I decided to start small, cutting out a rose leaf shape from sheet brass and piercing it with holes before I textured it with the hammer.

20161230_165429_HDR.jpg

Then I used some green perle and using the holes, put in the foundation stitches for a woven spider’s web which I worked in a gorgeous variegated pink and green silk ribbon.

20161230_180120_HDR.jpg

It worked out perfectly so I had a green centre shading out to the deep pink edge. I neatened it up with a piece of pink kid leather over the back and added a jump ring to turn it into a sweet little mixed media pendant.

20161230_214214_hdr

One of my Christmas presents was a Dremel engraver so I had a bit of a play with that, first using one of the included stencils to add a rustic star shape to a piece of sea glass which I then turned into a pendant.

20170101_154256_HDR.jpg

Then I moved on to a piece of reticulated brass which I created on the silversmithing course I took in Sheffield a few years ago. I had deliberately worked the reticulation from either end of the piece of brass in order to leave a smooth bridge between them for some text. Finally, I had the tool to add the lettering!

I used uncial script and the H of ‘haven’ looks a bit like an R, unfortunately, but I really like the way the engraver worked on the brass.

20161230_205035_HDR.jpg

I turned this into yet another pendant and gave it a lovely vintage sari silk strip ribbon to hang from in crimson and gold.

20170101_130406_HDR.jpg

My other Christmas present thanks to some vouchers was a doming set and I was dying to have a go at doming some old coins that I’d accumulated. Tiny bronze British decimal half pennies seemed to work best and I combined one that I’d hammered into a hemisphere with a ‘cornflake’ of reticulated brass that I’d also domed. I drilled them both through the middle and chose an odd stud earring with purple diamantes like stamens of a flower to connect them together.

20170101_135614_hdr

20170101_135518_HDR.jpg

I’ve got a piece of fantastically patterned gilding metal to which I hope to attach the ‘flower’ which I can then turn into a brooch. It’s been good to play with metal again!

A couple of years ago I was delighted to come across a vintage white metal brooch with spaces I could fill with stitching. An offcut of pelment vilene and a few french knots later, I created one of my first upcycled brooches.

So I was delighted when I found a very similar brooch recently. Pink vilene this time…

20170123_165210_HDR.jpg

…and tiny stem and lazy daisy stitches in a single strand of silk made tree branches with leaves.

20170123_172629_hdr

Another branch on the other side with cream french knots for cherry blossom and odd blossoms and leaves in the central section.

20170126_095938_HDR.jpg

Mounted into the brooch.

20170126_220531_HDR.jpg

And popped into my Etsy shop. Another quick finish.

I’ve had flu for the first time in years and it’s been a bugger to shift, so my involvement at last Saturday’s Scunthorpe Embroiderers’ Guild meeting was limited to sneaking in half way through the afternoon to hand over Val’s Travelling Book and pick up Sandra’s, staying by the door and keeping my germs well out of the way. Everyone looked like they were happily stitching though, so I hope a good time was had by all.

For Val’s book page I worked a piece inspired by the work of Sue Spargo. I bought some gorgeous heavyweight pure wool felt before Christmas and cut simple leaf shapes in a soft green to go on a cream ground. I wanted to use the uncluttered shapes to showcase the embroidery, particularly new stitches.

20170104_080559_HDR.jpg

Then I got out a whole pile of books on embroidery stitches and started to stitch! The blanket stitch round the outside of the first leaf is actually called Berwick Stitch in the book I used and is a blanket stitch with a sort of added french knot where the needle enters the background fabric. Very nice to work and the knot gives a lovely finish. Then a row of running stitch and the dark green is twisted chain.

20170108_174014_HDR.jpg

After I’d worked the line of twisted chain I felt the gap was too big between it and the running stitch, so I added a row of split stitch in variegated perle. Inside the twisted chain I stitched a row of whipped running stitch before finishing it off with a row of closed fly stitch.

20170108_180432_HDR.jpg

Leaf two was held down with Knotted Buttonhole Stitch. It’s a lovely looking stitch but working the knots at the start took a bit of practise. Then a neat row of chain inside that.

20170108_230131_HDR.jpg

I wasn’t happy with the lone line of running stitch on the first leaf so at this point I went back and whipped it. Much better.

20170109_224533_HDR.jpg

Back to leaf two and courtesy of Mary Thomas, Portuguese Knotted Stem Stitch. Another new stitch to me and a gorgeous one (once I’d got the hang of the tension). I really like the way this sits on the fabric.

20170109_224538_HDR.jpg

The inside was finished with stem stitch, back stitch and Pekinese stitch.

20170113_160606_HDR.jpg

I mounted it up into the book and added my inspiration page which included a printout of a photo of the leaves labelled with the different stitches.

DSCN3555.JPG

This was a complete joy to stitch and a lot of fun finding new and interesting stitches to add to the old favourites.

It’s reading for a new show time again and so I have managed to sit and stitch through a number of small finishes. Firstly, one of the designs Ruth produced for us at November’s Embroiderers’ Guild meeting, made up into a card.

The border is in feather stitch, the centre in a spiral of split stitch, the main oval parts of the petals in Corded Brussels stitch (needlelace) and the ends in satin stitch.

20170126_104820_HDR.jpg

Then I decided to make up a little magazine kit I bought from eBay in 2009. Simple stem stitch and lazy daisy stitch for the wheel barrow and the flowers/leaves.

20170126_095929_HDR.jpg

Then french knot middles to the flowers and my first ever attempt at a Dorset Button for the wheel.

20170126_104835_HDR.jpg

I was fairly pleased with it until I put the kit picture next to it for comparison…

20170126_104937_HDR.jpg

Obviously a technique I need to work on but it has made a nice little card.

My inspiration for my page in Janet’s Travelling Book came from finding the rusted fragments I was working on for an art quilt a while ago, including a fragment of very old soft sheeting scattered with rusted marks. I added a scrap of rust coloured silk, variegated thread, silk ribbon and some rusty washers and sat down to stitch.

I started by attaching the silk with a line of back stitch and the largest washer was couched down with metallic Madeira thread.

20161216_170320_HDR.jpg

Then I added parallel lines of kantha stitching with the variegated thread, weaving around blobs of rust and paint, (I think the fabric was part of an old paint cloth I ‘borrowed’ from my dad’s workshop when I brought home a load of rusted bits a few years ago!) the washer and the silk scrap.

20161216_170301_HDR.jpg

French knots on the silk strip in a variegated turquoise and rust coloured silk ribbon were joined by metallic thread straight stitches and then I couched some brass watch cogs into some of the spaces.

20161216_175958_HDR.jpg

20161216_200854_HDR.jpg

I added an explanatory paragraph with little photos of some of my rusted fragments…

20161216_205150_HDR.jpg

…and attached the finished rusty piece to the next page.

20161216_205144_HDR.jpg

Janet’s spattered page backgrounds work really well with the colours of the fabric and threads.

This was my starting point:

dscn2537The only other stipulation we were all given was that the finished article must be three- dimensional in some way. I had an initial load of over-complicated and grandiose ideas, but soon realised my best bet was to stick to what I know so I decided to make a book.

I’ve made what I call lotus-fold books before, with origami square bases stuck back to back and opening like a concertina, but several years ago my middle one came home from Guides with  one she had made which opened up and folded back on itself to make a star. I’d always loved the idea and it was perfect for this project.

I started by making a double sided copy of the carol ‘Ding Dong, Merrily on High’ and ageing it with a deftly wielded tea bag. Odd coffee granules added a foxed look and then I cut the sheets into squares and folded them into a set of square bases.

20161210_230756_HDR.jpgThe next stage was to stick the square faces together to form the star shape. You can see the gap at the bottom right hand corner which is where the covers will go.

20161210_231039_HDR.jpgNext job was to embroider the cover. I experimented with applique and various other techniques on some lovely dull gold silk  but came back to needlelace using some Mulberry Silks I’ve been saving for a special occasion. The medium and heavy weights make the most fabulous needlelace.

20161215_171828_HDR.jpgAlso, one of my required elements was couching, and the stitch is buttonhole couching.

20161215_232203_HDR.jpgMy lace element was the bow and after I had added gold kid leather clappers to the bells the cover was laced over a piece of mounting board.

20161217_103827_HDR.jpgI trapped a piece of gold ribbon between the cover and the endpapers as a closure when I stuck them together…

20161217_104141_HDR.jpg…and did the same with the back.

20161217_104154_HDR.jpg

As well as tying a bow to close the book up, the ribbons also hold it closed and form the hanging loop when you bring the covers together to make it into an ornament.

20161217_104326_HDR.jpg

And best of all, Sandra was delighted with it. :o)

Last Saturday was our December meeting at Scunthorpe Embroiderers’ Guild and as well as Stitch Club, lovely Christmassy treats, our usual mega raffle and a workshop with our own Liz on making dream-catcher style Christmas tree ornaments, it was the grand unveiling of the Christmas Consequences which Helen set us at the AGM back in September. The scope and imagination of what everyone involved had produced in response to a handful of words was truly amazing.

Helen judged the winner, but members also voted by putting coins (one coin, one vote, with the value of the coin being irrelevant) into a saucer by the side of each  piece of work. All the coins go into our funds.

Just a taster of the work on show and apologies if I’ve missed anybody’s out! Helen’s choice was Janet’s beautiful mistletoe headband at the back of this first photo.

20161217_141815_HDR.jpg

20161217_141832_HDR.jpg

20161217_141838_HDR.jpg

20161217_141859_HDR.jpg

The runner up Member’s Choice was this delightful partridge in a pear tree by one of out newest members – sorry, can’t remember her name. :os

20161217_141904_HDR.jpg

 

20161217_141914_HDR.jpg

20161217_141927_HDR.jpg

20161217_141931_HDR.jpg

Lynda’s mince pie crusts actually lift off to reveal ‘mincemeat’ (chocolate covered raisins).

20161217_141941_HDR.jpg

20161217_142000_HDR.jpg

The Member’s Choice winner was Sandra’s witty picture.

20161217_142019_HDR.jpg

20161217_142026_hdr

20161217_142031_HDR.jpg

20161217_142040_HDR.jpg

20161217_142047_HDR.jpg

Looking back at the photos, there is at least one person’s I’ve missed – my own! Well done, Alex! Not that it matters as I’ll blog about my ‘consequence’ in a bit more detail later.