Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Sea Stars

There is way too much happening in the Studio these days. That's not bad but I need to get items off my work station, keep up with my various challenges and replenish my stocks.

So here is one fresh off the work station!
In 1993, I did my first ribbed spider stitch for a needlepoint class I was taking. I love the stitch and this piece has seven of those little beauties.

As far as it's possible, I make most of my charms, filler flowers, dye my own fabrics etc. In the last few months I've used up quite a bit and now must top-up.  I hope to do most of that this week.  I've already started on the filler flowers and have gathered my beads for beading my cabochons and charm making...but I digress.

I used EdMar's Rayon threads to make the Sea Stars f/k/a Starfish. Silk velvet for the brain coral and silk carrier rod for the sea fan. Fresh water pearls can be found in the nooks and folds, tucked up against each other and along side french knots. I find the feather stitch perfect for sea weed and the cheesecloth over silver painted cotton creates that ethereal effect.

This is the back of the purse and it too has pearls tucked in.

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2014 - February's Block

I love this block! It's not that I don't love January's but the black is so dramatic.  The leaves are hand- dyed silk ribbon, the twirled ribbon roses were done using Special Effects hand-dyed, sparkle, ruffley ribbon.  Seed beads in the center stabilize each rose.

I tried my hand at the Shisha stitch with a small, round mirror. It took four attempts to get it to point were it looked right! This is good but not elaborate enough. I know the mirror going to appear in another block down the road so I have to start playing with stitches to see how elaborate it can get.
The Victorian fringe stitch is one of my favorite stitches.  
The vine was done in a stem stitch using a hand-dyed pearl cotton, the Featherstitch, both single and double clings to the vine, here I used the rayon thread, EdMar's Glory and the flowers were made with Mokuba ribbon.
There's more eye candy at CQJP2014.blogspot.com.

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Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2014 - February's Block and the Comment dialogue box will open.  Thank you and Enjoy!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Broken Sigil

Broken Sigil
is the third piece in my Stargate series (not counting the ATCs). It's good to work in a series, as you cannot put every idea racing around in your head into one piece.  Working in this sequence, allowed me to explore, expand and use my knowledge of traditional embroidery and dimensional stitches in a more organic and contemporary manner.  It also gave my imagination free rein.

Who among us have not seen the man-in-the-moon or sheep in fluffy, white clouds? Why not the fragment of a broken sigil partially buried the Martian sands?  Sigil? If you've not read Game of Thrones, then a definition is required and a sigil is "an inscribed or painted symbol considered to have magical powers" Oxford Dictionary.

My sigil was created by making a couple of partial impressions on air dry polymer clay.  When the clay was dried, I brushed the piece with Ranger's Perfect Medium, using my fingers rubbed on Pearl Ex powders, creating the feel of a fragment from an ancient shield.
Was a great battle fought here? Staining the already red sands an even darker red? Couldn't say! The red, drifting tentacles were free motion stitched on Sulky's Water Soluble Stabilizer. Gold pearl purl, pieces of a shattered sword perhaps, were stitched between the red tendrils, along with seed beads and french knots.  The fragment is nestled up against a strip of turquoise sari silk, tied down and beaded. Dark blue hot fix crystals shimmer in the sky above...waiting.

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Monday, February 3, 2014

Needle Book, Why Didn't I Think of This Before?

"I give up!"
"No clue."...And that's how the conversation went in my head.  This is how I have kept my needles in the past.
About a week or so ago, while researching an idea, I came across an embroidered needle-book.  I'd seen them prior but up until that point, I did not feel it was necessary to organize my needles. However, now that I'm participating in the CQJP2014 and stitching almost everyday (which makes me very happy) I have found that I need to have my needles all in one place and available. 
So...here's my needle-book.  It measures 5.75" x 4.25".  The front cover is crazy quilt pieced and hand embroidered. The purple filler flowers were made using Mokuba ribbon. The tiny, pink, french knots were sewn with The Thread Gatherer, Silk N' Color, love the feel of this thread! I add the heart hat pin and button to protect the areas that would be touched most often in opening and closing the book.  I used Pellon Peltex 72F Double Sided Fusible interfacing for the book's cover.  It makes a nice "hard-cover" which supports the embroidery and the inside lace pocket. 

Many years ago, I read somewhere that Japanese stitchers, to avoid breaking their flow and concentration have their needles, not only readily available but also threaded for them by assistants working along side them. I suggested to my husband that he be my needle threader and the bonus will be that we'll also be spending quality time together. 
Still waiting for an answer...
The embellishments, including vintage laces, ribbons, a porcelain mouse button were adhered to the both inside covers and the pages using my hot glue gun. 

I tied my favorite thimble with silk ribbon to the inside of the book.  Now if I could only find someone to thread my needles while I stitch!
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         Thank you for visiting and enjoy!