Friday, 28 September 2012

Enjoying myself

Well tomorrow we are back up to Northumberland for a little break and hopefully not swimming up there.

The embroidery frame is packed along with Mark’s fishing gear but before we left I thought I would share with you the progress so far.

I have nearly finished the or nue skirt and had left plunging all the silver passing threads until I had been up to Tracy’s and checked it was OK. In the clear, that left a lot of metal threads to plunge so that is mainly what I am doing.

Plunging has to be done!

However, I have also started to add some of the really ornamental threads and have begun on the large wings. I’m doing a mix of metal threads and colours of threads starting with silver on the outer edge and working in to copper next to the body couched down with gradually darkening Gutterman thread so that it will provide some depth to the image. It was like picking through a sweetie shop when Tracy got all her little packets of gold, silver and copper threads out for me to choose from. I now have quite a variety of twist, passing and rococo in assorted colours to mix and match.

Couching mixed threads

So that is my homework for this week to get as much of the wings done as I can then I can move on to laying some pearl purl over the top. Can’t wait……….

Friday, 21 September 2012

Just doing it...

Just thought I'd keep you up to date and show you that I took my courage in my hands, girded my loins or whatever and got on with it. There wasn't too much manipulation but the leather is so soft and buttery I was terrified of tearing it.

The face went on OK....... I just thought I'd go for it

My Angel now has a face, hands and  body covered in leather. Having said that I have a sneaky suspicion that it looks more like a stormtrooper from Star Wars than a heavenly body but then wait until the bling goes on. Ah well back to the or nue as my thread have arrived.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Alternative Therapy

Just thought I’d do a little extra blog this week as I have run out of passing thread and am waiting for some more to arrive in the post.

So, it’s my day off from work and I am feeling like c..p – sore throat, sniffles etc. I’ve been telling myself for a couple of weeks that it is hay fever but really I am just run down and need to recharge the old battery (probably needs a replacement but don’t tell). I should be doing the leather on my angel but am avoiding it like the plague as I have to ‘manipulate’ it to fit the raised body. Sounds easy peasy, no? Well, my knarled old fingers don’t do manipulation like they used to, let me tell you. I am therefore finding any and every excuse to do something else.

And I just felt like a treat so did some home baking therapy. Would have gone in the garden but it’s about 20 below out there and raining so not the best tulip bulb planting weather.

Sad looking garden in need of a tidy :(

How is it that some days you get everything organised and ready and it all just goes haywire. And other days a little idea pops into your head, you set off all haphazardly and it all goes perfectly. That’s how it has gone today. I wasted the morning messing about and then started and in a couple of hours I have produced ginger biscuits, Anzacs, flapjack and 2 lovely date and walnut loaves. Wham, bang one after the other mixing the next whilst one thing was in the oven. If I was doing it for a fair or event I would have produced one sad Victoria sponge!

Mmmm ..........yum!

I now feel as though I have achieved something with my day – even though not what I intended this morning – and the love of my life will be happy again now he can raid the cupboard and find something to eat.

Hey, maybe I’ll do some manipulation – there’ still enough light left……………

Monday, 17 September 2012

Learning New techniques

Yesterday we went to church and the burse and veil I made were blessed while the Bishop was making a visit.

Burse for Austwick church

 Everybody seemed to like it, so that was a huge relief, although I do hate having my name announced as the maker – so embarrassing. I like to just do things quietly/anonymously, although somebody would say that is false modesty or some such crap! Anyway, it’s now part of the furniture!

I spent the last week putting carpet felt on my angel then went to class and unpicked the ‘arms’ I had put on.

Thought I was doing OK.......!

I had to apply yellow felt to the torso first and then put on the carpet felt for the arms and cover them with yellow felt. A bit laborious you might say but it does look a lot smoother I’m sure you will agree.

Torso ready for leather

The torso and head are now ready to cover with leather and that is part of this week’s homework.

The other part is to continue with or nuè for the skirt. I started this in class on Wednesday. I am using No 6 Smooth silver passing and couching 2 threads/1 thread on alternate rows to get a pin stripe effect. 

Starting or nue

This is a technique totally new to me although I have obviously couched threads before. I suppose it is not as difficult as doing facial features but I am actually quite enjoying it and find it rather relaxing, not at all boring, especially once you get a rhythm going. Having said that I hope I don’t have to unpick any of it or I will still be doing this module next year!

I’ve also finished my little needlebook and am quite pleased, so will have a go a devising some pattern of my own design incorporating gold thread.

Close up of needlebook

Finished needlebook

Mark has already put in a request for a book cover in the technique – told him slippers first!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

So Good To be Back........

Yes! I started back for a new term at Tracy Franklin’s doing the RSN Advanced Goldwork for my Diploma and it is so good to be back under direction again. As those of you who follow me will know, I am working on a design by Beryl Dean that I have been given permission to use.

I’d already got the calico on the frame and the silk mounted so I only had to prick and pounce the design on and draw it on the silk then I was off.

The brief this time allows you to use different coloured metal threads so I think I will be mixing some silver, gold and copper to get a nice depth to the piece. I have already appliquéd on some organdie where the angel’s wings are going to be and this will give a nice sheer base to the wings.

Advanced Goldwork - organdie applique

My homework this week is to get the carpet felt attached on the torso and built up around the shoulders and where the arms are folded to get some shape there and then to attach the felt over it. I’ve got some black leather – kinky! – for the body which I might or might not get on as we are back next week and I’m off out this weekend.

As I mentioned in my last post, thoughts are already turning to the seasonal period. Well we crafties have to think ahead! I dug out a lovely book I have called Creative Embroidery Techniques Using Colour Through Gold by Daphne Ashby and Jackie Woolsey –bit of a mouthful!-and had a go at one of their ideas - with a bit of adaptation. It is really effective and quite easy to think of different ways to combine stitches and colours – I think it makes me experiment outside my comfort zone as I am not naturally blingy. However, I think this little experiment looks quite Byzantine or at least that’s what I tell myself.

New Ideas

Anyway, back to the real deal – and heavenly inspiration!.......................