Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Little Stag Pocket Completed

Here is the little stag , looking so much better without his tongue sticking out  .
 The St Jude Storm wasn't too bad here after all......and my greenhouse is still standing .

Little Jacobean Creature Pockets


A very useful book to have in your crewel needlework travel bag is " Crewelwork " by Jacqui McDonald from the RSN Essential Stitch Guides book collection.
 I have been dipping into it every now and then .... I have drawn with pencil, freehand, the stag and rabbit on pages 20 and 21.They are from a much larger piece of work in the Royal School of Needlework collection English 20th century .....and perfect for my needle pockets . Although a little clumsily drawn , it'll be fine for my guidelines , to stitch over .


I am looking after my daughters little dog and she has taken a particular interest in my needlework.....she thinks the Stags head looks a bit odd..like his tongue is sticking out !
  So I'll just have to unpick and do it again ....hmmph !


Sunday, 27 October 2013

Crewel work Needlecase Construction Time !

 Next ... I took one old and totally rubbish hardback book and rip out the pages .
...and completely cover the cover with quilt wadding , not too thick as you can see.
I gathered together some pink upholstery fabric , some lovely ivory linen and cotton and cord ... made myself a nice cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit ...and then just sat looking and thinking about it .

                As a matter of fact , I went to bed and slept on it as they say .

Next day and I almost finished it and put together the other one ....and more French knots , maroon around the edge of the needle-case and sewn on tapes to tie into a bow with at the side . I have no sewing machine ,  smoke began to pour out from it when I last switched it on , cant afford another one , so everything I make is entirely sewn by hand .
 The thing is......... I am no good at measuring and calculating and any thing to do with numbers in general really.
 So , I  do everything by eye and instinct  making it up as I go along .
Next I will be working on the inside of the needle cases , little pockets and padding to hold my best needles .
 This is not a very good picture of it but I have pencilled on to the pockets a little rabbit and a stag....tonight ...while the big storm rises...I will be embroidering these ..quite possibly by  candle light  : )

Unpick those acorns !


  "Those acorns just dont look right ! " said my little helper  ...so I had another look and


 yep...agreed ....snip snip snip...lets get it sorted straight away . Then to rework them in a more mellow yellow than the "Heraldic Gold "....which was such a gorgeous colour but didnt really work .
Whilst I stitched , some of the petals fell from the dahlias in the vase and I was taken with the streaks of maroon on the yellow petals ,so lovely. I love how nature teaches me how colours work together .

I decided to rework the acorns with  layered satin stitch, which gives a raised effect that I am very pleased with .It wasn't going to be a Stumpwork piece...but there you go ....now it is !
   I know that if this was to be for a hanging picture I would have made the last layer be worked from acorn cup to acorn tip , but since this is going to get alot of use as a needlecase , I would be very sad , if they were to get caught or snagged on something  .

Friday, 18 October 2013

Pearls !


 I changed my mind !  I found a couple of old necklaces in a charity shop and I thought
these light green pearls would be perfect for those peas in the pod .


                                             I just have to sew them on .
            Also I embroidered  the background with French knots till quite late last night .
                                Time to rest my eyes ..lets go for a walk !


The weather is pretty wild here today ...I thought I.d take you down to the beach , Poldhu Cove , to see the waves ! Wellies and water proofs !

Thursday, 17 October 2013

A Quiet Day

 I,m having a quiet day , a gentle day today ....after last evenings two hours of belly dance classes......still going round in my head ! :)
  It is time I potted up the chocolate mint cuttings on my kitchen windowsill , put on some nice music and do some calming needlework .
  I am still thinking about adding a little gold work , not too much , to my " medieval owl" and have gathered a small hoard of gold threads . Maybe I will just do his beak and claws...I am still thinking about it...and relishing the moment..these things evolve slowly...and deliciously..and it is all so calming .
 I decided to do two simple needlecases of this design from A Schole-House for the Needle by Richard Shorleyker  ...that gorgeous 17th century book , we'd all love to find at a jumble sale or boot fair !
One for my mother who first taught me to sew and one for myself ...its time I had somewhere to keep my best and favourite needles .
  I am making it up as I go along as you often do with crewel work , choosing colours and stitches .
     Maybe I,ll add a little gold here too...... golden peas like coins in a purse .

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Jacobean Fire screen close up

           
 Now lets have a closer look .  How many stitches can you see here ?
  Mostly beautiful long and short stitch  softly shading and gently flowing along leaves , petals , and stems.  Some French knots in these pink flower centres .

 Stem stitch ....crewel stitch . Sweet little butterfly ....symbol of the Resurrection , new beginnings , the after life , Heaven .
 No trellis stitch or couching ......some simple running stitch within this leaf .

 Although  slightly faded , I lose count of the number of different shades used here !

                   
                    Some simple seed stitch within those typical Jacobean hills .

       
                       See how beautifully the curling leaf is worked .

     
                  Rich buttery yellow linen twill....a few small spots here and there .




   I only wish ( and let it be a lesson for us all ) that she had embroidered her name at the bottom .

Jacobean Crewel Firescreen

  Whilst on a visit to Tewkesbury last week , I came across this lovely old Arts and Crafts fire screen  whilst rummaging in a vintage/ antique shop .
   Actually the truth is ,  I walked in through the door and spotted it immediately at the back of the shop and knew that I had to buy it ! ...but I couldn't .. because it didn't have a price ticket on it . They said they'd find out for me and I said that I would pop in again later on in the week......( but thinking to myself .. I'll never be able to afford it hmmmph !


 .... that or he'll have sold it. )  Anyway , two days later, it was still there ! And three days later..it was in the back of our car ! £30  : )



Saturday, 5 October 2013

Love Heart Stones

 I hadn't  forgotten that I,d promised to show you my small collection of Love Heart Stones this week . ...so here they are !
 I seem mostly to come across them whilst walking on our local beaches..and when I,m not actually looking for them .
 I always feel quite moved as I reach down to clasp such a sweet little gift from the sea  .
Where do they come from ? Are they hand carved love tokens ? Or part of some ancient , prehistoric sea funeral or ritual ?