Wednesday, October 18, 2017

I am back...

... after a fabulous week away.

I started last week, with a fantastic 2 day workshop with the Flinders Branch of the Embroiderer's Guild. We had a couple of fabulous days in Laura, South Australia stitching Toadstools & Brambles, chatting, stitching, eating (nothing quite like country catering - thanks ladies for the yummy piles of cakes and sandwiches!), stitching, laughing, stitching and chatting. What better way to spend time with other stitching enthusiast?

Since I was already partway to the Flinders Ranges, Adrian and a couple of our friends drove up to meet me and we continued on to Arkaroola, a Wildlife sanctuary at the northern end of the ranges.

I know camping (ok, we did stay in a very basic cabin) and big, wide, open spaces are not everyone's idea of a good time away, but I love it and this place is breathtakingly beautiful.
We had the most glorious weather, walked in dry creek beds, climbed up and down rocks and went on some amazing (bur for me, pretty nail biting) 4WD tracks (but I am chicken when it comes to that kind of thing.

There were creatures everywhere: echidnas both in the bush and under the cabin we stayed in; had to do a bit of a detour to get around a large brown snake that was still too cold, slow and lazy to get out of the way; spotted a couple of dingos; saw colourful parrots, loads of small birds, hawks and eagles; big and small lizards - mostly on the road, soaking up the spring sun; Emus - lots of them, proud emu dads in groups looking after dozens of little, striped emu chicks. And of course, kangaroos and wallabies (smaller kangaroo-looking creatures). Most importantly loads and loads of Yellow-footed Rock-wallabies...

Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby
These pretty little wallabies with their yellow striped tails are among my favourite animals. Sadly they have been declining in numbers and when we were at Arkaroola almost 20 years ago we only saw two. This time, they were everywhere - I lost count after day one, which was just fabulous. One day when out walking, we disturbed a group of 20 or more and watched them scatter up a steep cliff, almost as agile as a group of monkeys (only no hands!).

We got back home Sunday and I have spent the last two days catching up - finding it a little tricky to get back into the swing of things, but today I am back stitching the goldwork bird...

Best stitches,
Anna X

Thursday, October 5, 2017

New Goldwork project

It started with a sprinkle of flowers...

I have been tinkering away on a new class project. The group in Bangkok have asked for something with pretty flowers that uses purls and spangles. Sometimes I just go straight to the finished design, but with this one, I felt I needed to play around with a few ideas first.
I had toyed with the idea of doing something delicate and dainty, which is why I chose a pastel coloured silk for the sampler...

I like my goldwork to be rich and lush, so the background fabric was quickly replaced with a much darker shade of teal-blue that I really makes the sparkle of the gold and shades of pink silk thread 'sing'.

The top part of the wing, is a stitched with pink glass seed beads with fine smooth purl curved around each bead. I wanted to make sure the shade of pink was not distorted by the blue fabric, which is why I had applied a piece of ivory cotton to that section to begin with.

I admit the top of the wing was a little fiddly but result, I think, well worth the effort.

The bird is only missing her legs.. I can't do them until the little tree she is perched on is finished. (Sorry about the terrible photo).
I am going to be away next week and would like to have the embroidery for this project finished before I go. So - back to the hoop...

Best stitches,
Anna x

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Persian Bounty - Raised Embroidery Pomegranate

Oh my.....
I knew it had been a while since I last jotted down what I was up to - but this long??Seriously????!!!

I can't even say that I have been too distracted by spring to stitch or keep updates of what I have been up to. Until the past few days, it has been cold and miserable.. but it does seem as if (fingers crossed) spring is finally here.

I picked up the final proof for the instruction booklet for the Raised Embroidery Pomegranate I finished a little while back, this morning and am really happy with how it is looking.
I ended up naming this project Persian Bounty (Thank you to everyone who answered my 'little cry for help' and put up suggestions on Facebook - it was as always super helpful).

I confess that once I finish the stitching, getting a new project into some kind of 'shape' where others can stitch it also, is not my favourite part of the process. At the same time, it is always really nice and rewarding when it is done and it all comes together. Now I am just waiting on the silks to arrive so I can get kits in the shop.

Split pomegranate embroidered in Shaded Stem Stitch filling.
One of my favourite parts of this design is the split fruit. Of course the glittering seeds almost bursting out are fun, but what I am particularly happy with, is how the fruit 'peel' turned out.
It is embroidered in stem stitch. I know this is not a stitch often associated with filling stitches, but it makes such a beautiful filling that looks almost woven when the rows are worked closely side by side.

There is a little trick to the shading so I have added a mini tutorial below to explain how I do it to avoid getting it too stripy.

Happy Stitching,
Anna X