Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Stitch Explorer January - Chicken scratch

Chicken scratch is traditionally worked on gingham, using combinations of cross stitch and winding. I made this needlecase and sample a couple of years ago after seeing an article in Stitch magazine.

For the stitch explorer challenge, I decided to try a different background and play with the scale. I chose a scrap piece of Black Watch tartan thinking I could use the different size checks. It was more difficult than I thought, especially the dark colours in poor January light, but gives a quite different effect.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New Look

For the new year, a new look for my blogs and website with one of my designs for the banner. This has been on my 'to do' list for ages and one of the things I have done is to update the links page of my website, which now has lots of links to suppliers, artists, museums and other info relating to textiles, art, embroidery etc. Click here to take a look.

I recently joined an ATC group on Facebook which organises a swap every two months and have just sent off my first one. The theme this time was "I believe..." so I used the dove design shown in my previous post for "I believe in peace". Can't wait to receive one back but I have to be patient until the end of February.

Meanwhile, I am working on Sharon B's Stitch Explorer challenge for January which is to play with chicken scratch embroidery and also practicing with digitising software for machine embroidery. Pictures to follow when I have done a bit more.

New Look

I have been having a bit of a sorting out week, picking up those odd jobs that should have been done long ago. Today's job was to revamp and update my website so I have changed my blogs to match. The banner image is one of my pylon designs with a bit of a swirl (you can see the original on an earlier post here) - I thought it was time I looked a bit more arty!

The main change to the website is that I have added links to my lists of useful websites - I picked out the ones related to art/textiles including suppliers, museums, historical information so I hope fellow students find them a useful reference. Click here to go to the links page.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Altered Book

This is the latest project working through Maggie Grey's online workshops - lesson two covers altered books. See my earlier post here for more information. I have completed 4 pages and I think it needs about 4 or 5 more to be complete. It is quite a small book - a little larger than a postcard but very fat. I have been using various paints to decorate the pages and adding bits and pieces such as unfinished samples. Some of the pages are machine stitched but this proved a bit fiddly on a small book.

Not so sure about the page above so this may change.

A little sample of free peyote stitch that has similar colours to the feather. Next step is to tackle the book cover.

Module 3, Chapter 2 - Plaited Braids

This week I have been making samples of different braids in thick cord to understand how they work.

4 Strand braids - from left - Bedfordshire lace 2 pair plait; mirror image (left over 1, right under 1 over 1); 2 colour braid (right over 1, left over 2).

Simple 2 loop braid (loops pass through each other); macrame semi knot; macrame whole knot.

From left - 3 variations of 7 strand twill; 8 strand plait using 3 outer strands on each side as a single strand; 8 strand square braid - over 5 back under 2.

Useful references - The Manual of Braiding - Naomi Speiser, The Renaissance Tailor, Phalia's String Page.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Module 3, Chapters 1 and 2

As it feels like a long time since I last looked at my coursework, I have spent a little time sorting out what I have already done before carrying on.

First, the visual part of the historical study on strapwork - my notes have been typed up on a separate sheet

Next, pages from my sketchbook which is being filled with notes and drawings etc on knotwork.

Finally, making a background fabric for samples by using a large scale version of plaited braid stitch as a printing block.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year

Happy new year to everyone out there in blogland.

Christmas is still going strong in the O'Leary household - we have done all the traditional things that is

- eaten huge amounts of turkey
- ditto chocolates
- fixed the pipe that burst on Christmas morning. This was like a scene from a 1970s sit-com with yours truly opening the cupboard under the sink while wearing my best frock and getting a faceful of water. Still at least it was the hot tap that went so the water was nice and warm. This will teach me not to spend too long straightening my hair in future.

I usually do my creative stuff in the kitchen so it has all been boxed up for a fortnight while we have various people and dogs staying - Monday will be the big day when we are back to normal and I am getting itchy fingers. I was going to post pictures of some things I made for presents but I seem to have forgotten to take any so this will have to wait, but that gives me an excuse to play with the light tent my brother gave me.