Monday, May 15, 2017

Gone to Seminar

As of today, I will be away for seminar. This means the blog will not be updated till I get back next week. My bag is packed or at least the essentials are ;)

I will try to post on my Instagram account as always. You can follow along here.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Flowers Blooming

Flowers are popping up everywhere in my stitching.

Sadly I can't say the same about our spring here. The snow melted and we got a lot of rain causing certain problem areas to flood. The situation is so bad that a state of emergency has been declared and troops have been deployed to help evacuate. We're lucky that we live far from the water so we haven't been affected, but some of the places we often go to on the weekend have. The video below shows the Pierrefonds area in Montreal.

Since the weather was so horrible, I took the opportunity to get as far ahead with my beading as I can. I got all the dark navy and teal flowers done. All that's left are the light and dark topaz, and the garnets to do. I've been trying to stitch some leaves after each flower, but I'm going to run out of those very soon.

There are 5 days left till I leave for seminar. I'll need to start packing soon. I also need to figure out what stitching I will be bringing for the 4 hour flight. I really should consider taking Bramble and the Rose.

Friday, May 5, 2017

UK Stash

A few months back my sister came to me and said she was going to England for vacation. This was very sudden and unexpected. The worst is I couldn't even join her as I'd already planned on going to the JEC. She asked if I wanted something from there and I told her: YES! She had already offered to pay for the Alison Cole cyber class, but I told her to forget it. She can get me my birthday gift from the UK.

She didn't have a lot of time, but I kept hoping she would be able to go to Hampton court to visit their gorgeous gardens and... hopefully get me something from the Royal School of Needlework. It was getting closer to her time to get home and she still hadn't gone there. I thought it wouldn't happen until I got this video from her:

She really did go :) She even called me while she was there and we video called so she can show me the shop. It was awesome! (I have the best sister) Thank you Lindsey for helping her pick out everything.

My sister remembered I wanted the goldwork fox kit by Becky Hogg <3 It's lovely to know my family actually listens to me when I ramble about stitching stuff lol. She also got me a seat frame with clamp which is perfect timing for the summer. I'll finally have a hands free frame that I can use outside.

Lindsey was kind enough to slip in these pretty pamphlets of the different exhibitions the RSN held. I love the one with Mary Poppins.

The kit is really adorable and comes in a lovely gift box, there's even a coupon inside to get a rebate on the next kit. I'm thinking the badger but I wonder if it's too similar to the fox in terms of technique.

The kit comes with the instructions.

At first glance they seem to be very good. Lot's of illustrations to help along the way.

The kit comes with everything, including the hoop to stitch and display the final piece.

The pattern is already transferred on the fabric and the felt so you can just start straight away. The piece is actually smaller than I expected, but aren't they always!?

My sister really wanted to get me a pair of scissors or some sort of stitcher's tool. For example look at this stilleto. But I was very good. I already had my goldwork scissors and mellor, what I was really missing was a pair of nice tweezers. While she was waving her camera around in the store I noticed these. They are uncle bill's sliver gripper and have been mentioned multiple by other embroiderers as the best tweezers. I haven't used them yet but I will be taking them with me to seminar and will give them a go there.

At this point I've accumulated quite an arsenal of stitching tools. I think at this point the only thing I might still need is another pair of tweezers with a flat tip for goldwork. I really should put all my main tools together in one case that I would always carry with me to classes.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Talliaferro Challenge - Finishing

Now that my piece is finished, I had to actually "finish" it. My guild Virtual Threads is participating in a group exhibition for seminar. The theme was "Project Bags", so I decided to turn my beaded project into a pouch. I looked around the Internet until I could find instructions that don't use a sewing machine and found this one.

I was going to try and find a nice contrasting fabric for the lining but in the end I used the same one I used for my stitching.

The instructions seemed easy enough. Before I started beading, I looked at the instructions to figure out how big the fabric needed to be. The pouch is made by folding the fabric in half and sewing the edges closed. This meant that whatever my design area was, I needed a little extra at the top for the drawstring and then double that size. For the lining, I cut out a piece exactly the same size.

The back of the piece for those curious. The hoop marks only show in the backing fabric and that gets hidden with the lining so I didn't bother ironing it.

Before I can sew the edges together, I needed to fold the top and bottom to make a channel for the drawstring.

The front.

Folded the entire piece in half with the design in the inside and started hem stitching.

I wanted more room at the bottom, so I decided to go with the variation and stitched a line through the bottom corner.

I realized later that the inside of my pouch is not the neatest. Because of the instructions I used (and the fact I don't have a sewing machine) I couldn't hide the edges. So if you open up the pouch you can see them and this fabric doesn't help (the edges fray). It still looks pretty.

For the drawstring, I got a satin ribbon in a lovely blue. Here it is in good lighting. I decided to call it Turkish Jewels. Once I have a few Japanese bead embroidery phases done, I want to restitch it to see if I can do a better job. Especially on the "eyes".

This is the last post on the Talliaferro Challenge. There are 12 days left till seminar so I don't think it's a good idea to start anything new right before leaving. So for the next little bit, it will be all about stitching beaded flowers and leaves unless I make good progress on one of the older WIPs.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Flower Beading

I spent most of the weekend recuperating from my work week, but I did get some stitching done. I'm surprised by how slow the progress is. Each flower takes about 15 minutes for me to stitch and I've been getting distracted a lot. My sister was in the UK and she would call me to face time to show me where she was and what she was doing. She came back really late last night (I was asleep by then) with lots of goodies for me to share, so I can't wait to get home to go thru them.

© Copyright - Japanese Embroidery Center
I was hoping to stitch all the navy flowers but that didn't happen. Right now I have 23 flowers out of 52. I still have long way to go and after that many, many leaves to stitch. I really should start plugging away at those. Wouldn't do to leave them all for the end. My bead mat has been great for that. I usually pick one color of flowers to stitch and will set up the beads for the flower centers and the leaves so I can easily switch between the two and not waste any time pulling out beads.

Here is a close up of one area that is almost done. All that's left here is to stitch 3 beads in the space between the leaves. These will form a triangle. Once I have a bigger area stitched, I'll attach some to show you what it will look like when it's done.

© Copyright - Japanese Embroidery Center
On another note, first: I've missed WIPocalypse for April. I won't be doing a post for that as I haven't worked on any of my WIPs. I'm hoping to do better next month, we'll see. Second: there are 13 days left before EAC seminar =D