Heart of the matter…

Yeah, reports completed! So time for a little sewing. I thought that this weekend I would have a break from my Jacobean crewel work and go back to a project I started a little while ago. I came to goldwork very recently following a day course at the RSN making a 3D bird – and was hooked. Since then I have completed a number of small projects made from kits by Jennie Adin-Christie. The latest kit is a heart shaped, millefiori brooch which I started back in May. Jennie’s kits are so easy to follow with full colour drawings showing everything, even down to your needle position.

 

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Clear, easy to follow illustrations.

 

I had already prepared all the padding, so this afternoon was spent adding metal chippings and beads. Unfortunately I did not finish the project and will need to plunge all the metal threads, but here is my progress so far…

Hopefully I should get this finished during the week. Meanwhile in the garden, the dominant colour at the moment seems to be purple….

There is just so much to fit into every weekend!

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Summer Garden

On a totally unrelated theme, I was so proud of my little Kingfishers (30 five and six year olds) and all the hard work they put in to producing a Summer Garden for Frensham Fayre. They cut, painted, glued, and wove everything themselves and their hard work was rewarded with first prize. Yeah!

I had found an old basket in a local bric-a-brac shop for £3.00. It was full of holes but these were just right to poke the heads of egg carton bees and ladybirds through. The rest of the basket was filled with paper roses, hyacinths and paper tulips (instructions easily found on Pinterest). Some children wove lollypop sticks together to make butterflies and these were hung on wire stakes. The overall effect was bright and beautiful, a summer garden in a basket!

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It’s a crewel world….

Darn it, after raising my hopes their was no sign of a security pass again this morning – but still managed to get in a little earlier and a seat by the window. I needed it too as it has been one of the hottest days of the year – and I am not brilliant with the heat – as my eyes tire very quickly. But how can you complain with views like these?

Back to the sewing, first thing to go was the satin stitched leaves. Apparently the padding underneath should be the same colour as the top stitches – whoops. I also felt that the dark green was a little harsh and after some discussion, have come to the decision that I should use several colours to create more shading. The next thing to be unpicked was the trellis in the large flower – to be replaced with a lighter shade of brown.

Most of the day was spent long and short stitching within the mistletoe leaves. I thought I was doing fairly well with them until Heather asked me, in no uncertain terms, why I had ‘plonked’ the final stitches in! Guess this means I will be unpicking again – and I thought I had carefully positioned them!! Oh well, that’s life…

I did manage to get one other bit of stitching started, and that was the heavy chain work on the ferns at the bottom of my picture. This was much more satisfying to stitch and went in quickly.

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Sew, homework is to finish off the trunk on both sides, have a go at finishing the long and short stitch, complete the heavy chain and padded satin stitch. All by the end of July which will be my final lesson before the end of term. I also need to think about the stitches that I want to include in the large trellis section, and the large flower. Any suggestions?

 

 

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Homework, homework, homework…

Starting to panic a little bit as I am supposed to be going back to Hampton Court next Saturday and so far have done absolutely none of the homework set! So have given up on writing my reports for the afternoon (sometimes you need a break!) to try and get a little sewing done.

First job was to stem stitch the smaller branch, making sure to introduce shading along its length. Here is a little demo, that might help to make the process clearer. Bring the needle up at point a and then down at point b, just as you would for a running stitch.

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Bring the needle up at a and down at b.

Then, keeping the wool thread to the right hand side (apparently it is a different stitch if you take the yarn to the left), bring the needle up at the halfway point of your stitch at c.

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Keep the wool to the right and bring needle up at c.

And then put the needle in at point d – repeat the stitching along the line.

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Put the needle down at d.

The next job was to fill in the hillock with block shading. This is basically overlapping lines of satin stitch. I completed this section, but am not happy with the ends as the stitches just look too big – so this might mean more unpicking! As you can see I have just found the pen tool to edit pictures – but find it really difficult to write with my fingers!

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So, here is my progress. At least I have got some of the work done – so won’t feel quite so bad next weekend.

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I had some good news about my Hampton Court security pass too – hopefully it will be waiting for me to pick up. This means that I can go straight up to the sewing rooms and maybe get there early enough to find a trestle away from the door. Fingers crossed xxx

 

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Spot the difference…..

Day 4 at the RSN, and what a busy session, there had to be at least 16 students fighting for a trestle and space! It also meant that the tutors were stretched rather thin too.  On the plus side, there was lots of lovely work to see – I did take pictures of some of the applique work (which was particularly beautiful), but do not feel it is appropriate to display other peoples work without their permission.

Most of the morning was spent correcting and adjusting my stitching, making sure that all the painted lines in the worked areas were covered. When I finally started to sew new areas it was way past lunchtime. So it is really a game of ‘spot the difference’ – as I don’t seem to have got very far.

I started to stitch the left hand branch in stem stitch – it looks a little pale at the moment – but I have two more rows of darker brown to add yet. The middle hillock was  going to be stitched in bullion, but now will be block work, as this is one of the required RSN stitches. I hope to get bullion in somewhere else in the design. So homework for this week is to finish the stem stitch, and hillock and do another two leaves in padded satin stitch.

Finally, it was a beautiful day, so here are a couple of photos of the river and Hampton Court taken on the way back to the station (the quality of photos may be a little poor this week as taking my normal camera is just way too heavy!). Ooh, also one of the chocolate room – this would definitely be my favourite room in the house!

 

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Time out….

Life is always such a rush, with never enough time to fit everything in. So this morning after walking the dog and before writing yet more reports or doing a little bit of sewing in readiness for tomorrow – I decided just to sit out in the garden with a book and a cup of tea.

It was still early enough for the sun not to be too hot, and sitting there you begin to notice the little everyday things. Now, I am not a wordsmith – so you will have to bare with me! All around was the sound of bees about their business, and we are inundated with sparrows this year – flitting back and forwards from the bird feeder to their nests, their loud chattering only broken by the song of a blackbird in a neighbours tree.

The rush hour is over so only the odd car drives by – added to which this is only a small village – so there are never that many cars anyway. A few gardens up you can hear the banging of kitchenalia and young children playing. It is just a shame that the neighbour who is often outside playing his guitar is not doing so this morning.

Pip barks in answer to something he has heard rustling in the hedge – and my 10 minutes is up! But these are the moments to treasure, the slow moments when nothing much seems to be happening – yet all around you is life just going on.

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Hmm might need unpicking!

Had a spare hour today and thought that I would use it productively (as opposed to simply staring at a blank report sheet!), so  I have slip stitched around the mistletoe leaves in readiness for Saturday when I think that I will be shown long and short stitch. I started to satin stitch one set of leaves – but am not happy with the edges, so this might have to be unpicked. I will take a fresh look at them tomorrow and then decide.

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I also think that I might add something to the bottom of the hillocks so that I can include some block work – this will then free up the flowers so that I can use some more adventurous choices of stitches. I haven’t yet discussed this with the tutors – so I hope they feel the same way!

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