Friday, January 29, 2010

Pin Pillow; the beginnings

I found this pin pillow on the V&A website, and fell completely and madly in love with it:

I laid out the major outlines on some great tracing paper that bodice_goddess gave to me last time I was in CA (thank you!!!) I used a bit of creativity and artistic licence to stretch the portions of the design that curve down towards the seams - I also added an extra worm, butterly and acorn to fill in some extra blank space I had hanging out after it was all drawn in. Some areas are a bit more cramped than others, but all in all, I think it ended up fairly OK.

After much debate, I finally settled on lightboxing the design onto the fabric. I kind of wanted to try pricking, but for such a large and complex pattern, I finally decided that a lightbox would be a better option. After I got it all traced out in ink, I mounted the fabric to a scroll frame: (Only about 3/4 of the pattern shows at a time - I'll have to undo the lacing and move it all over to the right when I get to that point)

Yesterday, I showed you the strawbellies - the next thing I did was the borage (?), which I made more of a purple-y shade than the original. Because I like purple. And I can.

I'm really struggling to learn how to shade properly and use the angled nature of the tent stitch to my benefit - I'm not very happy how the stamens ended up on this dude.

Next up is the squillel - he's a lot darker than I had wanted him, and the shading is far, far too delicate to actually pick out - especially in a poor quality picture! Ah well, live and learn, I suppose. (The waste knot is still hanging out - that's what the sqiggle above his extra acorn is)

I'm all but finished with the gillyflowers next door - I just have the stem to do. Again, not terribly pleased with my level of skill in shading - half of it is my inexperience with the stitch, and half is poor choice of colors. *sigh*

All in all, I am actually really excited about this project - even though it looks so amateurish and hamfisted next to the original! Maybe that is part of it's charm........maybe.

I am absolutely terrible at tracking time for projects - I have NO idea how long it's taken me to get to this point. I do know that I can usually get about one 1"x1" area solidly filled in and shaded in about an hour and a half - and it takes about 4 days of embroidering on lunches and watching (listening!) to a couple of 1-hour shows in the evening while embroidering to finish one whole design element.

Just for the record - here's the back of my work: (This also kind of shows the method I've been using to do each piece - First I go through and do the outlines, then go back through with the shading and fill, as you can see in the lowermost gillyflower)

    Thursday, January 28, 2010

    New Project - Embroidery Edition

    I don't know why I keep fancying myself an embroideress, I'm really not at all!

    Anyway, I've embarked upon a new project: a pin pillow!

    I've been taking pictures of the progress up until now, but have been too timid to post them here. So, here goes, my first attempt at tent stitch - be kind!

    I'll backtrack over the next few days and go over what I've done up to this point.

    Tuesday, January 26, 2010

    Culpeper, you crack me the heck up!

    Who says Jacobean botanists don't have a sense of humor?

    "Having gathered the herb, would you preserve the juice of it, when it is very dry (for otherwise the juice will not be worth a button) bruise it very well in a stone mortar with a wooden pestle, then having put it into a canvas bag, the herb I mean, not the mortar, for that will give but little juice, press it hard in a press, then take the juice and clarify it."


    "Conserves of herbs and flowers, are thus made: if you make your conserves of herbs, as of scurvy- grass, wormwood, rue, and the like, take only the leaves and tender tops (for you may beat your heart out before you can beat the stalks small) and having beaten them, weigh them, and to every pound of them add three pounds of sugar, you cannot beat them too much."

    "Therefore, if you set an apple-kernel in the Spring, you shall find the root to grow to a pretty bigness in the Summer, and be not a whit bigger next Spring. What doth the sap do in the root all that while? Pick straws? 'Tis as rotten as a rotten post."