Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Camellia Leaves

Finished the calyces, and a few leaves, plus the stamens and centers of the camellias. I don't like the color of the stamens for the mottled camellia. It's too pink. I may or may not fix it - depends on how I feel about this piece when done, as it is difficult to take out.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Mottled Camellia Petal

After I sent in my MC Color pieces, I tried two attempts to stitching flowers with special light effects. The first was light diffused transparent flower petals (no picture). The next was a very pretty begonia that I found in my garden, and I wanted to try long and short stitching shading. I was not able to reproduce the paper-like texture of the petals, or the delicate progression from yellow to orange. So I have to shelve these for now.

I went back to my JE Phase VII Realistic Effect Camellia. I last worked on it was 9 months ago. I finished the mottled camellia petal, and my standards are deteriorating! I'm hoping to work up some enthusiasm for this piece, so I can get onto my next (and possibly last JE) piece - Antique Mirrors.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Second Piece Redone

As I was doing the write-ups for the pieces, I realized that they were both monochromatic! Yikes!! After I calmed down, I studied both pieces to see what I could do. One, I can't change the water; two, I can't change the stitched karst, three, it won't do any good to change the fisherman and the boat. That leaves the silk-gauzed distant hills. Initially I was going to change the colors of the hills in the mauve piece - but since this piece is a definite monochrome color scheme, it may be better (and easier to justify) changing the black-and-white piece.
Thus the hills are now green, and with the red raft being such a dramatic color, I think it falls in the realm of "non-traditional" color scheme, as I cannot give a name for it. Keeping my fingers cross for the judges to accept that..

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Both Pieces Done

I am calling them done, even though they are not exactly the way I originally envisioned them. One of the most fascinating aspect of karsts formations are the gnarly trees, hanging on for dear life on the eroded substrate. Unfortunately I tried several approaches and couldn't get it right. So bare karsts it is! I also tried several ways to represent the shimmering water, but they didn't work out either.

What did work out was the bright red raft - looks really cool against the monochromatic scheme.

As opposed to the subdued raft, which looks subdued.

I found some leaf skeletons from the yard and brushed them with gel medium, and stitched them onto the left karst. I think they look fine.

I will review them tomorrow and hopefully they will still look ok. Now onto the research paper...

Friday, July 4, 2014

EGA MC Craftsman Second piece

The first piece is almost finished. I have figured out how to do the vegetation for the karst (I hope!) but I will wait till both pieces are done before proceeding. Same for the boat/raft.
Here's the first piece.

The second piece is started - color scheme is black and grey.
Now for the water (sigh!)

On another note - I had a hard drive crash and spent 2 days trying to recover. The latest backup I had was a month old; fortunately I keep a lot of my important stuff on OneNote in OneDrive.

Here's a public service comment:
1. Do backup!
2. Practise restoring from backup before it is actually required!!
After much gnashing of teeth and renting of old T-shirts, I finally came up with a process that worked - but it would have been a lot easier if I had actually tried out restoring files before today - instead of trusting the manual's instructions.
Right now the restoring is still chugging away, and probably will run overnight. And then I will have to reconfigure the drives, etc. I hope I haven't lost the preliminary paper I started for the MC Color submission, but I won't find out till I have everything restored.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

EGA Master Craftsman project

I am trying to finish the project(s) for EGA Master Craftsman in Color. The submissions are due in July; so I have no time to do my JE Camellia. (Whew!)

One of my pieces (if successful) is going to be the interpretation of the photo (with her kind permission) that my friend took when she visited Halong Bay in Hanoi. She talked about it in her blog travelswithrarecat.

I use white Dupioni silk as the ground. One thing I found out regarding painting on Dupioni silk is that I have to pre-wash the silk, and very carefully. For my first unsuccessful attempt, I squeezed it dry after washing with synthrapol. The fabric got badly creased and no amount of re-wetting or ironing was capable of removing the wrinkles. There was also significant shrinkage after washing. So I had to wash it VERY gingerly.

I painted the sky with a light magenta wash, and an even lighter wash was painted on part of the water. The hills were painted with magenta shaded with black. The focal hill was stitched with 3 shades of Appleton wool. I hand dyed white silk gauze with shaded magenta and stitched the gauze on the mid-ground hills.

I had to experiment to find out how to do the water. I found the solution in Suzhou embroidery, from the books Threads of Light, and Chinese Embroidery. It is called random stitch embroidery by the former, and free cross stitch by the latter. So far I have 3 shades of magenta/mauve for the water.

For the companion piece, which has to be identical except for the color scheme, I'm thinking of doing it in black and white, and then stitching the raft in a brilliant red(?) color. I will contemplate on it as I work on  finishing the current piece.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Mother of Pearl, silk painting

Since I failed at an earlier attempt to stitch the Mother of Pearl effect, I thought it would help to paint it, and then maybe it will give me some insight as to how to stitch it. This is the result of a silk painting from a class I took at a local studio, with help from the teacher.

It looks nice, and I gained some insight into shading and shine; unfortunately I still have little clue as to how to translate it into embroidery.
Do you get the idea that I'm still in JE avoidance mode?