Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Male Wren Done

Figured out what the turkey work is supposed to be for the wren. This is what the feather looks like:

Instead of doing turkey work - which I can't do well, especially that close to other stitches - I used wool, frayed it, and used a dab of JE glue at the back. I don't know if there's anything special about this glue; since it is used for JE it must be ok. Then I have to pick out all the black fuzz that ended up on the fabric. The male wren is done.

Starting on the female wren.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Male Wren

Today's progress - not sure if I want to call it done yet. The instructions call for some cut Ghiordes knots at the bottom of the tail. When I looked at the picture initially, I thought it was a mistake - loose threads having worked their way to the front. On googling I found that Ghiordes knots are turkey work - it just wasn't frayed well enough. So I'm going to sit on that...

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Male Wren Body

The body is done. I found some blue couching silk that I used on top of the floss for the chest; and added some ecru flat silk for the tummy. I am thinking that the vertical tail is too close to the head; may want to move it back.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Male Fairy Wren

Decided that I can't be livid for four years, and working on the piece helped to calm me down a bit.

I thought I had a good stash of blue silk threads, however these tend to be on the purplish side - due to the Japanese embroidery preference, or maybe the pieces I've done tend not to be of this shade of blue. So I'm doing it in cotton floss instead. Here's the little guy so far -

Friday, November 4, 2016

Nestlings Branches and Padding

Today's progress:
Branches are done. They look very nice for such simple stitches. The birds are padded.

The padding has been marked, and the eyes are done.

Decision time: silk or cotton floss?

Monday, October 31, 2016

The Nestlings, Technique and Tools

I haven't done a piece like this for a while, so I thought I'd give myself a break, as it requires no painting or designing. The first step is of course framing up. I have tried a number of ways to stretch the embroidery to be drum tight pre-stitching: from Evertite (too expensive, especially for large pieces); poor-man's Evertite (a term coined by Caela Tyler from a class I took - which involves using regular stretcher bars and then hammering and shimming the sides to spread them as the piece gets loose); to this technique from a class I took with Kay Stanis. Kay demonstrates this technique at her website, as well as on youtube. This last technique is the best, and is what I have been using since.
While I'm on the subject of framing up, I have been using this thumb tack kit from lacis, called  "Corjac" Thumbtack Kit; it works so much better for putting in and removing thumb tacks than using my bare hands. Better still, it works with my existing clover thumb tacks.

I ordered the instructions for The Nestlings from Inspirations magazine a while ago - I was very captivated by the nest. Then when I seriously looked into stitching it, I found that the threads called for are from Australian manufacturers, and not available easily in the US. Fortunately, this is where the MC in color program becomes useful J!

The ground is cream Southern Belle.
Here are the DMC colors I've picked. I may replace some with silk later on.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

SFSND Challenge - Jewels of the Sea Part 2

I found out that I have to use ALL the crystals - no leftovers allowed. As I have already matted and mounted the piece on a backing, and the two large red crystals just do not fit into the design, I took their suggestion of using the extra crystals as part of a "signature".

The addendum piece is a separate piece:

To be associated with the main piece however they feel appropriate:

I've decided to mail the whole thing in, as it is a small piece, and the crystals are difficult to photograph with their reflections. Even though it's not due till mid-January, they say I can mail it in now.