I didn’t take any progress shots of these flowers but they could not have been any simpler – a ring of blackberry coloured seed beads around a dark orange seed bead. I love those blackberry beads; they look good enough to eat.
This sequence of pictures shows how much lighting can affect the colour balance in photographs. The time stamps on them shows me that the motif took a little under 30 minutes to stitch, even though I kept stopping to take pictures. There must have been patchy cloud that morning and you can see in the middle sequence that the sun was shining brightly enough to backlight the fabric. In the first and last pictures the sun must have been obscured by cloud and the fabric does not appear so transparent. However, there is still sufficient light to make the beads sparkle and give good colour rendition – the colours in the final shot are the most accurate.
This flower also reminds me of pinks although it is very different from the first flowers. There are two on each side but only half of each flower shows. They were done using the moriage technique so are a bit more difficult to do but I enjoy this technique and like the added dimension that it gives to the beading.
Although the large central flowers are the main feature on Floral Melody, there is a whole supporting cast of small flowers, twigs and leaves surrounding them.
These were a delight to bead. Most of the smaller elements could be completed in a short session so every time I sat down at my frame I was able to add another flower. It was very satisfying and encouraged me to do some beading whenever I had a few minutes to spare.
Over the next few days, I want to share with you a series of short posts, mainly pictures, which show the progress I have made over the past few weeks.
I started with the larger of the small blooms. These flowers with their bronze centers and red, tricut petals took about an hour each to bead. They were great fun to do.
It is that time of year again when I look back at previous Blogiversary posts, take stock of where I am and take a look into the future. Gosh, when I read last year’s post, I think how bold I was talking about naming dreams, making plans and setting goals.
I haven’t yet had the courage to name my dream on the blog but I have spoken to a few dear friends about it and set some goals related to it.
Making plans and setting goals have really been the focus of my blog this year writing a monthly progress report has really helped me stay focused on what I need to achieve. It hasn’t stopped me from overloading, prevaricating or looking for obstacles but it really has helped me prioritise.
In the comments on last year’s Blogiversary, Rachel said "I suspect that setting goals is something that only works when you relly want it to". Well, I really want to reach my first major goal. She also said the "Keeping to them requires self-discipline". Jon says that I am tenacious. I’m not sure that equates to being self-disciplined but the end result is the same.
Sue commented that she is teaching to say NO. That friend is, of course, me. Sorry Sue, I’ve not mastered that one yet but I am getting better at it.
In January, when I set out my goals for the coming year, typically, I glossed over my main goal (fear of failure). Even then I knew that my main objective was to finish Floral Melody by Christmas. Every other thing that I have done this year has fitted around that and I have marked out, and more or less stuck to, a clear timetable for that project. Christmas is fast approaching and I may not be completely finished by then, but I will be pretty close.
So what of the next 12 months? Well, lots of things are in the pipe line. I have signed up for two on-line courses (overloading) and I am planning the next step towards my dream (very exciting but still afraid to name it) and ... I have signed up for TAST 2012. This makes me smile because TAST was the reason for me starting this blog in the first place. I never did complete all of the stitches first time around and it has been on my 'to-do' list ever since. I really would like to complete at least the original set of stitches so I am going to try to fit them in this year. More people than ever have signed up for TAST this year, over 400 at the last count, so even if I don't join in by stitching some weeks, there will be plenty of new ideas and delightful stitching to inspire me.
If I am totally honest, I think that I have too many goals for the coming year but I suspect that I will always have too many things on my to-do list. Tenacious I may be, but I’m still a girl who can’t say NO.
Life continues to be busy and I continue to make as much time as possible for embroidery.
Various factors meant that Jon and I did not get a much longed for holiday in the sun this year. The upside for me was that I had a few days holiday to use up so I myself onto a couple of embroidery workshops. Until a few weeks ago I had never heard of Hazel Everett. The first I heard about Hazel was a gushing review of her new book by Mary Corbett. Then a chance meeting with one of her students led me to an exhibition of her work and the fact that Hazel teaches a gold work class practically on my doorstep! I should have spent the holidays working on my beading but instead I signed up for two 2-day classes in November.
During the first class we worked on a poppy which is mostly done in chip work. The class is very friendly and informal. Many of the group have been attending for several years and already know quite a lot about gold work but Hazel has the knowledge and experience to guide both the novice and the more experienced at a pace that suited each individual. As you can see, I didn’t get much done but I am a slow worker and gold work is a slow process. I don’t find chip work overly difficult but it is time consuming cutting the very fine purl into chips and sewing on each chip individually.
At the second class I started a Christmas ornament. We had a choice of two designs, one based on holly leaves, the other on a poinsettia or working on a UFO. We were also given a free choice of how to edge and fill the leaves. This meant that several different designs were being worked in a number of different techniques but again Hazel coped easily with keeping us all working steadily. I worked fairly constantly during the class but of course did not manage to finish my ornament in the two days!
Both of these have been put aside while I concentrate on Floral Melody. I did put in slightly more time than last month but seemed to make less progress. I am not sure why that is. Up until now, I have been fairly confident that I could complete this by Christmas but now that there are only three weeks before my target, I am beginning to have doubts.
I have also continued to make slow progress with Chinese Flower. I am really pleased with how this is working out and am gaining confidence in this method of working LSS. I just wish that confidence would spill over into my Camellias!