Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Comfort Me Doll - Finished

I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed making this doll. I can see why everyone in the Beaded Journal Project is getting so much out of their monthly pages. I am itching to do more beaded embroidery and already have 2 projects floating about in my head.

I put her aside for a while to work on the fairy shoes but at the weekend I finally had time to finish her. Sorry she is on her side, sometimes the camera rotates my pics, sometimes it does not!

It is nearly a month since I posted my first comfort doll to Pam, but she has not arrived yet and I am getting a little worried about her. If she doesn't make it to Pam, I will have to accept that a higher force has a different destiny planned for my little doll. I just hope that she puts a smile on someone’s face. Another package that I sent overseas may also have gone astray. 2 months ago I sent some chenille needles and silk ribbons to India, they too are yet to arrive.

Happy Stitching

Monday, 29 October 2007

Fairy Shoes - Finished

Thank you for your comments about my fairy shoes. Full credit for the original design goes to Annette Emms, and the examples she brought to the workshop were delightful. Sadly, I can find neither a website or a blog of her work. The best I could find is this back issue of Workshop on the Web from March 2005. As I don't subscribe to Workshop on the Web I can't access the page.

Last night I finished the second shoe. I will take them to the next Embroiderer's Guild meeting before sending them to their new owner. These were great fun and the possiblities are as limitless as your imagination.

Happy Stitching

Friday, 26 October 2007

Fairy Shoes

Two weeks ago, I went to a workshop organised by the local branch of the Embroiderer’s Guild. I always thoroughly enjoy these days, of course for the new and fun things that I learn from the tutor and other attendees, but not least because I get to spend a whole day doing what I like best in the company of other stitchers.

In this workshop, led by Annette Emms, we made Fairy Shoes and it could not have been more fun. It always amazes me that, given the same starting point, everyone in the class produces something totally unique.

Before the class, the Bravery Fairy told me that she would like for me to make a pair of shoes for her to give to a little girl who has had a lot of hospital visits lately. I hope both the Bravery Fairy and the little girl like what I am making for them.

Happy Stitching

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Old Samplers and New Embroideries

I first met Sue on a Japanese Embroidery course and since then we have kept in touch by email/text as well as meeting up each year on the course. This weekend Sue came to visit and we went to see an exhibition. Every year by Witney Antiques and host a themed exhibition of their extensive collection of Samplers and Historic Embroideries. According to their catalogue they hold the largest stock of high quality antique needlework samplers in the UK along with an important collection of 17th and 18th century raised and silk work embroideries. Certainly the examples in the exhibition are extremely high quality and I could only marvel at the workmanship, especially when you consider that the embroiderers had none of today's advantages like prescription glasses or daylight bulbs. Many of these samplers were worked by very young girls and their workmanship is to be marvelled at. Sadly I cannot share any pictures with you, as they are copyright of Witney Antiques but you can get a taste of what they have on show here.

I've done hardly any stitching this week, my evenings have been spent spring cleaning the guest bedroom in preparation for Sue's visit. The room used to a be guest room but for the past year it was re-occupied by number one step-son and his girlfriend. Naturally, they wanted their own pictures on the walls but now that they have moved elsewhere and the room is cleaned, my embroidery can come out of storage and go back on the wall. For the first time my Phase I and Phase II Japanese Embroidery hang side by side on view.

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

On a side wall is a small embroidery called Tempus Fugit, my attempt at design. It was inspired by a sampler shown in the Embroiderer's Guild magazine, Stitch, Issue 5. Their sampler was stitched by Aethelwynn, a young girl in one of the Wessex convents in AD1000. I began mine as a millennium project but put it aside for a couple of years before before finally getting around to completing it.

Happy Stitching

Monday, 22 October 2007

I've been tagged

I've been tagged by Kate for a MeMe! Here are the rules:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself: some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
4. Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.

Now for the 7 facts about me:

1. I love reading MeMe's and learning something about the ladies whose blogs I read, I know we all share a love of textile embroidery, but I like to know a little about the person too.

2. I hate tagging people, I feel like I am imposing on them, even though I don't feel the slightest bit imposed upon by anyone who tags me!

3. There is a voice running in my head all the time, it just never shuts up, from the moment I wake, to the moment I fall asleep. I wouldn't mind if it had something worthwhile to say but it talks such rubbish!

4. I don't much care for men but I had the most amazing fortune of falling in love with one of the few men in this world that I actually like, better still, he loves me right back.

5. I don't get the universe, how can something be never ending. Surely it has to end somewhere, but if it does, what is outside that?

6. I love this planet, all the flora and fauna. I don't understand how it came to be but I am thankful that it did and I think that it is more that time that we started to treasure it and find ways of preserving it rather that using it up as quickly as possible.

7. All my life I have tried to stick to the rules, but as time goes by I find that being true to myself is more important than sticking to rules set by someone else.

According to rule 2 of this MeMe, I should tag 7 more people. There are more that 7 people who I would like to learn a little more about, but in order to be true to myself (MeMe number 2) I won't impose myself on anyone. If you read this and want to share 7 facts about yourself, please link back, I would love to hear about you.

Monday, 15 October 2007

Flutterbys - Long Time, No See

I took a days holiday today because I had an important appointment. Important to me, but obviously not to the other party as they cancelled this morning. I am irritated to waste my last days holiday for nothing, but looking on the bright side, I got a day of stitching.

It has been two weeks since I last put a stitch in my Flutterbys and I have missed them. I din't dare stitch on them when I was feeling so low and the last two weekends have been really busy, no stitching, but as soon as I knew I had a free day, I knew how I would be spending it.

All of my doubts have melted away (boy, am I glad that I didn't rip out all that stitching 10 days ago!) I am back in love with the purple, the colour that is, the thread is a different matter. Although all the colours are the same weight silk, from the same supplier, it is amazing the difference in handling. The palest pink silk is a dream, it almost lays itself. The purple is the complete opposite, it seems to fight me all the way (do you think it is trying to tell me something?) It won't lay nicely and snags as soon as you look at it. I have made a lot of mistakes and taken out almost as much as I have put in. It is still not perfect, but I decided to leave a mistake or two to remind me that I am not perfect - that is not an easy thing for a Virgo to admit.

Anyway, after several hours lost in horizontal and vertical foundations, she looks like this.

© Jennifer Ashley Taylor/Carol-Anne Conway

Happy Stitching

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Comfort Me Doll - Nearly Done

Oh no, I am beginning to find this bead embroidery a little addictive. I just want to keep adding more and more beads, but I am coming to a point where I think I am in danger of over doing it. That is another aspect of design that I find difficult, when is a piece finished?

I filled the petals and leaves with seed beads using a stitch that, in embroidery, I know as seeding, I don't know if it is called the same in bead embroidery. I like the way that it fills the shapes without making them overly heavy. I also like the way the beads sparkle when they are randomly scattered in differing directions.

Happy Stitching

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Comfort Me, Doll - progress

Many of those taking part in the Beaded Journal Project talk about the therapeutic qualities of beading. I’ve long since considered embroidery to be therapeutic and the main reason I spend so much time doing it is the calming, relaxing effect it has on me. It is amazing how stresses melt away after a few minutes of stitching. It is not surprising that bead embroidery is having the same effect on me, so while stitching this Comfort Doll for some unknown recipient, I have been restoring my own equilibrium.

I first thought that I would use white, pink and gold beads. Last week I was soaking up the healing qualities of the pink beads and just kept going with them. Is pink known to be a healing colour? Is that why it was chosen for the Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbon?

This week my sparkle is restored, so I started to add shades of gold and silver. I hope they add a little sparkle to someone else’s life.

The beads I used for the spiral shapes, I have had for a couple of years. The bag has never been opened. I thought that is was a mix of one shade of gold and one shade of silver. When I opened the bag last night, I was delighted to find a mix of several shades; white gold, pink gold, yellow gold, red gold even one that has a mauve look.

Happy Stitching

Monday, 8 October 2007

Feeling Better

As I said, I am not really given to melancholy moods, so a weekend of rest, relaxation, fresh air and the company of friends was enough to resort my equilibrium. I didn't get much stitching done, but the garden is looking much tidier!

Thank you for your concern and good wishes, they mean a great deal.

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Comfort Me, Doll

I’m not normally given to melancholy moods, but at the start of this week I found myself on an emotional low. I have been feeling physically low for a while and a throat infection last week put paid to any energy I had in reserve. Monday morning I fled a weekly departmental meeting in tears. Tuesday, I fell asleep during a seminar and on Wednesday I over slept and was two hours late for work. You could say I’ve had a bad week.

Not only was I feeling very emotional, but also my confidence has been severely dented. I was so unsure about myself that I have not even picked up the needle to work on Flutterbys. Thankfully, I did stop myself from ripping out the purple foundation that I stitched last week until I am in a better frame of mind.

I always appreciate any comments left on my blog but this week they have meant even more to me, so again I would like to thank everyone who takes time to read and especially those who stop to comment, it means a lot.

My week has not been totally devoid of stitching, I’ve been amusing myself with another comfort doll. Inspired by the amazing bead embroidery that I have seen on the blog for the Beaded Journal Project, I’ve taken my first tentative steps into bead embroidery. My attempt is not very inspiring but it has been therapeutic for me to sit quietly in the evenings with a pile of beads in my lap, stitching them to my doll, one bead at a time.

Happy Sttiching