Monday, 25 February 2013

dem bones is in de bag

Herringbone stitch that is. This was cool, again lots of new ideas, I like the overlaying and working through buttons. 

In other crafting news we had a Valentine swap at the Chain Gang. It was really nice as everyone took part to make a little gift. In my quest to share my favourite bloggy hang outs I made some poochie bags from Happy Zombie, this site has lots of free tutorials and everything I have made from it has come together nicely. The bag below is now for Anna's dance kit and my friend Sarah has the one above for her crochet. If you need to make something for a swap, or want to use a few pretty fat quarters then Happy Zombie is certainly worth a visit.

It hasn't just been herringbone stitch that I have finished off. I have also made a more restrained free cross stitch sample. I think this looks kind of 60's ish?

This is my French Knot sample, I used a variety of monochrome fibres to build the sample and I am really pleased with it. I have more work to do with bullion knots and have just submitted pekinese stitch. It really is all go here! 
I had got my knickers in a right old twist about my City and Guilds deadline and how in the name of all that is holy I would possibly get it done. I really hope we'll have a house move over the summer, perhaps even a major re-furb to undertake. Talking to my tutor it would seem that I may have to re-register with City and Guilds to set the clock back to zero again. I really don't want to still be working on this qualification in three years time, but it is good to know that I will still have time for some light hearted stuff and I won't have to compromise on exploring my ideas to the full. 
How are you guys then? Are you keeping well? 

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Unless you get a little.....crazy

I went crazy with 'free cross stitch', totally bonkers in fact. Not like me at all, no neat lines, no structure just Julia Caprara's mantra of not using the same colour thread twice in a row. I worked from a jumbley pallet of fibres, including plastic and ribbon. Unfortunately, for my course, it was a bit too much- I'm hoping that the additional more buttoned up sample I have now completed will soon see 'not quite so' free 'thanks' cross stitch signed off. 
I have been reading a bit in bed. This quote from the slightly twisted but cool 'The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag' by Alan Bradley struck a chord;

"inspiration from outside one's self is like heat in an oven. It makes passable Bath buns. But inspiration from within is like a volcano; it changes the face of the world"

I have tried before to express myself on the subject of 'copying'. I think this quote sums it up so neatly. Taking and reproducing someone else's idea makes a 'passable bun' but only by working from within can something truly 'new' emerge. I tried to work a bit 'in the style of' with the above sample. The rich overlay of stitch that one sees from some big embroidery names but really my voice from within is quieter. So this doesn't really work for me. It's not who I am.

I will be sharing a few of my new found favourite blogs here over the next few posts and now seems a good point to share 'Plays with Needles'. If ever I need reassurance that a slow, considered, restrained,  circumspect approach to stitching is just fine then a visit here is guaranteed to give it. Enjoy.