I woke up this morning to yet another round of snow. This time, it is accompanied by wind and you can barely see across the road to the river. I would almost call it a ‘blizzard’.
This winter seems particularly brutal for many people, but at least for us here in Nova Scotia, we have had breaks of warmth and even rain in between the winter storms which continue to melt things down to bare pavement. It does keep the piles of snow manageable.
As usual, I don’t mind it really. Growing up in Chicago, we had our share of brutal winters. Nova Scotia is no different, although I must say we have had milder temperatures than most of the northern part of the United States this year. We have had our cold days, but not the brutal cold that so many of you are experiencing. So that is good.
We lost power briefly the other morning. It was the first time this season I believe that we had that happen. Ironically, at the time it went out, it was calm and actually warmer and sunny out. No threat of storm whatsoever. Perhaps someone tripped the switch accidentally.
I find myself thinking ahead to the springtime. I like spending time on our small deck with Pancakes sunning himself and keeping me company (and trying to head down to the grass). This year I will be able to bring my new hobby of needlework with me and I am sure it will make things even more enjoyable. Once again, I vow that I will spend more time at the beach, and I hope that I can make that a reality. We shall see . . .
I spent the day yesterday working on another new project. It should be completed today, and I will have photos here to show you tomorrow. It is at the ‘in between’ phase right now and I don’t think I will even show you a hint for the time being. It is simple and fast and easy to make, but something that I wanted to do anyway. I have been receiving some requests for some simpler projects, and I want something that will be very easy even for those new to scroll sawing. So you will have to return to read tomorrow to see it. (Yes – I can be a mean tease.)
Keith had a thought on my basket that I showed you on Friday.
Above is the picture of the basket how I originally created it. I am going to have an alternative “plain” handle that can be routed and contoured a little better included in the pattern. That way people can choose to make it how they like.
Keith’s idea was to take one of the layers toward the bottom. The original – as you see – has the walnut ring to give the basket some additional height. I also liked that it was the same size as the ring below it because it gave somewhat of a ‘pedestal’ effect to it.
But Keith’s idea would give the basket a more even gradation and contour, and I liked the way it looked like that as well.
It amazed me how overall different the basket could look with such a slight change. This really excited me.
I was happy that I had yet to glue the pieces together, and had just had them sitting like that for photography. I do like both versions and plan to show them both in the pattern packet, which will help it appeal to more people. I can’t tell which look I prefer. I think they are both attractive.
For those of you who had asked me to keep you posted, I have still been working on my embroidery. I try to get an hour or so each evening, although some nights I am just too involved in other things, or too tired to play with it. But it is coming along, slowly but surely and I already have learned a great deal. The second panel had some Penstemon flowers, which were done in what is called “stumpwork” whereas the pieces are embroidered separately and then attached to the main piece. This gives extra dimension and interest to the design. The dragonfly wings in panel one were stumpwork:
Panel two also had some Wood Poppies, which were done with a puffed ribbon stitch and had tiny French knot centers. I particularly loved doing the leaves of this flower:
Then there are the beautiful and delicate Erica flowers, which were made by wrapping the silk ribbon over beads. Each of these flowers had tiny French knot anthers.
And finally, the cute little honey bee, with stumpwork wings made of organza ribbon and silk thread wrapped wire. The divisions on the bees wings were made with a pretty iridescent thread and the bee has glass bead eyes. He looks pretty cool.
The entire panel is only about 4” tall. Even though I am just beginning, I am thoroughly enjoying learning these techniques and I do appreciate your words of encouragement regarding it. Overall, it is so far coming out even better than I expected, and it makes a nice presentation when looking at the entire panel.
It is after all related. Flowers, art, drawing, scroll sawing, painting. By learning different techniques and in different media, I do believe it strengthens ones’ skills all around. You may look at a flower differently when you embroider it than when you scroll it or paint it, but the more ways you choose to recreate something, the more aware you become of its parts and make up. Observation is the key to recreating things accurately, I believe.
With that said, I am off to do something completely different. What I am working on now is very simple and very much the other side of the spectrum from these projects that I am showing here. Although I think that it is just as cute. It is so much fun to work in so many directions!
I wish you all a warm and safe day today. I hope you have time to enjoy the day, no matter what Mother Nature brings your way.
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"