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My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1320: A Perfect World - Panel 8

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 05-20-2014 12:40 PM 1724 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1319: Some "Me" Time Part 1320 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1321: Art Play Date »

I can't tell you all how much good taking some time off last weekend did for me.  Not only did I get some things organized, but I also allowed myself to do some things that I really enjoyed.  It isn't that I don't enjoy my life every day. I love what I do and I say it often because I know I am fortunate to have a job where I actually look forward to getting up each morning so I can start my day and work.  I am not saying it is perfect, but it is pretty darn close.  



I had so many wonderful new ideas that I began developing yesterday!  I am channeling my thoughts into Christmas and holiday time, as my projects for Creative Woodworks and Crafts Holiday Issue are going to be due very shortly.  I came up with not one but THREE fun and what I think are unique projects that I am going to be developing for that issue.  I ran them by my editor yesterday and I got the green light on all three of them, so I am good to go and need to really start getting busy drawing. I will be doing that most of the rest of this week.  



I did however, stay true to my promise to myself that I would "quit working" by at least 9pm in the evening. This will allow me some time each day to unwind and work on the things that I want to work on, and it will give me something to look forward to each night.  



Over the weekend, I made some good progress on my "A Perfect World" embroidery sampler.  Those of you who read regularly express that you enjoy seeing each of the panels completed, and I also enjoy showing it off. It is made from a kit that I got from Di van Niekerk who is located in South Africa.  This form of embroidery is called Silk Ribbon and Stumpwork and has been around for centuries.  It fascinated me  when I saw it and I just had to try it.  I have found Di's instructions and kits to be a wonderful new path of exploration in creativity for me and I am thoroughly enjoying working on this panel called "A Perfect World".  The instructions are the entire book and it teaches over 60 stitches and techniques.  While I have had some embroidery experience in the past, it has certainly brought my skills to a new level.  I encourage anyone who is interested in pursuing this art form to check out Di's site. All of her books, materials, kits and videos are top notch quality, and I am certain you won't be disappointed. I purchased this kit from her directly, along with more additional supplies than I care to mention <grin> and everything that I have received is amazing.  All the beautiful colors of hand dyed silk ribbons and threads spoil you for anything else. And while I was concerned about receiving the items in a timely manner, my last order arrived in a short six days – all the way from South Africa!  I have ordered three times now and each order went without a hitch.  It is truly wonderful to find such a great company and dedicated people.  



Anyway, since I am running late this morning, I will get to the photos.  As I said – I finished panel eight of the seventeen panels. That means I am nearly half way through the piece!  I had given myself until the end of the year to complete it, but since I only started in February and am this far already, I am now hoping to be done by the end of summer.  I am very excited!  



Panel eight consists of Honeysuckle, a beetle and two Hawk Moths.  Here is an overall photo of it:







As always, these are quick "snapshot" type photos. When I complete the entire design, I will take some beautiful, high-quality photos of it, I promise! 



The pretty yellow and coral honeysuckle flowers have raised stumpwork leaves and glass beads 'berries'  The moths have stumpwork organza wings that are delicately embroidered with silk thread.  They were so much fun to do! :)







I loved doing the little beetle, too!  His little striped body is raised up a bit so he actually looks like he can crawl off the panel! 





The overall depth and dimension of this panel is amazing!  I find that I am getting better with each step at allowing the ribbon to flow.  While I felt awkward in the beginning, I am now feeling more relaxed.  Even though I am still learning, I am much more familiar with the stitches and terminology. 







I am at the half-way point right now as I begin panel nine. The next panel is quite involved and I think will take me a while to complete.  I don't have the energy to work on it every night, but I try to do so for at least an hour or so if I am up for it.  One promise I made to myself was that I would never work on it if I were too tired.  There is no time limit and I don't want to risk making a mistake because I am not concentrating. In general, it is very relaxing and fun. I want to keep this part of my creative world that way! 



I am glad that I get so much positive feedback from showing this. While it is neither scroll sawing or painting, it is still being creative and I believe that it helps my other work as well.  It certainly is a joy to see it come to love.  The colors are amazing and it is thrilling to use each new strand of ribbon or thread.  What a nice way to end my day each evening! 



I hope you all have a wonderful and creative day today. It is overcast out this morning, but quiet and peaceful. I can hear the river across the road among the chirping birds and quiet hum of the insects. What a beautiful morning!  



Happy Tuesday to you all! I hope you get to do something you love! 

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"



4 comments so far

View lightweightladylefty's profile

lightweightladylefty

3138 posts in 3176 days


#1 posted 05-21-2014 04:52 AM

Sheila,

What an heirloom this will be! Each panel gets more exciting. Will the words get embroidered, too? What happens with the blue “dividers”? Do they remain just as they are? I would really love to see this piece up close. I can hardly imagine the skill (and the eyesight) to complete it, much less the skill of that designer! Will you frame it when it’s done? It must be quite large. ? I’m sorry about all the questions, but your artistry has me totally enthralled.

L/W

-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9040 posts in 2384 days


#2 posted 05-21-2014 11:09 AM

Thank you so much for your kind words. I am truly having a great time making this and I agree – it gets more exciting with each step! In answer to your questions . . .

- The words do not get embroidered. I had thought about it at first, but they are really only microscopic in size and I think that doing them would make them more prominent and distract from the design. Besides, the piece is already extremely ‘busy’ being a sampler so I don’t want anything that may clutter it more. The words are printed in tan ink and really not very noticeable, as you do wind up looking at the flowers. You see them more in the photographs because I zoom in so much. I took a photo of the moths next to a dime to show you a better scale:

It is actually much smaller than I had anticipated. When I saw it on Di van Neirkerk's web page, I also thought it was quite large. Although all together it is not small, the finished area measures about 12” x 16” wide. When you think of all that is going on in it, it isn’t really ‘big’.

I am still debating whether to frame it or make it into a pillow. I keep going back and forth about that. Right now, as I embroider, it is two layers of fabric – one layer that you see that is printed, and a layer of similar weight cotton fabric underneath as a stabilizer. I never knew that you needed to line this type of work, but now it makes sense. The dense stitching would cause one layer of fabric to pucker and wrinkle and look awful. (I told you – I am learning so much!) The double layer also helps me hide many of the thread ends and keeps the back neater. But in the end, that won’t be an issue as once the 17 panels are complete, I need to add a third layer as I embroider along the edges of the blue ‘trellis’. What this will do is in essence ‘quilt’ the piece, and I will then very carefully slit the back layer of each of the 17 sections and very LIGHTLY add some fiberfill stuffing to ‘puff’ each section ever so slightly. This is called “trapunto”. I then will whip stitch the small slits and I can either frame it or make it into a pillow.

Initially I thought to frame would be nice. But I am thinking a beautiful pillow may be better. I am torn because I will need to keep it clean and I don’t want to have to put it under any type of glass. With all the beads and dimensional elements like the wings and so forth it would hide it and not be able to be seen. A pillow I can keep in a plastic bag for the most part and take it out for special occasions to display or admire. I am just not sure right now.

I have plenty of time to decide though. Every time I pull the main piece out of the pillow case I keep it in when I am not working on it, I still am surprised myself at how nice it is coming along. I know that sound silly, but this has really fascinated me. I can think of many designs that I want to do on my own using these techniques. It certainly has stirred my creative juices.

In any case, thank you so much for your comments. They sure do mean a great deal. :)

Take care, Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View lightweightladylefty's profile

lightweightladylefty

3138 posts in 3176 days


#3 posted 05-22-2014 04:53 AM

Sheila,

I’m even more impressed! I had no idea it was so intricate! You had better make at least two of them or your kids might end up fighting over who inherits it!

Thanks for the added details on how you’ll be finishing it. I did trapunto on something I made years ago, but for the life of me I can’t remember what it was or to whom I gave it. I really love needlework but just can’t see well enough to do it anymore. Getting to watch your progress absolutely thrills me!

L/W

-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9040 posts in 2384 days


#4 posted 05-22-2014 10:40 AM

Thank you again, LW. I am so glad you are enjoying the step-by-step. :)

Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

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