I took the day to do some catching up on things around the house. After the previous few days of working, I needed to do some things like tidying up things and some cooking. My neighbors had given me some zucchini and Keith's mom some fresh blueberries, so I made some bread with them. I think they came out nice, but they were almost too moist. Although are certainly edible.
It seems that summer is going to go out with a bang this year. While it was overcast and windy, it was quite dreary and muggy outside. These aren't my favorite types of days, as our place here tends to be hot and sticky. People wonder why I prefer the cold weather to hot. I like warm weather, but once it gets to be a certain temperature, I only enjoy it if I can be sitting on a beach somewhere. Since that usually isn't a good option, I will take the cooler weather on any given day. My thoughts are that you can always add additional layers if you are cold, but when you are uncomfortable and hot when wearing the bare minimum, you are somewhat stuck. I'll take 50's over 80's any day of the week.
But we all know that we are stuck with whatever is dealt our way. So I take it in stride and just get on with my day. It is hard to feel self-pity about being warm with I have two long haired cats that are obviously feeling the heat much more than I am. Pancakes' coat is so thick that you can feel the heat coming from him on these warm days. Both he and Coco usually spend the day just sprawled out on the hard floor where it is cooler. Yes. I am fortunate.
Once I got caught up, I decided to spend the evening working on my "A Perfect World" embroidery sampler. I haven't had much time to progress on it this summer, as things have been pretty busy. My enthusiasm for it has not waned in the least bit, but it seems that more so than not, by the time I am done for the evening, I am simply too tired to work on it. I made a pact with myself when I began that I would not 'push' things regarding working on it at all. I know that when I am tired, I am more likely to make mistakes and since the entire process is new to me, I vowed only to proceed with it when I felt up to it. After all, I am not under any time schedule. I had initially given myself a year to complete it, and I feel that I am somewhat ahead of that goal.
In any case, I completed panel 13 last night, leaving only four additional panels to do. I then have to do the final 'quilting' of the trellis, using a technique called "trapunto", but by that time I will be so excited to finish, it should be an absolute joy. The entire piece is pretty much a joy when I think about it. Each new panel offers new techniques and skills and I still find myself exhilarated and thrilled every time I work on it. The beautiful threads and ribbons never fail to excite me, and as I pull the colors from my storage box, I find myself in awe of the vibrant colors and textures. Yes – I am a 'color junkie'. Color affects me in ways that few may understand. (Although many of you are fellow artists, so I know you can relate!)
So without any further introduction, I will present panel 13:
Once again this panel has different varieties of Leucadendrons. It seems there are many, many types and varieties of this flower.
I loved the way the gold silk thread looked like fluffy pods. The leaves for this flower are made of organza ribbon, which gives a soft, transparent, almost iridescent effect. The combination of color and texture is really beautiful.
The large central flower is also a Leucadendron, but this variety is the Leucadendron Discolor.
The main petals of this flower are also created using organza ribbon. But the center cone is created from beautiful 2mm silk ribbon and silk thread. It is embroidered on a separate piece of fabric, and then cut out and stuffed lightly with a tiny amount of fiberfill to give it some dimension, and then stitched to the main piece. This is what is called "stumpwork embroidery" and it gives a wonderful depth and dimension.
Then there are the ants:
I don't know if you can tell, but they are created using a single strand of thread and the bodies are filled in with hundreds of tiny French knots. They are almost 'poodle-like' in their appearance, and the texture the knots give to their tiny bodies is truly amazing.
I also took an angled photo of the panel:
You can see the wonderful dimension that this piece has. It is really quite nice.
I only have four main panels to go. Panel 14 is really going to be exciting to make. It includes a small pond scene complete with a fish, bulrushes, frog, waterlily, as well as some beautiful pink Dierama flowers. I can't wait to get started on it!
This entire experience has been a thrill for me. You may wonder how it pertains to my other work, but I maintain that different forms of art compliment each other and what we learn from one process can easly be applied to others. It is all about expression and interpretation.
I hope you enjoy these periodic updates of my embroidery. Once again, the kit that I purchased was done so from Di Van Niekerk's site : http://www.dicraft.co.za/blog/
If you take a look over there I guarantee you will be amazed at the beautiful embroidery. It is truly a wonderful art form.
Today I will be writing my instructions for the sleigh and remaining reindeer in preparation for tomorrow's site update. I have had such positive respose on those pieces, and I thank you all for your kind words. It really motivates me a great deal to hear such wonderful praise from you all. Thank you!
I hope you all enjoy your week. Have a fabulous Tuesday!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"