I missed blogging yesterday because Keith needed to pick something up from Halifax and I decided to accompany him. The weather was "questionable" and I didn't feel comfortable with him going along. Here in our part of Nova Scotia, snow can be quite treacherous. It comes very suddenly and accumulates very fast and makes the roads quite hazardous in a blink of an eye. Unlike the flat lands that I grew up with in the Chicago area, Nova Scotia is covered with hills and valleys. Add to that the wind from the ocean and you learn very quickly that weather is to be respected.
We left mid-morning and took our time getting to our meeting place. Since his appointment wasn't until 6pm, we knew we had time to make a few stops, but didn't want to linger too long at any one location. Along the way, there were squalls of snow which immediately slowed travel down to a crawl. At times we felt a bit foolish for even attempting the journey, but with care and patience, everything worked. out. We even stopped at our favorite place to buy hard wood and pick a couple of small boards. It was nothing like our usual trips there, where we filled the entire rear seat of the car, but it was nice to get a piece of sepele and a piece of walnut for future projects which required some darker wood.
I also stopped at Michael's (against my better judgment) to get some silver leafing for something that I had in mind. I knew it would be extremely expensive (which it was) but I was armed with a 40% off coupon which took away some of the sting. I actually walked out of there with only two things – the leaving and some silver wire – and once again shook my head at the inflated prices that they had on just about everything. I still maintain that shopping online and a little planning can make our crafting hobbies so much more affordable. Even with the shipping rates included, it is cheaper than paying the high prices. But I suppose we need to pay for the convenience of buying things in person. It is a dilemma that replays in my mind every time I shop there.
In other news, I wanted to show my Panel 16 of my "A Perfect World" embroidery piece. It has been a long time since I posted Panel 15, as the Christmas holidays and all the January deadlines have really kept me away from it. I finally had a small window of time where I wasn't working from the time I awoke until I closed my eyes at night, and I took advantage of it and finished up this panel.
I now have one more panel to go, then the final hand quilting and Trapunto work to complete the piece. It will be the end to a nearly year-long journey and I must admit I am bittersweet about completing it. I loved the "comfort" of having it to turn to at the end of a busy day. The beautiful, clear instructions meant that every stitch I made was fun and stress-free. The results attested to that and my enjoyment in learning and creating this piece has been immeasurable. I certainly have no regrets in my choice to use this piece as my learning piece, as I feel that I am a far better needlework artist than I was a year ago, and I would make the same choice again in a second.
So without further babbling on, I will get to the piece – my "A Perfect World Panel 16". . .
Since the panel is on the end, it is a bit smaller than the recent panels:
It consists of beautiful Sunflowers, with graceful silk ribbon petals and threads created of thousands of tiny French Knots. The centers were done on a separate piece of fabric, then applied to the main piece. This gave them a slight 'pouf' and even more dimension. The leaves and stems were embroidered right on the piece, using single strands of hand dyed silk thread:
The pretty little butterfly was the last stumpwork part of the piece. The term "stumpwork" refers to the process of embroidering the piece separately and then applying it to the main piece for dimension (such as the centers of the sunflowers). Two of the three wing sections were embroidered this way, and the edges were embroidered around a small wire, allowing them to stand up freely and be shaped at ones' will. The effect is just beautiful and realistic. The body was again filled in with hundreds of tiny French knots using a single strand of black silk thread. The antenna were separate pieces that were couched into place.
The other flowers for this panel are called Coreopsis Tinctoria and as the other flowers in this piece, are native to South Africa. They were formed by using silk ribbon and have glass bead centers. The small basket that holds them was created using a single strand of silk thread which was actually woven within itself to create the woven basket. It was a fun and pretty effect. The buds were formed by covering larger beads with silk ribbon, and securing them to the piece.
Overall – it is one of my favorite pieces – so colorful and dimensional!
One more panel. The next will be beautiful RED POPPIES! I can't wait to get started on it!
I thank you all for your encouragement throughout this project. I love showing all the finished panels, one by one, and explaining all the fun techniques. I find this entire process to be relaxing and satisfying and a great way to unwind at the end of my day.
Today I am working on some orders and then on some drawings. The snow we were supposed to get today seems to have missed us, but the temperatures are forecast to be cold the next two weeks, with no additional snow until Tuesday. By then I am sure it will change!
I hope you all are warm and safe. I know winter is long for many of you, but I suggest you take the time to do something creative and beautiful to occupy these days when you are stuck inside. My "A Perfect World" piece does just that, as do my woodworking and painting patterns. Once again I feel that "we follow where we focus" and make our own contentment.
Thank you all for your wonderful encouragement on this embroidery piece.
I wish you all a wonderful Thursday!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"