The past couple of days have had me down with a cold. It hasn't been a terrible cold, but enough to make me tired and move a lot slower than I would like to do. Fortunately, it has come at a time when things are slowing down a little for me. While there is never a 'good' time for being sick, I am glad this wasn't a month or so ago when I was in the midst of cutting the hundreds of ornaments that have been ordered from me. (I always try to look on the positive side of things.)
While I have been moving slower, it doesn't mean that I am not accomplishing anything. With the variety of ways that I have to create, it seems that I can always find something to do that will keep me feeling productive – even when I am not feeling my best.
Those of you who read frequently know that besides woodworking and painting, I have also developed an obsession for embroidery. While I used to do Crewel and Cross Stitch kits as a child, the internet has introduced me to a whole new world of needlework that I couldn't have imagined in my wildest dreams. I find myself winding down at the end of the day by perusing through Pinterest and admiring the amazing needlework that has stood the test of time. I am in awe.
Seeing pieces like that makes my head spin. Until recently, I never heard of things like "stumpwork" and "needle painting" or "silk painting". But as I explore these venues of artistry, I long to create my own renditions of work, using many of the incredibly beautiful supplies that I have hoarded in the past couple of years.
Like any obsession, it didn't happen over night. At first it was admiration for the art itself, and then for the materials used to create the art, and then it quickly blossomed into a lust for all the fibers, colors and textures that fiber art has to offer. Pinterest can do that to you, you know. I know I have a great deal of company when I get 'lost' in their myriad of eye candy. I know that 'just one minute' takes on an entirely different definition when one is referring to browsing Pinterest. It rarely is just that. For the minutes turn into hours very quickly as we are lead down enchanted trails of our favorite foods, colors and of course – crafts. But I suppose there are worse addictions.
Which brings us to today's post . . .
For several months I have toyed with the idea of creating embroidery kits of my own. It seems when I show my pieces here, many people are very interested in this 'lost art' and show interest. I am not sure if it is just them being 'polite' or of there is a genuine interest in learning, but it got the wheels turning in my head and started me thinking about it.
It isn't as if I have lots of idle time to do this, but I do notice when I post my creations that they do get many 'likes' and lots of attention. I believe that there is truly interest there in some form and it encourages me to 'test the water.' Add to that when I have gone searching for available kits, there are very few to choose from. I am not sure if that is good or bad. There are loads of cross stitch kits, but very few that use the techniques that I am using (needle painting, stumpwork, etc.) and I am thinking that offering these kits may fill a need.
Since I am going to be doing my own work and designs anyway, I think it may be worth a try. If it fails, so be it. At least then I would know.
The other day I showed you a little design that I was working on. I am thinking this will be the first one that I will make into a 'kit' and write instructions on for teaching purposes. It is something that I have been contemplating for several months now and I thought it was time that I jump in and see how it goes. I am sure this venture will take a while to complete. As with anything new, there are paths to clear and many decisions to be made. Figuring out just how to go about things will be a challenge in itself, but one that I feel that I am up for.
I have spent the last couple of days working on this little seahorse:
He is being stitched using all silk threads of different weights by Valdani. Their threads are all hand-dyed and colorfast and I had actually purchased a great variety of them last year for designing purposes.
I finished my little guy last night and I was quite pleased with him.
The pretty touch of glass beads really added to him.
My sample was stitched on plain cotton fabric. Had I known he would come out so nice, I would have used the linen that I intended to use for his background. Last year, I had also purchased some high-quality fabric dyes in order to dye my own silk ribbon as well as the linen backgrounds. Yesterday I played around a bit and got a nice piece done for my seahorse:
It is difficult to see now, but there is a opalescent shimmer to the blues and a gold shimmer to the brown "sand". I used mica powders to achieve this look and it is incredibly subtle and lovely.
So now I am ready to stitch the seahorse again – this time on the hand-painted linen background.
I don't know where this new avenue will take me. It may wind up as a dead end business-wise and not prove lucrative for me at all. But one thing I learned from being in business all these years is that sometimes you have to take risks and see where they will take you. Otherwise you will never know. Since I have had these thoughts in my head for several years now, I feel it is time to test the water and see what happens. The investment that I will be making will not be large, other than my time, and I am doing something that I enjoy to relax anyway.
In the words of Johnny Depp: "I like the challenge of trying different things and wondering if it is going to work or if I am going to fall flat on my face."
We will just have to see how things turn out.
Have 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"