Thursday, June 21, 2012

Stormy skies

Looking west towards the Rockies
I've always loved the huge skies in our part of the country.  Here are some photos that I snapped quickly a day or so ago from a hospital waiting room where I  had to spend several hours.  One advantage of this particular room was a spectacular view over the valley towards the Rockies.  Because of the storm clouds moving in, the mountains aren't really visible - you might, however, be able to catch a glimpse of the Olympic ski jump along the ridge towards the centre of the first photo. 
 A view to the NorthWest
Looking west again - this is the main highway to the Rockies. 

I'd brought along a book to read (well, of course, "don't leave home without it" LOL), and at the last minute had tucked in a little cross-stitched ornament I'd been working on from time to time.  With the amazing light through those floor to ceiling windows, I needed neither extra light nor magnification, and was able to make good progress with it.  It's just  a whimsical little Homespun Elegance piece that will likely be a Christmas gift  this year.  Though it might stay right at home instead :)   Sorry for the fuzziness, I'll take a better photo once it's finished. 

 I'm still making good progress on the two Drawn Thread pieces, albeit a little slow - I'll post photos of those next time.  Thanks for coming along with me on this little diversion :) 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Four "F"s - ????

Drawn Thread's Violet Sampler
Seeing as I didn't post my progress after our long weekend in May, I thought it might be a good time now.  The "Four F-s"?  Frogged, Forward, Finished and Framed - 4 different stages for 4 different projects.  FROGGED?  That would be the Violet Sampler - the work I'd started on the chain stitch "filling" for the border wasn't to the standard I'd wish, so I unpicked it ("frogged", for those who perhaps haven't heard the term before LOL)  and will come back to that section later.   I did a little more on the body of the sampler, though - another alphabet, a couple of small motifs, and a row of satin stitches (I'm thrilled with how those look - there's nothing quite like the look of the AVAS silk for these).  Stitching on the dark background is the challenge here, and also the weave of the linen - it's an R&R hand-dyed fabric and I find the threads to be very close and tight; however, the colour's gorgeous, so I'm happy to continue :) 

Drawn Thread's Cloister Garden
"FORWARD" is Cloister Garden - another section done.  This one included an area in Queen Stitch, which I hadn't tackled for quite a while, and had to review the details of it.  I'm still not sure it's exactly right, but I think it looks ok (from a distance at least LOL) - it's the line of stitching inside the "pot".  And I'll have lots more practice in Queen Stitch on the Violet Sampler and my  Guild Anniversary sampler (a piece I haven't introduced here yet). 

Courtney Collection's  Red Bird

FINISHED?  Courtney Glau's Red Bird design, stitched with Belle Soie and AVAS on lambswool (probably 40 count, but possibly 36, I can't remember exactly ....).  This design reminds me of some of Emily Carr's paintings, with her images of the NW Coast rainforests.  Many other layers of meaning in it for me too, of course, perhaps I'll mention those later when it's framed.  Right now I've just set it into a frame that I may use after I've painted it. 

Gathering Honey - Framed and Mounted
And finally, FRAMED  - Gathering Honey is now framed and hanging on my main Sampler Wall.  I was able to use a lovely vintage frame that I had at home, and the framer found a mottled cream mat that couldn't have been more perfect for it.

So there we have it - four projects that were marching along, two complete, and now I'll concentrate more on the two Drawn Thread pieces with their multiple specialty stitches.  And of course, I just might pull out another straight cross-stitch piece to work on when I want a change ;)  

Sunday, June 10, 2012

June 10, 1942

50th Anniversary Gift

On this date, 70 years ago, my lovely parents-in-law, George and Marie, were married.  They lived to celelbrate 55 years together.  For their 50th Anniversary, I stitched this little kit, with various threads including wools and cottons on linen.  In those days, I just did the best I could with adding the "50" and their personal information to a stamped pattern, but Marie was thrilled that it was an approximation of my own writing LOL 
She set it out on the guest book table for the anniversary reception and then hung it in their living room afterwards.  I loved trying out the many different surface embroidery stitches, although I recall it being a dash to the finish to complete it and have it framed - we decided at the time to frame it without glass, as the stitches were highly textured and raised, and so far it's been satisfactory that way.   With many fond memories ......