"It takes ages to finish a quilt you're not working on!"

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What next? Is there life after an Indian?

There certainly is - a cupboard full! Two close friends of many years are turning 60 - one next month, and one this time next year. I have two cross stitch kits in a blue cups and teapots theme, slightly different from each other, but about the same size. I've got one on a frame and ready to go, but if I don't finish it by my friend's birthday (Xmas Eve), she won't know anything because I haven't told her about it. So it will keep for the other friend next year, for whom I have promised to stitch something. But if I do get it finished in time, I still have the other one to do next year.
Ken's Mum has given me several unfinished embroidered items over the years, and one is a Semco suppercloth, which I would love to finish off while she is still with us. It has roses and rosebuds scattered over it, and I have completed one rose, which took me two weeks. It is an intricate design, and I didn't want to hurry, because embroidery looks awful if it is rushed, doesn't it. So I may retrieve that one next year. I'd like to do a few Christmas cards for some good friends, but if I start the teacups project in earnest, I won't have time for the cards! Ahhh..decisions, decisions. But it is nice to be free of that Indian at last. And if I remain unemployed for another month or so, I may get some cards as well as the 60th gift done! (don't hold your breath)

Indian Chief front and back.

This is the front, finished ready to frame. If you go close up, you may notice the difference in the beads. These are closer to the real turquoise colour. The first ones I had were just blue glass.
And this is his behind..er..back.

Monday, November 26, 2007

A few Indian hiccups.

I took two more photos when I'd completed my Indian, and am going to go back on my word and publish them here shortly. But in the meantime, I have two little stories to finish off the saga of the Indian. I always hand wash my finished stitching projects in luke warm water, with a little wool-wash liquid added. I've never had any problem until now...this time, the colour ran from one of the red threads used in the design. Fortunately there are only a couple of small areas where this particular red was used, so the damage was not extensive. About 1 cm of very pale pink can just be seen on the aida, at the edge of the design. I'm not worried about it. If it was to be judged in a competition, I guess it would be important, but anyone else who sees it wouldn't be so RUDE as to point it out....would they? (Ken did, lol)
The other thing that happened as I was tidying up my craft room (polite word for the mess I make when working on half a dozen things at once!), was that I picked up the jar of beads I had been using, and dropped it. It would have been fine if the lid had been screwed on tightly but....no. So thousands of tiny turquoise beads were scattered all over the carpet... ugh...I had to pick them all up because I didn't want the cat to come and lick any up. So I called on Ken to help me and he did, with a suggestion that we use sticky tape or Blue Tak to pick up a number of beads at once. Great idea! I cut two lengths of wide sticky tape and we both set to...until we started peeling the beads from the tape into the jar and realised the colour was being left behind on the tape - EEEEKKK!!!! OMG, what about the Indian? I've just washed it...beads and all! I raced into the bathroom where it was laid out on a towel to dry, and examined the beads. Phew - they still had their colour!
It is with the framer now, and he has promised it will be ready in time for Ken's birthday, a week before Christmas. Please God, don't let anything else go wrong!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Final update on my Indian Chief.

You read it right the first time - FINAL update. I have 168 more stitches to go (about three hours work) where the needle and cotton is hanging down in the photos. Apart from replacing the beads with some better ones I found last week, I will have FINISHED THE INDIAN! Here is where he is at tonight (Thursday 22nd November). Next time you see this old man, he will be mounted and framed (I mean that in the nicest way).
An interesting sideline about this project. The title on the kit is simply 'Indian Chief'. I emailed a friend who I met through a Native American website some years ago, and asked her if she could identify which tribe this design might be from. She responded immediately - here is her reply:
Whoever designed this artwork did a poor job of following traditions of just one tribe. The head dress has ermine skins hanging down on the side which was traditional of Blackfoot and Nez Perce. However, then he is wearing a necklace of turquoise which is entirely a Southwest tribe adornment usually. The pattern on the headband is so often used by many tribes that it cannot safely identify which Nation this would be. Hate to tell your friend, but this is simply a "generic" Chief. hugs to you, Wahela Bluejay
When I read this out to Ken, he was a tad disappointed, and wanted to know if there were any embroidery or cross stitch patterns of 'real' Indians. I have no doubt there are, but if he thinks I'm going to spend another 20 year stitching Indians, he's got another 'think' coming!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I have a new apron!

If you want to check it out, you will have to go here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Jesurum Lace from Venice.

A friend recently sent me this link about Jerurum Lace, which I had never heard of, but now that I've read about it, I want to share it with the readers of this blog. This is the first part, but the link has a lot more, including many photos.
Venice, since 1870 Lace, a precious and coveted ornament from the sea. You cannot describe Jesurum without referring to the history of lace, just as you cannot talk about the history of lace without referring to Jesurum. In the 16th century, Venetian lace was known and appreciated throughout Europe, thanks to astute Venetian merchants, ably assisted by famous artists who willingly provided designs and inspiration for this noble art. Lace originated from the need for suitably trimmed and decorated household linen. According to a popular legend, a sailor returning from a long voyage brought a piece of strange seaweed, Halymedia opuntia, known by seafaring folk as "mermaids' lace", as a gift for his sweetheart. The sailor soon returned to sea and to console herself, the girl copied the beauty of the seaweed in her lace. In Venice, lace had been used since ancient times in clerical vestments and it soon became appreciated as ornamentation for rich medieval and renaissance garments. When it was adopted for use on everyday articles, it rapidly gained popularity and commercial production began to satisfy the numerous orders reaching Venice from all parts of Italy and elsewhere. According to official documents, the monarchs, aristocracy and churchmen of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries spent fabulous sums on fine lace to decorate fans, sheets and curtains, men's and women's garments and even shoes. The lace industry reached its peak of excellence in Venice in the 18th century and was so greatly appreciated that not only working class women and nuns, but also aristocratic ladies devoted themselves to its production.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Chicken Scratch tablecloth.

I already have quite a few gingham cloths and aprons decorated with 'Chicken Scratch' embroidery, but can't resist another good example. Gingham has such a fresh clean look, and this green will look nice on the outdoors setting on a summer's day. I found this in an opshop for $4.50...

Friday, November 02, 2007

Cross stitched cushion.

I found this charming little piece in an opshop recently, with a pricetag of $2. I couldn't leave it there to rot, could I?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

"The Love Of Lace" gift book.

A dear friend of mine visited recently and presented me with this little book. She said her hubby had spotted it at a garage sale and thought of me straight away. Isn't that kind? I'm always surprised when this happens to me, although I guess I shouldn't be, as I do the same thing myself - buy odd bits and pieces for people who I know will appreciate them.
It is a charming little book - full of information about the various kinds of lace, and how they have been used down through time. The pictures are that gorgeous olde worlde vintage style - here are some samples.

Update on Kitten doiley.

Remember this little cutie on my blog here a few months ago? I've been diligently stitching away on him every time I've been in hospital and doctors' waiting rooms (and that is a lot of hours in recent months), and I am satisfied with how he is turning out. I had no instruction sheet to go by, so I've just used basic stitches and colours on a whim. I don't stitch this item at home at all - my stitching time at home is focussed on the Indian, which is also coming along nicely. Another photo up soon!