One thing always leads to making another thing.
And already this page has led to me starting on two more pages. But no photos of those until it’s more than holes in paper.
My shoulder has been a little wobbly again lately (as it is wont to do), so the burlap has been put on hold, it requires too much arm movement.
If you follow me on Instagram, Twitter or Flickr, then you’ve been seeing some photos of this large burlap sack I’ve been working on. The above photo doesn’t show the full thing even, it’s a big sack. I’ve been using this thick string, my big plastic needle and various motifs from some books I have collected over the past year or so. The idea is to make it sampler-like. I’m working without a real plan, just with some patterns in mind that I’ve liked and wanted to use. And I am trying to stay roughly on-center. There’s also a second side to this sack, and I have plans to do that as well. At the moment, I really like the idea of keeping the bag in-tact. Though I reserve the right to change my mind!
A little extra bonus: the bag smells like coffee beans still.
I’ve been working on a new piece in my head for a week or so, and I finally sat down and started it on Wednesday. It’s moved along pretty quickly, but I won’t be able to share it for a while. It’s got a secret future. But I will share eventually. I have one more page with this embossed detail that I will be doing something with soon.
I also finished up the second piece from The Teddy Roosevelt Book. I can’t remember if I ever shared the first one; if not, here it is: The Good Citizen. And here are the two together. (Please forgive the mobile phone photography. It’s been rainy and gray.) I’m honestly not sure how I feel about these. They feel a bit forced to me. But I’ve had the sketch of the covered wagon done for ages and ages. It needed to get done so I could move on. I do think I’ve come up with a way to do satin stitching on paper, so there was at least something interesting learned from it.
In other news, I’m starting to seriously look for calls for art to respond to. I’d like to see some of my work out there in the world before this time next year.
As soon as I read about Julie at button button’s August sampler featuring french knots, I knew I would have to join in. We had a decent vacation planned (that involved a long car ride) and I knew I’d probably have some time to do some embroidery, and I knew I wanted a project that was pretty portable (and well-defined).
While on vacation and in the car, I did about two sections of the sampler (the yellow and the red). But what’s really helped is putting the piece in my embroidery stand. Once I did that, the progress has really picked up. What also helped was picking a sturdy needle. I tried my smaller, thinner needles (they are 9s I think) to start and that was not a good choice at all. I bent about four of them on the red section alone. The yellow section used three strands of floss in one shade of yellow, and then I went back with one strand in a slightly lighter shade. I ended up slightly bending the needle by the end. The red section uses three strands of red and one strand of pink and the amount of pulling to get the floss through the muslin is what did in the majority of my needles. Switching (and I don’t know what size needle it is, but maybe a 7?) really made my life easier. I haven’t bent this needle yet.
I’m not sure that I’ll get done before the end of the month, but I am definitely going to try! I’m pretty much winging it — picking colors as I go along, and hoping that it all works out. (You’ll notice a slight color change in the purple section — I ran out of floss in the shade I was using and had to move to another one that was closeish to it. I don’t mind, I like being relaxed about this process.) I love making french knots. And I love doing it over and over and over again. It’s been really soothing to come home to this project and work on a section. I don’t have to think too much about it, I don’t have to worry about ripping a one of a kind piece of vintage paper and working on it lets my brain (which has been working overtime) chill out.
I thought it would be a good idea to convert one of my favorite graphs that I’ve stitched on paper a few times into a mini quilt. I’m still irrationally frightened of the sewing machine, so I’ve decided to hand sew it.
I’m not rushing to finish this — I want to take it slow and now that I have one block down, I’ll be moving back to embroidery very soon. I have a busy June and July planned for myself.